As is normal when I know I have to wake up early in the morning, I barely slept on our last night of the cruise. I had set my alarm clock for 5.30am as I wanted to be outside on deck as we sailed into Vancouver. After getting dressed I checked the map on the television to see where the ship currently was and then headed up to Deck 10 with my cameras where you could already see Vancouver in the distance.
Like the previous Monday when we boarded the Disney Wonder, the weather was beautiful – the skies were blue and sun was already out. I was the only person walking around on deck at this time and it was incredibly peaceful. I headed to the front of Deck 10 and set one of my cameras up on my Gorillapod tripod to film our arrival.
As we got closer to the Lions Gate Bridge a few more people appeared with cameras bringing the total number of passengers standing at the front of Deck 10 to five! I couldn’t believe more people were not out especially as everyone had to be awake early on this day. Sailing under the bridge was a much quieter affair than the previous week during sailaway and we slowly followed the Island Princess towards Canada Place.
As we got closer to the dock, the ship started to turn so it could back into the berth at Canada Place West. This gave us some amazing views of Stanley Park and the rest of the harbour. We decided to see if the Aft Overlook was open but it was still locked at this time so we watched the rest of the arrival from our verandah. We then heard the “When You Wish Upon a Star” horn for the final time on our cruise to signal our arrival in Vancouver.
After docking we then spent a few minutes packing all the last minute items we had left out from the night before and started checking the many drawers and cupboards in the room to make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything.
We had already decided not to go for breakfast on this day as we figured we would get something to eat once off the ship. On the last day, your breakfast is served in whatever restaurant you were seated in on the final night of your cruise – which in our case would have been Animator’s Palate at 8am. The time that you have your breakfast is determined by if you have Main or Second Seating for dinner. You also have to take all your bags with you as you cannot go back to your rooms after breakfast so I can only imagine how crowded it gets in each of the dining rooms.
Express Walk-Off was announced along with people who had Ariel or Daisy luggage tags so after saying goodbye to Yerilee who was already out in the corridor making up the rooms for the next guests, we headed to the elevators with our bags. This was the longest part of the whole process as EVERYONE was using them – even people with no bags who were only doing up or down one floor. We eventually managed to get into an elevator though it did stop at every floor from Deck 7 to Deck 3 and there was some loud tutting when the people waiting saw that it was full already – use the stairs people!
When we got to Deck 3 it was chaos as it seemed the whole ship had just decided to wait for disembarkation in the corridor between Parrot Cay and the lobby atrium as well the atrium itself. People were sitting on the floor blocking the way so we had to fight our way through so I’m sorry if my case hit anyone on the way. It would be so much better if they could keep those areas of the ship completely clear. People were even sitting on the steps outside of Triton’s blocking the way for anyone who wanted to go in for breakfast.
Once we’d had our Keys to the World swiped for the final time, we disembarked the Disney Wonder and headed along the gangway into the Canada Place terminal. After the chaos to get from our stateroom, I was happy to be off the ship. It was amazing given how organised and efficient everything had been on the ship during the week that it all went to pieces on the last morning.
We then had to walk through the area where we’d originally checked in for our cruise the week before. All the baggage was lined up so getting across to the exit proved difficult as people were collecting their luggage and then blocking the aisles with it whilst they found their other bags – I probably caught a few more ankles with my case trying to get through.
We did not need to show our passports at any time and after handing in our completed arrival cards to the Customs Officer, we were on our way. There were plenty of taxis already waiting with no lines so less than a minute later, we were heading to our hotel.
We arrived at the Blue Horizon Hotel a few minutes later but as it was still early in the morning, they did not have any rooms ready yet that we could check into. They were able to store our bags for us which allowed us to go and get breakfast. Neither of us were particularly hungry so we headed to the Starbucks one block away where we were able to use the free wifi and catch up with everyone at home with news of our week in Alaska. We were both exhausted so ended up sitting in there for a few hours drinking tea after tea to try and wake up!
We needed to pass the time so decided to go for a walk to the Pacific Centre to look around the shops. We were not there long as we were both hungry so we headed to the amazing Mr Shawarma food truck which is always parked by the Hyatt Regency hotel on the corner of Burrard Street and Melville Street. Their poutine is made with vegetarian gravy too which makes it even better. After finishing our lunch we walked back to our hotel to see if our room was ready and thankfully it was.
After chilling in our room for an hour or two, we headed out for a walk back down to Canada Place to watch the Disney Wonder leave Vancouver. We watched as the muster drill took place and even saw one family taking photos from their verandah whilst they should have been at the drill. Naughty naughty.
We heard the whole of Adventures Away and thankfully for them the tape didn’t mess up like it had done for us and the horn worked too! A couple of minutes later, the Disney Wonder set sail from Canada Place. It might not make sense to most people but I could not wait for the ship to leave Vancouver as whilst the ship was docked, I wanted to be back onboard so being able to see it was just making me feel sad.
After watching the Disney Wonder disappear behind Stanley Park, we decided to get dinner before having an early night as we were both shattered. We went to Steamworks Pub in Gastown where only the week before we had had an amazing meal. Sadly this night we were given one of the worst servers known to man. On the walk back to our hotel, we grabbed a tea from Starbucks to drink back in the room. Thankfully before falling asleep I managed to complete our online check-in for our flight home the next day.
The next day was completely uneventful. We had managed to get a later check-out time from our hotel so we both could sleep in and take our time repacking our bags to leave. Our flight home was not until the evening so after leaving our suitcases at the hotel, we walked along the Seawall towards Stanley Park and went to Cardero’s Restaurant for lunch. I’ve been here many times and the food and drink is always good and once again it lived up to expectations. The weather wasn’t great on this day at all which makes me feel even luckier that we had the weather we did for the rest of our time in Vancouver.
Sadly I received a text message to say that our flight home was delayed by two hours. We had both started to feel incredibly tired again by this point so all we could think was that we’d now have a longer wait before we could go to bed! We went and sat in the same Starbucks as the day before to kill some time before heading to the airport on the Canada Line Skytrain. As it was rush hour, the train was incredibly busy but we soon arrived at the airport and got through security in no time at all.
Thankfully we were on a direct flight home to London so after take-off I changed straight into my pyjamas, made my seat into a bed, skipped dinner and slept the entire flight home without waking up once! See I said I was tired!