We are booked on an Alaskan Cruise out of Vancouver on 8/24/08. Flying to Vancouver will cost $1200 or more for 2. We can go Amtrak From Milwaukee to Seattle and then bus to Vancouver for only $810 roundtrip. Besides the big savings, we thought it would be a fun, new experience. My question is - has anyone gone on Amtrak? Can we expect to arrive as scheduled? The last thing I want to do is miss the cruise. We are planning to arrive the day before the cruise.
We live in Seattle and have taken the Amtrak route from here to Montana. I would really search for a better airfare if I were you. Amtrak is a fun way to go, but it has many problems (mudslides, etc) and can be very unreliable timewise.
Have you looked at Midwest airlines between Milwaukee and Seattle? I am surprised to hear your fares are so high although I mainly fly Sea to Chi or StL. Usually I can get $250-300 round trip.
I think your best plan would be to put a farewatch on www.kayak.com or something similar for airfare. Or if you do choose to take amtrak be sure to give yourself enough time (extra full day for sure) or get travel insurance to cover delays. Of course, if you do that, then you may have eliminated your savings.
Either way, an extra day to sightsee in Seattle or Vancouver might be nice. They are both great cities!
Hi, marygb, and welcome to cruise chat if I haven't greeted you. Seakat is right in doing more research in airfares. That being said, an airplane will always get you to a desired destination faster and without unforeseen obstacles that can hamper land-based travel. Yes, I know that many airlines are undergoing many maintenance problems and some are suffering delays and cancellations but, over all, it is still the fastest and best way to travel over great distances. If a flight is cancelled, you can always arrange alternate travel plans and still arrive at your destination without too much of a delay. If your travel plans involve a train, you will have great difficulty rerouting your travel plans if you get delayed by mechanical failure or an act of nature. Consider your options wisely and always have a backup plan just in case.
Seakat, did some more seaching for flights and found I can save $400 by flying into Seattle rather than Vancouver. Thought you might be able to tell me the name of the bus line that would take us from Seattle to Vancouver. Thanks.
Your cruise line may have a transfer from the SEATAC airport to the cruise terminal in Vancouver. HAL did when we did our Alaskan cruise. We spent some time visiting family, they drove us to the airport to meet the shuttle. They even provided a box lunch for the ride. They handled the border crossing also.
Thanks for all your help. We decided to save Amtrak for a time when we have no deadline to get someplace and have booked our flights. Now I don't have to worry about missing our departure for Alaska. Cruise Chat and Cruise Reviews have been so helpful ever since I found them. Thanks to whoever maintains these sites.