Saturday 21st September 2019
Woke up this morning and opened the windows to find out that we were pulling into Canada Place into our berth right on 6am. There were two ships coming in behind us as well, so it was going to be a full morning in Port. The ship was beginning to wake up, just as we did. The port was coming to life as ships were pulling into port and stevedores were getting going pulling in lines etc
We headed off up to the Lido Market for breakfast and made sure to get a good decent feed as we weren’t sure when we would have lunch. The Lido was packed solid, but then it was only one of the two venues open for breakfast and room service was not available. It was crazy though as the Lido Pool was practically empty, so that is where we sat. I made sure to have a hot breakfast today and before we knew it, it was time to head down and start getting stuff together. On the way back you could see the cabin stewards getting their stuff ready for cleaning, like making sure to have keys ready for each room for lights etc, even door stops.
We packed up the last bits and pieces and made sure we hadn’t left anything behind (in the end, I certainly did, the vegas card I left in the power key slot). When they called our group, we headed for the 2nd deck and it was time for this cruise to end. We disembarked to as usual a group of staff waiting at the end of the gang plank saying goodbye. Into the terminal we went to find our bags which were waiting for us. Then through the non event that was CBSA. This time no questions, just hand over the customs form and off we go. This was when the shit show began.
We had booked a rental car to get us home. It was with National using one of our free days. They have a rental agency in Canada Place and the last time the desk had been in a great spot right where we came out of customs. Apparently this has now changed as when we came out they directed us to the parking garage, down an elevator to level 1. So off we went, confirming with staff along the way that is where they were. Yeah… nope. We got off the elevator to find… nothing. No people, no cars, just a note saying go to the other building, this desk doesn’t exist. Let the frustration build begin. I came back up to go to the other building it said to go to and asked some staff giving directions. Both of them sent me back where I had just been. I let them know there were signs saying this was wrong (mind you heidi was sitting on a bench right where the signs had posted).
Finally someone sent me in the right direction and pointed me to where I should be going. The other two staff looked at her and said “when did that change”. This got me super frustrated, as someone who deals with this kind of stuff on a daily basis, directions and information are key to keeping people moving! So over to the other building I went, waited in line, picked up my keys and when I told them about what happened, a shoulder shrug and the response “we told them that months ago”. Numerous people were laying into them about it so it seems like I wasn’t the only one and that it had been ongoing for quite some time, with not a single person who cares. I returned back to where I left Heidi trying to swim upstream through all the people flowing out of the ships. I made it back to the elevator which now had a considerable line and asked someone if there was steps to go down (as I had come up steps but spat out at a different spot). Again I shouldn’t have asked as I got the answer of “Down the Elevator”. To which I just looked forlorn as it was going to be a 20 minute wait just to get down! But then the lady looked at me and said “where are your bags” and i said “downstairs, which is where I need to go!” She pointed me to the stairs as though I was an idiot. I went back downstairs, collected Heidi and then got in the elevator again to go downstairs one more floor to the car.
Once we found the car, I inspected it and then we tried to leave the car park. The signage just had us going in the same circle around and around again as though it was a final insult to anyone wanting to leave Canada Place. A final “fuck you” to anyone thinking they could escape the shit show that wanted to do anything but get a cruise provided shuttle bus. We left Canada Place and headed out of the city towards the border. Once out of the city the freeway made it a straight shot to the Peace Arch and before we knew it we were at the Nexus lanes and with just one car ahead of us when we pulled up, a few questions about what we were doing in Canada and off we went.
We hit I5 and got going south towards home. We stopped off at Snow Goose Produce for a final ice cream before they close for the season (October 6th for anyone who cares). This ended up being our lunch and about an hour or so later we were approaching the city. We stopped by the grocery store on the way home to pick up some food so we don’t starve tomorrow morning and we were home by 1pm. This was around the same time as the bus would have been leaving Vancouver for us if we had used it to come home. A 1pm time to get home vs a 1pm departure from Vancouver. Let me think about that! Home and the trip was now fully over… *sigh*