We got tired of walking around Vancouver, so we jumped on the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour. The passes are good for 24 hours, altho the buses do not run for 24 hours. I think they go from 8:30am to 5pm. This is the best way to see the highlights of the city. I recommend riding it all the way around to all the stops (24 of them) and then picking which places you want to hop-on/hop-off. Stanley Park is HUGE (100 acres) and its a lot easier seeing most of it from the bus than trying to walk it all. While riding, there's an audio tour that tells you about all the different areas and the buses are on WiFi, so if you have a smartphone and a way to get on the internet, you can see where the buses are located and plan accordingly to get picked up. They seemed to be extra full of passengers on the weekends.
Pre-cruise City tour of Vancouver: 4 hrs visiting Stanley Park, Granville Market, passed by Gastown, Chinatown, etc. But the best part was our suitcases were loaded directly onto the ship. They were already in our room when we boarded.
The city tour we booked only had 2 main stops at Stanley Park with history telling done beautifully by the driver/guide and final stop was on the Observation deck of the Look out tower, riding on a glass elevator. We were also given free passes to return to the Look Out for night view. The driver also made a couple of picture stops.
Our guide Winston did an excellent job of providing us with a 5 hour overview of the best of Vancouver. We made the odd request that he also tour us through the worst of Vancouver which he accommodated. He was incredibly personable and informative. Right on time and his vehicle was clean and comfortable. Would book again.
Debarkation from the ship was quick and fairly painless but Canada Place was a zoo with 2 ships in port. I can't imagine what it is like with more than that. We took the city tour that ended at the airport. The tour was ok. I was glad to see a little of the city and burn up a little time between getting off the ship and a mid-afternoon flight. It would be nice if they offered different tours for different flight times. We could have done a more extensive tour with our flight time and there were three coach buses for our tour so there might be some room different choices.
Very, very disappointed. There was no tour guide. The driver normally covered the Rockies tour. He didn't know enough about the city, ( he's not from the area), the microphone wasn't working well, and he found it difficult to concentrate on his driving through the streets and giving us the little information he did have. He did apologise several times and he knew everyone in the bus was unhappy about it - it wasn't his fault as he had been 'thrown in at the deep end)
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