I’m torn. I wanted so much to be able to praise my recent cruise on the NOORDAM. In the past, I’ve had several wonderful experiences with HAL, and I was hoping this would just add to the list. Sadly, that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong: I had a nice time. But, for me, it just wasn’t up to the standard that I’ve come to expect from HAL. Maybe it was because it was a short three night cruise, I’m not sure.
When I arrived at the Vancouver airport, I found the HAL rep who directed me to where the bus would be for the ride to the pier. He said the bus would be there in thirty minutes. Fifty minutes later, there was still no bus, so I found him and asked him what the deal was. He went off on me, rambling on about whose fault it is that the bus wasn’t there, and that people don’t go on line and put in their flight info, so they have no idea when to pick people up. In mid-sentence, I stopped him in his tracks and said, “Forget it, I’ll take a cab. I’m not about to stand here and listen to you berate me about why there’s no bus.” The cab cost 35 dollars, Canadian, and took about 40 minutes.
Check in at the pier took another 45 minutes. Once on board, I ran into some of the other folks who were waiting for the bus at the airport; they said it didn’t arrive for another hour after I left. Ridiculous.
Didn't see much on the ride from the airport to the ship, but the downtown area looked nice.
Nice time at the market and on a short city tour.
Lovely place. Gardens nice, but expensive to get to and visit.