Dateline: 2015-05-21, Thursday
Location: PHX airport, YVR airport
See this picture below? That’s two mechanics (there were a total of four just a few minutes earlier) with part of a jet engine casing lifted up. That was our plane from PHX (Phoenix) to YVR (Vancouver) for the start of our Alaska cruise! It obviously wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
This is a prime example of why you always fly out the day before your cruise departs. It doesn’t have to be winter with snowy weather to cause flight delays or cancellations. This was May in Phoenix, and the weather was gorgeous, but the unexpected can always happen. If you have a connecting flight and multiple legs, you’re introducing more possibilities of delays or cancellations. Going into your cruise departure city the day before provides a much more worry-free trip. You can start your vacation a day early, spend the evening exploring the city and having a good meal, and you get a good night’s sleep in a nearby hotel, waking up refreshed and relaxed the day of your cruise. What a great way to start!
Back to our specific flight drama on the day… Amazingly, US Airways did a magical job of actually finding us another airplane as a substitute for this one having mechanical issues. (How they managed that I can’t fathom.) But even with the admirable job of getting us another plane so we weren’t outright cancelled for the day, we were two hours late in taking off. Luckily, we were flying to Vancouver the day before our cruise so we weren’t too stressed over the delay. However, if we were flying the day of our cruise and this delay happened, we would have without a doubt missed the departure sailing time!
Coming into Vancouver International Airport, if you take a few minutes and enjoy the walk, you’ll discover an amazing amount of artwork on display in the terminal. This massive (21 foot span; 6.4 metres) 3D thunderbird hanging sculpture made by Connie Watts is one of the first things that greet you.
While everyone else was hurrying past to get to baggage claim as fast as they could… only to stand around 10 minutes waiting for bags to appear, I took the time to stand and admire this piece and a few others. I love traditional Pacific Northwest art, and this is just a fascinating piece. As you make your way to baggage claim, do yourself a favor and look at and admire many of the other large-scale pieces on display.
Read my next Blog entry about Vancouver itself below. I give some insider tips and behind the scenes information for cruise passengers to make the most of their time in Vancouver.