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Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 441
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

January 10, 2012

I am considering the subject tour and would like to hear from anyone else who has already booked as well as anyone who took the tour during 2011.

Specific questions:

Is the date too early in the summer for prime weather conditions? Would later be better?

The Capilano Suspension Bridge optional tour has been cancelled. Is it something I should consider booking on my own since I have done much of what is proposed for Vancouver?

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 524
GCT Trips Taken: 12
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

January 11, 2012

We did not take this trip in 2011, but in 2005. We did it very early in the year, May 17. It was marginally too early in the season for it. Some roads in Galcier were still closed, due to snow, but they were expected to open in a week or so. We hit the opening day for the boats on Maligne Lake. They had expected to open earlier, but the ice had just cleared. Other than that the weather andtime of year was excellent. We can't comment on the Capilano bridge, as we didn't do it.

Bill Spiller was our PD, and it appears that he still does this trip. He was excellent. It is an excellent trip for ealy or late in the season, as the crowds are down.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 441
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

January 20, 2012

Two things I'd be willing to listen to recommendations on:

1. The first full day in Vancouver includes mostly things we have already done on a previous trip. Am I correct in assuming that it creates no heartburn on the part of the PD for us to "skip out" on that day's touring?

2. The Capilano Suspension Bridge used to be an optional tour, but that has been dropped. Any advice on us doing that on our own as an alternative to the touring mentioned in #1? I have checked the pricing and the schedule of the shuttles from downtown Vancouver to Capilano and it seems straight-forward enough.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 524
GCT Trips Taken: 12
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

January 20, 2012

If Bill Spiller is the PD, and he is the featured PD, I can't imagine anything causing him heartburn. He is pretty laid back and flexible. The time in Vancouver was quite flexible.

One thing that we did on our own was to go up to Grouse Mountain, which was the base for the Olympic network broadcasts. There were wolves and bears and a great birds of prey show and lumberjack contests. We don't remember much more of what was there, but it was an enjoyable, relaxing day as we approached the end of the trip. We took a ferry across the harbor and a local bus, but it looks like there is noew a shuttle service from downtown.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 441
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

January 27, 2012

Today I booked and paid for the trip - Northwest National Parks - commencing on June 18, 2012. We will also take the Victoria pre-trip extension so we will actually be going to Seattle on June 15, 2012. We decided to not take the Seattle post-trip extension, so we will be returning home on July 1, 2012.

I love the sea and I love the mountains. I'll get a little bit of the sea and a lot of the mountains on this trip. I live among what passes for mountains in the eastern USA. But compared with the Rockies, the Appalachians are ancient, highly-eroded, heavily-forested super hills. I prefer Pennsylvania as a place to live, but the Rockies are great locations to visit.

 

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 441
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

January 31, 2012

My Preliminary Air Itinerary was on line yesterday, one week before promised. It was better than I expected -- in fact about the best I could have hoped for. I harbor no illusion that the final itinerary will be exactly like the preliminary, but for now I am very pleased. Regardless of the airline involved or the scheduled departure times, non-stop flights requiring no chage of airplanes are always desireable. In my case the departure times are quite good and, when dealing with domestic flights in the USA, one airline is about as good as another.

Author: dorisblake

Joined: 10/7/2011
Posts: 5
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 9
Traveler Since: 2005

February 04, 2012

CaptainLarry,  You might still get to see the rhodes but near the end of the season.  Seattle is great.  An old book, "You can't eat Mt. Ranier" is a treasure to read about the history of Seattle. the seamstresses and Ezra Mercer.  Take the underground tour of Old Seattle.  Do Pike St. Market.  Eat at Ivars Acres of Clams, be careful though about feeding the gulls if you don't want to share your french fries.  On to Victoria, go to Mr. Murchies Tea House and try #10 blend also the Buchart Gardens, [also try Trader Vic's], take the ferry [Coho] over to Port Angeles [one can be a walking passenger or car].  If you do the car do Hurricane Ridge between Pt. Angeles and Townsend.  Port Townsend visit the old underground tunnels where the early illegal immigrants were housed waiting for jobs. 

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 441
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

March 05, 2012

Just bumping this thread up to see if anyone else wants to admit to being booked on this tour (and perhaps the pre-trip extension to Victoria). I'm getting rather eager to begin the tour.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 441
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

March 10, 2012

Indications are that this departure has fewer than three openings left, so I guess the First Mate and I will not have a "private" tour. It's not that imoportant, but it would be interesting to hear from others who will be traveling with us.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 441
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

June 13, 2012

We leave home tomorrow and get to Seattle Friday. Heard from our Program director, Cory Greenlees, by email and got the information that the Capilano Suspension Bridge has been reinstated as an optional. That is good. We would have gone there anyway. So far we have heard nothing from any of the other 35 tourists on this trip. So we will meet them in Seattle either Friday or Monday.

Author: kristenc

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 77
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Europe, Russia

Traveler Since: 2012

June 23, 2012

Captain Larry - We are considering this trip for next year. I look forward to hearing your report after you return. Hope you're having great weather and a fabulous trip!

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 441
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

July 05, 2012

We got home on Monday but I just now waw your post, Kristen. It is a delightful tour and we had a great time. The weather was not perfect but probably better than we had a right to expect at this time of year. We had 33 tourists on the main tour and only 12 on the pre-trip extension to Victoria. The numbers were supposed to have been 37 and 18, but four people canceled altogether and two canceled the extension.

In addition to Cory Greenlees, who is an excellant Program Director, we also had Patrick with us. He is a "prospective" PD for this tour and was observing the tour and the work of Cory. Even though Patrick is new to GCT he lives in Seattle and has had experience leading tours in the Rockies with other companies. Although he had no official duties with respect to the tourists his presence was an added benefit.

The Victoria extension was quite nice, but the Seattle post-tour extension was cancelled due to lack of interest. We had decided early that we would not take the two extra days in Seattle and after spending a couple of days there we were glad we made the decision. In fact, we really enjoyed the smaller towns and the rural areas, but were not particularly fond of either of the big cities, Vancouver or Seattle.

Well, that's enough for now. I'll do a full report as soon as I get my feet back on the ground.

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