Tom and I recently returned from a 17-day cruise to Hawaii on the Holland America ship Eurodam. We had a fantastic vacation and I will be writing about it for at least the next three weeks.
Several people asked what we did with our RV while we were on our cruise, so I am going to start by talking about getting to the cruise. After exploring options, we decided to leave our RV in Vancouver (the departure point) at an RV park that has a “cruise package.” They let you keep your RV plugged in on a site for a reduced price during the cruise. Unfortunately their reduced price was pretty expensive! We swallowed hard and made a reservation.
Then we stayed at Silver Cove RV Park near Silver Lake, Washington while traveling with Johnny and Val. I had talked to them on the phone several times about storing the RV there but the manager never got back to me. When we checked in, I asked again about storage. After some discussion in the office, they agreed that we could leave the RV on a monthly site for 1/4 the price the park in Vancouver wanted. I immediately called and canceled the park in Vancouver.
Now, however, the problem was getting to the cruise ship. Johnny and Val offered to drive us to Vancouver – what great friends! But it was a six hour trip that took them in the opposite direction they were going. Tom did a little research and found Amtrak had a station in Kelso, a town 20 miles from Silver Cove. There were also many Amtrak trains heading north to Vancouver every day. Score! Not only were we saving money on storage, we could ride the train to Vancouver!
The train station had overnight parking but we were a little leary about leaving the truck there for three weeks. I called the police Kelso and they recommended not leaving the truck. They said there had been a lot of incidents with vehicles being vandalized or broken into in the overnight parking. Turns out the police station is next to the Amtrak station so 1) they should know and 2) why aren’t they doing anything about it?
So, on September 30, Johnny and Val dropped us off at the Amtrak station in Kelso. Soon after arriving, we received a text alert from Amtrak saying there was a problem with the train but alternate transportation would be arranged. The historic station is staffed by volunteers so we asked the volunteer about it. He said a culvert had collapsed south of Tacoma. No trains would be going north or south along the line until they repaired the culvert. He was sure they would send a bus to get us to Vancouver.
We waited and waited and waited. We also called Amtrak customer service several times but got a different answer every time we called. Finally Tom worked his way up to a manager who said our train was on the way. We were surprised, but 15 minutes later the train showed up! Turns out the culvert was fixed and we were on our way.
We enjoyed the train ride to Seattle and then switched to a bus to take us to Vancouver. We arrived after midnight but caught a cab that took us to the Pan Pacific Hotel where we spent the night. The room was very nice and we slept well after our stressful day.
Sunday, October 1, Tom and I spent some time walking around downtown Vancouver in the morning. I inadvertently left Tom’s rain jacket on the picnic table back at Silver Cove, so we went to Hudsons Bay Company and bought him a new one. We enjoyed walking around Canada Place and looking at the beautiful port. We also admired our ship and took several selfies.
Finally it was time to get on the Eurodam so our cruise could begin. Except – we had to go through American customs. And with 2,000 passengers getting on our ship and 3,000 passengers getting on a Princess ship next door, it took a while. Although the line was super long, it moved quickly and we were on the ship about an hour after arriving at the line.
Now that we were finally on board, the fun could begin! Continue reading tomorrow to find out more about our ship.