Lounge Chairs at Night
  • On Mar 15, 2022
    Ellen from NY Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I’m traveling on the Disney Wonder this summer to Alaska. While I would love to not think about the return trip home, all good things must come to an end. What time do you recommend is the earliest we could book a flight out of the Vancouver airport? TTFN!

    Ahoy there, Ellen! Welcome aboard planDisney - and what an embarkation it's looking to be! You've said three of my favorite things in your short question: Disney Wonder, planning ahead, and Alaska! I'm sure you know that an incredible summer vacation adventure is in your future, so as Ralph told Vanellope, "start churnin' butter, and put on your church shoes, because we're about to blast off!"

    Forgive the mixed metaphors, they're not Ralph's strong suit.

    I applaud you for thinking of arguably the only bad part of a Disney Cruise Line vacation: returning home! It's an unfortunate necessity, but by sort of "reverse Imagineering" your vacation timeline, you'll have every box checked and be ship shape when it comes to making your debarkation smooth sailing - that's a "planDrew-approved" approach if I ever heard one! 

    When it comes to flights back to the US from Vancouver, my family tries to keep from booking them any earlier than 12 p.m. if we can help it - especially since the cruise port and airport are a solid 30-minutes away from one another. With all there is to do on debarkation day from the final day breakfast, debarkation process, customs inspection, ground transfers, international security lines at Vancouver International Airport, and building-in the highly-recommended, "didn't see that delay coming" buffer - not to mention a few tearful moments tearing ourselves away from our favorite ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet - a mid-day or early afternoon flight is probably a solid target. 

    Now if you are so upset about leaving your home on the high seas that you want to "run away and never return," and your flight options are limited, you might be able to make an earlier flight if you packed light, have a fast-walking crew, and take advantage of Express Walk-off to try to be one of the first off the ship. I would say in that case an 11 a.m. flight isn't out of the realm of possibility. Though, there are worse things than missing a flight and having to spend a day or two in Vancouver...In any case, I suggest reviewing the Debarkation Day section of the current "Know Before You Go" information for everything you can expect!

    If you'd like to have a relaxing final morning on the ship, along with time to say goodbye to your new family from the Dining Room and your Stateroom Host, I'd suggest sticking to a flight that's noon or later just so you can re-enter post-cruise life as gently as Captain Minnie steers the ship into port. 

    Well, Ellen, I can't wait for you and your crew to embark on your amazing Alaska itinerary...consider me extra jealous - are you sure you don't need a personal guide? Just kidding, but I hope now that you have the sad end of your vacation on the way to being settled, you can concentrate on the exciting adventure that awaits! Say hello to the glaciers and the Disney Wonder for me! 

    Thank you so much for your question, Ellen, and if any other questions appear on the horizon, you know where to find me here at planDisney! 



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Meet the Panelist: Andrew, Missouri

Anchors aweigh! I’m Andrew - but you can call me PLANdrew! I’m a Disney husband and dad who’s been sailing with Disney Cruise Line since I was 15 years old. My family and I have embarked on incredible itineraries around the world, making magical memories on each exciting adventure. So, if “the line where the sky meets the sea calls you," I’m here to be your guide! As Maui would say, “You’re Welcome!” Learn More About Andrew

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