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Welcome to Seattle.
The Port of Seattle has established a website for cruise travelers with good information including cruise terminal details, cruise lines serving Seattle, and transportation from the port. Note that there are currently 6 cruise lines arriving and departing from Seattle and two cruise terminals, Pier 91 and Pier 66. Pier 91 is located slightly north of downtown, while Pier 66 is located in the center of the waterfront on Alaskan Way.
There are many hotels near the airport that offer pre and post cruise packages as well as transportation to the cruise terminals. Here is a link for the list of hotel packages: http://www.seattlesouthside.com/packa...
Hotels with shuttle service to Pier offered by Shuttle Express at $10 pp. While this could cost more logistically with luggage its perhaps simpler especially with larger groups. Here is the link for a list of hotels:
Airport transportation to Downtown Seattle
There are several options for getting into Seattle from the airport:
Towncars are a nice option as they are flat rate and won't vary based on traffic delays. The rate is currently set at $45 to downtown Seattle. Since cabs meter by time and distance and wait time is charged at $.50 a minute, towncars or flat rate options can sometimes be cheaper, especially since they will pick you up at baggage claim vs hauling your luggage over the skybridge and downstairs in the pkg garage to get in the taxi line.
There is a new 'category' of cab called Flat Rate ForHire. These are regulated by the city and state but they don't meter by time making them more economical. There are currently over 200 in Seattle. The current rate is only $25 from airport to downtown. You can find a quote online at
They rate by zip code so knowing the zip code for your hotel and arrival is helpful. You must call but they generally arrive within 15-20 minutes.
The most economical way to travel between the Seatac airport and down town is the SoundTransit Lightrail for less than $3, and they take credit card on their ticket machine. As long as you have rolling baggages which you can pull around without difficulty in the airport, you will have no problem ride the lightrail, since it is usually not crowded. http://www.soundtransit.org/.
The light rail may be a cheap way into downtown but be aware that it can be a long walk to the terminal. Its on the far north side of baggage claim near carousels 14 and 15, then upstairs and thru the parking garage to the station. Maybe a 10-1 minute walk. Once you get off the train you can normally find a cab at a close by hotel.
If your just using light rail (Link) then you can just buy a ticket. If your staying for a day or so and using buses then buying an Orca card is useful as that will allow you to transfer from Link to Buses or even to the ferries. You can preload a set amt on your Orca card and then just pay for your bus or train fares using the card.
Airport transportation to Cruise Ships
For towncar or limo service, call #55 from a phone in baggage claim and you will be picked up at the door closest to you in baggage claim. Towncars have this year added 7 passenger SUV's for the same price. They charge $50 to the cruise dock. Fee is based on 4 people with extra passengers at $5 each. Realistically with luggage you may bring maybe 5 in a SUV but will vary on luggage and size of car.
Cabs to pier 91 are usually charging between $45-55 depending on traffic.
For cabs you must bring yourself and your luggage over the skybridge into the parking garage. Cabs pay a $1.00 airport fee plus $2.50 flag drop plus $2.50 a mile and $.050 a minute wait time so flat rate options can often work out cheaper. Going to airport is usually less.
Shuttle express is now offering shuttles to a from Seatac to the piers for $21 pp. This is not bad but if there are more than two of you taking a cab or towncar would be a better deal. Here is the link:
There are some Seatac Hotel, that are close to the airport, that will offer a package for overnight stay and transportation from airport and to cruise piers, but usually add about $60-70 from the Hotel cost, so it doesn't make a lot of sense.
The best way will be stay in hotel that offer free Airport shuttle (there is a lot of hotels by the airport area that offer free transportation from airport, they even have a phone in the courtesy van pickup area in the airport for these hotels) and get back to airport the next day using the free shuttle then ride the SoundTransit lightrail then take a cab from down town(see above for Airport transportation to cruise piers). That should save you a lot.
If your arriving at Pier 66 the cruises are charging $25 pp. A cab from there for 2 or 3 will only be about $32 so cabs for a few people would be the most inexpensive. You must prearrange a town car or other transportation ahead of time.
The following link has great info on hotel packages and transportation. Some hotels provide parking during the cruise. You don't really need a package as cab fare is not expensive to get to either cruise pier. Please read the following for a list of offers from local hotels for Park and Cruise or Fly and Cruise packages:
Pre and post cruise packages near the airport provide parking and transportation to the cruise terminals: http://www.seattlesouthside.com/packa...
Seattle is fairly compact and with most attractions close to downtown. If you look at the insider page called Where to Stay In Seattle (see link at the end of this article) any of the hotels listed in the downtown core are still the #1 place to stay as you have easy access to attractions. If you're just coming into the airport late and leaving the next day on your cruise, you could stay near the airport. There is a large shopping center: Westfield Mall with lots of shopping and dining options and nearby attractions: Indoor skydiving, bowling and an amusement park. There are shuttles from the airport to the cruises by Grayline's Cruise Express as noted above, for Holland America and Princess, but not usually from hotels into the cruise terminals. Some hotels have arrangements with vans, etc. and can probably recommend someone reliable. It's 17 miles into downtown from Sea-Tac airport.
If your cruise is from Terminal 91, and most are in 2010, with the exception on NCL and Celebrity, then staying closer to the Space Needle area or South Lake Union area is a slightly better location relative to the cruise terminal at Pier 91, but only a slight difference. Cab fare should be in the $10-13 range if the hotel does not offer a shuttle.