Cruises are relaxing. Once you get to the ship and have your luggage safely in your cabin, that’s perfectly true. It’s getting to that cruise terminal that sometimes gets a bit frustrating. Seattle has two separate cruise terminals, Pier 66 right downtown and Pier 91 on the northern edge of the waterfront. Some of Seattle’s hotels offer cruise ship shuttles -- commonly referred to as transfers -- as well as cruise-stay packages that keep you from "missing the boat."
Closest to Pier 91 at Smith Cove
Hotels north of Broad Street are the closest to the Pier 91 cruise terminal. The boutique-style Maxwell Hotel has transfer service to both cruise terminals via town car, SUV or van. Rates vary according to the type of vehicle needed and the destination. The Hampton Inn & Suites Seattle-Downtown has a Park ‘N Float package available from the beginning of May through the end of October. It includes parking for seven nights with a one-night stay. The ride to and from the cruise terminal is not included, but that week’s worth of parking saves a lot of money.
Closest to Pier 66 at Bell Street
Two hotels in the Belltown district, the closest to Pier 66, offer cruise packages that include transportation to the cruise ship piers. The Red Lion Hotel on Fifth Avenue includes a one-night stay and transfer to your ship via town car. This upscale hotel is on the edge of downtown and puts you within walking distance of the Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. Coast Hotel’s the Roosevelt also has a cruise special, including accommodations and town car transfers. This property is also at the edge of downtown and has a younger vibe. The giant red Roosevelt neon sign is hard to miss. Both hotel specials are available from May through the end of September.
The Heart of Downtown Seattle
Situated within blocks of the Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Art Museum, the posh Hotel 1000 has its own cruise special, valid from May through September. “Snooze & Cruise" includes an overnight stay, discount on food and beverage, and a voucher towards cab fare to your cruise pier. Most rooms and suites feature contemporary furnishings and floor-to-ceiling windows with incredible views of Seattle. Roughly two blocks away, the boutique, understated Alexis Hotel offers the “Sail Away, Sail Away” package, including your hotel stay and a town car transfer to either pier. You may also park your car for up to seven days at a discounted rate. The Alexis’ special runs from May through the end of October.
About Seattle’s Cruise Ship Piers
The Bell Street Cruise Terminal is at Pier 66, fronting the downtown core. As of mid- 2014, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Oceania Cruises used this terminal for their Alaska cruises. Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91 is on the northern end of the waterfront, roughly a 10-minute drive from downtown. Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Celebrity and Carnival used this terminal.
Pier 66 has more on-site passenger amenities, such as restaurants, a deli and a marina. Both piers have parking, but Pier 91 has parking spaces for oversize vehicles, such as RVs. Rates at both terminals are on the pricey side. Unless you book and prepay online on the Republic Parking website, you aren’t guaranteed a space. Finding a hotel with parking and/or transfers included in the room rate is generally a lot less expensive than parking at the terminals.