The unofficial start to the cruise ship season kicked off in downtown Vancouver on Friday as more than 11,000 passengers got on or off three ships docked at the terminal at Canada Place.

Tourism Vancouver is expecting a 23 per cent increase in cruise ship passengers this year, and to accommodate the rush Port Metro Vancouver worked with city and tourism officials to bring in more cabs and more shuttles.

Nevertheless, many people waiting for family and friends to pick them up found themselves waiting. Marvin Shore and his wife Eileen waited for more than an hour for their ride to arrive.

"We were supposed to have been picked up at 10:15. We're still waiting. I expect they're probably circling all around looking for us," he said.

And after an hour circling, the Shores' friend finally did show up, much to their relief.

"Thank God you're here. These are the best relatives you can have. Especially now that I've found them," said Shore before heading off.