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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 31st, 2010, 09:58 PM
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Default Cruise Line provided transfers from airport

Hi there -

I went back several pages to see if this topic had come up before. But I didn't see it.

We have booked the 15 day Northern Europe cruise on Celebrity in 2011. The ship leaves from Southampton but we would have to fly into London. Trying to figure out the best method to get from London to Southampton is proving difficult. Figure that we (4 of us) will have 2 bags each as well as carry-ons, we really don't know that a train is the best option. And it looks like taxis could cost hundreds (maybe I'm not looking in the right places). We can purchase airfare with transfers from Celebrity but we don't know what the 'transfer' is...a train ticket? Also, getting back to London - but I figure what ever method we use getting to Southampton will work getting back to London. Has anyone done the trip and have advice to offer? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks....-Suzanne-
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Old March 31st, 2010, 10:30 PM
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Suzanne,

The cruise line transfer will be a coach/bus transfer. This is one time I would advise using the cruise line transfer rather than doing your own. The negative is that there isn't much legroom on the buses. I'm 6'2" and I had to ride "side saddle".

You can look into a private van transfer but it will run around 150 - 200 pounds, each way, for a mini-van.

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 31st, 2010, 10:43 PM
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Mike - thanks for the quick response. We've been on 3 cruises but always started in the US so we got used to the 'easy' way of doing things. Forgive me for sounding dumb, but do we have to buy the airline tickets from Celebrity in order to get their transfers? I thought that just arranging to fly into Southampton sounded a heck of lot easier...then I found out we 'can't get there from here'. So I've actually considered flying into Dublin or some place in order to catch a plane to Southampton.

I know I have a year to wait but until I have some sort of a plan in place I can't relax. =)
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Old March 31st, 2010, 10:48 PM
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You can buy the transfer from the cruise line and buy the air on your own. Just contact your travel agent and have them add the transfers.

Just an FYI: London is a beautiful city and easy to navigate. I suggest spending a day or two in London and see the sites. You won't regret doing it but you may regret not doing it and miss seeing all that London has to offer.

Take care and have a WONDERFUL cruise.
Mike
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Old March 31st, 2010, 11:23 PM
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I concur with Mike. About the only port in Europe, I don't think cruise line transfers are worth it is Barcelona. Depending on the size of your group, you can get a better value in experience going private for Rome.

London though, CL transfers all the way. Still I would fly in at least a day early.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 11:34 AM
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Thank you very much for the insights. We hoped to fly in 2 nights before the cruise and travel to Southampton immediately. That way we wouldn't have to worry about being rushed to make the ship. We'd like to rent a car and have one day to see the local countryside and then relax a bit.

I'm not seeing hotels with guest shuttles to the dock, though. Maybe that is a US luxury....or maybe I'm looking at the wrong hotels.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 01:11 PM
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We just did this last November "in the pouring rain"!! We booked transfers with SilverFleet. Tony Hayter, the owner met us and another couple at the airport and we drove straight to the Holiday Inn in Southampton! The coach was very comfortable and he offered to stop and get any incidentals need if we wanted. You can walk to the port from this hotel. Many did even in the rain. We took a cab for about $5 but gave her $10 because it was pouring! We would have walked if the weather was nice. We also used SilverFleet round trip from Harwich the year before. You can only use cruiseline transfers if you fly in the day of the cruise which is not recommended.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 01:38 PM
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halfdome;

Flying in a couple of days earlier is best but it will probably stop you from being able to use the cruise line transfer unless you purchase a cruise line hotel package. These packages can be very expensive and you can probably do much better on your own. If you do stay in London you can return to the airport (Heathrow or Gatwick), on the day of the cruise, and catch the cruise line transfer. I did this in Lisbon.

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Old April 1st, 2010, 02:52 PM
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Hi there, if you want to make your own arrangements with taxis, I can give you a contact that I use, I came back from LHR to near Southampton last Thursday, the one way charge £75.

As you are allowing yourseolf a couple of days stopover, then one budget option is the National Express coach service, more space than the usual Cruiseline hired coaches, and inexpensive too, with transfer times from LHR into Southampton centre being around the hour.

As for hotels with transfers, you would have to look to The Hilton at Chilworth, or the De Vere in Southampton, most of the others don't as they either don't get the volume of business or are so local as to not be worth it.

If you want to fly into Southampton, then take a look at routes via Amsterdam in Holland, or Düsseldorf in Germany, they are linked to many US cities via American airlines, as well as KLF or Lufthansa.

If you need any other suggestions, please feel free to ask, or PM us.

Happy hunting,

Alan & Katrina
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Old April 1st, 2010, 03:29 PM
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Thanks Alan and Katrina!!!

This is great information.

Take care,
Mike
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Old April 1st, 2010, 08:32 PM
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Wow - what great ideas. I'm sure it's too early to book anything (other than the cruise) but my research on the internet was giving me headaches. I'm ready to head back in to check out everyone's suggestions.

While I'm here, don't suppose anyone has suggestions for the Russia tours.....I understand signing up for a tour is the best way to get the necessary visa.

Thank you all for the ideas...and if anyone has any questions about a trip to Yosemite, I'll do my best to return the favor.

-Suzanne-
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Old April 1st, 2010, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfdomegnome View Post
Wow - what great ideas. I'm sure it's too early to book anything (other than the cruise) but my research on the internet was giving me headaches. I'm ready to head back in to check out everyone's suggestions.

While I'm here, don't suppose anyone has suggestions for the Russia tours.....I understand signing up for a tour is the best way to get the necessary visa.

Thank you all for the ideas...and if anyone has any questions about a trip to Yosemite, I'll do my best to return the favor.

-Suzanne-
Suzanne:

You don't need an "official" visa for touring Russia. Just make sure you use a "Registered Tour Provider". Some of these are Red October, Denrus or TJ Travel. I used TJ and Julia Ivanushkina and was quite happy. She is VERY knowledgeable about art and history and not into heavy shopping. So if you want more shopping than history and art she is not your choice.

Take care,
Mike
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