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Old August 15th, 2010, 07:48 PM
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Default Sailing from Southampton

We (hubby, my sister and her hubby) have 10 months before we take our Baltic cruise leaving from Southampton. Our current plan is to fly in a couple of days early, taking a coach from the airport to Southampton and getting the round trip ticket for the trip back to the airport after the cruise. We are getting ready to book a hotel in Southampton for those 2 nights but we don't know which one would be a good choice. I have figured out that the hotels don't offer shuttles to the docks so we are planning to take a taxi. Getting from the coach station to a hotel is something else we need to consider. I'm assuming that would also be by taxi? I have requested maps and other 'tourist' pamphlets from Southampton so I have a little idea where hotels are in relation to the docks.

We'd appreciate any insight or suggestions from cruisers who have done something similar. We're looking forward to doing something new but our travel experiences are pretty much limited to traveling from US ports and back again.

thanks...Suzanne
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Old August 16th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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Hi there Suzanne, and a very early Welcome to Southampton :o)

For hotels we have a very wide selection depending on your needs & budget.
We have a few which include transfers, such as the Hilton which most cruise lines use, but they are quite a way outside Southampton.

Then the 4* De Vere and 2to3* Holiday Inn (just make sure you get the right one, ask Paul Motter) are right on the waterfront so you can watch the ships come & go.

On the other side of town, you have PremierInn chain, and the Jury Inn, which is supposed to be quite nice, but I cannot vouch for this as we've never stayed in that chain.

We also have budget hotels such as Ibis and Novotel in the centre of Southampton, some within walking distance (luggage allowing) of the cruise terminals - btw make sure you know which terminal you are sailing from, we currently have 4.

Finally being on the edge of the New Forest, Historic Portsmouth, Winchester & Salisbury, we have a large number of bed & breakfasts. But as you are in contact with the Southampton TI office, they will most likely send you list of the approved ones.

So as you can see, there is a wide selection, depending on your needs, budgets, and interests. If you want any more information, the please feel free to ask.

Enjoy the countdown to your cruise,

Alan & Katrina
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Old August 16th, 2010, 12:00 PM
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Just curious, but have you booked all this seperately? I would think you could get an all in package from your cruise line or TA. One thought is if you got a train you are very near hotels & the docks.
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Old August 16th, 2010, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kandajones View Post
Hi there Suzanne, and a very early Welcome to Southampton :o)

For hotels we have a very wide selection depending on your needs & budget.
We have a few which include transfers, such as the Hilton which most cruise lines use, but they are quite a way outside Southampton.

Then the 4* De Vere and 2to3* Holiday Inn (just make sure you get the right one, ask Paul Motter) are right on the waterfront so you can watch the ships come & go.

On the other side of town, you have PremierInn chain, and the Jury Inn, which is supposed to be quite nice, but I cannot vouch for this as we've never stayed in that chain.

We also have budget hotels such as Ibis and Novotel in the centre of Southampton, some within walking distance (luggage allowing) of the cruise terminals - btw make sure you know which terminal you are sailing from, we currently have 4.

Finally being on the edge of the New Forest, Historic Portsmouth, Winchester & Salisbury, we have a large number of bed & breakfasts. But as you are in contact with the Southampton TI office, they will most likely send you list of the approved ones.

So as you can see, there is a wide selection, depending on your needs, budgets, and interests. If you want any more information, the please feel free to ask.

Enjoy the countdown to your cruise,

Alan & Katrina
Alan & Katrina, I never got to thank you for all the advice you gave me last year. I sailed out of Southampton, and spent three days in London prior to sailing. You supplied me with hotel info, resturaunt info, shuttle info. I just want to say thanks. We had a great trip, and great stay, and the weather in London for our three days was wonderful.
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Old August 16th, 2010, 04:14 PM
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Always pleased to help, glad to hear you had such a good time.

Alan & Katrina
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Old August 16th, 2010, 10:25 PM
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We've only booked the cruise so far. I don't have a problem doing the research and booking hotels, flights, etc (my husband says I'm a frustrated travel agent wanna-be). I've been researching transportation from Heathrow (figuring that we'd be coming in there) and while we can get cars/vans from the airport to Southampton, the coach looks like an inexpensive but comfortable option. Figuring the 4 of us, with the typical cruise luggage, we'd need a bus! Well, not really, but a van would be most likely the necessary vehicle. Those range in the 170-200 pound range one way. I'd rather spend that on sightseeing than just traveling from the airport. From what I've been reading we can pickup the National Coach (I think that's it) right at the airport while the trains are further away. We're hoping to take the train(s) to Stonehenge, though.

I'm hoping someone who has done this trip will have some helpful hints...and maybe can tell us what NOT to do. Alan and Katrina, being locals, are proving very helpful with information about hotels and such and we will be getting those booked soon. (I'll have to find out which Holiday Inn is the right one.) I thought about ship transfers but understand that they are for the day of the cruise, not early arrivals. But I'm going to check into a transfer from the ship back to the airport with the agent (who is a friend of my sister). Time will be less flexible at that point.
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Old August 16th, 2010, 10:42 PM
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Thanks for the information. I'm using various internet sites (like Trip Advisor) to see how these hotels stack up from a guests point of view. We aren't too picky. We want lodging that's fairly quiet, clean and safe. Oh, and the bathroom ensuite, please...but that's pretty common in the newer hotels. (30 plus years ago in Germany it wasn't!) I won't say that price is no problem, but we aren't looking for the cheapest lodging.
I don't think we'll be renting a car but it looks like there won't be a problem finding a taxi when we need one. We don't mind walking but after flying to London from California, I'm thinking that we're going to be pretty tired. I don't want to sleep on the coach and miss my first views of England. So I'm willing to bet we are going to be looking for a taxi to get us from the coach station to our hotel.

Please feel free to offer suggestions. I don't mind being a tourist, but I don't want to be TOO obvious.

We're sailing on Celebrity Eclipse - I don't know which of the terminals it will be.
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Old August 17th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Here is a link to the Southhampton map of the port. http://www.southamptonvts.co.uk/files/pos.pdf

I also found this information on this website. Information about Southampton Cruise Terminals
Southampton Cruise Terminals

Southampton has four different cruise terminals. The cruise terminals are each a 5 minute taxi ride from the bus and coach stations in Southampton.

Mayflower Cruise Terminal - Berth 106
The Mayflower Terminal at Berth 105 - 106 is at Dock Gate 10. Dock Gate 10 is less than a mile from the terminal, and is a five-minute taxi ride from the Southampton Central railway station and the city centre. The airport is about 5 miles away.
A short stay car park is available adjacent to the Terminal, also a CPS valet parking is possible.
A taxi rank can be found outside the terminal Arrivals Hall.
The Mayflower terminal is used by Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruise Line, Cunard, and P&O Cruises.
City Cruise Terminal - Berth 101
This terminal at the Western Docks (Dock Gate 10) is used by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCL), Celebrity Cruises, Fred Olsen, ... The railway and coach station is one mile away. Taxi's and short term parking is available.

Queen Elizabeth II Cruise Terminal - Berth 38/39
This terminal is located at the Eastern Docks.
The QE II terminal is at Dock Gate 4 and used by Cunard Cruise Line (Queen Mary 2), Fred Olsen Cruise Line, and P&O Cruises. Dock Gate 4 is one mile from the terminal. A short stay car park is available adjacent to the Terminal, also taxis are available.

Ocean Cruise Terminal - Berth 46/47
This new cruise terminal at Dock Gate 4 (Eastern Docks) is often used by Cunard and P&O Cruises. Also short term parking and taxi's are available. The terminal is located at Ocean Dock, opposite the site of the old Ocean Terminal.
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Old August 17th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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Default Arriving in Southampton, and Stonehenge ....

Good morning Suzanne,

Okay you survived our first reply, so onto the next step

Yes, National Express run from LHR (can you confirm your arrival airport?) right into the centre of Southampton at a shopping centre called Lower West Quay, and lies halfway between the railway station & dock gate 10 (berths 101 & 106). The perfectly good Ibis, Etap & Novotel hotels are right next to the coach station, a walk of around 100 yards. The next nearest hotels are the Holiday Inn (Herbert Walker Avenue) and the De Vere Grand. These can be walked in about 10 minutes if you can handle your luggage, or grab-a-cab ; just check the price first, it should only be a couple of pounds.

Stonehenge. A great place to visit, but why did they build it so far from the town - chuckle. But in all seriousness you can take a train from Southampton to Salisbury, but Stonehenge is a further 10 miles up the road. So I suggest checking with Salisbury t.i. or on-line for one of the many tours to the Monument.

Oh by the way, all the hotels & approved B&Bs will have private facilities :-)

and finally, well for now, the berth won't have been assigend yet, and once it is it doesn't mean it won't change. So you may want to bookmark Southampton VTS - Cruise Ship Schedule as this has the plans & changes upto date as they happen.

Enjoy trawling the net, and if it fails you, you know where we are.

Speak soon,

Alan & Katrina
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Last Cruise: Azamara Journey August 2014
Next: Queen Victoria November 2014
Followed by: Queen Elizabeth December 2014 and Minvera April 2015

History :
Golden, Grand(2), Caribbean, Sea(4+1 aborted)
Adonia(4+2), Arcadia, Artemis(2), Aurora(5), Azura(2), Oceana(3), Oriana(11), Ventura(2), Victoria(5)
QM2(2), QE2(9), QV(5), QE, Caronia(2), Minerva II, Fred.Olsen(8), NCL Jade, =X= Eclipse, HAL Ryndam, Aza.Journey
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Old August 17th, 2010, 09:51 PM
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Thank you all for the hints and links. As I've said, I've done some research and looked up site after site as well as requested some mailed information. I found that we can travel by train to Salisbury and I'm looking forward to that. I don't think we can be that close to Stonehenge and not go see it. (I agree - 'they' should have built it closer to town =) I'll look into tour information. In fact there is so much I'd love to see that we'll have to take a land trip next time. We haven't booked the flights yet but I'm watching the rates constantly. Oh, realistically, what is the earliest I should book a flight leaving London after the cruise? I am looking at mid afternoon but I'm seeing flights leaving around noon and wondered if those are even worth looking at. Anyway, once we book the flights, I plan to make our coach reservations. If we can't get the transfers going back to London through Celebrity, I'll book the return trip as well. This may sound silly but are we going to have to go through customs coming in from the US? Remember, we have only traveled 'locally' so this is only the first of silly questions. You are all so helpful....thank you.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 01:13 PM
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Good morning Suzanne, you ask about times for flights home. Yes it is possible to get an earlier flight, but unless you are buying flexible tickets I would chek with your TA friend to see what she reccomends. It's a long swim back home if the ship arrives late & you miss the flight.

The journey back up to LHR is about 2 hours, with a 2-hour check-in. The "cruise & flight" package pax are usually the first off, and may even be pre-checked onboard. But as you are making your own way, this may not help you. I would still prefer to spend a couple of hours wandering around the duty frees, than a minute late & miss the plane.

Customs - yes, you will have to go through the customs & immigration process in London, it doesn't take too long over here. Also on the good news front we haven't implemented anything like ESTA yes, so there's no need to look for that.

Coming back from the ship, you will rarely see anyone in the customs hall at the docks, unless there has been any reports made to them by the ship ahead of arrival, and then they know who they are looking for.

Once again, we're 'happy to help'. So how many days to go now? are we under 300 yet it's always nice to know that with each cruise, you get a year's worth of excitement thrown in for the price.

Have a lovely day,

Alan & Katrina
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Last Cruise: Azamara Journey August 2014
Next: Queen Victoria November 2014
Followed by: Queen Elizabeth December 2014 and Minvera April 2015

History :
Golden, Grand(2), Caribbean, Sea(4+1 aborted)
Adonia(4+2), Arcadia, Artemis(2), Aurora(5), Azura(2), Oceana(3), Oriana(11), Ventura(2), Victoria(5)
QM2(2), QE2(9), QV(5), QE, Caronia(2), Minerva II, Fred.Olsen(8), NCL Jade, =X= Eclipse, HAL Ryndam, Aza.Journey
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Old August 19th, 2010, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kandajones View Post
Good morning Suzanne, you ask about times for flights home. Yes it is possible to get an earlier flight, but unless you are buying flexible tickets I would chek with your TA friend to see what she reccomends. It's a long swim back home if the ship arrives late & you miss the flight.

The journey back up to LHR is about 2 hours, with a 2-hour check-in. The "cruise & flight" package pax are usually the first off, and may even be pre-checked onboard. But as you are making your own way, this may not help you. I would still prefer to spend a couple of hours wandering around the duty frees, than a minute late & miss the plane.

Customs - yes, you will have to go through the customs & immigration process in London, it doesn't take too long over here. Also on the good news front we haven't implemented anything like ESTA yes, so there's no need to look for that.

Coming back from the ship, you will rarely see anyone in the customs hall at the docks, unless there has been any reports made to them by the ship ahead of arrival, and then they know who they are looking for.

Once again, we're 'happy to help'. So how many days to go now? are we under 300 yet it's always nice to know that with each cruise, you get a year's worth of excitement thrown in for the price.

Have a lovely day,

Alan & Katrina
We still have a little over 300 days to go. Seems like a long time until I remember just what still needs to be done. The time will pass quickly, I'm sure.

It looks like you're heading out on a cruise in a few days. Lucky you!! As much as I like living in the mountains, being near a cruise port would sure be nice...=)
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Old August 21st, 2010, 12:57 PM
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The most popular Southampton hotels for cruisers in relation to the docks and ground transportation


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Old August 21st, 2010, 02:04 PM
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with more included:

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Old September 9th, 2010, 11:00 AM
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Wow!! The maps are great, thank you. We are trying to decide if it's better to be near the docks or closer to the train so we can easily catch one for a Stonehenge trip. Little things go through my mind like hauling luggage. We'll need a taxi at least once whether it's from the coach station to the hotel or from the hotel to the docks. That's just a personal choice, though. I know we need to confirm a hotel soon as the closer it gets to the cruise, the more hotels fill up. Again, we appreciate all the help, hints, and advice. So if you think of anything else, please don't hesitate to offer it. Thanks....-Suzanne-
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