Dear Fellow Cruisers,
The reports on problems with Mad Cow disease and H&M disease in the UK seem to be worsening each day. We just heard on the morning news that Northwest is allowing refunds on advance bookings for flights to the UK since so many of the attractions are not going to be open, particularly in more rural areas outside London. Does anyone have any first-hand knowledge on what is going on and the prospects for the summer tourist season. We are currently
booked for the August 3 sailing of the Royal Princess for the British Isles itinerary. We are seriously considering cancellation if we will be greatly limited in what we can see and do.
Any feedback would be appreciated.
Just yesterday I saw an interview with a member of the British Govt. who has come over to the US to attempt to diffuse some of the horror stories.
She stated that all the major attractions in the country are open, and all the talk of roads closed etc. were simply not true.
I don't have any way of verifying the truth of her statements, nor do I really have a reason to doubt them.
I live in England and although the main areas around infected farms are closed ( and only then a small area around the farm)this is mainly in Cumbria and Devon and not near anywhere you would be going. I live in the country side in Norfolk (east coast) and our roads are not shut and most of all the attractions are open, everything in London is open as usual it it only places that are next to farms and those places that have public footpaths across but i cannot see that it would effect you at all. From a tourist point of view you will not even notice unless you happen to be visiting a sheep farmer in Cumbria which is nowhere near where a cruise ship would be. If you have any further questions feel free to email me at Limpenhoe@lineone.net.
Thank you so much for your feedback and advice. I have received several replies from the UK and all say pretty much what you did. We will take your advice and come to London on 31, July. We will be staying in London until 3, August, when we will depart for the British Isles itinerary until 15, August. We have friends who live in Yeovil who plan to pick us up at the ship in Southampton and take us to their home for 3 days of touring in the Somerset area. We will leave Somerset for Gatwick on the 18th. Do you know of any means of transportation we may use from Somerset to Gatwick other than a taxi? We understand that taxis are extremely expensive but we have found no convenient substitute as we will have quite a bit of luggage and the train would involve several changes to reach Gatwick.
Thank you for the information.
I sincerely hope that the Foot and Mouth disease that is plaguing the UK will soon be resolved.
Jim from VA
Prime Minister Tony Blair was interviewed yesterday and said that the government is considering reopening Stonehenge, which is just about the only major attraction that has been closed due to the disease. You should be just fine unless things worsen drastically. But I've read that they are not expected to.
Thanks for the information. I have heard from several kind people in the UK who also reassured me that the "UK is Open for tourist". It is a shame that the media sensationalizes the news to the point where undue fear prevents people from traveling to affected countries.
We will, of course, be going as planned.