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Old July 20th, 2008, 01:09 PM
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Default How early should I arrive in Southampton?

Can anyone advise me how early I should arrive before the ship officially departs? I'll be taking about a 5 hour train ride from up north to get to Southampton, so I want to know when I should set off.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 01:14 PM
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When we went out of Southampton, we got there about noon and it was a zoo.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Shark
When we went out of Southampton, we got there about noon and it was a zoo.
I don't know what you mean by this. I would like to get there before it turns into a zoo. How many hours before embarkation is scheduled would you advise we arrive? What time was your ship scheduled to depart?

To clarify, when I take a plane, I usually get to the airport before or just as check-in starts, so I'm one of the first people to check in, and it's all easy peasy from there. When everyone else is in long queues getting frustrated, I'm lolling about reading a book waiting to board the plane. I was hoping for a similar situation in Southampton.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 07:40 AM
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Hi Peaches, it does to some degree depend on which ship you are 'voyaging' (Cunard speak) on & what category of stateroom you have.

If you are in one of the Grill staterooms, then you can jump most of the queue & use the reserved check-in descks. This is also true if you are in the upper grades of Cunard's loyalty programme.

If you are on the QEII then obviously the queues move a lot quicker than either the QM2 oe QV due to the numbers involved.

We've found that there are usually long queues from noon through to about 2:30 or 3pm by which time the coaches & any Orient Express traffic has cleared.

One thing to keep in mind however, is whether you trust British Rail well enough to travel all that way on the day of your cruise, or whether it would be more relaxing to come down the day before at your leisure & spend the evening in Southampton.

Hope you ahve a great time,

Alan & Katrina
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Old July 21st, 2008, 09:04 AM
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Hi Peaches,

My partner and I drive about 150 miles to Southampton and this usually takes about 2½ hours.We always leave home early because there is no way we would trust the traffic situation. So far, we have been lucky and have arrived over the last several cruises about 11am/11.15am.

Check in usually starts, if memory serves me right, at 11am for QM2 and the last twice were on board, we were on the ship by 11.45. Yes, there was a queue winding backwards and forwards between barriers, but it moved quickly. It certainly wasn't a zoo.

We have a midday check in for QE2 for a cruise next week and will certainly be there well before. We would much rather arrive early and hang around than be late and risk missing the ship. In any case, it's an ideal opportunity to people-watch your fellow passengers arriving.

Paul & Andrew
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Old July 21st, 2008, 12:06 PM
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Our ship is scheduled to depart at 5PM. Would check-in start around 11 for that? 6 hours seems like a long time before departure. We have a place to stay in London, so we might stay there the night before. We are coming from York; I don't know if we can trust to get to Southampton by 11 AM if we start off that morning.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 03:55 PM
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They usually like to have embarkation completed no less than an hour before the ship sails, so you could arrive at 4pm & all but walk straight on, but of course you will have missed the first afternoon tea of the voyage ;o)

I would definitely agree with staying at your London location the night before as it means you have far less reliance on the rail service, and althought there are trains to Southampton Central from Waterloon every hour, you would still have all sorts of fall back options should the rail let you down.

Alan & Katrina
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 06:20 AM
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Thanks. I ended up booking a hotel in Southampton for the night before, as I'm not confident of the trains from London either.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 07:57 AM
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Of course, if you check in early, you have time to explore the ship if you haven't been on board before, you can have lunch, get your bags unpacked and generally have an extra half day's "cruise"
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Old August 1st, 2008, 12:29 AM
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Hi Peaches99
It's very good that you have already booked a room in a hotel. Now you will be fell free before check in. I normally Prefer to go before 2 hours of check in . Because some times Q are long. Hope you will enjoy your trip.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 03:13 PM
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Thanks. The hotel I have booked (the Hilton) has a van that transports you directly to the ship, so I've signed up for that.
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