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Old February 22nd, 2004, 03:27 PM
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Default So How Do We Get To The Ship?

After calling Oceania they have informed me that they are no longer providing transfers to and from Dover for our 6-14 sailing. My question is so how do we get from Gatwick or Heathrow to Dover? Any recomendations and ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Seth

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Old February 22nd, 2004, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: So How Do We Get To The Ship?

Hi Seth:

First let me say "Hi". My husband & I are on your cruise.

As to ways to get to Dover:

There are many private car services. These, of course, are fairly pricey. However, if can share a minivan with another couple, rather than hire a regular car for just two people, the price isn't as bad. We have hired a minivan for the trip back to Gatwick on the 26th and are looking for someone to share. If you are traveling out of Gatwick and are interested in joining us, please let me know.

There is also train and bus survice. However, nothing is direct from either airport. Depending on which way you do it, you either (1) change trains in London or a town between London and Dover or (2) change buses in London.

We are scheduled to arrive at Gatwick on the 13th and are going straight to Dover. At the moment we may try the bus. It seems easier to transfer luggage to the compartment under the bus than to try to fling it on board a train as it is slowing down. However, if there is anyone out there arriving a day early and interested in going straight to Dover, we would be happy to share a car & driver.

Best of luck. Looking forward to meeting you.

Marilyn Faye
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: So How Do We Get To The Ship?

Marilyn,

Thanks for your information. We are a family of four so I doubt you would enjoy squeezing us in on the 26th. It looks as if we will be arranging a driver as well. If you have any recomendations as to what servace you recomend please let me know. Thanks agian for your help and have a great day!

Seth
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: So How Do We Get To The Ship?

Hi SeaCruzer,

From Gatwick, you can take the Gatwick Express train (I think it was about 11 pounds each in summer of 2003) from the airport to Victoria Station. From Victoria Station, you can take a train to Dover. They run frequently and are also inexpensive, so here's a web site that has train info for Europe: http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/fa...ules/index.htm. We love riding the trains in Europe, so this would be our preferred method of travel even if it weren't cheaper.

I haven't gone from Heathrow to Dover, but I'm pretty sure that you can take the tube from Heathrow to Victoria Station.

Hope you have a great trip,
Donna
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: So How Do We Get To The Ship?

Thank you Donna and Marilyn,

It looks as if we will arrage for a private tranfer.

One other question ~ I've called Oceania and they say that once the ship docks in Dover we can get off just 30min later. I've been on 10 cruises and I have never heard of getting off of a ship that quickly.

What time should we schedule our flight for on disembarkation day? Taking into account disembarkation procedurs, travel time, and international check in.


Thanks again for all your help!

Seth
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Re: So How Do We Get To The Ship?

Hi Seth,

I believe the recommendation is usually that you schedule a flight after 1:00 or so, but hopefully you'll get some more concrete info, especially particular to your ship. When we docked in Dover in 2003, the ship docked at about 4:00 in the morning, and then we go off at about 7:00 am to catch an early train to London so that we could see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. I know I saw at least 50 passengers in the luggage claim area of the terminal, and we saw some others at the train station, so a lot of people got off the ship early. Since you'll have a private driver, I think they will tell you to allow 2 hours from Dover to London by car, and then 2 hours for check-in at the airport.

Hope you have a great trip,
Donna
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Old February 24th, 2004, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: So How Do We Get To The Ship?

I know you didn't ask for commentary, but I would like to opine that it was not a very customer-friendly decision on the part of Oceania to curtail London-Dover travel accommodations as you say they have done. I believe that Oceania claims to be a luxury line, but this sort of thing makes me wonder.
We'll be doing the Baltic this summer on NCL, considered by most to be a lesser cruise line in the pecking order. But at least they'll provide transportation for us between London and the Port of Dover. It's too bad that Oceania doesn't see fit to do likewise for its high-paying passengers, putting them instead into a situation such as you now face.

Jack

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Old February 24th, 2004, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Re: So How Do We Get To The Ship?

Jack,

To me the issue is nothing to complain about. I'm just asking for others advice on how to get from London to Dover. To compare NCL to Oceania is like comparing Princess to Silversea. Compleatly different products that all have unique advantages of their own.
Oceania has already gone bove and beyoned the call of duty to help us. They are infact very coustomer friendly. Upon further conversation with Oceania I now understand why they made this decision. Part of the great product that Oceania offors is that they have great deals. Great deals for a luxury product.
In order to make a deal such as 2 for 1 air or two nights in London precruise like they are offoring for our cruise, there obviously has to be certian limitations. When one purchaces the 2 for 1 air included in the price is their ship to shore transfers. Just like any crusie line Oceania has to arrange for coaches to meet their coustomers. The majority of US to London flights get in to London between 6am and 9am. Thus a smart cruise line like Oceania would lump all these passangers into two or three coaches. Rather than spreading out this process to include all passangers - which would ultimatly increace the price of the transfer. Oceania has simply sold out all their space for the coaches.
For a cruise line getting transportation from London to Dover for over 600 people is a great feat. In the Alasken or Caribbean market this is easy for a cruise line. With over 4,000 people embarking and another 4,000 disembarking one day there are plenty of coaches available. This is simply not the case with the London to Dover, Harwich, or Southampton transfers.
Further more, the the cost of Oceania's transfers is very comparable to what it costs to individualy get from London to Dover. In retrospect we are now looking forward to our own private transfer. We can tell the driver where we want to go, when we want to go, for how long, and for how much. All in All a much better arrangement.
Even without crusing on Oceania I can already tell they are going above and beyond the call of duty. This is by no means Oceania's fault. Oceania is a luxury line by any standerds and truly I look forward to crusing with them.

Seth

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Old February 25th, 2004, 01:40 AM
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Default Re: So How Do We Get To The Ship?

Dear SeaCruzer,

We are doing a Northern Baltic cruise in May. I have been doing lots of research for months now. For the transportation from London to Dover we are using Tours of the Realm. We are arriving 5 days earlier so we will be leaving from our hotel. However, I'm quite sure they also go from the airport to the dock. There will be four of us going and six on the return. They have a mini van with a small trailer hooked up to the back for the luggage. For a very reasonable amount we will be taking a guided scenic route to Dover, with stops in a few small towns and lunch. Their prices were significantly less than many of the agencies I checked with.

I found a recommendation for this company on another cruise web site. For more information I would suggest that you take a look at their web site: www.toursoftherealm.com

They have been very professional and easy to deal with.

Hope you find this information helpful. Have a great trip.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 12:50 AM
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Default Re: So How Do We Get To The Ship?

We were aboard the Regatta when she sailed into Dover after our Baltic cruise last summer. Gettting off the ship is easy when you're dealing with only 600-700 passengers - far easier than unloading the 3000 pax Grand Princess. We considered taking the train and tube to HTR, but given the amount of luggage my wife insists must accompany her, I decided it would be easier to hire a driver instead of schlepping our suitcases up and down transit staircases.

After bidding our farewells to the cruise staff who lined the gangway, we strolled off the ship shortly after she docked at 7 (depending on your flight/hotel connection, Oceania will assign you a disembarkation time the night before) and walked through the terminal (it's a shed, really), grabbed a free luggage cart, found our suitcases, and strolled outside to our waiting van. Even after we stopped for some fine British cuisine (an oxymoron, some might say), we made it to Heathrow for our 1 pm flight with plenty of time to spare. We used http://www.airporttransfers.biz/faq.html, sharing the fare with another couple. Check out their website for pricing info.

Richard
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Old February 27th, 2004, 04:49 AM
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Default Re: So How Do We Get To The Ship?

Nb. Arriving at Heathrow.......... To get into London there is now a fast non stop train that takes 20 minutes. You no longer need to take the Subway/Undeground which takes about 1.5 hours.

Pete
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: So How Do We Get To The Ship?

This was in 2002. We took the National Express bus from Victoria Station to Dover. It's inexpensive and a great way to see parts of London. It helps too if you don't have many pieces of luggage or kids.

At Dover, the bus stopped us at an unwalkable distance from the ship (don't even dream of walking even though you can see the ship) at a cab stand. We didn't see a single cab but the lady at the service counter said they do eventually show up. Just be patient. The cabs do materialize. Then the metered cab fare was around 4 pounds. But do be careful. We didn't know about the cab fare then and we had the bad luck to encounter a driver who actually went by the meter and charged us 6 pounds! On hindsight, I think his meter was rigged.

Good luck and enjoy your cruise!
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Old May 27th, 2004, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: So How Do We Get To The Ship?

HI! We just returned from a Baltic cruise, Dover-Dover. We landed at Heathrow. We rented a car & drove to Dover(not a pleasant expereince though we have driven in Europe many times). It cost $164 with car, insurance & gas. To return to Heathrow we booked the bus on the ship for $150 for 2. It was fast & easy. We had to be at Heathrow by 9:15 AM & they got us there. The trains are expensive & the local bus makes a lot of stops & takes longer. Prices in Europe will blow your socks off. We booked only one ship tour & that was Russia. The only way to go. You can get tourist office maps & info right at the docks for the other ports & do it own your own. Have a great time. Linda
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