View Full Version : Southampton England

lisa's mom
April 30th, 2008, 12:34 PM
We are trying to plan a cruise next June. The cost of rooms in London (they tell me I need 2 rooms for 3 people) will be $2,000.00 for 2 nights. I think this is ridiculous. I asked my travel agent if we could stay in Southampton rather than London, and for some reason she tells me I don't want to do that, that I would rather stay in London. Is there something wrong with Southampton? Is it safe? Thanks for any help you can give. I just don't understand why she keeps mentioning London.:D

April 30th, 2008, 12:40 PM
What a laugh. There is nothing wrong with Southampton. It is not pretty, but so what. The South of England generally is quite safe, no guarantees of course. They are revitalizing the city center, shopping at West Quay is near the cruise ships I think. There shoulsdbe a good rail link to London. I expect a fast train to london would take about 1.5 or 1.45 hours. The New Forest is close by (within 25 miles) and very pretty. I know persons who have worked in Southampton for years and have never had a safety problem.

lord of the seas
April 30th, 2008, 12:42 PM
She's only thinking of the commission. :D

April 30th, 2008, 01:01 PM
Someone is pulling your leg - no way do you need 2 rooms or have to pay $2000


April 30th, 2008, 01:59 PM
Southampton is a safe city - although London does have more to offer for visitors and tourists.

If you do want to see London, you can find a fairly good hotel in London for around 100 to 150 per room, per night (Approx $200 to $300).
Not sure what your TA is quoting you for - but their prices seem rediculous!

April 30th, 2008, 02:15 PM
Find your own hotel online, you don't need a TA to do that for you and don't use the cruise lines "add on" preferred hotel.

April 30th, 2008, 03:13 PM
The cost of rooms in London (they tell me I need 2 rooms for 3 people) will be $2,000.00 for 2 nights. I think this is ridiculous.You can certainly spend that much on hotels in London if you try. But with a small amount of effort, you can get decent rooms at much lower rates than that.

April 30th, 2008, 05:42 PM
We are staying this August one night precruise in Southampton at the Hilton using Hilton points so it free!!!!! regardless, you can find plenty of great rates in Southampton and there is so much to do there once you start researching. I recommend you use Tripadvisor.com to do some research on different lodgings including B&B's in the area. It's so easy to get around from the airports to Southampton via train. We are renting a car though, we are planning on taking the day we arrive to tour the countryside. We will also have most of the day we sail to do something as well. One option is to take the ferry over to the Isle of Wight, seems like a great place for a day trip.

Have fun

April 30th, 2008, 06:07 PM
We are staying at the Etap Hotel which is next to the Ibis. It is quite basic but brand new. The rate is 32 GBPs per night for 2 plus if you want breakfast, 2.95 GBPs extra per person.

There are lots of restaurants in the area and if the weather is nice, we will likely go to the Isle of Wight for the day via ferry and if not nice, take the train to Canterbury.

We are there for 2 nights prior to our cruise.

We are staying at the Copthorne Hotel our last night which is near Gatwick as we have an early flight. I think it is about 87 GBPs per night for 2 but it is a nice hotel.

Someone is telling you a fib and yes, they do get a commission, your travel agent, if they book hotels for you and the more the rate, the higher the commission.

You can do a search and book with the hotels direct. Google is very good for that. Just key in the town and hotels and you will be able to check out many of them.

I don't think the etap hotel can have 3 in the room but they might have larger rooms which would be a bit more of course.

April 30th, 2008, 08:18 PM
Southampton is a port city with plenty to do, but it isn't London. If you are traveling over and want to see the sights, then that is why your TA is leading you towards London. If that is not what you want, then Southampton will be fine.
We are cruising out of Soton next June and are staying in a triple room at the Jurys Inn for 79 ie well under $200 per night That doesn't include breakfast but there are loads of places to do that, including the hotel itself

May 1st, 2008, 09:41 AM
See several of the other Southampton threads for ideas on what to see and do in the area and then decide whether to stay in London or come on down (I live in and recc. Winchester!).

May 1st, 2008, 10:55 AM
Pondhopper, we are planning on stopping in Winchester on our way to Southampton. Any insider tips on your city for us? Of course we are planning on seeing the cathedral, what else do you recommend?

May 1st, 2008, 11:01 AM
We are trying to plan a cruise next June. The cost of rooms in London (they tell me I need 2 rooms for 3 people) will be $2,000.00 for 2 nights. I think this is ridiculous. I:D

It is ridiculous
The Holiday Inn Kensington is very comfortable with duplex rooms. A master bedroom upstairs reached via a spiral staircase and a sitting room where others can sleep downstairs. You'll typically pay about $350 a night for this.
Its a solid mid market choice indicative of how much you have been misled.

May 1st, 2008, 12:33 PM
We stayed at Imperial College near Hyde Park in a room that students use during the school year but is open for tourists during summer. I don't know when school is out. Go online to www.otel.com and try "other accomodations" or try tripadvisor.com for suggestions in London. We paid less than $100/night. I would never recommend going through an agent. They earn money by selling certain hotels. These boards will help you most.

lisa's mom
May 1st, 2008, 03:36 PM
Thank you all for the very useful information. Once we have made out decision, I will let you know. But the TA told me that these prices were quoted to her from the cruise line. She said she could do better on her own in London than using the hotels of the cruise line.:)

May 1st, 2008, 04:51 PM
Winchester? Cathedral(Crypt and Tower Tour if you can climb), King Arthur's Round table, St Cross Hospital (and be sure to get the Wayfarer's Dole) Military Museums, Wolvesy Castle Ruins, St Catherine's hill for vistas (if you can climb VERY steep hills), Butter Cross, Winchester College, great pubs (Wykeham Arms is WONDERFUL), Beautiful river walks (flat and easy), City Mill, etc. It depends on what it is you like to see/do.

May 1st, 2008, 08:17 PM
Check out Travelodge. It's a UK hotel chain. I just booked two rooms in downtown London at Southwark for $100 each per night. It is a brand new hotel. Opening on May 9th. I just hope the opening is not delayed.

Go to Travelodge website and click on "Super Saver". Find a location and schedule will come up showing "low fares" kinda like an airline.

I definitely recommend going to Trip Advisor to check out the place first. Travelodge is a budget hotel sorta on the order of a Motel 6. Some locations you may not want to chance. I rely quite a bit on Trip Advisor. If 90% of the people don't like it, I don't book it.

They have family rooms that allow up to a maximum of 4 people.

May 2nd, 2008, 01:55 AM
we are a family of 3 (2 adults, 1 kid age 11) -- staying in 1 room at the Victoria Park Plaza -- even got a AAA rate. close to train and tube stations and not exhorborate rates for london in the summer.

May 2nd, 2008, 10:12 AM
Pondhopper, thanks for the recommendations! I also received brochures from Winchester in the mail yesterday, what a nice looking city to spend the day! I can't wait :)

May 2nd, 2008, 02:49 PM
My husband & I are on the 7/2 QE2 sailing. We're worried about renting a car - since the British drive on the other side of the road. :-)

We would be all right on regular roads. It's getting out of Heathrow that bothers us. Let us know how bad it is.


joann & john

May 2nd, 2008, 07:31 PM
My husband & I are on the 7/2 QE2 sailing. We're worried about renting a car - since the British drive on the other side of the road. :-)
We would be all right on regular roads. It's getting out of Heathrow that bothers us. Let us know how bad it is.

The roads are quite busy out of Heathrow (M25 is generally referred to as the M25 parking lot).

There are a few gotchas about UK Car Hire
- Remember that a normal car hire in the UK is going to be a standard transmission, and you'll pay a premium for a car with an automatic
- Even if your credit card covers car insurance, it probably only does so within North America.
- I found that one-way hires out of LHR were outrageously expensive (+GBP 75)
- You're probably going to arrive fairly tired.

Given all that, last time I did it we took the bus and train (and I know British roads, learned to drive on the left, and know the area around Southampton well)

Are you looking to just get from LHR to the [cunard] docks in Southampton? If so you'll probably find that not driving is the better solution.

Coach Only: from Central Coach station at LHR to Southampton Coach Station, National Express Coaches. http://nationalexpress.com/
Coach + Train: take the coach (it used to run from each terminal) to Woking station, and then the South Western train to Southampton

From the Coach or Train station in Southampton to the Cunard dock is a short cab ride (maybe GBP 10)

May 2nd, 2008, 11:06 PM
Scott and Pond, I am so looking foward to spending time in Winchester and have come up with an idea and I hope you can help. Currently we are planning on hiring a car from Gatwick and driving to Southampton for one night. Now that I am so looking forward to going to Winchester, I'm thinking if we took the train to Winchester then to Southampton the next day that might work. What can you tell me about the train from LGW to Winchester. I took a peek at the National site, it seems that the trip is about 1 1/2 hrs and requires one change. What do you two think?

May 3rd, 2008, 03:37 AM
What can you tell me about the train from LGW to Winchester. I took a peek at the National site, it seems that the trip is about 1 1/2 hrs and requires one change.I had a look at the National Rail site, and it seems that the single-change journeys all require changing at Clapham Junction. IIRC, this is not the easiest station at which to change trains, if you have luggage. The reason is that the platforms are connected by an underground (well, below platform level) tunnel, and there are stairs up to each platform. Some platforms are also linked by an overhead bridge. But the common thing is that there is little or no lift (elevator) service, and so you would probably have to move your luggage up and down entirely by hand. The stairs to the tunnel are pretty steep, too. And it's a very busy station.

If you are staying in Southampton, I think that personally I'd be inclined to get the train to Southampton and then drop the luggage at the hotel. Then see whether you have the energy for going to Winchester. If you've just come off an overnight flight from the US, you might think better of the idea at this stage! If you do then want to go to Winchester, the train service from Southampton to Winchester is frequent and fast.

May 3rd, 2008, 06:08 AM
From Gatwick there is no really easy train choice to Winchester (or Southampton) as Globaliser said. If you are comfortable driving to Southampton stay with that idea snd just stop in Winchester (you drive right past to get to Southampton on the M3. Take the Twyford exit go under and back up onto the M3 North for 100 yards and take the Bar End Winchester exit and follow the signs for Long Stay parking and take the bus into the center of town (only takes a couple of minutes).

May 3rd, 2008, 09:48 AM
Thanks you two! that is exactly what I needed to know. I'll stick with plan "A" ;)

May 3rd, 2008, 03:42 PM
tu, Scott, for your answer. We ARE NOT hiring a car. :-) As far as using the train, we are in our late 60s and John has had back surgery.

SO, I'm back to asking if anyone knows a service to get us from Heathrow to South Hampton, via Stonehenge. We're arriving the morning before the cruise leaves (7/02 on QE2), so we have all day to explore.

Would like some recommendations. We have tried 2 that were listed and they said they were full up, but would recommond us to someone else. We never heard from the "someone else". Does anyone know a hotel in SH that would offer tours? We tried a B&B, but they were full. They also recommended another B&B. I emailed them & got no answer. HELP!

Thanks for any info you can give us.

Joann & John

May 3rd, 2008, 03:45 PM
Pondhopper I think you've mis-interpretted Globaliser's reply.

There is a direct train from Gatwick airport to Southampton every hour throughout the day on weekdays and Saturdays. Globaliser recommended taking that direct train to get to the hotel and then catching the Winchester train after checking in. He was recommending that a stop at Winchester on route to Southampton was a bad idea. Trying to do that would mean taking a different train journey and requires a train change at Clapham Junction.

On Sundays trains are much less convenient and the prefered route would, indeed, be via Clapham Junction.

I've flown the 'red eye' many times back from the USA. Even as a Brit I don't not feel safe having to drive, jet-lagged, straight off the plane. I would advise caution particularly to those unfamiliar with British driving conditions and laws.

There are 3 fast trains an hour between Southampton and Winchester (taking less than 20 minutes) to save having to drive once in Southampton.