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British Isles/Western Europe Amsterdam, Brugge, Dublin, Edinburgh, London (Dover, Harwich, Southampton)

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  #1  
Old March 4th, 2012, 08:52 PM
RichFP RichFP is offline
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Default British Isles Ports of Call

We are taking a Princess Cruise to England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland & LaHavre France. Any ideas for the best excursions and which ports can you do on your own? Aug 13, 2012
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  #2  
Old March 4th, 2012, 10:09 PM
NancyIL NancyIL is offline
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Welcome to Cruise Critic! I was on a Princess British Isles cruise in 2010, and this is a recap of our excursions: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showp...postcount=1149
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  #3  
Old March 4th, 2012, 10:25 PM
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CruiserBruce CruiserBruce is offline
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Le Harve is in France, and there is a France Ports board, here:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=593

where you will find tons of info. The D-Day beaches would be the number 1 destination there.

Last edited by CruiserBruce; March 4th, 2012 at 10:26 PM.
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  #4  
Old March 5th, 2012, 06:03 AM
John Bull John Bull is offline
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Hi Rich, & welcome to CC.
There's a whole lot of information & tips on this website already, once you've got the hang of finding it.

Scroll down this page to "Forum Jump" & click on "go".
On that page, just above the questions & announcements is a brown bar. Click on "Search this Forum" & in the drop-down type in the name of a port. This will bring up all threads which mention that port - most of those threads are about exploring the place.
You can refine your search with extra words, such as "Southampton hotel" or "Le Havre beaches"
Try alternate words for the port. For instance, Rosythe may be your port for Edinburgh, so its worth doing a search for "Rosythe" and another for Edinburgh". Or for "Holyhead", also check "Wales".
The search is spelling-sensitive, and a lot of our US cousins mis-spell Le Havre and "Southampton". So also check out "Le Harve" and "Southhampton"

Also check out the forum for Ports of Call, Mediterranean ports - France.
No, we both know that Le Havre isn't in the Med - but you will find Le Havre threads there.
To find that forum, go to the bottom of this page to "forum jump" & click on the arrow. This will bring up a long list of all the forums on Cruise Critic.

That list of forums includes Roll-Calls, where you can navigate to the thread on your particular cruise & introduce yourselves to your fellow-passengers. Again, you'll find hints on your ports and can arrange tour-sharing etc.

If you get lost on Cruise Critic just click on your name, top right on any page & you can find your previous posts.

You'll not find all the information you need, but you can ask for that in a fresh specific question - which is so much easier for us to answer.

You'll be at the keyboard for a long time, so brew a coffee & have some headache pills handy
But you'll find it well-worthwhile

Have a great cruise

JB

Last edited by John Bull; March 5th, 2012 at 06:04 AM.
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  #5  
Old March 12th, 2012, 04:43 AM
Travelgrrl Travelgrrl is offline
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Nancy,

I read your tour post and you indicated that you took a bus to Bath, and then later took a bus to Heathrow. Do you remember the bus company or bus numbers? We might go from LHR to Bath, staying there, then a bus to Southampton the next day as we are Jane Austen freaks.

Otherwise, we were considering a transfer tour that would stop in Bath on the way to an overnight in Southampton, but now I'm intrigued!

Thank you!
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  #6  
Old March 12th, 2012, 08:28 AM
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Thumbs up Edinburgh

If you are on CB then it looks like you tender in at Sth Queensferry.

It is definately a stop you can do yourself.

Taxis will be waiting at the dock. They take up to 5 people and the fare will cost £20 - 25.

Get one to take you into the City Centre (the castle would be a good start as it is up the hill). Everything is within walking distance from there.

When you are ready to go back just 'hail' another black cab. There are also taxi ranks around the city centre where they pick up from.

Remember the Edinburgh Festival will be on so the city will be very busy.

Enjoy
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  #7  
Old March 12th, 2012, 08:50 AM
NancyIL NancyIL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelgrrl View Post
Nancy,

I read your tour post and you indicated that you took a bus to Bath, and then later took a bus to Heathrow. Do you remember the bus company or bus numbers? We might go from LHR to Bath, staying there, then a bus to Southampton the next day as we are Jane Austen freaks.

Otherwise, we were considering a transfer tour that would stop in Bath on the way to an overnight in Southampton, but now I'm intrigued!

Thank you!
Both were National Express coaches: http://www.nationalexpress.com/home.aspx The Southampton to Bath bus was a special Fun Fare and very inexpensive, but the one from Bath to Heathrow was considerably more because it involved the airport. I would definitely recommend staying overnight in Bath rather than Southampton.

Looking at the bus schedule for Bath to Southampton - the fastest and cheapest bus with no changes doesn't depart Bath until 17:05 and arrives Southampton at 19:05, so that won't work on a cruise day. On the other hand, Southampton to Bath at 9:50-11:55 works well post-cruise.
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  #8  
Old March 12th, 2012, 08:53 AM
John Bull John Bull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelgrrl View Post
Nancy,

I read your tour post and you indicated that you took a bus to Bath, and then later took a bus to Heathrow. Do you remember the bus company or bus numbers? We might go from LHR to Bath, staying there, then a bus to Southampton the next day as we are Jane Austen freaks.

Otherwise, we were considering a transfer tour that would stop in Bath on the way to an overnight in Southampton, but now I'm intrigued!

Thank you!
Not Nancy, but .......

Scheduled long-distance coaches on these routes are operated by
http://coach.nationalexpress.com/

Heathrow to Bath. You need to know your terminal at Heathrow, there are pick-up points at the airport bus station (close to Ts 1-3) and at T4 & T5.
Your destination is Bath Spa. Cost about £20 pp, journey time 2hrs 35.
Secure luggage storage at Bath Backpackers hostel, 5 to 10 mins walk, about £3 per bag.
Bath to Southampton. Your destination is Southampton (coach station) for city centre hotels. Std fare about £12 pp, journey time 2hrs.
Frequency on these routes is poor, but if timings fit in it may be a viable option. Check the luggage limits on their website.
Pre-booking very strongly advised.

You also have the option of the same journey by rail.
http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/
Quicker & much better frequency but probably more expensive at around £17 to £32pp Heathrow to Bath depending on youir journey time, & £4 to £24pp Bath to Southampton, again depending on journey time.
Also depending on your journey time, the service from Heathrow either goes via London Paddington station or starts with a Rail-Air shuttle-bus (same pick-up points as Nat Express) to Reading station.
Your end destination for city centre hotels is Southampton central.
No luggage limitations, cheaper if pre-booked but you can buy on the day.
You could add some time in Salisbury (between Bath & Southampton) (luggage storage at pub by Salisbury rail station) if you have an early flight, but it would make it a long day.

I don't know of a seat-in-bus tour/transfer which offers this route, but there is one which goes via Stonehenge
http://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/...us.html#cruise
It's designed for those cruising same-day but would do the job for you at about the same cost as a private transfer for two direct to Southampton.

A private tour/transfer from Heathrow via Bath would be quite expensive, but you could get a quote from
www.westquaycars.com
or
www.smithsforairports.com
You could include stops at Stonehenge and/or Salisbury, they're on the route from Bath to Southampton.

See also this thread
http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com....php?t=1591010

On the morning of your cruise, you could take a (frequent) train about 15-20 mins from Southampton to Winchester, Jane Austen is buried in the Cathedral. Her home/museum is at Chawton, about 10 miles from Winchester but reasonably accessible only by taxi & you'd not have time for both Winchester cathedral & Chawton on your cruise morning

JB
Re Nancy's post, Bath is a more attractive place to stay than Southampton, and you can very comfortably take the train to Southampton on the morning of your cruise.
But Bath hotels are more expensive than Southampton & staying in Bath would preclude Stonehenge (unless by private transfer), & Winchester. You could still fit in an hour or more stop-off in Salisbury.

Last edited by John Bull; March 12th, 2012 at 09:06 AM.
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  #9  
Old March 12th, 2012, 11:02 PM
D&N LUV 2 TRAVEL D&N LUV 2 TRAVEL is offline
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What can one expect with regards to sea conditions ? Is there a time of year to avoid because of the weather ? How many sea days out of 12 ?
Just concerned as we have been blessed with great cruising weather and usually calm waters in the past except for our recent Caribbean cruise where the 3 sea days were rougher than we have had on any other cruise.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyIL View Post
Welcome to Cruise Critic! I was on a Princess British Isles cruise in 2010, and this is a recap of our excursions: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showp...postcount=1149
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  #10  
Old March 13th, 2012, 06:55 AM
John Bull John Bull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D&N LUV 2 TRAVEL View Post
What can one expect with regards to sea conditions ? Is there a time of year to avoid because of the weather ? How many sea days out of 12 ?
Just concerned as we have been blessed with great cruising weather and usually calm waters in the past except for our recent Caribbean cruise where the 3 sea days were rougher than we have had on any other cruise.
The weather, and sea conditions, in our little corner of the planet are pretty fickle & impossible to predict.
Best prospects are May to September, when most cruisers will be blessed with warm sunny weather & calm seas. I think this is the only time that round-Britain is offered.
There are year-round sailings from Southampton to the Med & Canaries, but the first & last few days are a real lottery in winter. And winter mini-cruises across to France/Belgium

Now you've got me worried about the Caribbean

JB
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  #11  
Old March 13th, 2012, 08:55 AM
NancyIL NancyIL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D&N LUV 2 TRAVEL View Post
What can one expect with regards to sea conditions ? Is there a time of year to avoid because of the weather ? How many sea days out of 12 ?
Just concerned as we have been blessed with great cruising weather and usually calm waters in the past except for our recent Caribbean cruise where the 3 sea days were rougher than we have had on any other cruise.
The number of sea days depends on the itinerary you choose. My 12-night Princess British Isles cruise had 2 sea days, and I don't recall any rough sailing in late June/early July.
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  #12  
Old March 13th, 2012, 11:12 AM
D&N LUV 2 TRAVEL D&N LUV 2 TRAVEL is offline
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Thanks Nancy for the feedback. I was thinking of going in May or Sept if the same itinerary you took was available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyIL View Post
The number of sea days depends on the itinerary you choose. My 12-night Princess British Isles cruise had 2 sea days, and I don't recall any rough sailing in late June/early July.

Last edited by D&N LUV 2 TRAVEL; March 13th, 2012 at 11:13 AM.
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  #13  
Old May 21st, 2012, 03:27 PM
RichFP RichFP is offline
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Thank you Nancy - helps me much! Rich
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