WB QM2 Transatlantic - Questions

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#1
26 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Hello ~ We (myself and two teenage sons) will be sailing the WB QM2 transatlantic on Nov 20th. I have most of the logistics sorted out but would appreciate any seasoned travelers input that I can get. We live in the US.

-We are flying out of JFK airport on Iceland Air, spending a 10 hour layover in Iceland. We arrive in Iceland around 8am. From what I've read, it seems our time would be best spent at Blue Lagoon Spa, but truthfully, I would also like to get to Reykjavik if it is worth the trip into the city. Is it worth it?

-About 4:30pm we fly out of Iceland and into London Heathrow Airport, landing at about 8pm. I know the underground subway would be the cheapest way into London, but I am seriously considering taking a black taxi cab just because this is our first time in Europe and maybe would be more interesting to approach London above ground and see it come to life as we are driving in. Any thoughts?

-We will be spending two nights at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel.

-On our sail date, I would like to take the coach bus that offers a stop at Stonehenge on the way to Southampton. The schedule for this (International Friends) does not operate on our sail date (Nov 20th) but it says that if they get 10 or more people requesting that date, they will add that date to the schedule. Anyone else on this cruise interested in this? Otherwise, I will have to book a private service, which will be double the price. In any case, I do want to see Stonehenge before we leave England.

I am quite sure I will have more questions in the next few weeks, but for now, thank you for any information or helpful hints! We have signed up with the roll call for our voyage and look forward to meeting some Cruise Critic folks.
#2
Farnborough, Hants England
482 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
I can help with your first 2 questions. I have been to Iceland and would choose the Blue Lagoon over the city.
As regards the black cab, would you choose a cab to get from JFK to Manhattan? It is a similar type of journey.
#3
26 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Thank you Summergee, that is helpful. Best info comes from people who have been there/done that : )
Reykjavik sounds like a hard-sell, probably will skip it.
Trying to be smart with the spending, so looks like the underground subway will win out.
#4
surrey england
504 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
We ve stayed at Park Plaza Westminster bridge, recently built with great artistic features...plenty of photo opportunities. Sitting at the front of the hotel with a great view along the bridge to Big Ben so relaxing. Rooms were very good with a separate sitting area and mini kitchen..microwave,fridge, kettle.
Great location, the London eye is 2 minutes walk away. Get up early and try one of the many london open deck bus tours with guided commentary which is a good way of seeing the sights in a day. London is great value to watch theatre shows and there are always discounts available. Try lastminute.com which has lots of offers for London. Good luck.
#5
At Sea
5,148 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by M-E-K
Trying to be smart with the spending, so looks like the underground subway will win out.
Take the train, either Heathrow Express (fast but expensive) or the stopping train (slower but cheaper). Both start below ground but then continue into Paddington Railway Station above ground.
A cab would be a very, very expensive way to do the whole journey.
The underground/tube will be cheaper, but s-l-o-w and is not a journey I would look forward to (and I know London well).
There isn't much to see of the sights of London coming in from Heathrow whichever way you do it, a cab from Paddington Railway Station after using the Heathrow Express would be my choice and a journey I've made many times.
Have a great time, and enjoy your TA on QM2 (photos of her interiors via the link below). Any other questions, ask away, there are some great people here. Bon Voyage!
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#6
Charleston, Charleston Made in Carolina
1,754 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Peppern offers good advice on getting to London from Heathrow Airport. I have used the Heathrow Express several times and taken a cab to Paddington Station from where ever I was staying in London. It is not your least expensive option, but it certainly isn't the most expensive either. With heavy traffic it might also be the fastest way into town.
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#7
NY Metro Area
389 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by M-E-K
Thank you Summergee, that is helpful. Best info comes from people who have been there/done that : )
Reykjavik sounds like a hard-sell, probably will skip it.
Reykjavik is very nice, but the Blue Lagoon is quite something. I would recommend the Blue Lagoon also, but if you find yourself in the same situation again in the future, don't discount checking out Reykjavik.
#8
Boston, MA
410 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
I would also suggest the Paddington train as the best way from Heathrow to London. We stayed at the hotel directly behind your this July and found it a great base for walking around and seeing the city.

If you can't get a coach to S'Ton, you could consider the train from Waterloo Station. Waterloo is right around the corner from your hotel and has trains every 30 minutes or so to S'ton.
#9
CA, USA
13,479 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
But with three people the savings on the Heathrow Express are less impressive then with one person. The other option is a car service, some of which are actually less expensive than taxis.
#10
North Idaho
1,775 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
We used Smiths for Airports for our transport from London to Southampton, and they went along with our request to stop at Stonehenge on the way to the ship. It wasn't cheap, but it was an easy way to add this on to our trip.
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#11
North East England
143 Posts
Joined May 2011
Heathrow EXPRESS.....£18. 21 mins max

Heathrow CONNECT.....£9. c40 min max.

Both Heathrow-Paddington.

Google them both to compare.

Paddington is a nice station. A bay in the arched roof has just been refurbished and is looking impressive. And....on the concourse at the front of the station there's a bronze casting of Paddington bear. He's quite sweet.
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#12
Virginia
19,859 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
At 8:00 p.m. you might as well take the underground. The lights would be pretty but not worth the extra pounds for the taxi.

I like safarigal's suggestion if you have to see Stonehenge. I'm not sure you will get 10 people who want to see Stonehenge. You might want to post on you roll call page (it seems to be fairly active).
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#13
St. Augustine, FL
6,846 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by safarigal
We used Smiths for Airports for our transport from London to Southampton, and they went along with our request to stop at Stonehenge on the way to the ship. It wasn't cheap, but it was an easy way to add this on to our trip.
We are using Smiths for Airports on our upcoming QM2 trip. How do you find them once you get to Heathrow? Are they near the baggage claim? Holding signs? How does it work?
Thanks!
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#14
North Idaho
1,775 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Originally posted by suzyed
We are using Smiths for Airports on our upcoming QM2 trip. How do you find them once you get to Heathrow? Are they near the baggage claim? Holding signs? How does it work?
Thanks!
When you emerge through customs there should be a person there holding a sign with your name on it. We have used them several times and they have never let us down! They should also give you a phone number you can call in case you are delayed, or if your driver isn't there when you leave the customs area. See you soon!
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