12 night british isles rt from southampton (with dublin overnight) 9/10/17

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#1
Naples, FL
249 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
After dropping down a future cruise deposit with Princesswhile on our Emerald Princess Mediterranean cruise in 2015, we decided in Marchof 2016 to book our first cruise of more than 7 nights. We chose the 9/10/17 sailing of thebeautiful Caribbean Princess on a 12-night, round trip tour of the BritishIsles from Southampton England. We werereally excited about the ports which included St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Cobh(Cork), Ireland, Dublin (overnight), Belfast, No. Ireland, Greenock (Glasgow),Invergordon (Inverness), and Queens Ferry (Edinburgh), Scotland, and Le Havre,France. We were also happy to be sailingagain on Caribbean Princess as we sailed her before to the Eastern Caribbean inthe summer of 2014. We later discoveredthat the Caribbean Princess would be refurbished and updated in March of 2017.

My wife (Mrs. Met), is an avid fan of all things BritishRoyal family and decided we should visit London prior to our sailing. I was quick to agree and learned from herthat tours of Buckingham Palace’s state rooms are available only when QueenElizabeth II visits her summer residence during the months of August andSeptember. This was the main reason we chose this sailing. It was the last around the British Islesthemselves before Caribbean Princess embarked on her Transatlantic voyage toher winter home in Fort Lauderdale, FL. We traveled with 2 other couples who were Princess newbies and werecelebrating 27 and 50 years of marriage respectively.


We conducted lots of research, visited many websites,talked to many company representatives, and greatly enjoyed our planning. What we could not have planned for when wedid all this was that a Category 3 hurricane named Irma would barrel literally,right over our house in Naples, FL which was occupied by our dog Maui and hersitter Evelyn on the day we sailed. Weare very pleased to report that aside from some blown out pool cage panels,missing roof tiles, and a water spot in our living room ceiling, we were verylucky and made out much, much better than many other people in the area. Maui and Evelyn were troopers and ourincredible neighbors and friends made sure they were well looked after untilour return to Naples. There is much tobe cleaned up in the area and there is still much suffering by those who wereless fortunate in terms of damage, but the community has come together in waysthat would make anyone proud. Our friendstraveling with us had damage to their lanais, but were also lucky not to haveany major damage to their houses.


THE NERVOUS JOURNEY BEGINS…
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Caribbean Princess--September 2017 12 Night British Isles RT from Southampton
Celebrity Summit--August 2016 Bermuda RT from Cape Liberty
Allure of the Seas--June 2016 Eastern Caribbean RT from Miami
Emerald Princess--May 2015 Western Mediterranean Rome to Barcelona
Royal Princess--April 2015 Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
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Royal Caribbean-Majesty--April 2013--Bahamas RT from Miami
Sapphire Princess--Inside Passage--July 2011 RT from Seattle
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2015 Mediterranean Trip Blog link:
https://bonjourn.al/journal/9158
#2
19,434 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
We were on the same sailing. We spent our pre-cruise day exploring Windsor Castle that we found worth the time spending.
Looking forward to your review!


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#3
Atlanta, GA
203 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Very much looking forward to your review, as this is an itinerary I've wanted to try for quite some time.

Glad to hear you didn't sustain much damage from Irma. My folks are in the Sun City Center area and thankfully escaped entirely - not even a power outage.
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April 2004 - Golden Princess - Eastern Caribbean
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Dec 2014 - Brilliance of the Seas - Western Caribbean
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#4
Naples, FL
249 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
THE NERVOUS JOURNEY BEGINS…

After renting a car to drive to Miami International, we embarked on our drive across Alligator Alley on Wednesday, September 6th. The heavy traffic traveling north out of Miami was a scary sign that all of South Florida was taking this Irma threat seriously. It made us wonder if we were doing the right thing by leaving, and also wondering what we might return to if Irma did indeed hit us. We decided that we had prepared the house as best we could (shuttered up, closed up, and boarded up) and that the dog and sitter would be better off in our house than her manufactured home. Arrangements were made with neighbors and assurances were g that all concerned would be safe and looked after.


Miami International was truly buzzing with passengersseeking expedited exits from South Florida. A last minute upgrade to business class allowed us access to the British Airways lounge prior to our flight. The lounge was abuzz with talk of the hurricane, by those who’ve never experienced one. We were looking forward to our new digs in row 17 of business class and the pampering we would receive from our hosts and hostesses. In some 8.5 hours we would land at Heathrow and await our traveling companions to share transfer to our hotels via Blackberry Cars. The driver was easily visible at our meeting point at the WH Smith convenience store and the price was very reasonable for 4 people and lots of luggage (roughly 60 GBP). We then embarked on our ride to St. James Court, and St. Ermins hotels in the Westminster section of London. Both hotels were gorgeous and within walking distance of Buckingham Palace,Parliament, Westminster Bridge, The London Eye, Westminster Abbey, and the Churchill War Rooms and Museum.
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Caribbean Princess--September 2017 12 Night British Isles RT from Southampton
Celebrity Summit--August 2016 Bermuda RT from Cape Liberty
Allure of the Seas--June 2016 Eastern Caribbean RT from Miami
Emerald Princess--May 2015 Western Mediterranean Rome to Barcelona
Royal Princess--April 2015 Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Caribbean Princess-June 2014--Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Royal Caribbean-Majesty--April 2013--Bahamas RT from Miami
Sapphire Princess--Inside Passage--July 2011 RT from Seattle
Carnival Valor--Western Caribbean--June 2005 RT from Miami

2015 Mediterranean Trip Blog link:
https://bonjourn.al/journal/9158
#5
Naples, FL
249 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by catwoman6226
Very much looking forward to your review, as this is an itinerary I've wanted to try for quite some time.

Glad to hear you didn't sustain much damage from Irma. My folks are in the Sun City Center area and thankfully escaped entirely - not even a power outage.

We were truly lucky. Almost back to "normal" whatever that is! LOL
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Caribbean Princess--September 2017 12 Night British Isles RT from Southampton
Celebrity Summit--August 2016 Bermuda RT from Cape Liberty
Allure of the Seas--June 2016 Eastern Caribbean RT from Miami
Emerald Princess--May 2015 Western Mediterranean Rome to Barcelona
Royal Princess--April 2015 Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Caribbean Princess-June 2014--Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Royal Caribbean-Majesty--April 2013--Bahamas RT from Miami
Sapphire Princess--Inside Passage--July 2011 RT from Seattle
Carnival Valor--Western Caribbean--June 2005 RT from Miami

2015 Mediterranean Trip Blog link:
https://bonjourn.al/journal/9158
#6
Naples, FL
249 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
There are photos coming I promise. Having some computer issues and photobucket is ------- me off! Stand by
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Caribbean Princess--September 2017 12 Night British Isles RT from Southampton
Celebrity Summit--August 2016 Bermuda RT from Cape Liberty
Allure of the Seas--June 2016 Eastern Caribbean RT from Miami
Emerald Princess--May 2015 Western Mediterranean Rome to Barcelona
Royal Princess--April 2015 Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Caribbean Princess-June 2014--Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Royal Caribbean-Majesty--April 2013--Bahamas RT from Miami
Sapphire Princess--Inside Passage--July 2011 RT from Seattle
Carnival Valor--Western Caribbean--June 2005 RT from Miami

2015 Mediterranean Trip Blog link:
https://bonjourn.al/journal/9158
#7
Naples, FL
249 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Our Bird 747-400



Mr. Met testing the leg room in row 17. At 5'3", there was plenty of room!




Mrs. Met enjoying pre-flight Chardonnay after a last minute upgrade to Business Class

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Caribbean Princess--September 2017 12 Night British Isles RT from Southampton
Celebrity Summit--August 2016 Bermuda RT from Cape Liberty
Allure of the Seas--June 2016 Eastern Caribbean RT from Miami
Emerald Princess--May 2015 Western Mediterranean Rome to Barcelona
Royal Princess--April 2015 Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Caribbean Princess-June 2014--Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Royal Caribbean-Majesty--April 2013--Bahamas RT from Miami
Sapphire Princess--Inside Passage--July 2011 RT from Seattle
Carnival Valor--Western Caribbean--June 2005 RT from Miami

2015 Mediterranean Trip Blog link:
https://bonjourn.al/journal/9158
#8
Naples, FL
249 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
LONDON CALLING Day 1--9/7/10

After dropping off the luggage at the St. James Court, we visited the hotel’s restaurant for a quick buffet brunch. We then sprung to action to begin our brief, but quite effective assault on the tourist sites in London beginning with a short walk to Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Big Ben, and the London Eye. Armed with our London Pass mobile app we were quite ready to immerse ourselves in London culture.




We finished up our magical ¾ day self and Rick Steves guided tour with entrance and tour of the Churchill War Rooms and Museum. We ran out of gas at around 5:00 PM as we’d been up for nearly 40 hours at that point and retreated to the St. James Court to unpack, nap, and of course, track Hurricane Irma. A wonderful dinner in one of the hotel’s restaurants left us well fed and ready to tackle our Day 2 plans.


Mr. Met (aka Trip)





Westminster Abbey





Big Ben is undergoing renovation and will only ring a few times in the next 5 years.





The Thames and Parliament





Uniform on display from Churchill War Museum


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Caribbean Princess--September 2017 12 Night British Isles RT from Southampton
Celebrity Summit--August 2016 Bermuda RT from Cape Liberty
Allure of the Seas--June 2016 Eastern Caribbean RT from Miami
Emerald Princess--May 2015 Western Mediterranean Rome to Barcelona
Royal Princess--April 2015 Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Caribbean Princess-June 2014--Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Royal Caribbean-Majesty--April 2013--Bahamas RT from Miami
Sapphire Princess--Inside Passage--July 2011 RT from Seattle
Carnival Valor--Western Caribbean--June 2005 RT from Miami

2015 Mediterranean Trip Blog link:
https://bonjourn.al/journal/9158
#9
Naples, FL
249 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
LONDON CALLING Day 2-- 9/8/10

Master Steves recommended in his guide that getting to the Tower London early to see the Crown Jewels was essential. Since this was one of the focal points or our tourism wants, we heeded his and the hotel concierge’s advice and black cabbed it to the Tower. We were in the queue with our London Passes securely loaded in our phone by 8:50 AM. The passes were quite helpful and saved essential touring time and money. By 9:03 AM we had hurried our way into the exhibit to observe Her Royal Majesty’s exquisite jewels. As a man, I would truly say that I was impressed, so I can’t imagine what the women were thinking! Mrs. Met cracked that I needed to get a better job so I could afford to give her a piece of what she observed. Well played Mrs. Met!



A quick tour on a Hop on Hop Off bus landed us later at world famous Harrod’s department store. I had visited this landmark 40 years prior when my parents brought our family to England for a week. It was everything I remembered it to be. We really enjoyed cruising around each floor with its high-end fashion designers,cutting edge electronics, and wonderful food market sections. One could truly spend 2 or three days there and not see everything. A quick stop in the Burger Bar there for 3 sliders and chips and 3 Diet Cokes cost a cool 50 GBP, but it was totally worth the splurge. Dinner with a member of the golf club where I work was planned for later that evening at Langan’s Restaurant (owned by actor Michael Cain) so we black cabbed it back to the hotel and freshened up for what was a truly wonderful meal at Langan’s.


Gate at Tower of London





Queens Guard at Tower of London





White Tower at the Tower of London





Tower Bridge





Mrs. Met and a Yoeman Warder Guard


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Caribbean Princess--September 2017 12 Night British Isles RT from Southampton
Celebrity Summit--August 2016 Bermuda RT from Cape Liberty
Allure of the Seas--June 2016 Eastern Caribbean RT from Miami
Emerald Princess--May 2015 Western Mediterranean Rome to Barcelona
Royal Princess--April 2015 Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Caribbean Princess-June 2014--Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Royal Caribbean-Majesty--April 2013--Bahamas RT from Miami
Sapphire Princess--Inside Passage--July 2011 RT from Seattle
Carnival Valor--Western Caribbean--June 2005 RT from Miami

2015 Mediterranean Trip Blog link:
https://bonjourn.al/journal/9158
#10
Naples, FL
249 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Shopper's Nirvana



One of Harrod's many food courts



Dessert Menu from Langan's Restaurant in London. Owned by actor Michael Cain



Mr. & Mrs. Met with our host Bill Kelly

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Caribbean Princess--September 2017 12 Night British Isles RT from Southampton
Celebrity Summit--August 2016 Bermuda RT from Cape Liberty
Allure of the Seas--June 2016 Eastern Caribbean RT from Miami
Emerald Princess--May 2015 Western Mediterranean Rome to Barcelona
Royal Princess--April 2015 Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Caribbean Princess-June 2014--Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Royal Caribbean-Majesty--April 2013--Bahamas RT from Miami
Sapphire Princess--Inside Passage--July 2011 RT from Seattle
Carnival Valor--Western Caribbean--June 2005 RT from Miami

2015 Mediterranean Trip Blog link:
https://bonjourn.al/journal/9158
#12
Raleigh, N.C.
12,181 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
Thanks for posting your review. We were on the CB in August for this itinerary. Looking forward to reading more.
#14
Naples, FL
249 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by Micah's Grandad
Doing pretty much the same itinerary next August and looking forward to your report


It was a fantastic trip. You will enjoy it immensely.


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Caribbean Princess--September 2017 12 Night British Isles RT from Southampton
Celebrity Summit--August 2016 Bermuda RT from Cape Liberty
Allure of the Seas--June 2016 Eastern Caribbean RT from Miami
Emerald Princess--May 2015 Western Mediterranean Rome to Barcelona
Royal Princess--April 2015 Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Caribbean Princess-June 2014--Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Royal Caribbean-Majesty--April 2013--Bahamas RT from Miami
Sapphire Princess--Inside Passage--July 2011 RT from Seattle
Carnival Valor--Western Caribbean--June 2005 RT from Miami

2015 Mediterranean Trip Blog link:
https://bonjourn.al/journal/9158
#15
Naples, FL
249 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by Keith1010
I am enjoying your posts and the wonderful photos.
Keith


Thank you for your kind words. Plenty yet to come.


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Caribbean Princess--September 2017 12 Night British Isles RT from Southampton
Celebrity Summit--August 2016 Bermuda RT from Cape Liberty
Allure of the Seas--June 2016 Eastern Caribbean RT from Miami
Emerald Princess--May 2015 Western Mediterranean Rome to Barcelona
Royal Princess--April 2015 Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Caribbean Princess-June 2014--Eastern Caribbean RT from Port Everglades
Royal Caribbean-Majesty--April 2013--Bahamas RT from Miami
Sapphire Princess--Inside Passage--July 2011 RT from Seattle
Carnival Valor--Western Caribbean--June 2005 RT from Miami

2015 Mediterranean Trip Blog link:
https://bonjourn.al/journal/9158
#17
Surrey, UK
891 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Mister met

Thank you for your great review. As a Londoner, born and bred it was great to read that you used our iconic black cab service. Our son drives one if these, having done the 'Knowedge" which took 5 years. They have to learn over 14,000 quickest routes covering the whole of London from memory. At least they fully police checked and a very safe form of transport. They are also a font of information and know all the latest news.

So looking forward to reading the rest of your review and thank you for your time.
#18
Newport, South Wales, UK
2,444 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Don't know if it's just me, but can't see any pictures. Getting an error message.
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#19
Chicago, via NJ, via Miami, via London, via Northern Ireland
5,747 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Originally posted by newport dave
Don't know if it's just me, but can't see any pictures. Getting an error message.
Dave it's not just you.
It's the curse of Photobucket. Even if I click on the error message which takes me to PB the photo isn't available to view unless Trip (MrMet) coughs up a monthly ransom.


Trip-come on over to Flickr!
Norris
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#20
Newport, South Wales, UK
2,444 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by Bimmer09
Dave it's not just you.
It's the curse of Photobucket. Even if I click on the error message which takes me to PB the photo isn't available to view unless Trip (MrMet) coughs up a monthly ransom.


Trip-come on over to Flickr!
Norris
Yea.. Flickr great..


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Sea Princess - Caribbean Dream 3rd Jan 2009
Coral Princess - Panama Canal 22nd Nov 2009
Mariner of the Seas - Mexican Riviera 3rd Oct 2010
P&O Arcadia - Baltics 7th July 2011
Celebrity Solstice - Eastern Med 4th Nov 2011
Caribbean Princess - Norway & Iceland 20th July 2012
Celebrity Millennium - South East Asia 9th Dec 2012
Crown Princess - Mediterranean Medley 11th May 2013
Coral Princess - Alaska Northbound 28th Aug 2013
Emerald Princess - Canaries & Iberia 31st May 2014
Thomson Celebration - Best of the Black Sea 6th Oct 2014 - We cancelled due to Putin's ongoing KGB tactics in Ukraine.
Thomson Majesty - Aegean Delights 10th Oct 2014
Thomson Majesty - Adriatic Explorer 17th Oct 2014
Rhapsody of the Seas - Aegean 22nd June 2015
Explorer of the Seas - Middle East & Asia 23rd Oct 2015
Celebrity Millennium - Ultimate Japan & Hong Kong with Mt Fuji by Bullet Train 13th Oct 2016
Vision of the Seas - Dubai & Emirates 23rd Jan 2017
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Crown Princess - Classic Canada & New England 4th Oct 2017
P&O Oriana - Canaries & Iberia 9th Mar 2018
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