Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Has anyone used "The London Toolkit" bus from Southampton cruise port to London hotels? They also stop at Stonehenge and Windsor Castle. Are they good and are they reliable? We can't seem to find any reviews on them. Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone seems to be calling this option the "London Toolkit", cos that's where they've seen/booked it. This tour-transfer is actually operated by a well-established & reputable coach tour operator, International Friends.

 

They only started offering cruise tour-transfer coaches a couple of years back but they've proven very popular, & tour-transfers are now also offered for the ports of Dover & Harwich.

They seem to mainly pick up at London hotels with vans or by combining pick-ups with day trippers, & then transfer cruisers to a dedicated cruise coach - avoids spending half the day trawling hotels picking up passengers. Ditto in reverse for transfers to London.

 

Transfers to ships at Southampton involve only a visit to Stonehenge, in order to be sure of arrival at the ship in good time.

From ships at Southampton to Heathrow hotels or central London hotels the tour is much more comprehensive because time isn't so limited. So they give time at Salisbury cathedral, Stonehenge & Windsor.

Last summer they were also including Bath, but that option seems to have disappeared - possibly too onerous, possibly under-subscribed.

 

For same-day flights into Heathrow it's probably not a wise option in case your flight or airport formalities are delayed. For same-day flights out of Heathrow it's unlikely to suit unless you have a late evening flight.

 

No personal experience but it's a good operator, the price is very competitive against the alternatives (though there's no direct equivalent), the theory is fine, & the few reports I've seen on CC have been full of praise.

 

JB :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you have a link to the bus in question?

 

As far as I know London toolkit is a website with information on getting around London & the areas surrounding it

 

London Toolkit is about 20 pounds cheaper than International Friends even though they use the same criteria to sign up. But it sounds like I can't go wrong booking on the London Toolkit site.

 

This is the site I found it on.

http://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/southampton_to_london_shared_bus.html

Link to post
Share on other sites
London Toolkit is about 20 pounds cheaper than International Friends even though they use the same criteria to sign up. But it sounds like I can't go wrong booking on the London Toolkit site.

 

This is the site I found it on.

http://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/southampton_to_london_shared_bus.html

 

Seen similar price comments before on Cruise Critic.

So I checked both websites on my UK computer:

 

London/Heathrow hotel to Stonehenge & ship, Toolkit £59, Friends Int £65

Ship to Salisbury, S/henge, Windsor, Hrw/London hotel Toolkit £65, Friends Int £75

 

I think I know which site I'd book on too. ;)

 

JB :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
London Toolkit is about 20 pounds cheaper than International Friends even though they use the same criteria to sign up. But it sounds like I can't go wrong booking on the London Toolkit site.

 

This is the site I found it on.

http://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/southampton_to_london_shared_bus.html

 

Thanks I did not know they used their own buses for tours

I have only used the site for other information

 

Good to know

Edited by LHT28
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

Do not use London Toolkit to book transportation. Not only did they book a company that was outrageously expensive for Heathrow to central London, they used my credit card and prepaid. When I realized the company they used was twice the normal rate, I cancelled only to be told there would be a 17 Gpb deduction to my prepaid payment refund. This is for a ride 6 months away. The company they used goes by several names. http://Www.taxireservations.com, global transfer service, global taxi service. Can't even find them on Tripadvisor! When I contacted London toolkit they basically said too bad, we won't do anything for you. They referred my complaint to the company they use and said they may or may not get back to you. They could not care any less about my complaint. I will never book through them again.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Do not use London Toolkit to book transportation. Not only did they book a company that was outrageously expensive for Heathrow to central London, they used my credit card and prepaid. When I realized the company they used was twice the normal rate, I cancelled only to be told there would be a 17 Gpb deduction to my prepaid payment refund. This is for a ride 6 months away. The company they used goes by several names. http://Www.taxireservations.com, global transfer service, global taxi service. Can't even find them on Tripadvisor! When I contacted London toolkit they basically said too bad, we won't do anything for you. They referred my complaint to the company they use and said they may or may not get back to you. They could not care any less about my complaint. I will never book through them again.

 

Ahhhh, yes.:(

 

London Toolkit is a great resource for information - and as per this thread they're a little cheaper than the operator for International Friends' bus tour-transfers.

But they make their money via some over-priced commissions - and private transfers booked through them are perhaps the worst value of the lot.

Something I and several others have commented on a few times - a shame you didn't spot those posts.

 

For private cruise transfers, best value is likely to be operators based at the port end rather than the London or airport end. For example, for Southampton, http://www.smithsforairports.com or http://www.westquaycars.com or http://www.aquacars.co.uk

For journeys in and around London there's a large number of operators with a wide range of reviews, but all much cheaper than via London Toolkit.

 

Doesn't help you, but your post & mine might help others.

 

JB :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used International Friends three times. Twice for a transfer/excursion from Southampton to our hotel in London following different routes, and a third time for a private outing from London to the site of my father in law's WWII B17 base and the American Air museum near Cambridge They were totally reliable for each excursion. Drivers and guides were professional and knowledgeable. I can recommend them without hesitation.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ahhhh, yes.:(

 

London Toolkit is a great resource for information - and as per this thread they're a little cheaper than the operator for International Friends' bus tour-transfers.

But they make their money via some over-priced commissions - and private transfers booked through them are perhaps the worst value of the lot.

Something I and several others have commented on a few times - a shame you didn't spot those posts.

 

For private cruise transfers, best value is likely to be operators based at the port end rather than the London or airport end. For example, for Southampton, http://www.smithsforairports.com or http://www.westquaycars.com or http://www.aquacars.co.uk

For journeys in and around London there's a large number of operators with a wide range of reviews, but all much cheaper than via London Toolkit.

 

Doesn't help you, but your post & mine might help others.

 

JB :)

I do wish I saw the warnings.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I do wish I saw the warnings.

 

Sorry, they were quite a while back.

In future we'll try to remember to repeat whenever commenting on a London Toolkit, which apart from that is a very good resource.

 

JB :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...
What about Viator from London hotel to South Hampton pier via Stonehedge

 

 

Viator is a tour reseller, not an operator. If this is a bus transfer, it may be the International Friends service.

 

By the way, and importantly for searching, it's Southampton and Stonehenge :)

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Link to post
Share on other sites
What about Viator from London hotel to South Hampton pier via Stonehedge

 

As the Eagle has posted, Viator is an agency (consolidator).

They have their uses, but for your transfer it's simpler and cheaper to book direct with a transfer operator or public transport or ship's transfer bus.

 

JB :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
As the Eagle has posted, Viator is an agency (consolidator).

 

They have their uses, but for your transfer it's simpler and cheaper to book direct with a transfer operator or public transport or ship's transfer bus.

 

 

 

JB :)

 

 

 

What would you recommend for London Victoria Station area hotel to Southampton? I'm in need of that option next month for 2.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Link to post
Share on other sites
What would you recommend for London Victoria Station area hotel to Southampton? I'm in need of that option next month for 2.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

Other than a private transfer, three main choices..................

 

http://www.nationalexpress.com/home.aspx

Direct National Express bus.

They leave from Victoria Coach Station, a short walk down the road from Victoria Rail Station.

Destination is Southampton Coach Station.

Broadly an hourly service, journey time about 2hrs 15, fare £8 to £10.Booking is strongly recommended because the buses don't have elastic sides.

 

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

Direct train service.from London Victoria train station to Southampton Central.

Broadly an hourly service, journey time about 2hrs 20, fare about £30.

I'm not sure if the walk-up fare is a little higher, but an advance ticket is good for any of those direct trains.

This is an unusually slow route (trains from London Waterloo are about an hour quicker), because instead of the obvious bee-line route it goes two sides of a triangle - south past Gatwick airport to the coast, & then west to Southampton. No change of train, and an attractive route - but a slow one.

There are plenty of other (and quicker) trains from London Victoria but they're more expensive and include at least one change of train, so best avoided.

 

Direct train service from London Waterloo

Broadly three trains per hour, journey time about 1hr 30, fare about £40.

First you'll need to travel from your Victoria hotel to Waterloo by a tube (or, with luggage, preferably a taxi costing around £12 to £15), so although it's a frequent service it's quite expensive.

BUT.......

If you book in advance through

www.megatrain.com

tickets only cost between £1 (not a typo) and £10.

Megatrain is a trusted website, set up by a consortium of travel operators (including SouthWest Trains, which operates this route) to sell bucket-price tickets on under-utilised trains.

The bucket-price fares come with restrictions

- must be pre-booked. Tickets available from about 6 weeks out, prices are fluid so earliest booking gets the best price. If your date is too far out, use a dummy date to see times & prices.

- only available on a few trains each day, but two or three of those trains suit a cruiser's timetable.

- ticket is valid for the booked time only. If you miss that train you'll have to throw away the ticket & buy a regular ticket at walk-up fares (£40) - but of course you can then take any of the three trains per hour.

- no Megatrain tickets on the London Victoria trains, or on sundays, or in the Southampton to London direction until the afternoon.

(remember, from a Victoria hotel you'll need the tube or a taxi to London Waterloo)

 

From Southampton Coach Station or Central Rail Station you'll need a taxi to the pier - £5 to £10 depending which cruise terminal.

 

You also have options of

- ship's transfer bus, Most cruise lines offer a bus transfer from central London to the ship, usually from Victoria coach station. Might not be available unless you take their pre-cruise hotel package. Ships' transfer buses tend to be over-priced, so a Nat Express bus from the same place plus taxi to the pier will be a lot cheaper.

- CruiseTour bus service from your hotel to the ship via a stop at Stonehenge. Operated by International Friends, a respected London coach tour operator. £84 pp including Stonehenge admission.

https://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/southampton_from_london_shared_bus.html

That London Toolkit website is an excellent source for logistics in London and at London airports and seaports - check out their other pages. But, as per posts on this thread, be aware that some of their private transfer offerings are seriously over-priced.

 

JB :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

We are looking for transport from our Heathrow hotel to our Southampton hotel before our cruise. We have looked at a reasonably priced private transfer with London Toolkit but know nothing about the reputation or reliability of them. Any suggestions?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 10 months later...
Other than a private transfer, three main choices..................

 

http://www.nationalexpress.com/home.aspx

Direct National Express bus.

They leave from Victoria Coach Station, a short walk down the road from Victoria Rail Station.

Destination is Southampton Coach Station.

Broadly an hourly service, journey time about 2hrs 15, fare £8 to £10.Booking is strongly recommended because the buses don't have elastic sides.

 

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

Direct train service.from London Victoria train station to Southampton Central.

Broadly an hourly service, journey time about 2hrs 20, fare about £30.

I'm not sure if the walk-up fare is a little higher, but an advance ticket is good for any of those direct trains.

This is an unusually slow route (trains from London Waterloo are about an hour quicker), because instead of the obvious bee-line route it goes two sides of a triangle - south past Gatwick airport to the coast, & then west to Southampton. No change of train, and an attractive route - but a slow one.

There are plenty of other (and quicker) trains from London Victoria but they're more expensive and include at least one change of train, so best avoided.

 

Direct train service from London Waterloo

Broadly three trains per hour, journey time about 1hr 30, fare about £40.

First you'll need to travel from your Victoria hotel to Waterloo by a tube (or, with luggage, preferably a taxi costing around £12 to £15), so although it's a frequent service it's quite expensive.

BUT.......

If you book in advance through

www.megatrain.com

tickets only cost between £1 (not a typo) and £10.

Megatrain is a trusted website, set up by a consortium of travel operators (including SouthWest Trains, which operates this route) to sell bucket-price tickets on under-utilised trains.

The bucket-price fares come with restrictions

- must be pre-booked. Tickets available from about 6 weeks out, prices are fluid so earliest booking gets the best price. If your date is too far out, use a dummy date to see times & prices.

- only available on a few trains each day, but two or three of those trains suit a cruiser's timetable.

- ticket is valid for the booked time only. If you miss that train you'll have to throw away the ticket & buy a regular ticket at walk-up fares (£40) - but of course you can then take any of the three trains per hour.

- no Megatrain tickets on the London Victoria trains, or on sundays, or in the Southampton to London direction until the afternoon.

(remember, from a Victoria hotel you'll need the tube or a taxi to London Waterloo)

 

From Southampton Coach Station or Central Rail Station you'll need a taxi to the pier - £5 to £10 depending which cruise terminal.

 

You also have options of

- ship's transfer bus, Most cruise lines offer a bus transfer from central London to the ship, usually from Victoria coach station. Might not be available unless you take their pre-cruise hotel package. Ships' transfer buses tend to be over-priced, so a Nat Express bus from the same place plus taxi to the pier will be a lot cheaper.

- CruiseTour bus service from your hotel to the ship via a stop at Stonehenge. Operated by International Friends, a respected London coach tour operator. £84 pp including Stonehenge admission.

https://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/southampton_from_london_shared_bus.html

That London Toolkit website is an excellent source for logistics in London and at London airports and seaports - check out their other pages. But, as per posts on this thread, be aware that some of their private transfer offerings are seriously over-priced.

 

JB :)

 

Hello

I am looking for transport to Dover Cruise terminal for party of 7. Too bad Mega trains does not offer to Dover

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello

I am looking for transport to Dover Cruise terminal for party of 7. Too bad Mega trains does not offer to Dover

 

If it's any consolation, Megatrain don't even offer the Southampton route now.

The South-west train operator, which was a partner in megatrain/megabus, lost the franchise about a year ago & the new operator apparently didn't want to take over the megatrain involvement.

 

Southeastern operate London / Dover trains - like most routes in/out of London the advance purchase fare varies widely according to the time of day - broadly £10 to £40 pp one-way. So even for 7 pax it might be cheaper than a van if the timing is right & if your destination is near

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/

 

By bus is always cheaper on this route - £5 to £9 pp one-way.

(nearest pick-up in Dover is Pencaster Road. But for journeys to Dover, the driver usually offers to drop cruisers at the cruise terminal)

https://www.nationalexpress.com/en

 

The location of your hotel in London will affect your choice of transport, for both cost & convenience.

 

JB :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
If it's any consolation, Megatrain don't even offer the Southampton route now.

The South-west train operator, which was a partner in megatrain/megabus, lost the franchise about a year ago & the new operator apparently didn't want to take over the megatrain involvement.

 

Southeastern operate London / Dover trains - like most routes in/out of London the advance purchase fare varies widely according to the time of day - broadly £10 to £40 pp one-way. So even for 7 pax it might be cheaper than a van if the timing is right & if your destination is near

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/

 

By bus is always cheaper on this route - £5 to £9 pp one-way.

(nearest pick-up in Dover is Pencaster Road. But for journeys to Dover, the driver usually offers to drop cruisers at the cruise terminal)

https://www.nationalexpress.com/en

 

The location of your hotel in London will affect your choice of transport, for both cost & convenience.

 

JB :)

 

We are coming from Paddington. Victoria Coach is the nearest for the National express bus. I think its better to taxi or Uber to Victoria Coach to catch the bus. In London Toolkit, there is this taxi company thru the website http://www.taxireservations who will offer a van for us door to door that will come out like 26GBP per person. I thought this was perfect but after reading the reviews here, I am having second thoughts or am I just being paranoid.

 

So my question is in your honest opinion, is it safer to take the National express bus, Train from Victoria Rail (how much is it?) or taxi website to Dover. Which would YOU take as a choice. Don't worry, it does not mean I will follow your choice because I have to present this to the rest of my party and majority always rules.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Crystal Cruises - New! Luxury Bahamas Escapes
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...