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h20skibum

Live - Independence Italian Med (7/13-7/27) - European Vacation

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After packing in so much in our too short stay in London, it was time to pack for our flight back to the US.   My initial plan was to take the underground to Heathrow for our 11:15 am flight to San Francisco.   After seeing how crowded the tubes would be on an early weekday morning, we had the hotel reserve a car service to get us there.

 

Eagles Chauffeurs provided the Mercedes and driver for our transport, and they arrived about 10 minutes before our scheduled time.  Although more than using the underground, this was a much less stressful way to start our long trip.  I would highly recommend them.

 

So, after three weeks and many additional purchases to place in our bags, we were just barely under the weight allowance for our two suitcases.

 

The travel gods were still shining on us when we landed at SFO.   We used the mobile passport app to clear customs, and there were only 3 ahead of us in line.  The normal lines had hundreds.

 

Our bags were one of the first off, and our transport arrived about a minute after exiting the terminal.

 

Even the fog had cleared from around the towers, and the sun was bright as we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge 

E609EEF8-2D65-46E8-BBB9-47702B05EB35.thumb.jpeg.99d7b0aaf57ab83b15b757b52d4012cf.jpeg

 

Another month here, then it will be time to return to Pennsylvania to prepare for our next cruise in January.

 

Thanks to everyone who followed along, and for your kind comments.   I believe this cruise and trip is one of the best we have ever had.  I think all the friendly and interesting people we met on this cruise helped to make it such a good trip.

 

To all those we met, and those who followed and we may meet one day, thanks.

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Thank you for a fabulous review, I've really enjoyed the cruise part and the London part and will miss the daily updates. 

 

Hope you get the chance to return to Europe again soon.

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What an awsome review, with spectacular photos. I've enjoyed following along so much. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this 

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4 hours ago, h20skibum said:

We were so glad that we didn’t get on the London Eye the previous night, because the sky was so clear now, and the views were spectacular.   We bought fast track passes for £40 each, and were given a time of 2:15.  Those with normal tickets would be stuck in line for several hours, judging by the length of the line.

 

We used our time to shop for souvenirs and eat, then boarded the Eye.

 

5E7D3ACE-3E11-4133-80A8-50E984F07562.thumb.jpeg.7a38f2fbcd6897bfa14edfe8e11b1e3f.jpeg

 

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Each car holds about 25 people, and it takes about 30 minutes for a complete revolution 

 

42788969-139A-4AD5-A82A-9A753EF4DCAE.thumb.jpeg.8a662a2b7e4659bef88e2f2e85ac4991.jpeg

 

9B644B93-0962-489D-952A-FEEAE09F6B3C.thumb.jpeg.40a9d8771515cb9f7e8090adb5861f44.jpeg

 

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Great photos.

When we got on the Eye you had the option of doing a champagne ride but we declined.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, h20skibum said:

After packing in so much in our too short stay in London, it was time to pack for our flight back to the US.   My initial plan was to take the underground to Heathrow for our 11:15 am flight to San Francisco.   After seeing how crowded the tubes would be on an early weekday morning, we had the hotel reserve a car service to get us there.

 

Eagles Chauffeurs provided the Mercedes and driver for our transport, and they arrived about 10 minutes before our scheduled time.  Although more than using the underground, this was a much less stressful way to start our long trip.  I would highly recommend them.

 

So, after three weeks and many additional purchases to place in our bags, we were just barely under the weight allowance for our two suitcases.

 

The travel gods were still shining on us when we landed at SFO.   We used the mobile passport app to clear customs, and there were only 3 ahead of us in line.  The normal lines had hundreds.

 

Our bags were one of the first off, and our transport arrived about a minute after exiting the terminal.

 

Even the fog had cleared from around the towers, and the sun was bright as we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge 

E609EEF8-2D65-46E8-BBB9-47702B05EB35.thumb.jpeg.99d7b0aaf57ab83b15b757b52d4012cf.jpeg

 

Another month here, then it will be time to return to Pennsylvania to prepare for our next cruise in January.

 

Thanks to everyone who followed along, and for your kind comments.   I believe this cruise and trip is one of the best we have ever had.  I think all the friendly and interesting people we met on this cruise helped to make it such a good trip.

 

To all those we met, and those who followed and we may meet one day, thanks.

Thank you.

We will miss your review, thanks for the fantastic photos too.

We are flying to San Francisco in November to get on a Princess ship to Hawaii.

We are looking forward to going to Alcatraz and crossing the famous Golden Gate bridge during our 2 day pre cruise stay.

Edited by grapau27

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

We are flying to San Francisco in November to get on a Princess ship to Hawaii.

We are looking forward to going to Alcatraz and crossing the famous Golden Gate bridge during our 2 day pre cruise stay.

 

If you are going from San Francisco, I assume you are sailing on the Grand.  We did that sailing two years ago, but it wasn’t our first trip to Hawaii.  We had done six land trips before our sailing.  If you happen to meet someone named Stan (cruise critic name @Gimer) tell him I said hello.  Stan does that sailing 3 or 4 times a year.

 

If you want to read about our experiences, I did a review of that cruise also.  You can find it here

 

Enjoy your time in San Francisco and Hawaii

 

 

Edited by h20skibum

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28 minutes ago, h20skibum said:

 

If you are going from San Francisco, I assume you are sailing on the Grand.  We did that sailing two years ago, but it wasn’t our first trip to Hawaii.  We had done six land trips before our sailing.  If you happen to meet someone named Stan (cruise critic name @Gimer) tell him I said hello.  Stan does that sailing 3 or 4 times a year.

 

If you want to read about our experiences, I did a review of that cruise also.  You can find it here

 

Enjoy your time in San Francisco and Hawaii

 

 

Thank you very much.

It is the Grand Princess boarding on 18-11-19.

If I see your friend I will say hi from you.

We are looking forward to reading your Princess review.

We have a few tours booked through Princess as Pauline in particular wanted to see Hawaii.

Many thanks for your current review which was excellent.

Regards Graham.

 

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4 hours ago, h20skibum said:

How many Harrod’s bags can you fit in this?

 

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Ahh...you misunderstand.  This is the vehicle that takes YOU back and forth to Harrods.  The bags for your purchases are transported separately by your personal assistant/delivery boy. 😀

 

Great review.  One of the best I've read.  I'm now off to read your Hawaii Princess Cruise review.  That cruise is not on our list yet (been there 3 times on land trips) but I'm guessing it will be added to our list after reading your review.

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Hi Mark, We did the UK and Ireland a few years ago and your posting is bringing back wonderful memories.  It seems that grapau27 is on the Nov. 18th Grand Hawaii cruise, where I'm on the Nov. 3rd Hawaii Cruise, as the second half of our B2B cruises.   Your the BEST, take care.   Stan 

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thank you for your super review - im gong to miss reading of your adventure.  

its been interesting to see how you felt about cruising with us brits. i love meeting American cruisers and the ones ive met have all been really friendly and chatty.

wishing you both all the best x

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Thanks for a wonderfully entertaining review, with lots of excellent photos!

Heather

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Posted (edited)

Walking from Tower Hill to the Eye to Harrods is quite some distance! 

 

Have enjoyed travelling along!   

FYI: You get many “super cars “ in London at this time of year as the Arabs fly them in for the summer as they escape the heat back home.  It causes problems as they park anywhere they want to!  And don’t pay the fines! 

 


https://mol.im/a/7314129

 

Edited by little britain

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21 minutes ago, little britain said:

Walking from Tower Hill to the Eye to Harrods is quite some distance! 

Both Susan and I keep very active, and are usually at the gym or hiking every day.  We typically average 10 miles or more each day now.  

 

I guess we exceeded that for our couple of walking days in London

 

 

C8B465C9-AB8E-4650-A595-9B102A458271.jpeg

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H20skibum, thanks for sharing such an awesome trip! I am doing an Indy cruise in October and spending a couple days prior in London. This will be my first time in the UK and in London.  I'll be staying at Park Plaza at Westminster Bridge. Is that the hotel you stayed at also? It does look very central to alot of attractions.

 

Also, would you recommend the London Pass? I was looking into purchasing as I may be doing several attractions but looking at your review it seems like you're not skipping any lines but it does provide for an easy 1 ticket purchase for many attractions. 

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3 hours ago, iceangel2335 said:

H20skibum, thanks for sharing such an awesome trip! I am doing an Indy cruise in October and spending a couple days prior in London. This will be my first time in the UK and in London.  I'll be staying at Park Plaza at Westminster Bridge. Is that the hotel you stayed at also? It does look very central to alot of attractions.

 

Also, would you recommend the London Pass? I was looking into purchasing as I may be doing several attractions but looking at your review it seems like you're not skipping any lines but it does provide for an easy 1 ticket purchase for many attractions. 

The Park Plaza we stayed at is near Victoria Station, and about two blocks from Buckingham Palace.  The one at Westminster Bridge is a good location, and close to many attractions.

 

We had a lot of places on our list of things we wanted to see and do, and we saved some money by purchasing the London Pass ahead of time.  Looking at the normal prices, we saved maybe £30 or £40, but we had a pretty aggressive schedule we set for ourselves.  Add to that, we did a couple things the pass did not include.  I bought the pass without the Oyster card option, because it could be delivered to my phone immediately, and we planned to mostly walk.

 

It worked out okay for us, but everyone is different and may want to see other things.  Just check prices for individual tickets on each attraction’s website, and see if it makes sense for you.

 

Enjoy your time in London (We could have spent more time there), and enjoy Indy.

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