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AndyMichelle

Missing the ship!!!

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6 minutes ago, FangedRose said:

I've never understood why everything has to down south. Given the state of the infrastructure why are the powers that be determined to pull/push everyone to London. Heathrow's third runway, HS2 (which comes nowhere the north) etc all designed to funnel everyone through London.

It makes more sense to me to spread thing out a bit, rather than force more people into places which can't cope as it is.

Couldn’t agree more. Everything has to be pushed into the south, with inevitable pressures on transport, housing and infrastructure.

 

House prices in Bromley, which I happen to know, £550,000 for a nondescript 3 bed semi.  Same money in a pleasant university city further north gets you a very decent sized non-estate 5 bed detached with a third of an acre.

 

Madness, but it wouldn’t suit the London-centric politicians to have it any other way.

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27 minutes ago, FangedRose said:

How about moving Southampton north?

The Solway is just about mid British Isles. Fair for the majority then.😁

Yes, take the pollution, traffic chaos and zero hour contracts that all the port staff seem to be on..

They keep telling us how much money the port brings to the economy down here but I don't see many locals benefitting much from it. The University seems to keep Southampton ticking, you can't move for student accommodation being built.

Dont get me wrong, I love the convenience, but would happily travel elsewhere if needed.

Andy

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48 minutes ago, FangedRose said:

How about moving Southampton north?

The Solway is just about mid British Isles. Fair for the majority then.😁

Amen to that, but unfortunately if you live north of Watford you don’t exist! Can you imagine only having to get to Maryport to board the ship, I’d be cruising non stop!

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6 minutes ago, Bennybluehat said:

Amen to that, but unfortunately if you live north of Watford you don’t exist! Can you imagine only having to get to Maryport to board the ship, I’d be cruising non stop!

Me too. I'd soon be boasting about my 20+ cruises per year. 😆

I remember talking to a couple who were boasting about how many cruises they had done. It turns out they lived in Southampton (or very close) and their cruises were mainly 2/3 nighters, with the occasional 7/14 day. We we counted up I had done more nights on board than they had!

I won't consider cruises of less than 14 nights because of the travelling to Southampton (and back).

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6 minutes ago, FangedRose said:

Me too. I'd soon be boasting about my 20+ cruises per year. 😆

I remember talking to a couple who were boasting about how many cruises they had done. It turns out they lived in Southampton (or very close) and their cruises were mainly 2/3 nighters, with the occasional 7/14 day. We we counted up I had done more nights on board than they had!

I won't consider cruises of less than 14 nights because of the travelling to Southampton (and back).

It does give you a sense of 'why not' when it is on your doorstep.

We haven't done anything less than 7 nights yet, but wouldn't rule it out.

Andy

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We normally wouldn't consider less than 7 nights but have 2 2 nighters booked 1 for Oct this year and 1 for Dec next year we must be mad 

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57 minutes ago, FangedRose said:

I've never understood why everything has to down south. Given the state of the infrastructure why are the powers that be determined to pull/push everyone to London. Heathrow's third runway, HS2 (which comes nowhere the north) etc all designed to funnel everyone through London.

It makes more sense to me to spread thing out a bit, rather than force more people into places which can't cope as it is.

As a northerner I too would like to see some roundtrip cruises from Hull or even Tyneside, but I accept it would need not only major investment in these ports, but also a major change in the operational scheduling by the cruise lines. They would need to dedicate a ship or ships to sailing northern Europe itineraries exclusively from the new port(s),  thus reducing their flexibility to offer different itineraries on most of their ships, as P&O do now.

It's not impossible, in fact with Iona doing exclusively fjords next summer, P&O are in fact moving that way already, but some of the other lines only have only one ship committed to their summer schedule, which in the case of RCI, Celebrity, and to an extent Princess, would definitely cause them scheduling problems.

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10 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

As a northerner I too would like to see some roundtrip cruises from Hull or even Tyneside, but I accept it would need not only major investment in these ports, but also a major change in the operational scheduling by the cruise lines. They would need to dedicate a ship or ships to sailing northern Europe itineraries exclusively from the new port(s),  thus reducing their flexibility to offer different itineraries on most of their ships, as P&O do now.

It's not impossible, in fact with Iona doing exclusively fjords next summer, P&O are in fact moving that way already, but some of the other lines only have only one ship committed to their summer schedule, which in the case of RCI, Celebrity, and to an extent Princess, would definitely cause them scheduling problems.

 

Hull, Liverpool or Tyneside would suit us too but this has left me thinking how would these ports be able to provide the staff required for a typical P&O embarkation process? Southampton has a well established number of experienced check-in and support staff covering the different terminals as and when required, along with the baggage handlers etc. Could the other ports cope with the huge ships that P&O are pushing us all towards these days or would the check-in process be slower at another (non-Southampton) port and leave us all grumbling? Has anyone embarked or disembarked a Fred Olsen ship at Liverpool or Tyneside? I appreciate that their ships are smaller but it would be interesting to hear their experience.

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I share your frustration about cruises being so South focused.  I think it is simply a decision driven by profit.  Cruisers from outside UK want to be based around London (and Southampton is called London in some brochures) - easy to get to the only places they think exist - Stonehenge/Cotswolds/Oxford/Cambridge/Bath.  They will take a day trip to York - and some will day trip to Edinburgh (!!).

 

The same situation near me.  Malaga is a port stop that is just 90 minutes drive away  but very few cruises leave from there.  RCI tried with the Adventure of the Seas but gave up after 2 years.  The majority of the passengers were local and they did not spend enough in the bars/casinos/excursions to be profitable.  Our nearest port is Barcelona - one of my favourite cities, and the American and Asian cruisers seem to agree.  

Edited by ollienbertsmum

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51 minutes ago, DamianG said:

 

Hull, Liverpool or Tyneside would suit us too but this has left me thinking how would these ports be able to provide the staff required for a typical P&O embarkation process? Southampton has a well established number of experienced check-in and support staff covering the different terminals as and when required, along with the baggage handlers etc. Could the other ports cope with the huge ships that P&O are pushing us all towards these days or would the check-in process be slower at another (non-Southampton) port and leave us all grumbling? Has anyone embarked or disembarked a Fred Olsen ship at Liverpool or Tyneside? I appreciate that their ships are smaller but it would be interesting to hear their experience.

Very good point about the check in, baggage handling, car parking staff etc.

Their job is on an ad hoc basis as there are not ships in every day and certain times of year none at all and most are on zero hour contracts.

The workforce mainly seems to be semi retired people or housewives who are happy for the extra income when available. It is certainly not a career for many of them.

They do a fantastic job and I'm sure Northern ports would soon build up a similar workforce if they ever got enough cruise business.

Andy

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1 hour ago, DamianG said:

 

Hull, Liverpool or Tyneside would suit us too but this has left me thinking how would these ports be able to provide the staff required for a typical P&O embarkation process? Southampton has a well established number of experienced check-in and support staff covering the different terminals as and when required, along with the baggage handlers etc. Could the other ports cope with the huge ships that P&O are pushing us all towards these days or would the check-in process be slower at another (non-Southampton) port and leave us all grumbling? Has anyone embarked or disembarked a Fred Olsen ship at Liverpool or Tyneside? I appreciate that their ships are smaller but it would be interesting to hear their experience.

We did a cruise with Marella from Tyneside and it was brilliant. Stayed the night before at the Premier inn , a 10 minute walk to the port. All very relaxed, the only problem was that the terminal got extremely busy from around 1pm when the coaches arrived  but I'm sure they could get this sorted. Disembarkation was very smooth and quick get away on clear roads. Most of the people on the cruise were from the north or Scotland. Wish we could do this again although we keep hearing whispers of a new cruise terminal at Hull which would be even better.

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Agree with everyone about  a London bias.  Things are centred in the South East, not the South West

 

 Living in the most southern part of UK, ie West Cornwall.  We are as far away as most of you. Four and a half hours to Southampton,  five and a half hours to get a long-haul flight (Birmingham or Heathrow ). 

 

It's cheaper and quicker to get a taxi to Heathrow than train, no cheap fares as no competition just GWR (train requires taxi to station ,train to Paddington,  extortionate Heathrow express over 6 hours ).

 

But we have clean air and beautiful countryside and beaches.

 

 

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If London bias applies to Cruising, surely Tilbury would be the port of choice, not Southampton.

I know some ships sail from there, but not that many it seems.

You would expect that if the roads remain problematic and the pollution issues are not resolved, then cruise lines would look elsewhere, but there is no sign of that happening soon as millions are being pumped into regenerating the docks.

Andy

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Yes, we are in Devon and so it's just under 3 hours to Southampton for us.  Fred Olsen goes from northern ports.

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A few years ago we cruised from Liverpool wit Thomson ( Marella) and on Thursday we cruise from Liverpool for a 3 night cruise with Cruise & Maritime. Probably not our first choice of cruise line but to go from Liverpool...oh....so very much easier....Come on you " bigger boys " of cruising look North and see the opportunities that await you!

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22 minutes ago, mercury7289 said:

Look after your car sir!

Ooh. More stereotyping. 😱

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RCL took us from Harwich to the Baltic.  We took a taxi from Gatwick there but it was a little awkward to get to Nottingham on the train to visit family after the cruise, but we did it.  

 

It really was a lovely little place to stay at and we could see the ship from the hotel in the morning.  

 

Do they still use Harwich?  Does it count as 'south' - for me it is 'east', but that is not helpful for those of you that are 'north'

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I live very close to Harwich. We get the odd ship calling but nothing leaves from Harwich. Real shame. Did Ryndam few years back and it was excellent.

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20 minutes ago, FangedRose said:

Ooh. More stereotyping. 😱

Rather more entrepreneurial, barrow boy mentality, a southern trait!

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18 minutes ago, ollienbertsmum said:

RCL took us from Harwich to the Baltic.  We took a taxi from Gatwick there but it was a little awkward to get to Nottingham on the train to visit family after the cruise, but we did it.  

 

It really was a lovely little place to stay at and we could see the ship from the hotel in the morning.  

 

Do they still use Harwich?  Does it count as 'south' - for me it is 'east', but that is not helpful for those of you that are 'north'

They used Harwich for one of their Radiance class ships, which are similar in size to Arcadia, but this was redeployed to Venice when the last size reduction was brought in, these ships were deployed on northern routes only.

RCL replaced the Radiance vessels with a Voyager class, but these were too big for Harwich, so were homeported  in Southampton, and now both ships share the northern itineraries as well as Southern ones.

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5 minutes ago, philsuarez said:

I live very close to Harwich. We get the odd ship calling but nothing leaves from Harwich. Real shame. Did Ryndam few years back and it was excellent.

 

That is a shame.  Embarkation and disembarkation were well organised.  Who really knows why the cruise lines make their decisions - except that they want the best profits for their shareholders.  

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35 minutes ago, philsuarez said:

Er why did they not just ring in advance as I'm sure they would have been met in terminal?

There's a lot of unanswered questions about this matter. 

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3 hours ago, janny444 said:

A few years ago we cruised from Liverpool wit Thomson ( Marella) and on Thursday we cruise from Liverpool for a 3 night cruise with Cruise & Maritime. Probably not our first choice of cruise line but to go from Liverpool...oh....so very much easier....Come on you " bigger boys " of cruising look North and see the opportunities that await you!

We did a 6 night cruise with Cruise and Maritime sailing from Hull and disembarking in Liverpool.Ideal as being in Derbyshire we are in the middle so caught a train to Hull and a train back from Liverpool.The port at Hull is a bit of a way out of the centre but you can easily walk into the centre of Liverpool from the cruise port.It is modern with good transport links to other parts of the country as well as ferries to Isle of Man and to Ireland.I dont think it would be a problem getting staff.Cunards initial HQ were in Liverpool and I would be over the moon if P and O (or another company) based cruises from there to Northern ports and across the Atlantic. Celebrity and Princess embark passengers at Dublin and I think P and O would get customers from Ireland to join at Liverpool as there are lots of cheap flights from Dublin to Liverpool.There are lots of new hotels by the port area now.Marella sails for a few months of the year from Newcastle to northern europe which cuts out a day sailing and whilst C and Maritime  and Marella cruises would not be my first choices of cruise line,if they offered the right Itinerary at a good price from a more local port I would book with them

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