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What to do about Transport to Southampton for a Long Cruise (poss one way car hire)?


tring
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We are partly thinking we may have an interest in the new Aurora Caribbean itinerary, but if not we already have a booking for a Caribbean round trip for late 2022 and also hope to do other long cruises from Southampton in the next few years.  It seems a bit risky to park a car for up to 6 weeks in the winter, (e.g. it may not start) and we are also thinking if we go by train we will need a fair amount of luggage transported by The Baggage Handling Company.  We have had them transport cases previously, but I am always a bit wary that the system may not work (one of our pick ups would not have happened if we had not been able to alert them late in the day).

 

The solution we are considering at present is one way car hire and we would have a preference for Enterprise as they are the only company who have an outlet near our home and we have used the company previously for van hire, which worked well.  Can I ask if anyone else has used one way car hire to/from Southampton, and if so, how it worked at the Southampton end?  We are likely to be staying at The Holiday Inn, Herbert Walker Avenue, but that can be altered if another hotel location would be better.  We are thinking it would be worth staying two nights in Southampton pre-cruise, partly to make sure we are there, but we could also meet up with my cousins who live in Southampton.  We would also consider a hotel stay on the return, since we will have about 260 miles to drive home and arranging a pick up direct from the port may not be an easy feat.  We are thinking of collecting the car the evening before we travel down and delivering it to a Southampton outlet as we arrive (possibly after DH has delivered me and the luggage to our Southampton hotel).

 

Any other suggestions for a long cruise is welcome, but the one way car hire idea is something we certainly want to explore, so any experience with that would be particularly useful to us.

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Posted (edited)

Just to add, I did not mention travelling down by coach, but that is because we do not do coach travel in general and certainly would not want to travel to a coach pick up point very early morning on the day of cruise and then spend a long time confined to the coach for the journey down to Southampton.

 

I do realise some people would prefer that option, but it is just not our choice.

Edited by tring
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These days, a well maintained car will start with no problems after 6 weeks.

If you use one of the reputable car park companies that deliver your car to the ship on your return, it will be their problem if the car will not start.

Just use your own car and don't over-think the situation.

I'm not really sure why the 260 miles distance is an issue ? That is less than 5 hours driving. 

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We have done several long Caribbean trips and nearly always driven down and left the car at the hotel, have been Nov, Jan and Feb and never had a problem. We did have one occasion where I wrote my car off just before the cruise, we picked up an Enterprise car locally and dropped it off at the Southampton depot, they ran us to the ship. On return we got a taxi from the ship to Enterprise and picked up a car so I could collect my new car from London and drop off the hire car. It was expensive and quite a bit of messing about, I only did this as it was convenient and wouldn't bother again.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, wowzz said:

These days, a well maintained car will start with no problems after 6 weeks.

If you use one of the reputable car park companies that deliver your car to the ship on your return, it will be their problem if the car will not start.

Just use your own car and don't over-think the situation.

I'm not really sure why the 260 miles distance is an issue ? That is less than 5 hours driving. 

 

It is not just a starting issue, but perhaps being left out in all weathers may not be the best thing for the car.  If we fly somewhere, we always use a taxi to the airport if more than 2 weeks, though partly because that is the most cost effective way to deal with the situation as well.  We have often been away for more than four weeks in the last few winters.  Not so much a distance problem on return, but being able to get the car easily so we can hit the road.

 

We are also considering the cost effective situation for getting to Southampton.  Parking for almost six weeks could be quite costly, and if we get free parking with P&O, then chances are we could loose a fair bit of OBC for the cruise (drinking money Wowzz, which you may appreciate 🙂).

 

Barbara

 

Edited by tring
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40 minutes ago, tring said:

We are partly thinking we may have an interest in the new Aurora Caribbean itinerary, but if not we already have a booking for a Caribbean round trip for late 2022 and also hope to do other long cruises from Southampton in the next few years.  It seems a bit risky to park a car for up to 6 weeks in the winter, (e.g. it may not start) and we are also thinking if we go by train we will need a fair amount of luggage transported by The Baggage Handling Company.  We have had them transport cases previously, but I am always a bit wary that the system may not work (one of our pick ups would not have happened if we had not been able to alert them late in the day).

 

The solution we are considering at present is one way car hire and we would have a preference for Enterprise as they are the only company who have an outlet near our home and we have used the company previously for van hire, which worked well.  Can I ask if anyone else has used one way car hire to/from Southampton, and if so, how it worked at the Southampton end?  We are likely to be staying at The Holiday Inn, Herbert Walker Avenue, but that can be altered if another hotel location would be better.  We are thinking it would be worth staying two nights in Southampton pre-cruise, partly to make sure we are there, but we could also meet up with my cousins who live in Southampton.  We would also consider a hotel stay on the return, since we will have about 260 miles to drive home and arranging a pick up direct from the port may not be an easy feat.  We are thinking of collecting the car the evening before we travel down and delivering it to a Southampton outlet as we arrive (possibly after DH has delivered me and the luggage to our Southampton hotel).

 

Any other suggestions for a long cruise is welcome, but the one way car hire idea is something we certainly want to explore, so any experience with that would be particularly useful to us.

Has your cousin got a driveway that you could park your car on whilst away and then possibly he/she could start it up every now and then etc.Mark had an uncle who lived near Southampton who offered us his drive on a 28 night cruise but we decided to go by train and used The Baggage Handling company.As they pick up your cases a few days before the cruise it gives you time to chase them up if necessary.Would love to go on the Aurora Caribbean cruise but have decided its not wise to book at the moment even though the price is likely to be better when first released as my Mum is terminally ill and 40 days is a long time to be away and we wouldn't be able to claim on insurance if we had to cancel because of her terminal diagnosis.If things change and the price is ok we may book nearer the time

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Barbara - yes, totally agree about drinking money!

Our cars are left out in all weathers, so I dont think that is a problem. We often leave our car for 4 weeks in the open at BHX when we go on a winter break, with no issues.

But, you raise an interesting point about hire car rates versus parking charges, which I had not thought of. There must be a point whereby two one way rentals are cheaper than parking costs,  but I have a feeling  that the cruise will need to be longer than 12 weeks for that option to be cost effective. 

I still feel that taking your own car will be cheaper and require less faffing about.

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2 minutes ago, wowzz said:

Barbara - yes, totally agree about drinking money!

Our cars are left out in all weathers, so I dont think that is a problem. We often leave our car for 4 weeks in the open at BHX when we go on a winter break, with no issues.

But, you raise an interesting point about hire car rates versus parking charges, which I had not thought of. There must be a point whereby two one way rentals are cheaper than parking costs,  but I have a feeling  that the cruise will need to be longer than 12 weeks for that option to be cost effective. 

I still feel that taking your own car will be cheaper and require less faffing about.

 

Two one way rentals are coming up about £125 each way + petrol.  Just something we thought exploring, may not be the best option though.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, yorkshirephil said:

We have done several long Caribbean trips and nearly always driven down and left the car at the hotel, have been Nov, Jan and Feb and never had a problem. We did have one occasion where I wrote my car off just before the cruise, we picked up an Enterprise car locally and dropped it off at the Southampton depot, they ran us to the ship. On return we got a taxi from the ship to Enterprise and picked up a car so I could collect my new car from London and drop off the hire car. It was expensive and quite a bit of messing about, I only did this as it was convenient and wouldn't bother again.

 

Thanks a lot Phil as I know you have done a lot of those type of cruises, so your experience/opinion is of particular interest, as is your use of Enterprise.  Can I ask if you would recommend any particular hotel(s), if you have found that the best place to leave the car?  The price of the parking (or hotel/parking deal) is likely the crunch for a cruise of 40 nights or more.  The Hilton to the North of Southampton is likely one option I would explore for that as we know they have a large car park.

 

Barbara

 

Edited by tring
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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, tring said:

 

Thanks a lot Phil as I know you have done a lot of those type of cruises, so your experience/opinion is of particular interest, as is your use of Enterprise.  Can I ask if you would recommend any particular hotel(s), if you have found that the best place to leave the car?  The price of the parking (or hotel/parking deal) is likely the crunch for a cruise of 40 nights or more.

Barbara - sorry to butt in, but my experience is that once you go over 14 days or so, the hotel/parking option becomes expensive. You are better off booking a £40 room with PI, and then booking a seperate parking deal with P4C or Penguin.   

Given that you will need a hotel anyway, the parking costs for 40 days will be significantly less than the £250 car hire costs.

Edited by wowzz
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16 minutes ago, ann141 said:

Has your cousin got a driveway that you could park your car on whilst away and then possibly he/she could start it up every now and then etc.Mark had an uncle who lived near Southampton who offered us his drive on a 28 night cruise but we decided to go by train and used The Baggage Handling company.As they pick up your cases a few days before the cruise it gives you time to chase them up if necessary.Would love to go on the Aurora Caribbean cruise but have decided its not wise to book at the moment even though the price is likely to be better when first released as my Mum is terminally ill and 40 days is a long time to be away and we wouldn't be able to claim on insurance if we had to cancel because of her terminal diagnosis.If things change and the price is ok we may book nearer the time

 

One of my cousins is divorced and lives in a flat in Southampton, the other lives in a house with one driveway and her son is still living in the family home.  So not an option, but interesting thought for some people perhaps.

 

Sorry to hear about your Mum, it is a trying time, which we have gone through with both sets of parents + an aunt and uncle who I took a fair bit of responsibility for in more recent years as they did not have family of their own.  I have also been thinking of your health as you previously mentioned a health check that turned up a possible problem - I hope that turned out to be good news for you.

 

Barbara

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18 minutes ago, wowzz said:

Barbara - sorry to butt in, but my experience is that once you go over 14 days or so, the hotel/parking option becomes expensive. You are better off booking a £40 room with PI, and then booking a seperate parking deal with P4C or Penguin.   

Given that you will need a hotel anyway, the parking costs for 40 days will be significantly less than the £250 car hire costs.

 

Must admit we were thinking long term parking would be far more expensive than it appears to be, considering the cost of parking for two weeks.  We have just tried P4C and it is coming up as £181 for the 40 nighter, which is way less than we expected.  Just hope it stays that we if we are able to book the cruise.  You live and learn, thanks a lot for helping us learn in this instance 🙂

 

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Barbara - one idea to maybe consider is that I believe CPS has an optional charge of Sure Start which means they check the car is ready for you to drive home by checking battery, tyres etc. I think it is an additional £24 and although I’ve not personally used this it may put your mind at rest that the car would start when you got back to Southampton. Not sure if other parking companies do similar.

Gill x

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Is it worth checking a local taxi/private hire?  All the convenience & comfort of car travel, without actually doing the driving, and no parking issues.

We find it best for airport travel these days, all things considered.  If your cruise normally “starts” (in your head) as soon as CPS take your car, then a taxi means your holiday starts as soon as you close your front door

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Probably the easiest....cheapest....less hassle ....sorted if any travel delays....especially at that time of year....is the one that you have ruled out.

 

Like you I don't think we would be " comfortable" leaving our car in the middle of Winter. 

Have you any family/friends who could drive you down the day before and all of you stay overnight then on return journey they drive down the day before and stay in a hotel. Not sure how cost effective that would be but just a thought.

 

We have tried different ways of travelling down but now ....for us....we find the coach transfer the best option ....it's problem free...we stay in a hotel overnight next to the pick up point so no early start but everyone is different and if its not for you it's not for you. 🙂

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you could look at flights from manchester to southampton  and sort your luggage by other means,

but go the day before,theres a river near the airport and fog could be a problem.

i would just drive,im sure you have breakdown cover and if you have aproblem just contact them,thats what you pay for

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2 hours ago, Eddie99 said:

Is it worth checking a local taxi/private hire?  All the convenience & comfort of car travel, without actually doing the driving, and no parking issues.

We find it best for airport travel these days, all things considered.  If your cruise normally “starts” (in your head) as soon as CPS take your car, then a taxi means your holiday starts as soon as you close your front door

That’s what I was going to suggest.

 

We did two legs of a world cruise in 2017, and flew from Heathrow. We booked a local driver to take us there and bring us back. The cost was comparable to long term car parking, but had the advantage of being a hassle free way of getting to the airport, and our car kept warm and cosy at home during the winter.

 

We have used CPS for car parking at Southampton for 35 nights and it was fine. However, we had booked a 55 night cruise for January 2022, and it was our intention to use the same local driver. 

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9 hours ago, tring said:

 

Thanks a lot Phil as I know you have done a lot of those type of cruises, so your experience/opinion is of particular interest, as is your use of Enterprise.  Can I ask if you would recommend any particular hotel(s), if you have found that the best place to leave the car?  The price of the parking (or hotel/parking deal) is likely the crunch for a cruise of 40 nights or more.  The Hilton to the North of Southampton is likely one option I would explore for that as we know they have a large car park.

 

Barbara

 

We have stayed at;

Elizabeth house who charge £4.75 per night for parking, you get your own taxi.

 

The New Place, we have had various deals, parking and taxi to/from port is always included sometimes we have had dinner thrown in, they have a leisure complex. The rooms are chalets with the bar/restaurant in the main house. It is between Southampton and Portsmouth so handy for a day in Portsmouth as an alternative to Southampton.

 

Chilworth Manor, out of Southampton, they do a cruise and stay package for 15 nights with £5/nigh for extra days. I negotiated them down to £4 per night.

 

Prices have varied over the years, depends on their availability and current deals.

 

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10 hours ago, wowzz said:

These days, a well maintained car will start with no problems after 6 weeks.

If you use one of the reputable car park companies that deliver your car to the ship on your return, it will be their problem if the car will not start.

Just use your own car and don't over-think the situation.

I'm not really sure why the 260 miles distance is an issue ? That is less than 5 hours driving. 

I could have written the same thing. Our cars are always out in all weathers, and conditions in Southampton are probably better than windy and wet Wales. We’ve never had any problems with CPS. 

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For 6 weeks disconnect the battery is safest. Some of the hotels in new forest , e.g. Montagu arms and associated hotels  offer 4 weeks inclusive parking,  sure could negotiate 6weeks, lovely  area to stay , extra holiday.

 

However best idea we've found from a similiar distance is a local taxi/airport chauffeur company. Door to door, the slightly higher cost well worth it, ring around see what deal you can get. 

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54 minutes ago, yorkshirephil said:

We have stayed at;

Elizabeth house who charge £4.75 per night for parking, you get your own taxi.

 

The New Place, we have had various deals, parking and taxi to/from port is always included sometimes we have had dinner thrown in, they have a leisure complex. The rooms are chalets with the bar/restaurant in the main house. It is between Southampton and Portsmouth so handy for a day in Portsmouth as an alternative to Southampton.

 

Chilworth Manor, out of Southampton, they do a cruise and stay package for 15 nights with £5/nigh for extra days. I negotiated them down to £4 per night.

 

Prices have varied over the years, depends on their availability and current deals.

 

 

Thank you Phil, a number of options which we will look into. 

 

Barbara

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the suggestions everyone.  We do seem to be down to a hotel and parking either with a hotel or e.g. P4C, even if a longer cruise.  Can I ask if the price of parking with P4C and Penguin rise nearer to the cruise date, or are their standard rates just a lot cheaper for long term parking?

 

Some very impressive hotels suggested, so may treat ourselves before one or more cruises as an alternative, and the parking rates are not bad either.

 

Although we have done loads of cruises we have not done that many from Southampton and those we have done were mainly P&O, so we just took their free parking.

Edited by tring
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1 hour ago, Windsurfboy said:

For 6 weeks disconnect the battery is safest

Although that can cause significant issues with regards to certain electonic items such as the radio, when you reconnect.

And do you really want to be scrabbling around  under the bonnet on a wet, cold winter's morning ?

Six weeks is not a problem for a modern, well maintained car.

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4 minutes ago, wowzz said:

Although that can cause significant issues with regards to certain electonic items such as the radio, when you reconnect.

And do you really want to be scrabbling around  under the bonnet on a wet, cold winter's morning ?

Six weeks is not a problem for a modern, well maintained car.

 

It's  more of a problem the more modern the car is, in old cars you switched off the ignition everything was off. In a modern car even with ignition off, many bits of equipment eg electronic sensors,  alarms are still operating and drawing power. All VW Audi group cars reccomendation is to disconnect  battery if car is to be idle for a month.

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12 hours ago, tring said:

 

One of my cousins is divorced and lives in a flat in Southampton, the other lives in a house with one driveway and her son is still living in the family home.  So not an option, but interesting thought for some people perhaps.

 

Sorry to hear about your Mum, it is a trying time, which we have gone through with both sets of parents + an aunt and uncle who I took a fair bit of responsibility for in more recent years as they did not have family of their own.  I have also been thinking of your health as you previously mentioned a health check that turned up a possible problem - I hope that turned out to be good news for you.

 

Barbara

Its health problems that make me want to book as many cruises as we can whilst able to do so! Fortunately even though I must rattle with the amount of medication I take, I am able to do everything I used to do as  most symptoms are controlled by tablets.The blood test that showed worrying results has been put down to side effects of the tablets rather than anything more serious which is a relief.I would still like to go on the 40 night cruise but will decide nearer the time.

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