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Need Advice for London Hotel and Transfer


freckles1

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We are scheduled for a cruise with Oceania this summer which will start in London (Dover). We thought it might be a good idea to go in two or three days early to get over jet lag, etc.

 

In looking at O's pre-cruise, it appears they offer only two hotels, the Park Plaza Riverbank which is priced at $729 for 2 nights and $929 for 3 nights.

The second hotel is the Intercontinental which is priced at $1149 for 2 nights and $1749 for 3 nights. All prices include transfers but no meals.

Also, we're "assuming" that the prices are per person and not per room.

 

This seems a little high to us. So our question is: Can anyone help us with info on a place to stay that is fairly close to the center of London but that offers lower costs? We definitely enjoy staying in nicer hotels but don't absolutely require a 5 star. We've never been to London before, and probably won't go again after this trip, so we don't have any firsthand knowledge of what is available.

 

Also, has anyone actually arranged for their own transportation from London to the ship in Dover? If so, what type of transportation did you use and can you tell us the approximate cost?

 

We'd appreciate any and all suggestions.

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You might find this site useful in booking hotels & transfers

http://www.londontown.com/

Check the ROLL CALL for your cruise & you may find others to share the transfer to Dover

Or you can take the Bus or train if you do not might dragging your luggage on/off the tube etc..

 

good choice to go a few days early to sightsee & get adjusted to the time change

 

Lyn

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We decided to take advantage of the pre-cruise otion available with Oceania. We thought after flying all night and never having been to London that we didn't want the hassle of getting to the hotel from the airport and the security of the cruise line getting us to the ship. Others have spoken about taxis, etc. Maybe you would want to look further on the "Regatta rool call". When are your cruise dates?

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We stayed at The Royal Horseguards back in 2004. Quaint property. We really liked the location - just across The Thames from The London Eye and across the street for a tube station, 10 minute walk to Trafalgar Square. We used www.londontown.com to book a car service to pick us up at the airport. Then joined others on the cruise for the transfer to Dover.

 

Joe

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We are in your same position in Sept. & are staying at Rubens at the Palace (across from Buckingham Palace). From Heathrow to London there is www.dot2dot.com. Reasonable pricing. We are planning to do the NationalExpress.com bus from Victoria to Dover. Lots of buses- very reasonable 2 1/2 hrs. trip. Easier in my opinion than the train. We may need a very short taxi from the bus station in Dover to the ship.

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DW & I stayed at the Riverbank Park Plaza in late summer of 2005. We did a TA crossing on the Seabourn Pride (London to NY). It opened in early 2005, so the Club Lounge wasn't open. Now it is.

It's on the south side of the Thames away from all the tourist stuff. One can easily get to the other side. Also the Eye is fairly close.

We thought it was a great place to stay. Modern with decent size rooms for London hotels. If we ever get back to London, would stay there.

Would suggest that you book independently. That's what we did. Just Google (or any other search engine) Riverbank Park Plaza London. See what the rates are for a room (not per person).

As far as transportation to the port of embarkation, you could contact Oceania and see if you could hook up with them. Or you could arrange for a private service.

Hopes this helps.

 

Len

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I think my husband and I are on your cruise. Regatta July 25? We are also going to London for a few days prior and then to Dover to catch the cruise. My TA quoted these prices London to the port-train $135 (first class) per person plus a short taxi ride to port and private transfer for two $556. She is still working on this. The private is a bit high. I think we are staying at Rubens Hotel-classic room with double bed inc. hotel, tax, breakfast and a HoHo (1 day) was $994 for 3 nites. TA also suggested Royal Horseguards @ $939 and the Chesterfield Mayfair at $1440(more upscale neighborhood and a more boutique hotel) Hope this helps. You can see these hotels on the internet. I also posted on the roll call a few minutes ago looking for a private tour to share. What are you planning for ST. Petersburg? Fibber

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I think my husband and I are on your cruise. Regatta July 25? We are also going to London for a few days prior and then to Dover to catch the cruise. My TA quoted these prices London to the port-train $135 (first class) per person plus a short taxi ride to port and private transfer for two $556. She is still working on this. The private is a bit high. I think we are staying at Rubens Hotel-classic room with double bed inc. hotel, tax, breakfast and a HoHo (1 day) was $994 for 3 nites. TA also suggested Royal Horseguards @ $939 and the Chesterfield Mayfair at $1440(more upscale neighborhood and a more boutique hotel) Hope this helps. You can see these hotels on the internet. I also posted on the roll call a few minutes ago looking for a private tour to share. What are you planning for ST. Petersburg? Fibber

Answered your post on the Regatta board. We are 6 on the Baltic cruise. We are arriving in London 2 days before the cruise - we get in very early on the 23rd and are staying at the Sheraton Park Lane which our travel agent suggested. Have gotten tickets to see the play Billy Elliot that evening. Our TA has arranged for our transfer to Dover the morning of the 25th. Will check with her to see exactly what she has arranged. Glad to finally see some action on the board for this cruise.

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The Dover train station is a couple miles from the cruise dock. Service from central London is fairly frequent. I'm not up-to-date on the cost, but it should be about a 2 hour ride. From there a few quid for a taxi to the dock.

 

Another alternative is to rent a car and turn it in in Dover. There are several rental agencies with offices in Dover less than half a mile from the cruise dock. Drop off your bags then turn in the car and walk back. The last time we did this was 2005; I think including fuel it was about $200 total. We've done this in one direction or the other at Dover about 4 times. Other than driving on the wrong side of the road, it's absolutely no different than driving in the States.

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Good god, as usual those pre-cruise package prices are atrocious!

 

ogtpal, save your money, find yourself a nice hotel online, and book a car service into London, and then to Dover. No hassle, and probably still a lot cheaper than the O hotel package. Sorry, can't recommend a car service since the one we used in 2006 has changed hands. But if you poke around, you should find some reputable ones.

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For independent transport from London to Dover check this website:

 

www.londontoolkit.com/travel/dover_london_transfers.htm

 

There are hundreds of hotels in London; you can find reviews on www.tripadvisor.com You can book through www.hotels.com

 

For area, it depends what you plan to do. If you want to shop, look at Marble Arch/Oxford Street/Knightsbridge areas. For theatre, look at Covent Garden or Strand. For good value, look at Victoria, Bloomsbury, Kensington, Gloucester Road, Euston. All fairly central and easy to get around on underground and buses.

 

You will find more information on the British threads, which are part of Europe on these boards.

 

Whatever you decide, hope you have a lovely time in this great city. (Just remember to bring an umbrella).

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We have used http://www.totallydriven.co.uk for transfers for years. They are extremely reliable and have very clean, new cars with excellent drivers. The cost will be less than Oceania charges for transfers for one person. They give discounts for early bookings- 60-90 days in advance.

As for hotels, we always stay in walking distance to the theatres and museums which works out to be very central to all sights too. Radisson Edwardian has several 4 and 5 star hotels you may want to look at both for service and location.

Good luck and enjoy London.:)

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Really appreciate the time that all of you took to answer my questions. We definitely will attempt to book our own hotel and transportation.

 

We're still trying to decide if we also want to take on booking our own air or whether we'd be just as well off by letting O do it for us and pay for a flight deviation. Any thoughts??? We've always taken the cruiseline's air on our prior 7 cruises with O, but for whatever reason, their schedule always ends with us getting to the ship very late, just before sailaway. And our cabin allows us for early embarkation, so we waste that opportunity by arriving late. At least if we chose our own flight, we'd also be able to coordinate a fairly early arrival time in London, then to Dover to meet the ship.

 

We are on the London to London, 12 days on Regatta, departing 7/13/09.

Anyone out there on the same cruise????

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We're still trying to decide if we also want to take on booking our own air or whether we'd be just as well off by letting O do it for us and pay for a flight deviation. Any thoughts???

 

We are on the London to London, 12 days on Regatta, departing 7/13/09.

Anyone out there on the same cruise????

 

I would check out both options then choose the one that works for you

 

There is a roll call for your cruise

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=810374

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The Dover train station is a couple miles from the cruise dock. Service from central London is fairly frequent. I'm not up-to-date on the cost, but it should be about a 2 hour ride. From there a few quid for a taxi to the dock.

 

We took the train from London to Dover a few years back to board the Windsurf and we found it a really nice relaxing, and rather scenic, trip of about 2 hours. No problems at all. Certainly much less expensive then a private driver and you can spend the extra $$$ saved on the cruise, or in London since prices are high there. Just checked on line and 1st class is 57 pounds per person

 

Our favorite hotels have been the Cranley http://www.cranley.steinhotels.com/off of Old Brompton in South Kensington (small townhouse hotel) and the Park Lane http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=105 across from Green Park. Both are loevly but not inexpensive.

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London is fabulous and there are many great hotels (not real cheap).

 

As for transfer to docks suggest Silver Fleet Transfers - You can arrange pickup from central London Hotels and they are much more reasonable than the cruise line transfers. Can book a private car however much cheaper by bus/van.

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We did a Baltic round trip from Dover with Celebrity Constellation and took the post cruise excursion to Cantebury, very nice. They dropped us at the end of the excursion at the airport with our bags for the flight home (highly recommend Virgin Atlantic as the Upper Class lounge at Heathrow is not to be believed!). I think this was a great way to go as we were 2 couples and 12 pieces of luggage with carry ons. Enjoy!

 

We stayed at Mayfair Chesterfield and if beleive paid $270 a night for a room but it was 3 years ago. Good location! We took a cab to Victoria station for a bus to Dover. Not great with all the luggage but we managed.

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To Chicagogal - In your comment you mentioned the Park Lane Hotel. That is where we currently have reservation for the 2 nights before the cruise. Is it a good and convenient location? I looked up the hotel and it looks lovely and we have heard good things about it from others. Have been to London before, but stayed at the Grovesnor (not sure of the spelling) across from Hyde Park. Thanks for any input.

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Lalique - the Park Lane Hotel is lovely. Old world grandeur (afternoon tea) and situated on Piccadilly, opposite Green Park, with the Ritz Hotel on the other side, a little further down. Conveniently, close to Green Park underground station (on Piccadilly, Victoria and Jubilee lines). Buses on the opposite side of the road will take you to Harrods in Knightsbridge, and you can walk to Bond Street, for shopping.

 

It's not cheap, but part of Starwood Group, if you have points to redeem.

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To Chicagogal - In your comment you mentioned the Park Lane Hotel. That is where we currently have reservation for the 2 nights before the cruise. Is it a good and convenient location? I looked up the hotel and it looks lovely and we have heard good things about it from others. Have been to London before, but stayed at the Grovesnor (not sure of the spelling) across from Hyde Park. Thanks for any input.

 

Couldn't say it any better than ancientmariner already did. It was a lovely and convenient hotel. My only complaint was that breakfast was REALLY expensive in the hotel restaurant. We only made that mistake once and solved that by eating most mornings at the Starbucks just a block or two down the street. The lobby Palm Court is great for afternoon tea or drinks though. We also took a lot of buses when we stayed there and they were very close by.

 

One other hint - if you are not familar with "London Walks" tours leaving from various tube stations, do check them out. Local guides show you their neighborhood - they are very informal and informative and cost effective (I think 7 pounds last time we did one) Most hotels have the information and there is a website here:

http://www.walks.com/Homepage/default.aspx

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chicagogal and ancientmariner - Thanks so much for your info on the Park Lane. It sounds just fine. Even though our group of 6 has been to London before, I am sure we will spend the couple of days we have doing some more sightseeing. And we do have tickets for a play our first night there.

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We always go in early, come back late -- so as to enjoy the beginning and ending ports. And we are always horrified at the prices cruise lines want for hotel stays. It's not just O.

 

We have taken the bus from Heathrow to Dover (back in 2001) and found it easy, once we heaved the luggage into the bus. It's a short cab ride from the bus station to the port. If you are staying IN Dover prior to the cruise, there are several hotels inbetween the bus station and the port. I can't speak to the location of the train station although I don't think it's all that far away.

 

If you prefer to stay in London before you go down to Dover, there are lots of choices! Londontown.com is one good source for finding a more economical hotel, but there are others as well. Just google "hotels in London" or some phrase like that.

 

If you meet up with people you can do a van trip from London to Dover for a reasonable cost per person as well, but it's price-y if you are hiring a car just for the two of you.

 

I do advocate staying in Dover if you haven't been there. It's a charming town and there's quite a lot to do, especially if you rent a car. But you can spend two days right in town without needing a car. On our last trip there we had a car and spent one day in Canterbury, one day driving up the coast (I think we got as far as Sandwich) and one day in town. We had wanted to go to Leeds but ran out of time.

 

But I cannot imagine EVER paying cruiseline rates for hotels since they are about double what you can do on your own, even in the same hotel.

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