Many European cruises begin at the huge port of Southampton. This is at the southern end of the United Kingdom. As a trivia item, the Titanic set sail on its fateful maiden voyage.
Typically, your Baltic, Med or North Africa cruise may begin out of here. Another large port is up north at Liverpool (home of the Beatles).
Ok, let’s give you some advice. Most people fly into London after a 5 – 10 hr flight. You will be zoned out upon arrival. Try and get some sleep and don’t watch movies the whole time.
Try the Caribbean – post hurricanes. Prices are cheap. Read the story.
Tip 1. Heathrow is the airport to fly into. It is very convenient to get into. But – it is huge. It has 5 terminals and they have to be 5 miles apart! Good luck on finding signs. They seem to keep a secret on how to get between terminals. You will be recognized as a Yank – we stand out. The men over there are wearing what looks like “too small” suits with tight pants…and those Wizard of Oz pointed shoes. Americans tend to wear baseball caps, tennies and a college sweatshirt. “Hollister?” I live near Hollister California. It’s funny when I see people with them on – “You from Northern California?” Huh?
Get a hotel. You will really appreciate it. I highly recommend the Hilton. The hotel is right in the airport. Warning: You need to get to the hotel in Terminal 4. Heathrow is huge…I mean really big. It’s not a walk. No tram. You need to take a bus….but they don’t advertise how to get to it. You are going to have to ask for most everything. The bus is actually a commercial transit…but if you are going from your landing gate to Terminal 4, it’s free.
Tip 2. Rent a car to get from the airport (even if you are not staying there) Be aware. They drive on the wrong side of the road. Actually – it’s the left side. And manual transmissions are the rule. In the USA, stick shifts are very hard to rent. Automatic shift rentals are a LOT more money to rent. Be careful – it will take you a while to get used to it. And LOOK BOTH WAYS. You will instinctively look left….but cars are coming from the right! Renting is way cheaper than a bus – it’s only 90 minutes away.
See you next week for more handy tips on getting to the English dock.
Drop us a comment – we’ll help YOU get a cruise out of Southampton.