England is neat….but I hear the traffic is as bad as Silicon Valley. Our freeways are jammed until about 10 am now! “We need the jobs.” Really? What about the quality of life? Apple, Facebook and Google are hiring like there’s a boom on. Now Google plans to build a 22,000 worker campus in downtown San Jose.
That’s my rant for today…I’m a no-growth guy. The message is to be prepared for traffic heading to Southampton. If you leave in the a.m., you will be wise as the bulk is heading into London.
As promised in the last blog – here’s Part 2 of our tips on getting to Southampton.
Tip 3 – Traffic Circles everywhere. When you get off the “motorway,” i.e. the “M4.” Most of the the arterials like the “A383,” are controlled by “Traffic Circles,” aka “Roundabouts.” The problem for us yanks is that we are driving on the left side and are thrust into a counter-clockwise flow….then need to come out of it to our left and into the next left lane. This can take some thinking. Don’t chew gum and try this at the same time. You may have to continue circling until you have the confidence to get out.
Tip 4. – They use diesel fuel. Before you turn your car in at the port, you need to fill it up. DO THIS on your own. The car rental place will gouge you real bad. Pay attention. Your car is probably diesel. To throw you off, the GASOLINE pump hoses are green. In the USA they are black. This could be a costly mistake.
Tip 5 – When you check out your rental car – be sure to have them mark prior damages. Check the left front wheel carefully. Have them mark the dings on the wheel down. Americans have a tendency to drift to the left. And it’s hard to make turns without dinging the wheel. You don’t want to be charged.
Tip 6 – You need to have an International Driving Permit – not to rent the car, but to show to a “Bobby” if you get stopped. This is the dumbest thing ever – you need to have your normal Driver License anyway. The rental car company doesn’t care –but the cops must. They cost $30 at AAA plus two passport photos. A rip-off!!
All for today – give us a shout!
Despite the recent hurricane blasts, people are still going to the Caribbean. A look at the statistics just out shows the affinity people have for the warm climate and sandy beaches. In 2016, about 1/3 of all cruises visited the islands.
After two recent massive hurricanes several islands got demolished. Most suffered flooding and extremely high winds, Puerto Rico is still “under water” – weeks after the deluge.
I, for one, will not attempt a trip down there from September through December. That is when you really need motion sickness pills. There are YouTube videos posted that show lower cabins actually going underwater!
Backgrounder: The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
The next most popular destination is probably not a surprise – the Mediterranean. The region drew about 18% of the market. Europe as a whole, settled in at 11%. This was followed by Asia, South Pacific, Alaska and South America was in at 2%.
It seems odd, but Alaska came in at single digits. That is a great cruise. They speak English and take American dollars! The season is just so short. First trips head out in May and the last stops about mid-September. The scenery is incomparable.
During my speaking career, I have been up north three times. The last one I skipped the tours and brought my hiking clothes and headed up into the hills. I have some great photos looking down at the ship.
Finally, I did notice that the Middle East is not even listed in the charts. Must be in the 13% of “other”destinations. I know they are building up harbors to entertain world visitors. We will be going soon to Abu Dhabi – Dubai – Mumbai – Phuket and Singapore. Can’t wait.
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Most assignments to lecture on ships do not include airfare. Some do, but most have you get there on your own.
Take notes on this one.
Work with your agent on this tip. Inquire about “marine rates.” Crews get decent discounts for travel to/from their ships. Think about it. There are thousands of cruises that go out annually. The parent Cruise Line books a heck of a lot of passengers AND crew on airlines.
They get discounts. If they concur, have your cruise line book your travel and request marine rates. Don’t pester your agency – they have enough to do – but it’s a legitimate request.
Also, ask about getting transfers through them. This is critical. If you try to get from the air terminal to the berth – you are at risk of not getting there. New cabbies may not know where to go. Buses can take forever. If you miss the departure – YOU need to get to the next port on your own. Ugh.
If you are under the cruise line’s umbrella, you will be met after Customs with a name sign. SMITH Whew what a relief after a LONNG flight. They will guide you to your luggage – even get it and move it to a bus for you. If that bus is late – it’s on the ship to pay for get you to your ship.
Keep the port contact info handy in case you do have travel problems. Tell them your situation and they will sort it out. They often have work-arounds. BUT they will not hold a ship full of 2,000+++ guests just for you.
We share these kind of tips on this blog Take our class; be a par of this fun industry. . See the HIREUS page for the process. You can’t get any more help for $300. Really. Get off your duff and make the move.
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