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Anyone traveling Princess Regal to British Isles out of Southampton May 2024?

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We are flying in to Heathrow the day before our cruise and I am thinking about spending the night in Southampton as opposed to spending the night at a Heathrow hotel and taking the cruise transportation to Southampton the next morning.

I am not sure of the best, easiest, and most economical way to get to Southampton the night before. I read that the National Express bus will take us from Heathrow to Southampton bus station but then I am not sure how to get to our hotel (it doesn't have a shuttle). I also read that people had trouble getting a taxi from the Bus station in Southampton.

We are considering the Moxy hotel in Southampton and (on the map) it looks like it might be walkable from the bus station, but since we won't get in to Southampton until early evening, I am not sure if it is safe to walk and if it is truly walkable with luggage.

There are only 2 of us. We don't want to drive ourselves and the car services I have seen are really expensive. Does Southampton have Uber/Lyft? Do they work the same way they do in the U.S. (phone app)?

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you!


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@ChrisP These area all great questions. I have been looking into some cruises that embark from Southampton, but I never got as far as to dig into these travel details. I'm curious to read others responses who have cruised out of this port in the past. The drive isn't too terrible; it looks like an hour and change. I would consider the bus system and then booking an Uber to the hotel of your choice. You could always Uber the entire way from the airport in Heathrow to your hotel in Southhampton. The best idea would probably be to decide when you land. I would check the cost of the Uber for the entire drive but also be ready to hop on the bus with the schedules in mind. Convenience would likely Uber, but I'm sure the bus situation would be more economical. It will be less hassle to just Uber directly and splurge a bit. Based on other's comments, I would not rent a car and drive yourself. Apparently parking and traffic in Southampton is costly and hard to come by. I have also looked into the Moxy hotel and it looks like a good option close to the port.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for your comments. 

My husband hates to travel, so if there is any confusion or difficulties it will be hard to get him on another vacation. I like to be prepared as much as possible as far ahead as possible to keep the anxiety and frustration to a minimum.

I am still hoping for some first hand experience suggestions. We leave the U.S. on May 13th.

Thanks again.

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@ChrisP I totally understand that! My husband doesn't always do well with unexpected changes either. It's always better to be over prepared than under prepared. You will be leaving pretty soon! You must be so excited. Based on this comment, I would recommend splurging on an Uber to and from the airport. I wouldn't risk ruining your husband's experience for $100. I would be much more convenient. 

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  • 1 month later...

Update:  We are back from our cruise. We had a great time, though the weather and a labor strike impacted our ports of call.

For those with the same questions as ours, we chose to take the bus to Southampton. I booked the tickets ahead of time online. There were plenty of taxis at the bus depot in Southampton which made it easy to get to our hotel. The hotel called a taxi for us the next morning to take us to the cruise port.

We chose the transfer option with the cruise line at the end of the cruise to get back to Heathrow for our flight home.

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@ChrisP Thanks for that update! I'm very happy to hear you had a lovely cruise, but of course disappointed to hear about the ports being impacted by labor strikes. The Southampton bus sounded like an incredible option, and I'm assuming the price was pretty reasonable too. That was cleaver to book the bus tickets ahead of time. Which hotel did you choose that offered the taxi service? Was the port transfer reliable and timely? All of these things are important to know before booking a cruise out of Southampton. After having completed this cruise, would you cruise out of this port again? What did you think of the cruise ship? What was your favorite port of call that you visited? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We booked the bus tickets online as recommended by the bus company. The cost was half of the cost of the cruise line transfer service from Heathrow to Southampton. We couldn't use the cruise line transfer service because we came in a day ahead of time. I would definitely use the bus service again if cruising out of Southampton if we had time.

The bus depot in Southampton was within walking distance of our hotel (Moxy, a Marriott hotel) but we chose to take a taxi since we had luggage to carry.

The ports we missed were the Orkney Islands because it was too windy to pull into port. We spent an extra day at sea instead. The other port we missed was in France. They were having a labor strike so we stopped at Portland England instead. It is a small fishing village and was very quaint. They were having a village fair while we were in port which made it quite lively and full of activities. If it wasn't for the fair I am not sure what we would have done there all day.

Most of the ports had bus service into town so you did not have to take an excursion if you wanted the flexibility to go around on your own.

Our favorite ports were Dublin and Edinburgh. There was so much to see and do in both cities. We took an excursion in Dublin but we did not get much free time to do things on our own.

We took a local bus (which was waiting at our cruise port) to Edinburgh which gave us plenty of free time to explore and shop. The return bus to the cruise port ran frequently and was waiting at the designated location when we were ready to return to the ship.

We used the cruise line transfer service to return to Heathrow airport when the cruise was over because they make sure you get back to the airport in time for your flight. The only problem was that we had to leave the ship early to make sure we got back to the airport in time for other people's flights that were earlier than ours.

Southampton was larger than I thought and I would choose to spend a little more time there if I happen to go there again for a cruise or another reason.

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@ChrisP Thanks for sharing your experience! I'm impressed at the cost of the bus fare and also shocked by the price difference from the cruise line transfer service. Thanks for sharing the proximity of the Moxy hotel to the bus transfer service. This is really important information for first time cruisers out of Southampton. I personally would consider doing this exact thing based on your review. I feel much more confident about it now that you have actually done it! I also appreciate the bus transport info for each port. It saves lots of money to avoid paying for an excursion at every port. I would be aa bit frustrated to have to leave the cruise ship early while taking the cruise line's shuttle. In hindsight would you have opted for a bus transfer form the ship to the airport instead? I have heard it's large and there is lots to explore in Southampton! I'm so glad you enjoyed your cruise despite those canceled ports of call. 

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