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Need Help W/ London Lodging

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Sep 28th, 2012, 05:24 PM
  #1
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Need Help W/ London Lodging

We just booked a cruise that leaves from Southampton on Nov. 30th. We are flying into LHR either one or two days prior to the cruise. Our flight would arrive at 7:05 am. We have never been to London before so am trying to sort everything out.

We are looking for a hotel in a reasonable price range (less than $300 per night, if possible). I am not sure what would be a good location for us to stay. We would like to do the Ho Ho bus tour of the city as we feel that is the best way to see the city w/ a limited amount of time.

I am looking for assistance in departing the airport to whatever hotel we book.

The next question I have is concerning how to get to the Southampton port for our cruise. I know that National Express runs to the port as well as trains but not sure which would be the most expedient way to get there. How early should we leave London for the trip to the port? We probably can't check in on the ship until at least 11 am or later.
Several people have suggested the train.

I am looking for advice from all you Fodorites who have been to London. Many thanks for your help.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 05:57 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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DOes your ship offer a shuttle?I know Cunard does, and it takes you right to docks. I would check that first.

We have made 2 trips a year to London for the last 40 years and I mrefer the South Kensington Glaocester rd area.wE STAY at the millenium gloucester or Millenium Baileys .quite nice large rooms and convenient transport. Never done the hoho bus as the reguler routes go all over and don't break the budget, Lots of good resturants in walking distance
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Sep 28th, 2012, 06:26 PM
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It seems a shame to me to visit London for just a day or 2. Presumably there's a reason for it but I suggest you apply yourself to not only these details but to the possibility that you'll be sorry when you realize (if you realize) what you'll be missing. You may love a good cruise but compared to a week or 2 in London it wouldn't hold a candle (in my opinion, of course).
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Sep 29th, 2012, 06:18 AM
  #4
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Avalon, I do not believe there is a shuttle to port unless you book a package deal w/ the cruise line which we didn't do. I will check out your suggested hotels. I am still acclimating myself to navigating London and it's transportation system. This is why I am looking for suggestions from those of you who have been to London b4. My most important thing right now is to book a hotel.

MmePerdu, couldn't agree more w/ your comments about only staying a couple of days. Everyone has their own favorite way of travelling, we happen to luv cruising and realize that we only see a very small portion of the particular country we visit. Cruising also gives us the opportunity to plan a return visit for a longer period of time after we have been in a port for a day or two.

There are reasons why we are unable to plan a longer visit to London, but for right now we are trying to find suitable lodging for our two- day visit and hope that others may have some suggestions for us.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 08:25 AM
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Most trains to Southampton leave from Waterloo station. Some leave from Victoria. So you would be better off staying near one of those.

If you have Marriott points (or can get a deal to fit it w/i your budget) the Marriott County Hall can't be beat. It is very close to Waterloo and has wonderful views of Big Ben/Parliament/the river/the Eye.

If points/a deal aren't doable - then the County Hall Premier Inn would be good. Not posh at all but clean/modern and the same general location as the Marriott (no views though since it is at the back of of the same complex). It would be well under your budget.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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We can recommend Cartref House B and B Hotel in Belgravia, a 10-minute walk from Victoria Station. Last October we took the tube from LHR to Victoria Station and walked to Cartref House. We travel light, so with more luggage, this may not be a practical option for you.

Check out Cartref House on Trip Advisor. Ground floor family room was decent size, small bathroom, good breakfast, helpful hosts, good price for London (127 GBP) and located in a quiet neighborhood. We are a couple, but chose the family room for the ground floor location and more space.

We've also stayed several times in South Kensington, but too long ago for hotel recommendations. If you prefer having the amenities of a large hotel, you probably won't be interested in the b and b experience.

Armed with a London guide book and a map, you will find the city easy to navigate either by bus or the tube or a combination of the 2. You may prefer the buses for the above ground scenery. Guide book will give you information on buying Oyster card to use on buses and the tube.

There are trains hourly from Waterloo Sta. to Southampton, a trip of about 1.5 hours. Cartref House can arrange a private transfer to Waterloo Sta.

"Visit Southampton" website has cruise ship/port information that may be helpful.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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If you want a longer visit to London foloowing a crise (rther a transatlantic crossing) I cannoy recommend more highly the QAueen Mary 2> I'd do it again in a heartbeat!!
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Sep 29th, 2012, 10:39 AM
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If it were me I would use Priceline to book a 4 or 5* hotel in Central London - so you can walk to a lot of sights. Have a look at Covent Garden, Mayfair, near Picadilly etc. Should be within your budget.

South Kensington isnt bad - but not as central.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 03:47 PM
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We returned via the Queen Mary last September after two weeks in Scotland and we didn't like it at all. After the first miserable evening/dinning experience (dining with several hundred people is not our idea of a good evening, service bordered on rude and food was cafeteria-like). We booked Todd English the next evening, and it was excellent. We went back the remaining nights. There were a lot of activities, but not all suit, and I walked out of one lecture it was so bad. The talks in the art gallery were very good as were several of the musical groups but overall a long 7 days. That said, we never thought of ourselves as cruise people but hoped this might be a good alternative to those seemingly long hauls westbound. Not for us, but if you like cruising it's probably a great experience.

Fodorites have offered several good recommendations for lodging. It just depends on which location you prefer...all mentioned are central.
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Oct 1st, 2012, 04:03 AM
  #10
 
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You must have had bad luck we had exceptional service . Our dinner companions were delightful, an English couple from the Lakes district ahich we are quite familiam r with and 2 American ladies who traveled extensivly. Our food at lunch and dionner was very good and the service was superior, There was lobster on the menu one night and my DH said he'd love to have that except one little tail didn't satisfy him, Tomas siad not to worry and brought 2nd helpings for sll of us!They could not have been mre helpful and polite.We are very early risers and had breakfast in the King's gallery with a plentiful buffet Scrambled eggs were on the line but if you wanted fired or poached they were freshly prepared for you .We especially enjoyed the pianist in the pub directly outside the dining room
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Oct 1st, 2012, 05:43 AM
  #11
 
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Historytraveler, I, too, was seriously disappointed by my week going home from the UK on the QM2. Similar criticisms plus others but suffice it to say it is, indeed, not for everyone.
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