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John Bull

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  1. Late to the thread, but a quick precis: LHR to Southampton, National Express bus. About £20 pp, 2 hrs. Poor frequency, essential to pre-book, allow at least 90 minutes for airport formalities https://www.nationalexpress.com/en Or a pre-booked private transfer will cost £140 to £160 Central London to Southampton. Train from London Waterloo station, takes about 90 minutes, 2 - 3 trains per hour. Walk-up fare about £54 pp, but cheap Advance fares from as low as £14 are available from about 12 weeks out. That cheap Advance fare is only good for the train time that you book - so don't miss it Alternatively Nat Express bus from Victoria coach station, roughly hourly, journey time 2 1/2 hrs, fare from as little as £6 pp. Or a pre-booked private transfer is likely to cost £200+ It's perfectly normal to travel to Southampton on the morning of your cruise. Southampton train & bus stations are only a few hundred yards apart - City and Horizon Cruise Terminals are walkable in 15-20 minutes even with luggage, the others need a short taxi hop. Southampton isn't a tourist city, but there's enough to amuse visitors for a day, like https://tudorhouseandgarden.com/ https://seacitymuseum.co.uk/ https://www.solentsky.org/ https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1092087?section=official-list-entry and the city walls Plus God's Tower (houses archaeological museum), art gallery etc, excellent West Quay shopping mall, historic pubs, restaurants etc. For anyone staying for a few days there are plenty of sights just a train ride or ferry ride away, but Highclere Castle (photo in post #16) is over 30 miles away and inconvenient by train. JB 🙂
  2. A precis of three of the hop-on services at https://www.londontoolkit.com//whattodo/london_hoho_bus_discuss.html Not on that website is https://city-sightseeing.com/en/95/london/3287/hop-on-hop-off-london IMHO the one to avoid is Golden Tours - a long-established & reputable tour operator, but they're late arrivals in the hop-on business so their ho-ho customer-base and therefore their frequency is poorer than the others. But they offer a City Tour - you board near the London Eye, stay on the bus for the full route and end back near the London Eye. That's been popular - so popular that one of the others, Tootbus, has copied them. Since the best value of a ho-ho is simply a full tour on their main route that might be an option, especially if your hotel is near the London Eye But the other ho-ho operators are much-of-a-muchness, their main tourist routes are identical or virtually-identical. Things to bear in mind: - Check the location of your hotel - it may be on the feeder route of one or another. - All (except the afore-mentioned City Tours) include a river cruise, some include various walking tours. - A 24hr or 48hr ticket is better than a one-day or two-day ticket. - Buses don't pass the front of Buckingham Palace - to see it you hop off at Birdcage Walk, walk round the corner to the front, then walk back to the same bus-stop for the next bus. - Most important. Don't use the ho-ho as a means transport for inside visits at places, they're great for an over-view but way too time-consuming and the routes too rigid to use as "transport" between sights. For that you need to use The Tube - London's extensive underground system. So unless you fancy a few walking tours a 24hour ticket is best value, even tho' you'll be tempted by relatively-cheap 48 or 72-hour tickets. Just MHO as always JB 🙂
  3. Good to back among the big boys 🙂 But I've got no finger-nails left !! 🤣🤣🤣 JB 🙂
  4. All tickets used to permit entry for a year - hardly worthwhile even for a local. But both prices & visitor numbers have risen and I guess this is an attempt to keep prices at a sensible level for a day visitor. The "attractions" are basically Mary Rose, HMS Victory (still a commissioned warship, complete with a Navy captain & crew), HMS Warrior (strictly speaking just " Warrior" because she was de-commissioned), and HMS M33 (which for most visitors comes a very poor 4th) Plus "Explosions" munitions & armaments museum and the Submarine Museum (including the submarine HMS Alliance), but both are at Gosport on the opposite side of Portsmouth harbour and accessible by included waterboat. They're not suitable for a one-day visit - they'd take too much time out of the day Many of the other sights listed under the Ultimate Explorer, such as Boathouse 4 & Dockyard Apprentice are part of any ticket. And there's a privately-operated shop of maritime antiquities, great to browse but the stuff is seriously expensive. Altho the Mary Rose is located in the Historic Dockyard, she is separately-owned by the Mary Rose Trust & can be accessed by a separate ticket. So I thought "hey, you could buy a one-day £36 ticket including one attraction (either HMS Victory or Warrior), and a walk-up ticket to the Mary Rose".🙂 That thought evaporated when I saw the Mary Rose ticket price - £36, on top of the £36 minimum dockyard ticket, a total of £72 which is massively more than even the walk-up price of an Ultimate Explorer ticket.🙁 Probably in a single day you can't do much more than the inclusions in the "Three Attractions" ticket. But on-line the Ultimate Explorer is discounted to £46, the same as the Three Attraction ticket and just £10 more than the basic single-attraction ticket. All of which can be summed-up as "Yes, I think the Ultimate Explorer ticket is the one to go for". Concentrating solely on the Historic Dockyard & ships for a very full day can be quite wearing. If you don't yet have plans for your other days, consider spending two (or more) in Portsmouth - including lodging there if you're not already committed. Your flexible Dockyard ticket would allow you to split your days between the Dockyard and Portsmouth's many other attractions, including the narrow fortified harbour entrance & the promenade overlooking the Solent & Isle-of-Wight (and hovercraft trips to the Island), with diminutive Southsea Castle (fee entry) from which Henry V111 watched the sinking of Mary Rose, and the adjacent D-Day Museum, and the holiday attractions of this major English seaside city.. Or outside the city - Fort Nelson, high on Portsdown Hill one of the ring of forts protecting Portsmouth & looking down on the city, and now an excellent artillery museum (entry by donation) - Portchester Castle, a Norman (12th Century keep inside the original walls of a Roman fort), on the northern shore of Portsmouth Harbour. If you switch accommodation, best-located are - For a hotel which will remind you of home, Holiday Inn Express in close-by Gunwharf Quays - Or to maintain the naval theme, the Royal Maritime Hotel just 100 yards from the Dockyard entrance - originally for Royal Navy officers who were between-ships, now open to the general public. Still some Royal Navy trappings, and the clientele usually includes a smattering of current & former Navy personnel. JB 🙂
  5. Hi Mark, Your Belgian port is Zeebrugge. Brussels isn't the best choice for most folk - it's about an hour from the port by train and is a commercial city, the headquarters of the EU administration with multiple associated businesses and few spread-out tourist sites. Most folk head the 8 miles from port to Bruges (Brugge), a few centuries ago an important port until ships got bigger & the canal silted-up, leading to the "new" port of Zeebrugge. So it's a historic city with a compact & very walkable cobbled centre with mainly 17th/18th Century buildings, lots of coffee-shops and lace & chocolate shops. You need to name your Norwegian & Icelandic ports, some like Bergen don't need a tour, others are quite small & you need to get out of town & explore the fjords, lakes, mountains, waterfalls & glaciers. Check out the forum for https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/116-northern-europe-baltic-sea/ and mebbe the new Iceland forum JB 🙂
  6. @breadmanusa Like I said, needs a Londoner to advise on the route by Tube. JB 🙂
  7. You don't mention your ports. For instance, yes conservative dress for the Vatican, yes (and take shoes off for the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Some other places it's no big deal JB 🙂
  8. For the train you need to take ship's shuttle (probably payable but only a few euros) to Blankenberge station, where you catch the direct train to Bruges - takes about 12 mins, return fare about €10 or less. 20 min walk from Bruges station to the cobbled centre. The big problem is that the train is only hourly, and because it's preceded by a shuttlebus you can't plan when you'll get to the station - you might have a wait of one minute, or 59 minutes! Ships' "Bruges on your own" transfer takes you to Bargeplein, also a pleasant 20 min walk yo the centre (buses aren't allowed in the centre). Disadvantages are that you return at a set time, and ships' arrangements are usually poor value. There's an independent bus operator offering shuttles from port to that same drop-point in Bruges. Can be pre-booked. Folk say it can be a bit of a scrum getting onto the bus for the return. Taxis can be hard to pre-book, I don't know whether they're avalable on-spec. Last I heard some time ago was €50 return. They can drop you in the centre, somewhere like the Grotemarkt. Ship's "tours" to Bruges would likely be a waste of time & money - as above, they can't take you around the centre. We're on this cruise 29th June. Been to Bruges a number of times, might take the kusttram and spend a lazy day in Blankenberge and/or Ostend, mebbe even to the end of the line at De Panne. JB 🙂
  9. To be sure that your post is read by the person you're asking, try again. Open "reply to this topic", start by pressing on @ & start their screen name, then click on their name from the drop-down list. It will come out something like @seaera Alternatively click "quote" on the post you're responding to, and ask. In either case the Cruise Critic website will then automatically notify them of your post. That's one of a number of useful hacks on Cruise Critic JB 🙂
  10. Hi, G., Perhaps you & I have different ideas of what is "long distance". I regard "long distance" as London to Newcastle (275 miles) or Carlisle (300 mls) or Edinburgh (380 mls). @@simigirl's London to Dover train ride, and those to Southampton, are both way under 100 mls, which I don't see as "long-distance" And you have already accepted that "it's not really need-to-know information for a £12 London-Dover ticket". The National Rail timetable simply says "(Advance) tickets are valid only on the date and train service(s) shown on the ticket(s)." No mention of being able to amend Advance tickets. Ditto the timetable of LNER Ditto the timetable of the Trainline. Yes, the timetable of Southern (the train operator) does say "Advance tickets are non-refundable but may be amended prior to the date and time of travel". But only when digging deeper into that website do you find mention of a £10 admin fee and other hoops for amending an Advance ticket, all in the hope of the OP saving just £2.60 - the price of the cheapest cup of Starbuck's coffee. My posts tend to be too long anyway, and I'm not inclined wear down my typing finger or to confuse CC members by digging into all the hoops and terms that have no relevance to their airport to seaport journey. I'll stick to what I'm doing JB 🙂
  11. Ship's currency is USD, and your on-board spending will all be shown in USD. But a day or two before the end of your cruise you'll be offered the opportunity to have your card charged in sterling "for your convenience" 🙄 DECLINE that kind offer - your card will convert to sterling at a little above the wholesale rate, far better value than the cruise line converting it (kerrrr-ching). Even if you don't have a fee-free card it's still better value to keep the charge in USD and allow your card issuer to convert. This is the case on any USD or euro ship - and probably the same with international travellers on a sterling ship. Same applies ashore - always but always have your card charged in local currency. That's not always easy - the card-readers of a lot of outlets automatically switch to the currency of the card, and it'll be at a poor exchange rate - so check the card screen before you swipe or PIN. If it's not in local currency insist that they change it. That also means that you can confirm that the price is the same as the bill, menu, ticket price or whatever JB 🙂
  12. Good thinkin' @phabric International Friends is a well-established and reputable coach tour operator. Their tour/transfer options are specifically for cruisers - they pick up at the cruise terminal and drop off at Heathrow or central London hotels. Or vice-versa for pre-cruise. Their post-cruise tour-transfers are the better value, because the time allowed is not constrained by a cruise checking-in time. https://www.internationalfriends.co.uk/shore-excursions-and-cruise-transfers.html JB 🙂
  13. First of all, congratulations for the location of your hotel, one of the most convenient hotels, in easy walking distance of many of London's most-iconic sights and theatre-land. LHR to GSY hotel is simplest & easiest by pre-booked private transfer. I guess about £55. I'm a country boy so can't suggest any service in particular other than https://www.blackberrycars.com/ who I've frequently seen recommended on Cruise Critic. The are myriad others, some well-established, others fly-by-night. Many folk review taxi services only when they've has a bad experience, so be a be circumspect - go by those with fewer bad reviews. Check quotes carefully for cancellation terms & add-ons including LHR parking charges & waiting time. Cheapest is by the Tube (London's underground), well under £10. Take the Piccadilly line (dark blue on the tube map) from any LHR terminal - this is pretty-well the start of its route so you'll have room to sit with your bags around you, but it will get more crowded as you approach central London. Get off at Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square (a Londoner can tell you which is easiest to negotiate with luggage, both are a 10 minute walk to your hotel - or they might even suggest Covent Garden, a little further but perhaps an easier station) Hotel to Southampton (spelling !) will be somewhere around £225 - £250 by private transfer. Best bet would be a taxi or level 15-20 minute walk to London Waterloo station. 2 - 3 direct trains per hour, about 90 minutes. No mountain-climbing to get on the train like in the US, entrance is level or one easy step up, but there's no assistance with luggage. Again, you're boarding at the terminus so should have no problen sitting with your luggage around you. Walk-up fare is over £50, but Advance tickets (available from about 12 weeks out) can cost as little as £14. The restriction on those fares are that they're only valid on the train time that you book. If your date is more than 12 weeks out do a dummy booking for earlier dates to see those Advance fares and terms. Return to your hotel and hotel to LHR would be the reverse of the above, but no waiting time at LHR. https://content.tfl.gov.uk/standard-tube-map.pdf (don't bother to print-off the tube map, they're everywhere in London and on tourist maps) https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ It's London Waterloo - Merseyside is hundreds of miles away. ................And it won't recognise Southampton if you type in an extra h. The Southampton station is Southampton central unless your ship has wings. JB 🙂
  14. Different advice for different folk, G. Your more-frequent long-distance train journeys are very unlikely to be replicated by international travellers like @simigirl, for whom too much detail is more a hindrance than a help. And for the very few who do contemplate exploring the UK by train, far more worthy of mention are Railcards such as those for 16 to 30 yr-olds, seniors, disabled folk, and "two-together" Railcards. (most Railcards give approx 30% off most rail journeys but cost £30, so not worthwhile for a few comparatively short journeys) I've very occasionally suggested, mainly to folk travelling from an airport, that they consider buying Advance tickets for two train times - one that they want but are likely to miss if there's even a short aircraft or airport delay and one that's more comfortably-timed - two Advance tickets still cost significantly less than one walk-up ticket. OK, so they can buy just one Advance ticket and get it amended at the station - if they stand in line at the ticket office, go thro the hoops, hope that the hoops aren't insurmountable, hope that Advance tickets are still available, pay the £10 amendment fee & hope that the train doesn't leave before they've dealt with that bureaucracy - all in order to save a net £3 - £5 pp on a Waterloo to Southampton or Victoria to Dover train journey. 🙄 Being a simpleton country-boy, I can readily understand how complicated UK rail ticketing can be to a foreign visitor. So I try to do my damnest to keep it tolerably simple by mentioning only the most common & important factors. In the main nationalisation of businesses isn't my political philosophy, but screw-ups like the privatisation of the railways, the water companies and the Post Office, all of which are essential services and none of which have significant competition, have all been a privatisation too far. "That was a Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the Bleedin' Obvious Party. We now return to our scheduled programmes"😏 JB 🙂
  15. Hi, G. Thanks for that. The detail for the route operator, Southern Trains, is a little different but more-importantly that detail is buried deep in the Terms & Conditions of both train operators. The only part which shows on the timetable page is "Advance fares are valid only on the date and train shown on the ticket. Advance tickets are non-refundable but may be amended prior to the date and time of travel" Digging deeper, International visitors are hardly likely to set up a Southern Trains account just to buy tickets for one journey, thus "If you purchased a paper Advance ticket online and you don’t have a Southern account, or if it's the date of travel, you’ll need to visit a ticket office to ask for the changes to be made". and "We’re unable to amend Advance eTickets at a ticket office if you have purchased your ticket online, but not with an account, as the existing Advance ticket QR code cannot be voided. However you can link your ticket purchase to a Southern account using the link at the bottom of your order confirmation email. There's a great deal more detail about the can's & cannot's on various parts of the website - including one place which says amendments must be made before the date of travel and another place which says you can amend up to ten minutes before travel 🙄. In the unlikely event that they will need to amend their travel, are one-journey international visitors likely to succeed in rescuing £12 even if they know about it? All of this further confuses the issue (and going thro terms & conditions do my head in), so I posted just the basic easily-understood terms. Further detail is more likely to persuade visitors to choose an alternative to the train than to try to take it all in. Hi Edinburgher, Nat Express coaches seem to be far less frequent than pre-pandemic - just one coach at 9am would suit cruisers, the next one arrives early evening. But altho journey-time is over an hour longer, the fare at £7.40 is tempting and none of the nonsensical complications of buying train tickets. But even their website isn't 100% customer-friendly - it offers journeys from Victoria coach station or Victoria train station Starting from scratch, it sometimes offers only Victoria rail station & you have to continue with "....coach" before that option appears. Yet if you select Victoria rail station and click on "find my journey" you get the message " Sorry, we couldn't find any journeys to match your search" So why is Victoria rail station even mentioned? That, and the dead-end created by simple single-letter typo like "Southhampton", have been that way for years ................................................... I despair of the complications of ticketing, and the technology nerds' clueless attempts to explain them on websites.🙄 (and I'll take this opportunity to slate Microsoft for screwing-up "new" Outlook with stax of extra features which frustrate me when trying to do the simplest thing with e-mails 🥵) Their nerds have brought in extra features like "my day", "sweep", or "snooze" which give me brain-fade having to hunt for basic features like "blind copy". Why do they do it ? Because people want the extra features ? No, they do it "because they can".🥵 Rant over. JB 🙂
  16. Hourly direct trains from Victoria station to Dover (Dover Priory station) take two hours The regular fare is £50+, but cheap Advance tickets are available from about 12 weeks out & can cost as little as £12.60 - the price can rise significantly close to the day. If your date is more than 12 weeks out, to see the Advance fares do a dummy booking for a date about 2 months from now. The only disadvantage of cheap Advance tickets is that they're not amendable or cancellable and you can only travel at the train time that you book - miss it & you have to pay full fare for the next one (altho I'm told that if you present your Advance ticket they will knock the Advance fare off the full fare). Suitable trains will be the 9.10am or 10.10am or 11.10am, or probably the 12.10pm https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ A taxi from the rank at Dover Priory station to the cruise terminal will cost about £10 Off the top of my head, a pre-booked private transfer from your hotel will cost north of £140. JB 🙂
  17. Unless things have changed, yes they go clockwise. But in the morning there are also some trips which go direct to the Vasa Museum - not a full anti-clockwise route, just to get folk direct to the Vasa, thereby avoiding the lines which build later. That may be the boat mentioned by @waiting2retire JB 🙂
  18. Yep, I got it wrong. 5 minutes for Usain Bolt, 15 mins for the rest of us.🙄 JB 🙂
  19. Busybus is frequently recommended by CC members - their Holyhead tours are for cruise passengers and they can modify to suit any late changes to ships' itineraries, including full refund if the ship fails to port. https://www.busybus.co.uk/sightseeing-day-tour-to-north-wales-from-holyhead-cruise-terminal/ Conwy train station is one of the smallest in the UK, I think it's still one of only a handful of "request" stops - on boarding you have to notify the guard or driver that you wish to get off there or it will thunder on through. And for the return from Conwy you have to hold out your hand as the train arrives, just like for a bus. But if you check trains from Holyhead to Llandudno Junction, instead of Conwy you'll find there are just a few more trains. Llandudno Junction is the next station and is less than a mile further on. So it's a short taxi hop or an easy & pleasant 20-minute walk along the causeway & over the bridge to Conwy Castle. Or change trains at Llandudno Junction for a 10-minute ride to the Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno. Mebbe visit the Great Orme (Norse word for Sea Serpent), a rocky outcrop sticking out from the north Wales coast - on the marine drive around it by vintage bus (from Llandudno pier) or ascend it on the vintage tram (five minute walk from Llandudno train station) https://greatormetramway.co.uk/en/great-orme JB 🙂
  20. Hi, and welcome to Cruise Critic, Split, Dubrovnik and Kotor are easy to DIY. Split. A 10 - 15 minute walk from the ship's berth along the waterfront takes you to the old city, the major site here is the Diocletian's Palace - it's worth reading-up before you travel. Alternatively there are tours available on-spec alongside the ship, or take a tour or local bus to Trogir. Dubrovnik. Your ship berths a couple of miles from the walled city - there are taxis and local buses. Easiest but poor value (though it's only a few $) is ship's shuttle buses to the Pila Gate (listed in some places as Pile Gate) then walk thro the gate into the old city. Unlike many other walled cities, Dubrovnik's wall is complete - climb the steps near Pila Gate & walk the entire wall back to where you started, or if that's too much you can go back down about halfway round. Complex & interesting, and great views. There's a fee, I don't recall the amount but not expensive, payable by card, or by cash in euros (Croatia's currency changed to the euro a couple of years back). There are a couple of watering holes partway round. Go up the wall early, there's little shade and it can be very hot later in the day. The city gets very crowded with visitors, probably the best place for a reasonably quiet break is one of the cafes / bars / restaurants by the waterfront. A short but steep up-hill walk from the walled city (shortest is via the Buza Gate) is the lower cable-car station to take you to the top of Mount Srd - wonderful panoramic views of the city & coast, and a great place to chill-out behind a tall cold beer. On one visit we negotiated a taxi from the port up the narrow winding road to the top station, then the cablecar back down. Kotor. A long & wonderful sail-in - if you're as lazy as us, the sail out is just as wonderful. 😏 The pier has only room for one ship, some ships moor off-shore and you are tendered to the same pier. The pier is just across the road from the lovely little old city - little lanes and historic buildings, very interesting, very compact, easy walking, plenty of shade, plenty of watering holes. Excursions by boat & hop-on buses are offered at the pier or in the underpass under the road outside the port gate. Venice is accessible from either Ravenna or Trieste. I'll hazard a guess that you'll spend time there before boarding in Ravenna. Trieste is an attractive city & only a few yards from the cruise berths. Much more modern than places like Kotor and Dubrovnik, I'll guess it's 19th Century, and great architecture for that period. Salerno. We've visited the area but not Salerno, I'll leave others to fill in the details, but consider - the Amalfi coast. By ferry from Salerno to Amalfi or Positano, then local bus back to Salerno. If you go as far as Positano it's a long up-hill walk to the bus route on the coast road, so consider a ferry back to Amalfi, where the coast road comes down to the harbour. If time permits. a local bus from Amalfi up to Ravello for by far the best panoramic views of the coast. Bus tours don't go into Positano, they're not permitted. "Positano" on a bus tour means just a photostop on the high coast road 😟. That's one reason why its best visited by ferry - or from Salerno to Pompeii (I think it can be done by train). Zadar might be difficult. Krka Nat Park is about an hour away, might be offered as a ship's excursion. We were disappointed with Krka - it involves a pleasant little boat trip from Skradin to the attractive waterfall which features on every promotional photo - but that's about it. A second boat trip on the lake above the waterfall isn't possible on a port-of-call visit to Zadar. The coast road by rented car is attractive, we've driven the whole length of Croatia on it, but it's perhaps not suitable for a one-day DIY visit. You'll get more information on the Ports of Call forums. From the main menu click on Forums. Select Ports of Call Europe, then "other Mediterranean ports" On that forum, in the search box that's set into the blue banner at the top, type a port (eg Dubrovnik), leave "this forum" as it is, and click on the little spyglass at the end of the search box. Give the magic a few seconds to work and it will bring up all the posts which mention the place. If you do that you get https://boards.cruisecritic.com/search/?q=Dubrovnik &quick=1&type=forums_topic&nodes=149 Do the same with other ports, and in the Italy ports forum for Ravenna and Trieste. If there's anything else you need to know about the ports, post on one of those forums. All the ports are in Euroland - get just a few euros for the occasional time that you need to use cash, but credit cards (Visa & Mastercard) are very widely used, even for small purchases. Amex and D/C aren't widely accepted. Take at least two cards in case for whatever reason one doesn't work. For a purchase, before you sign or PIN or just swipe, check that the amount is in EUROS. Some will alter the charge to the currency of your card "for your convenience"🙄. Insist that they change it back to euros - this allows you to confirm that what you're being charged is the same as the price sticker / menu and you will get far far far far far far better value by allowing your card issuer to convert rather than the poor conversion rates used by local businesses. If your home currency isn't USD, same applies to your on-board account - cruise lines are just as guilty about poor exchange rates. Great itinerary, Celebrity is a great cruise line. Enjoy JB 🙂
  21. Getting to the airport used to be problematic - a mix of tram then walk then train. But there is now a direct train from Sirkeci station, a couple of miles from Galataport and a ten-minute walk from the waterfront & local ferries at Eminonu, or five-minute walk to the tram stop (Sultanahmet is just 2 stops away). There's a left-luggage facility at the station. So a taxi from Galataport to Sirkeci station, drop your bags, do your thing, return to the station for a train to the airport (or a pre-booked car service if you prefer). The train service is since my last visit - research it, don't take my word for it) JB 🙂
  22. The train service is intermittent and unreliable, best to ignore it. There's a bus transfer service called Katacolon Express. You can pre-book or they accept walk-ins if seats are available. I think the bus (buses?) don't leave until full - not a big deal if you don't mind hanging around for a while because they allow a min. of 2 hours at Olympia so with a drive time of about 40 mins in each direction it will very comfortably fit in with the ship's time in port. It's described as "escorted", but that's merely commentary en-route, you buy your admission tickets on arrival & aren't accompanied into the site. Price is €30 p.p., that's a great deal higher than it used to be, but that's the way of things over the past few years. https://www.katakolon-express.com/katakolon/olympiaescortedtour.htm (they have other transfer options - click on Katacolon in the header bar.) We pre-booked a rented car from Dias car rental https://www.rentacarkatakolo.gr/en/ Their office is just a few yards from the port gate, cars are parked nearby. They accept walk-ins subject to availability. I needed only my national driving licence Good clean little modern car, for four of us it was as cheap as the Katacolon Express - probably a lot cheaper now. Includes insurance, I don't know how high the insurance excess because we have an annual internet excess policy. Return the car with the same level of fuel, there's a filling station on the way into Katacolon, probably won't need more than about 5 litres. The route is very very simple, easy parking at Olympia. There are also a couple of other rental agencies in Katacolon, including Avis My info. is about 5 years old, things may have changed. JB 🙂
  23. Y'know, something vaguely like that occurred to me while I was typing. Buy a WAT to SOU advance ticket at about £14. At Victoria buy a ticket to Clapham Junction (about £4), then at Clapham Junct board that booked train. £20 instead of £54 🙂 It'd probably be fine at stations where any valid ticket gets you thro the barrier to "the platforms". But at Waterloo, for instance, the barriers are at each pair of platforms - so you need a valid ticket for a train leaving from those platforms. I don't know the barrier layout at Clapham Junction. Errr, no, Eagle, I wouldn't suggest that to @Ramblin Wreck Cruiser - I wouldn't want them to be deported 😏 And to avoid a charge of assisting an offender, this post will self-destruct in 3 days 👹 JB 🙂
  24. Sorry, my feathered friend, but I'm too busy to answer at the moment. I'll check & get back to you in 4 days' time 😏🤣 JB 🙂
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