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rocklinmom

Princess transfer LHR to Southampton port

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I booked the Princess transfer from LHR to Southampton port on the day of our cruise in June.  We will be flying in the day before and staying at the Sofitel at Terminal 5.  On our travel summary it says the meeting point at LHR is at Terminal 3.  No other terminals are listed.  Wouldn't Princess have transfers at all of the Heathrow terminals?  I don't want to have to schlep from T5 to T3 to be picked up for our transfer. Can someone please advise? Thanks! 

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27 minutes ago, rocklinmom said:

I booked the Princess transfer from LHR to Southampton port on the day of our cruise in June.  We will be flying in the day before and staying at the Sofitel at Terminal 5.  On our travel summary it says the meeting point at LHR is at Terminal 3.  No other terminals are listed.  Wouldn't Princess have transfers at all of the Heathrow terminals?  I don't want to have to schlep from T5 to T3 to be picked up for our transfer. Can someone please advise? Thanks! 

 

There's a central transportation hub at Terminals 2-3, with bus stops, Underground station, possibly a Heathrow Express stop as well, not sure. I suspect that is their departure spot. I believe you can hop on a city bus or shuttle to get there from Terminal 5, but yes it does involve a certain amount of schlepping.

 

Of course, you have other options, even if you want to take a Princess transfer. You'd have to check this, but I know in years past Princess also offered a transfer from Victoria station. So you could stay somewhere in town rather than out at the airport, and taxi to Victoria the next day. I have long contended that the most convenient LHR hotel is actually the Hilton Paddington, as its location adjacent to the station where the Heathrow Express arrives at makes it as convenient to get to than any of the hotels actually at LHR (and actually easier than some).

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Have you called Princess

You could also take the Nationalexpress bus  near T 5 to Southamton  then a short taxi  ride to the port  for  a lot less

 

 

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Sounds to me like mis-information from Princess.:classic_rolleyes:

Probably the staff member confused about the location of Sofitel - it's attached to T5 (dedicated to British Airways) and a couple of miles from T3.

Or it might be a simple typo.

 

Until about 5 years ago I frequently drove LHR / Southampton coach (bus) transfers for cruise-lines, including Princess.

Staff from the cruise line, or more-frequently their UK agents, meet passengers in the arrivals hall of each airport terminal, take them to the bus lane at the front of the terminal & hand them over to the driver.

From about 8.30am one or more buses trawl every airport terminal (the "Grand Tour of Heathrow":classic_rolleyes:), picking up passengers. When it's full it's released for the journey, and another bus is called forward from the coach park.  Usually about 8 - 10 coaches in total, the last pick-up around 1.30pm.

 

The National Express (think "Greyhound") bus fare is about £16 - and their pick-up points include T5. 

One of the joys of over-priced ships' transfers is that you are the cruise line's responsibility as soon as you meet in the airport arrivals hall, and I can't imagine Princess doing-away with that advantage!! 

 

I suggest you e-mail Princess, point out the geography and ask that they arrange to collect you at T5. 

They should not commit you to any particular pick-up time, but it might be worth asking for an approximation of the earliest & latest pick-up time

 

JB :classic_smile: 

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another option would be book a private car service   they will pick you at the hotel & take you to the port  maybe less than Princess  but  at least more convenient

no waiting for the bus to fill 😉

What does Princess charge  for their transfers??

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They charge $59pp.  I've gotten quotes from some car services (Blackberry, International Friends, Smiths) and they are similar.  I prefer to prepay and some don't offer that.  I also read a few conflicting reviews on TripAdvisor about drivers not showing up.  So I'm inclined to do the Princess transfer but assumed they pick up at all Heathrow terminals.  I guess I can call and ask as it gets closer.  I find the reps don't know much this far out. 

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13 hours ago, rocklinmom said:

They charge $59pp.  I've gotten quotes from some car services (Blackberry, International Friends, Smiths) and they are similar.  I prefer to prepay and some don't offer that.  I also read a few conflicting reviews on TripAdvisor about drivers not showing up.  So I'm inclined to do the Princess transfer but assumed they pick up at all Heathrow terminals.  I guess I can call and ask as it gets closer.  I find the reps don't know much this far out. 

 

 

For a twosome that's about the same cost as a private transfer with Smiths - other cruise lines charge more, I recall RCI wanting $101 a number of years ago.:classic_ohmy: 

 

Poor reviews for Smiths are a rarity, they get 5 Trip/A stars from 92% of reviews, and are highly-rated on other sites as well.

And the reason that you started this thread shows that Princess are capable of screwing-up from time to time.

 

Me?

I'd go for a private transfer with Smiths.

Or save a chunk by booking with  https://www.nationalexpress.com/en at £21.50 pp for a suitably-timed bus, plus a max £10 taxi hop from Southampton coach station to ship. Very easy, especially since you don't fly in that day so don't have to cope with the vagaries of late flight arrival or time to pass through airport formalities.

 

BTW, travelling down from an airport hotel on cruise morning makes sense with an evening flight arrival, but if your flight is earlier in the day have you considered travelling down same-day & lodging in Southampton? So much more civilised and interesting (and probably better value) than a hotel - and hotel prices for food & drink - in characterless airport-land.

Just a thought

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

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Thanks John!  Yes the no-show reviews were not for Smiths.  And our flight gets in pretty late in the day so just want to crash at the hotel and drive down to STH the next morning.  I'm pretty sure based on previous reviews that there will be a Princess transfer rep at T5 on cruise day, so I plan on finding them and arranging to be picked up there vs. T3.  There would have to be reps at all terminals on cruise day for people flying in the day of. 

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1 hour ago, rocklinmom said:

  There would have to be reps at all terminals on cruise day for people flying in the day of. 

 

 

If there weren't, it would be a massive policy change and I'm sure this forum would've been buzzing :classic_angry::classic_angry::classic_angry: :classic_biggrin:

 

In fact, other than bringing them up to speed on the location of Sofitel,  I see no reason to bother contacting Princess - just wander across to the arrivals hall in T5 sometime between say 9am & 11.30 and look for the rep at the point of entry from baggage/customs.

That rep can phone the T3 rep, so that you're crossed off the list.

 

From T5 you probably won't be given the "Heathrow Grand Tour".

Mebbe on to T4 before heading to Southampton.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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JMO

but  for the same price or close  to the Princess transfer I would get a private service

no waiting for the bus  to fill   draging luggage to the terminal looking for the rep

you can get picked up at the hotel & be at the port in comfort  before the buses arrive

YMMV

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Can anyone tell me who has used Smith's (in particular because of their good rating) what is the charge from central London to Southampton? 

Also, does anyone know if Smith's has a bit of a discounted price if you use them "round trip" from central London to Southampton and then again at the end of the cruise from Southampton to Heathrow?

TIA!

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12 minutes ago, Worldtraveler 4727 said:

Can anyone tell me who has used Smith's (in particular because of their good rating) what is the charge from central London to Southampton? 

Also, does anyone know if Smith's has a bit of a discounted price if you use them "round trip" from central London to Southampton and then again at the end of the cruise from Southampton to Heathrow?

TIA!

You can get a quote on their website

we will be using them in April  from Southampton to LHR 

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1 minute ago, LHT28 said:

You can get a quote on their website

we will be using them in April  from Southampton to LHR 

 

Yes, I understand that, but it's too far out to fill out that long form. I do not yet know the flight number etc. Looking for a general idea....

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2 hours ago, Worldtraveler 4727 said:

Can anyone tell me who has used Smith's (in particular because of their good rating) what is the charge from central London to Southampton? 

Also, does anyone know if Smith's has a bit of a discounted price if you use them "round trip" from central London to Southampton and then again at the end of the cruise from Southampton to Heathrow?

 

Last year, they wouldn't quote a price until it was within six months of the service.  If you are in that that time frame, simply send them an email and ask for a quote (and ask your other question at the same time).  That's how I've always done it; very simple.   They are prompt in responding.  (Even if it's outside the six months, ask them anyway and see what they say.)

 

BTW, last fall, they were charging £120.00 plus an £11.50 congestion fee for a transfer from central London to Southampton for two people total.  Those prices certainly could be different now (and may vary based on your hotel location), but should give you a ballpark.

 

Please keep one thing in mind: Smiths is based in Southampton, so you may want to use a London-based car service for the transfer FROM London to Southampton (and use Smiths in the other direction).  We used Blackberry Cars last fall, and were happy with them.

Edited by Turtles06

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11 hours ago, John Bull said:

 

 

For a twosome that's about the same cost as a private transfer with Smiths...Me? I'd go for a private transfer with Smiths...

JB :classic_smile:

 

JB, Smiths in early November, LHR to Southampton, charged us £75 plus £8 parking.

Edited by Crown Vic

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We went with National Express this past September (but from Victoria Station). It was around $16 for the two of us. The pier in Southampton is walking distance if you can do it.

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5 hours ago, Turtles06 said:

 

BTW, last fall,  (Smiths) were charging £120.00 plus an £11.50 congestion fee for a transfer from central London to Southampton for two people total.  Those prices certainly could be different now (and may vary based on your hotel location), but should give you a ballpark.

 

I was gonna hazard a guess at £130 but decided to leave it for someone with recent experience.

Wasn't a bad guess, was it :classic_smile:

 

And most transfer operators  discount for two trips.

 

 

3 hours ago, Crown Vic said:

JB, Smiths in early November, LHR to Southampton, charged us £75 plus £8 parking.

 

Hi Vic,

Thanks for the update

At today's exchange rate 2 x $69 = £91

Makes Smith's a bit cheaper, tho if you add a tip it boils out about the same.

Each to their own, and the OP seems happy with a Princess transfer

 

JB :classic_smile:

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With respect to round trip pricing, when I asked Smith’s for charges last May from Gatwick to STH, there was no price break for RT .   Because time outbound was not an issue we took the train to STH where we were staying overnight.  For the return we used Smith’s as time was crucial.  The service was superb.

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22 hours ago, Turtles06 said:

 

Last year, they wouldn't quote a price until it was within six months of the service.  If you are in that that time frame, simply send them an email and ask for a quote (and ask your other question at the same time).  That's how I've always done it; very simple.   They are prompt in responding.  (Even if it's outside the six months, ask them anyway and see what they say.)

 

BTW, last fall, they were charging £120.00 plus an £11.50 congestion fee for a transfer from central London to Southampton for two people total.  Those prices certainly could be different now (and may vary based on your hotel location), but should give you a ballpark.

 

Please keep one thing in mind: Smiths is based in Southampton, so you may want to use a London-based car service for the transfer FROM London to Southampton (and use Smiths in the other direction).  We used Blackberry Cars last fall, and were happy with them.

 

Thank you. That was very helpful.

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17 hours ago, geoherb said:

We went with National Express this past September (but from Victoria Station). It was around $16 for the two of us. The pier in Southampton is walking distance if you can do it.

 

I have looked into this coach bus option. It certainly is cheaper than anything else.

I understand that the basic price only includes two medium-sized suitcases of no more than 44 lbs. Did you find them to be strict in that weight policy?

I also see where you can reserve a seat with more leg room (for more money, of course.) How far in advance did you book the bus tickets? Was it a full bus?

TIA!

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a little off topic

If using a car service like Smiths   do you still tip the driver ??

I probably would  but just wonder if this  is done in the UK  as  some things you tip for & other you do not :classic_unsure:

 

Thanks

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9 hours ago, Worldtraveler 4727 said:

 

I have looked into this coach bus option. It certainly is cheaper than anything else.

I understand that the basic price only includes two medium-sized suitcases of no more than 44 lbs. Did you find them to be strict in that weight policy?

I also see where you can reserve a seat with more leg room (for more money, of course.) How far in advance did you book the bus tickets? Was it a full bus?

 

We had our two suitcases that were around the limit. They weren't weighing them. I booked our tickets around 3 weeks before the date we went from London to Southampton. I had originally planned to take the train, but they were doing track maintenance between Romsey and Southampton. Passengers taking trains that day had to transfer to a coach for the last few miles.

 

I'm glad we did because now I know that the coach ride isn't bad. We will do it again if we sail from Southampton. We took trains the year before from Paddington to Southampton. We had to change trains in Reading. We left from Paddington that year because of an accident at Waterloo that caused delays. 

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Thank you for your reply.

I've been reading awful reviews of the bus 

https://www.reviews.co.uk/company-reviews/store/national-express

And it is really making me nervous. 74% of the 80+ reviews give them the lowest rating -- just one star. That is worrisome. I guess I'll go back to concentrating on a private car that is less than or about $120 for 4 people since the Princess transfer from Victoria Coach is $59pp.

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15 hours ago, LHT28 said:

a little off topic

If using a car service like Smiths   do you still tip the driver ??

I probably would  but just wonder if this  is done in the UK  as  some things you tip for & other you do not :classic_unsure:

 

Thanks

 

I do.    (I’m an American, and as I recall prior discussions on here of this topic, it’s not considered inappropriate.)

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Multi-quote function not working :classic_rolleyes:

 

World Traveller -

 

The luggage limitation is to avoid the coach being over its legal road limit. Nat Express will only weigh cases if they're clearly well over the limit - and that's very unlikely to be a problem on a route from central London - there'll be plenty of passengers without luggage.

2 x 44lb per person is way better than the average airline limit.

 

Pre-booking is strongly advised because coaches can be booked-out in advance.

Extra legroom seats are a new configuration, so how quickly they'll book-out is probably something that Nat Express is currently learning.

 

That review site surprised me.

It's not a site I'd heard of, just 83 reviews. And I checked a few other big companies on that web-site - Hol Inn, Avis, etc, - most of those seemed to fare as badly.

They fare much better on TrustPilot (32,000 reviews) but somewhere in-between on TripAdvisor.

Always seem to be well-regarded on Cruise Critic.

 

Of course for four passengers a private transfer is much more worthy of consideration. Do be sure the operator is aware of your luggage

 

LHT28 -

Tipping the driver isn't inappropriate, nor is it expected as of right. Pay is decent & pays for the bread and butter, tips are the jam on top if deserved.

We normally tip £5 for that sort of journey. If you can practice an English accent the driver will be very happy with the same :classic_wink:

I suggest anywhere from zilch to £10, depending on the service.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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