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Everything posted by Globaliser

  1. Assuming (see your other post) that your cruise is arriving at Southampton, the train is not a particularly practicable option between Southampton and Heathrow.
  2. The train is not a particularly practicable option between Southampton and Heathrow. That's assuming that your cruises arrive at Southampton, given that the only clues are the rather Delphic "Virtuosa" and "Preziosa". It's also important information to know when the ships are scheduled to arrive.
  3. Yes, it is, by any normal definition. Consistent advice here is that rooms in Hub hotels tend to be very small, and they don't always have windows.
  4. 10 or 11. It's as simple as that. Another quick look suggests that normally, the only trains that use these platforms are fast trains to Paddington. For stuff like this, realtimetrains.co.uk - this only gives operational information, with nothing about connections or fares. AIUI, the real-time information about trains that are currently on the move is taken directly from the signalling system, so it's very accurate. This is particularly useful when you need to see whether you qualify for delay compensation.
  5. Don't worry about it. Just keep it with you and use any available space. Improvisation is the name of the game, and everyone does it. If you wait until the morning peak is over before you get on a train, you may well find that it's not really that busy anyway.
  6. Don't worry about it. If there are no Advance tickets on the route, then you are not tied to taking any specific train from Reading to Paddington. Having a quick look at information for right now, it looks like there will be a dozen fast trains (non-stop from Reading to Paddington) in the next hour. They're all planned to depart from platforms 10 or 11 (which are either side of the same island). So after you get onto the platform there'll be an average wait of 2½ minutes before the next fast train. If the first train looks too busy, just wait for the next one, or the one after that, or the one after that, or whatever. Or sit and have a coffee and a slice of cake if you want a break. Don't even think about getting on any train unless it says that it will call at London Paddington only. There is absolutely no point getting on a slow train. You will almost certainly need to change platforms, because an equally quick look shows that the Southampton to Reading train is likely to arrive on either platform 3 or platform 8, so you'll need to cross over to platforms 10/11. As John Bull's post hints, there is always the question of why you are going to Paddington rather than to somewhere in central London (for which London Waterloo is the obvious route). But I assume that you have already thought this through.
  7. This local doesn't encourage people to use phones or watches to pay for travel on TfL services in London. One of the most aggravating thing is being stuck behind someone doing that and taking 5, 10, 15 or 30 seconds to open the gate because they're using a phone or a watch to pay. If you use an Oyster to pay as you go, you almost don't have to break your stride as you go through the gate. Contactless cards take something like 10 times as long to read, but usually they only involve a pause. Phones and watches, though, in the hands of people who don't know how to use them ... 🥵
  8. I don't think that you really have a choice if you must go from Southampton Central to London Paddington as one journey. Off the top of my head, I think it has to be CrossCountry from Southampton to Reading, then Great Western Railway from Reading to Paddington. In theory, you could take the Elizabeth Line from Reading to Paddington, but I'm not sure that you can buy a through fare from Southampton to Paddington that's valid on the Elizabeth Line. Nor would there be much reason to do this, given that the Elizabeth Line will probably be rather slower than some GWR trains that you could take.
  9. Air New Zealand makes a big thing of serving Aussie wine? I have many friends (on both sides of the Tasman) who'd be shocked!
  10. Does anyone really need an excuse to add a slice of cake to a coffee? 😉
  11. I agree. But it must be three / four months or more since I last bought anything with cash here. So a visitor could easily get away with not having any if they're only here for a couple of days. Places that don't take cards are very rare now, but places that don't take cash are pretty common. I was at a service at St Paul's Cathedral this morning. The collection basket came along my row at the appropriate point, but it only managed to accumulate about five pounds' worth of assorted shrapnel. However, there was a decent stream of people using the contactless reader to give as they left.
  12. If you've signed up for emails, you'll probably be able to tell us before we find out by any other means. I don't think there are any wiser words than these:
  13. Meeting the driver at about 9.30 pm should be fine. If you're using one of the usual suspects, they will be checking for the flight's actual arrival time, anyway, which is as much of a variable as the time it takes to clear immigration, collect bags and clear customs.
  14. I've sometimes had the first flight of the day cancelled, and sometimes the last flight of the day cancelled. Sometimes that's been the same flight, when the airline only has one flight a day between those two cities. (Or sometimes that flight is the only flight of the day between those two cities. Or those two countries.) Whatever your plan, you really should make sure that it allows for contingencies. Booking the earlier of two flights doesn't give you that much protection against a cancellation. If the first flight is cancelled and the second flight is already full, then the second flight is as much use to you as a chocolate teapot.
  15. When you're in a market in which most fares are priced on a one-way basis, even if you're going there and back, there aren't that many candidates any more for "good reasons to buy a round-trip ticket" - especially if you have a significant stay at the destination between the two halves of the air travel. See for example this very recent thread: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/3016882-one-way-vs-rt-msp-yvr-on-delta.
  16. This all depends on which fares you're being quoted. Different fares have different rules from each other, even in the same direction on the same flight. If you're prepared to post the dates and flights that you're looking at, and the prices that you're being quoted, some of us have access to information that may allow the full fare rules to be retrieved, and then see whether there are any differences in the rules and whether they're significant. But I would expect the most significant to be shown to you during the booking process anyway (refundable / non-refundable; change fee / no change fee; included baggage / no included baggage; etc). And how much effort are you prepared to put in to saving $45, how important is that $45, and how important is knowing exactly what the differences are? After all, if you're booking the cheapest fares, you already know they're going to have pretty restrictive conditions whatever their detail.
  17. Yes, that's what I would do. That entrance is primarily for the Elizabeth Line, so it'll be really easy once you get inside the gate line.
  18. In theory, the fare rules could be different if you buy two one-way tickets, and this could be to your disadvantage. But that's very dependent on what you're being offered each way around (and I couldn't immediately reproduce what you describe using random dates). Also, if you have to change or cancel the trip, you could be liable for two lots of change or cancellation fees (although your fares may not be refundable at all). In addition, if the airline makes a change in one direction that entitles and causes you to cancel (perhaps to book with some other airline instead), you wouldn't automatically be entitled to cancel the one-way ticket in the other direction . But with the duration of a cruise between the two flights, that seems unlikely to pose a real problem. But the bottom line is that you could for perfectly legitimate reasons have bought two one-way tickets on different airlines to begin with, and doing the same thing but with the same airline in this situation really isn't very different.
  19. If you do this, my suggestion would be to get the cab to take you to the western entrance to the Elizabeth Line station. This is actually situated here on Moorfields. You need to get the cab to drop you off at this point, which is the closest that a vehicle can get to the Elizabeth Line entrance. That drop-off point is outside the entrance to the Northern Line, but don't go in through that entrance. The Elizabeth Line entrance is on the other side of the street and a few yards further, and it's very easy to see. This is what it looks like. It's all step-free; the construction work around it has all gone and the building (Deutsche Bank's new London headquarters) is now finished. (If you pull the image around to the left, you'll also see the signs for the Northern Line entrance.) Using this entrance should be easier than the more convoluted route at Liverpool Street Station itself. The Elizabeth Line platforms are basically situated between Liverpool Street Station itself and Moorgate Tube.
  20. Or at London Bridge, where they're starting from, paying the same through fare to include the London Bridge to Waterloo East bit of their journey. Which was a great piece of advice up-thread.
  21. Unfortunately, that's where the problem occurs: SWR won't accept US addresses.
  22. If for some reason there are no trains from London Bridge to Waterloo East (which may happen if there's weekend engineering work between London Bridge and Charing Cross), then taking the Tube is not nearly as bad as gumshoe958's reply makes it sound. When you enter London Bridge Tube, follow the signs towards the Jubilee Line, which will take you down escalators that go straight down to those platforms. You need a westbound train, obviously. When you alight at Waterloo Tube (two stops from London Bridge), follow the signs for National Rail, which will take you up escalators to street level. You don't need to leave the building. Ahead and to your right, there's one more (well signed) escalator up to the mainline concourse. A good proportion of people exiting the Jubilee Line will be heading in that direction anyway. Do not alight from the Tube at Southwark (one stop from London Bridge), even though there will be signs referring to "Waterloo East" there. If no trains are running to Waterloo East, then you will be in a world of navigational pain if you exit the Tube system at Southwark.
  23. I agree with the latter, but not the former. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge about the way that air fares work will recognise that UK rail fares are an exercise in simplicity in comparison.
  24. Not that steep. I've tried to dissuade CCers who would have to do it with full-size luggage. That wouldn't be a good idea. But if you're just visiting for the day and you only have minimal stuff with you, it's not really a steep hill. Buses go up it. You can get an idea by starting here on Google Maps and "walking" ahead, and then following the road around to the right and up the hill. You would normally be fine. It can happen that a Saturday train is really busy for some reason. For example, I think that the line to W&E Riverside goes through Twickenham. So if there's a match or other event at Twickenham Stadium that day, then the trains will be packed at least until Twickenham station and there's a very good chance that you'll have to stand until that point. But you can't reserve seats on these trains anyway, so it makes no difference whether or not you buy tickets in advance.
  25. It looks like LNER. It's interesting that it doesn't price GroupSave. But Avanti West Coast and GWR websites will both give you GroupSave. FWIW, GroupSave requires that 3 or more adults travel together, so the £42.10 lowest price is fared for 3 adults and 1 child. There's no problem with a child travelling on a more expensive adult ticket.
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