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We arrive at Heathrow at 12 noon. Must board NCL Prima by 3pm. Departs at 5 pm. Is 3 hours long enough to clear customs and Uber to Southampton pier? It's a Sunday and typically quicker at airport and on the motor way. I am still a lot worried. I have check Google maps for estimates. However, I am looking for real life experiences. 

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6 hours ago, Joyriderbc said:

We arrive at Heathrow at 12 noon. Must board NCL Prima by 3pm. Departs at 5 pm. Is 3 hours long enough to clear customs and Uber to Southampton pier? It's a Sunday and typically quicker at airport and on the motor way. I am still a lot worried. I have check Google maps for estimates. However, I am looking for real life experiences. 

You are really taking a chance- we were held up a few years ago by TSA who searched every bit of my bags only to chastise me for coverup I had just purchased in duty free shop I forgot to take out of the zippered top of my suitcase!!!!  The port is I believe a 45 min drive on a good day-  maybe others have more hope?  Most ships leave on Sundays - while local business traffic is lesser the airport traffic to/from port will be quite active.  Best of luck!!!

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On 6/4/2024 at 4:00 AM, Joyriderbc said:

Is 3 hours long enough to clear customs and Uber to Southampton pier?

 

Short answer: no, unless you like living dangerously and you don't mind missing the ship if something goes wrong.

 

There's no guarantee that the airport will be any quieter on a Sunday; there's no guarantee that the roads will be any quieter by Sunday lunchtime; and if Uber is your plan, there's no guarantee that any driver will accept a 60-mile journey to Southampton with a real likelihood that they'll have to drive back to London empty, so you don't know how long you may have to wait before you get a car.

 

Have you arranged the air travel yourself? How hard a deadline is 3 pm?

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I don't think Heathrow is any less busy on a Sunday. 

If everything works like clockwork, you should make it, but you have zero contingency for any hiccups.  I would want to have a pre booked private hire car waiting.  As mentioned above, there is no guarantee that any Uber driver would want to accept this trip.  Furthermore, if you use Uber, you have to make your own way to the designated car park (where Uber drivers have to wait), whereas a Private Hire driver will meet you at the arrivals door.

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On 6/4/2024 at 4:00 AM, Joyriderbc said:

It's a Sunday and typically quicker at airport and on the motor way.

 

 

 

According to uour profile you will board on June 23rd?

 

If that is correct, roads could be much busier than usual for a Sunday as that is one of the dates that Taylor Swift will play a sell out concert  at Wembley, London,  which  I think will make the chances of getting an Uber to Southampton even slimmer as tens of thousands of fans will be making their way to the venue from all around the London area..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by edinburgher
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On 6/4/2024 at 2:28 AM, lindajoyce23 said:

You are really taking a chance- we were held up a few years ago by TSA who searched every bit of my bags only to chastise me for coverup I had just purchased in duty free shop I forgot to take out of the zippered top of my suitcase!!!!  The port is I believe a 45 min drive on a good day-  maybe others have more hope?  Most ships leave on Sundays - while local business traffic is lesser the airport traffic to/from port will be quite active.  Best of luck!!!

You weren't held up by TSA for a Customs issue.  

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The drive from Heathrow to Southampton takes 1 hour 20 minutes minimum. That’s with no traffic in the middle of the night. 
 

If you have checked luggage it will take at least 40 minutes from aircraft to landside, more if your luggage isn’t off quickly.

 

So yes, it’s possible you’d make it but you’d need all the stars to align. Any delay to your flight, at immigration, at baggage reclaim or on the motorway and it’s game over.

 

Do you really want to spend the whole journey stressing about whether you’ll make it? I would strongly urge you to get an earlier flight, preferably the day before. This is far too close for comfort.

 

Edited by gumshoe958
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3 hours ago, Joyriderbc said:

The Taylor Swift traffic jam scared me. 

 

You've done the right thing.

 

But funnily enough the Taylor Swift concert would have been the thing that was least likely to cause you any difficulty. It would have been a near-negligible risk. Sell-out events at Wembley Stadium aren't exactly rare, nor do they cause traffic chaos in areas far removed from Wembley.

 

It's all the other reasons that justify your change of date, and you should now be fine.

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5 hours ago, Joyriderbc said:

The Taylor Swift traffic jam scared me. 

I didn't suggest that there would be a traffic jam, only mentioned that roads could be busier than usual, but whatever it has cost you to change flights is IMHO worth it for peace of mind alone. 

And you have learned from this, that flying in the day before is always less of a risk than flying in only 3 hours before check-in closes.

 

 

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1 hour ago, edinburgher said:

flying in the day before is always less of a risk

I would always do this, even departing from another European port let alone an intercontinental flight. For our recent cruise, departing Miami, we gave it three nights from leaving home. As everything went well, it did give us a nice relaxed day in Miami prior to boarding day. 

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3 hours ago, Harters said:

I would always do this, even departing from another European port let alone an intercontinental flight.

I think most people would do exactly that,  and I suspect that the OP would be very much in the minority  in choosing to fly in with such a short time available to arrive at the ship.

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6 minutes ago, Harters said:

My partner plays on an Oceania Facebook group and there was recently a post from someone whose flight was delayed. They got to the ship about 30 minutes or so after boarding closed and were denied boarding 

Which cruise line? Did they attempt to contact the ship to say that their flight was delayed and they were on the way and would be there maybe a half hour or so late? Did they buy their airfare through the cruise line?

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23 minutes ago, Harters said:

They got to the ship about 30 minutes or so after boarding closed and were denied boarding

I am sure that others on CC will have more knowledge about the actual rules for embarkation,  but I THINK  it is something to do with the complete manifest having to be given to the authorities and approved by them before the ship can sail, hence the 2 hour pre-sail cutoff time which I believe is common to most cruiselines.  Being on the manifest at the point of departure is I THINK  mandatory,  but if a pax or several miss a ship  on a port call part way through the itinerary, it is less important as there is more leeway about re- joining at the next port.

 

Perhaps someone who actually KNOWS could kindly comment and clarify the situation as my own memory of what I must have read or heard sometime in the past may be totally wrong, plus "enquiring minds, would like to know"😀

Edited by edinburgher
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16 hours ago, ontheweb said:

Did they attempt to contact the ship to say that their flight was delayed and they were on the way and would be there maybe a half hour or so late? 

 

15 hours ago, Globaliser said:

I love your optimism!

 

I have been on a cruise where someone running late was successful doing that - they were half an hour late back from Rome to Civitavecchia and the next stop for the ship was Valetta in Malta for disembarkation.

 

However it was a port call during a cruise, the ship had two days to sail between Civitavecchia and Valetta, and the flights home from Malta were arranged by the cruise company, and undoubtably there would have been some interesting discussions about the passenger's luggage on the ship if the late passengers had just decided to fly back home from Rome rather than try to get to Malta.

 

Plus the passengers had been able to give the ship specific details when they called about when they would arrive as they had missed the train from Rome and were in a taxi so could give an accurate ETA from the cars navigation system, and so the captain knew it was a certain 30 minutes late and not a vague claim.

 

But phoning the cruise ship telling them you are going to be late on embarkation at the start of a cruise - zero chance the ship will specifically wait.

 

If the ship is delayed for some other reason (weather, cleaning, port traffic, etc.) then they might let you embark late, but even then that is a might rather than it being a certainty, since if the passenger manifest has already been done and submitted there is no likelihood that someone is going to spend the time, effort, and cost amending that.

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6 hours ago, 9265359 said:

since if the passenger manifest has already been done and submitted

It appears that you, like me, think it is an issue with the manifest. I asked in my post #18 if anyone could clarify,  but although so far nobady has, it appears that you are of the same opinion as me so perhaps that is indeed the answer so thank you for mentioning it in your post.

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