Heathrow -> Southampton
We arrive at Heathrow at 6:20 in the morning. We’ll be tired, of course, since that’s 1:40 am our time–and it’ll be the beginning and not the end of our day!
We are taking the 9:30 National Express coach to the Southampton Coach station, where we’ll get a cab to the cruise terminal. Arrangements made, e-ticket purchased and printed.
Another options, which we’re not doing, are a Princess transfer to the port. There’s a shuttle service that stops at Stonehenge on the way to Southampton. I found out about it on LondonToolkit (Southampton Cruise Ship Transfer by Luxury Coach They do not stop at the airport terminals; instead we’d have to get to an airport hotel and be picked up there between 9:00 and 9:45). We aren’t taking this one–given what time we get in, the slightest delay would have us missing the bus.
For those going staying in London after the cruise, I suggested looking into this tour to Salisbury, Stonehenge, and Windsor on the way to London. If a group of 6 or more wants to coordinate, they could even organize a smaller group. There are probably enough people from our group that if someone wanted to organize it, it would save everyone money and the organizer could select an itinerary of their choice.
Southampton Port Cruise Ship Schedule indicates that we depart from Ocean Terminal (also listed that way on the Princess site) and that we return to Mayflower Cruise Terminal.
The sales tax – or value added tax (VAT) – is currently applied at 20%* to most goods and services except food, books and children’s clothing. There are a number of steps to take during and after your visit, in order to reclaim the sales tax. You can find information on how to reclaim sales tax by visiting the HM Revenue & Customs website. Basically, we’re eligible, when shopping at a store that offers Tax Free Shopping. There’s a form to fill out to send it back. The forms and goods must be stamped before leaving the EU. It seems a bit complicated so only would make sense for large purchases.