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Wilba - Answered a Question by Bowker (12 Jan 09 20:11)

Hi! I don't think any airlines fly direct from the UK to CHS. Continental fly Manchester to Newark NJ & change planes for direct to CHS. The couple of hours changeover is no big deal as you have to clear US Immigration wherever you first land & probably have time for a beer & a bite before departure. Your luggage gets transfered automatically so no worries there. I fly most years to the US for a cruise & always fly from our local Birmingham BHX on Continental who fly to pretty well every US destination & much prefer a few hours changeover in New York than the awful drive to Gatwick/Heathrow from our part of the world.

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Bowker - replied to Wilba (12 Jan 09 22:49)

Many thanks for the information Wilba, the changeover is what I was trying to get away from but I will have to bite the bullet and go for it. I have done flight changeovers before at Heathrow for Manchester without problems so I suppose this should be no different......As I have not been to the Caribbean before may I ask you and anyone else for there comments on a couple cruises that I am looking at....10 nights Celebrity Mercury, Charleston SC, Key West Florida, Costa Maya Mexico, Belize City, Cozumel Mexico, Nassau Bahamas, Charleston SC.... 9 nights Celebrity Mercury. Baltimore, Charleston SC, Key West Florida, Nassau Bahamas, Cococay Bahamas, Baltimore. Regards.

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Wilba - replied to Bowker (12 Jan 09 23:38)

The changeover at Newark has never been a problem for us & would swap it anytime for Heathrow. We have always found Continental a very accommodating airline & on a number of occasions when we've arrived early they have offered us an earlier flight at no charge & that has always been for groups of 6 & 8. I will let others hopefully help with the cruise as I have not done Baltimore or Charleston. If you get nothing on those I will comment on some of the ports you have noted. As it happens I'm just in the throes of booking Continental again for December to Ft Lauderdale out of BHX via Newark EWR.

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Bowker - replied to Wilba (13 Jan 09 11:26)

Thanks for the information; I have already booked hols in the Med for 2009. The two above are for early 2010 and I shall only be booking one of them. Its time we ventured a little farther afield so any comments about the ports of visit would be appreciated. Regards .

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Bowker - replied to Wilba (13 Jan 09 11:43)

Thanks for the information; I have already booked hols in the Med for 2009. The two above are for early 2010 and I shall only be booking one of them. Its time we ventured a little farther afield so any comments about the ports of visit would be appreciated. Regards .

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Wilba - replied to Bowker (13 Jan 09 16:22)

Hi! Nassau : The ship docks parallel along side the Main St & if you turn right as you hit the street it’s all cheap booze (rum) & very little else. At the end of the street there is a small local market selling T shirt tat & the amazing thing is every stall is selling the same wares. Back to the start point, if you turn left along the Main St, this is where the locals shop, very nice shoe shops, top range down to every day wear all at very good prices. That little look around takes all of 30 or 40 minutes & we normally make for Atlantis Resort. You can’t miss that from the ship as it resembles something from 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. This can be reached by launch, or across the causeway by road, & a number of taxi’s are stretch limo’s, how cool is that for a swim on Paradise Beach. Key West: Probably 25 years since I was there & I flew in rather than cruised. Quaint, fascinating place, the central point being ‘Sloppy Joe’s’ a bar frequented by Earnest Hemmingway, the author, who’s house is close by. Then there’s the house inhabited totally by cats & on the waters edge the Landmark stone pillar marking the most southern part of the USA. That’s about all I remember of Key West & has since become the ‘Gay Capitol’ of the US. Cozumel: Only been once & never did any touring there. We walked around the extensive shopping area, all selling more us less the same T shirt stuff & then used the facilities & private beach of a hotel along the front, opposite where the ship(s) dock at a nominal charge. CocoCay was on a previous cruise schedule but got blown out with Hurricane Jeannie. Hope that has been some use……Regards Wilba.

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Bowker - replied to Wilba (13 Jan 09 21:12)

Very helpful and thanks for the info, I am a fan of RCI have sailed with them a number of times in the Med and never had any problems and yes (although I know you are not) we are also fans of NCL again no problems. I thought after reading the various posts on this web site we would try something a little more up market "Celebrity" but after reading the cruise reviews about Mercury and Century I am having serious doubts. Have you been with Celebrity?

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Wilba - replied to Bowker (13 Jan 09 22:28)

Now that's very astute of you to remember I'm not an NCL fan & I must admit there have been a clutch of criticisms about Celebrity of late. Celeb are RCI's premium 5 star brand & I have only received the very best quality of service & food. That said just about every cruise line is under fire for the perceived drop in food quality at the moment. If it's any consolation I have just booked another Celebrity cruise only 2 days ago & if the standard has dropped I will still expect it to be a grade above RCI, whom I am also a fan, whatever that standard will be at the time of my cruise....Regards Wilba.

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Wilba - replied to Wilba (14 Jan 09 09:45)

Just an addition, Mercury is still getting great reviews from the 'yank site' from people returning this very week...Wilba.

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Hughes - Answered a Question by Bowker (21 Jan 09 19:34)

As well as Continental, you could also consider US Airways (yes, them of Hudson River fame) who have a direct service from Manchester to their Philadelphia hub where you can connect to Charleston.

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