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British Isles/Western Europe Amsterdam, Brugge, Dublin, Edinburgh, London (Dover, Harwich, Southampton)

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  #1  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 11:05 AM
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Default Portland,Dorset

Wow, we just learned that for our cruise next year they have added a port stop at Portland, Dorset. I haven't done much research yet, but does anyone have any ideas what is there or nearby to see?
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Past:
Enchantment of the Seas 11/01 - E. Caribbean
Mercury 12/02 - W. Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 1/04 - S. Caribbean
Radiance of the Seas 12/04 - E. Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 10/07 - Panama Canal
Vision of the Seas - Mexican Riviera - Nov 2008 - "girls cruise"
Serenade of the Seas 6/09 - Alaska
Serenade of the Seas - 1/10 MANIACS! S. Caribbean
NCL Dawn - 11/10 - W. Caribean "girls cruise"
Serenade of the Seas - 1/11 Maniacs Again! S. Caribbean
NCL Epic - 12/11 - E. Caribbean
RCI Jewel Westbound transatlantic - 8/12
NCL Dawn - 1/20 - W. Caribbean "girls cruise" again!
Jewel of the Seas - 8/13 "girls cruise"
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  #2  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 11:58 AM
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Hmmm, we meet again, Carol

Only a few cruise ships visit Portland, but it'll be an interesting stop, in the heart of the "Jurassic Coast"

Portland Bill is a high & rocky promentory of, I dunno - mebbe 5 sq miles, on the south coast, connected to the mainland by a permanent causeway. Deep into history, it's the reason that "Portland stone" & "Portland cement" have their names, stone quarried here was used for a number of significant buildings in the UK (incl. St Pauls Cathedral?) There are still working stone quarries at the top of the Bill. And rabbits. Lots of rabbits.
You'll port in Portland harbour, former Navy base, home of the sailing events of this year's Olympics & not far from the causeway.

To the west of Portland is 18-mile-long Chesil Bank (often called Chesil Beach), the Portland causeway is the start of it. Behind Chesil Bank is a lagoon called "the Fleet"/"the Flete", a wildlife reserve.
And in the bay to the east is the Victorian seaside holiday town of Weymouth, short journey of about 4 miles by bus or taxi, or probably a ship's transfer will be offered.
Weymouth is a super little resort with a beach & promenade, interesting harbour, smuggling museum, etc and more cafes, pubs & fish'n'chip shops than you can shake a stick at. Most visitors are Brits. This would be your cheapest & easiest option, and would be a good day if the weather's OK.

Or explore the Jurassic Coast.
West as far as Lyme Regis, taking in Abbotsbury, West Bay & Bridport.
Or east to Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Corfe castle.
You can make a circular route in either direction, using the minor coastal roads & the main A35 trunk road. Or concoct your own route taking in some things either side of Portland/Weymouth.
But this would take a degree of planning, & public transport wouldn't cut the mustard. So you'd need to hire a car, or a car & driver.

Google some of these names & see what you think.

John Bull

Last edited by John Bull; April 22nd, 2011 at 12:04 PM.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 12:04 PM
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We stopped there last year this is my report

We did a private tour around the area with http://www.extramileuk.co.uk/jurassic-coast-tours.htm
We rented the coach for 300 GBP with 12 passengers it was cozy I would suggest not more than 12, 10 would be better

We went to the Swannery, Dorchester, Weymouth & some of the countryside as well as Portland Castle
Just confirm with the driver where you want to go before you leave the port....we had a bit of a mis-communication about stopping at the Swannery but we got it worked out

The Swannery takes Credit cards if you can not find an ATM before you get there
Nice little coffee shop with homemade local goodies

There was a free shuttle put on by the town into Weymouth from the dock

We had a great fish n chip lunch in Weymouth at The Seagull Cafe right on the waterfront
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 01:58 PM
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Wow, thank you very much for the quick responses! John Bull, I'm sure you will see more questions from me on this board before my cruise and that isn't until Aug of 2012! Actually hiring a car in this port would work as we are traveling with friends from Northern England so he could do the driving! I met them many years ago when working at Pontin's in Blackpool, but that's another story!!!

LHT28, thanks for the info on your experience. I'll check out the link!

Thanks again to both of you.
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Past:
Enchantment of the Seas 11/01 - E. Caribbean
Mercury 12/02 - W. Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 1/04 - S. Caribbean
Radiance of the Seas 12/04 - E. Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 10/07 - Panama Canal
Vision of the Seas - Mexican Riviera - Nov 2008 - "girls cruise"
Serenade of the Seas 6/09 - Alaska
Serenade of the Seas - 1/10 MANIACS! S. Caribbean
NCL Dawn - 11/10 - W. Caribean "girls cruise"
Serenade of the Seas - 1/11 Maniacs Again! S. Caribbean
NCL Epic - 12/11 - E. Caribbean
RCI Jewel Westbound transatlantic - 8/12
NCL Dawn - 1/20 - W. Caribbean "girls cruise" again!
Jewel of the Seas - 8/13 "girls cruise"
Brilliance of the Seas Repo - 10/13 Boston to Tampa

Upcoming:
Radiance of the Seas - 4/15
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  #5  
Old April 22nd, 2011, 02:25 PM
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Default Fossil collecting?

Thanks, Carol, for starting this thread for gathering information. I have sent out e-mail inquiries for a private tour from Portland to Lyme Regis/Charmouth to specifically check out the fossil-collecting areas. I know this area is rich in spectacular geology, and since I'm a geologist, I am already starting to get VERY excited.

Since we'll be there on a Sunday, looks like the Coastline Bus has limited service from Weymouth (closest stop to Portland), so I think we'll need a private car hire, or tour guide. Does anyone know if there are car rental agencies nearby, perhaps in Weymouth?

Thank you everyone for sharing your knowledge. Love CC just for this reason! And, ya gotta love Royal Caribbean for shaking up our itinerary a bit, by adding an extra port.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by geogal View Post
Thanks, Carol, for starting this thread for gathering information. I have sent out e-mail inquiries for a private tour from Portland to Lyme Regis/Charmouth to specifically check out the fossil-collecting areas. I know this area is rich in spectacular geology, and since I'm a geologist, I am already starting to get VERY excited.

Since we'll be there on a Sunday, looks like the Coastline Bus has limited service from Weymouth (closest stop to Portland), so I think we'll need a private car hire, or tour guide. Does anyone know if there are car rental agencies nearby, perhaps in Weymouth?

Thank you everyone for sharing your knowledge. Love CC just for this reason! And, ya gotta love Royal Caribbean for shaking up our itinerary a bit, by adding an extra port.
In Weymouth is SixT http://www.sixt.co.uk/car-hire/united-kingdom/weymouth/ .
Also Europcar http://www.europcar.co.uk/car-hire-WEYMOUTH.html & National http://www.nationalcar.co.uk/Spw/630.../BOHW01/BOHW01 (who both appear to use the same local company)
All are well-respected second-string agencies. There are also a couple of local companies.

JB
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 11:54 AM
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Spending the day in Weymouth shopping, eating, and drinking some local ales sounds like a perfect day to me!
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Old April 25th, 2011, 11:59 AM
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Spending the day in Weymouth shopping, eating, and drinking some local ales sounds like a perfect day to me!
Totally agree with you! Give me some good fish and chips, nice lager in a pub and I'm a happy camper. And of course a bit of shopping.

John Bull, do you know if this is a port where we will dock or will we have to tender?
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Past:
Enchantment of the Seas 11/01 - E. Caribbean
Mercury 12/02 - W. Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 1/04 - S. Caribbean
Radiance of the Seas 12/04 - E. Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 10/07 - Panama Canal
Vision of the Seas - Mexican Riviera - Nov 2008 - "girls cruise"
Serenade of the Seas 6/09 - Alaska
Serenade of the Seas - 1/10 MANIACS! S. Caribbean
NCL Dawn - 11/10 - W. Caribean "girls cruise"
Serenade of the Seas - 1/11 Maniacs Again! S. Caribbean
NCL Epic - 12/11 - E. Caribbean
RCI Jewel Westbound transatlantic - 8/12
NCL Dawn - 1/20 - W. Caribbean "girls cruise" again!
Jewel of the Seas - 8/13 "girls cruise"
Brilliance of the Seas Repo - 10/13 Boston to Tampa

Upcoming:
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  #9  
Old April 25th, 2011, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jst4fun715 View Post
do you know if this is a port where we will dock or will we have to tender?
Not John but we docked there last summer
The port provides a shuttle into town because it is a working port & they do not allow people to just wander about
Try the Sea Gull for fish n chips
Enjoy
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Old April 25th, 2011, 12:43 PM
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Not John but we docked there last summer
The port provides a shuttle into town because it is a working port & they do not allow people to just wander about
Try the Sea Gull for fish n chips
Enjoy
LHT28...thanks very much!!! Sounds perfect!
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Past:
Enchantment of the Seas 11/01 - E. Caribbean
Mercury 12/02 - W. Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 1/04 - S. Caribbean
Radiance of the Seas 12/04 - E. Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 10/07 - Panama Canal
Vision of the Seas - Mexican Riviera - Nov 2008 - "girls cruise"
Serenade of the Seas 6/09 - Alaska
Serenade of the Seas - 1/10 MANIACS! S. Caribbean
NCL Dawn - 11/10 - W. Caribean "girls cruise"
Serenade of the Seas - 1/11 Maniacs Again! S. Caribbean
NCL Epic - 12/11 - E. Caribbean
RCI Jewel Westbound transatlantic - 8/12
NCL Dawn - 1/20 - W. Caribbean "girls cruise" again!
Jewel of the Seas - 8/13 "girls cruise"
Brilliance of the Seas Repo - 10/13 Boston to Tampa

Upcoming:
Radiance of the Seas - 4/15
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  #11  
Old April 25th, 2011, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jst4fun715 View Post
Totally agree with you! Give me some good fish and chips, nice lager in a pub and I'm a happy camper. And of course a bit of shopping.

John Bull, do you know if this is a port where we will dock or will we have to tender?
Sorry, don't know - but number 28's reply makes sense.
Certainly there's plenty of quayside there, and a bit of a terminal. Might depend on the size of your ship - d'you wanna swap ships' names with number 28?
If it's a tender port it won't be subject to the weather, cos it's a big big harbour & well-sheltered by long sea-walls.

Transfer buses will probably take you to Weymouth's esplanade, between the clock tower & the Victorian bathing-machine set on a roundabout. The town is via the street behind the bathing machine, and the harbour is beyond.
JB
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Old April 25th, 2011, 02:48 PM
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Sorry, don't know - but number 28's reply makes sense.
Certainly there's plenty of quayside there, and a bit of a terminal. Might depend on the size of your ship - d'you wanna swap ships' names with number 28?
If it's a tender port it won't be subject to the weather, cos it's a big big harbour & well-sheltered by long sea-walls.

Transfer buses will probably take you to Weymouth's esplanade, between the clock tower & the Victorian bathing-machine set on a roundabout. The town is via the street behind the bathing machine, and the harbour is beyond.
JB
Our ship will the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas.

JB, I have to ask....what is a "Victorian bathing machine"??

Carol
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Past:
Enchantment of the Seas 11/01 - E. Caribbean
Mercury 12/02 - W. Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 1/04 - S. Caribbean
Radiance of the Seas 12/04 - E. Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 10/07 - Panama Canal
Vision of the Seas - Mexican Riviera - Nov 2008 - "girls cruise"
Serenade of the Seas 6/09 - Alaska
Serenade of the Seas - 1/10 MANIACS! S. Caribbean
NCL Dawn - 11/10 - W. Caribean "girls cruise"
Serenade of the Seas - 1/11 Maniacs Again! S. Caribbean
NCL Epic - 12/11 - E. Caribbean
RCI Jewel Westbound transatlantic - 8/12
NCL Dawn - 1/20 - W. Caribbean "girls cruise" again!
Jewel of the Seas - 8/13 "girls cruise"
Brilliance of the Seas Repo - 10/13 Boston to Tampa

Upcoming:
Radiance of the Seas - 4/15
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  #13  
Old April 25th, 2011, 03:38 PM
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Our ship will the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas.

JB, I have to ask....what is a "Victorian bathing machine"??

Carol
Your ship 90.000 tonnes.
Most cruise ships to Portland are much smaller.
But Westerdam tied-up quayside & she's 82,000 tonnes. So a good chance you'll be quayside (anyway, your cruiseline should mention on the itinerary whether a port is "tender", or "may be by tender")
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS3zB...EHp5V0&index=1

Bathing machines?
Seaside resorts came about in the 19th century, when the railways made travel easy.
But something had to be done for a lady who wished to bathe in the sea -to offer a glimpse of her ankle or bare arm would be far too immodest.
Some Victorian resorts, such as Ilfracombe, had separate beaches for men & women.
But most, like Weymouth, had only one beach. Hence the shed-on-wheels, in which the lady was pushed down the beach & into the sea.
http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bat...iw=977&bih=535

The rather smart white one is the one at Weymouth.

JB
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Old April 25th, 2011, 03:58 PM
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John is right your cruise line should mention if you will dock or not
We were on a small ship 30,000 grt so we did dock
The bus dropped people off at Brewer's Quay
http://www.brewersquay.com/

TIP: do not wait for the last bus the line-up for the bus was very long

We had a private tour guide so did not have a problem getting back to the ship
Weymouth is a lovely town but if you have the time do go further afield

Lyn
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Old April 25th, 2011, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by LHT28 View Post
John is right your cruise line should mention if you will dock or not
We were on a small ship 30,000 grt so we did dock
The bus dropped people off at Brewer's Quay
http://www.brewersquay.com/

TIP: do not wait for the last bus the line-up for the bus was very long

We had a private tour guide so did not have a problem getting back to the ship
Weymouth is a lovely town but if you have the time do go further afield

Lyn
Hi Lyn,

Do you recall who you used for a private tour? Need advice, not having much luck finding car rental options that are open on Sundays...

Thanks in advance,
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Old April 26th, 2011, 12:04 AM
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Hi Lyn,

Do you recall who you used for a private tour? Need advice, not having much luck finding car rental options that are open on Sundays...

Thanks in advance,
See my message #3 above
Julie was very helpful giving me ideas of places to see in the time frame we had

Lyn
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Old April 26th, 2011, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by John Bull View Post
Your ship 90.000 tonnes.
Most cruise ships to Portland are much smaller.
But Westerdam tied-up quayside & she's 82,000 tonnes. So a good chance you'll be quayside (anyway, your cruiseline should mention on the itinerary whether a port is "tender", or "may be by tender")
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS3zB...EHp5V0&index=1

Bathing machines?
Seaside resorts came about in the 19th century, when the railways made travel easy.
But something had to be done for a lady who wished to bathe in the sea -to offer a glimpse of her ankle or bare arm would be far too immodest.
Some Victorian resorts, such as Ilfracombe, had separate beaches for men & women.
But most, like Weymouth, had only one beach. Hence the shed-on-wheels, in which the lady was pushed down the beach & into the sea.
http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bat...iw=977&bih=535

The rather smart white one is the one at Weymouth.

JB
Very interesting about the "bathing machine"! Also checked the itinerary on the RCI website and it does show that we will be docked. Thanks for all the info...but I'll probably have more questions!

Carol
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Carol

Past:
Enchantment of the Seas 11/01 - E. Caribbean
Mercury 12/02 - W. Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 1/04 - S. Caribbean
Radiance of the Seas 12/04 - E. Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 10/07 - Panama Canal
Vision of the Seas - Mexican Riviera - Nov 2008 - "girls cruise"
Serenade of the Seas 6/09 - Alaska
Serenade of the Seas - 1/10 MANIACS! S. Caribbean
NCL Dawn - 11/10 - W. Caribean "girls cruise"
Serenade of the Seas - 1/11 Maniacs Again! S. Caribbean
NCL Epic - 12/11 - E. Caribbean
RCI Jewel Westbound transatlantic - 8/12
NCL Dawn - 1/20 - W. Caribbean "girls cruise" again!
Jewel of the Seas - 8/13 "girls cruise"
Brilliance of the Seas Repo - 10/13 Boston to Tampa

Upcoming:
Radiance of the Seas - 4/15
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  #18  
Old April 26th, 2011, 01:33 PM
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TIP: do not wait for the last bus the line-up for the bus was very long

Lyn
Portland Castle
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/d...rtland-castle/ falls well short of what I'd call a "proper" castle - more of a fort.
But it's just a couple of minutes walk from your ship.
So whether you take a transfer bus or do your own thing, it's something to see late in the day if you don't use up your margin-for-delay time.
JB
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Old April 26th, 2011, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by John Bull View Post
Portland Castle
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/d...rtland-castle/ falls well short of what I'd call a "proper" castle - more of a fort.
But it's just a couple of minutes walk from your ship.
So whether you take a transfer bus or do your own thing, it's something to see late in the day if you don't use up your margin-for-delay time.
JB
we enjoyed the castle/fort
It was an interesting site & the view was great It took about 1 hr or less to walk the grounds
Our driver waited for us dropped us right at the ship

Lyn
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Old September 21st, 2011, 03:43 PM
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Default Jewel in Portland

We will be on the same Jewel TA cruise next year with some of the other posters.

Does anyone know if by chance Portland has a place to rent bikes on Sunday? Are the roads relatively traffic free and bike friendly? We wouldn't bike into the busier Weymouth unless also relatively traffic free, but would take the free shuttle into Weymouth if available. Portland Castle looks worth a visit, as does taking a Jurassic tour.

Thanks for information being provided.

Kathy
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