Southampton Journals

Celebrity Equinox Naming Ceremony & Two-Night Cruise

A July 2009 trip to Southampton by AndreaRH

London Heathrow Marriott Hotel Photo, Harlington, England More Photos
Quote: Join me as I recount our trip to London and Southampton, England, where we attended the naming ceremony for the gorgeous new 2,850-passenger Celebrity Equinox luxury cruise ship. The trip included an overnight in London and a two-night "go nowhere" cruise aboard Equinox out of Southampton.
The second day of our Celebrity Equinox cruise to nowhere out of Southampton was spent experiencing everything the ship has to offer, from her restaurants to the hot tubs on the pool deck to the Lawn Club to Fortunes Casino to the Art Gallery.

Day 3: Celebrity Equinox Naming Ceremony & Black Tie Dinner

The Pipes & Drums of The Royal Air Force Halton Photo, Southampton, England
Wednesday was the day we'd been waiting for: the naming of Celebrity's new Solstice-class luxury cruise ship, Celebrity Equinox. Members of the press, travel agents, and long-time celebrity loyalists woke early and took a bus, arranged by Celebrity, to Southampton to meet the ship.My husband and I usually prefer smaller ships that cater to a few hundred passengers (actually, one of our favorite ships is actually the 12-passenger Safari Spirit yacht from American Safari Cruises). So, we weren't sure what to expect since Celebrity Equinox was built for over 2,800 guests! One look though, and we were hooked. These Solstice-class ships are truly beautiful vessels and even from a distance we co...Read More

Day 2: Arriving in London

London Heathrow Marriott Hotel

Hotel | "Day Two: Overnight at the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel"

London Heathrow Marriott Hotel Photo, Harlington, England
Since we were meeting up with a bunch of other travelers, we simply overnighted in London at a Heathrow airport hotel: the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel. actually turned out to be a solid choice since it was just half a mile from the airport and a public bus stop in front of the hotel provided quick and easy transportation to the city itself.After our flight landed and we went through passport control, we followed signs for the Hotel Hoppa. This bus travels between Heathrow terminals and various local hotels for just 4 pounds per person per trip. More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 9, 2009

London Heathrow Marriott Hotel
Bath Road, Harlington, Hayes
Harlington UB3 5AN
+44 20 8990 1100

Oxo Tower Restaurant

Restaurant | "Day Two: Dinner at Oxo Tower Brasserie"

Oxo Tower Restaurant Photo, London, England
After our London city bus tour we met our group just in time for an excellent dinner at OXO Tower Brasserie Restaurant atop Harvey Nichol's OXO Tower. The 360-degree panoramic views here, near Big Ben and the London Eye, are amazing and the food was truly succulent! (OXO Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH; 011 44 207 803 3888)Our menu included:Haloumi aubergine salad with a tomato vinagretteProsciutto-wrapped corn-fed chicken breast, taleggio, runner beans, cumin carrots, and a black olive sauceTonka brulee, strawberries, almond, and aniseed biscottiWhile there is a lovely outdoor dining area, our group was seated ind...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 9, 2009

Oxo Tower Restaurant
Oxo Tower Wharf
London, England SE1 9PH
+44 20 7803 3888

Day 1: Heading to London

Living on the East Coast of the United States makes travel to Europe super easy. I love the night flights from Newark Liberty International Airport. You've got the entire day to work or play as usual and then head to the airport to board your flight, enjoy a late dinner and movie, and sleep a few hours before arriving at your destination.We booked Virgin-Atlantic's flight VS2 from Newark to Heathrow. This was our first flight with Virgin. We arrived at the Terminal B counter and was offered an upgrade from economy to premium economy for $264 per person. We passed on that but did take the upgrade to the exit row for $75 for the both of us.Would I upgrade to the exit row again? P...Read More

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New York, New York