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From: MSC Preziosa cruise review: North Sea

Day 5: Southampton, England (UK)

BELOW: MSC Preziosa arrived in Southampton, England at 7 a.m. The ship moored at the City Cruise Terminal, with eyeshot of a massive IKEA store.

According to a map that we were given, MSC cruise ships may be assigned to any of several cruise terminals: City Cruise Terminal, Mayflower Cruise Terminal, 104 Cruise Terminal, Ocean Cruise Terminal, or QEII Terminal. All are reasonably close to the city center.

Pier with bumpers at City Cruise Terminal, Southampton

Southampton cruise port


BELOW: Our trip ashore was delayed by a visit to the Medical Center on MSC Preziosa.

Durant had developed odd symptoms that may have been caused by an allergy or insect bite in Hamburg, and the doctor served up several prescriptions that made everything okay.

 The cost of the doctor visit and prescriptions was surprisingly reasonable, compared to what we'd have been charged in the United States.

Durant Imboden at MSC PREZIOSA Medical Center


BELOW: It was quiet inside the terminal by the time we left the ship around noon.

Interior of City Cruise Terminal, Southampton


BELOW: Normally it's a short walk from the City Cruise Terminal to Southampton's business district, but Dock Gate 8 was closed for a boat show during our visit.

We were sent to Dock Gate 10 (which serves both the Cty Cruise Terminal and the Mayflower Cruise Terminal) for a less direct but still manageable walk into town.

Note: The ship offered a shuttle bus for €9,99 (adults) or €7,99 (children), but unless you're infirm, bus transportation between the City Cruise Terminal and downtown Southampton is overkill.

Dock Gate 10, Southampton

Map of Southampton

Click for large map (596 Kb)


BELOW: As we walked to the city center, we passed a park bench with two bouquets (possibly in honor of Jack James Simmons, whose name was on the bench?).

Memorial park benches in Southampton


BELOW: More flowers presented themselves, this time in a window box.

Southampton flowers on wall


BELOW: We passed the Southampton Central railroad station, where an ATM made an offer that sounded too good to be true.

Southampton Central Railroad Station

Free cash at Southampton Railroad Station


BELOW: You can stare, but no whistling!

Ogle Road, Southampton, England


BELOW: When we reached Southampton Centre (the city's business district), one of the first things we saw was an attraction titled Locked in a Room. Silly us--until our visit to Southampton, we'd never heard of an escape venue.

Southampton "Locked in a Room" attraction


BELOW: Just beyond the escape rooms was a shopping center where, among other items, we could buy Krispy Kreme doughnuts or Southampton FC football merchandise.

Southampton Saints store


BELOW: Outside on the high street, a shop titled "Cake Box" tempted passersby with egg or doughnut allergies.

Cake shop in Southampton


BELOW: Most of the downtown district's retail buildings were nondescript, but a few old structures had been lovingly preserved.

Business district in Southampton


BELOW: The Bargate Monument, at the junction of Above Bar Street and High Street, was conveniently located by a Burger King.

Bargate Monument, Southampton, England


BELOW: A block away in a side street, the storefront Above Bar Church was next to a crafts, stationery, and book shop.

Above Bar Church in Southampton


BELOW: "But the e-mails!"

Clintons, Southampton


BELOW: As we headed south toward the waterfront, we saw a utility project with a rather startling warning sign: "Any verbal or physical abuse towards our workforce will not be tolerated and will be reported to the police."

Work site in Southampton


BELOW: Farther south in the Old Town Quarter, we discovered a charming spot: The ruins of Holyrood Church, which was built in 1320 and destroyed by German bombing in November, 1940.


BELOW: A maintenance man used a weed-whacker to trim the grass in the foundations.


BELOW: A plaque on the church ruins honored the Merchant Navy's contribution to the Falklands War of 1982.

Falklands War plaque in Southampton, England


BELOW: Not far from the church, an anchor from the QE2's maiden voyage was a gift from Cunard Line and the Dubai Royal Family. (QE2 crossed from Southampton to New York for the first time in May, 1969 and left Cunard's fleet in November, 2008.)

Anchor and Ottoman Kitchen in Southamptonm, England


BELOW: Another pleasant discovery was Town Quay Park, where we enjoyed chocolate bars on a park bench.

Town Quay Park, Southampton


BELOW: When we reached the end of the High Street, we followed the waterfront to a street that cut inland and past an elementary school that was promoting an environmental theme:

"Cars, cars go away / Park and stride instead today!"

"Engines off so we don't cough"


BELOW: A walk up the Western Esplanade led us past the Old Town Walls and Southampton Castle.

Walls on Western Esplanade, Southampton

Castle arch, Southampton

Castle Watergate, Southampton


BELOW: We were especially taken with the name "Catchcold Tower."

Catchcold Tower, Southampton


BELOW: Across from Southampton's medieval castle, the Westgate Mall celebrated the modern Consumer Era.

In the second photo, you can see how close MSC Preziosa was to the city center--and how quickly we'd have been able to walk into the city if it hadn't been for a boat show.

Westgate Mall, Southampton

MSC PREZIOSA and Southampton's Westgate Mapp shopping centre


BELOW: We'd had a good visit to Southampton, but it was time to return to the ship. Our walk took us west, past IKEA, and back around to the port.

IKEA in Southampton, England.


BELOW: After an early dinner, we went up to Deck 15, where a ship's photographer was taking pictures of Southampton.

Ship's photographer on MSC PREZIOSA, Southampton


BELOW: MSC Preziosa set sail at 8 p.m., passing Southampton's city center and eastern suburbs on its way through the busy Solent to the North Sea.

(The ship in the lower photo is RSSC's Seven Seas Explorer, which was moored in the Maritime Quarter's Eastern Docks.)

City Cruise Terminal, Southampton

RSSC SEVEN SEAS EXPLORER in Southampton's Eastern Docks

Next page: Zeebrugge


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MSC Preziosa day-by-day photo diary:
Embarkation in Rotterdam
Departure, Sea Day 1
Hamburg
Sea Day 2
Le Havre
Southampton
Zeebrugge
Arrival in Rotterdam

Also see:
MSC Preziosa cruise review: North Sea