Discussion in 'FanForce: Conventions Europe' started by LAJ_FETT, Jul 24, 2006.
how often, how long and how recently?
So you've been around London before but never got a map?
Does anyone know how I can find out if my American cell phone will work in the UK?
Edit: Okay, never mind. As far as I can tell from the manufacturer's website, I don't think my phone works there. Too bad.
I was wondering if anyone could provide some information about tipping standards in the UK for those of us from other countries. Is it customary to leave a tip in your hotel room for the housekeeping staff, and if so, how much per day? What are the standard amounts/percentages to tip cab drivers and restaurant wait staff?
Hmm well the English aren't great tippers really! :/ Think people usually tip in a restaurant if its a posh meal (10% i'd say, usually a space to add it onto the bill if paying by card, or just leave extra money in the tray with the bill when ya leave) but if it's a casual place to eat like a cafe or pub meal sort of place, no one tips really there's just sometimes a tip jar on the counter people add a pound or 2 to if they're feeling generous
Some people tip cab drivers, some don't, no idea what's normal in London though. Round here in Somerset, they just get to keep the change if they're lucky! Same for food delivery people etc.
In hotels, think it depends how long you're staying and if you're likely to be staying there again and wanna make a good impression for the future Don't think most people bother really unless it's an expensive posh hotel or something, sure the maids won't object if you leave em a tip though
Taxi's / restaurants - usually 10-15% I'd say if you want to. I am forgetting - is NYC 20%? I used to base it on that, so am being more generous.
Hotels - hmmm, not as much sure. I haven't more recently tbh, maybe I should have.
I think 10% is around the norm here. You usually don't tip in a pub unless they come to your table for orders and bring the drinks to your table rather than you having to order at the bar. You also don't need to tip in fast food places.
One thing to watch out for, especially if you go to a restaurant as a group: check your bill when it comes. If there is a charge described as 'service', then the tip has already been added to the bill (usually 10%). It's pretty common and it is easy to miss it. Sometimes the menu will indicate this with a disclaimer: 'A service charge will be added' or something similar.
I think I need some hints for local travel.
I'm arriving at Kings Cross around 9 am on Friday and would like to get to Excel as fast as possible, any for that from the local people?
Obi Anne - one of two things for your journey. I don't have a problem coming out to pick you up at 9am on Friday morning and getting you back to the ExCel area via tube, if you want . Or if you feel like doing the journey yourself then -
At Kings Cross - take the Northern Line towards Morden (probably South or Eastbound Northern line). Get off at Bank and change there for the DLR (it's all in Bank, just different lines). It's about a 10 min journey KC to Bank. Just checked the DLR site - there is no direct from Bank to Custom House.
So the best option is get on the DLR at Bank heading for Canary Wharf. Change at Shadwell (should be first stop on from Bank) and get on the DLR heading towards Beckton (always Beckton line for Custom House). You need Custom House (which is straight after Royal Victoria).
Up to you, I am more than happy to get there for 9am and get you to hotel area. Just a thought too, you may not be able to get into your hotel room until after 2pm, so I am sure it'll be fine to store your bags in Jase and my room until then.
It would be great to meet you directly at Kings Cross, if you don't feel like it's that much of a hassle. I can manage it on my own, but it's always nice to have company. I'll check exactly when my train arrives and return with the info.
Great I have to reply to your PM btw, will do tonight. Am multitasking atm and my male brain is getting confuzzled.
We males have a brain?!
Anyway, I checked the TFL journey planner and I see it's an hour's ride in the tube from the hotel (Crownwall) to Excel.
I've never been to a SW convention before. Is it necessary to be there at the earliest hour? I was thinking of arriving at Excel at nine-ish in the morning.
According to the website, 9-10 am is early opening for fan club members only. I imagine Tim_in_CT and I won't get there til late morning since we will be commuting (and it's a haul from where I am). We can't get Travelcards til 930 am on the Friday so that will make us even later.
Ah, okay. Well, I just want to make the most out of those 7 hours
You only going the one day, Incom? I got tickets for all 3 for us.
Yeah, we're only going on Sunday. I've never been to London, so I wanted to do some sightseeing and shopping on Saturday. Crownwall is conveniently located for this.
I will post this here and in the Meet & Greet thread, just to ensure it gets maximum exposure
Below is a map of the London Transport Network which covers tube trains, the DLR and over-head suburban trains. It also shows the zone areas, and the key to the different lines can be found on the bottom right. I've highlighted and circled the areas and stations which are most relivent, and I'll try and explain as best I can the best ways to get around.
Heathrow is served by the Picadilly line. From Central London, it takes about an hour to reach Heathrow. When you leave your airport terminal, just follow signs for the Underground and you'll reach the ticket area where your best bet is going to a manned booth and asking for an all zone travel card, which will cost Â£6.70 anytime after 9:30am, or Â£6.70 at anytime during weekends.
Heathrow to King's Kross
For King's Cross, all you need do is stay on the tube train you get from Heathrow and get off at the King's Cross St Pancras station.
Heathrow to ExCel
There are several routes for this one, but the best one is as follows; From Heathrow, get the Picadilly line and get off at any station that also serves the district (green) line and the Circle (yellow) line. For example, South Kensington. Wait for either a district line train that is heading Eastbound towards Upminster or an Eastbound/anti-clockwise circle line train and get off at Tower Hill. From Tower Hill, you need to walk to Tower Gateway which is where you can get the Docklands Light Railway train which goes direct to the ExCel. Below I have posted a map showing how to get to Tower Hill to Tower Gateway, but it's well sign posted and a very short walk.
From Tower Gateway, just make sure your train is heading to Beckton, and get off at Custom House, which will lead you straight to the ExCel.
King's Cross to ExCel
There are two options for this one. The first option is to reach Tower Hill. To do this, you simply get the Circle (yellow) line (heading clockwise) from King's Cross and get off at Tower Hill. The downside with this method is that the circle line is often hit by long delays and is probably the most unreliable tube line. So, if there are any delays, the second method is from King's Cross, get the Northen (black) line Southbound (anytrain heading to Morden) and stop at Bank. From Bank, you can get a Docklands Light Railway train, however, this train will not stop at Custom House, therefore you'll need to change trains. Your safest bet is to get off at Shadwell, which is the first stop, and wait for a DLR train that is heading to Beckton and once again, stop off at Custom House for the ExCel.
Here's the map showing how to reach Tower Gateway from Tower Hill:
If you're heading to the ExCel from Central London, you'll only need a zone 1-4 travelcard, which is Â£5.70 off-peak. If you need to head to Heathrow on the same day, then you'll need all 6 zones which will be Â£6.70 off-peak.
If you have to travel at peak times (anytime before 9:30am Mon-Fri), a 1-4 zone travelcard will cost Â£9, while a 1-6 zone travelcard will cost Â£13.20.
Here's a list of all fares: TFL Fares
Hope that helps, and if there are any questions or if you'd like a 300dpi version of the maps, please PM me and I can e-mail them to you
Not sure if anyone else has mentioned it, but for anyone not aware, watch out for pickpockets in London, especially on the underground and busy touristy areas. It's not just pockets, they'll even unzip your bag and steal stuff if you're unlucky :/ Here's a good link to advice for the tube for people who've never used it before:
Thank you to everyone who provided tipping advice! The exchange rate's going to be killing me enough as it is without accidentally overtipping while I'm here. (170 dollars for Mark Hamill's autograph?! That's more than the price was of a 4-day badge to CIV.)
Tim - yes, 20 percent's about right for New York. In some areas of the US it's more like 15 to 20 percent, but 20 percent's safer in the more expensive areas.
My friend and I are staying in London for 5 days (12-17 July). Our hotel is a bit far aways from the ExCel so we'll have to use the Tube.
Now, I am interested in what option would be cheaper for us for those 5 days of using the underground. Travelcard or Oister card?
That's a good question, how good are the Oyster Card's?
Indeed, something to look at more closely. Looking at the TFL site, I think I'll go for a travelcard. Otherwise, I'll ask at Waterloo Station.