shuttle service in South Queensbury/Edinburgh

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British Isles/Western Europe
Amsterdam, Brugge, Dublin, Edinburgh, London (Dover, Harwich, Southampton)
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#1
40 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Just off the princess cruise and wanted to let people know at least for my cruise last week there was shuttle for 10 pounds or 15 euros/dollars into Edinburgh that drops you off in Charlotte Square. A man was there selling tickets for hop on hop off bus or you could also walk to castle from there.

Princess was very cagey about whether was a shuttle bus. At the talk they said it was discontinued, but then on one of the pamphlets they said there was a shuttle, and the local person they brought onboard said there was indeed a shuttle. At the one talk they made it seem like you could either take train and walk 103 steps up or else book their overpriced excursion. Their "on your own" shuttle to Edinburg was $65 a person! But there was indeed a shuttle for a quite reasonable priced which I think everyone who intended to take the train took since they saw it was so easy to do.

The buses leave right from the pier and leave as they fill up. They leave every half hour from 1-5 out of Edinburgh back to ship. very efficient.

I would also warn people the tenders take a long time in Edinburgh. We were down there at time of docking at 8AM and were like number 300 for the tender. People who got there 8:30 were like 600 for tender. We had to wait 45 minutes for tender and tender takes 15 minutes. So we were not out till like 10 o'clock. I would recommend to plan accordingly in Edinburgh or else get down the dining room at like 7:30 or before to get off the ship. Even then, they did not start letting people off till 8:30 since they were a little disorganized with the tender.
#2
Edinburgh
3,122 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
I have posted this thread in the past:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...ttle+Edinburgh

I wonder if there was anything wrong the day you were docked because I've never heard about such long delays
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#3
40 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
They were a little late getting out the tenders, plus they realized they parked too far back so they had to move the ship. I have been on many princess cruises in the past and there is often a wait for the tenders when you go in the morning. If you go and get your ticket at the time of docking or shortly after there is usually a wait though this time I think the wait was probably 15 minutes longer than normal since they did not even start the tenders out till around half hour after docking. It is also a fairly long ride for the tender - about 10-15 minutes I would say on the tender boat. So even if things are working perfectly you are likely not getting out there till at least 30 or 45 minutes after docking and that is assuming you got there early for a tender ticket. Problem is everyone comes between 8-9 to get out so that is what causes the backup. I think they had 5 or 6 tender boats operating once things got moving.

It has been my experience that if they are late with the tenders, they prioritize their ship excursions getting off since they have to get them back at certain times. So if they are late or disorganized with tenders that messes things up for private passengers. Either way between the tenders and the bus it's probably going to be between 1-2 hours before you are actually in Edinburgh from the time you leave your cabin.

I had seen the post earlier which was from 2014. I don't think I recall seeing a more recent post in the last 3 years so it was very unclear to me whether the shuttle service was working. I had communicated with some taxi drivers in Edinburgh and they did not tell me about it - they said the only option was the train which was the gist of what the shore excursion person on Princess implied. The bus service seemed too efficient and too organized to be some fly by night operation. If you are depending on the service I would check before but I would bet that they are there for most of the big ships. Princess specifically mentioned they discontinued the service in May which was not true. Alot of people waiting for the tender had no idea there was a bus service as they were planning on taking the train until I had told them about it having learned about it from another passenger.
#4
Edinburgh
3,122 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
I'm a volunteer at the cruise port and a couple of us come out from the shore to run a desk on the ship every time CP comes into Edinburgh. It's usually by the Grand Piano on Deck 5. We always have full details about the shuttle. There's also a Celtic Connections talk on the evening before you dock in Edinburgh. I've done it a few times and try to focus on information you won't have heard from princess including a slide which shows you how to get into Edinburgh from SQ.

Yes the thread is three years old, so maybe I'll update it completely for next year with new photos, but these boards are so vast now, even things from last month get lost!!
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#5
40 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Yes you or your other volunteer were probably the ones that mentioned the shuttle. But when Princess did the regular shore presentation the day before (not the night one that the local people did) they did not mention shuttle and indeed said it would not be there. They unfortunately schedule the local Celtic Connections people at 9pm when there are shows and dinner so it is unfortunate that they do not broadcast them on the tv.