British Isles cruise tours reviews (just back!)

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British Isles/Western Europe
Amsterdam, Brugge, Dublin, Edinburgh, London (Dover, Harwich, Southampton)
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#21
Ontario, Canada
13 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Thank you for sharing this. Going on the same trip next year and this was very helpful. One question though: If you wanted to explore the town on your own in Belfast, how easy it is to get off the ship and do things on your own?
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**Royal Princess-August 2018**
Carnival Dream-December 2012
Norwegian Gem-March 2011
#22
187 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by Cruising Carolynne
Thank you for sharing this. Going on the same trip next year and this was very helpful. One question though: If you wanted to explore the town on your own in Belfast, how easy it is to get off the ship and do things on your own?
As in Dublin, Princess had double decker shuttles running to some point in the city. I cannot comment on their ease of use as I did not use them, but they were there. There were also quite a few taxis at the port, but they may have all been prebooked
#23
Raleigh, N.C.
12,194 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
Originally posted by Cruising Carolynne
Thank you for sharing this. Going on the same trip next year and this was very helpful. One question though: If you wanted to explore the town on your own in Belfast, how easy it is to get off the ship and do things on your own?
The free shuttle buses were easy to use. It dropped us off at Donegall Square, right outside the Belfast Welcome Center. There were many different folks there waiting to sell us tours, from hop-on/hop-off buses to taxis tours of Belfast to excursions to the Giant's Causeway.

We enjoyed our walk to the Ulster Museum and Botanic Gardens, a little more than a mile. After our tour of the gardens and museum, we walked to Victoria Square, stopping to pick up and eat sandwiches along the way. Victoria Square is a modern shopping mall. There's a terrific view from the top of the glass dome.

We walked back along some shopping streets and caught the bus back to the ship.
#24
Ontario, Canada
13 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Originally posted by geoherb
The free shuttle buses were easy to use. It dropped us off at Donegall Square, right outside the Belfast Welcome Center. There were many different folks there waiting to sell us tours, from hop-on/hop-off buses to taxis tours of Belfast to excursions to the Giant's Causeway.

We enjoyed our walk to the Ulster Museum and Botanic Gardens, a little more than a mile. After our tour of the gardens and museum, we walked to Victoria Square, stopping to pick up and eat sandwiches along the way. Victoria Square is a modern shopping mall. There's a terrific view from the top of the glass dome.

We walked back along some shopping streets and caught the bus back to the ship.

That's very helpful! Thank you! I want to have a couple days where we aren't on any planned excursions, just going around on our own, and it sounds like Belfast would be a good day to do that.
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**Royal Princess-August 2018**
Carnival Dream-December 2012
Norwegian Gem-March 2011
#25
The Netherlands
1,365 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
We took a taxi to the Belfast excursion centre (GBP 10 ) and then took the HOHO Bus tour which was very good indeed. After that we had a drink in the oldest tavern in Belfast (White's?) in the Entries and walked to the Crown Liquor Saloon then caught an uber back to ship.
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#26
Long Island, New York
4,677 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by trosebery
Our 1030 arrival in Dublin was scheduled long before they discovered the techical issues with the Caribbean princess, so it may have had more to do with berth or pilot availability or similar on that particular Sunday than the ship.

And yes, our late departure from Greenock, followed by a sea day, was solely to accommodate the Tattoo (which didn't end until almost 11 pm).

ETA Be careful of Monday closures too. Some museums and the like were closed Mondays.
Found your review to be helpful. I have this tour booked on Celebrity for August 2018, including the tattoo and I have been dealing with Catriona on line. In spite of the glitches, I think I will book them. I have one question that I cannot seem to find an answer to: Are you docked in Edinburgh or tendered? Catriona talks like we're tendered but nowhere on Celebrity of here does it say for sure.
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#27
187 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by Hydrokitty
Found your review to be helpful. I have this tour booked on Celebrity for August 2018, including the tattoo and I have been dealing with Catriona on line. In spite of the glitches, I think I will book them. I have one question that I cannot seem to find an answer to: Are you docked in Edinburgh or tendered? Catriona talks like we're tendered but nowhere on Celebrity of here does it say for sure.
We went to the Tattoo from Greenock (near Glasgow, about an hour and a half from Edinburgh), but when in "Edinburgh" itself a few days later, we were actually tendered to South Queensferry (about half an hour into the city?).

Which is just one of the many options in Edinburgh. I don't know which port the Celebrity ships use for Edinburgh.
#28
Raleigh, N.C.
12,194 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
Celebrity Eclipse is scheduled to be at South Queensferry next August. If that's your ship, you will tender at the port. You'll get your overnight at Edinburgh, so time won't be a crunch.
#29
Ontario, Canada
13 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Originally posted by dutchclogs
We took a taxi to the Belfast excursion centre (GBP 10 ) and then took the HOHO Bus tour which was very good indeed. After that we had a drink in the oldest tavern in Belfast (White's?) in the Entries and walked to the Crown Liquor Saloon then caught an uber back to ship.

Thank you for that. I've never used Uber in Europe. Did you have to do anything special or did you just use your app that you use at home?
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**Royal Princess-August 2018**
Carnival Dream-December 2012
Norwegian Gem-March 2011
#30
Long Island, New York
4,677 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by geoherb
Celebrity Eclipse is scheduled to be at South Queensferry next August. If that's your ship, you will tender at the port. You'll get your overnight at Edinburgh, so time won't be a crunch.
Thanks Geoherb....I have also heard that the tender doesn't run past midnight. If the tattoo gets out at 11:30ish, there's no way we wold make it back to Eclipse on time. Do you know what hours the tender runs?
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Greek Islands and Turkey, Louis Perla, October, 2006
Castles on Rhine, Vantage, Aug/Sept. 2008
Egypt and Jordan, Vantage, Jan/Feb. 2009
Holland and Belgium, Vantage, April/May 2010
Alaska, HAL Statendam, June, 2011
Costa Rica, Star Flyer,Vantage, Feb. 2011
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Not yet Sailed:
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British Isles, August, 2018, Celebrity Eclipse
#31
187 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by Hydrokitty
Thanks Geoherb....I have also heard that the tender doesn't run past midnight. If the tattoo gets out at 11:30ish, there's no way we wold make it back to Eclipse on time. Do you know what hours the tender runs?
What time does your Tattoo performance start? Ours started at 9 pm and finished at around 10:40 pm, although getting out of the venue takes a few more minutes, obviously.

I've heard that tender hours can be variable, but I'm sure the tenders will run as long as it takes to get the ship's excursion passengers back on the ship, and they are usually slower than smaller independent groups. Even with our delay leaving Edinburgh (Catriona running up and down the Mile looking for our missing passengers), we still made it back to Greenock before a number of the Princess excursion buses.
#32
Raleigh, N.C.
12,194 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
I don't know how long the tenders run. We had our overnight in Dublin. Perhaps someone on the Celebrity board would know if there was a similar itinerary this year.
#33
Long Island, New York
4,677 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by trosebery
What time does your Tattoo performance start? Ours started at 9 pm and finished at around 10:40 pm, although getting out of the venue takes a few more minutes, obviously.

I've heard that tender hours can be variable, but I'm sure the tenders will run as long as it takes to get the ship's excursion passengers back on the ship, and they are usually slower than smaller independent groups. Even with our delay leaving Edinburgh (Catriona running up and down the Mile looking for our missing passengers), we still made it back to Greenock before a number of the Princess excursion buses.
I believe it starts at 9 p.m. and due to walking problems, I am planning on doing a private tour starting around Noon and ending after the Tattoo. Catriona assured me they will get our tix for the Tattoo as well as handicapped parking which should allow us to leave sooner but with heavy traffic it might not. I've never done an evening excursion on an o'nite before so you can understand why I'm obsessed with getting back to the dock in time! I do know we're supposed to dock at Greenock. I cannot book with X because the buses park at the bottom of the hill and walking downhill on cobblestones would be asking for trouble!
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Sailed:
Greek Islands and Turkey, Louis Perla, October, 2006
Castles on Rhine, Vantage, Aug/Sept. 2008
Egypt and Jordan, Vantage, Jan/Feb. 2009
Holland and Belgium, Vantage, April/May 2010
Alaska, HAL Statendam, June, 2011
Costa Rica, Star Flyer,Vantage, Feb. 2011
Russia and Ukraine, Vantage, Aug/Sept. 2012
Panama Canal, Celebrity Infinity, April/May 2013
Columbia & Snake Rivers, ACL , June, 2013
Gateway to the Black Sea, Vantage, June/July 2014
Trans Canada Rail Odyssey ,Vantage, June 2015
Switzerland Rhine & Mozelle, Vantage, August 2015
Southern Caribbean, Celebrity Eclipse, March 2016
Canada-New England, Celebrity Summit, Oct 2016
Caribbean, RCI Grandeur of the Seas, Jan, 2017
Scandinavia-Russia, Celebrity Eclipse, Aug, 2017
Norway Fjords, Celebrity Eclipse, Aug, 2017

Other:
England
Bermuda
Italy
France
Monaco
Greece
Turkey
Iceland

Not yet Sailed:
Southern Caribbean, March, 2018, Celebrity Eclipse
British Isles, August, 2018, Celebrity Eclipse
#34
Lighthouse Point, FL USA
1,253 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by geoherb
Celebrity Eclipse is scheduled to be at South Queensferry next August. If that's your ship, you will tender at the port. You'll get your overnight at Edinburgh, so time won't be a crunch.
Darn, I was told the Eclipse was tendering at Newhaven in August 2018. Where did you find your information?
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Anita
Celebrity, Eclipse British Isles. 8/2018
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Celebrity, Eclipse Iceland Norway 6-2015
RC, Independence of the Sea, Caribbean 1-31-13
Celebrity, Summit New England/Canada 10-6-2012
RC, Southern Caribbean 4-29-2012
Celebrity, Summit Western Caribbean 1-28-2012
NCL Star, Bahamas 11-14-2011
Celebrity, Infinity, Panama Canal (Seattle to Ft. Lauderdale) 09-2010
RC, Radiance of the Sea, Alaska Cruise and Land Tour 9-2008
RC Carib/Jamaica 1-08
Celebrity, Mercury, Pacific NW 10-07
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#35
Toronto On. Canada
5,994 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by Hydrokitty
I believe it starts at 9 p.m. and due to walking problems, I am planning on doing a private tour starting around Noon and ending after the Tattoo. Catriona assured me they will get our tix for the Tattoo as well as handicapped parking which should allow us to leave sooner but with heavy traffic it might not. I've never done an evening excursion on an o'nite before so you can understand why I'm obsessed with getting back to the dock in time! I do know we're supposed to dock at Greenock. I cannot book with X because the buses park at the bottom of the hill and walking downhill on cobblestones would be asking for trouble!
We had a private 16 seater coach chartered from Glasgow to the Tattoo in 2013 from our Roll Call. We had read from a Roll Call the year before to leave when the solo piper started so we could beat the crowds. We could hear the piper as we walked.
#36
Oakton, VA USA
657 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
The Celebrity Silhouette overnighted in Edinburgh (Newhaven) for the Tattoo this August. The tenders were scheduled to run until 2:00 or 3:00 AM. (They may have run even later that night due to some issues with weather and passenger numbers. )