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12 days in the British Isles: Photos and info aplenty!


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We got back from the British Isles cruise about 2 weeks ago. I took copies of all the information in the reviews by DeloreanGirl and Ohhbrother and referred to them daily - thank you so much for all the detail. Your reviews helped so much with our planning.

 

A few comments/notes:

 

Just in case you like to make a donation to the casino onboard, the casino was closed when we were in the North Sea due to "UK regulations". I think it was closed the evening we left Belfast and did not open until after we left Queensferry. It was closed one other evening until about 10:30PM, so I guess it was when we were too close to land.

 

I think the Titanic museum in Belfast read Emily's review, because on the storyboard just before you go into the theatre, it mentions the Titanic broke in half! So Emily, they have 'fessed up!

 

We had planned to take the train into Edinburgh, but it was raining when we got off the ship. The shuttle bus was sitting right there...it was easier to just jump on the shuttle than to walk to the train in the rain. Actually, the big bus had just filled up, so they put us in an 8 seat taxi and shuttled us into town. Others from our roll call did take the train with no problems. Be prepared if you are walking to the castle - it is a hike UP from where the shuttle bus lets you off. The gardens below the castle are really beautiful and lush...and, there is a clean public WC!

 

LeHavre - A group from our roll call planned to take a taxi to Honfleur. We did not get off the ship until 9:00AM and by that time, there were no taxis to be had. We waited an hour , split up, and we decided just to take the shuttle into LeHavre. When we got to LeHavre, we decided to check out the buses to Honfleur. There was one at about 12:30, and one coming back about 6:30 (I am going from memory, so the times may be off a bit). We just picked the wrong day! The bus going to Honfleur was about 45 minutes late, and we found out why - the traffic on the Normandy Bridge was moving at a snail's pace. We got to Honfleur about 2:30, and it should only take about 35 minutes. We were a little concerned about getting back to LeHavre, so we just walked around a little bit and took what I think was the next bus back to LeHavre, about 3:30. It took us at least 1.5 hours to get back, as the traffic was awful in both directions. So, for us, LeHavre was a total bust.

 

All in all, it was a fabulous cruise. We loved the ports, even with the bust in LeHavre. We had some rain, but it was more like occasional "showers" rather than stormy, and we were able to adjust our activities.

 

~ Jane

~ Jane

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We got back from the British Isles cruise about 2 weeks ago. I took copies of all the information in the reviews by DeloreanGirl and Ohhbrother and referred to them daily - thank you so much for all the detail. Your reviews helped so much with our planning.

 

A few comments/notes:

 

Just in case you like to make a donation to the casino onboard, the casino was closed when we were in the North Sea due to "UK regulations". I think it was closed the evening we left Belfast and did not open until after we left Queensferry. It was closed one other evening until about 10:30PM, so I guess it was when we were too close to land.

 

I think the Titanic museum in Belfast read Emily's review, because on the storyboard just before you go into the theatre, it mentions the Titanic broke in half! So Emily, they have 'fessed up!

 

We had planned to take the train into Edinburgh, but it was raining when we got off the ship. The shuttle bus was sitting right there...it was easier to just jump on the shuttle than to walk to the train in the rain. Actually, the big bus had just filled up, so they put us in an 8 seat taxi and shuttled us into town. Others from our roll call did take the train with no problems. Be prepared if you are walking to the castle - it is a hike UP from where the shuttle bus lets you off. The gardens below the castle are really beautiful and lush...and, there is a clean public WC!

 

LeHavre - A group from our roll call planned to take a taxi to Honfleur. We did not get off the ship until 9:00AM and by that time, there were no taxis to be had. We waited an hour , split up, and we decided just to take the shuttle into LeHavre. When we got to LeHavre, we decided to check out the buses to Honfleur. There was one at about 12:30, and one coming back about 6:30 (I am going from memory, so the times may be off a bit). We just picked the wrong day! The bus going to Honfleur was about 45 minutes late, and we found out why - the traffic on the Normandy Bridge was moving at a snail's pace. We got to Honfleur about 2:30, and it should only take about 35 minutes. We were a little concerned about getting back to LeHavre, so we just walked around a little bit and took what I think was the next bus back to LeHavre, about 3:30. It took us at least 1.5 hours to get back, as the traffic was awful in both directions. So, for us, LeHavre was a total bust.

 

All in all, it was a fabulous cruise. We loved the ports, even with the bust in LeHavre. We had some rain, but it was more like occasional "showers" rather than stormy, and we were able to adjust our activities.

 

~ Jane

~ Jane

 

Jane

 

If I hire a taxi, can they go all the way up to the castle or is it an uphill walk regardless of transport from the ship?

 

John

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our cc chartered bus left us off down at a corner in front of a church in edinburgh -

we were not in wheelchairs but some were - there was a mobility van which took us &

others to the gate - there was a short line for a "wee cab" which took us right to the

entrance near the room w/ jewels - and then proceeded on thur the castle-

there are lifts which will take you to other floor

 

we returned the same way to that corner - then walked a block or so to st giles cathedral -

did a bit of shopping - hailed a taxi back to the ship

Edited by loma linda ca a & j
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our cc chartered bus left us off down at a corner in front of a church in edinburgh -

we were not in wheelchairs but some were - there was a mobility van which took us &

others to the gate - there was a short line for a "wee cab" which took us right to the

entrance near the room w/ jewels - and then proceeded on thur the castle-

there are lifts which will take you to other floor

 

we returned the same way to that corner - then walked a block or so to st giles cathedral -

did a bit of shopping - hailed a taxi back to the ship

 

We were walking up along a road with cars, so getting up to the castle with a taxi is definitely possible. I also noticed official cars within the castle grounds that were helping people with mobility issues.

 

 

Thank you, both, for this very important bit of information. I'm going to repost it on our cruise thread.

 

John

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  • 1 month later...

"Our only saving grace was the Global Entry passes we got from Customs a couple of months before our trip. If you haven’t done this, I highly encourage you to. The fee is $100 and, after completing a long application and a face-to-face interview with a Customs agent, you get a special sticker that allows you to skip the lines at Customs."

 

Can you please tell me more about this? Where did you go to get it? etc.

Thanks!

 

YOur reviews are an invaluable resource in planning! Thank you so much for all of your planning and congratulations on your weight loss (DH lost 115, I lost 70 but have backtracked some due to surgery)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Forgive this post if this is not an appropriate thread - maybe you can help. I did a search using terms ruby princess british and this is one of many returns with lots of posts.

 

We're pretty much locked into the 12-day British Isle Princess tour R427N with another couple. Sail date June 4.

 

Princess has a sale thru the end of October for $1999, and we will be booking this week. I've used this forum in the past and see that it still has lots of info. I'll be checking back to do more research on details, but want to ask now if there is any suggestions on price shopping, i.e., is there a better price than the current sale? I tried the price search engines here and didn't see anything other than the current sale.

 

Thanks for your response or a suggestion for a different thread.

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Forgive this post if this is not an appropriate thread - maybe you can help. I did a search using terms ruby princess british and this is one of many returns with lots of posts.

 

We're pretty much locked into the 12-day British Isle Princess tour R427N with another couple. Sail date June 4.

 

Princess has a sale thru the end of October for $1999, and we will be booking this week. I've used this forum in the past and see that it still has lots of info. I'll be checking back to do more research on details, but want to ask now if there is any suggestions on price shopping, i.e., is there a better price than the current sale? I tried the price search engines here and didn't see anything other than the current sale.

 

Thanks for your response or a suggestion for a different thread.

For a general question about pricing, you're probably better off starting a new thread. That said, one thing to bear in mind is that Princess permits travel agents to offer discounts on fares. They aren't allowed to advertise those discounts (in other words, you'd have to contact an agent directly), but they're out there and it's worth searching around as it can save you up to 20% (what I got off my fare on my most recent booking -- that's a lot of martinis!).

 

A good place to start is with agencies who advertise on Cruise Critic. Ask friends who cruise a lot. Google. Just beware of agents who charge fees for cancels/changes -- run from them! And on your next cruise, ask fellow passengers for recommendations -- word of mouth is how I found my awesome agent. Unfortunately, we're not allowed to solicit or provide agent recs here on CC. Good luck! (Oh, and if you're happy with a price, once you pay final payment, don't look back. Seriously. It's not worth the angst.)

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Thanks rds. All good advice. Much of which I didn't know about pricing. I'm posting now because of your advice

don't look back. Seriously. It's not worth the angst
I'll start a thread as you suggest. I did a search first because I know it frustrates some when a new thread is started that asks a question that is already addressed in several other threads. Didn't find anything that addresses price for this cruise.
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Forgive this post if this is not an appropriate thread - maybe you can help. I did a search using terms ruby princess british and this is one of many returns with lots of posts.

 

We're pretty much locked into the 12-day British Isle Princess tour R427N with another couple. Sail date June 4.

 

Princess has a sale thru the end of October for $1999, and we will be booking this week. I've used this forum in the past and see that it still has lots of info. I'll be checking back to do more research on details, but want to ask now if there is any suggestions on price shopping, i.e., is there a better price than the current sale? I tried the price search engines here and didn't see anything other than the current sale.

 

Thanks for your response or a suggestion for a different thread.

 

For a general question about pricing, you're probably better off starting a new thread. That said, one thing to bear in mind is that Princess permits travel agents to offer discounts on fares. They aren't allowed to advertise those discounts (in other words, you'd have to contact an agent directly), but they're out there and it's worth searching around as it can save you up to 20% (what I got off my fare on my most recent booking -- that's a lot of martinis!).

 

A good place to start is with agencies who advertise on Cruise Critic. Ask friends who cruise a lot. Google. Just beware of agents who charge fees for cancels/changes -- run from them! And on your next cruise, ask fellow passengers for recommendations -- word of mouth is how I found my awesome agent. Unfortunately, we're not allowed to solicit or provide agent recs here on CC. Good luck! (Oh, and if you're happy with a price, once you pay final payment, don't look back. Seriously. It's not worth the angst.)

 

The simple answer to your question but most folks don't do it since it's so labor intensive.

 

Before final payment deadline (about 3 months before sailing), check the cruise line website three times a day (morning.,noon,night) for the latest prices and deals for your cabin. If there's a special deal rebook it.

 

After final payment, follow the same procedures but look for price reductions that may allow you to trade up in cabin catagory. I've done this many times and it works most of the time.

Edited by Uniall
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Forgive this post if this is not an appropriate thread - maybe you can help. I did a search using terms ruby princess british and this is one of many returns with lots of posts.

 

We're pretty much locked into the 12-day British Isle Princess tour R427N with another couple. Sail date June 4.

 

Princess has a sale thru the end of October for $1999, and we will be booking this week. I've used this forum in the past and see that it still has lots of info. I'll be checking back to do more research on details, but want to ask now if there is any suggestions on price shopping, i.e., is there a better price than the current sale? I tried the price search engines here and didn't see anything other than the current sale.

 

Thanks for your response or a suggestion for a different thread.

 

Lock yourself into a cabin price now and keep checking Princess for any price reduction before final payment. Contact your TA and see if it applies to your cruise and category. They seem to have quite a few sales throughout the year. Last year, they had a cruise & air sale and my TA was able to switch to that sale and I was able to get my air to London for half what the airlines was charging.

 

Check out our Caribbean Princess August 16, 2013 Roll Call (post #2965) for ideas for private tours. If you go in August, you are able to go to the famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo that is only held in August each year.

 

If you go to the Ports of Call - Britain, you get great information about the different ports.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the additional information. I'm especially interested in your comment:

my TA was able to switch to that sale and I was able to get my air to London for half what the airlines was charging.
We're booked for the cruise but need to book our flights sometime before summer. Prices now are hovering around the $1000 mark RDU <-> London. Maybe I need to check with some travel agents to see if they can get us substantial savings by changing my reservations from Princess to them.

 

I'm fairly familiar with online services like Travalocity and Orbitz, but wasn't aware that a TA may be able to get us flying cheaper.

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  • 8 months later...

I think the Titanic museum in Belfast read Emily's review, because on the storyboard just before you go into the theatre, it mentions the Titanic broke in half! So Emily, they have 'fessed up!

 

Oh!!! :eek: I just read this. Thank you for mentioning it! I'll have to share this with my hubby. :D

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  • 2 years later...

Amy,

 

Going on this itinerary on June 6th, 2017. (DW birthday).

 

Awesome review and thanks for the may tips and tricks. We are going to try and pull off the Giants Causeway and the Titanic experience in one day only in reverse order. Please wish us luck!

 

JG and JG

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Amy,

I was wondering what you would do from Greenock. Forgot about Stirling but thought they would have taken you to the Wallace Monument.

The Falkirk wheel is a bit of a non event and I wouldn't say it was a tourist attraction. Sorry the food was a disaster but we live and learn. Try and get across to Fife the next time you and Mark are in Scotland. We have Falkland Palace and of course St Andrews which has a lot of history that is sometimes forgotten due to the golf.

Still, it looks like you had great fun in Lerwick and Edinburgh

 

Greenock is one of my favorite stops. It is where the lowlands meet the highlands. Ton of Clan history and sites. Found this to be very helpful in deciding what to do and see:

http://dougcahoon.wixsite.com/clan-colquhoun-tour

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...

Wow, OP if you are checking in please know how wonderful and helpful your review is. We are taking the British Isles cruise on the Royal in June along with some family members, and Your information about ports is great!

 

Thank you! I hope you have had more great adventures since this one!

 

 

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OP here. Just revisited this thread to relive some great memories. Best wishes to all of you taking this cruise in the future. It really is the trip of a lifetime!

 

 

 

This cruise is definitely on our bucket list. Thanks so much for sharing.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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  • 2 months later...

OP here. We're about to head out on our next adventure. Flying to Rome this Sunday and then boarding the Sapphire Princess for a 10-day cruise on April 25. We'll be visiting Monaco, Gibraltar, Spain, Portugal, France and England -- and Italy, of course. I hope to do another review upon our return!

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