Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
RetiredMustang

Dave’s Live from Zuiderdam Voyage of the Vikings, July 30 – Sept. 3, 2019

Recommended Posts

Aug. 18, Cobh (Cont.)

 

At the 4 p.m. happy hour in the Ocean Bar, we sat at a table by a window that overlooked the pier.  Starting about 4:30, we saw bus after bus come driving up the pier, and then spawn.  Sorry, but the imagery of the shore excursion passengers getting off the buses made me think of salmon, for some reason … must be a Pacific Northwest thing.

 

Here are tonight’s dinner and dessert menus:

 

1566859297_dinner18Aug_1.thumb.jpg.a95e263f500825abd8bea503b38c2589.jpg798258752_dinner18Aug_2.thumb.jpg.4312dddd03533dd7eb36defb946f30fc.jpg

 

379363393_dessert18Aug_2.jpg.1f08d3f0480d8dcacd92f58d895643e2.jpg

 

Here is the Lido dinner menu:

 

681500557_dinnerlido18Aug.thumb.jpg.0f0bea2078d64bfb2c60446a6f4a0591.jpg

 

 

More tomorrow,

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aug. 19, Dublin, Ireland

 

We are approaching Dublin harbor, and hoping for the good weather that the Captain predicted last night.  The Accuweather forecast is for sun and passing showers, high of 64F/18C.  We have been in Dublin before, including a stay of several days’ length, years ago.  Today, we plan to see Dublin from a different angle (no, not on hands and knees).  We have booked a ship shore excursion called “River Cruise & City Sights” which starts with a guided cruise along the Liffey River.  That sounded like a unique way to view the city, so we booked it.  The tour continues with some bus touring to and by some things, including the obligatory stop at Guiness.  We’re looking forward to it.

 

Here is today’s When and Where:

 

19Aug_1.thumb.jpg.bd8f5ff887c670d652d4214683f85892.jpg19Aug_2.thumb.jpg.83c39b44cbf4bccaf2700dea4f3f80bd.jpg

 

 

19Aug_3.thumb.jpg.a5ea9baead27963b72602a325cb0b013.jpg19Aug_4.thumb.jpg.e027f3427c5aa94320888f072f875f2e.jpg

 

 

19Aug_5.thumb.jpg.e866d9ad0398dd253a77e315edb56e6c.jpg19Aug_6.thumb.jpg.960787b9fdcc6f090fc7cb79a00a8d49.jpg

 

 

Here is the Dublin port guide:

 

500422157_Dublin1.thumb.jpg.28e8e7dc9d5cbcee3d83744c8154113c.jpg

 

424931269_Dublin2.thumb.jpg.7a31ea5703305bb3115b48ede654b370.jpg

 

 

More later,

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed only about 2 or 3 solo events over the past few weeks.  I wonder if this is because there aren't many single people on board or are they cutting it out?  I will be sailing as a solo in April and look forward to meeting others, so I hope this won't be the case.  Love your posts and photos.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aug. 19, Dublin (Cont.)

 

We had good, mostly sunny weather through our 4+-hour excursion.  We left the pier pretty much on time at around 8:45 a.m.  Our bus did the window tour first, followed by the boat trip.  We started by joining dozens of city and tour buses, and Dubliners on their way to work in the heart of the city.  It took a while to wend through the Monday morning rush hour traffic, but it soon got better.  Our excellent guide pointed out many things and provided background as we went around.  Here are some the shots I got through the window on the window tour portion.  First, the Post Office.  It’s a nice building, but its importance is that it is the site of the failed Easter 1916 Uprising that tried to free Ireland from British rule.

 

415344139_Dublinpostoffice.jpg.c4b26c3080d63d5c1e21c118eb89a590.jpg

 

 

Here are photos of the Duke of Wellington Memorial, and the President of Ireland’s house, both in Phoenix Park:

 

1522256133_WellingtonMonument.thumb.jpg.4d21d180672977a3cae11a4f5371e4ba.jpg

 

1422954604_presidentshouse.jpg.ec1545b1c0522506a55bf7271a0a46fb.jpg

 

 

I misunderstood the Guinness portion, as we did not stop and tour, but I got a couple of shots as we went by:

 

362998718_Guinness1.jpg.6fea8a43c1d6b9575d66b454955980e3.jpg

 

1381378299_Guinness2.jpg.69ea94bc6953c26a6e8f10b8b0023f78.jpg

 

 

And, of interest to me and several other men on the bus, we passed The Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland, founded in 1198.  We didn’t stop there, either. 😢

 

287039545_BrazenHead.jpg.fd7f4c3dac4b7ff92fa723a3fc1a50a9.jpg

 

 

More in the next post,

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aug. 19, Dublin (Cont.)

 

We did have stops where we could get off the bus.  The first was at Phoenix Park café, to use the restrooms, possibly get a coffee or snack, and stretch a bit.  There was a large walled garden featuring vegetables, fruit trees, and flowers:

 

1334676585_walledgarden.jpg.e97a778567d11b17389f137cfe3e298d.jpg

 

 

We also stopped at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but not long enough to go inside:

 

123230759_StPatricks.thumb.jpg.8d25675875aeab631af401e32745620b.jpg

 

 

And we stopped at a street in southeast Dublin to see the famous Dublin Doorways.  I had noticed that many doors in some parts of town had colored doors, most of them different colors from one another.  This street is the most famous one.  Here are some photos:

 

228618316_streetofcoloreddoors.jpg.9562f50d6cbc00dcb5cb536178e6121b.jpg

 

2009595181_coloreddoor1.jpg.a4314783cfa69c15edd364b6314acbc0.jpg

 

714484892_coloreddoor2.jpg.94d3f76a6c336adfd589d33803ca3237.jpg

 

1711954112_ornatedoor.jpg.8e4d792a1c9aae6ce9af3638202ce847.jpg

 

 

More in the Next post,

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aug. 19, Dublin (Cont.)

 

We then drove to the CHQ building, site of the Irish Immigration Museum (which we did not visit) and of public restrooms (which we did).  Across the street was the pier where we boarded the Liffey Voyager.  I did not expect it to be like the boats on the Seine in Paris, but it makes sense, as it also passes under low bridges.    Here is a picture of our boat, and of the interior:

 

1618434591_LiffeyRiverboat.jpg.3c23e7d6b05305de69a923a5f3f0080f.jpg

 

1860926714_boatseating.jpg.f1782290ad2768a88083ece72ea75a20.jpg

 

 

We went upstream, passing under several bridges while a guide narrated.  After a while, the boat turned around and stopped long enough to take a photo back downstream:

 

559409629_passingunderbridge.jpg.e2b6bb0cccca0d050105e022c1fc72ab.jpg

 

20551223_railroadbridge.jpg.8cf8a7fa831ed7ecca6b798cb35414a8.jpg

 

1345767139_LiffeyRiverandbridges.jpg.bcd097e536c0926a8d1f33b1bf75a872.jpg

 

 

We then sailed back downstream, passing interesting sights, including businesses, the old Customs Building, and a replica of a sailing ship that took many Irish to America:

 

1820291024_alongtheriver.jpg.d70bd316074b84542fd188a59708b742.jpg

 

852458080_CustomsHouse.jpg.dcd28db728e5674b4ebfc230ebfd6137.jpg

 

2145845585_replicasailingship.jpg.78d01476d9ef9f6aa41af2ad2231fa8e.jpg

 

 

We went downstream to the last bridge, turned back and then sailed back to the boat’s pier. A few left the excursion at that point to stay in town, while the rest of us took the bus back to the ship, arriving about 1 p.m.

 

This was an interesting an enjoyable day, and while we had seen some of the sights from previous walks about Dublin, we saw some new ones, too, like Phoenix Park, and we got a different view of the city from the river.  If you are not looking for in-depth visits to specific places, but rather would like an overview tour, this is a good choice.  You would need to be able to get up and down bus stairs, and walk a ramp and some stairs to the boat.

 

More later,

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoyed your review of the tour, which I took when the Amsterdam was there in May. I, too, thought the tour a good one for people who can't get around as easily as they once did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did a similar tour when we stayed a few days in Dublin many years ago.  The boats weren't as nice back then.

 

Great pictures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aug. 19, Dublin (Cont.)

 

It was a quiet afternoon on board.  What with the 10:30 p.m. all onboard, I think a lot of people decided to see what was on offer in Dublin this evening.

 

Here are tonight’s dinner and dessert menus:

 

933725465_dinner19Aug_1.thumb.jpg.cb4dd8e044b6839aa864f898623e6441.jpg780873000_dinner19Aug_2.thumb.jpg.4f165e1aa8311273c415bb6133c74f94.jpg

 

257761331_dessert19Aug.jpg.255c5bbc3b576fdb4d2df016bf4407fc.jpg

 

 

Here is the Lido dinner menu:

 

275341671_dinnerlido19Aug.thumb.jpg.0ad762b07aa770d01b8ad2599f583052.jpg

 

 

More tomorrow,

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks Dave for taking us along on your voyage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, bandlady74 said:

Great reports, Dave. We embarked in Rotterdam-how do I find you to say hello?

Amy

 

We tend to hang out at the Ocean bar at happy hour (although we may be late today due to a long shore excursion).  I've posted a couple of pictures of me on the blog, and I do look like my avatar.

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aug. 20, Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

The skies were mostly cloudy at dawn, but as we got closer to Belfast, they started moving away, and we approached Belfast in sunlight:

 

countryside.jpg.35abd7f15fec38d13413286b42a53952.jpg

 

818572427_Belfastport.jpg.e6027248785b697779c3ee84f7f7d42e.jpg

 

313272575_Belfastpier.jpg.f95756d298070a51bd7b0235660637e3.jpg

 

 

We are moored near the end of the port area, close to the bay, which will make it an easy departure this afternoon, but it also means a longer way to the city center.  Like yesterday in Dublin, shuttle buses are available, as of course are taxis.

 

We have a ship’s shore excursion booked this morning.  DW and I discovered on this cruise that we both have an opportunity to see something we remember reading about when we were in grade school and thinking it would be something we would like to visit someday.  For me, it is today.  We are going to see the Devil’s Causeway, a formation of rock columns on the coast north of Belfast.  DW’s we hope will come when we go to Qaqortoq – we have booked a tour to the Hvalsey church and farm, the last Viking Greenland settlement to be abandoned.  It looks like we should have nice weather for today at least – sunny, with some clouds here and there and a chance of spotty showers.  But, as Pacific Northwesterners, we don’t go anywhere without both sunglasses/sunscreen and waterproof jackets.

 

The tour departs at 10 a.m., and last 5+ hours, as the Causeway is a 90-minute drive each way.  So, I will probably be later than usual to post an account of the tour.

 

 

Here is today’s When and Where:

 

20Aug_1.thumb.jpg.8a10d829863db0442c4f2a5e682f1d98.jpg20Aug_2.thumb.jpg.a41e67aaf72b410f7eba71985840879e.jpg

 

 

20Aug_3.thumb.jpg.73ff8c55190ff673dc1e5d1a7210a300.jpg20Aug_4.thumb.jpg.7f571210a040665ef7a8041b8f977410.jpg

 

 

20Aug_5.thumb.jpg.a04ac0170b50d7b878ae041b1366d900.jpg20Aug_6.thumb.jpg.8632b53d3f1272022c2619ad4c1340a0.jpg

 

 

 

Here is the Belfast port guide:

 

843794998_Belfast1.thumb.jpg.ec4459f1f80845fae27f53b4b2a86d38.jpg

 

1054677403_Belfast2.thumb.jpg.be1322ea24437223680b5162826fbc78.jpg

 

 

 

More later,

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, RetiredMustang said:

We are going to see the Devil’s Causeway

Giant's Causeway, Dave!  The Devil is in the detail!! 😉

 

p.s. lovin' the review.  Someday I hope to do this cruise, but as you have reported on the inclement local weather so much you can see why it isn't high on my list of 'must do's'. I do like a change!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, VMax1700 said:

Giant's Causeway, Dave!  The Devil is in the detail!! 😉

 

Right you are, of course!  Sorry about the mix-up.

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Aug. 20, Belfast (Cont.)

 

We were on the first of at least two tour buses going to the Giant’s Causeway.  We drove on freeways and divided highways most of the wat, and eventually arrived at the town of Portrush, which may be familiar to golf fans, as the English Open (or as they call it The Open Championship) was recently held on this golf course.  Our guide said it would run you 260 pounds for a round of 18:

 

1330138332_RoyalPortrushGC.jpg.5a6de0a44fe2bab9db103672fcd37b60.jpg

 

 

We then took the coast road past Dunluce Castle, where we had a photo stop.  It is an interesting pile, with a lot of history, but also of interest to those of my age cohort – it was where Led Zeppelin took the photo for the cover of the Houses of the Holy album.

 

1450518969_Dunlucecastle.jpg.b3e61860dc7d4bce24d771e5dc92f9c0.jpg

 

 

A short time later, at about 11:45 a.m., we arrived at the Visitor Center.  Our guide recommended the following course of action: restrooms first, walk downhill or take the shuttle to the Causeway, then shuttle back uphill to the visitor center.

 

573685653_visitorcenter.jpg.d3a22da9467a596a1c383c31fd0419d9.jpg

 

115782119_shuttlebus.jpg.6ac9c9caf34eaaa6f0e20724b55ed6a0.jpg

 

 

We were allotted and hour and a half to be back on the bus.  We followed our guide’s advice.  There were three cruise ships in Belfast, and it was a glorious sunny morning, so we joined what seemed like thousands of people at the site.  But, the restroom lines ran quickly.  In fact (practical info follows), DW reported that the center has just about achieved potty parity.  The line for the ladies loo went as quickly as the gents’ because there were lots of stalls. 

 

We were thus more quickly ready than we thought.  We decided to walk the half-mile/800 meters to the Causeway.  There were many people, so we often had to step into the street to get around people stopping for photos, etc. 

 

1403434261_pathwaytocauseway.jpg.f5ba10e369a709fea8112e5a12572fa1.jpg

 

 

Of course, I stopped now and then to take snaps of the rugged coastline, and the heather which had come into bloom along the path:

 

276197482_ruggedcoast.jpg.39debb2789d4f10799dde729bdb6f6a6.jpg

 

heather.jpg.d654205780c879d2c1a484a11814cafb.jpg

 

 

As we got closer, we could spot people on the Causeway rocks:

 

554325184_Causeway1.jpg.8c2823d82728ca0b5f57f20d8cf21fa8.jpg

 

 

Our guide told us that the current thinking is that the basalt hexagonal spires were formed when a volcanic eruption sent slow-cooling lava over the top of chalk formations.  But he said that story was rubbish, as everyone in Ireland knew that it was built by one giant from Ireland to attack another giant in Scotland, a relatively short distance away.  The second giant was (short version) frightened by a ruse committed by the first into fleeing back to Scotland, destroying the causeway behind him to escape.

 

Here are several shots of tourists on rocks, and the hexagonal rocks themselves; they are about a foot/30cm or so across:

 

75550348_hexagonalrocks.jpg.bf521723aa3e874a07b6fff306966077.jpg

 

1520600308_touristsonrocks1.jpg.69a90c73662a29dbec3608a99b154be9.jpg

 

38074191_touristsonrocks2.jpg.daaf611343fc551e06d8136e3cf9774d.jpg

 

2109704821_Causeway2.jpg.256992af2b226b8afc2c4c191523feb9.jpg

 

 

After our visit to the causeway, we took the shuttle back uphill to the visitor center, and got a quick sandwich lunch at the café before getting back on the bus. Our bus left at 1:15 and we drove some very pretty coastal roads to a viewpoint overlooking the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge:

 

601254695_ropebridge.jpg.70d6b3110f6d1a5371a5f1052f1ef124.jpg

 

 

We had a 10-minute stop at the parking area, where was also parked an ice cream truck.  Most of us went to the viewpoint to take pictures of the bridge.  But a lot of us then went to the ice cream truck, me included.  The soft-serve cone with a flake (a chocolate stick) that used to cost 25p in 1980 when we lived in London has gotten more expensive – the truck operator nicked me for three pounds, but I suppose location, location, location (it was worth every shilling)!

 

We then drove back to Belfast through some amazing countryside – it is easy to see why they call this the Emerald Isle:

 

1321350453_Irishcountryside.jpg.0a1f6e5ac1a9ab43b94493c5dee6a133.jpg

 

 

We really enjoyed this trip; quite apart from it being something I had wanted to see for decades, it was good on its own merit.  The bus was comfortable, and the drive was not overlong either way.  You had to be mobile to clamber on the rocks, but you could enjoy them from the shuttle parking areas.

 

More later,

Dave

Edited by RetiredMustang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aug. 20, Belfast (Cont.)

 

We arrived back at the port at 3:15 p.m., which allowed us enough time for our usual happy hour in the Ocean Bar before dinner.  The captain announced in his usual 5 p.m. talk about the sailaway and course we will take, etc. that he expected the weather to deteriorate by early morning as we ran into a storm, but should be better by tomorrow afternoon.  Luckily, tomorrow is a sea day.  Also, we lose another hour tonight, as we set our clocks back to Iceland time.

 

Here are tonight’s dinner and dessert menus:

 

134701441_dinner20Aug_1.thumb.jpg.84156fedc8d42bcedfbe91e660864879.jpg941035808_dinner20Aug_2.thumb.jpg.b7ed5d76258569376f4bfd93cad43b99.jpg

 

309146586_dessert20Aug.jpg.d73d99c793ad3628c1fad3f6bcd51316.jpg

 

Here is tonight’s Lido dinner menu:

 

872581145_dinnerlido20Aug.thumb.jpg.2344c34adb57debfe4ab9c24f312d4db.jpg

 

 

More tomorrow,

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enjoyed your pics and writings on Dublin and Belfast, two ports I have yet to stop at.

 

I hope you got an hour back as you start westbound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...