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Belfast excursion question (trying again)

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When the Explorer is in BELFAST early in May, I want to be able to book our own NON REGENT morning tour of the "Troubles".  (nothing offered by Regent)  Then we have

booked an afternoon/half day tour which at the moment is The Pubs of Belfast.

Would we have to get back to the ship to start the Regent exursion, our would we be able to arrange to meet up with them at the first stop?  (I understand

the Belfast port is about 3 miles to the city and there are shuttles available?)

 

Secondly, does anyone have a recommendation for a Tour of the Troubles?  That history fascinates me.  

 

Thanks for any suggestions, and again sorry I screwed up my first post..........

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Posted (edited)

TIf you are prepared to book your own “Troubles” tour, why not just do your own pub crawl. There is no great distance to walk and you will get plenty of friendly barmen who will provide better guidance than any tour guide. The Regent pub tour does go to some nice and interesting pubs, but not all of the best ones imo. You should not miss The Crown Bar for instance.

Recommending a “troubles” tour is difficult- it really does depend what perspective you want. There are a number of different ones with startlingly varied itineraries and themes.   I suspect “truth” or historical accuracy is somewhere in the middle, or maybe there is more than one truth. FWIW I lived in Belfast throughout the “troubles”, I have my own version but I do not seek to deny other versions, although some of the “tours” are little more than propaganda and warped history. It is also worth saying that Belfast has changed enormously since those days and many of the locations of the “incidents” are unrecognisable now. Yes, you will see the murals and the peace walls but whether you will get an accurate feeling of what it was like, I have to say I doubt it. My suggestion therefore is to contact the Northern Ireland Visitor Information Centre and see what they suggest (google it)https://discovernorthernireland.com/DC-Tours-A-History-of-Terror-Belfast-P34070/

my suspicion, going back to your original question about the Regent pub tour is that you may not necessarily be able to join the tour after it has started for logistical reasons. They simply cannot guarantee 100% to be in a certain pub at a certain time.

finally can I say that my response is in no way to be taken as a criticism of anyone interested in the history of my country- personally I have a strange “passion” for the American Civil War and feel lucky to have been able to visit some of the battlefields and got what I felt were great tours. Back in Norn Iron, I suggest events are still a bit too recent to be able to guarantee that.

can I just add that I have not been on the tour linked to above. It may not be the sort of tour you are looking for, but it does look like it will give you a balanced perspective 

Edited by Belfast Taxman

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We spent a few days in Belfast a couple of years ago and had a great time utilising various tours.

 

A big thing in Belfast is the various 'Black Cab Tours'. We found an excellent guy who can be found on TripAdvisor named Keith Graham's Tours. He gets rave reviews, although be aware that these tours are not cheap.

We did a 'Troubles' tour with him to all of the areas we wanted such as Falls Road, Shanklin Road, Crumlin Rd jail, and all the murals around the housing estates etc. We also used him to take us to the coast to see Giants Causeway, Carrickfergus Castle, Dunluce Castle (famous as the location of the cover photos of Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy album - if this is your kind of music !).      

 

Enjoy

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To answer your basic question regarding going back to the ship the answer is most likely yes.  Have never heard of people joining a tour in the middle.  They do a count when handing out the tour tickets and if a wait list and you don't show they would give your tickets to someone on the wait list.

 

As others have said no guarantee of time ore schedule for the excursion so easy for you to miss them where you think you are joining them.  Better to go back to the ship and join in accordance with instructions on the ticket in your suite.

 

You might luck out with your plan but, don't think anyone here could validate that nor could Regent before boarding at which time you could ask destinations.

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Agree with Belfast Taxman, there would be a difficult balance to keep on a troubles tour: one man's freedom fighter is another terrorist. Also having visited recently and further back Belfast has changed a lot. Most open top bus tours show the murals and 'peace' walls in a non- committal way. As an American you may find history harder to take...

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I will "Jump the Shark" on this Thread.  Previous posts re:  "Troubles" in Belfast reminded me of our first visit to Berlin very-shortly after reunification of that city; and the country.  Our Guide was a young German who had grown up in East Germany; and had lived in the former East Berlin.  Spoke flawless English.  Obviously, he had been either in the East German Army's Intelligence Service; and/or the State Police apparatus.  Now, he was making his own way as a civilian in the new reality of one Germany.  

 

It was an interesting tour through the "East" portion of Berlin--complete with visits to sites which still showed scars of WWII--facades of historical buildings and a Museum festooned with bullet holes from Russian machine guns incurred during the Red Army's "liberation" of that city during April, 1945.  We got our Guide's more-than-slightly skewed version of post-WWII East German, aka "Peoples Democratic Republic of Germany" history.  More-interesting was how he was dealing with a culture shock of seeing how the "other" (West Berlin and West Germany) had fared over past 46 years.  At one point, he opined:  

 

Well, you guys (in our group, mainly military-types from England, Canada, and USA accompanied by our spouses) have your own version of history.  History is written only by the victors. 

 

Could not let than one pass.  Response:  No, true history--history which has legs--is written by historians, and then revisited and revised with benefit of new "facts".  It evolves.  I mentioned how the American Civil War was still the subject of intense scrutiny by historians.  Yet, there were some fundamental facts--stubborn things--that have stood the test of time and scrutiny concerning that bloodbath.  He sort of shrugged his shoulders.   On to the next site.  

 

Back on this Thread:  Based on last October's Explorer British Isles cruise segment--which included a day at Belfast.  We eschewed the pub crawl option.  Took "In the Steps of the Titanic" tour.  That was the best tour Regent tour we have been on over the past few years.   Highly recommend consideration.  We took the morning option.  A bit-early start; but back in plenty of time for lunch.  

 

Just a thought.  

 

GOARMY!

 

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