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  1. The fast ferry from Holyhead is very unreliable and not very fast. Takes 2 hours and 15 mins as against the more reliable slow boat that takes 3 hours and 15 mins. But beware that 1 of the Irish Ferries boats is more like a freight ship. The 2 Stena boats are both designed to take passengers. (1 is brand new)
  2. The Riu is located on O' Connell street, an area rich in history. A lot of tour buses depart fro this street. I have never stayed in it, but did have my Debs (High school Prom) in this hotel a few years ago, actually many years ago.
  3. I think so, or Blood sausage. There is a white pudding made without blood.
  4. The Black hockey puck thing is called Black Pudding
  5. Any idea when the Explorer is due to get her make over?
  6. I presume you are a Marriott rewards member, Sadly there is not a great choice in Dublin, unless you want to pay top dollar. It might be worth looking at other hotel's. The Aloft is a new hotel and I haven't been there, and the Moxy isn't open yet.
  7. I'm not big into pubs as such, so maybe if you give me an idea of what you would like, I can try and advise. For food. if I wanted steak, I'd go to FXB'S and if I want Burgers and Beer, I'd go to Thunder Road Cafe.
  8. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 teens. We have cruised many times with Royal Carribean and had Junior suites and up, so for this cruise we booked inter connecting balcony cabins on Deck 9. I had read many reviews about MSC and The Preziosa, and have to say was a little bit concerned about all the negative reviews about service and food. We had booked the Fantastica package that came with drinks up to a value of €10 per drink for the adults and soda and soft serve ice cream for the teens. We flew from Dublin to Hamburg with Ryanair and arrived on time. We took a taxi from outside the airport to the Renaissance Hotel. Hamburg is a beautiful city with lots to see and do. A couple of things we did was eat ice cream by the lake, visit Minatur wunderland and the Hamburg Dungeon (English speaking guide on Saturday & Sunday @ 10am). We took a taxi from the hotel to the Steinwerder terminal. We arrived at about 12.30 and after giving our luggage to the porters we entered the terminal and were given a number 4 ticket and told to wait till it was called. 4 was called after about 20 minutes, so we joined the que to check in. At the desk they verify your passport and documents and give you your sea pass card. We then went through security and proceeded onto the ship. When we got on the ship our photos were taken. In total from arriving to ship took about 45 minutes. Now on the ship in the atrium, staff were welcoming you on board and saying if you want food the restaurant on deck 5 or the buffet on 14. Up to 14 we go, come out of the lift and are greeted at the entrance to the buffet by 2 staff, 1 with anti bacterial spray and the other guy saying 4 of you, let me find you a table (Wow). We are sat at a window and the girls went and explored the buffet, while I kept the table. On the table is a button for bar service, so I had to press it and along came a waiter who got me some drinks. (I’m impressed with this so called bad service and rude staff) I must say the buffet restaurant is big and plenty of choice. I had read that the pizza was good, It is delicious and fresh. So after we eat, it was time to explore the ship, and then find our cabin. We had Cabin’s 9126 & 9124, interconnecting balconies. I noticed that we had early (6pm) seating in the Golden lobster restaurant, so I went to see if we could change to the later @ 8.30pm. No problem, but it is a shared table with other English speaking guests. Now the last time we did a shared table did not work out well, my kids were age 6 & 8 and the others were 3 generations of the same family aged from 87 to 43. Well I have to say we thoroughly enjoyed our table mates, The service was fine, nothing special, or nothing bad. The choice & quality of food was not great in my opinion, but to be honest it didn’t really matter as we were having great conversation at the table. We went to 1 show called the Mask, which was ok. We eat Breakfast and lunch in the buffet, food was perfect, however coffee was weak, but just press that button or go to the bar and get a fresh cappuccino included in the drinks package. The weather was not great so the indoor pool was packed. There is a pool and bar at the back of the ship that would be nice on a warm sunny day. We were only on board for 3 days but we all really enjoyed our first MSC experience. I did miss the not been able to walk around the ship on a lower deck close to the water.
  9. Sorry, I don't have a copy of the drinks menu, But the premium package covers drinks up to €10 in value. A draught beer cost's €5.50, Bottled beer costs from €6, House wine is €5 per glass. Most cocktails cost €8
  10. We flew in the day before and enjoyed the many attractions in Hamburg. We stayed in the Renaissance in the centre. Nice hotel. We took a taxi to the port from the hotel and it cost €35 including a tip. (4 people) I did read somewhere that MSC have a shuttle bus from the main train station for €5 per person.
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