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I'm booked for an Ireland/Scotland Cruise in 2022. We have seven ports; Portland England, Guernsey (St. Peter Port), Cork Ireland, Dublin Ireland, Holyhead Wales, and Glasgow Scotland. Do we need to book an excursion in every port, or can we walk around town at some of them?

Thanks for any and all help.

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20 minutes ago, Cobeck96 said:

I'm booked for an Ireland/Scotland Cruise in 2022. We have seven ports; Portland England, Guernsey (St. Peter Port), Cork Ireland, Dublin Ireland, Holyhead Wales, and Glasgow Scotland. Do we need to book an excursion in every port, or can we walk around town at some of them?

Thanks for any and all help.

 

@Cobeck96

 

Howdy and welcome to the Cruise Critic message boards! emo22.gif

 

Thank you for your first new thread on the Ask a Cruise Question forum. 👍  It is the forum for general questions regarding cruising. However, your thread is off-topic there since your topic concerns specific ports of call. 

 

To help you out, I have moved your thread to the Ports of Call - Europe - British Isles/Western Europe forum where it will be on topic. The majority of your fellow Cruise Critic members that have sailed there or live there frequent this forum and provide feedback here. Browse through the thread titles here on this forum and l👀k for titles of interest. You will probably find  your fellow Cruise Critic members have already posted questions and received answers that will be of interest to you.

 

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55 minutes ago, Cobeck96 said:

 

I'm booked for an Ireland/Scotland Cruise in 2022. We have seven ports; Portland England, Guernsey (St. Peter Port), Cork Ireland, Dublin Ireland, Holyhead Wales, and Glasgow Scotland. Do we need to book an excursion in every port, or can we walk around town at some of them?

Thanks for any and all help.

Welcome to Cruise Critic!

It really depends on what you want to see in each port.  Perhaps do a bit of reading about each port and make a wish list of what you would like to see, then come back and ask if it is possible (or even worthwhile! 😉)

For example, I will offer the following on the 2 Irish ports.  Cork - presumably and hopefully you will dock in Cobh, formerly called Queenstown.  It is a lovely small town and well worth time to walk around and visit St Coleman's Cathedral on the hill.  There is a train station right beside the where the ships dock and you can be in Cork city in 30 minutes.  Interesting enough to walk around.  If you want to visit Blarney Castle and Blarney Stone (uggh) then you would probably be best on a tour.  If you want to hit West Cork or further then you definitely need a tour.  Butler's Tours are well recommended on Cruise Critic.   If your interest is a little more liquid, then pre Covid, Jameson Distillery in Midleton were offering tours which included transport from the Cruise dock in Cobh.  I am sure that these tours will return whenever cruising resumes.

However if you are docking in Ringaskiddy, then all bets are off and you would be best served with a ship's tour (based on local information over the last couple of years).

 

Dublin - again depends on your interests.  There are a couple of HOHO Bus tours (pick the one with live commentary!) which depart from the City Centre.  Take a taxi to the centre or a ship's shuttle bus if supplied.  It is not recommended to walk in the dock area as it is a commercial dock with many container movements.  If you want to visit Trinity College and Book of Kells, then make an booking online for an early admission, take a taxi to Trinity and when you are finished there, take the HOHO bus tour to see the other sights/sites.

Hope this starts your research!

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We are hoping for a similar cruise next (2022) summer and have begun our research.  Please remember that the cruise line is not the only source of excursions.  That said, for a number of these locations the ship docks a distance from the city.  From what I read Guernsey is someplace you can walk around as potentially is Dublin.  One thing I do is look at the ship's tours and if I find something I am interested in ask myself whether there is another way to see the same things.  Good luck and enjoy the planning.

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I agree that two of the stops that are very walkable are Cobh (Cork) and St. Peter Port.  

In Cobh, you can make a right when exiting the ship and find plenty to see and do.  Take the Cobh Road Train https://www.cobhroadtrain.ie for a little tour of Cobh, then see the Titanic Experience http://www.titanicexperiencecobh.ie.  Check out some of the shops along the waterfront, and be sure to stop at Kelly's Bar for live music and a Guinness or Irish coffee.

St. Peter Port is an ideal place for the walker.  Check out https://www.visitguernsey.com/see-and-do/walking-routes/ .  

Taxis in Dublin are pretty reasonable and buses are cheap.  Many attractions are within walking distance of city center, but to see Kilmainham Gaol (worth seeing) and Guinness Storehouse you'd probably want transportation.  I know a lot of people like HOHO buses, but it's been my experience that sometimes you "hop off" and when you try to "hop on" they are full.  Maybe this isn't the case in Dublin--perhaps somebody that has done it can tell you how their experience was.

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19 hours ago, SueMo said:

Taxis in Dublin are pretty reasonable and buses are cheap.

My opinion is that taxis are not 'pretty reasonable' in Dublin or Cork.

Buses may appear 'cheap' but unless you have purchased a pre paid 'Leap' card then prices are not cheap and have the added disadvantage of requiring payment in coins only.  Drivers do not give change and do not accept Euro notes only coins.  So if you are a 'couple' then you will need a pocket full of coins to use the bus.  

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Welcome to Cruise Critic Cobeck.  I would suggest you find the roll call for your cruise by clicking on the link at the top left of this page.  People who are on your cruise may have some helpful suggestions and some may be getting excursions together.  We have a cruise booked to Ireland and Iceland in Sept this year but we will be cancelling it as we feel it is too soon.  I'm so sad about this.

 

Ireland is a wonderful place.  After all, I was born there 76 years ago today and I don't feel old at all.

I hope you enjoy your cruise immensely and also Cruise Critic.  It keeps me sane in these times of not being able to do things as we once did, before COVID.

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On 4/19/2021 at 4:26 PM, Cobeck96 said:

 

I'm booked for an Ireland/Scotland Cruise in 2022. We have seven ports; Portland England, Guernsey (St. Peter Port), Cork Ireland, Dublin Ireland, Holyhead Wales, and Glasgow Scotland. Do we need to book an excursion in every port, or can we walk around town at some of them?

Thanks for any and all help.

 

Welcome to Cruise Critic Cobeck! We're so glad you found us, you'll enjoy making plans here with our incredible community of cruisers, especially on your ship's roll call topic, as Host Kat and our members have pointed you to. You can meet and get to know now people who will be on your ship.

 

I love your itinerary, Guernsey is on my must visit list, along with Wales, parts of the UK I've yet to see. Ireland too, believe it or not, and I'm a citizen, attained through naturalization via my grandfather who was born in County Clare near the seaside. It's probably where I'm headed first, once we're all free to move about! ☘️

 

You'll love Scotland and England, (if you haven't been already) it's going to be an unforgettable journey.

Hope to see you here on the boards, welcome once again 🙂  

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26 minutes ago, turnip eater said:

https://www.dublinbus.ie
 

Have a browse on this site, when you have a moment.😊

Look at the Fares and Tickets item on the top menu; don't try playing with the fare calculator to start with. Also, the Core Route Map under Your Journey from the same top menu hopefully will tell you what zones you need. (Although I can't get anything this morning; I found the fares yesterday.)

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On 4/24/2021 at 8:32 PM, TeaBag said:

After all, I was born there 76 years ago today and I don't feel old at all.

Happy Birthday Teabag! 🎂 Sorry I missed the day.

I am only a couple of years behind you 😉

Gotta say we love travelling by bus in Vancouver!

 

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18 hours ago, mskaufman said:

So, I have to ask, how much is the bus in Dublin?

The cheapest fares are available with the Leap card, but you cannot purchase it onboard.  If arriving by air you can pick up one at the airport.  Arriving on a cruise it would be necessary to get to a location which sells them.  Then you need to put credit on the card.

Paying by cash is only coins, no notes.  That's a lot of coins if there are two or three of you taking a couple of bus trips!

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1 hour ago, VMax1700 said:

Happy Birthday Teabag! 🎂 Sorry I missed the day.

I am only a couple of years behind you 😉

Gotta say we love travelling by bus in Vancouver!

 

Thank you VMax.  i am so sad that we will have to cancel our Ireland/Iceland cruise Sept 4.  it will be the first sailing out of Southampton open to international passengers so we are afraid the ports will not be open.  How tough would it be to be docked in Dublin or Belfast and not be able to leave the ship.  Glad you like travelling around Vancouver.  The Skytrain is a good way to get around too.  but I digress and this thread is really about Scotland and Ireland

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cobeck96-

Welcome to CC!

In reference to your question about shore excursions, things may be different

after cruising resumes. Currently, the cruise lines are basically saying that the shore

excursions must be "approved" for Covid-19 protocol. The following is from Princess Cruises:

"We’re working with local authorities, destinations and tour operators so that the enhanced health and safety measures on board are maintained ashore. We will follow the health protocols for every port we visit. There may be a reduction in the capacity of excursions and tour vehicles. Only shore excursions that comply with our prescribed protocols will be permitted, with strict adherence required of all guests and denial of re-boarding for any guests who do not comply."

 

Hopefully, by the time you/ we cruise, we WILL be able to just walk off of the ship and wander

without going only on a shore excursion through the ship.

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We did the British Isles tour several years ago and booked our excursions in Ireland with Paddywagon Tours.  They offered free wi-fi on their buses. Got us to Blarney Castle at least 30 minutes before the rest of the tour buses arrives so we beat the line to kiss the Blarney Stone. We had tours in Cork, Dublin and Belfast that were all very enjoyable, entertaining and educational all rolled into one.  Highly recommended.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I looked into Paddywagon tours.  Many complaints on other social media sites, as well as, Cruise Critic’s parent company about refunds from cancelled trips from last year still not settled. I did look at other companies who have reimbursed customers.  Just FYI.  

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