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homeofthehound

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About homeofthehound

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    Winnipeg, Canada

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  1. Hi - we used 'the green' bus operated by DoDublin. Our cruise ship port shuttle bus dropped us off at the North West corner of Merrion Square. We walked off that bus, across the intersection and there were a bunch of HoHo's ready to go. We just happened to choose this company's and we loved it. Happy Planning! 😀
  2. We were on the Reflection this past August and we took the ship's shuttle transfer bus into town. It dropped us off on the North West corner of Merrion Square. We were able to get on the HoHo bus on that same corner and at the end of our day, found our way back to that spot for picking up the return shuttle to the ship. I would absolutely do that again for a touring day but not with suitcases etc.
  3. We took a similar version of this cruise this past August, some of your ports were not on ours but we did leave from Amsterdam and stopped in Cobh, Greenock, Dublin, Belfast and Dover. I'll provide our experiences for you to consider (we are mid 40's, early 50's, well travelled, active and no mobility issues): Cobh - we overnighted there, the first day we took an all day private tour to Blarney Castle & Kinsale, which we loved. Yes it was a lot of time on the bus, but the stops were worth it and made for a great day. Blarney - we would have loved more time there, and Kinsale was very quaint where we had a great meal and a nice walk around. We used Paddywagon Tours and I would recommend them again. As we were overnighting there, we had lots of time to walk around Cobh in the dusk, early night hours, we were able to get some great photos of the spectacular Cathedral as the dusk light was happening. There were a couple of lively pubs across the street from where the ship docks. Very easy to get back and forth. The second day we took the train from Cobh to Cork. We were supposed to do the Jameson Distillery tour to Middleton (pick up at the bus station) but there was a mix up and we ended up just walking around Cork. Even though it wasn't our original plan we were very happy with our day, again having a fabulous pub meal and a walk around the town for some shopping. The train back and forth to Cork/Cobh is extremely easy and convenient - the train stop is literally right outside of the ship's docking area. Just be cautious of the return times to the ship as it only runs once an hour at certain times in the day. Greenock - we took the ship's excursion to Edinburgh. Again lots of bus time, but we felt with the distance we wanted to security of knowing we were with the ship's provider in case of issues. We wish we would have had more time in Edinburgh but we were happy with our first introduction to the city. Dublin - we used the ship's shuttle transfer bus which takes you out of the port area and into town. While our driver got lost on the way into town, I would expect that was a rare exception and I would recommend doing this again, unless you really want to pay for a taxi to get you into town. To walk from the ship to town would be very long and not pleasant. It is a huge port and industrial area before getting to town. Once the transfer bus dropped us off, we got on the Hop On Hop Off (located at the same intersection), getting off at the Guinness Storyhouse and then spending time in the town area. This is another place where we wish would have had more time to just wander on our own, ejoying the pubs etc. If you like donuts, be sure to stop into the Rolling Donut! Belfast - we took an all day private tour (arranged by someone on our roll call) to take us to Giant's Causeway, Carrick-A-Rede Rope bridge, Antrim Coast and a number of other stops. We loved this day!! We feel bad not seeing Belfast but next time we will have something new to look forward to! Dover - we took the ship's all day excursion to London to see the London Tower, again choosing the ship's tour specifically for the security of the transportation. This was our greatest disappointment. The drive was very long, our tour guide was more like a history teacher (rather dull and very focused on Brexit), we didn't have a lot of time at the Tower and in our case the weather was terrible. If we were to stop again in Dover, we would definitely look for a tour in the Dover area as opposed to London. If you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer. Happy Planning!!
  4. We loved our Causeway tour day and do not feel like we missed anything by skipping the Titanic related tours. If we were to go back to that part of the world, we would likely go back to the Causeway again (we prefer outdoor tour options compared to indoor museum type of tours though). Enjoy whichever you decide to do! :)
  5. I have stayed at the Hilton Doubletree twice.... it is literally right beside the train station which would be great for your day trip and yet it is still only a walk across the bridge to get to the main action of town. The staff there are wonderful too! :) My first time I took a taxi to the port (I didn't know where I was going and was by myself on a hot day), it was 10 Euros. This past year my hubby and I walked to the port with our cases. It took about 15 mins. If you have mobility issues or a lot of difficult luggage with you, I would take the taxi, but we would certainly walk it again as we travel light and are vey mobile. Happy Planning!
  6. If you happen to be with Westjet, they regularly do not even open their checkin counter until 3 hours before and the terminal is not great for seating options etc. We have regularly had to wait for checkin when we arrive. However the last time we got off in FLL, there was a severe (and I mean severe) shortage of taxis, I'm guessing because there were just too many big ships in at once? We ended up being ok for our flight but the situation was not good.... people were getting very cranky and then "stealing" taxis before they reached the front of the line. The sheriffs ended up having to do crowd control. It was a one off - we usually have no issues at all at FLL but if you are at all a nervous traveler do the self-disembark and save yourself the added stress.
  7. We used "The Irish Tour Guides". A CC member had made all of the arrangements for the day and it turned out great. I can't remember our guides name but he was fabulous. They were able to accommodate all of the stops that we wanted to make and allowed for sufficient time at each location. Highly recommend based on our experience!
  8. If I remember correctly, the plate was listed with one but our server offered to bring two for my husband before he could even finish ordering - we had an excellent wait staff team 😃
  9. Here are a couple more pics from the Reflection in August. All of our meals were delicious and we were always too full afterwards - the different butters (for their yummy bread and breadsticks) were a real treat too! The beef stroganoff isn't the best picture but trust me, it was very very good! I have even included a pic of our room service night - we were kicking ourselves that we didn't order two pizzas because it was so good!😃
  10. If you like Donuts go to The Rolling Donut! It was delicious 😃 We also did the HOHO bus which was fun - our drivers were hilarious!
  11. We were just there in August and our ship overnighted so we needed to find two days of tours. We did do an all day Blarney and Kinsale driving tour which was very good and we were very surprised with the size of the Blarney area - we didn't have enough time there and would like to go back. Even if you didn't want to climb up and kiss it, the area itself is very 'park like' and gorgeous. Lots of places to walk and see other things including the little village outside of the Blarney gates. You might want to look a little more into that if you were thinking it is just the castle as we felt we could spend a whole day there easily. Kinsale was also a great stop although we were happy with just a few hours there to grab a pub lunch and walk around with an ice cream, but also consider that it was part of a 9 hour tour that day so we would have explored more if it would have been a single stop tour. On the second day our plan was to take the train into Cork (extremely easy to do) and then meet the Jameson Middleton Shuttle bus, to then be driven to the distillery for the tour etc. Unfortunately the week we were there is the same week that they changed the pick up location (due to road construction completion) and we ended up missing the bus (extremely disappointed), so we had to change our plans and ended up just walking around Cork city centre. It was much more pleasant than I had expected it to be and we ended up having a fabulous time. This was our last port day of our 14 day vacation so it was nice to just wander, grab some coffees and an excellent lunch and then take the train back to Cobh without rushing. I would certainly do it again, so you might not want to underestimate having just a "free day" there??? 😃
  12. Does anyone know - the small print that says "Credit may be used on flights to and from the ship only," does that mean you have to fly in on the day of embarkation, or just that you can't make a stop in another city prior to going to your embarkation city? If we wanted to fly in a couple of days before, would that be allowed? Thanks in advance!
  13. On the Reflection in August they used the movie and then a live demonstration of how to put on the life vests, however.... we were mustered in the MDR and unfortunately where we were positioned you could not see any (not 1) of the staff showing the life vests due to the posts/columns in the dining room - the staff were standing behind them and just didn't move around at all.
  14. We are just off the Reflection (not sure if the different ship matters?) in August, and ours had a lounger, two normal chairs and a nice sized table. Our 'hump' cabin was the smallest of the humps so it made it a little tight for space but still nice to have. I assumed a previous passenger might have asked for it but I didn't bother looking at any others to see if they had them too.
  15. We were on Aug 13 - 25 and they still provided bar soap and the little bottles of shampoo, conditioner and hand lotion.
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