What a great way to see the whole of the British Isles in 12 days!
Loved cruising with Princess. Met a lot of wonderful people via doing the anytime dining and asking to share a table. Thought the two wine tasting offerings during the days at sea were terrific.
We visited 8 ports:
NORMANDY/HONFLEUR , FRANCE:
We had arranged with another couple to hire Pierre Doublet as a guide to Normandy. He did an excellent job and I felt my head fill up around 3:30pm - info overload. As a treat, at the end of the day, he took around Honfleur.
We tendered into South Queensferry and walked up the stairs to Dalmeney train station. It's a 10-minute ride (8 pounds cost) into Edinburgh Waverley station.
We visited the castle and then went to the National Scottish Gallery. What fun.
INVERNESS/LOCH NESS, SCOTLAND:
I tried to be really smart and take the local bus from the port to town. We had booked a tour of Loch Ness with Jacobite Tours. I wish I had taken a cab!
Because of the bridge work being done in inverness, traffic is horrific and we missed the tour time. Jacobite was very generous in allowing us to cancel. We did take a bus to Nessieland and got a ride on a boat on Loch Ness for an hour and saw the Urguhart castle via the boat. Boat owner has pictures he took to prove he saw Nessie! We did cab ride it back to the ship (65 pounds). The scenery was quite lovely. Take a lot of british or scottish pounds and take the cab (or try to share one with someone).
ORKNEY ISLANDS/ KIRKWALL
Amazing - not to be missed. This was my favorite port. Took a tour with Orkney Aspects. They picked us up at ship and took us all over. Cannot believe we saw so many archaeological sites. Wear warm clothes - don't forget your gloves!
Took the local train into Glasgow and then did the hop on and hop off bus around the city. What a treat. I wish we had more time to explore the city. Did take an hour to see the Glasgow Museum of Transport. We found this facinating.
Wish I could have gone to the Botanical gardens.
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND:
We took a cab to the the Titanic Museum. The cab driver did not put on the meter... so it cost us a bit more than what had been quoted. We paid 10 pounds.
The museum was amazing but I really loved the tour of the pump house and the dry dock. We traveled into town to check out the city of Belfast and found a great pub.
Took the ship's shuttle into Dublin. Got on the Dart transportation (Pearse station) and headed out to Bray. What a beautiful seaside city. They have a Bray Swan Sanctuary. There is this ocean cliff walk that is spectacular. We took the Dart back to town and went to see the Book of Kells and Trinity College. We did have time for a pint at the Gueness bar on Kildare Street!
Took the train into Cork and got the bus out to Blarney Castle. We did kiss the stone and walked through all their lovely gardens. Got a picnic lunch at the local supermarket and had a picnic in the park. Made it back to Cobh to explore that lovely village!