The original plan was to go on a private tour however, we received a phone call after breakfast informing us that for various reasons it had been cancelled. We didn't have a plan B in case of this happening (a lesson for future cruises) so sprinted down to the shore excursion desk to see if they had anything available. Unfortunately, we only had minutes to decide and went for Powerscourt Estate and Waterfall tour. This did not turn out to be the best choice. First was the painful stop start, stop start, due to traffic tour of Belfast, then being driven through a run down seaside town which they stopped at for 5 minutes for photo taking (don't know why), and then next on to a waterfall where there was also supposed to be a nature trail. The falls where OK but the nature trail was non- existent. We went onto have lunch at a local pub which was, to be fair, very good but slow service. We then visited Powerscourt Estate itself. The main house had a fire many years ago and was totally gutted and has since been rebuilt into a tacky overpriced shopping mall, the grounds however have been restored and are well worth a visit
I organized a tour for fourteen people for this port. We drove up the Antrim coast making various photo stops along the way to view Dunluce Castle. After the castle we proceeded to Old Bushmills Distillery where I had a tour booked. After this we went to Portrush for lunch at a harbourside wine bar, the food was good and plentiful and reasonably priced. After lunch we visited the Giants Causeway before returning to the ship. We all had a great day maybe tried to pack too much into a short day.
Today we planned to take it easy although you could tender off the ship at 7.00am we did not leave until 10.00am. We chose to take the train into Edinburgh, it's a short ten-minute walk to the train station but it does involve a steep flight of steps to get there. It costs Â£4.40 for a round trip per person and takes about fifteen minutes to get into the city, trains run about every fifteen minutes - much cheaper than the $69 wanted by the ship. We had already pre-purchased tickets for Edinburgh Castle so we walked up to the castle from the railway station, toured the castle, had lunch, wondered down part of the Royal Mile and returned to the ship for 5.00pm.
We did not want to spend three hours just getting to Paris so opted for a lazy morning before going on a ship excursion in the afternoon. They were shipping out 2500 passengers first thing on excursions so we were glad not to be part of it. We left the ship at 1.15pm to visit the town of Rouen. We were given a walking tour of the cathedral and part of the old town before being given an hour to do your own thing. It was interesting but we should have been given some earphones so that you could hear what the guide was explaining as we were led around the town, it was an OK tour.