Oslo has one of the most beautiful port settings we've ever docked at. You're adjacent to the 14th c. Akershus castle instead of the containers seen at most large European docks. Oslo is a compact city and we took off on our own. We readily located the National Museum and Art Gallery. We skipped Vigeland statue park. If you've seen it once, you've seen it. Any first-time visitor should definitely seek out the Viking Museum. We explored the castle and particularly enjoyed the Danish Resistance Museum. The Oslo archipelago is a gorgeous sail-in and sail-away.
We took the ship's shuttle ($10 pp) and were let off adjacent to the National Library. It was within walking distance of many of Dublin's best-known sights. Our first stop was Trinity College and the Book of Kells. We had missed this the last time we visited Ireland in the 90's. Speaking of which, we were very much looking forward to an Irish coffee on this brisk day but they were charging 8 Euros per cup in the Temple Bar district. Thanks, but no thanks. Great to be back on the auld sod where everyone looked like my relatives.
We took the ship's shuttle ($10 pp) and were let off adjacent to the National We dropped anchor by the imposing Firth of Forth iron bridge and tendered into South Queensferry. There is a shuttle bus into Edinburgh but the train is a much better value at 5 pounds pp (round-trip). But be forewarned that you must climb over 1,000 steps to get to the upper part of town where the train station is. The trains run about every 15 minutes and go to the main station in the center of Edinburgh. We walked up to Edinburgh Castle and shopped on the Royal Mile. There were pipers everywhere which greatly added to the atmosphere. We enjoyed a picnic lunch in the lovely green park in the valley between the 'old town' and the 'new town'. A beautiful sunny day. On our stroll back to the tender dock, we enjoyed wild blackberries with a young Scottish family. Princess brought on local entertainment consisting of pipers, dancers, and a fiddler. Drank a wee dram on our balcony before sail-away.
We should have booked an excursion because there's just not that much to see in Belfast. We took the city's complimentary shuttle and de-bussed adjacent to their impressive City Hall, built in the early 1900's when Belfast was booming. However, they have erected a large ferris wheel next to it, a la London's, and it almost completely obliterates the Titantic memorial. What a shame. The Titantic was built in Belfast's shipyards. Princess brought aboard an above average local group 'Gael Force' who did a great job on the Irish standards. It was a lovely sail-away along the Irish coastline.