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cyberianuk's Port Reviews of Edinburgh,, Belfast, Dublin
Celebrity Constellation cruise in May 2008
Member Name: cyberianuk
Cruise Date: May 2008
Embarkation: Harwich
Destination: British Isles & Western Europe
Member Review: cyberianuk's Celebrity Constellation Review
Edinburgh
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
The ancient seat of the Scottish kings is a true gem on any itinerary and there are some unmissable things you have to do.

First off you anchor in the Firth of Forth and tender to the small village of Queensferry. There are several ways into town. The local bus service into the city is infrequent, so pass on that. Celebrity didn't offer a "shuttle". Their cheapest offering was "Edinburgh on your own". This was a $30 item for pretty much a shuttle into town, with few extras. Look for the "crew shuttle". Its a fleet of minibuses that run a 15 minute service for £5 return. Its meant for the crew, but run by a local contractor. They didn't care if you were a sous chef or the Queen of Sheba. Its cash in hand, so your seapass wont get you on, but its the cheapest way into town. Other than that its the local train, but you need to be fit. South Queensferry slipway sits at the foot of the Forth Rail Bridge and you have to climb up to the bridge level to get the train. Jacobs Ladder ?

Edinburgh is a lot of walking, so get the hop on, hop off commentary double dekker bus. It calls at all the main sights and you get the history as well. You can even upgrade for one that does the city tour, then takes you out to Leith harbour to see round the former Royal Yacht, Britannia. A superb window into the travel life of our Royal family. The Castle is a must for all history fans, with a chance to see the crown jewels of Scotland, Buy the audio tour and do it at your own pace. Then time for a sport of whiskey shopping as you wander down the Royal Mile.



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Belfast
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Take the shuttle into town to see a city you're not expecting to be like it is. Belfast port is unlovely, industrial and you wouldnt want to walk through it, so you need a bus to get out. Surprise 1: Belfast is grand (much more so than Dublin) and prosperous (millions have been pumped into regeneration). The shuttle drops you at the Visitor Information centre. Get the hop on bus right outside for a full trip round. Its too big to walk, but you'll get to see the shipyard where they built Titanic, the places of the "troubles" in the Falls Road and Shankhill, the loyalist murals and then out to Stormont House where the Northern Ireland assembly sits. If you get time, find a pub for lunch and try an Ulster Fry, for the best all day breakfast you will ever eat.



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Dublin
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
In Dublin's fair city, where the maids are so pretty .... This is the trip highlight for many cruisers. You dock in Dublin Port, along with the car ferries to Wales. You really do need the shuttle into town, its just too far to walk. Once you're in the city though, just explore on your own. Dublin is quite compact. Trinity College is central, where you can see the ancient illuminated manuscript, "the book of kells". Nasau Street is next to it, with the classy Irish gift shops and you're just a short walk from Grafton Street (Dublin's main retail drag) This is where Molly Malone wheeled her wheelbarrow (see her statue). Less than half a mile in the other direction is the financial and theatre quarter around Temple Bar, with more Irish Pubs than you can throw a leprachaun at. Or you can cross the River Liffey at O Connell bridge and wander up the grand boulevard of O Connell Street to Clerys department store. You get a day in Dublin, but you need a week.



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