The British Isle itinerary was great. 10 days was a good length. I have done 7. Day cruises and they just seem too short. There was one day at sea and all others in ports. We started in Amsterdam, Bruges, Sea Day, Edinburgh, Invernook, Orkney Island, Belfast, Liverpool, Dublin, Portland, Southampton. The ship was a good size., not too big There were two flaws, there was no observation lounge, instead they made them Haven rooms. Also, there was no outside bar in the back of the ship, instead they made it a pool for the children lounge. All other access to the back of the ship were rooms.
Interesting note due the drought on the rivers, to the locks to get out of Amsterdam instead of leaving at 6 PM, we departed 3:30 AM. Since we arrived by plane the same day, it allowed us to see Amsterdam. Downside, since we left late our tour was cancelled for Bruges.
Embarkation was messy. First we were unaware of a separate line for Platinum members and then when boarding our key cards did not work, it took us like 30 minutes to clean it up. There were several other people that had the same issue and made the entry point to the ship very crowded and confusing.
Did not want to spend an additional $900 per person for a balcony. Did not stay in the room much. Sleeping was very good, had no sense of time though. We did leave the bathroom light on just for some light. The bathroom including the shower was a decent size. The room itself was small. It felt smaller because the room could accommodate a 3 person and the closed bed in the wall meant one of us had to climb into bed.
The ship got in late, and tour was cancelled. We chose to walk by the cruise terminal since Bruges was a half train or taxi ride away. Little to see and we were back on the ship is less than an hour
Did not do a tour from the ship. This was a tender port which adds much time to get out and about. The city had people to help buy a bus pass. Getting to the Royal Mile was easy. The Royal Mile was disappointing. It was like NYC 5 Avenue where many lower ends souvenir were available. We did get lost walking around, to get the bus to go back to the ship. It was a decent city.
Took an organized tour from NCL that went to a castle which we got great pictures. It stopped for a half hour at Inverness. A very pretty city that I wish we had more time to explore. We walked into the town where the ship docked and went to local Coop grocery store to get some sundry items. People at every stop at this port were very friendly and helpful.
Took an organized tour from NCL Very picturesque scenery It reminded us of the Ireland countryside. Again we got a number of good pictures.
We had been here before and toured on our own. We did the Black Taxi tour for 45 pounds. It was entertaining. The driver when asked said he spent time in jail for explosives and was in the jail the same time as Bobby Sands. Was it true, don’t know but it was entertaining. Went to the famous Crown Pub and had a pint.
It was a 10-minute walk to the Cavern Club where the Beatles started. We got there early enough to get some great phots. We then walked around the city (at the pier the tourist board gave a great map with sites). The people here were very engaging and friendly. In the afternoon we took an organized NCL tour to Chester, a 45-minute bus ride. The tour guide walked us around sharing history. We the had 1 to 1 ½ to wander it was pretty it was like a walled city of Tudor style buildings
This was a tender port about 30 or so minutes outside of Dublin. It also was the worst weather day for the cruise. Rain on and off damp and chilly. We bought the Hop ON Hop Off from NCL. It was disorganized and one had to be aggressive to get on. The upstairs was mostly open. Since it was raining everyone stayed downstairs. We stood for the 30-minute trip. Not a good way to start the day. Once downtown, we transferred to a bus that went around the city so we figure out what to do. It was fine, again a shame it was raining. We walked around a shopping center and was ready to head back as many others were. Yes it was chaotic getting on but at least we sat on the return.
We did not tour; I had no expectations. The port town offered free bus service into the nearby towns. When we got there, I thought I was in Maine fishing village. Up the road another 5 minutes I thought I was at Coney Island. We had a great time!