Great Way to See the British Isles!: Crown Princess Cruise Review by Love Those Grandkids

Crown Princess 5
Love Those Grandkids
Member Since 2011
2 Forum Posts

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Great Way to See the British Isles!

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Europe - British Isles & Western
Embarkation: Southampton
We traveled with my brother and his wife. One of us had been to London, and one had been to Ireland. We decided this was the perfect way to see England, Guernsey, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and France, and we were right! The ship upgraded our rooms so we each had a balcony. Princess seemed to be very organized with their shore excursions. We took a couple of those, but also hired private drivers thru Tours by Locals for Belfast, Northern Ireland and for one day in Scotland. I would highly recommend them, as well as Woodford Chauffeur Cars, which we used getting to and from the ship. We also decided to tour on our own in Guernsey, Cork, Dublin, and Inverness, and got along fine. Hop-on, hop-off buses are good for getting around. We were so tired each day from our big excursions that we didn't go to many evening ship events. We ate in the dining room and enjoyed our meals. (Husband's complaint: They need to learn how to fix good oatmeal!) I got lots of tips from prior reviews, More and really appreciated that. Now we just want to go back to Scotland, as it was so beautiful and we didn't get to see enough! Oh -- we split up on the final day in France. The women went to Paris, and the men went to see the Normandy beaches. Both were wonderful days, even though of course not enough time to see everything. We would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone who is a little timid about traveling. It's good to start with countries where they speak English (not that we could always understand them!) and you learn quickly that it's fun. We visited Guernsey Island our first day out. We loved it! Rode the public bus to top of hill and spent quite a lot of time at the German Occupation Museum. Then we hiked back down the hill, enjoying the beautiful walk and stopping at the little shell chapel. Caught city bus back down to dock. If you go, be sure to read "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" before you go! It helps you understand the history during WWII.

Cobh is a darling little town. The museum just as you get off the ship is excellent! Info about building the Titanic, and lots about the trials of the Irish. We walked all over Cobh, seeing the beautiful cathedral, and then hired a taxi to take us to see the Blarney Castle and a bit of Cork. Blarney Castle itself is sitting in a gorgeous setting, even if you don't want to kiss the Blarney stone. You need to be fairly fit to climb the castle.

At Greenock/Glasgow, we took the tour bus to see the Falkirk Wheel and the town of Stirling. Both were wonderful. We toured the Stirling Castle. It is being restored, so couldn't see all of it. Ate lunch at the Portcullis restaurant.

At Invergordon, we took a bus into Inverness and had a great day on our own. Found a pub with the family name so had lunch there. There is a great little shopping mall tucked inside a block in the main part of town where we did much of our memento shopping. There is a beautiful river all through the town, and we walked across it on a walking bridge. Less

Published 06/24/11

Cabin review: BDB625 Balcony

Nice cabin, with upgrade to balcony which was great. Plenty of closet space, and bathroom very adequate. Center of ship, across from crew space, but not terribly noisy.

Read All Balcony (BD) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Our private driver met us at the dock and was wonderful! (Tours by Locals) His name was Kevin. He was full of information on the history of the divided Ireland. He took us to see Belfast and the Peace Wall. We then went across the hills, stopping to see local interests, and ended up at the Giant's Causeway. We hiked down to see that, and then drove to Bushmill's Distillery for a late lunch. As we drove back into Belfast, there was a bomb scare and the freeways were all shut down. Our driver was afraid we would be late, but as it turned out, lots of tour buses were also sitting, and by 7:30 p.m. everyone was back on board. We did not feel afraid, and feel sorry for the locals there, as they will probably lose cruise business if things like that continue to happen.

Read 115 Belfast Reviews

We toured Dublin on our own, and probably missed some highlights by doing so. However, we had a good day. We went to Trinity College and saw the Book of Kells. Very interesting display. We then hopped on a hop-on, hop-off bus and rode around. We ate lunch at the Guinness brewery, which was fun. Our day ended with Grafton Street, which is closed to traffic and full of shopping.

Read 180 Dublin Reviews

My husband's family comes from a little town in Scotland called Killin. We again hired a private driver, Billy, who picked us up at the dock and drove us to Killin. It was a wonderful day. The countryside is so beautiful, and the town of Killin actually has a cemetery named after my husband's family! We got the key to the cemetery from the visitor's center and saw it. After lunch, our driver took us to his sister's home which was nearby. It turned out to be a castle, and was amazing. Truly a highlight of the whole cruise! The same day, my brother stayed and went to see St. Andrews, because he loves golf. He said it was great. Unfortunately, we will have to travel back to Scotland because we all missed seeing Edinburgh!

My sister-in-law and I traveled on the ship's tour bus to Paris. The drive, while long, had wonderful scenery. Once in Paris, we drove around so we could get a feel for the town (and see the Arch de Triomphe) before stopping at the Eiffel Tower. After picture taking, we drove to the dock where we boarded a boat for a Seine River cruise and lunch. It was lovely, and lasted over two hours. We then went to the Galeries Lafayette to do quick shopping. That was probably the least favorite part of the day, as we didn't have enough time, and it was so huge we didn't know where to begin.

My husband and brother went to see Normandy this same day. They had a wonderful time and would recommend it, even though of course there isn't enough time to see everything.

Read 228 Le Havre Reviews

We took the ship's tour into Wales this day. We had a great guide and a wonderful day. It was one of the only rainy days we had, which was fine as we traveled by bus. We drove through Ruffin, where my relatives live. Couldn't stop, of course, so will have to go back there as well! We ended up in Llangollen, Wales, where we boarded a train for a lovely train ride. Had a nice group lunch (two bus loads of us)before driving back. Great day.

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Love Those Grandkids
Member Since 2011
2 Forum Posts
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