Ruby Princess Round Britain Report Part 2

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Jan Rosser
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Ruby Princess Round Britain Report Part 2

Post by Jan Rosser » 31 Jul 2014, 20:20

Shuttle service into Dublin - $16 return - it was a Sunday and I was surprised how busy it was - just a sea of people everywhere - another port we had all visited so just a wander around before the inevitable queuing to get on the bus back to the ship. Tonight the final of the World Cup was being broadcast around the ship - people were sitting out from late afternoon reserving their seats ready to watch the match on the sea screen - I liked the fact they put a cover over the sun beds to protect your clothes and provided blankets and popcorn but it still didn’t tempt me to watch the match. There was a Dublin Folkloric show in the theatre which was a local group of performers singing and dancing - not quite Michael Flatley standard but entertaining nevertheless.

We had our own guides today - my son’s in laws - they live a few miles away and know the area very well. There were lots of people on the quay side watching the ship docking and the berth is very convenient for all the main attractions at the Albert Dock. The new museum is well worth a visit as is the Beatles Experience and the Tate Gallery. We walked to the Cavern - going down the stairs to the club seemed never ending - much smaller than I imagined it would be and very hot down there but I can at least say I’ve been there now. Being a 60’s teenager the Beatles were our idols and a visit to the Cavern was an essential thing to do. The Beatles Tribute Band were in the theatre in the evening and there wasn’t a spare seat at either of their performances - from the reaction of some of the audience you’d swear the real band was performing and no they weren’t that good.

None of us had been to Belfast before and so decided to take a trip around the city on the HoHo bus. I found it a very thought provoking journey - so many names and places only seen on the television associated with the troubles come to life - I felt it unsettling and a bit intimidating to be honest and the wall dividing the city a sad sight but equally there were lots of places I would like to return to - the new Titanic museum and the Botanic Gardens particularly. Belfast is the home of the Game of Thrones studio and being a fan I would have liked to see that too but there just wasn't enough time. I had a bit of an incident here - thought I'd get some cash from the hole in the wall and apparently my face was a picture as these Bank Of Ulster £20 notes appeared - not what I expected. Luckily a shop nearby exchanged them for me - I didn't want the hassle in Glasgow the following day of trying to spend them. Entertainment was a show called Broadway Ballroom in the theatre, music in most of the bars ranging from jazz to a string quartet of young women and a film up at the Calypso pool.

Greenock (the port for Glasgow)
Again a new port and of particular interest with the imminent opening of the Commonwealth Games a few days after we got home. We had a taxi for the five of us and arranged with the driver to be picked up for the return journey. It was £100 (with a tip) return - much more reasonable than the Princess do it on your own fare. We had decided to use the HoHo bus - a journey we were told of just under two hours if you stayed on the bus but we hadn’t bargained for the road works and the sheer volume of traffic - it was warm as well and the bus we were on was a really old Routemaster so no air conditioning unless you managed to get a seat up on the top deck lol So much to see and so little time - quite impossible really to be able to get off and visit all the sites - just a taster really but it has made the Games more real having just been there. Overall I was surprised and impressed with what Glasgow has to offer - definitely worth a return visit. We returned to the ship at the same time as a lot of the coaches and the queue to get back on the ship was ridiculous - the reason being just two security machines to vet I wouldn’t like to guess how many people. Entertainment was a comedian or an international music event in the theatre plus a film on the deck.

Day at Sea
Very welcome after so many port days - not a sunbathing day unless you were prepared to snuggle under a blanket or towel to keep warm so I went to a presentation by Martyn the cruise director on the workings backstage - we were allowed to go up onto the stage and then behind to see how the costumes are stored and to meet some of the dancers and singers. It was fascinating to see how they store the scenery for the shows - such a complicated operation to put on a show and how they manage to change in such a confined space is amazing. We went to a British pub lunch in the Wheelhouse bar - Strongbow cider was the recommended drink - we were asked by some Americans what it was. The Grand Budapest Hotel was showing in the theatre and amazingly I managed to stay awake through what was a very strange film. We all had an invite to a drink with the Captain’s Circle - same old thing - speech by the Captain and then a prize draw. After dinner and then a show entitled Once upon a Dream - I seemed to have spent most of the day sitting in the theatre lol

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