Category: Ireland

Here are our tips and tricks for travelling in Ireland, including what to see and do.

Titanic’s forgotten stop

Overnight we have crossed the Irish Sea, arriving in Cobh (pronounced ‘cove’) as we wake up. A pair of tugs push and pull us into position on a dock near the centre of town.

Top tip: The railway station is directly opposite the dock. You can catch a train straight into Cork city centre which is about €6, much cheaper than taking one of the excursions arranged by the cruise line.

Bonus tip: If you are super organised, mobile and up for a challenge, you can reach Blarney Castle with its famous stone by public transport. However, you should allow between 90 and 120 minutes each way.

Like Falmouth yesterday, Cobh feels like a bit of a filler for the itinerary. We can’t really find anything of interest in Cork, so decide to stay local and take a look at Cobh itself. Interestingly, Titanic made it’s final stop here to pick up 150 unlucky locals – and the Titanic Experience commemorates this fact.

Obviously this appeals to our dark tourist nature, so we take a look. The exhibition takes place in the old White Star Line ticket office which is quite cool, as are the recreations of the various cabins on the ship. We are given a tour by a guide and then left to check out the last part of the display ourselves. There’s probably nothing new to be learned here, but it’s still worth a visit.

Top tip: Book your tickets for the Titanic Experience online when you arrive in Cobh to avoid long queues and waits at the ticket office. Tickets cost €12 and are slightly cheaper for OAPs, students and children.

Afterwards, we visit the Titanic Bar & Grill downstairs so Linda can have a real Guinness and I can sample a local beer. It is absolutely heaving with other travellers from the ship – thankfully ours is the only one in port today, otherwise I imagine it would be even worse. The beer is reasonable and the food looks delicious so it’s not the worst tourist trap we have ever landed in.

One for the tourists

Beer drunk we head back to the ship. I’m sure there are a few other things to look at in town, but we decide to call it a day early on.

The Irish Sea

Concerns about high winds and storms have forced a change of course. Instead of sailing around the south of Ireland and out into the Atlantic, we are forced to head east and then north into the Irish Sea.

Overnight we passed the Isle of Man. This morning we are able to see Northern Ireland on the left and Scotland on the right from the Horizon Court buffet on Island’s top deck. The view is impressive, making the detour worthwhile.

Today is a day at sea (as is tomorrow), the Captain making up speed to get us to Iceland on Monday. As such, we won’t be doing much.

This provides an excellent opportunity to share a few initial observations of Island Princess herself.

Already we have decided that Island Princess is now our favourite ship. Yes it is small and ageing, but that’s part of her charm. The fact that there are fewer people onboard is also positive, and there is never many problems finding a seat anywhere.

Cabin Stateroom PR723 is awesome and I would book it again in a heartbeat. Annoyingly someone else has already booked it for our next cruise in October.

Food in the main dining room is, as always with Princess Cruises, brilliant. There is a smaller choice of food in the buffet than on other ships, but this is not a major issue. The wraparound glass window that allows you to see out the front of the ship is superb – it’s a shame the newer ships don’t have this feature.

Enjoying the view from the Horizon Court buffet

Another Amex Center Parcs Discount Code

UPDATE 17/05/2024: An email newsletter landed in my inbox today with a genuine Center Parcs discount code: SAVE50

The code is valid for ‘all spring and early summer breaks when you book before midnight on 21st May‘.

Looking at the Amex T&Cs, it would appear you can “stack” the Amex rebate with the Center Parcs discount code to give a £125 total discount on your next forest lodge holiday…

The UK’s favourite middle class holiday camp is offering another Center Parcs discount code to American Express cardholders. This is highly unusual in the run-up to the summer holidays.

A picture of the Woburn park which we visited without a Center Parcs discount code
A Center Parcs discount code could allow you to enjoy a view like this at the Woburn park

As always, the discount is not earth-shattering. Amex card holders will receive a £75 ‘statement credit’ when they spend over £1000 on a Center Parcs break. That’s the equivalent of a 7.5% discount.

The Center Parcs discount code is available to the first 10,000 American Express card holders who activate the deal from the online account portal. The holiday booking transaction should be detected automatically, no discount code is actually required. The £75 credit will appear on your next statement. If not, Amex customer support are generally very good at making things right.

And don’t forget, you’ll earn at least 925 American Express Reward Points for your booking (one per pound spent). Reward Points are extremely useful because they can be traded for other loyalty points, such as Avios or Virgin Red points.

This particular offer is probably only of interest if you are already planning a trip to one of the Center Parcs parks. But as the famous supermarket slogan says, ‘every little helps‘. Just make sure you complete and pay for your booking before the offer ends on July 13th.

If you don’t yet have an American Express card, you can use our custom referral link to receive a 22,000 Membership Rewards bonus (equivalent to 22,000 Avios).

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