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

Please note that Journey Into Darkness does not select, endorse or control the advertisements shown above. See our Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.