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What a Fantastic Trip!! Our trip began in Tallahassee, Florida on May 29th as we drove to Atlanta for our Delta flight to Dublin. On this trip we used ChoiceAir through Celebrity Cruises to acquire our flights. We found several advantages in using ChoiceAir: excellent prices; ability to choose the flights; and, additional cost protection if you experience flight delays. We just told the ChoiceAir agent the Delta flights we wanted and once the purchase process was complete, we just went to the Delta site and selected our seats and provided additional personal information. We will definitely use ChoiceAir in the future. We chose to park at the Atlanta Airport and used the shuttle to transfer (5 minutes) from the International Park and Ride Garage to the International Terminal. We departed Atlanta at 9:40 p.m. and arrived in Dublin at 10:45 a.m. the following morning. Clearing immigration In Ireland took 30 minutes as there was a queue of approximately 300 people, but the line moved quickly. Expect questions about the purpose of your trip and what you will be doing in Ireland. Pre-cruise: Four Days in Dublin in order to experience Dublin, we arrived four-days prior to the cruise. For convenience, we took a taxi (25 euros) to our hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn at 1 Custom House Quay. The cost for a four-night stay was 892 euros which included a full Irish buffet breakfast every morning. After checking in at the hotel, we walked around for a couple of hours in downtown Dublin to get our bearings. We checked for the nearest Laus (light rail) stop which was out the hotel’s back door, visited the main office for Elegant Tours to check on our two pre-booked tours for the next two days, and walked around the Temple Bar area. The hotel was conveniently located on the north side of the River Liffey and a 10 minute walk to O’Connell Street (the main north/south route) in downtown Dublin. I highly recommend the hotel. We found Dublin to be a very walkable city with a very active downtown during the day and in the evenings. There were always a lot of people out enjoying the many things that Dublin has to offer. We found it to be a safe and a fun city to visit. On Friday, May 31st (57 degrees and light rain), we toured with Elegant Small Group Tours (maximum of 25 passengers) to the Cliff of Mohrs. The cost for the tour was 85 euro per person. We were picked up at 7:30 a.m. at the Westin Hotel (a 12 minute walk from our hotel). The 12-hour tour included stops at King John’s Castle, a coastal ride along the Wild Atlantic Drive, a visit to Doolin Village, and a tour of the Cliffs of Moher. Our driver recommended a hour-long ferry ride (20 euros per person) to view the Cliffs from sea level to get a better view. Unfortunately, it was raining with a diminished view at the cliffs and the seas were rough resulting in a number of passengers getting sea sick. Unless the weather is clear and the seas are calm, I would not recommend the ferry ride. The highlight of the visit to the Cliffs was lunch in Fitz’s Pub in the Dollin Hotel. The seafood chowder and the fish potpie was excellent! We also enjoyed our visit to King John’s Castle in Limerick. The tour was self-guided and the view of the city from the armory tower was great! The Irish countryside is really beautiful and you really do see 50 shades of green. After a long day, we had dinner at Eddie Rockets on the River Liffey across from our hotel - a great place for burgers and wings. On Saturday, June 1st (58 degrees and sunny), we went on a 12-hour Elegant Small Group Tour to Giant’s Causeway. This tour included a stop in Belfast and a tour of Giant’s Causeway. In Belfast we took the Black Cab tour - this was included in the cost of the tour. The Black Cab tour took you to the wall that divides the two communities and explained the history of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. The visit to the Giant’s Causeway (UNESCO World Heritage Site) was excellent! The Causeway is a distinctive volcanic and geological formation. We enjoyed the commentary provided by our driver and really loved the drive through the Irish countryside. We were very pleased with Elegant’s small group tours and highly recommend their tours. On Sunday, June 2nd, (60 degrees and sunny), we toured downtown Dublin using Do Dublin’s Bus Tours (the Hop-On Hop Off - Green Bus). Two senior two-day passes cost $54.92. The buses departed at 9:00 a.m. from stop 1 on north O’Connell Street. I recommend walking to stop 1 at 9:00 a.m. to get the best seats in the top level of the bus. We rode the entire circuit and enjoyed the driver’s commentary on the numerous sites and history of the city. Stop 5 was outside of our hotel. In the afternoon, we toured the Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The architecture in all of these magnificent structures was amazing! All had an entry fee of less than 10 euros. We concluded our day of touring with an excellent early dinner at the Kingfisher Restaurant (fish and chips) on Parnell Street. Celebrity Reflection First of all, make sure to print the Celebrity Guest Ticket Booklet when you check in online for the cruise as it has detailed directions to the Dublin pier. On Monday, June 3rd, we took a cab to the pier to board the Celebrity Reflection. We had been assigned a boarding time of 11:30 a.m. In Dublin, check-in is not adjacent to the ship since the ship is docked in an active commercial port. We arrived around 11:00 a.m., but I would recommend arriving around 10:30 a.m. Embarkation was efficient, except that after checking-in you are directed to take a seat and wait until your number is called to board the shuttle. Unfortunately, the wait for us was more than an hour for the shuttle to take us to the ship. The Reflection is a beautiful ship and was clean and well-maintained. We stayed in cabin 7193, a veranda room. The room was well maintained and outstanding cabin service was provided by our Cabin Attendant (Diardra)! She was very friendly and was always asking if we needed anything. We also received excellent service from Zora and Benji in the Cafe al Bacio on Deck Five. The food in the Main Dining Room was good and the service was excellent (Joaquim - Waiter, Srdan - Asst. Waiter). We usually had breakfast in the Oceanview Cafe and we really enjoyed the made-to-order omelettes, the fresh fruit (especially the sliced oranges), and the daily featured danish and breakfast bread station. The walnut, cinnamon breakfast bread was delicious!! We did purchase the four-night speciality dinning plan for $149 per person. We had dinner at the Lawn Club Grill two of the nights; as usual, it was outstanding and I highly recommend this restaurant. What could be better, great food, great service and the cool evening air of Ireland and Iceland! We also had dinner one night in the Tuscan Grill; the service and the food did not disappoint! The fourth night we had dinner in Murano, a French restaurant, and the food and service were outstanding. The entertainment on the ship was good and we enjoyed several shows. The highlight was the last night in Dublin, where a Celtic band and dance group performed Irish music and dancing in the Grand Foyer. Disembarkation in Dublin was very efficient and began around 6:30 a.m. on Friday, June 14th, with passengers carrying their own luggage. Since we had a 12:20 p.m. flight (which originally was an 11:00 a.m. flight) we decided to stay another night in Dublin and fly home on Saturday. We departed the ship around 9:00 a.m. and took the bus transfer provided by the cruise line to the airport as we had booked the Crown Plaza near the airport (1.5 miles). There are limited taxis available near the ship and there was a long line waiting for taxis when we left the ship. If we had to do it again, we would do the express departure (carry your own luggage), take a taxi from the pier to the airport, and fly home the same day, especially if your flight is after 12 noon. Delta recommends that you arrive at least 4 hours before your flight time for international flights from Dublin due to the US Customs and Immigration clearance prior to boarding. Several sources recommend that you arrive more than three hours before international flights since there are a lot of international flights leaving around noon and the airport gets congested. A Delta agent at the airport told us to allow at least 2 hours just to clear the U.S. Security and U.S. Customs and Immigration. Most international flights, including Delta, leave from Terminal 2. We caught the 6:00 a.m. free hotel bus to the airport and at this early hour it took us approximately one hour to get to the gate with virtually no waiting in line. We are a member of the Global Traveler Program and this expedited our processing time in U.S. Customs and Immigration as there are separated kiosks for Global Travel members. This allowed us to clear U. S. Immigration in just a few minutes,. The check-in procedure was also different from the U.S. as we went to a kiosk to get our boarding pass, then to passport control in line waiting to check in/baggage to have our passports checked by a Delta agent (to get a passport sticker), then to the counter to check our baggage, then scanned our boarding passes to get to Irish security to have our carryon luggage scanned. Once past Irish Security, follow the American Flag signs to U.S. security screening and then to U.S.Customs and Immigration, as in Dublin you clear Customs and Immigration prior to boarding the plane. Once you are at the gate area, there are limited food services in the gate area. The advantage of clearing U.S. Customs and Immigration in Dublin is that when you arrive in the U.S., the flight is treated as a domestic flight and you do not have to go to Customs and Immigration.

REFLECTION ON IRELAND AND ICELAND

Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by Gator75

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View with Verandah
What a Fantastic Trip!! Our trip began in Tallahassee, Florida on May 29th as we drove to Atlanta for our Delta flight to Dublin. On this trip we used ChoiceAir through Celebrity Cruises to acquire our flights. We found several advantages in using ChoiceAir: excellent prices; ability to choose the flights; and, additional cost protection if you experience flight delays. We just told the ChoiceAir agent the Delta flights we wanted and once the purchase process was complete, we just went to the Delta site and selected our seats and provided additional personal information. We will definitely use ChoiceAir in the future.

We chose to park at the Atlanta Airport and used the shuttle to transfer (5 minutes) from the International Park and Ride Garage to the International Terminal. We departed Atlanta at 9:40 p.m. and arrived in Dublin at 10:45 a.m. the following morning. Clearing immigration In Ireland took 30 minutes as there was a queue of approximately 300 people, but the line moved quickly. Expect questions about the purpose of your trip and what you will be doing in Ireland.

Pre-cruise: Four Days in Dublin

in order to experience Dublin, we arrived four-days prior to the cruise. For convenience, we took a taxi (25 euros) to our hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn at 1 Custom House Quay. The cost for a four-night stay was 892 euros which included a full Irish buffet breakfast every morning. After checking in at the hotel, we walked around for a couple of hours in downtown Dublin to get our bearings. We checked for the nearest Laus (light rail) stop which was out the hotel’s back door, visited the main office for Elegant Tours to check on our two pre-booked tours for the next two days, and walked around the Temple Bar area. The hotel was conveniently located on the north side of the River Liffey and a 10 minute walk to O’Connell Street (the main north/south route) in downtown Dublin. I highly recommend the hotel.

We found Dublin to be a very walkable city with a very active downtown during the day and in the evenings. There were always a lot of people out enjoying the many things that Dublin has to offer. We found it to be a safe and a fun city to visit.

On Friday, May 31st (57 degrees and light rain), we toured with Elegant Small Group Tours (maximum of 25 passengers) to the Cliff of Mohrs. The cost for the tour was 85 euro per person. We were picked up at 7:30 a.m. at the Westin Hotel (a 12 minute walk from our hotel). The 12-hour tour included stops at King John’s Castle, a coastal ride along the Wild Atlantic Drive, a visit to Doolin Village, and a tour of the Cliffs of Moher. Our driver recommended a hour-long ferry ride (20 euros per person) to view the Cliffs from sea level to get a better view. Unfortunately, it was raining with a diminished view at the cliffs and the seas were rough resulting in a number of passengers getting sea sick. Unless the weather is clear and the seas are calm, I would not recommend the ferry ride. The highlight of the visit to the Cliffs was lunch in Fitz’s Pub in the Dollin Hotel. The seafood chowder and the fish potpie was excellent! We also enjoyed our visit to King John’s Castle in Limerick. The tour was self-guided and the view of the city from the armory tower was great! The Irish countryside is really beautiful and you really do see 50 shades of green. After a long day, we had dinner at Eddie Rockets on the River Liffey across from our hotel - a great place for burgers and wings.

On Saturday, June 1st (58 degrees and sunny), we went on a 12-hour Elegant Small Group Tour to Giant’s Causeway. This tour included a stop in Belfast and a tour of Giant’s Causeway. In Belfast we took the Black Cab tour - this was included in the cost of the tour. The Black Cab tour took you to the wall that divides the two communities and explained the history of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. The visit to the Giant’s Causeway (UNESCO World Heritage Site) was excellent! The Causeway is a distinctive volcanic and geological formation. We enjoyed the commentary provided by our driver and really loved the drive through the Irish countryside. We were very pleased with Elegant’s small group tours and highly recommend their tours.

On Sunday, June 2nd, (60 degrees and sunny), we toured downtown Dublin using Do Dublin’s Bus Tours (the Hop-On Hop Off - Green Bus). Two senior two-day passes cost $54.92. The buses departed at 9:00 a.m. from stop 1 on north O’Connell Street. I recommend walking to stop 1 at 9:00 a.m. to get the best seats in the top level of the bus. We rode the entire circuit and enjoyed the driver’s commentary on the numerous sites and history of the city. Stop 5 was outside of our hotel. In the afternoon, we toured the Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The architecture in all of these magnificent structures was amazing! All had an entry fee of less than 10 euros. We concluded our day of touring with an excellent early dinner at the Kingfisher Restaurant (fish and chips) on Parnell Street.

Celebrity Reflection

First of all, make sure to print the Celebrity Guest Ticket Booklet when you check in online for the cruise as it has detailed directions to the Dublin pier. On Monday, June 3rd, we took a cab to the pier to board the Celebrity Reflection. We had been assigned a boarding time of 11:30 a.m. In Dublin, check-in is not adjacent to the ship since the ship is docked in an active commercial port. We arrived around 11:00 a.m., but I would recommend arriving around 10:30 a.m. Embarkation was efficient, except that after checking-in you are directed to take a seat and wait until your number is called to board the shuttle. Unfortunately, the wait for us was more than an hour for the shuttle to take us to the ship.

The Reflection is a beautiful ship and was clean and well-maintained. We stayed in cabin 7193, a veranda room. The room was well maintained and outstanding cabin service was provided by our Cabin Attendant (Diardra)! She was very friendly and was always asking if we needed anything. We also received excellent service from Zora and Benji in the Cafe al Bacio on Deck Five.

The food in the Main Dining Room was good and the service was excellent (Joaquim - Waiter, Srdan - Asst. Waiter). We usually had breakfast in the Oceanview Cafe and we really enjoyed the made-to-order omelettes, the fresh fruit (especially the sliced oranges), and the daily featured danish and breakfast bread station. The walnut, cinnamon breakfast bread was delicious!! We did purchase the four-night speciality dinning plan for $149 per person. We had dinner at the Lawn Club Grill two of the nights; as usual, it was outstanding and I highly recommend this restaurant. What could be better, great food, great service and the cool evening air of Ireland and Iceland! We also had dinner one night in the Tuscan Grill; the service and the food did not disappoint! The fourth night we had dinner in Murano, a French restaurant, and the food and service were outstanding.

The entertainment on the ship was good and we enjoyed several shows. The highlight was the last night in Dublin, where a Celtic band and dance group performed Irish music and dancing in the Grand Foyer.

Disembarkation in Dublin was very efficient and began around 6:30 a.m. on Friday, June 14th, with passengers carrying their own luggage. Since we had a 12:20 p.m. flight (which originally was an 11:00 a.m. flight) we decided to stay another night in Dublin and fly home on Saturday. We departed the ship around 9:00 a.m. and took the bus transfer provided by the cruise line to the airport as we had booked the Crown Plaza near the airport (1.5 miles). There are limited taxis available near the ship and there was a long line waiting for taxis when we left the ship. If we had to do it again, we would do the express departure (carry your own luggage), take a taxi from the pier to the airport, and fly home the same day, especially if your flight is after 12 noon.

Delta recommends that you arrive at least 4 hours before your flight time for international flights from Dublin due to the US Customs and Immigration clearance prior to boarding. Several sources recommend that you arrive more than three hours before international flights since there are a lot of international flights leaving around noon and the airport gets congested. A Delta agent at the airport told us to allow at least 2 hours just to clear the U.S. Security and U.S. Customs and Immigration. Most international flights, including Delta, leave from Terminal 2.

We caught the 6:00 a.m. free hotel bus to the airport and at this early hour it took us approximately one hour to get to the gate with virtually no waiting in line. We are a member of the Global Traveler Program and this expedited our processing time in U.S. Customs and Immigration as there are separated kiosks for Global Travel members. This allowed us to clear U. S. Immigration in just a few minutes,.

The check-in procedure was also different from the U.S. as we went to a kiosk to get our boarding pass, then to passport control in line waiting to check in/baggage to have our passports checked by a Delta agent (to get a passport sticker), then to the counter to check our baggage, then scanned our boarding passes to get to Irish security to have our carryon luggage scanned. Once past Irish Security, follow the American Flag signs to U.S. security screening and then to U.S.Customs and Immigration, as in Dublin you clear Customs and Immigration prior to boarding the plane. Once you are at the gate area, there are limited food services in the gate area. The advantage of clearing U.S. Customs and Immigration in Dublin is that when you arrive in the U.S., the flight is treated as a domestic flight and you do not have to go to Customs and Immigration.
Gator75’s Full Rating Summary
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Akureyri
    The ship sailed to Akureyri overnight, and to reach the city, you sail for 45 minutes up the beautiful Eyjafjorour fjord with incredible scenery, including several whales swimming nearby! We arrived on Saturday, June 8th, at 10:30 a.m. and we embarked on a 4-hour Nature, Folk, and Flora excursion. The weather was in the high 50’s and sunny. We journeyed through the old town of Akureyri towards Godafoss, the “Waterfall of the Gods”. These waterfalls are very impressive and are a must see!

    The excursion also included a drive through the city, a visit to the Laufas Folk Museum which is an old manor farm where you are exposed to how the farm operated in the mid-1800’s. During this excellent tour we also saw signs of Danish rule, strolled through the Botanical Gardens, and viewed the City’s famous sea and mountain vistas.

    The ship overnighted in Akureyri and on Sunday, June 9th, we walked into town. There was also a good souvenir shop adjacent to the pier. Our visit to Akureyri, a beautiful remote town of approximately 17,000 residents, was one of the highlights of this cruise.

    While cruising into and out of Akureyri, we cruised above the Arctic Circle and Celebrity presented each passenger with a Certificate recognizing the Arctic Circle Crossing.
    View All 12,409 Akureyri Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Belfast
    On Tuesday, June 4th, the Reflection was in Belfast (60 degrees and light rain). When we travel to a place where we have not been before, we purchase our excursions through Celebrity. In Belfast we took the 4-hour Belfast City and Hillsborough Castle tour. The excursion included a drive around the city to view the city’s architecture, a stop at the political murals, and a guided tour of the Hillsborough Castle, including the castle’s gardens and the village of Hillsborough. Belfast has a vibrant downtown with lots of stores, pubs, restaurants and pastry shops. Belfast is enjoying a transformation in recent years and is now experiencing a tourism and economic resurgence.

    The visit to Hillsborough Castle was an excellent guided tour and is an official residence of the British Royal Family. The Castle is used in a role similar to “Camp David” in the United States.
    View All 12,409 Belfast Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Belfast Cruise Port Review
  • Cobh (Cork)
    After two sea days, we arrived in Cobh/Cork on Wednesday, June 12th (58 degrees and occasional showers) around 10:00 a.m. The Cobh port is a 25 minute train ride from Cork (6.05 euros); the train station is adjacent to the pier. Cobh is a quaint little town that is basically built on a hillside. There is a Heritage Center on the pier which contains shops, coffee shops, and bathrooms. Downtown Cobh is a 10 minute walk from the pier and is home to several very good fish and chip restaurants.

    We took the 4-hour Blarney Castle and Woolen Mills ship excursion. The excursion included a tour of the Blarney Castle and a stop at the 18th Century Woolen Mills where you can shop for the famous high-quality woolen goods of Ireland. On the tour we had two hours to explore the Castle and the Woolen Mills; unfortunately, the line to get into the castle/kiss the Blarney Stone was over a 90 minute wait. My advice is to avoid this castle, unless you have unlimited time to stand in line. We enjoyed a brief walk around the Castle grounds and a visit to the Woolen Mills.
    View All 323 Cobh (Cork) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Malahide Castle
    On Thursday, June 13th, at 8:00 a.m. we arrived back in Dublin. The ship was overnighting in Dublin and you did not have to get off the ship until Friday morning. On Thursday morning we took another ship excursion - Malahide Castle and Irish Pub. This 4-hour tour included a drive through Malahide on Dublin Bay, a guided tour of the 11th Century Malahide Castle, and a stop at an 11th Century Irish tavern for an Irish coffee. This was an impressive castle containing outstanding period furnishings. The Abbey Tavern was in the seaside town of Howth, a beautiful fishing and sailing destination for summer retreats. This was an excellent excursion.
    View All 8 Malahide Castle Reviews
  • Golden Circle
    On Thursday, June 6th, after having a sea day, we arrived in Reykjavik (57 degrees and sunny) at 1:00 p.m. We took the Golden Circle with Geothermal Bakery Experience Small Group excursion. This excellent tour takes you to the Thingvellir National Park (where American and European tectonic plates separate) to enjoy important geological sites including Geysir Hot Springs, and the lovely Gullfoss Waterfalls. We also visited Laugarvatn, where we learned about geothermal baking and sampled delicious rye bread baked in the geothermal ground. I highly recommend this six-hour tour.

    We overnighted in Reykjavik and the next morning, we went on the 3.5 hours Discover Reykjavik excursion. We visited the open-air historical museum of Arbaejarsafn, visited Hallgrimskirkja, the largest church in Iceland, enjoyed views from the observation deck of the Pearl, and visited Reykjavik’s Old Quarter and National Museum. This tour provided a very good summary of Iceland’s history and culture. There was a good souvenir shop adjacent to the pier.
    View All 98 Golden Circle Reviews