Iceland/Ireland/Dubai Trip Summary

We have just completed our Winter trip for 2018. We covered a lot of territory in a short 3 weeks.

The trip was based around a cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse from Dublin visiting Iceland and The Shetland Isles before heading back to Ireland.

Definite highlights of Ireland was Dublin itself with a vibrant hip feel to it, not to mention the fantastic food choices. We were also impressed with the friendliness of the people there.

The Celebrity Solstice is a fantastic ship but not too large. We did an Aqua Class balcony room and were very impressed with the special restaurant called Blu for this class. We had sailed on her sister ship, The Solstice around NZ a few years ago and loved it.

Highlights of Iceland was the Golden Circle which encompasses the Geyser area, Pingvellir National Park (where you can walk through the North American and Eurasian Teutonic plates) and the Godafoss waterfall.
We also visited The Blue Lagoon and after a mix of reports online, decided to try it for ourselves. Was it a bit touristy – yes but it was also a great experience and a fun way to end the day. We visited it late in the day around 10pm and didn’t leave until after 11.30pm. It wasn’t too busy then so probably a good time to go to avoid the crowds. The water was a pleasant 38 deg C (100 deg F) and outside was only 8 deg C (46 deg F). We tried the silica mask which was fun and had a drink at the bar.

We also visited Lerwick in the Shetland Isles North of Scotland which is a pretty place and quite isolated. It’s actually closer to Norway than it is to Scotland. We hired a car and drove around for about 5 hours before heading back to the ship. Highlights were St. Ninians Beach, Muckle Roe and the most Northerly fish & chip cafe in the UK in a cute town called Brae.

Discovering more of Ireland followed after our 10-night cruise, and we jumped in another hire car and headed to Connemara on the West coast. We stayed in a town called Clifden and were blessed with the incredible weather in early June. We spent 3 nights here and toured around the Wild Atlantic Way, a coastal road which highlights the scenic areas. It is a beautiful area indeed.

Our last stop was in Dubai for 3 nights. We were there during the end of Ramadan (a holy time when Muslims don’t eat or drink from sunrise to sunset), so most restaurants were either closed or had takeaway options. The ones that were open blocked the windows, so those participating in Ramadan didn’t see others eating or drinking.
Highlights were the Dubai Mall, 4 Wheel drive Safari and the Wild Wadi water park. This was less crowded during this time (as was most public areas) so we didn’t experience long queues at all for rides. The temperature was boiling in Dubai around 42 deg C (107 deg F) so walking too far was undoubtedly out. We also recommend visiting the Burj Khalifa to the 125th floor which had a fantastic view and such an incredible building to see.

So there you have our 2018 holiday!

Please check out our trip summary on YouTube. We will be posting some more in-depth videos focussing on the cruise, Iceland and Ireland. Be sure to subscribe to be notified when those post.

Trip Summary:

Blue Lagoon Summary

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