Note: This is a special feature post by Carrie Finley-Bajak of CruiseBuzz.net.
Guests who took advantage of the signature Azamara Club Cruises Cruise Global, Nights Local series in Dublin, Ireland, sure got a bit of the Irish luck.
On our 14-night British Open golf itinerary it would be very easy to enjoy a relaxing night on the ship, especially if you were a passenger who had played a round of golf that day. But for those of us in our little group who elected to take the optional night touring option to The Merry Ploughboy Pub in Ireland’s capital city, it was more than worthwhile.
I don’t know why I assumed that The Merry Ploughboy Pub was centrally located in Dublin city center. Maybe it was because I spent the day in the city exploring on my own and I saw a lot of pubs and likely places that could accommodate a cruise ship tour. However, with Azamara it’s not the ordinary that the boutique cruise line strives for: it’s amazing experiences that guests get to encounter.
When I boarded the bus at 7:15pm, I assumed we would be heading into the city center for some fun, music and dance. I was a bit taken aback when our bus headed away from the city and set a course for the Dublin Mountains, which took about 45-minutes to reach the venue.
My mistake: The Cruise Global, Connect LocalSM shore excursions brochure clearly stated that the The Merry Ploughboy Pub was nestled into the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. The drive to the venue was a great way to explore the surrounding port area that would have been very easy to miss. I am so glad that Azamara provides guests with ample time in port to really see as much as possible. In the case of Dublin, more time in port definitely meant that we got to tour all day and then come back to the ship for a great dinner before heading out again for Nights & Cool Places.
Passengers on the Nights & Cool Places evening at The Merry Ploughboy Pub enjoyed some authentic Irish culture including the "craic agus ceol", a Gaelic expression that roughly means "good times".
After drink orders were given (a pint of Guinness was an obvious choice - wine and soft drinks were also available) the entertainment began.
Our group sat in a private room that oozed authentic charm. There were dark wood beams, hardwood floors, big tables and candles to set the vibe. Our group enjoyed a show that consisted of Irish dancing, which was followed by a trio who performed traditional Irish music. One of the highlights was a musician who was very adept at playing the Uillean Pipes and Irish tin whistle. The music and dancing was truly the highlight of the evening.
Nights & Cool Places is a great way for Azamara Club Cruises’ passengers to take deeper dive into the culture and places their two ships visit. Even though I had seen Irish music and dance before, the trip to The Merry Ploughboy was an event not to be missed. Certainly, in my case, I had the feeling that the luck of the Irish was with me.
Azamara has three upcoming sailings that call on Dublin, Ireland. View them here.
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