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-   -   Trip Report - The Emerald Isle 2009 - Part 1 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2192074)

redzinner 06-01-2009 12:55 PM

Trip Report - The Emerald Isle 2009 - Part 1
 
Pre-Day in Dublin
This Emerald Isle Adventure start date was Saturday 05/23/2009.
We (mother & daughter) chose to add one pre-night to acclimate ourselves to the time change and have some fun prior to the adventurers gathering reception.
We booked our pre-night with Disney at the Westin.
I booked the airfare myself.

Thursday 05/21/2009: Our flight from Tampa left on time and we arrived in JFK for a long 4 hour layover until our flight to Dublin. Our departure gate at JFK was next to a Delta Crown Lounge so we took advantage of the day membership and relaxed for the next 4 hours. It is expensive now since Delta has raised the day prices but we felt it was worth the comfort. The Delta terminal (3) at JFK is lousy for comfort. It turned out to be our last chance for relaxation until we hit Dublin so I’m glad we splurged.
Our flight to Dublin left on time. The seats on Delta’s 757’s (the Song airline planes) are not comfortable, like sitting on a board with no cushion. Yes I know they are newer equipment and have personal screens to fiddle with but I still dislike them for comfort. Anyway that was the least of the inconveniences. One of the passengers had some sort of seizure on the plane while we were over the Atlantic. The lights in the cabin had just dimmed when they flipped back on and an attendant asked for any medical people on board to report to seat/row etc. Luckily 2 doctors and an EMT were on board and gave assistance to the poor man. They hooked him up to oxygen and an IV while they monitored his blood pressure. Then they decided he should be lying down. So the attendants prepared the galley for him with everyone’s blankets and pillows. With the galley turned into an emergency room, it was impossible to receive water or any beverage and meals. No one was complaining about this since we would have wanted the same care if one of us or a loved one had suffered a health problem. An ambulance met us at Dublin. I sincerely hope the passenger was helped and went on to have a holiday in Ireland.
Thirsty and tired we arrived in Dublin on time at 7:45 am on Friday 05/22/09.

*Tour Tip: Dublin airport - After passport check-in and luggage pick-up (you have to get your own here) proceed through a myriad of corridors to the Exit. There you will be met by an ABD rep, not your guide but a company that is sub-contracted by Disney for pick-up at the airport. He will be holding an ABD logo sign with your name on it.

It was about a 30-40 minute ride to the Westin in Dublin from the airport.
We proceeded to check-in. I presented my Starwood Preferred Guest card and received an upgrade to a Deluxe room versus the usual Disney Classic room. All this means was that it was a bigger room, which was very nice and yes we were able to go directly to our room, unpack, freshen up and hit the streets of Dublin.

*Tour TipThere is an ATM right outside the Westin. At the front door turn left and it is literally 5 steps away. The Westin is next door to a bank. I had taken a few Euros with me and did purchase some water at the airport since we hadn’t had anything to drink for over 4 hours. Other than that we really didn’t need Euros before Dublin City Centre.

This was a totally free day for us so we decided to explore the Jameson Distillery. We asked the delightful Doorman (Charlie ?) at the Westin for directions and we were on our way.

By this time it was 1 pm and we hadn’t had anything to eat since JFK so we crossed the street and hit the Temple Bar district. We chose Oliver St. John Gogarty’s based on Poppins2000 recommendation. It provided good food, lively atmosphere and friendly service. Perfect! Being lunch time on a Friday it was crowded but we found a table and ordered.
I had a bacon sandwich with a pint of the black stuff, my first of many pints this trip.
http://inlinethumb64.webshots.com/43...425x425Q85.jpg
And Mindy had her first dish of Irish Stew this trip.
http://inlinethumb60.webshots.com/42...425x425Q85.jpg

After lunch we walked to the Jameson Whiskey Distillery, which was a good 45 minute to an hour walk since we took detours of our own device to see things. What a fun experience. They offer (sell) tours throughout the day. You are offered a small beverage at the end of the tour. Jameson whiskey served in various ways, neat or with water or with ginger ale or coke. By that time we had walked off our Guinness so we indulged in the whiskey. Good fun because everyone there is ready for a good time.
http://inlinethumb25.webshots.com/23...425x425Q85.jpg
http://inlinethumb38.webshots.com/13...425x425Q85.jpg
http://inlinethumb50.webshots.com/10...425x425Q85.jpg

We took a leisurely walk back to the hotel for a shower and about an hours rest.

That evening we walked over to Oliver St. John Gogarty’s to sign up for the Traditional Irish Music Pub Crawl that evening. They put us on the waiting list and we somehow managed to do the Crawl. Great entertainment. We visited three different pubs where two musicians who sang various traditional Irish songs entertained us. They were great musicians and also very funny in their presentations. It was a wonderful way to end the long day.
Unfortunatley my pictures didn't turn out from this event. It was very dark in those pub rooms.

Our plan for tomorrow was to visit Knowth and Newgrange outside of Dublin.
The concierge at the Westin helped us decide which of two tour groups to use, booked our reservations for us and arranged for the van to pick us up right at the front door of the Westin.

We hit the heavenly beds at the Westin and didn’t stir until 7:30 the next morning.

Part Two

Poppins2000 06-01-2009 01:15 PM

I am so glad you had a wonderful time! Looking forward to reading more!

clarabelle 06-01-2009 01:39 PM

can't wait to hear more
I have questions about Newgrange -we are hoping to do this as well
Thanks for taking the time to do a report
:)

sayhello 06-01-2009 02:23 PM

Whee! Sounds like fun already, and you haven't even started the actual tour!

That's kind of scary about the passenger with the seizure. Just makes you so grateful it's not you and yours, and feel so bad for them. Also reminds me that I *must* bring my own water & food on trips (diabetic on top of other fun things!). Glad you all arrived OK.

The Westin upgrade: did they upgrade you just because you *had* the membership, or did you use points (just curiosity here. I'd've never thought to try for an upgrade without points...)

Looking forward to more report!

Sayhello

redzinner 06-01-2009 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sayhello (Post 32081999)
The Westin upgrade: did they upgrade you just because you *had* the membership, or did you use points (just curiosity here. I'd've never thought to try for an upgrade without points...)

sayhello, When we were checking in I presented my SPG card and asked if I could get points from the booking. He told me no since a third party had booked it as a package. That was when he said he would give me an upgrade and a complimentary paper every morning. I didn't ask for the upgrade.
I think it's always good just to let them know you have their card. You never know what they can then offer you.

sayhello 06-01-2009 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redzinner (Post 32083197)
sayhello, When we were checking in I presented my SPG card and asked if I could get points from the booking. He told me no since a third party had booked it as a package. That was when he said he would give me an upgrade and a complimentary paper every morning. I didn't ask for the upgrade.
I think it's always good just to let them know you have their card. You never know what they can then offer you.

That's pretty cool! I'll have to remember that. Thanks, redzinner. :thumbsup2

TewEpcot 06-01-2009 07:23 PM

The musical pub crawl was amazing & I would highly recommend it! We were lucky to get in, so if it's something you'd like to do, speak with the concierge at the Westin ahead of time.

kristilew 06-06-2009 06:34 AM

sounds like a great start, I can't wait to read the rest! I think I about have DH talked into doing this one next year.

SayHello, Starwood promises SPG members a free upgrade whenever it is available. I have received one at every Starwood property I've stayed at over the past several years, except at the Swan at WDW. Several times, this has been on conference travel and I've always ended up with a nicer room, or at least a higher floor, than the group block. So nice. (And, OMG, got upgraded to a suite at Le Parker Meridian in Manhattan last month - so very very nice!)

I would never have thought of trying it with ABD though. Cool. Did the guides have any difficulties with your room change?

redzinner 06-06-2009 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kristilew (Post 32154734)
I would never have thought of trying it with ABD though. Cool. Did the guides have any difficulties with your room change?

The guides never mentioned any problems. We received all our goodies and notices from ABD so I guess they had our room number!

When the agent at the Westin checked us in I got the impression he was just searching for a Deluxe, with two beds that was available at 9:30 in the morning so we could get in, settled and freshen-up.

Starwood did end up giving me a little over 500 points for the three nights. Better than nothing. :)

sayhello 06-06-2009 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kristilew (Post 32154734)
SayHello, Starwood promises SPG members a free upgrade whenever it is available. I have received one at every Starwood property I've stayed at over the past several years, except at the Swan at WDW. Several times, this has been on conference travel and I've always ended up with a nicer room, or at least a higher floor, than the group block. So nice. (And, OMG, got upgraded to a suite at Le Parker Meridian in Manhattan last month - so very very nice!)

I would never have thought of trying it with ABD though. Cool. Did the guides have any difficulties with your room change?

Thanks, kristilew. I haven't been a member of Starwood for long; still learning the perks!

Sayhello

tksbaskets 08-25-2009 01:59 PM

Hi,
Re-reading :goodvibes Here is my question: How did you get the day room at the airport through Delta? Around how much would someone have to pay for that (not wanting to be gauche and ask you what you spent...)

Teresa

redzinner 08-25-2009 03:16 PM

Sky Club
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tksbaskets (Post 33303508)
Hi,
Re-reading :goodvibes Here is my question: How did you get the day room at the airport through Delta? Around how much would someone have to pay for that (not wanting to be gauche and ask you what you spent...)

Hi Teresa,
Delta offers One Day passes per passenger with valid ticket for that day of travel. We just walked into the lounge and purchased the one-day passes at the front desk. We are sky mile members but I don't think that is a pre-requisite. It's an expensive pass at $50 per person but if we have a long layover it's worth the expense for us. It's quieter, comfortable chairs, beverages, food (snacks), buffet at lunch and dinner and internet access all add up to make a happier traveler.

We did it on our way to Rome last year for the Viva Italia tour also. Last year it was $35 per passenger. Maybe Delta was trying to discourage one day passes ... didn't discourage us. :laughing:

Delta Sky Club

tksbaskets 08-25-2009 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redzinner (Post 33304739)
Hi Teresa,
Delta offers One Day passes per passenger with valid ticket for that day of travel. We just walked into the lounge and purchased the one-day passes at the front desk. We are sky mile members but I don't think that is a pre-requisite. It's an expensive pass at $50 per person but if we have a long layover it's worth the expense for us. It's quieter, comfortable chairs, beverages, food (snacks), buffet at lunch and dinner and internet access all add up to make a happier traveler.

We did it on our way to Rome last year for the Viva Italia tour also. Last year it was $35 per passenger. Maybe Delta was trying to discourage one day passes ... didn't discourage us. :laughing:

Delta Sky Club

I looked at this link and it would definetly be worth it on a long lay-over! Sent my DH a link to your trip report. Hopefully it will put him over the edge to a 'yes'!:yay:


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