Ireland - Navy Football Aug 2020

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by usnavynurse, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. usnavynurse

    usnavynurse Member

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    Would love any advise from parents who have traveled to Ireland to attend Navy Football games in the past. Would like to book our own travel plans, rather than go with the travel agent package. Things like where to fly in, must see things, where to stay, restaurant recommendations etc.
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Fly into Shannon in the West, easy-peasy airport for car rental. Not far to Cliffs of Moher or a run to the southwest for the Dingle and Beara Peninsulas. Drive/sightsee your way to Dublin via any number of cross-country routes (via Waterford, Cashel, Kilkenny for the south, or head north to Galway and across), dump rental car, stay in central hotel or Air BnB, walk/take circulator bus for Dublin sights, fly home from Dublin. We walked to Aviva Stadium from our hotel, long-ish but doable from Centre City.

    Trip Advisor and other apps have any number of recommendations for Dublin. Many hotels will already have rooms blocked for the tour packages.
     
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  3. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    Just remember they drive on the "wrong" side of the road. Driver will see nothing as they try to navigate especially in Dublin. CIE has been great in the past. Check them out. CIE is run by the Irish Government and is great.
     
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  4. usnavynurse

    usnavynurse Member

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    Great advise, I was looking at Trip Advisor last night. How many nights do you recommend staying to see enough?
     
  5. usnavynurse

    usnavynurse Member

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    Yes we are a little reluctant to rent a car for that reason, neither my husband or I have ever driven on the opposite side of the road.
     
  6. usnavynurse

    usnavynurse Member

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    Also how do you get tickets for the game if you don't book with the travel agent?
     
  7. billyb

    billyb 5-Year Member

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    We rented a car in Turks & Caicos and drove on the "wrong" side of the road. You get used to it real quick. I wouldn't let that stop you from getting a car. You also learn left hand turns are awesome!
     
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  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Driving on the wrong side isn’t that hard. Only time it tricks ya is when there isn’t any traffic. Last time they played there I went for 6 or 7 days. We went to Scotland for a day trip too. We actually flew into Dublin and trained to Northern Ireland for a night then came back to Dublin. We didn’t rent a car and stayed in Dublin and when we wanted to explore we took buses. It was easy to get around. This time we are going to rent a car and drive the country some. USNA will sell tickets. It’s all a matter of what you want to do and see.
     
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  9. JP2019TP

    JP2019TP Member

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    Driving in Ireland takes about an hour to get used to. The roundabouts are the most challenging. Helpful to have a good navigator in the front seat with you. We have a son at Notre Dame (2021) and our other son is Navy (2023) - so needless to say, we are going to the game! I reached out to the woman we rented an apt. from last March (AirBnB) and she has not released her dates for August 2020. Not sure of other properties. I'd prefer to go with what I know. Any location in central Dublin is great. The buses are fantastic. We flew into Dublin and out of Shannon. Took the train from Dublin to Galway and rented our car in Galway. The itineraries are endless. We go back again in March. Ireland is a magical place. Try to stay for at least a week if you can.
     
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  10. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    All good advice. Stunning scenery, historic sites everywhere, friendly people, good food - multiple trips worth.

    In 2020, we are going to hit some of the islands, as well as the ancestral castle for me in the far northwest.

    Last trip, DBIL and DSIL accompanied us. Her bucket list included a falconry experience, so we checked that block at Ashford Castle and Ireland’s School of Falconry. That was a wallet-drainer but worth every penny. DH’s bucket list item was a guided tour of the Irish National Stud, and that was a great half-day not far from Dublin. My bucket list was a dawn tour of Newgrange.

    The typical Irish rookie itineraries tend to include:
    - Dublin (Book of Kells, Guinness, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, etc., use the Hop On Hop Off bus)
    - Cliffs of Moher
    - The Burren
    - Giant’s Causeway
    - Waterford
    - Blarney Castle
    - Dingle Peninsula
    - Rock of Cashel
    - Galway area
    - Belfast area (“Game of Thrones” tours abound, Titanic Experience)
    - more from other posters for the usual first-trip stops in various regions?

    As noted in another post, the Irish Tourism Board site offers many resources, including hotel bookings. You can go $$$$$ on the Castle/country manor hotels, or stay in the B&Bs - just google Irish B&Bs and hundreds of options pop up. Look for the registered ones or association members. There is nothing bad to be said about a full Irish breakfast with warm soda bread and Irish butter, though I would give the black pudding (sausage) to DH. Huge discussions can occur about the perfect Irish breakfast, rather like Americans and the perfect hamburger. Enjoy the article below, but fair warning it’s a bit salty.
    https://www.joe.ie/life-style/12-unbreakable-rules-full-irish-breakfast-552938


    You could easily go straight to Dublin, use public transport and skip the car, walk/bus everywhere, book local trips to nearby sites of interest. Just google “day tours from Dublin.”

    If I only had a week, and it was my first trip, I’d probably settle into Dublin, do 2 days Dublin sights, 1 day game, 3 days local half or full-day bus tours, just as an intro to Ireland. You don’t want to miss the pep rally on St. Stephen’s Green.

    It all depends on your travel style and budget.


    There are great things to see in every region of Ireland.

    The freeways work just like ours, with gas and junk food stops. The secondary roads and tertiary roads can be quite twisty, with you and lorries coming at each other with no shoulder on either side, just high banks. Driving through that just-as-green-as-you-have-imagined countryside can be quite pleasurable. Sixty miles can take 2 hours to drive on those roads, but we love getting off the freeway (motorway).

    Invest in an old-school folding map of Ireland to get a feel for where things are.

    The UNESCO world heritage sights are almost always worth going to. If you’re going to hit several of those on one trip, you can buy a full-access pass at a cheaper rate than single access.

    I think I’m going to make some soda bread this weekend, and get some Kerrigold Irish butter at the commissary.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  11. usnavynurse

    usnavynurse Member

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    Thank you for your time and great advise! Since it is our first trip we are thinking of staying at an airbnb in center city Dublin and walking/busing around. Also taking some day trips to the countryside and of course attending the game and pep rally. When do the Mids usually get there? Are they allowed to stay with parents, not that mine will want too. LOL. Is the Pep rally the day before the game?
     
  12. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    I want to say the pep rally was late afternoon the day before the game. I remember we went to a nice pub afterwards for dinner.
    We met up with many of our sponsor mids and families. I think many stayed over at Trinity College, and I don’t recall if mids on the movement order could stay elsewhere.

    Someone will know.
     
  13. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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  14. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    Aer Lingus is already selling packages for 2020 to Dublin for the game. Check it out. Take a picture with Molly Malone.
     
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  15. landlock

    landlock Member

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    What are the chances a second year mid (not a football player, band ,or cheerleader) would be chosen to go to Ireland....do any go??
     
  16. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Oh yes, there will be what’s called a “movement order.” It’s not a matter of being chosen, it’s being eligible and willing. As I recall, being academically unsat or in conduct trouble will DQ someone. Given the timing of the game in late summer near ac year start, plans will have to be formed up in the spring. It’s the same as going to any other away game, just logistically and financially more challenging.
     
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  17. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    Don't forget the "Book of Kells" at Trinity and walk around the school.
     
  18. JP2019TP

    JP2019TP Member

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    I just went on the "official" website and see that in order to secure tickets, we must purchase a package. Well, I'm not keen on traveling when everyone else goes; as we will likely visit for at least 10 days. It's $500 per person to secure tickets, with package options to come. Who knows how much the cost will ultimately be.

    Since we have a student at ND and a Mid at Navy, should I wait to see if we can get tickets through them?

    For those who went in 2012, did anyone get tickets without doing a package?
     
  19. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    As I recall in 2012, Aviva Stadium was not full, and there was a line at the ticket booth. That would be a risk, though.

    I don’t know if mids can requisition tix for away games.

    You might want to call the Navy ticket office.

    We did not get our tickets through a package, but through a private channel - I don’t mean to be mysterious, but it’s a special connection due to unique circumstances.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  20. mcfamilyof4

    mcfamilyof4 Member

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    Be aware the rental car might be a stick shift. If you want automatic you’ll pay a premium
     
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