Saturday, May 31, 2014

2014 Irish Open - they're back!

The Irish Open Golf Tournament is back at Fota Island Golf Resort. After a gap of over 12 years the Open is being held in Fota in less than three weeks time. With Rory McIlroy featuring a lot in the news lately and after his success at Wentworth his presence at Fota is much anticipated, as are a host of other international star players including Shane Lowry, John Daly, Padraig Harrington, Graham McDowell and many more.

Shane Lowry recently came to Cobh during the visit of the liner 'Brilliance of the Seas' to officially launch the 2014 Open. This video, courtesy of the, recorded the visit.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Liners so far in May....

One liner passing another - MSC Magnifica at dock

Well as we come to the end of May there has been some fabulous liners visiting Cobh so far. In fact
there has been a liner in harbour almost every second day.

As is usual, most of these docked at the Cobh Cruise Liner Terminal only 200 yards from the Commodore Hotel and are in plain view.
Thompson Celebration at Cobh Cruise Terminal

Many of the passengers availed of organised coach trips to various tourist sites in the South West of the country. Some of the favoured destinations include Killarney, Blarney, and Waterford Glass. When the ships arrive early in the morning there is already a flotilla of buses waiting to take passengers away. Depending on the size of the ship and number of passengers on-board there can be anything up to 50 buses waiting on quayside. However, not all passengers avail of the these organised trips. Many alight and make their own way about. Some take the train from the adjacent train station to Cork city but probably many more take the opportunity to wander and explore the town of Cobh. The town centre is only a few minutes walk away.
Celebrity Infinity pictured from the Quays Bar

Its estimated that roughly 1/3rd of passengers stay onboard, 1/3rd avail of the organised excursions, and 1/3rd get off the ship and explore the local environs. With upto 5,000 people on some of the ships that can result in a lot of people wandering about locally and in Cobh there is a lot to explore. Many take a trip to Spike Island. Still more visit the local Titanic Experience Centre and the Queenstown Heritage Centre or join on the Titanic Tour guided walking trip. Most wander around the local streets, soak up the unique heritage and history and visit the local restuarants, cafes, and bars.
Brilliance of the Seas departing Cobh

By 5pm most wander back to the ship to await departure. The local confraternity band usually play on the pier to see them off and they are joined by a lot of locals and visitors alike. In fact, if the weather is kind, it can make for quite a carnival atmosphere.

As the ship departs it passes down the main channel right in front of the hotel. In fact it feels like you could almost reach out and touch them. Any guests of the hotel are treated to a great view and most can watch the ships progress from the comfort of their rooms.
Celebrity Infinity pictured from the steps of the Hotel

One of the more unusual liners was the 'Fram' which was in during the first week of May. This was quite a small liner and unusually shaped. However, it shape was for a purpose as this liner is used mainly for Arctic and Antarctic cruises where the passengers engage in whale watching aswell as enjoying the spectacular polar scenery....icebergs included!
The Fram at Cobh Cruise Terminal

The 'Fram' had a complement of 570 passengers.

This was followed by the Artania which carried 1,780 passengers. The Thompson Celebration was in on the 9th May with 1,918 onboard.
The Artania pictured from the Promenade

The first of a succession of really big liners came in the following day with the Celebrity Infinity. The Celebrity carries 3,449 passengers and was back in less than a week later on the 15th May for a second visit.
Celebrity Infinity at Cobh Cruise Terminal

The Celebrity was followed by the Brilliance of the Seas on the 11th May with 3,354 passengers and the Ruby Princess was in on the 13th May with 4,797 passengers. Wow, now that was a big liner!!!
Brilliance of the Seas at Cobh Cruise Terminal

Ruby Princess at Cobh Cruise Terminal

In the last week we had Mein Schiff with 2,957 passengers on the 18th May and the following day the MSC Magnifica with 4,592 onboard.
Mein Schiff passing in front of Hotel

Over the next week its going to get very busy again with the MSC Magnifica visiting once more, followed by the Amadea, Minerva, Queen Victoria, Ruby Princess, and the Minerva, all visiting over the June weekend.

In fact, if you would like to visit Cobh when one of these magnificent ships are in port the June weekend would be a great weekend to do it. Why not visit our website for some great deals on accommodation!

Monday, April 28, 2014

2nd Liner of the season.....

The second liner of the season, the Emerald Princess, arrived early this morning and with it the good weather returned.

What a big liner! It's so big that it couldn't fit into the lens when this picture was taken from the high road. The nearby Train Station and Heritage Centre are dwarfed by it size!!!

Here's a photograph taken from the steps of the Commodore. The ship is only 200 yards away but towers over the old Yacht Club building in the foreground.

Many of the crew and passengers, almost 5,000 in number, took advantage of the good weather to wander around the town

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Liner season starts......

The first of this year's liners arrived today. The Legend of the Seas berthed just after dawn at the Cobh Cruise Liner Terminal at the Deep Water Quay. Although, not quite as big as some of the other liners that will be coming this season it is, nevertheless, quite a sizeable liner with a gross tonnage of 70,000 tonnes and with a length of 867 feet.
View from Watersedge Hotel

Many of its 2,000 passengers and 700 crew were out and about from early morning exploring the streets, shops, and restaurants of Cobh. As normal, many others took advantage of the coach trips to Killarney, Blarney and other destinations but were back in Cobh by mid-afternoon. While others walked the relatively short distance to the nearby train station and took a train to Cork. The Heritage Centre and the Titanic Experience also proved to be popular.

Passengers boarding
Unfortunately, the weather wasn't kind. There had been a storm overnight and it was still quite breezy in the morning with heavy showers. This was in complete contrast to the weather all week as it had been positively summery with beautiful sunny days and warm temperatures. Hopefully, its only a blip and the good weather returns.

Berthed at Cruise Terminal
The next liner is due in on Monday and this one, the Emerald Princess, is bigger again. Onboard will be over 5,000 passengers and crew. This starts a run of visiting liners, where there will be almost a liner every day or almost every second day for over a month solid.

View from 1st Bridge
May is a good month to visit Cobh and see one of these fabulous liners. We've got some great overnight accommodation deals on offer on the Commodore Hotel website. Why not avail of one of these packages and come on down! The Port of Cork Schedule of Liner Visits lists the dates of each liner visit and will give you a good idea of when to visit.

Legend of the Seas with Brittany Ferries

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Jack Doyle - Gala Dinner & Birthday Bash

The highlight of this weekend's Jack Doyle Centenary will be the Gala Dinner/Birthday Bash. Michael Taub, author of 'Jack Doyle - The Gorgeous Gael' will be flying in from the UK to speak on the night. Music will be provided by 'The Contenders.' Tickets are available at the hotel reception - at only €34.95 they're great value!!!

Jack Doyle - Dearest Mr. Blarney

    With Jack's glory days well behind him the Dodge family women still had somewhat of a 'hankering' for him.....

     'Jack had again tasted fame, but the trappings of success he once took for granted had slipped tantalisingly beyond reach. They were the unattainable baubles of a bygone age. His slender consolation was the certain knowledge that the heady days of the past would be remembered with affection by those he had known. Delphine Dodge's daughter, Christine Cromwell, was one who would never forget and she wrote him a string of letters professing her love.
    Christine admitted that Jack was the first and greatest love of her life and her correspondence bore witness. In 1963 she sent him a colour photo of her and her father inscribed: 'Love to Jack, who has ever been in my thoughts. Christine.' Although twenty-eight years had elapsed since she vied with her mother for Jack's body and soul, the passions aroused in her were such that she had never been able to find true and lasting happiness with anyone else.
    In the mid-1960s Christine was a property-owning resident in the British Virgin Islands. She also had a yacht, from which she operated a fishing enterprise with two partners. The first letter to her 'Mr. Blarney' was dated May 1, 1965, and there were shades of Judith Allen's poetic touch enshrined in its breathless message:
    'Darling -
      My goodness I need you so badly. What twist of fate is it that keeps us apart? Not long now, tho [sic] - My love, dearest Mr. Blarney.'
      She signed herself simply 'C.'

    It appeared that Christine, then forty-two, was as deeply in love with Jack as ever, although it is doubtful he was of the same persuasion. At this time he would not have been interested in her body and still less her intellect. He would have been after one thing only: her money. This was evident from her second communication, a long-winded missive in which she claimed to have been badly beaten by one of her partners in the fishing enterprise she was running between Barbados and San Juan. It transpired that she had been in touch with Jack by telephone and, reading between the lines, the inescapable conclusion is that he pleaded poverty to her. Her letter read in part:

    'My very dearest Mr. Blarney,
      Dear God above it was wonderful to talk to you, but my distress as to why I called you this time has made a mercyless [sic] ache in my heart for you. Perhaps some day I can make this up to you just a little bit.
      Let me express my very deep hurt for you, and say again I will help you all I can. Please keep good care of yourself for you and for me. Altho [sic] there is a good friend here, my needs have been for you.
      My love and affection and my heartfelt sympathy - there's still life for us yet.'

    Again she signed off with a simple C.
    Whether Christine did indeed render Jack financial assistance is doubtful. Nancy Kehoe could not recall him receiving a sum of money from the Virgin Islands or anywhere else for that matter. She was working as a waitress at the Cumberland Hotel at the time and though she may have been unaware of much of what went on in his life she could not have failed to notice had he become suddenly and significantly better off.
    It appears, too, that the ache in Christine's heart was not so 'mercyless' as to send her rushing to Jack's side. Her words had echoed sentiment rather than intent; they were written in recognition of a love for him that was still alive in spirit but dead in practicality. All contact between them then ceased. Whatever feelings they had for each other faded once more into distant memory.'

Many thanks to Michael Taub, author of Jack Doyle: the Gorgeous Gael, for allowing us to reproduce excerpts of his book here. Many thanks also to his publishers Lilliput Press, Dublin.

Michael will be speaking at the Gala Dinner/Birthday Bash on the night of Jack's 100th anniversary of his birthday, as part of the Jack Doyle Centenary Weekend. The weekend events take place from Friday 30th August to Sunday 1st September.

Highlights of the weekend include:

·  A Boxing Tournament on Friday 30th August - organised under the auspices of the IABA Cork County Board. (Tickets available at the Commodore Hotel @ €10)
·  A gala dinner with guest speaker Michael Taub, author of 'Jack Doyle; the Gorgeous Gael.' Music by the 'Contenders' Saturday 31st August. (Tickets available at the Commodore Hotel €34.95)
·  Official opening of the Jack Doyle Mural on Saturday 31st August (pics below) - all welcome to attend.
·  The Jack Doyle Play with actor Luke Barry on Sunday 1st September. (Tickets available at the Commodore Hotel @ €5)
·  Guided Walking Tours and tours on the Cobh Road Train, Historical Workshops, street theatre, classic car displays, commemorative mass & subsequent ceremonies in Cobh's historical Promenade, guided tours of the Old Cemetery where Jack is buried and much more.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jack Doyle - Birthday Bash

Jack Doyle Centenary Weekend:- Well its almost here....highlight of the weekend will be the Gala Dinner/Birthday Bash. Michael Taub, author of 'Jack Doyle - The Gorgeous Gael' will be flying in from the UK to speak on the night. Music will be provided by 'The Contenders.' Tickets are available at the hotel reception - at only €34.95 they're great value!!!