Back from Collette Tour & Loved it!

Jul 11th, 2001, 05:12 PM
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Back from Collette Tour & Loved it!

Thanks to all of you who have helped me with my vacation tips. Of course, I tried to pack light (a 27" bag) then had to buy another bag in Ireland.Oh well, I do like to shop!
This was my first time ever out of the country. Went on a tour alone and had the best time. Collette Tours really did a wonderful job. We had no options to add (all was included) and the meals at the hotels were fabulous. We had plenty of time to shop and free time to explore places. Most everything was walking distances from the hotel. The hotels were modern and clean. Some larger than others but all nice. We didn't have to get up too early and could always cat nap on the coach (some of us did). The group ages were from 29 to over 70. (one girl with her Aunt was 18, and she said she had a blast!) Most of the over 70's were in better shape than me (56ish). There were 8 singles, all woman, and a few shared a room. The tour guide, Mary McAllison, was waiting for us at the hotel in London. We had the first day for ourselves and a nice dinner at the hotel that night.
Sightseeing (Changing of the Guard, etc.) the next day, and of course, shopping. Harrods, I love you! Saw "Blood Brothers", a musical drama that played for 13 years there. All that was included and we loved it.
Next day, we were on our way. Salisbury, Stonehenge, Bath etc.Took a ferry (8 floors) from Wales to Ireland. (3.5 hours)Waterford factory was nice and interesting(I shopped!). Loved The Ring of Kerry,we had such clear days, I Loved Killarney and the Laurels Singing Pub trip. The trip to Ireland was just wonderful, people are so friendly. (Still having fabulous meals.) Met some other tour groups on our travels. Some said that they didn't get a choice of dinners and had Salmon each night. We had 3 choice of each appetizers, entrees and desserts.From Ireland , a Catamaran (1.5 hours)to Ruthin, Wales for an overnight stay in the Castle. We had a Mediaeval Banquet (only ate with a small dagger)Soup,salad, lambchops, chicken and potatoes. Dessert was pudding and we had a spoon for that. We had Mead and wine with the meal.(lots of it) and plenty of entertainment. Music and a lovely show.The Castle was lovely. Peacocks and Sheep outside our windows. The Castle was plush and decorated beautifully. I think it was my favorite spot.Next day, on to Edinburgh, Scotland. More entertainment (Bagpipes should really be outdoors, the sound is unusual, to say the least). Afew days later, we were in York. A really great little place. The Shambles were a shoppers delight. Then to Stratford on Avon. Anne Hathaways house and the Bards house, etc.We had great weather with hardly any rain, only the last day and that was only a sprinkle (June 2 thru June 16).There was much more that we saw and the tour guide gave us wonderful history about what we were going to see. She had a wonderful sense of humor, was a caring person, and made our trip fun. The Coach driver kept the coach clean (it even had a toilet aboard) and had bottled water on board. He was a great driver and a gentlemen. The last night together, was a bittersweet dinner. We all felt like a family.Went to Paris from there for a Free & Easy Trafalgar Week. Added a few days on to it. The hotel was OK. We had to carry our own bags into the hotel and up to our room. The staff were OK. Breakfast was just average (better in GB) and the tour we took the next day was nice, but the guide was average. She didn't show any warmth and didn't even check to see who was back on the coach when we left. Most guides will count heads. We were rushed from Versailles and Notre Dame. I don't think I'd do Trafalgar again.Maybe if I was with a large group, 40 or more people, I would have had a better time, I don't know.
Sorry to ramble on like this, but I just got into a roll and couldn't stop. If anyone has any questions about Collette, you are welcome to email me. Thanks again for the tips.
Jul 11th, 2001, 09:18 PM
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Enjoyed reading your report - sounds like you had a really great trip! It's also good to know that your tour company did such a good job - there are a lot of single travelers out there who will benefit from this info. Joyce
Jul 12th, 2001, 05:50 AM
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Also enjoyed reading your post. Sounds like a trip I'd like to take. Can you tell me how to contact Collette tours?
Jul 12th, 2001, 11:12 AM
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Try They can send you a brochure, though most info is available on line.
Jul 12th, 2001, 11:45 AM
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Thanks for the detailed report Alam. I am so glad you enjoyed your tour. I will file this away for people who request tour info. We only travel independently but I have many friends and relatives who would only go abroad with a tour. It's nice to know there is a good one out there.
Jul 12th, 2001, 11:47 AM
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I took the same tour last year and while I would have liked to have more free evenings, (we had to skip a few included meals to do things at night) on the whole, it was very worthwhile.

I've been on several tours with several companies, and what impressed me most was the exceptional knowledgeability of the guide. Above and beyond the usual. Do consider them if you're in the market for a tour.
Jul 12th, 2001, 12:20 PM
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To contact Collette (they are from Rhode Island) you can get them on there website. I did not use the air accommedatons, I found that it was cheaper thru my travel agent. Even though I have been planning the trip for years, I went to AAA travel and let them set it up for me. Whenever I had a question concerning the company or the trip, I just called Collette (800#)and they were very nice and helpful. I sure would use them again.
Jul 13th, 2001, 04:35 PM
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topping for recent enquiry
Jul 13th, 2001, 05:05 PM
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Alam: Probably a weird question, but: Any chance your Trafalgar guide was named Sandra and was British? In 1994 my sister & I took a Trafalgar London/Paris/Rome tour (my first and last "tour" package). Sandra was with us in London and Paris and everyone on the bus voted her the "tour guide from hell." Sounds like the one you had in Paris. BTW, she left us at the train station in Paris when we boarded for Rome and we had the sweetest, most wonderful girl meet us in Rome. Just wondering...
Jul 13th, 2001, 05:42 PM
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No, her name was Kathleen and she was French. Sounds like Trafalar has a problem with their tour guides. Doesn't it?
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