Tours to Ireland

Apr 6th, 2000, 10:00 AM
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Tours to Ireland

My 16 year old daughter and I are looking for a tour to Ireland, hopefully for August. I saw another post on CIE Tours and looked at their website - looks interesting. Does anyone have any experience with this company? Do they allow any free time to do exploring on your own? Any information or suggestions would be most welcome! Thanks
Apr 6th, 2000, 11:50 AM
Joan Doyle
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Dear Vicki: My first trip--and only tour--to Ireland was made under the auspices of CIE (which is the official Irish government bus company). I found it eminently satisfactory and, as for free time, they allowed my room-mate and me enough time to tour Dingle and a good bit of Kerry with my cousins while we were in Killarney. I doubt you can do better. Good trip! Joan
Apr 23rd, 2000, 09:33 AM
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I too am planning a trip with CIE. A friend used this tour company and enjoyed it very much. I have not heard any complaints so far!
Apr 23rd, 2000, 10:05 AM
Beth Anderson
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If this is helpful - another good tour group is Isle Inn Tours. I am going to Ireland next month, May 26-June 4, for a biking tour. 1330 includes airfare, bikes, lodging, bike support, tour guide, and breakfasts. They also have a free day planned where we can do whatever (or partake of the activities they arranged such as hiking). There is also a one day trip to Inis Mor island (one of the Aran Islands). I am staying one extra night which of course is not included, but I still think that is an amazing price.

They are in Alexandria VA and their number is 703-683-4800. Tell Fiona Beth Anderson referred you.


Apr 23rd, 2000, 02:22 PM
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I toured Ireland with CIE tours in Sept. of 1998 and was very happy with them. Had plenty of free time in Dublin but not much in the smaller towns. I don't know which tour you are planning but I think mine was called Classic Ireland and went around the whole country and Northern Ireland which I like very much. The coach driver was the tour guide and did a great job of talking while driving those narrow winding roads. The food and hotels were also of very good quality. Overall a nice trip.
Apr 28th, 2000, 07:52 PM
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I took the CIE Irish Heritage Tour just last month. We landed in Shannon coming from JFK in New York...only 5 hrs 23 minutes. We actually touched down at about 640AM...and the CIE desk hadn't evened open...but they came by about 10 to 7. A nice woman collected us...about 6 0r 8 of us from the flight from New York...Soon the Tour Guide and Driver arrived...Paddy Ryan was the guide and Ned drove the bus...they collect your luggage...tag it...load it on the bus...we arrived at the Limerick Hotel in Shannonside. The tour guide handles all the room bookings...YOU NEVER HAVE TO CHECK IN...they give you you room keys and up to your room you go. Your luggage is delivered shortly (they handle One suitcase per person). You DON"T HAVE TO TIP for the luggage.

We napped, had lunch (YOU PAY FOR ALL YOUR LUNCHES) but all your breakfasts and dinners are included in the cost of your tour.

Through out the entire trip, everything is spelled out for you, they make you rotate your seats on the bus so you sit in a different part of the bus one can hog the best seats. When you arrived in a city...they will announce what time to arrive in the dining room for dinner. You get a menu with lots of selections and choices. Dinner does not include beverages but tea or coffee is included.

They will announce the dinner times before you get to the hotel...Dinner at 730 ...breakfast at 700 AM luggage left outside your room at 745 AM etc...Your bags are always collected, loaded on the bus, and delivered to your rooms.

The hotels were all quuite classy. I Liked the Great Southern in Killarney, the Granville in Waterford City best.

All of your admissions to the various Castles are all don't have to purchase tickets to any of the sights.

There was a stop of about an hour half outside of Killarney for shopping one morning...and there was a huge store called Blarney Mills near the Blarney Castle where you could shop...but that was it. And nowhere are you required to shop, you can just browse...if you like, or leave the shop and find a pub if you like.

The bus will stop for photo opportunities, and for pit stops if needed. The pace is slow and leisurely and the guides know their business.

My opinion is that the CIE Tour was extrememly well managed. You will be very pleased. Beginning with email replies to any questions you have ...ask at their the timely delivery of your vouchers, tickets, and iteineraries. You will receive a shoulder bag for camera, books, maps...and a nice pouch for your tickets passports, cash etc...

If I had one minor complaint, it was that often we arrived at a town or city at about 500 Pm and the stores closed shortly thereafter...of course this was March. In high season I am sure it will be different. Dublin stayed open later.

In Dublin, you will have a night 'off' and you can go where you like for dinner. In Killarney, there was an evening at a pub with live music...there was a night out in Dublin with music as well.

On the educational side, there was The Skelly Experience, whcih is a multimedia show about the Skelly hour and very interesting...In Cobh, another multi-media experience all about Cobh whcih was the depart point for the waves of Irish Immigrants going to American by ship.

In Dublin we saw St. Patricks Cathedral, Phoenix Park, Dublin Castle.
Outside of Killarney we visited the Muckross House and we got there from the Great Southern Hotel by Juanting and wagons for 48 people and wonderfully spirited drivers who told delightful stories on the way to Muckross.

I have no reservations about recommending CIE...

One last point...I left the tour in Dublin on a Friday to fly home, others stayed on the tour going to Galway. My Tour Guide, Paddy arranged a taxi to pick me up at the hotel and take me to Dublin Airport...and this was also part of my package. Paddy gave me a voucher for the cab, and all I had to do was be outside the hotel at the appointed time. One more thing...YOU NEVER HAVE TO CHECK OUT OF A HOTEL either. Unless you owe a bar bill, or for telephones. If you incurred no charges at the hotel, you just board the bus, every morning.

May 8th, 2000, 03:58 PM
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Thank you, everyone, for your comments. Michael, I especially appreciated your detailed comments. We have booked the Scottish and Irish Dream tour for a late July departure. I had to act fast. My first three choices for dates were already booked. Now I feel like I made a good choice. Thanks again! Vicki

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