*Good: The bus was comfortable, Peter seems great (though we only interacted with him for a few minutes at one of the stops)
The driver (Tom) said it was his second time doing a tour with the company that year, and his first tour with the guide (Shawn). They weren’t at all in synch. The itinerary was really boring. Conwy castle was nothing special, the “scenic waterfall” was basically a creek at a downward angle. The views DO NOT compare to those from the Irish and Scottish ports. The Betws-y-coed town was cute I guess…but nothing worth the time or money to get there.
Shawn talked more about her family/life than the history of Wales. Neither the driver nor guide could figure out how to turn on the music as we left Liverpool (I think they were supposed to be playing Beatles or something). It wasn’t until we ran into Peter (the owner or manager) at the first stop that he told them they were trying to play the CD through the MP3 port, or vice versa, something about the CD vs MP3. So after that we had music for a little while…although at that point I wished that Peter had never shown them how to operate it. They played the worst music …including an AWFUL remake/parody of Alicia Keys/Jay Z “New York” made to say “North Wales.” Every time Shawn would say something (usually about her husband/sheep farmer) it would restart the North Wales song. So for 35 minutes, “Let’s hear for it North Wales, North Wales, North Wales” Once, may have been fine...but on repeat for over a half hour...terrible!!
Neither Shawn nor Tom knew where the nearest bathroom was at our first stop. And after an hour and half drive, and 30 minutes to get off the ship, get the bus, load the bus, etc, my mom and a couple others were ready to burst. I’m younger and don’t need a restroom that often, but for the older crowd, after morning coffee…2 hours is a bit long. So they rushed to where Tom had pointed out and nope, no bathroom there. They were left scrambling to figure out where one was and get there. We later found out (through Peter) that there was actually a toilet on the bus. Shawn/Tom hadn’t mentioned it, and it was not obvious at all that it was a bathroom.
Lastly, and this isn’t a big deal, just more another thing to show that the Shawn/Tom combo were lacking. At the beginning of the tour Shawn said that Peter liked the passengers to play a game where they yell out “black sheep” when they see one (as they are a lot more rare than the white ones). The rules were set up at the beginning of the trip as “whoever yelled it out first” basically got a point or whatever. Well the passengers started doing it, and Shawn seemed over it about halfway into the trip. My mom and I clearly spotted the most. At the end of the trip Shawn decided that because the group was too big she couldn’t tell who had seen the most, so she asked for the welsh translation of some word. The prize ended up being the horrible CD we had been listening to, so I was very happy not to have won. But still…why even start the game if she has no interest in keeping track?
When we spoke to Peter at one of the stops, he seemed great…personable, fun, engaging. Later in the cruise, we also spoke to the small group that had the private tour with him that day, and it sounded like they had a great time. So personally, I don’t think I would ever “love” this tour b/c the itinerary wasn’t my taste. But I think if I had, had Peter (or another driver/guide combo?) I would have at least had some fun.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.