CIE has a maximum of 48 passengers. Has anyone done Ireland with CIE and had 40 plus people on bus. How many people have you had on tours & how was CIE.
I just returned from a CIE bus tour with my dad; ours was the "Spirit" tour starting/ending in Dublin. There were about 40 people on our bus. Most were of retirement age, but around a dozen of us were 40ish or younger so it was a decent mix. Most folks were friendly and eager to chat and socialize.
Our driver/guide, Declan, was great. He was organized, efficient, and personable. He also was a font of information on Irish history, music, culture, and current events, and would keep us engrossed with this kind of stuff during the less-interesting stretches of countryside.
The hotels on our trip were quite nice, though in Galway and Dublin they were away from the city center so if you wanted to go in on your own you needed to take a taxi or bus. The included dinners were a mix of buffet and table service from a limited menu, and were quite good in my opinion.
I would not have wanted to drive to many of the places we visited, so the bus tour was ideal in that respect. The trade-off was that it did cater to shopaholics to a certain extent. This manifested itself in certain visits to locations that were essentially just shopping opportunities. If I had my personal preference, we'd have spent some more time at the sights with historical/cultural interest and skipped the shopping stops. But overall it wasn't too objectionable considering the different types of people they need to satisfy.
Overall, it was a positive experience. I cannot say if our driver/guide was typical, but if all of them are as good as Declan then I would recommend CIE tours without reservation if this is the kind of tour you're looking for. If you have any other specific questions I'd be happy to answer.
tom's description was spot on....
if a tour is what you want, cie will make you quite happy....just remember a tour is a tour is a tour....lots of hinney time, too much shopping for my taste, too little time at the stops...the accommodations are fine and the food where provided, other than breakfast, is not amazing but it is ok....early starts each day.....
i took a cie tour in 2000 and there were about 40 or so on that one also....the driver/guide was terrific, well informed on ireland and it's history, and very entertaining....
We just returned from a 2-wk vacation to Ireland. (July 24-July 30, 2011) We used CIE Tours for half of the vacation. They were WONDERFUL! The driver/narrator - Derrick Dunne- was fabulous sharing the history, the folks stories and more.
Our trip with CIT began with a stay at Bunratty Hotel - directly across the street from Bunratty Castle. We were given a marvelous medieval dinner show IN the Castle..and the hotel had all the appointments you'd expect at a 4+Star facility.
The continued through the Ring of Kerry and other points on or near the coast line; Kilkenny area for 1 1/2 days and finally ended up in Dublin at the Ashling Hotel (very nice).
CIE Hosted us in terrific hotels AND wonderful B&B's. Most of our evenings included dinner OR a dinner show (of course there is that so-called-traditional Irish Breakfast...but, I began enjoying fruit & cereal).
It was our FIRST Bus Tour excursion and we were not disappointed. The 'up-scale' bus had seating for 40+ BUT, we were fortunate that only 22 were on our 7-day tour.
C.I.E. has a variety of tours and length of time on the road...take your time like we did.
ONE SUGGESTION: We came in from Arizona/USA. We planned the first 2-days for ourselves and a little road trip in a rental car...it also helped us to get rid of our 'jet lag'. Once the CIE Tour concluded, we remained a few more days to tour other areas of interest...some of which our Bus/Guide was more than helpful in suggesting.
Enjoy your journey...
We just returned from the Irish Gold Tour. It was excellent. Our tour guide Marlene and our driver Dennis were the best. Both were very knowledgeabla and entertaining. THe weather was perfect, very little rain so we were able to do and see a lot in favorable conditions, Understand that this is just luck. We never took the slickers out of the bag.
My only complaint if there is one was there was very lttle down time. But then in exchange we saw many great places. There were shopping opportunities but I did not think it was a lot. Often some of the passengers would shop during a lunch stop. You can do what you want during that time, eat, sightsee, shop or a combination.
We were a group of 12 family members and a total of 40 on the coach. All very friendly.
Would hightly recommend.
Lynford - you should start a new thread - it is more more likely to be answered, as this is an old thread which isn't on a particularly appropriate sub-forum. Go back to the main "Ireland Forum" thread and click on "Ask a Question" on the left hand side above the first post.
BTW - in my opinion May is usually one of the best months to visit Ireland as it is generally mild and we *can* get fantastic weather, but you should always be prepared for rain!
14 Day CIE Tour of Ireland (04/19/12-05/03/12)
This message is to all the single ladies that just returned from a 14 day Ireland CIE Bus tour. April 19-May 3rd 2012. My brother returned from that trip and he met a man named Chuck Alberding, traveling with his elderly mother who had a broken arm. My brother and Mr. Alberding were drinking together and he told my brother that he had met a wealthy lady on the trip that she was taking him on a trip to Italy in the summer. At the beginning of the trip Mr. Alberding was complaining that his live in girl friend was calling him because she had just found out that she had breast cancer and he was not accepting the calls because of the phone bill. When my brother saw the man and his new money interest together he noticed that the elderly mom was struggling to get off the bus so he and his wife helped her. When they ask her where she was going, she said she couldn't afford to go shopping because she and her son had spendt away all the money she brought. He booked the trip and told his mother the cost was $4000.00 a piece. If this man scammed his own mother, you ladies better beware. We had someone like this take our mom for her whole life savings, so we are all to familiar with his type.
We just returned from the Irish Explorer CIE tour. ti was excellent.
We had 31 people on our tour and it was a great group. It was nice to have the extra room on the bus.
Our guide was Brian Rice and he was excellent! Very funny and professional and an excellent driver. I highly recommend CIE tours. They were very organized. He would call ahead so people were ready to greet us at each place.
I really liked the Explorer as it gave a great overview of Ireland. I can't imagine there was anything that we didn't see that is of great interest. The only comment I would have is the food - I personally would have liked more "Irish" food offerings and it seemed like a number of places had the same thing - potato leek soup, lamb, salmon. But it wasn't bad, just I would like more variety.
You definitely get to see a LOT and you are constantly on the go.
I liked the Explorer also because we spent 2 nights in the hotels so we weren't constantly on the move.
We just returned from the Irish Spirit your with CIE. We had ages from 15 to 80 and it was great fun. It was a little costly for us but the hotels were MAGNIFICANT. These were all 4 star hotels and the food was unbelieveable. And I mean , not buffets but 3 or 4 course meals. The pace was fast but that is okay. We will do another once we save enough money. I would suggest it.