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CIE 8 Day Irish Adventure Tour

Houston, Texas
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38 posts
148 reviews
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CIE 8 Day Irish Adventure Tour

This tour was a joke. We had no tour guide. We had a bus driver. His commentary consistently contained "did you happen to see that", following a stop. What? Yes, that is the type of information that would have been useful before the stop. He was ahead of his game when the first day he promptly informed us that CIE doesn't pay him enough and he relies on tips and that each of us should tip him 10 Euros per person per day. The whole week all but two of his jokes were derogatory towards women. I am too old and wise to be flattered and I have no interest to drink and befriend the bus driver like some of the smitten singles on the tour.

The tour was more of a drive-by without the commentary. I believe our tour was 48 strong and we were given an hour and a half to have lunch, shop, visit Blarney Castle (entrance fee not included in the tour), stand in line to kiss the Blarney Stone at a very popular and congested must see. Needless to say that is one I didn't get to see as the lines were too long.

It seemed that we spent too much of our tight schedule visiting shopping sites that were all owned by the same company, so each stop we saw the same things at the same price. Complete redundancy.

This tour was not the tour we purchased. Our first choice was listed as possibly being canceled and since we were booking our own air for an extended visit we felt we must change it to one of their guaranteed tours. Which on our final payment day we were told had indeed canceled. We wanted to take the tour on the first part of our visit where we could relax the second and this was the only tour still open. With the exception of a few stops, I feel stupid for wasting my time and money.

I can not see myself ever booking with CIE again in the future given this experience, but I understand they do have tours with real guides.

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Moosup, Connecticut
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1,739 posts
141 reviews
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1. Re: CIE 8 Day Irish Adventure Tour

Wonder if this is the same "driver/guide" we had for our tour in 2009. Sounds very much like the same person and his attitude ruined our trip. In my posting at that time I commented it was a "drive-by" experience. I would suggest you contact CIE main office in Dublin. W did and received a partial refund based on documentation of services not provided as described in brochure. PM me for more detailed info

Sudbury, Canada
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12 posts
51 reviews
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2. Re: CIE 8 Day Irish Adventure Tour

This is why we stay away from 'bus tours'. If your able, walking traveling on trains, etc is the way to go. Ireland is so small it's easy to see everything yourself rather than with an annoying bus driver.

Limerick, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Limerick, Killarney
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27,664 posts
85 reviews
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3. Re: CIE 8 Day Irish Adventure Tour

You need to make a complaint.

No tour/bus driver in Ireland should be asking for tips. The minimum wage here is €8.65 per hour. If the driver isn't being paid that they should be contacting the National Employment Rights Association (NERA). If the driver is being paid over the minimum wage but feels they are not being paid enough, then they should find a job that does.

€480 extra per day is a LOT of money. Thats €3,840 over the 8 days and I'm sure the driver won't have declared any of it for tax or levy purposes.

I would make a serious complaint to CIE Tours giving the driver's name AND telling them about the request for tips and the amount specified.

People like this give Irish tourism a very bad name.

Dublin
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2,372 posts
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4. Re: CIE 8 Day Irish Adventure Tour

You can bet he's paid a lot more than minimum wage, especially if he's acting as a guide too. What a cheeky sod, doesn't deserve to be in the job.

england
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5,438 posts
8 reviews
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5. Re: CIE 8 Day Irish Adventure Tour

Definitely report him to CIE, and get others to back you. Asking for tips and setting a rate is only one step higher than begging on the streets. It gives Ireland a bad name.

Blackwood, New...
14 posts
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6. Re: CIE 8 Day Irish Adventure Tour

I am booked with this tour in Nov. Blarney castle is not part of the tour, so I can understand the frustration with the length of that stop. Was there anything that you enjoyed about this tour? You mentioned a couple of stops being the exception and I was hoping you could expand on what those were

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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196 posts
62 reviews
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7. Re: CIE 8 Day Irish Adventure Tour

I am very sorry to hear about your disappointing experience and very confused about why there wasn't a tour guide. I just returned from the best trip of my life - I took CIE Tours' "Leisurely Ireland", and I have absolutely no complaints. We had a guide AND a driver. Only once were tips mentioned, toward the end of the trip, and very casually. CIE does encourage you to tip, in the booklet they send you ahead of time (they recommend 3-5 Euro per day for both driver and guide.) I truly don't think I would have had as much fun if not for our guide, Dermot. I am very sad that someone had such a bad experience with CIE, since mine was so amazing. I encourage you to contact them as well; in the research I did prior to going on my trip, I read of a few people that contacted the company with legitimate dissatisfactions and they all got compensated for them.

If anyone is interested in more detail about my trip, I posted my review here: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k68533…

Chicago
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5 posts
71 reviews
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8. Re: CIE 8 Day Irish Adventure Tour

We just got back from this tour yesterday. It was the best, most informative bus tour we've ever been on. Our driver/guide Peter had all the answers, delightful personality and made sure we had all the information available to us ahead of time. He answered every question tossed at him and coordinated everything from bodies, luggage, tours and itenery so we wouldn't have to. IT WAS GREAT!!

Houston, Texas
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38 posts
148 reviews
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9. Re: CIE 8 Day Irish Adventure Tour

Obviously we didn't have your driver, wish we did. Glad you were able to get the experience you paid for.

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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19,759 posts
63 reviews
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10. Re: CIE 8 Day Irish Adventure Tour

Unfortunately it seems that the only part of a CIE tour making one worth taking is the driver or guide, if that single point influences the whole tour experience then the rest must be fairly nondescript?