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.