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scottish-irish-gold - CIE-Tours

Scottish & Irish Gold

  • 2019 Scottish & Irish Gold – 16 Days/15 Nights
Starts Glasgow
Ends Dublin
  • Tour Highlights
  • Itinerary
  • Dates and Prices
  • Reviews

Tour Highlights

Authentic Local Experiences:

  • Expect an unforgettable evening of music, ceremony, theatre and dance at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on July 28th – August 18th departures.
  • Mill the malt, stir the mash and smell the hops on a tour of Smithwick’s Experience, telling the story of the popular brewery in the heart of Kilkenny since 1710.

Trip Highlights:

  • Culloden Battlefield
  • Glamis Castle
  • St Andrews
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Titanic Belfast
  • Blarney Castle
  • House of Waterford Crystal

Dining Experiences:

  • 15 breakfasts (B), 2 lunches (L) and 9 dinners (D) including a festive Scottish evening in Edinburgh, a traditional Irish Night in Killarney, and dinner in a Dublin restaurant.

Hotels:

  • Radisson Blu Glasgow or Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor | Glasgow (1)
  • Isles of Glencoe Hotel | Ballachulish (1)
  • Muthu Newton Hotel | Nairn (1)
  • Atholl Palace Hotel | Pitlochry (2)
  • Macdonald Holyrood Hotel | Edinburgh (2)
  • Royal Marine Hotel | Dun Laoghaire, Dublin (1)
  • The Galmont Hotel & Spa | Galway (2)
  • Great Southern Killarney Hotel | Killarney (2)
  • Granville Hotel | Waterford (1)
  • Clayton Hotel Burlington Road | Dublin (2)

Hotels

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Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow

Description:

Stay at this modern city centre hotel in Glasgow.  The rooms are calming with a muted tonal palette and small pops of color.  There is also on on site gym, swimming pool, restaurant and bar should you choose to dine there on your down.

Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor, Glasgow

Description:

The historic and stylish Hilton Grosvenor Hotel is located in Glasgow’s West End overlooking the Botanic Gardens. The interior is elegant and sleek with calming muted tones, and is a perfect place to relax after a day of sightseeing.

Isles of Glencoe Hotel, Ballachulish

Isles of Glencoe Hotel, Ballachulish Description:

This hotel nestles on the side of a peninsula reaching into Loch Leven at the foot of Glencoe. This friendly, modern hotel offers everything for an ideal vacation – spacious bedrooms with loch and mountain-views in a relaxed atmosphere. Bedrooms are modern and comfortable, with breathtaking views. The Lochside Restaurant offers a hearty Scottish breakfast every morning and the best of Scottish produce. Guest can enjoy Wi-Fi access throughout their stay, as well as the leisure center with pool, hydro seat, bio-sauna and exercise room.

Muthu Newton Hotel, Nairn

Muthu Newton Hotel, Nairn Description:

This beautiful Scottish baronial-style mansion was built as a family home in 1872 and has been a hotel since 1951. It recently has undergone extensive refurbishments to ensure a comfortable stay. All 56 guest rooms have been modernized while retaining the traditional ambience. This imposing building is set on 21 acres of mature parkland and gardens, bordering the Moray Firth on the North Sea and overlooks the Nairn Golf Course.

Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry

Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry Description:

Originally opened in Victorian times, the Atholl Palace Hotel retains many features of a traditional large country house, with relaxing public areas. The historic nature of the hotel means that every bedroom is unique, with quirky original features, outstanding views and furnishings of the highest standards. The Verandah Restaurant is famed for its stunning views and its quality cuisine, using the very best of local produce. The Stag’s Head bar offers a wide range of malt whiskies. The hotel is located in spacious gardens and is within a 15-minute walk of the town of Pitlochry.

Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh

Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh Description:

This sleek, modern hotel features 156 rooms furnished to the highest standard with triple-glazed windows to offer a quiet, peaceful sanctuary in the middle of the city. The stylish Steak and Grill restaurant and cozy Piano Lounge serves only the finest locally-sourced Scottish cuisine. Unwind at the swimming pool, gym and spa. It is located close to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament, within easy walking distance of the shops and pubs along the Royal Mile.

Royal Marine Hotel, Dublin

Royal Marine Hotel, Dublin Description:

Originally built in 1863, this hotel today offers 228 air-conditioned guestrooms, all featuring modern decor in natural shades with burgundy touches and light-wood furnishings. Experience fine dining or casual bar food and enjoy the award-winning Sansana SPA and Pier Health Club. Dun Laoghaire has many shops and restaurants to explore. The property overlooks Dun Laoghaire Harbour and Dublin Bay and is located eight miles from Dublin city center. Dublin International Airport is 16 miles away, and can be reached by car or airport coach in approximately 45 minutes. Hotel parking.

The Galmont Hotel & Spa, Galway

The Galmont Hotel & Spa, Galway Description:

Established in 2001 in Galway City Centre, The Galmont is one of Ireland’s FINEST 4 star hotels. Just a three-minute walk from the central Eyre Square and overlooking Galway Bay, The Galmont (formerly the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Galway) stands in the heart of the city. With a range of guest rooms to choose from, the hotel is home to the award-winning spirit one spa and the best events facilities in the west of Ireland. Whether you’re in Galway for a weekend getaway, a family trip or on business, this hotel’s central location, helpful team and excellent facilities will make your stay one to remember.

Great Southern Killarney Hotel, Killarney

Great Southern Killarney Hotel, Killarney Description:

First opened in 1854, this hotel offers old-world charm coupled with up-to-date luxurious facilities and friendly service. Enjoy great food in the elegant dining room and relax in the bar or one of the many sitting areas. Guests will luxuriate in spacious and well-equipped bedrooms, and can take advantage of a full-service leisure center. The hotel is set on 20 acres of secluded, landscaped gardens, yet sits right in the center of Killarney and within easy walking distance of shops, restaurants and pubs.

Granville Hotel, Waterford

Granville Hotel, Waterford Description:

This family-run hotel is one of Ireland’s oldest, with significant historical connections, old-world charm and unique features. The friendly and professional staff are dedicated to making your stay pleasant and memorable. Enjoy delicious menus in the attractive dining room. The bar is a lively meeting place, often with live music. Comfortable and well-appointed guest rooms make for a great stay. Set on the waterfront, in the heart of Waterford city, this hotel is within easy walking distance of shopping, Reginald’s Tower and the House of Waterford Crystal.

Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin

Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin Description:

This lively, modern hotel offers an excellent standard of hospitality, with two bars and two restaurants and 500 fully equipped guest rooms, making it Dublin’s largest hotel. With its many facilities and great location, it makes an ideal base for exploring Dublin. Located on Upper Leeson Street, this hotel is a 20-minute walk to Grafton Street. There is a city bus service right outside the hotel, which is within easy walking distance of Dublin’s “Georgian Mile” and the Grand Canal.

Itinerary

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SCOTTISH & IRISH GOLD 16 DAYS / 15 NIGHTS

B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner

 

 

Day 1GLASGOW CITY TOUR

Tour begins at 2:30 PM at your Glasgow hotel. Set out on a tour of central Glasgow’s highlights including red sandstone Victorian buildings, delightful parks, Glasgow Cathedral, and the River Clyde, once famous for shipbuilding. Visit extensive and varied art collections in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Chat with your tour director and fellow travelers over a welcome drink.(D)

Day 2LOCH LOMOND & INVERARAY CASTLE

Embark on a short cruise of Loch Lomond to appreciate the beauty of this famous loch and admire panoramic views. Browse around the town of Inveraray before taking a guided tour of Inveraray Castle, featured in the “Downton Abbey” series. Journey across Rannoch Moor and through Glencoe, often considered one of Scotland’s most spectacular and beautiful places. Continue to Ballachulish on the shore of Loch Leven.(B, D)

Day 3ROAD TO THE ISLES & EILEAN DONAN CASTLE

Take the “Road to the Isles” through some of Scotland’s loveliest scenery, stopping for photos at the Glenfinnan Monument. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the Isle of Skye and Visit the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle. Keep your camera handy as you travel the shores of Loch Ness on your way to Nairn. (B, D)

Day 4CULLODEN BATTLEFIELD & SHEEPDOG TRIALS

A short distance from Nairn is the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre where the British Government forces defeated the army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, popularly named Bonnie Prince Charlie. Walk around the moorland and the visitor center. Continue through majestic Highland scenery to a local farm for a demonstration of trained dogs herding sheep. Travel through the high peaks of the Grampian Mountains to your gracious manor-style hotel near Pitlochry. (B, D)

Day 5BLAIR CASTLE & WHISKY TASTING

Visit Blair Castle, home of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. Delve into the history of Mary, Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and how Queen Victoria's famous stay led to the creation of Europe's only private army, the Atholl Highlanders. Go behind the scenes at Blair Athol Distillery for a tour and sample of the finished product. Spend the afternoon at leisure exploring the gardens, hotel museum, or browsing around Pitlochry.(B, D)

Day 6GLAMIS CASTLE & ST ANDREWS

Travel through lush countryside to visit Glamis Castle, the legendary setting of “Macbeth” and childhood home of the late Queen Mother. This majestic building is filled with priceless artifacts and furnishings. Head to St Andrews, the “Home of Golf,” to see the famous Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and the Old Course. Enjoy free time to browse through the medieval town. In Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, enjoy a traditional Scottish evening with dinner, haggis, bagpipes, kilts, and Highland dancing. (B, D)

Day 7EDINBURGH CASTLE & CITY TOUR

Explore Edinburgh to compare and contrast the wide streets and elegant mansions of the Georgian 200-year-old “New Town” with the narrow lanes and medieval townhouses along the Royal Mile, the oldest part of the city. Tour the imposing Edinburgh Castle with its splendid views of Edinburgh. The rest of the day is free for independent exploring, shopping, and dining. On July 28 to August 18 departures enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at the Castle Esplanade.(B)

Day 8TITANIC BELFAST & DUN LAOGHAIRE

Embark on a ferry ride to Belfast and enjoy lunch on board. Immerse yourself in the history of the Titanic through state-of-the-art displays at Titanic Belfast. Head to your hotel in the seaside town of Dun Laoghaire near Dublin, and meet your Irish driver/guide. Enjoy a free evening in this bustling seaside town. (B, L)

Day 9CLONMACNOISE MONASTIC SITE & GALWAY CITY TOUR

Meet your new Irish tour group this morning. Journey across the rolling pastures of Ireland’s heartland to visit Clonmacnoise. This monastic settlement was founded in 545 AD and is set on the banks of the mighty River Shannon. See elaborate high Celtic crosses decorated with biblical scenes. Head to Galway for a guided walking tour through the city center. Enjoy free time to explore Galway on your own before dinner. (B, D)

Day 10CONNEMARA CATAMARAN CRUISE & KYLEMORE ABBEY

Explore scenic Connemara to admire how constantly-changing cloud formations give granite hills, sparkling lakes and peat bogs an added dimension. Head to Kylemore Abbey to see elegant rooms and the charming church set beside a tranquil lake. Visit the Victorian Walled Gardens and enjoy a casual lunch. Take a short catamaran cruise of Killary Harbour, a 9-mile fjord (Mar 18 – Oct 28 departures). Return to Galway where the evening is free to explore the city. (B, L)

Day 11CLIFFS, SHEEPDOGS & TRADITIONAL IRISH NIGHT

Travel south around Galway Bay and through the Burren, a region of rounded limestone hills which has a curious lunar-like appearance. Immerse yourself in farm life and watch trained sheepdogs obey their owner as they direct sheep through various obstacles. View the Cliffs of Moher, which rise almost 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic surf. Embark on a memorable ferry across the River Shannon Estuary and head to Killarney. Head out for a traditional Irish night featuring a lively show with dinner. (B, D)

Day 12 JAUNTING CAR & RING OF KERRY

Take a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car through the Killarney National Park to scenic Ross Castle, set on the shores of Lough Leane. Set out on Ireland’s most popular scenic drive -- the Ring of Kerry -- with plenty of stops for photo opportunities. Savor a light lunch and take a break in the colorful village of Sneem. Cross to Valentia Island by bridge and tour the Skellig Experience, which explains the life of early Christian monks on Skellig Michael, a rocky offshore island that was featured in the “Star Wars VII” movie. Return to Killarney for an evening on your own. (B, L)

Day 13 BLARNEY CASTLE & TRADITIONAL MUSIC SESSION

Drive through the mountains into rich farming country on the way to Blarney Castle. Kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” or explore the tranquil gardens. Treat yourself to quality Irish-made goods at Blarney Woollen Mills before travelling along the coast to the Marine Bar in Dungarvan for some traditional music. Continue to Waterford to witness the creation of crystal masterpieces during your visit to the House of Waterford Crystal. (B, D)

Day 14WATERFORD WALK & DUBLIN

Take a walking tour to discover Waterford’s long history. Visit Kilkenny where you will go to the Smithwick's Experience before heading to Dublin, where you'll savor an elegant dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

Day 15INDEPENDENT DAY IN DUBLIN

Enjoy an independent open-top bus tour and a visit to one of Dublin’s top attractions -- Guinness Storehouse, Teeling Distillery, EPIC Ireland, or the General Post Office Museum. (B)

Day 16TOUR ENDS IN DUBLIN

Your tour ends after breakfast. (B)

Dates and Prices

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Sunday Mar 24, 2019 from Glasgow Monday Apr 8, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $3549 Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday Mar 31, 2019 from Glasgow Monday Apr 15, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $3689 Book Now
Sunday Apr 21, 2019 from Glasgow Monday May 6, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $3959 Guaranteed Call to book
Wednesday Apr 24, 2019 from Glasgow Thursday May 9, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $3979 Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday Apr 28, 2019 from Glasgow Monday May 13, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4289 Guaranteed Book Now
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Sunday May 12, 2019 from Glasgow Monday May 27, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4339 Guaranteed Sold Out
Wednesday May 15, 2019 from Glasgow Thursday May 30, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4379 Sold Out
Wednesday May 22, 2019 from Glasgow Thursday Jun 6, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4429 Guaranteed Sold Out
Sunday May 26, 2019 from Glasgow Monday Jun 10, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4879 Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday Jun 2, 2019 from Glasgow Monday Jun 17, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4559 Guaranteed Book Now
Wednesday Jun 5, 2019 from Glasgow Thursday Jun 20, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4559 Guaranteed Sold Out
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Sunday Jul 28, 2019 from Glasgow Monday Aug 12, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4919 Tattoo/Tour Guaranteed Sold Out
Sunday Aug 4, 2019 from Glasgow Monday Aug 19, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4969 Tattoo/Tour Guaranteed Book Now
Wednesday Aug 7, 2019 from Glasgow Thursday Aug 22, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4919 Tattoo/Tour Guaranteed Sold Out
Wednesday Aug 14, 2019 from Glasgow Thursday Aug 29, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4919 Tattoo/Tour Guaranteed Call to book
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Sunday Sep 29, 2019 from Glasgow Monday Oct 14, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4199 Guaranteed Book Now
Wednesday Oct 2, 2019 from Glasgow Thursday Oct 17, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $4019 Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday Oct 6, 2019 from Glasgow Monday Oct 21, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $3929 Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday Oct 13, 2019 from Glasgow Monday Oct 28, 2019 to Dublin 16 Days $3839 Sold Out

26 Reviews


Trip:
Service:
Booked through Go Ahead Tours. Simple and effective. Descriptions were good and all promised services were provided.

Trip:
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The tour was well planned and managed. The tour guide, especially the lady that managed the Ireland portion of the tour was exceptional, taking into account that those of us arriving from the Scotland portion of the tour were already pretty worn out.

Trip:
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Really good itinerary, drivers, tour guides, and lodging overall ...would have been perfect with a few less castles in Scotland and adding one full day at Isle of Skye. Also, felt rushed at times and had some really long days trying to accommodate shoppers at local vendors shops. Most lodging was located within walking distance to downtown areas which was really good. Also, a short escorted tour in Dublin would have been nice.

Trip:
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We had a wonderful trip! We booked the Scotland and Ireland Gold 16 day escorted vacation. Everything was well organized with plenty of time to enjoy our surroundings. Our guides were well trained and had tons of information for us. The hotels along our journey did not disappoint, we felt like VIP’s throughout our stay. We would not hesitate to recommend CIE to our friends and would love taking another trip with them in the future. An added bonus were the friends we made on our trip. We are actually planning a vacation with great friends we met on this trip!

Trip:
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we booked through an travel agent and had no problems.

Trip:
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Booking the tour was easy and Karen was able to answer all my questions.

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They were pleasant and professional.

Trip:
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The tour directors and bus drivers were great. 5 stars The sites were great . 5 stars The hotels were great. 4 of 5 were 5 stars - Jury’s Glasgow 1 star The plane reservations system broke down. CIE failed to provide Klm/ Delta with my email address so I couldn’t print the boarding pass and failed to provide seat assignments from JFK and we were not told about the extra cost of $22.50 for wanting our assigned seats before we get to the airport and wanting them together. Moreover having to go to Amsterdam because there was no direct flight (except initially there was. ). Plus we had to wait 2 hours at Glasgow airport for other group members after leaving Albany at 8:30 am Tuesday September 25 and arriving at 10am the 26th. My luggage was also damaged beyond repair along with that thr suitcase wet through and my clothes being wet.

Trip:
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Greeting at the airport, tour guide, tour driver. It was a pleasure to be with these personnel. They were very professional. There were minor hick ups on the last leg, first night greeting, etc. but nothing to give a poor rating.

Trip:
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The variety of hotel accommodations was great. They were all high class and cared for us and displayed the countryside well. The food was too good. Still dieting after the trip. Loved the off trail events.......the back road trips were great.

Trip:
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All was put together very well. Covered lots of the countries. Found knowledge by guides very good and interesting. Hotels were great..

Trip:
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itinerary, bus driver, guides, hotels - everything was great. I only wish we would have had more time in St. Andrews. Scotland was my favorite part for the sheer beauty, history and scenery. The Irish people could not have been surpassed for warm, friendliness and kindness. I have nothing but glowing memories of my tour.

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I rated my experience 4 stars because that was the rating of the hotels that we stayed at and food we experienced. Some hotels were more exceptional than others, but all in all, it was a four star experience. The guides, drivers, people we encountered deserve five stars. They were wonderful. I loved my experience in Scotland and Ireland. Our days were exhausting but I wouldn't eliminate anything from the itinerary.

Trip:
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Booking was by phone and went well. But no documents received until I called 4 weeks later. Our driver and tour guide in Scotland were exceptional. They were always in the lounge and dinning area in the evening to help in any way. They made the effort to engage anyone who sat by themselves. We couldn’t have asked for better. Pat and Danny were delightful. Our driver and tour guide in Ireland were adaquet and polite. But they were not as personable nor as engaging as Pat and Danny. They did ask questions but were not about in the evening .

Trip:
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This was my 4th tour with CIE. We were going with neighbors and had hope to get a discount. At first they wouldn't give us one but after an e-mail they not only gave me one but gave my neighbors one also. I was able to pay something every month for our two week tour. The only disappointment was that my neighbors were able to book transportation to the airport at the end of the trip and we were not offered that as we had to use a different airport at the beginning of the trip and find out own way to Glasgow. We were told we could not book transportation for one way.

Trip:
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Very customer friendly. Answered all questions quickly. Provided alerts and preparation advise.

Trip:
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Extremely easy and transparent! We had very little time to plan and the website allowed us to pick exactly the vacation we wanted at the exact time we wanted it. Couldn't have been easier!

Trip:
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Needed more history type info on the Scotland trip. Couldn't turn the Irish guide off. In contrast, 5 years ago, Rose Petrie had maps and song handouts, taught us the names of things, played games with us (the prize was a bag of haggis chips), and made the trip memorable. I liked having all the entry tickets paid for up front too. Great value.

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We had a wonderful trip. it was organized well and we didn't have to worry about anything.

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All of the booking, the rates and info we received was excellent. We were only disappointed we didn't get to see Dublin, but that was due to the weather, nothing due to CIE.

Trip:
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I was unhappy with the amount of stops - too many which resulted in not being able to see each thing satisfactorily. When we stopped in a town - it was so late that the stops and attractions were closed and we left too early in the morning to see anything. The accommodations were often very far away from the town so unable to see things in the evening. I would not recommend this tour to anyone. One of our accommodations was far below sub-par - we should have received a refund for the terrible room that did not even have a bath tub or proper shower. Had a broken lamp, huge heave in the floor - terrible place.

Trip:
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Deanna did a wonderful job arranging our trip. We left the details to her and the people at CIE tours.

Trip:
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Booking the tour was easy, however, the hotel booking was terrible. They did a very poor job as the hotels did not have equally appropriate rooms for all the guests, some had good rooms, and some had very bad rooms like we did. We couldn't sleep two nights in row as our room was almost on top of a party room where two weddings took place with a loud band and singing in two consecutive nights. We finally had to ask to be moved. They moved us to a handicapped and bigger room in the basement which needed some constructional work. Another town, we were placed in such a small room, we couldn't walk properly without pumping into a piece of furniture!!! We lost one expensive jacket due to the small space and the chaotic configuration of the room being so small. Out of ten different hotels, we had only two that met our expectation....That's bad, very bad.

Trip:
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Good at first, need more frequent communication as tour date got closer

Trip:
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I have travelled with CIE Tours in Scotland and Ireland twice now in 2015 & 2017 and would definitely do so again!

Trip:
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ok

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