Our rail/bus tour was an experience of a lifetime. The credit for that goes to Ireland, Irish Rail Tours for great logistics and accommodations and our tour guide, Jonathan Beaumont. Jonathan is part historian, part geogragpher and part poet.
He was astounding, a fascinating man.
Communication and where to meet was very vague. Overall, the trip was average.
Absolutely amazing! John was an outstanding tour guide and you could see how passionate he is about Ireland and its rich history. This is worth it for a first time traveler to Ireland because I feel like you get the most out of your trip. You don't have to worry about driving and you can enjoy the scenery. Such an amazing tour and so worth it if you only have a few days in Ireland.
NEVER book through Viator. Book straight through the actual company giving the tour-Rail Tours. We paid more than others and received less. Viator refused to do anything about our unacceptable bed-n-breakfast. Had we booked through Rail Tours we would have been in a hotel and been given additional perks. Tour itself is pretty good-lots of tour buses on the same tour and it sometimes felt like herding cattle.
Overall, I had great experience and enjoyed the tour very much. All the tour guides are extremely professional, helpful and friendly. They took great care of the travelers. The only thing that I did not enjoy is the hotel location during my stay at Killarney. The host is very nice and warm. However, the accommodation is below expectation. It's worst than what you can find at Motel 8 in the US : The location to town is pretty far too so with a 15' walk to catch dinner in the dark in a foreign country is pretty scary. That would be the only thing I would suggest the tour company to reconsider for better overall guest experience with the tour.
We enjoyed the trip a lot.
The tour guide was knowledgeable but not enthusiastic compared to the guides we had before.
Excellent tour! We saw things we would not have thought to stop and see. We enjoyed visiting at Bunratty castle. The only change I would make is that I would give travelers a better understanding of the accommodations. We were disappointed in the fact that we were at a bed and breakfast that was not what bed and breakfasts are like in the states. Had we been more educated prior to our trip, we would have been okay with it.
We had a great time on this tour. It was very well organized and Andy was a great guide with a lot of info and advice on where to go during free time. We stayed at a nice B and B in a good location. We enjoyed the trip very much.
This tour was not my cup of tea for several reasons. We weren't given any itinerary until it had already started. Things were a little unorganized. We were constantly picking up and dropping off people who were on shorter or longer tours. Sometimes our tour guide found out minutes beforehand than new people were joining our group. We changed bus drivers 3 times. We stayed 2 nights in the town of Killarney. Again, we didn't know until very last minute where we were staying. Some people in the group were at nice hotels in the center of town where all the shops and restaurants were. I got stuck in a charmless B and B 12 minutes away down a very busy street. It was awful. At one point we got off the bus and took 2 trains to a little town, only to meet up with the same bus again that was carrying all our luggage. It made me wonder- why did we get off the bus in the first place? The last day went from 7am to 10pm, which was too ling for everyone. If we had shaved a little time from our many stops, we could have easily caught an earlier train back to Dublin from Galway. Out tour guide was very helpful and informative, but he didn't work for Viator- this whole trip was outsourced to another company. Overall I would have skipped the Blarney Castle and stuck with the Ring of Kerry and Cliffs of Moher, which can easily be done in a 2 day, 1 night trip from Dublin.
Brian and Ray were excellent. The only thing we were not crazy about was that several different tours were pooled into one large coach bus. I prefer tour that limit tour size to no more than 14-16.