1,220 Reviews of Ireland Tours
Go To Ireland... Just Don't Use CIE September 20183.0
By the time our tour guide casually mentioned that their numbers on our particular tour were “way down” (our group had 28 the first week and only 18 the second week on a 50 person bus), I had already figured out why. CIE, as a company, is just not very good. Our group of three in Colorado, booked with some other family, a party of two, in Florida, to make sure we were on the same tour. The problem is, in spite of detailed explanation that we would be traveling separately and paying separately, CIE consistently attempted to treat us as a single party of five, both in payment and logistics. They charged our family in Florida an extra $50 to send their ‘travel bags’ to them directly. They messed up the travel vouchers for our group and even had them scheduled to be picked up at the wrong airport in England. This was clearly communicated on multiple occasions, but was still messed up by CIE.
Then there is their transport company. Before getting to the Denver airport, we received notice our flight into London would be delayed 2.5 hours. I called immediately, giving CIE a ten hour notice, and was told it would cost extra money for them to pick us up later. Apparently, they don’t do pickups afternoon. This would have been good information to have beforehand. Upon arrival, when I called the travel company at 2:00 pm local time, there was no answer so we ended up just taking a taxi and paying an extra $70 just to get to our hotel. Despite multiple requests, CIE has repeatedly refused to refund our $45 that we prepaid for our transfer, claiming a non-refundable policy. Think about this… 5 people on our trip, bringing in nearly $20,000 of revenue to this company, and rather than make it right, when the delay was no fault of our own, they choose to hold firm to their “non-refundable” policy and refuse to refund a measly $45.
I gave 3 stars rather than less because the tour itself was great. Our tour guide and itinerary were top notch. We did the 14 day Irish/British Grandeur and it was a whirlwind fourteen days. We saw a tremendous amount of sites and points of interest, but in doing so, we were exhausted by the end, despite being much younger than most of our tour companions. While there were a couple free afternoons and evenings, there wasn’t a single free morning. The mornings that we were leaving the hotel, we were to have bags out of our hotel room by 6:00 am or 7:00 am and we would be leaving between 45 mins and an hour later. Even when we stayed an additional night, our latest morning departure was 8:15 am. This is most definitely not a leisurely tour so be prepared to get good at sleeping on a bus.
The most disappointing part of it all though was the ‘bait and switch’ of the hotels. This tour was promoted as 4 and 5 star hotels, which was a complete fabrication. We stayed one night at a 5 star, two nights at a 4 star, and every single other hotel was maybe a 3 star. Maybe. Terribly uncomfortable beds, pillows, and poor service from hotel staff. For the price we paid for this trip, the hotels were a total rip-off and we expected better. The moral of the story is this; your numbers are down, CIE, because you’re not a very good company and word is spreading about your poor customer service. Go see Ireland! Just do it with a different company.
Operator CIE Tours
Treasures of Ireland End Dublin June 20173.0
Irish Highlights May 20172.0
NIGHTMARE Experience February 20191.0
We booked an Ireland/Scotland trip. We would fly into Edinburgh-spend 3 days then fly over to Dublin-spend 3 days, then fly home out of Dublin.
In the past we have extended our trip to stay a few more days, which is what we did on this planned trip. However, this time we found our own airfare as it was dramatically cheaper than having them book it for us. We were told this was fine and that everything else would be in place and ready for us.
We called back to tell them the new dates and that we would be arriving 3 days earlier, so we would want our rental car earlier and we would pay for the extra days. They told us that was no problem and that we would get a confirmation soon. 10 days went past and we never saw anything from them. We called the rental car agency and they hadn’t heard of us. So, we called Great Value back.
This is where things get really fun…. We were then informed we couldn’t extend our trip and that all our airfare will be canceled. According to them, if we miss the first flight all other flights associated would be canceled by the airline. Which when we asked them to work with the airlines to make sure things wouldn’t get canceled, they said they don’t do that. A travel booking agency doesn’t do that…Seriously?!
So, we have no way to get to Ireland once we get to Scotland. Cool, so we can’t even use the other half of our pre-paid trip. Trying to salvage the trip, we asked if we could use our hotel vouchers in Scotland and just say in Scotland the whole time. We were then told, “no, Ireland vouchers are for Ireland only.” Cool, so we paid 1K each for 3 accommodation vouchers, no flights, and a rental car that they NEVER booked.
Finally, at our wit's end, we asked to cancel. We were then informed that we would only get half our money back and even then, we only get credit back with them... In the end, I’ll never use Great Value again. They are so disorganized, unhelpful, and their customer service is far from friendly when you have a real problem. Seriously, find a different company. Read more
Operator Great Value Vacations