Trip Report - Emerald Isle 2009 - Observations
Personal Observations about Emerald Isle Tour
Final Morning: Different departure times means you donít get to see everyone in the morning at breakfast so goodbyes were for last night. This morning was for one last breakfast a la Castle with sentiments of stay in touch and last minute hugs!
The departure procedure is very well organized and the driver checks his list several times for people and departure times etc.
One of our guides, Jennae had a very early departure. She was headed to Prague for the remainder of the summer, escorting the Storybook Kingdoms tours. Francesc was waiting until later for his flight to London for a couple of the Cities of Lights and Knights tours. He was scheduled to go back to Ireland but that could have changed. If any of you are fortunate to have Francesc as a guide please say hello to him from Mindy & Sally. Thanks!
Random Thoughts in no particular order:
Shannon Airport has got to be one of the easiest airports to travel out of back to the states. Duty free shop, some fast food but nothing fancy. Security check was a breeze, did not need to take of shoes. The special thing was if you were traveling to the US, once you cleared security you then got processed by our Homeland Security and didnít have to go through another line state side. You do need to declare at customs state side though. Anyway I thought that was pretty efficient.
Once you go to the gate area though at Shannon it is bare basics. Only food and beverage comes from vending machines. So if you have a long wait make sure you keep some euro coins for water, soda or snacks.
Electrical Adapters: Westin and Dromoland each had one adapter at least in the rooms we stayed in. The adapter was already in the socket.
Dromoland actually had two outlets that were already converted for USA appliances.
Westin and Killarney Plaza had no storage space in the bathrooms.
There were no outlets in any of the bathrooms except for a European electric shaver outlet.
Hair dryers are provided but man you have to look for them. Westin I think was in the closet where the safe was; Killarney was in the top drawer and at Dromoland it was in a drawer under the TV but it was labeled.
Irons/Boards at all hotels.
Room safes at all hotels.
The lights! To get them to work you need to insert your room key card into a little slot thingy that is mounted on the inside by the door to your room. It is an energy saving mechanism. Donít forget to take your key card out when you leave the room. This was at all hotels.
Credit Card of account was not asked for at any hotel except the Westin. You just settle anything charged to your room the morning you check out.
Clothes: I took 5 short sleeve tops, five long sleeve tops, 2 pullover sweaters, a light wind/rain jacket to wear over sweaters, 2 jeans, 1 chino and 1 dress slack.
I only wore 3 long sleeves since we had wonderful weather. I would have liked to have had a pair of capris for the warm sunny days. I did use my wind jacket and carried a small collapsible umbrella at all times either with me or in my big bag on the bus.
Two computers free for guests use at Killarney and Dromoland, none at the Westin that I knew of anyway.
When you check-in at Dromoland you will be given a basic map of the grounds. After you check out your room go back to the main desk and ask for a fold-out map, it is much more detailed.
I loved Dublin for itís culture and history, Killarney for itís greenness and beauty, and County Clare for itís absolute breathtaking ĎIrishnessí.
2 ABD Tours Ė 2 Winners: Viva Italia and Emerald Isle; different yet the same. They both had the same wonderful Disney quality and customer attentiveness which letís face it, we pay for and expect. The guides are the backbone of this division of Disney in my opinion. Sure a lot of work goes into finding the best hotels, local tour guides, events, sites, etc but with out the personal attention of the tour guides you could spend less money and do a Tauck or Cosmos or whatever.
I noticed different group dynamics and both tours had good groups and they were both Adult Only. Again I think the guides do the work fostering the easy camaraderie. I noticed the group dynamics because Italy was with my husband and I whereas Ireland was my daughter and I.
And of course there is a different focus to the activities and bus time depending on the countries and how much territory is covered by a given tour.
Would I do another one? You bet! Letís see Once Upon a Fairytale sounds good ...
Thanks for a great report and summary, Redzinner! So glad you had a wonderful trip. I'm saving this last part to my "wanna go to Ireland" file. You've done a great job answering all those little questions that will come up!
Isn't the light switch thing funny? I saw that for the first time on our Peru ABD last year, and our hotel in Paris last week had the same thing. I need to intall that kind of switch in DD's rooms - she's always leaving the lights on!
Thanks so much for your trip report and all the lovely pictures! I have really enjoyed reading about your trip. It's good to know that Disney offers the same high quality experience on all their trips (after our fantastic experience last summer on Viva Italia it is hard to think anything could be as good).
I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time! Reading your report and seeing all of your photos brought it all back :) I can't believe it's been a year since our adventure! Francesc was one of our guides as well (Courtney was the other) and they were both awesome!
I'm right with you on the Once Upon a Fairytale trip, I think that's what DH and I are going to do next year.
Thank you for sharing!
I will let you know about the Germany tour when I get back in Oct. I'm sure it will be great just like Italy and Ireland were for me.
Redzinner - Thank you for your observations - very helpful. We are on the July 15th trip and can't wait. I have one question, last year we went on Knights and Lights and were given small fold up ABD duffel bags as part of our "gift" from ABD at the hotel. These bags really saved us when we bought too many souvenirs and were able to use them to carry on our purchases on our flight home. Did they give you all the duffel bags this year? We can always take the ones from last year with us, but that would be a waste of space if they give us new ones. Thanks so much!
It is made of a sturdier canvas fabric compared to the one we received in Italy last year.
Have a wonderful trip carolinatennisgirl!
Say hi to all the other Italian Adventurers for me!
Just wanted to say thank you for the lovely and informational report!
Thanks for the TR Observations! Sounds wonderful - I've always wanted to go to Ireland. ;)
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