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Old 09-16-2008, 03:13 PM   #1
Wonders10
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Ireland Trip Report **Finally Finished...Sort of p.13**

Hi everyone,

I've read a few trip reports and love hearing about the ABD trips. I also love reading people's planning adventures for WDW vacations on TR forums so I thought I would do both in one for my upcoming Ireland trip.

MODS - if that's not ok, feel free to delete, but I thought it would be a great spot for anyone going to ireland, and possibly to meet some fellow travelers

First let's meet the people going on this trip:
Me, Shannon, 28 y/o Speech Pathologist living in south Florida and my mom, who lives about an hour south of me:


And my niece, Claire, who will be 8 1/2 when we go on the trip:


Like it says in the title of this trip report, we are going on the Ireland vacation June 20, 2009. It will be all of our first times traveling internationally!

We are all of Irish descent, and my father was actually born in Galway and moved to the US when he was 18. He passed away in January of this year after battling cancer. So after years and years of my mom and I saying that we'll go to Ireland "someday", we decided that this was it. My dad still has some family living in that region. My maternal great-grandparents were also from Ireland. I think county cork or clare. I always forget which - maybe it's both.

So that's just a preview of how we decided on ABD and who we are. Stay tuned for updates that will include such exciting topics as booking airfare, when will we be able to book pre and post nights?, what clothes will we need and more!


Last edited by Wonders10; 09-14-2009 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:15 PM   #2
my2boysrtwicethefun
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Hi Shannon.

A trip to Ireland! How exciting!!! I would love to go there someday. What part of Ireland will you be traveling to? You've picked a great date, my husband & I will be married 11 years on June 20, 2009.

Have fun planning your trip & be sure to keep us posted.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:20 PM   #3
Wonders10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my2boysrtwicethefun View Post
Hi Shannon.

A trip to Ireland! How exciting!!! I would love to go there someday. What part of Ireland will you be traveling to? You've picked a great date, my husband & I will be married 11 years on June 20, 2009.

Have fun planning your trip & be sure to keep us posted.
My first reader! This board doesn't really get much traffic unfortunately. But I'm going to write away anyway.

It is a 7 day 8 night adventure! It begins in Dublin, then Cashel and Killarney, Kenmare, Adare, and the Shannon region including the cliffs of moher. So we start on the east and end on the west. We are also planning/hoping to add a pre-night on in Dublin and a post-night on in Shannon so that we have a little extra touring time by ourselves.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:40 PM   #4
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Hi Shannon!
We're going to Ireland a few weeks before you so I can totally relate to your excitement!!
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cappygirl View Post
Hi Shannon!
We're going to Ireland a few weeks before you so I can totally relate to your excitement!!
So fun...we were thinking of the June 13, 17 or 20th but ended up going with June 20th because it will give me a little extra time once school is out (I work in a school) plus the EBD was only available for the 20th, not the 17th.

Hope you will stick with my trippie...our trips are close enough that we are sort of planning at the same time!
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
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So today's oh so exciting topic is pre and post nights!

We want to do one extra night at the beginning and end of the trip. Unfortunately it is still unavailable for booking which is very frustrating for an OCD planner like myself. I called yesterday to check and a VERY friendly CM told me they should have the dates available today - as in the dates you can start booking, not the actual booking. So I called after dinner and still nothing. Another very friendly cm double checked my contact info and said she will have my "vacation specialist" notify me when booking becomes available or anything else is known about it. She also said to call back in 2 weeks if I don't hear from them.

Well I'm impatient so I will probably be calling in 1 week. Or less.

Coming soon...airfare is how much?
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:26 PM   #7
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I haven't forgotten about this, just haven't had much to post yet.

I did finally receive my initial reservation papers yesterday - 4 days before they need to be signed and sent/faxed back. See, I just moved so my mail is taking a little longer to get to me. Plus my mom and I both have to sign it looks like and she lives an hour from me. I had planned on going home this coming weekend so I will have her sign it then. I also called ABD in a panic because I was afraid they would cancel my trip - she made a note on my reservation that it would be arriving late and she spoke to me about it. Hopefully that works.

And another ABD representative put my name on "a list" to have someone call me when extra nights can be booked. But to call in 2 weeks if I haven't heard from anyone. I think it has been almost 1 week since then.

Airfare is still not booked. DSIL's comment on my huge email discussing when to book and the cost, etc's reply? "wow - expensive" and then proceeded to talk about everything but booking the airfaire. Super.

I still think we have some time but I really do not want to wait too long.

I've been feeling lately like this trip isn't real. I can't fathom in my head that in 9 months I will be touring Ireland. Crazy.
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:49 PM   #8
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What is everyone planning on doing during their free time. I have spent the majority of my time thinking of Dublin things to do:
*Dublin Zoo
*Hop on Hop off bus tour
*Trinity College (other than the book of kells)

What else would you suggest or have planned?

Stupid question maybe, but how do you call back to the U.S. My cell does not have international service and we will definitely want to get in touch with my DSIL (niece's mom) and my cousin who is dog-sitting for my mom and I. i was thinking of buying international calling cards.

Has anyone received their plane tickets yet? The ABD rep told me 30 days out which is about now so I'm keeping my eye out for them.

I'm also hanging up my potential outfits in the closet to see what I have and don't have. I'm having a really hard time deciding if I will be too warm or too cold with certain outfits. I'm from Florida so 60's can be chilly to us...but if it is sunny, I could get away with short sleeves and light pants. Suggestions?

How is everyone else's planning coming? I can't believe it is so close!
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:47 PM   #9
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We booked one pre-night so we've pretty much decided to walk Dublin on Friday (this Friday in fact ) after arrival and possibly hit Jameson Distillery. On Saturday we plan on getting a bus to Newgrange to have a look see at the neolithic monuments, megalithic passage tomb, etc and hopefully be back in time for the reception dinner that evening. You'll be surprised at how fast your 'free' time goes when there are so many new things to see and enjoy.

I hear you about the Florida/Ireland wardrobe. I'm taking 2 sweaters (pullover), scarf and gloves for the chill coming off the Irish Sea. I think layering is going to be the best bet. I've finished my 'test' pack and made it under 40 lbs so I'm happy.

Can't comment on the other 2 items in your post since I did my own airlines and my phone has International standard calling at 1.29 per minute. I won't use it much, just for emergencies if needed.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:31 PM   #10
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Only a few days left, redzinner? Whee! Enjoy, enjoy your trip! Looking forward to your trip report when you get back!!!

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Old 05-17-2009, 10:11 PM   #11
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Ireland, Dublin

We went to Ireland last August, and we did a pre-night. One of the places we went was the National Museum. It was really interesting and you can do it in couple of hours.
Weather was warmer than I expected, I took to warm of clothes. It was a beautiful trip, we made the circle from Dublin to Galway and back to Dublin. No matter what you do it will be a fun trip.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:40 PM   #12
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Flight Changes

So I came home from work today to a lovely message telling me that one of my return flights (from Shannon to the U.S.) was cancelled. Fabulous. After calling to discuss with ABD, I was told that I can either take what they are "pretty sure" US Air is going to give us - which is leaving 2 hours earlier, Shannon to Newark, Newark to Philly, Philly to West Palm Beach. OR I can cancel all of my flights (coming and going) and start over, playing a cancellation fee plus what ever the cost of flights are now. And just for giggles, I looked at flights now. The cost is about the same, but they all have multiple stops coming and going which is really what I wanted to avoid. Not fun. I'm waiting to hear back from ABD to see what the final outcome will be...either tonight or tomorrow I should know more. My mom was not too happy about this added flight and as a person who is not a huge fan of flying, I am not too jazzed about it either.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:10 PM   #13
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Flight updates!

ABD called me back a little while ago, and apparently US Air is not offering their "protection service" for the day we need a flight. Only the day before or after. Makes no sense to me but whatever. My only option at that point was to cancel my old flight reservations (without penalty) and start over...which really worked out actually. The awesome ABD rep was able to get us on Delta at very similar flight times to our old reservations. We still have a 3rd stop coming back, which stinks, but the very best part is...........................








We saved $1200!!!


We will now be getting into Dublin around 10...clarabelle, aren't you arriving around that time too, also on Delta? Maybe we are on the same flight - Atlanta to Dublin!
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:39 PM   #14
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Sounds like it!
I am PMing you!
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:16 AM   #15
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Does any Irish ABD'ers know when the best time to get the money for the tips for the guides is? I think I read somewhere that if you wait until you get to the castle it will be too late. How does the tip thing work? Do they give us envelopes on our last night and we just stuff them full of money?

I wish we could just charge tips to our credit card! It would make it so much easier! I hate carrying around that much cash...especially in a foreign place.

Also...I read somewhere that the guides supply sunscreen, purell and snacks. Does this mean they are free, or do they just have them available to sell? If they have sunscreen I certainly won't be hauling it in my teeny tiny carryon suitcase from Portugal that I'm taking on my Ryan Air flight.

What other tips might some of you know that I don't?
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