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Old 07-10-2009, 02:11 PM   #1
helenk
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Has anyone done ABD and Tauck Tours, how do they compare?

My daughter graduates from college next May and I am seriously considering taking her to Ireland for her graduation gift.
I've been looking at Tauck and ABD and the tours are a bit different but seem to cover the same areas and include about the same things in their costs.
Has anyone taken tours with Tauck and ABD and give me a fair comparison?
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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an old thread:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....ighlight=tauck


I just got back from Ireland (I am still pinning for it) so if you have any questions about the ABD Ireland ask away
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:47 PM   #3
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Thank you for the link, it looks as though both tours get a lot of kudos. I am leaning towards ABD I guess because its Disney.
My daughter went to Ireland last year for a college course, but they stayed in Northern Ireland, which she loved. I thought it would be nice for her to see other parts.
I did see that ABD has tour dates for guests who are 18 and over and think that this would be a good fit.
Of course I have a million questions but will limit them to:
How did like the accomdations, and the meals that were included? Did you arrive earlier or stay later than the regular tour? I'd love the idea of staying an extra day at Dromoland Castle.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:06 PM   #4
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We liked all 3 hotels. All had really good service. The castle does not have AC which could be a mild inconvenience if you went in the summer -but it does not get really hot there.

I thought the meals were OK to good. Never amazing. I think some of that is my palate (things weren't as seasoned as I would like). For the most part it was hotel banquet type food. I wasn't overwhelmed by the meals on our own either -so I don't think it is an ABD thing.
We ate a lot of pub food. My favorite meal of the whole trip was an italian place we went on our own.
We arrived one day early and did a little site seeing and some resting. I thought it worked out well. The day the tour officially started -we were well rested and ready to go.
The castle is beautiful and well worth an extra day. However, I am glad we decided not to stay on for an extra night. If we had not had the kids with us it would have been nice to enjoy the spa and grounds. With kids -I think they would have been missing the rest of the group and a little bored without the excitement level of the rest of the trip.
I would suggest looking at the Dromoland website and seeing if those activities appeal to you.
There was much to see on the tour -each view more amazing than the last.
I think you would enjoy it -you get a lot of time outside -we liked that.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:38 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for your input. Now all I have to do is wait for the 2010 brochure and then I can decide when we can go!
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenk View Post
Of course I have a million questions but will limit them to: How did like the accomdations, and the meals that were included? Did you arrive earlier or stay later than the regular tour? I'd love the idea of staying an extra day at Dromoland Castle.
I was also on the Ireland trip with Clarabelle and her family. It was my mom and 8 year old niece with me. Like her, I am still thinking of the trip daily and reliving it over and over. It was just amazing. Best vacation ever for me. I'm in the midst of writing my trip report...the link is in my siggie.

My thoughts:
Accomodations - Definitely very nice and the service was great. Believe it or not I think I liked the Westin best only because sometimes I feel a little out of sorts in very fancy places like Dromoland. It just had a nice mix of being nice without being off-putting. But there is very little I could complain about regarding any of the hotels we stayed in, and I wouldn't hesitate to stay at any of them again.

Meals - They always came out hot! But seriously, I also have to agree with Clarabelle on this one. Many of my meals needed a little extra seasoning. My mom thought the same thing. But I never had a truly awful meal and I don't think I had a truly amazing meal either. But I was never hungry! Sometimes I think I just went a little more adventurous than I should have when ordering. I did have fish and chips A LOT! And every time it was very good. Breakfast was always a pretty safe meal.

Pre/post nights - We came in 1 day early and really enjoyed having that night to adjust to the time change plus the extra time to explore Dublin. If possible, I think I would do a pre-night for all my ABDs, that are in Europe anyway just for the time change alone. We also stayed one post-night. Part of me is glad and part of me wishes we hadn't done it. The trip was just so magical for us - and part of that was being with the group. Once everyone else left, the castle felt lonely, if that makes sense. However I will say that you do have very little free time at the Castle during the actually ABD portion so if you enjoy golfing, boating, fishing, tennis and spas then you might want an extra day to fit it all in.
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonders10 View Post
I was also on the Ireland trip with Clarabelle and her family. It was my mom and 8 year old niece with me. Like her, I am still thinking of the trip daily and reliving it over and over. It was just amazing. Best vacation ever for me. I'm in the midst of writing my trip report...the link is in my siggie.

My thoughts:
Accomodations - Definitely very nice and the service was great. Believe it or not I think I liked the Westin best only because sometimes I feel a little out of sorts in very fancy places like Dromoland. It just had a nice mix of being nice without being off-putting. But there is very little I could complain about regarding any of the hotels we stayed in, and I wouldn't hesitate to stay at any of them again.

Meals - They always came out hot! But seriously, I also have to agree with Clarabelle on this one. Many of my meals needed a little extra seasoning. My mom thought the same thing. But I never had a truly awful meal and I don't think I had a truly amazing meal either. But I was never hungry! Sometimes I think I just went a little more adventurous than I should have when ordering. I did have fish and chips A LOT! And every time it was very good. Breakfast was always a pretty safe meal.

Pre/post nights - We came in 1 day early and really enjoyed having that night to adjust to the time change plus the extra time to explore Dublin. If possible, I think I would do a pre-night for all my ABDs, that are in Europe anyway just for the time change alone. We also stayed one post-night. Part of me is glad and part of me wishes we hadn't done it. The trip was just so magical for us - and part of that was being with the group. Once everyone else left, the castle felt lonely, if that makes sense. However I will say that you do have very little free time at the Castle during the actually ABD portion so if you enjoy golfing, boating, fishing, tennis and spas then you might want an extra day to fit it all in.
I really enjoyed your report and the trip sounds wonderful. I like the idea of coming in a day early in Europe since you've got the long flight and the time change etc, I'd hate to start out feeling out of it.
My daughter said the same thing about the meals in Ireland, not enough seasoning...but she said I'd probably like that since I generally do not use alot of seasonings.
I thought about staying the extra day at the castle for some extra down time with my daughter. I figure she will be out in the real world sometime after graduation in early May so maybe we get in some SPA time before heading back home.
Now that I've started planning this in my head I am getting pretty excited.
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