I was very dissatisfied with my SmarTours experience. I had been looking forward to the trip to Ireland for years, Ireland had been on the top of my bucket list for quite some time and I was fortunate enough to make it happen and take the trip so early in life. My aunt whom I traveled with, had used SmarTours before and had nothing but great things to say about her trips with the company.
Before getting to Ireland, the problems already started...we booked land only as we were flying from Los Angeles, California and Miami, FL and flying direct was a cheaper option for us. Nowhere on the site or in any information prior to receiving our itinerary did anything state that our tour ended in Limerick and that everyone flying back would be flying from Shannon Airport therefore we hit our first of many hiccups on the trip. We had to extend our trip, pay to change our flights, get a rental car and an additional hotel night in order to make it back to Dublin as we thought, if we fly into Dublin we're leaving from Dublin and booked roundtrip air to and from Dublin. Fine we dealt with that and made the best out of crumby situation.
Now fast forward to the start of our trip where we didn't meet our Tour Director/Guide until the second or third day of the trip. We were given very little guidance as to what to do or see outside of the scheduled activities. Our tour director treated us like children calling restroom breaks "Pee Pee stops" and was very rude regarding specific interests that we had. If someone was interested in seeing churches, he should have pointed out the churches, if someone was interested in Game of Thrones locations, he should of made mention of a few. He said from day one that he had never seen an episode of Game of Thrones and said he didn't understand why people were so interested in it. I saw more on the time on my own than I did with our tour guide. To the point that other parties on our tour would ask me, hey what should we do on our free time. One of the days of the tour, Storm Lorenzo came in. Our tour director cancelled all plans for the day and told us to stay under our duvets. The "storm" didn't hit until the evening and it would've been a wasted day, had I not done additional research and booked a day tour out to Kylemore Abbey myself. Our tour guide didn't offer us things to do that day, he didn't offer to bus us to the city center at certain times seeing as our hotel there was far from the city center...Overall we weren't given guidance and I think as our guide, he should have been more insightful. I learned more about the famine on my day tour the day of the storm than I did in the almost two weeks with our tour guide.
The meals that were provided were sub par. Breakfast was the same at all locations and in some places we had between 30-45 minutes to get breakfast. The dinner menus were all the same, a salad or vegetable soup for appetize, and irish ham, chicken or some type of fish with potatoes for dinner. There was no variety and the food had no flavor. At the Fitzwilliam hotel, we sat at the dinner table for an hour and a half without any food or appetizer having been brought out to us. I would have prefered to have paid less for the hotel and have had meals on my own to be perfectly honest. At least that way, I would have been able to try more things.
1 year ago
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