The package price seems just too good...?

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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,678
6,666
113
San Francisco
#21
I hope she does - she posted two different questions and clearly people have spent time answering them. Slightly puzzling as to why someone seeks advice but does not then wait for the advice.
We've discussed this 'syndrome' before ... I'm of the opinion that our OPs read our advice and get right to work straightening out their problem. Then they get busy and forget to come back to us. At least that's what Pollyanna here believes.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,678
6,666
113
San Francisco
#23
Or perhaps the writer thinks that they are going to be emailed when someone replies. I hope she comes back.
Hmmmm ... is there a way an OP can check a box to receive an email alert when someone responds? Several of the forums I'm involved in do that. Maybe we could too?
 
Nov 21, 2014
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#25
There's also a lot of 'mandatory shopping' on this trip which I am sure the tour company gets a kickback from and uses it to subsidize the cost of the trip. While this is common on a lot of travel packages, lets be honest and call 'visit to a special fabric factory' what it really is - a chance to buy hyper-inflated merchandise where your guide gets 50% of whatever you spend.

I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, some people like to shop on vacation, just understand that its a lot of shopping built into your trip at inflated tourist prices.
 
Likes: divinemsmstl
Apr 28, 2018
1
1
1
55
#26
I just returned from an Ireland trip with Craftours and they was actually a pretty nice company to work with. It's not a scam. Check them out at Craftours.com.

The hotels we stayed in were awesome. The cost of my trip was in the ballpark of this Bali trip. I think the cost that the OP mentioned was the early bird price. They typically offer a discount if you sign up when they first announce the tour.

Many of the people on my tour were return customers, so I thought that was a good sign. And some of them were talking about planning their next trip with Craftours.

Their tour description does need some interpretation though.

Anything that's marked as being "optional" will cost extra. Those costs are disclosed before you commit to the option. One thing that isn't disclosed is when during the trip the optional tour or workshop will be, so you don't know until when you receive the final itinerary (2 weeks or so before the trip) how the optional item fits in with the activities that are included. On my Ireland trip I opted for a daylong bus tour of a scenic area. It turned out to be the day after an included daylong bus tour of another area, so I had two days in a row of all-day bus riding. Had I known, I wouldn't have done the extra tour.

Ask for clarification of exactly how many lunches and dinner are actually included. On my trip, all of our breakfasts were included, and we were told that "some dinners" were included. "Some" turned out to be two - out of a twelve-day tour.

The gratuities are required to be paid up-front. I think I had to pay something like $180. However....we were hit up again toward the end of the trip by our tour guide suggesting we consider giving the bus driver extra tip because it turned out that the bus driver doesn't actually get any (or very little) of the pre-paid gratuity. Then, other travelers in my group decided to take up a collection to also give the tour guide an extra trip. So I ended up paying extra money in tips - but that was my choice. I do think it's unclear on how much exactly of the pre-paid tip is given to whom.

They do book a group reservation for the airfare so everyone who does the full package tour flies out of the same airport on the same flight. And it's up to each person to get themselves to the departing airport. Craftours won't offer up the details on that - you have to reach out to them to find out the flight details so you can make your connecting flights or ask them to assist with that, but your connecting flights are an extra cost. They do offer a land-only option so you can pay less for the tour and take care of your own flights. If I ever travel with them again I think I'll do that instead of going with the group so I'll have more flexibility at the beginning and end of the trip.

Sure, there were some problems, the biggest being poor communication prior to the trip. I had to contact their office multiple times with questions that I thought they would have offered information on. But overall it was a nice trip. Everything was well planned, I was well fed, I felt safe, I was driven everywhere we went, and I didn't have to lug my own suitcase anywhere. We stayed in wonderful hotels. There were a lot of "opportunities" for shopping. I'm sure there was some sort of arrangement between Craftours and some of the places we visited, but it was totally up to me whether I spent any money. I never felt pressured to buy anything.

I would travel with Craftours again.
 
Likes: jsn55

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,779
12,758
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#27
I just returned from an Ireland trip with Craftours and they was actually a pretty nice company to work with. It's not a scam. Check them out at Craftours.com.

The hotels we stayed in were awesome. The cost of my trip was in the ballpark of this Bali trip. I think the cost that the OP mentioned was the early bird price. They typically offer a discount if you sign up when they first announce the tour.

Many of the people on my tour were return customers, so I thought that was a good sign. And some of them were talking about planning their next trip with Craftours.

Their tour description does need some interpretation though.

Anything that's marked as being "optional" will cost extra. Those costs are disclosed before you commit to the option. One thing that isn't disclosed is when during the trip the optional tour or workshop will be, so you don't know until when you receive the final itinerary (2 weeks or so before the trip) how the optional item fits in with the activities that are included. On my Ireland trip I opted for a daylong bus tour of a scenic area. It turned out to be the day after an included daylong bus tour of another area, so I had two days in a row of all-day bus riding. Had I known, I wouldn't have done the extra tour.

Ask for clarification of exactly how many lunches and dinner are actually included. On my trip, all of our breakfasts were included, and we were told that "some dinners" were included. "Some" turned out to be two - out of a twelve-day tour.

The gratuities are required to be paid up-front. I think I had to pay something like $180. However....we were hit up again toward the end of the trip by our tour guide suggesting we consider giving the bus driver extra tip because it turned out that the bus driver doesn't actually get any (or very little) of the pre-paid gratuity. Then, other travelers in my group decided to take up a collection to also give the tour guide an extra trip. So I ended up paying extra money in tips - but that was my choice. I do think it's unclear on how much exactly of the pre-paid tip is given to whom.

They do book a group reservation for the airfare so everyone who does the full package tour flies out of the same airport on the same flight. And it's up to each person to get themselves to the departing airport. Craftours won't offer up the details on that - you have to reach out to them to find out the flight details so you can make your connecting flights or ask them to assist with that, but your connecting flights are an extra cost. They do offer a land-only option so you can pay less for the tour and take care of your own flights. If I ever travel with them again I think I'll do that instead of going with the group so I'll have more flexibility at the beginning and end of the trip.

Sure, there were some problems, the biggest being poor communication prior to the trip. I had to contact their office multiple times with questions that I thought they would have offered information on. But overall it was a nice trip. Everything was well planned, I was well fed, I felt safe, I was driven everywhere we went, and I didn't have to lug my own suitcase anywhere. We stayed in wonderful hotels. There were a lot of "opportunities" for shopping. I'm sure there was some sort of arrangement between Craftours and some of the places we visited, but it was totally up to me whether I spent any money. I never felt pressured to buy anything.

I would travel with Craftours again.
The things you mention shouldn’t happen. Other tour companies cover all the excursions- you might pay a little more but you have no extras.

It’s important to compare companies. This is where a travel agent can be a big help because they use multiple suppliers and know the difference on what is and isn’t included. The cheapest tours often don’t have as much as another might.

For instance- one supplier offers breakfast every day, 1 lunch and 3 dinners. Plus no extra excursions- everything is included.

So you really need to compare!
 
Oct 14, 2015
212
64
28
48
#28
I just returned from an Ireland trip with Craftours and they was actually a pretty nice company to work with. It's not a scam. Check them out at Craftours.com.

The hotels we stayed in were awesome. The cost of my trip was in the ballpark of this Bali trip. I think the cost that the OP mentioned was the early bird price. They typically offer a discount if you sign up when they first announce the tour.

Many of the people on my tour were return customers, so I thought that was a good sign. And some of them were talking about planning their next trip with Craftours.

Their tour description does need some interpretation though.

Anything that's marked as being "optional" will cost extra. Those costs are disclosed before you commit to the option. One thing that isn't disclosed is when during the trip the optional tour or workshop will be, so you don't know until when you receive the final itinerary (2 weeks or so before the trip) how the optional item fits in with the activities that are included. On my Ireland trip I opted for a daylong bus tour of a scenic area. It turned out to be the day after an included daylong bus tour of another area, so I had two days in a row of all-day bus riding. Had I known, I wouldn't have done the extra tour.

Ask for clarification of exactly how many lunches and dinner are actually included. On my trip, all of our breakfasts were included, and we were told that "some dinners" were included. "Some" turned out to be two - out of a twelve-day tour.

The gratuities are required to be paid up-front. I think I had to pay something like $180. However....we were hit up again toward the end of the trip by our tour guide suggesting we consider giving the bus driver extra tip because it turned out that the bus driver doesn't actually get any (or very little) of the pre-paid gratuity. Then, other travelers in my group decided to take up a collection to also give the tour guide an extra trip. So I ended up paying extra money in tips - but that was my choice. I do think it's unclear on how much exactly of the pre-paid tip is given to whom.

They do book a group reservation for the airfare so everyone who does the full package tour flies out of the same airport on the same flight. And it's up to each person to get themselves to the departing airport. Craftours won't offer up the details on that - you have to reach out to them to find out the flight details so you can make your connecting flights or ask them to assist with that, but your connecting flights are an extra cost. They do offer a land-only option so you can pay less for the tour and take care of your own flights. If I ever travel with them again I think I'll do that instead of going with the group so I'll have more flexibility at the beginning and end of the trip.

Sure, there were some problems, the biggest being poor communication prior to the trip. I had to contact their office multiple times with questions that I thought they would have offered information on. But overall it was a nice trip. Everything was well planned, I was well fed, I felt safe, I was driven everywhere we went, and I didn't have to lug my own suitcase anywhere. We stayed in wonderful hotels. There were a lot of "opportunities" for shopping. I'm sure there was some sort of arrangement between Craftours and some of the places we visited, but it was totally up to me whether I spent any money. I never felt pressured to buy anything.

I would travel with Craftours again.
why would you tip in Ireland ? Last time in Ireland I didn't tip anyone & didn't ever feel obliged or need to. It's an American thing. You're not travelling around USA.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,779
12,758
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#29
why would you tip in Ireland ? Last time in Ireland I didn't tip anyone & didn't ever feel obliged or need to. It's an American thing. You're not travelling around USA.
While it might not be needed at restaurants , on tours you are traditionally asked to tip the drives and guides. From a few tour operator FAQS:

Tips are not included within the price of your tour but are customary to show gratitude to your tour director or driver for satisfactory service. Tipping for restaurant/bar staff is usually discretionary but some restaurants do add a 10% - 15% service charge so be sure to check your bill first.

Our tipping guidelines are as follows:

Recommended minimum amount Per person per day

Driver/Guide (1 person crew)$8

Tour Director (part of 2 person crew) $5

Driver (part of 2 person crew)$5

Guide for walking or city tour$2

Driver for chauffeur vehicle$20

This might help:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186591-s606/Ireland:Tipping.And.Etiquette.html