Would the Ireland trip be a good option for a romantic trip?
Could not think of a better place. This was my wife and I first trip together overseas.
Kinda curious. Are you asking whether a trip to Ireland in general would be romantic or the Rock Steve's group tour to Ireland? The only reason I ask is we were on a river cruise a few years ago that included a couple on their honeymoon. They kept entirely to themselves. I only remember one person attempting to chat with them (which is how we found out about the honeymoon) because everyone felt they had no interest in anyone else.
Just curious how private the accommodations are.
Again, on a tour or DIY?
Thanks for the follow-up! On the Rick Steve’s 8 Day Ireland tour. We have always travelled DIY but I am thinking that a group tour might be more social and less exhausting. My husband is concerned that we won’t have any ‘us’ time.
Well I know my husband and I would find a group tour more romantic since it would reduce the anger/agrivation of trying to navigate a foreign country, make all the hotel, tour, and restaurant decisions, etc. We diy all over to US (usually in an RV) but tour with professionals in Europe. Much happier experience.
You read my mind.
I might get panned for this on this forum but we've found the ultimate travel ease is to be found on all inclusive river cruises. No toting my own bags, all costs paid for ahead of time including tips, meals/alcohol, tours, transfers, etc. Expensive, but cheaper than divorce.
Could you do the tour then add on a day or two at a particularly romantic spot-- one of the castles, maybe?
Just curious how private the accommodations are.
Could you elaborate on what you mean by "private"? You certainly won't be sharing a room with anyone else but I wouldn't expect all of them to be exactly soundproof.
I've been on this trip, and the itinerary that's online should give you a very good idea about how much "us" time you'll get. If there are things that you want to skip (exception, of course - being on the bus en route to a new location) you can skip them. As for privacy of accommodations - in Dingle, our group was divided between two B&Bs. Thus, tripmates were in adjacent rooms. Could I hear people's footsteps in the room upstairs from mine? Yes. But I suppose that's par for the course in any B&B.
Personally, I cannot imagine honeymooning on a group tour.
I would do Ireland on a group tour, simply because having driven in it with my husband and it being just about the most stressful trip ever driving on the "wrong" side with tiny roads and huge trucks barreling down on you, plus getting majorly lost in Dublin (to be fair, this was before GPS became common). Ireland was pretty, but not relaxing whatsoever due to the stressful driving (for us, anyway).
However, I'm not sure I would consider a group tour very "romantic," in that you will be doing a lot of small talk with others and won't have a lot of chances to be alone. So I would totally do the RS tour of Ireland, but not with a romantic lens in mind.
If you want somewhere in Europe easy and romantic, I recommend Switzerland. Absolutely gorgeous, perfect train system, can't mess up transportation even if you wanted to, no driving, and the Alps are sublime. I also recommend Amsterdam and Bruges as two places that are pretty laid-back and easy to navigate, very romantic with the canals and flowers, and don't require driving.
I would not consider any traditional group tour "romantic."
If you are wanting an enjoyable trip in the company of others, then yes, a tour could be great....but manage expectations for romance.
But, if you are looking for PRIMARILY romantic time to do the stereotypical honeymoon activities, I would rethink the possibility of a group tour.
Maybe a cruise could give you the balance between alone time and pre-planned activities in which you could participate both on and off ship (shore excursions), if you are wanting to avoid having to plan everything yourself and arrange your own transportation. Just be vary careful to select a cruise line based on a good match for your personality, style, tastes, etc.
If neither one of you has ever driven on the other side of the road (aka "wrong" side of the road in a rental car, to do so for the first time in Ireland on your honeymoon, might be more stressful and tense than appropriate for a honeymoon.
Just curious how private the accommodations are.
Sorry but I'm going to go back again to this comment. Let's just say that if your #1 goal of this trip is lively, amorous activities in your room, then the tour is probably not for you. I haven't taken it but I sure haven't seen anyone describe any RS tour rooms as "private" enough that romantic activity beyond a discrete level wouldn't possibly disturb your neighbors. "Romance" is also not really what RS tours are primarily all about.
Since you're looking for opinions...
I've never taken a tour. But, from reading tour itineraries and reports from others who took tours, I doubt a lot of 'smallish' and quaint European hotels and B&B's will have the sound proofing and the privacy you're looking for.
I realize you want to go to Ireland. But, as an example, the hotel I stayed in twice while traveling to Rome was pretty noiseless. It's not a chain hotel.
I'd suggest booking a regular hotel. Do a search on TripAdvisor, on this forum, etc. If you want to sleep in, you can. No rushing to be on the bus by 8-8:30 AM. A leisure breakfast is not part of most touring groups.
While the ambiance and quaintness may be an attraction to some, I don't know if sharing a bathroom (in some cases) or meals may be what you're looking for.
What you could do is browse the Ireland itineraries and take a little of this and that to customize your own itinerary.
Make a pros and cons chart. Mark what is the absolute you're both wanting to visit. "Star" them according to definitely, to maybe's and so forth. It will be at your pace.
Some people like cruises, tours for their honeymoon. For me, no.
We just returned from Rick's 14 Day Best of Ireland tour. And while it was spectacular - I'm not sure I'd want to do a tour as a 'romantic getaway.' Bus rides, shared meals, walking/hiking (a goodly amount), etc - while great for this tour - wouldn't strike me as a romantic setting. As for hotels - you'd be running the gamut. The Hotel/B&B in Dingle was amazing - yet there were a couple of hotels that by no stretch of the imagination could be considered romantic. That being said - I can't recommend this tour enough. If its something you really want to do - yet want some privacy (which you actually can get during the tour with free evenings/the free day you get) - book the tour and get into Dublin a few days early for your 'alone time.'
You are not asking for ideas, but here are some:
Fly into Shannon, and hire a driver (to reduce stress and to also serve as a bit of a guide). On the way from the airport (you will arrive on a morning flight, likely) stop in Adare for a late breakfast, then go to the Rock of Cashel, then go down to Kinsale (stay at the Old Presbytery Inn....great B&B...tell them it is your honeymoon when you book. Then the next day, have your driver take you along the coast to Dingle (stay a night there), then be driven up thru Kenmare, stop at Muckross house (if it looks interesting when you view on-line), then get dropped off at Dromoland Castle for a two-night stay (check their web site, they offer two night specials that include breakfasts and a dinner..........plenty to do on the grounds...bike rides, strolling, fishing...beautiful walled garden....just relaxing (you will not need a driver while staying there)....tell them it is your honeymoon, and maybe they will give you a nice upgrade.
Then after two days there, get picked up and taken over to the Cliffs of Moher, then on up thru The Burren. You could spend a night in Doolin (and havea a pub dinner), or you could go on up to Galway (cute shops, music along Key Street). Next am get picked up and driven thru the Connemera region.....Sky Road listed in National Geographic's 500 Journeys of Lifetime.........really pretty area.
Visit Kylemore Abbey, then be dropped off at Ashford Castle (original home of the Guinness Family) for a fabulous two-night stay (check web site or email for two-night specials. Book ahead the Hawk Walk (incredible experience...Google "Hawk Walk Ashford Castle" or Hawk Walk School of Falconry at Ashford Castle" to see videos others have posted. You bike (included) around the lake, go fishing, etc. You will not need a driver while there, and it is an easy walk to Cong (if you would like a pub dinner one night).
Depending on how much time you have, you could then be transported to Bunratty (very reasonable hotel there), and visit the Bunratty Folk Park (check it out on line), and then leave for Shannon airport by taxi the next a..m. If you have more time, you could return to Galway from Ashford Castle (get a different driver to drop you in Galway), and you could take the train to Dublin for some visiting in that area (I have not been to Dublin, so others would need to advise on what to see/do/where to stay). Should not need a car in Dublin...day tours out from there.
We did what I suggested above, along with some additional days visiting a cousin,and the cost (all said and done) was LESS than the cost of one group tour (RS or other).
Need a driver: Check with Tony McGann, Tony's Cab, Doolin, Ireland.
For the connect from Ashford to Galway or to Bunratty, he might be willing to drive up that way, or the Castle could recommend a local driver for that segment.
Ireland is lovely, and something like the above should provide some great fun, along with some fabulous once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon memories, without breaking the bank.