Why are the Blarney Castle and Waterford not included with 14-day Ireland trip? Can they be taken as side trips or in place of the others? How much do these side trips cost?Also, do you also help in booking flights from California to Dublin?
The route that they take from Cashel to Kinsale bypasses the Waterford/Cork area. Rick doesn't believe that Blarney is worth a look (I disagree), and I would imagine that it would be hard to stay on schedule if you took a tour group to Waterford. You might check directly with the RS office to ask your other questions, but I'm guessing that a side trip won't be available. Click "Contact Us" at the bottom of the Tour page.
When my daughter took the RS tour in October she just flew into Dublin a few days early then took the train to Waterford and took the tour the next day.
They stayed two nights at the Foxmount B&B which she absolutely loved.
ETBD does not book flights though they may recommend a travel agent for you. You are usually responsible for getting your own flights and getting to the hotel on your own. Try kayak.com to get an idea of what flights are available from your closest airport. When you book a tour, they will send you information on different ways to get to your hotel and the cost. In regards to Waterford, the tours tend to stay away from shopping excursions though you do have plenty of free time to do those things on your own if it is possible from where you are staying. You can also choose to skip a group activity but you will be on your own though the guides are always great in helping people plan alternative activities.
Leslie, in this case, the tour won't be going anywhere near Waterford or Blarney Castle so I don't think it would be possible for Myrna to get there during any free time elsewhere. In both Wicklow and Cashel you are out in the country. It's not like passing on a walking tour in a city in favor of shopping -- they won't be in the same towns that Myrna would like to see.
Sorry - I guess I was just going on the fact that in the Tour Member Feedback, people commented on the fact that the guide did a sidetrip to Blarney Castle. I am guessing it was either on the way to or out of Kinsale.
I was just trying to point out that I have found on Rick Steves tours, that even if you are the only person interested in seeing something, if possible, the guide will make it happen.