Ireland in a wheelchair with CIE

By Jack Rine
This item appears on page 45 of the March 2015 issue.
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My wife, Jackie, and I, along with another couple, took a 10-day bus tour of Ireland in early September 2014 with CIE Tours (US office in Morristown, NJ; 800/243-8687, www.cietours.com). It was fantastic!

We booked the trip through Bethany Travel (Millsboro, DE; 800/806-8747, www.dreamvacationinc.com). I don’t recall the total cost. 

As a wheelchair user for 47 years and a paraplegic, I’ve found that overseas travel can provide obstacles and challenges.

Our tour of Ireland was made somewhat easier by spending three nights in each of three cities/towns: Dublin, Westport and Killarney. Not having to leave our baggage outside our hotel rooms or having to board a bus at an early hour every day made our adventure more relaxing. After returning to Dublin from Killarney, we spent our final night in a castle.

The four hotels we stayed in were first-rate. However, they weren’t always the easiest to use for someone in a wheelchair — bathrooms too small and doors too narrow, being unable to get into the tub/shower, etc. (Ireland has no ADA laws as we do here in the US.)

Nonetheless, the staff of each hotel strived to make us comfortable. We did our best and found no fault with CIE or anyone else. As world travelers, we know we need to be aware of things being different away from home. 

Our hats are off to the great guide and bus driver we had for the entire tour. We also lucked out with having a busload of 39 other travelers who were helpful, courteous and willing to offer assistance when loading and unloading the bus.

This trip was a long time in the making, due to uncertainty as to whether a disabled traveler could handle the itinerary. We thank CIE, bus driver Paul Richardson, tour guide Dermot Coffey, the hotel staff members and our fellow travelers for making this a most memorable trip.

JACK RINE

Ocean View, DE

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

My wife, Jackie, and I, along with another couple, took a 10-day bus tour of Ireland in early September 2014 with CIE Tours (US office in Morristown, NJ; 800/243-8687, www.cietours.com). It was fantastic!

We booked the trip through Bethany Travel (Millsboro, DE; 800/806-8747, www.dreamvacationinc.com). I don’t recall the total cost. 

As a wheelchair user for 47 years and a paraplegic, I’ve found that overseas travel can provide obstacles and challenges.

Our tour of Ireland was made somewhat easier by spending three nights in each of three cities/towns: Dublin, Westport and Killarney. Not having to leave our baggage outside our hotel rooms or having to board a bus at an early hour every day made our adventure more relaxing. After returning to Dublin from Killarney, we spent our final night in a castle.

The four hotels we stayed in were first-rate. However, they weren’t always the easiest to use for someone in a wheelchair — bathrooms too small and doors too narrow, being unable to get into the tub/shower, etc. (Ireland has no ADA laws as we do here in the US.)

Nonetheless, the staff of each hotel strived to make us comfortable. We did our best and found no fault with CIE or anyone else. As world travelers, we know we need to be aware of things being different away from home. 

Our hats are off to the great guide and bus driver we had for the entire tour. We also lucked out with having a busload of 39 other travelers who were helpful, courteous and willing to offer assistance when loading and unloading the bus.

This trip was a long time in the making, due to uncertainty as to whether a disabled traveler could handle the itinerary. We thank CIE, bus driver Paul Richardson, tour guide Dermot Coffey, the hotel staff members and our fellow travelers for making this a most memorable trip.

JACK RINE

Ocean View, DE