Our tour operator was Odyssey Coach Tours. The tour as described by Viator could have been lovely. If Viator's confirmation reflects Odyssey as the tour company immediately cancel and find another tour company. There are many on the Internet that provide the exact same itinerary, even taxi companies. Here's our story regarding our experience with Odyssey Coach Tours.
The Captain did not announce over the loud speaker as to when the ship was cleared for passengers to disembark. When I checked and discovered we'd been cleared, I could see the Odyssey van. We raced as fast as we could off the ship. But when we got to where the Odyssey van was parked it was gone. They had left without us. They didn't call to see where we were and we didn't realize we could have exited the ship. I immediately contacted the Odyssey tour operator number shown on our confirmation. The person I spoke to was the owner/guide for Odyssey. He told me that we missed them by 5 minutes and therefore missed the tour. He offered no suggestions as to how we could fix it. He said they waited 30 minutes and then hung up. I then called Viator. The customer service agent called Odyssey 3 different times to see how we could fix the problem, get a refund, a partial refund, or some other accommodation. The owner/guide gave Viator the same non-responses I received. Nothing could be done nor would Odyssey do anything. Fortunately a taxi driver, Patrick Maguire, took pity on us and offered to take us on the same tour that Odyssey was providing for 300 GBP. We were unwilling to pay 300 GBP over and above what we'd already paid for the Odyssey tour for which we would not be getting any refund, not even a partial one. Patrick called the Odyssey owner/guide twice to see what might be worked out. Patrick was rebuffed rudely just like we were. As it turns out we should have gone with Patrick as the Odyssey tour was awful and the tour guide terrible. Patrick then agreed to drive us out to the Giants Causeway, about 90 min drive, for 90 GBP in order to meet the Odyssey tour group so we could join them and complete the tour. Patrick called the Odyssey owner/guide to let him know he was bringing us to meet them at the Causeway. As we neared the Giants Causeway, about 15 minutes out, we passed through the small town of Bushmills and there was the Odyssey van. Patrick parked behind the Odyssey van and called the owner/guide who refused to take us telling Patrick he had to take us to the Giants Causeway, gave Patrick the meeting place and time, again rudely with no greeting for his wayward customers. The Odyssey owner/guide did NOT provide us with our tickets we didn't know we needed them to enter the Visitor's Center or the shuttle bus from/to the Causeway from the remotely located Visitor's Center. We had about 45 minutes to see some part of the Causeway, which was a FABULOUS place, before we had to meet up with the tour. We elected not to pay to get into the Visitor's Center but did pay the 2 Euro, round trip, for the shuttle to the Causeway as it was about 1.5 miles away.
When we connected with the Odyssey van we waited for the rest of the tour group to board so that we wouldn't inadvertently take someone's seat. The tour guide, different person from the owner/guide, of this van did not greet us as long lost customers just said oh yeah. He did not show us seats to take. No friendly welcoming greeting, nothing. We ended up in the far back of the van where there were 5 seats across. 3 of the 5 seats were taken up by very large heavy people requiring us to squeeze in hanging onto our belongings. Again the van driver/guide did not offer any assistance. We were so thankful to be able join up with the tour such that we didn't complain. Then we come to find out that there were TWO vans handling this tour, both going the same places, same times, etc. The 2nd van was being driven by the owner/guide that we and Patrick had been talking to. The owner/guide made no effort to greet us or acknowledge us in any way. We were not even offered a bottle of water. Neither the owner/guide nor our van driver/guide acknowledge or spoke to us again for the balance of the tour of about 3 hours.
The balance of the tour was a bust as well. The cruise ship was only in port until 4:00p, we needed to be back on board by 3:30p, which the driver/guide kept complaining about because of the shorter time needed to do the tour. As a result we did not get to stop at the rope bridge, Bally Castle, or even lunch. They stopped at a mini-mart for the bathroom and we could buy snacks. The driver/guide of our van spoke almost non-stop in a heavily accented monotone during the 2 hour drive along the very lovely coast. He was trying to do the tour fast he didn't even slow down for points of interest he was monologuing about. We didn't know what he was talking about most of the time. The lack of customer service and rudeness of Odyssey was appalling
Our tour guide Martin was great. What a history buff. He was very good about telling us the history of every spot we stopped at. Be prepared to "walk" to the Giants Causeway. There is a shuttle, but walking is the best. We stopped at the Diamond Bar in Ballycastle for lunch. Order the fish and chips. To die for. The size of a whale. But the tour was made wonderful by the excellent commentary by Martin.
Though we booked this tour we did not take it as we missed it due to various reasons. We were lucky to get two seats on another tour and had a fantastic day. However, the tour company agreed to give us a partial refund which we were happy with and this was processed very promptly through Viator Customer Care. So thanks to both companies.
We booked this Odyssey Bus Tour based on previous reviews and sights to see. We were not disappointed! One of the best tours on the cruise. The tour included the Rope Bridge, Giants Causeway, Ballycastle, coastal drive and a drive through Belfast. We were on Princess Cruises and docked at Belfast on May 29th, 2018. It was a gorgeous day! Very important to be one of the first buses to reach the Rope Bridge as the line gets very long and can be quite brutal when standing in the sun. Having said that, our bus was one of the first ones there. Our tour guide, Gail, was fantastic! Once she knew how many people wanted to go across the rope bridge extra cost not included in initial tour cost - the additional cost for the rope bridge and giants causeway was 26 pounds she emailed ahead and got our tickets so we did not have to stop and pay admission. Be aware it is a long walk to the rope bridge from the parking lot!! It took us about 20 minutes to walk it and we are by no means slow walkers. Once there you may have to wait for the people from the other side to walk back so you can go across. The stairs going to the rope bridge are rather steep, it is definitely not for the faint of heart but it is so worth it!! The views are breathtaking! The walk after you cross the bridge is kinda scary because there are no stairs just uneven rocks - so walk very carefully. Going back from the rope bridge to the bus was an even tougher walk because the steps you walked down, you now have to walk up!! Next step was Giants Causeway. An amazing sight seeing what mother nature can do! Very interesting shapes and formations created by what scientists believe were lava fusions under the ocean. We chose to walk from bus stop to causeway and back, however, there is a shuttle. The walk going down was relatively easy but coming back was a bit tough. Definitely a sight you do not want to miss! Next stop was Ballycastle, a very quaint town. We chose to buy some deli ham, cheese, chips, drink and a half batch of bread at a local store for our lunch - cost 6.01 pounds. It was delicious! Left Ballycastle for a beautiful coastal drive back to Belfast. Countryside going to our tour stops as well as coming back was truly gorgeous! Upon our return to Belfast, we viewed a few of the city highlights before heading back to the ship. What a great day, one of our favorite stops on the cruise! Left port at 8:30 and got back to ship at 6:15 p.m. The bus driver and tour guide, Gail were great! If you stop in Belfast, put this tour on your list especially for the price you pay.
The trip out to the Causeway is boring except for stopping at the little village for lunch, nice break and very good lunch.. Once at Causeway parking the tour bus not a very go setup. After getting the bus it is quite a good walk to the causeway. If you want to ride down you have to wait in a long line to catch the bus. I did enjoy seeing the causeway great area for taking pictures.
Going to the swinging bridge is better organized and good parking area, again quite a bit of walking to the bridge. We didn't have any spare time after walking down to the bridge to check out the shops
We were met by our driver and boarded a comfortable bus taking us to the Giants Causeway. It was a long trip but well worth it.I believe it was Odyssey Bus Co.
After about 1 1/2 hour trip through the countryside, we arrived and were instructed how to get to the causeway. If you wanted to visit the Visitor Center there was an additional charge, but you didn't truly need to visit it. The time better spent on the Causeway. Be prepared for a wildly windy experience at times and very cool. After the visit to the Causeway, we were driven down the coastline through the small fishing villages and town back to our ship. It was a wonderful experience.
This was an awesome shore excursion. Much more affordable than the cruise price and we saw more, including tickets came with paid excursion and time to cross the bridge and plenty of time at the Causeway. Most other tours cautioned on being able to cross the bridge but with this tour, we were able to do it, which was amazing. Tour also included drive through Belfast city to see the murals which was an added bonus. I would highly recommend!
This tour was excellent in every way. Our tour guide was Gail. She was knowledgeable, fun, caring and I loved her accent. One lady on our bus wanted to stop and photograph sheep so Gail asked the driver to stop when we saw sheep grazing on the hillside. Gail was lots of fun to talk to and she told me which brand of tea was truly Irish when I asked her. Our driver was Joe. Those roads are so narrow in Ireland and especially along the Causeway but he gave us confidence as he drove safely all day long. It is a full day's tour and you see so many places but always have a comfy coach bus to hop on after each stop. It is a good mix of stops. Giant's Causeway was unbelievable! No wonder it is the 8th Wonder of the World. This tour is such a good value for all that you get to see. I would HIGHLY recommend this and hope that you get Gail and Joe as your guide and driver. My husband and I took our tour on September 15, 2017. Paula from Cincinnati, Ohio