Tour Operators and Travel Agents

Discussions regarding Tour Operators and Travel Agents
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My parents have been on a number of trips with Shearing and have enjoyed them all - in fact they won't consider going to Europe with anyone else.
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same here- my parents have been with them a few times, both in Europe and in the UK. They sing Shearing's praises.
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hi many many people travel with shearings and swear by them. friendly helpful drivers. very good value for money. Little trains of austria is a perfect choice and value for money.
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I know Shearings have a good reputation but I'm not sure about the German railway tour you mention. Is it the one based at Pingers in Remagen? The railways on that tour aren't particularly spectacular and may seem a bit of a let down. You will see a lot more trains though - the hotel is across the road from the mainline station in Remagen!
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austrian trains are better accesed than the german ones . little trains of austria is very disabled friendly.
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Hi thinking of booking a U.K. coach break 4 days with Shearings All inclusive. Has anyone ever been on one? if so what are they like, ie the hotels they use, food drink etc. I would be gratefull for any info.
thanks :thanks. Imp
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my parents have been a few and latterly did the self drive ones. All the hotels they have been to have been great- good food( nothing fancy) and some good entertainment. In fact, I gave them vouchers to pay for another holiday as part of their Christmas. The hotels they have been to have been mainly in Scotland.
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My father has used them on many occasions to various locations in Scotland and SW England and has always been satisfied with everything. Many of the hotels they use in the UK seem to be owned by them. Knowing him the food probably scores more on quantity than gourmet excellence but you won't go hungry and can't complain at the prices they charge. If you're thinking about the off season bargain breaks be warned they sell out incredibly quickly - usually to people who've been before.

The drivers have always been good and helpful and once you check in at the pick up point your bags are usually handled for you all the way to the room.

Points to be aware of, the average age of the passengers may be around 60 and you may have to change coaches near the start and end of the tour as they mix and match pick up points with destinations. This may add some time to the overall journey, especially if you have to back track, but is clearly shown in the brochure if it applies.
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I had the misfortune to spend New Year at the Esplanade hotel in Paignton, what a dump!

The bedrooms have had nothing done to them for twenty years, why anyone uses Shearings is beyond me!
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I've booked an 8 day break with Shearings to Newquay the first week in August. I'm not sure if the all inclusive will be the same as the all inclusive abroad though. I hope its worth it.
:)
BTW the Rip Curl Boardmasters surfing competition will take place in Newquay on 5th to 9th of August.
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I can recommend the Imperial Hotel in Tenby, South Wales. Although we're in our late 40's early 50's and most of the other guests were pensioners we've had many a good weekend there. The hotel could do with a bit of a makeover, if I'm being honest but the food, entertainment, friendliness and superb location (restaurant directly overlooks the sea) by far outweigh the negative points.
Please feel free to ask for any more info you need on the Imperial and Tenby.
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I have been on a Shearings Coach Holiday albeit 17yrs ago. Anyone who is familiar with my posts will realise that it's not the norm for me as I like to travel often solo to far away places where I stay in a variety of hotels ranging from 5* downwards. But my late very elderly parents had booked on a weeks holiday to Newquay with Shearings and as I had chosen this time to visit them in the UK they insisted that I go with them and they would treat me to the holiday!! I didn't want to disappoint them but I can't say I looked forward to the trip.
Anyhow everything ran smoothly the coach was comfortable and the driver cheerfull and obliging, the hotel was probably 2-3* (can't really remember) sort of old fashioned but certainly acceptable, the rooms were all ensuite, the food was standard british, plenty of it, though the only veggie option for me each day was a cheese salad(remember this was 17years ago) and my parents seemed to enjoy their meat and two veg, though I do remember them having a curry one night.The included excursions were pretty good. Most of the people on the coach appeared to be in their 60's or older, a few in their 50's and one couple in their 40's. My only complaint was the long wait for pick up at the change over spot on our return journey. My parents continued to use Shearings, enjoying holidays all over the UK until their health failed and they could no longer travel. I don't think they ever had a bad experience, though some holidays were probably better than others.
I often see Shearings coaches on the continent when I am driving along the motorways and they really fill a niche for people who can't or won't fly or drive and like to be taken care of almost from door to door.
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We've visited Fort William & Melrose with Shearings Self-drive recently. Both hotels were spotlessly clean, food, whilst not cordon bleu was adequate & a good choice available. All staff were excellent.

Went all-inclusive in Fort William and it's not as you would expect abroad but it is exactly as it states in their brochure, we were very surprised to be given a lunchtime snack pack on the day we booked out.

Excellent value for money.

I hope the one we go on tomorrow is as good as the previous ones.

Patka
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My husband was a coach driver for many years, with among others Caledonian Travel (who have now merged/been taken over by Shearings) , with David Urquhart Travel and, on the Continent with Travelsphere. As he did not readily get holidays in the summer I went on a tourhe was driving most years. The driver always got the short straw regarding rooms, over the kitchen where dishes were rattling at all hours or over the disco where the noise went on to the early hours. It did not matter that I was a full paying guest. Some hotels were great, some would have been good except if your hotel was on the 4th floor and there was no lift. Others (mostly Blackpool) were bad.
My advice would be to check the reviews of the the particular hotel and if you have mobility or breathing problems check if there is a lift.
Despite all the moans above, I think Coach Tours are definately value for money and I would book again
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Just returned from Llandudno County Hotel on a Shearings all-inclusive break.

We had booked a superior room with sea view. Would advise up-grading if its an option.

Our room was on the first floor and had panoramic sea views, recently refurbished and spotless. All the staff were pleasant and helpful, meals were fine, at least 3 choices of each course at dinner plus a veggie option.

All the drinks included in the free bar from 6pm to 11pm were recognised brands eg. Gilbeys gin & Grants whisky.

Very good value for money.

Patka
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The Imperial in TEnby. Fantastic views, with options of great trips. We spent New Year there, & the staff were fantastic. OK it could do with a little refurb, but for the location alone fab.
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:( Sad to report, a very bad happening with this company. For the last ten years our family have booked a coach tour holiday with varying results and experiences. However this year we booked a tour with shearings too the isle of wight. With just 16 days to go they have pulled the holiday off market and told us to choose another date or holiday, having booked time off work, dog kenneling, taxis ect. Another date was out of the frame. All other holidays on brochure being fully booked or unsuitable we asked for a refund of our payments, 7-10 days it will take to get said moneys then a 5 day wait for bank clearance.........NO HOLIDAY FOR US THIS YEAR....AND NO MORE DEALINGS WITH SHEARINGS.
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Shearings doubles new coach fleet


Shearings Group is doubling its fleet of new coaches at a cost £10 million.

The new order for 45 Setra coaches is the second major investment from the operator this year, following the purchase of another 45 vehicles in April.

Thirty of the new vehicles are 13.2m long which allows for increased luggage, higher passenger numbers and a more comfortable journey. Twenty of these Shearings coaches have 52 seats, while 10 Grand Tourer coaches have 48 seats, allowing for increased legroom.

Subsidiary National Holidays is adding 15 coaches which carry 48 passengers.

The new fleet is being brought in to cope with increased demand for coach holidays and better cater for the group's expanding European offerings.

Shearings chief executive Denis Wormwell said: "We have been delighted with the coaches delivered earlier this year. By investing in this new fleet of 45 Setra coaches, our aim is to provide an even more pleasurable experience for our customers as well as continuing to develop our coach offering across the group.

"The new vehicles are amongst the newest and greenest in the UK, and, by carrying more people per journey we are reducing overall emissions.

"We are also happy to be making another major investment in a key asset in the current economy, sending out a strong message about the group's ongoing success."

Wioth permission from Travelmole
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Just to advise anyone thinking of booking with Shearings,be prepared to be disappointed.Having booked with them for a holiday in Ireland in June 2011 with a departure date of October 1 2011 we were called on 14 September 2011 to be told "We have cancelled the holiday".The call was short,sharp and rude.
The fact we were left 14 days to rearrange our plans for a holiday was of no significance to Shearings.
Also be warned not only do they cancell your holiday,they also pull the plug on the Travel Insurance taken out with them.
I don`t know who I will take holidays with in future but believe me it won`t be Shearings.
Meanwhile I am in discussion with ABTA
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