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Trip Report Lady Egypt

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Hi all-back from a great vacation with Lady Egypt. We visited Cairo, Aswan, did the Nile Cruise, Luxor, and Hurghada. We saw amazing Pyramids, Tombs, the Museum in Cairo, High Dam, Churches, Citadels, and of course the Bazaar. The Guides for Lady Egypt were all very educated and knowledgeable about all the sites we visited using pictures, graphs, and other means to bring history to match the amazing sites we were at. The guide in Cairo was young, and his name escapes me, but he was great and very informational. He had even lived in the States, but preferred Egypt, as "we work too much here." Our guide Hassom in Aswan and the Nile Cruise stayed with us throughout the cruise as well, and was very good about explaining the history of each site and again knew more than we could ever begin to absorb. He was great and would highly recommend him! The Nile Cruise was a great experience, except for the end where there is supposedly "no change." It is hard to believe that with all those people spending money on various things, that they do not have change to reconcile your bill and people, along with us were furious. We were on the MS TIYA which was very nice. Loved the service, the food, and the overall experience. We did buy some jewelry from the shop there that pretty much fell apart, but probably our fault for buying it there. All the accommodations for the trip were excellent! Mena House! Moevenpick were well worth it. We then went to Hurghada, which took us a bit longer than noted on the itinerary (about 5 hours, compared to 3, as the driver got lost in Cairo for a time), but Hurghada was beautiful and a nice place to recover the energy spent in the last few days with VERY early mornings. Stayed at the Steigenberger Al Dau Hotel, which was the nicest hotel we've ever been to, but seemed to cater to the Russian clientele. We had trouble even getting the staff to pay attention to us, and had a meal that they clearly didn't care what we ended up with, but such is the life in another Country sometimes. We would probably stay somewhere else there if we went again. We did not have a guide there, so just time to ourselves to relax. We very much enjoyed Egypt, and Lady Egypt did everything they could to make our stay enjoyable, meeting us at every point, guiding us, and making sure everything was ok. They were very professional and the only thing that was a bit cumbersome was some of the transfers, with large gaps of time inbetween with nothing to do (got dropped off at a hotel lobby for over 3 hours prior to getting picked up for our train ride with little options for food or something to keep us busy), but we know these things are tough to overcome sometimes.
Negatives: Tipping. We have been to other countries where tipping is practically mandatory, and were told prior to the trip some guidelines, but were then told conflicting info from Reps, and guides along the way. We also struggled with tipping certain people as sometimes you dealt with multiple people within a day, and things happen so fast.....we did well by some, not so well by others. Also, the labels of "rep," "driver," etc. don't always match what you are told, so we did struggle a bit to keep up with it all. Although, it is probably not possible, it would be sooooo nice if you could just pay a large sum up front and let the company distribute it, as they know who does what, when, and how. Then you could supplement as need be, but the constant change of people doing simular things is confusing. Anyway, we understand tipping, but did struggle with this a bit.
Other: SMOKING. Obviously, this has nothing to do with the company, but Egypt is just not for the non-smoker. As a runner, and a ex-smoker, we struggled with this. It is everywhere, no escaping it. The train ride would have been acceptable, but the guy next door never stopped, making us feel like caged experiments for lung cancer:) Anyway, it is something to consider if you don't like second hand smoke. After a few days we ended up feeling worn out, and our throats were sore. We know it's part of life, but we again struggled with it. The guides were great though, going off to smoke and not smoking in the cars. They did what they could, but we were in Egypt and that's what they do.
Overall Lady Egypt is a great company and would recommend them without fail. We appreciated all their information, and hard work to give us a memorable vacation!

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