Anybody been on the Sun Boat 4?

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Sep 19th, 2003, 06:18 PM
  #1
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Anybody been on the Sun Boat 4?

Hi,

I'm booking the A & K holiday to Egypt for this New and I was wondering if any one here has been on the Sub Boat 4(or 3) and can share their opinion?

My question is that there is a big price difference for the cabin on the different decks so is it worth it to be on the higher decks? Are the cabins more luxurious or something?

Lastly, I will also be spending my 15th wedding anniversary on this trip, the anniversary happens when we will be in Cairo. Any suggestion as to where I can arrange for a special evening?

Thank you all in advance!
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Sep 19th, 2003, 06:52 PM
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Oops.. that should read "I'm booking the A & K holiday to Egypt for this New Year.."
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Sep 20th, 2003, 04:10 AM
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The A&K boats (Sun Boat 4 or 3) are noticeably different in appearance than others on the Nile - look more like a large yacht and have their own special mooring at the Luxor/Aswan dock/bulkhead.

As with any cruise, the higher the deck the more expensive. Usually, the higher, the larger the space, as well. You should ask A&K to send you photos of the interiors for you to review. The descriptions on their site sound good, but you want to see what they actually look like.

Once you see these, you can then decide whether they one you like is worth the price difference for your booking.

As to where to have a special evening while in Cairo - while I can't recommend a specific restaurant, I know that the best restaurants will most likely be found in the hotels. Alot of new hotels that have opened in the past few years, so depending on which hotel A&K is using for your itinerary, I'd suggest you find out what is available at that particular hotel - French, Continental, Middle-Eastern, etc.

Otherwise, check what restaurants are available at the other 5* hotels; I'm sure A&K personnel should have such information for you.
 
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Sep 20th, 2003, 05:05 PM
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Thank you Sandi.

I've been told by A & K that all the cabins are the same size and luxury the only benefit of the higher cabins are the view.

Last question. Is it worth it to pay extra and go visit Abu Simbel?
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Sep 20th, 2003, 08:27 PM
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Abu Simbel...yes yes yes!!!! Why pay the money to go and miss anything???
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Sep 21st, 2003, 03:37 AM
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With the exception of sleeping, you will not be in your cabin - so you don't have to consider the view that much. You can just as easily see The Nile go by from the "upper" or "promenade" deck or from balcony of your cabin (if you have one). The Nile isn't very wide and except for narrow strips of green along the banks, it's all sand until you come to town.

If you are not on land touring/visiting tombs or sites, the boat will be cruising and often at nite - though the sky/stars are beautiful.

Yes, do the Abu Simbel trip, but I could never understand how A&K could charge extra for this considering what they charge for their trips. The temple at Abu Simbel are amazing, so worth the extension.

Bye the way, I notice A&K has various Egypt itineraries - what one are you considering?
 
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Sep 21st, 2003, 07:25 AM
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Hi Sandi,

I'm gonna book the "Reflections of the Nile" package. Private tours and staying at the Fourseasons plus a new hotel call the "Al Moudira"(http://www.moudira.com/) in Luxor.

Being from Asia we will book through the A & K Australian office(who are responsible for Asia and Australasia). The price is much less then if we were to book through the US office. Check it out: http://www.abercrombiekent.com.au/pa...ypt/eg_ron.htm

For a similar package using a local Egyptian tour company(Moon Goddess i/o Sun Boat 4) we can save about 10% only so why not go with the best!

Thank you and Leannat for your inputs.
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Sep 21st, 2003, 07:54 AM
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Just recalculate the prices and A & K is about 20 - 25 % higher. Hmm... what to do?
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Sep 21st, 2003, 12:36 PM
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Hanuman - Its difficult to do a comparison which the A&K site for US as they don't have a package with the same name. And I assume the prices listed for your tour are in AUS$.

However, 20-25% is alot higher than possible other tour operators. While the Sun Boat is unusual, the Sonesta ships (believe they have 2) and the Oberoi Philae are comparable for service. And considering that you don't spend that much time aboard (meals, sleep, evening activity) you're visiting the same sites as others.

Also realize that you are "expected" to tip better on an A&K tour than with other operators. A friend who was on an A&K tour in Italy actually saw her guide run after another participant whom the guide felt didn't tip enough! She was aghast.

There is another thread on this board "Tours of Egypt" mainly speaking of Globus and Trafalgar tours, but a post at the end mentions a site where you can ask for a specific itinerary and they will have quotes sent to you by various Egyptian Tour Operators.

The site is: www.friendlyplanet.com

Send them a list of your requirements, the Four Seasons, the Luxor hotel and either a Sonesta or the Oberoi boat and see what price they come back to you with. Be sure to mention that you want prices in AUD, otherwise they'll probably quote in USD.

Personally, I use A&K to check their itineraries to a specific destination, the details of sites visited, hotels, number of meals, etc. - then working with that, usually find I can get the same trip and at a whole lot less money.

There are many people who will tell you that they've met A&K travelers along the way in many countries, doing the same itinerary, and have paid less. On our first trip to Africa (Kenya), we saved about $1500+/- person vs A&K.

Certainly it's rude to put ones hands into anothers pockets, but check around before you make your decision.
 
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Sep 21st, 2003, 06:24 PM
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I have raved many times about Maupintour and my trip to Egypt. It was perfect and I cant imagine any one any better or the use of better hotels. We stayed at the Mena house at first and the rest of the hotels were also super. My cabin on the Sonesta Moon Goddess did have a balcony which I used constantly, a double bed, a sofa, a desk, a tv, a shower, a tub, a mini bar, a closet, a nite stand...IT WAS HUGE!!! Our tour guide Heba was so on the ball and took excellent care of all 13 of us. I paid for nothing extra except one buggy ride which we all decided we wanted to take. Many times we ordered dinner off the menu and could have anything we wanted. It truly was a perfect tour...spoiled me too!!!
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Sep 22nd, 2003, 02:06 AM
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LEANNET -

Maupintour is great, as is Gate-1, Isram and lots others here in the States, but our friends are in Australia. No doubt one can do bookings online, though I'm sure there are other tour operators in Australia other than A&K.

I mention going direct to an Egyptian Tour Operator as they seem to be offering better rates without the overhead of a Maupintour and the likes.

Hanuman - Another good Egyptian tour operator is the official Egyptian company MISR. Two women on our cruise had booked with them less than 2-wks before the trip and got exactly what they wanted - good prices also. MISR too has a website, check it out.
 
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Sep 22nd, 2003, 04:08 AM
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Just a quick correction -- the site where you build your own tour and get bids is www.touregypt.com

The other is a tour company I'd never heard of before that popped up as I started doing research. I'd love to hear if anyone has used them.
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