egypt tour company: Orbit Tours

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May 12th, 2004, 04:53 AM
  #1
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egypt tour company: Orbit Tours

Hi,
Has anybody used 'Orbit Tours'? I've read other posts about Experience Egypt and Egyptian Connection, but the itinerary of Orbit Tours is more interesting and I was wondering how they are. Thanks.
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May 12th, 2004, 05:43 AM
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sandi
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Not familiar with Orbit Tours, but what is "more interesting" about their itinerary?
 
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May 12th, 2004, 05:47 AM
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Also curious about what is more "interesting" - I just went to their website and checked out 8-10 day tours - it looks like the same hotels and sites that many other tours use and visit.
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May 12th, 2004, 10:40 AM
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Don't know what was more interesting about Orbit......We went with the Egyptian Connection and it was one of the best tour groups we have ever traveled with.
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May 13th, 2004, 08:25 AM
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I emailed Egyptian Connection twice but got no reply. 'More interesting' for the kind of tour we wanted which was in the western desert (i dont think it's on their website). compared to other tours in the same price range, they visit more places and camp at different places from the rest.
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May 13th, 2004, 04:26 PM
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Egyption Connection has a 1-800 number. You can call and do any kink of tour you want.
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May 14th, 2004, 07:19 AM
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thanks, but I dont think i'd be able to use it cos I'm not from the USA. Thanks anyway. Maybe I'll try emailing them again.
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Jul 4th, 2004, 07:14 PM
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Hi, am back from egypt. used Orbit Tours for a 2-day desert camping thing. they were very good: the desert guide was really experienced and a very good storyteller, everything was organised very well. I would recommend them as far as desert camping goes.
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Jul 13th, 2004, 11:42 AM
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Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but...my husband and I used Orbit Tours this past December for a 2 week trip to Egypt. They were very prompt in answering all emails regarding itineraries that we were interested in, also seemed to be able to provide all that we asked however once we arrived in Cairo and were met at the airport all of our itinerary had changed. I had been in constant contact with Jimmy at Orbit, especially during the last week before our departure and even asked questions of concern which were never clearly answered, I guess I should have known that something was up. Our trip was a long awaited and anticipated, once in a lifetime visit to Egypt and the sights were outstanding. We did have very good guides in both Cairo and at the stops along our cruise route but we had to be in constant contact with "Jimmy" at Orbit regarding our accomodations as we didn't know where we would be staying from one night to the next. I could go on and on but it would be useless, just think twice before booking with Orbit. Sorry to dissuade you!
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Jul 27th, 2004, 02:32 AM
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Oh no! This is making me quite worried. Had seen quite positive remarks about Orbit Egypt on another forum and was about to confirm my 2-week trip to Egypt and Jordan in October with them.

Like you said Suspaul, I've been communicating with "Jimmy" and he's been very prompt in answering all our questions and tailoring the itinerary to what we want. What reason did they give for the complete change in your itinerary? Could you please post here what were the questions for concern that were never answered?

I did ask Jimmy whether a deposit was required to secure our booking and he said that there was no need for a deposit which I thought was a bit unusual - would this explain the not knowing where you'll be staying each night?

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Jul 31st, 2004, 06:48 AM
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Hi Susumiki:

Sorry it's taken a few days to get back on this board. One thing I'd like to say, Egypt was a once in a lifetime experience and one we will always treasure, the people of Egypt were the most friendly we've even encountered in all of our travels. Enjoy your trip and try to make the most of the "bumps" along the way, tho sometimes it is extremely hard.

As to the no deposit thing, I believe this is the root of the problem, as lots of us probably make plans early on and it is some months until we actually arrive at the destination, tho we ask for certain hotels, are willing to pay the extra charges, etc. nothing is actually booked until you arrive in Cairo, so, you are not guaranteed anything, no matter what Orbit says. When we arrived in Cairo after 19 hours flight time, we were met at the airport, our visas were taken care of as stated but on the way to our hotel we were told things had changed and we would discuss them when we got to the hotel where we are to pay cash in US dollars as stated. At this time you are to pay in full so you do not have any control over what may or may not happen next. At the hotel we were told that the Mena House Oberoi was not available for our 4 night stay, it was fully booked. I guess we thought it would have been booked by Orbit prior to our arrival or at least they would have let us know this change before we left the US.

Prior to leaving home I had emailed Jimmy because I read that the Esna locks would be closed during the time we were to take the Nile cruise. He never addressed this specifically but I later found out that the locks are indeed closed every year at this same time. This meant that our ship could only go as far as Esna and we would have to be transported via auto to Luxor for the conclusion of our tour, this also meant that we would have to cut the 5 nights down to 4 so we would have to cram lots of sights in and near Luxor into 1 day, also learned this on the night of arrival, there was no price consideration for the shortened stay tho.

Our biggest complaint lays in the fact that Orbit basically tells you this is a "private tour" with you and driver and guide. Not so, when we reached our ship in Aswan we were met with 8 more people, also clients of Orbit, one couple from India, a family with 3 children from Singapore, one man from the US and we were all grouped together with one van and 1 guide to do 5 days of touring. We had all paid for the private tour so it was very disappointing as we were all herded together and we felt we did not get the personal attention and time the sights that we were promised. It was very hard to constantly get 10 people going in the same direction at the same time, especially with 3 small children. We very much enjoyed meeting the others and we shared lots about our different cultures but again, this was not what we all were told to expect. I think we had a small mutiny with Orbit tours and everyone was very disgruntled.

To be fair I have to say that the tour guides provided during our trip were very knowledgeable and informed and were good at answering our questions but it was also very trying for them to keep up with so many people. If we had wanted to "tour group" we would have paid to go with a large company such as Trafalgar.

Your question about not knowing where you would be staying....I've already told you about the Mena House fiasco, but due to their being full we were not told until the actual day of our return where exactly we would go. Two different times during this trip we were taken to the wrong hotel, once after a 12 hour overnight train journey from Cairo to Aswan and on our last night after traveling most of the day from Alexandria.



To answer more specifically the problems we encountered with Orbit and "Jimmy". We had dealt with them for 7 months, detailing at the very beginning what we wanted to see and do and there were specific places we wanted to stay and and we willing to pay the extra charges as we felt this would be one trip we may not make a return visit. Also, we had been in contact during the time period from when we first booked our trip until a few days before we left the states. We had planned and paid for a 4 night stay at the Mena House Oberoi in a pyramid view room, we were to do a 5 night Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor, and we would have a total of 6 nights in Cairo, 2 at the beginning of our trip and 4 at the end.

Have a wonderful trip with whichever agency you use, maybe the 10 of us just had a very off 2 weeks with Orbit. I would check very closely with other agencies, maybe one that has you pay up front would be a little more reputable. I would not recommend Orbit to anyone.

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