Emo Tours for Cairo Shore Excursion??

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Apr 20th, 2013, 07:25 PM
  #1
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Emo Tours for Cairo Shore Excursion??

My friends and I booked a Princess Mediterranean cruise in early May. We hate the sky high prices Princess charge for short excursions and want to organize our own Cairo tour. The lowest price we could find is from Emo Tours which quotes us $85 p.p. for 6 people covering Giza, Dahshur, Cairo Antique Museum and a short felucca ride.

Has anyone used Emo tours for your Egypt tours? Could you share your experience?

Another question, Emo said we could have an armed security guard in our van for the tour. As I understand it, the guard is a plain cloth police provided by the government. Has anyone requested a security guard? What're the pros and cons of using one?

Thank you very much!
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Apr 23rd, 2013, 10:53 PM
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I'm from Cairo so I obviously never used a tour operator to go around my own city, this means I can't really tell if Emo is good or not.

However, I'm replying because of the armed guard thing. I'd strongly recommend this. Cairo is constantly going through uprisings and strikes, so sometimes it's much safer to go around with good protection.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 01:35 PM
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Salmash and Kaye047, thanks for your replies on armed guard.
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May 3rd, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Hi,

I am leaving tomorrow. But another question turns up and I hope someone can help.

I am wondering whether we should visit Cairo and do felucca ride first thing in the morning followed by the visit of pyramids. I understand Giza and Dahshur will be much hotter in the afternoon. But to avoid traffic (on friday), shall we go to Cairo first? I assume from Giza we could go directly to Port Said without entering Cairo. Is this correct?

Thanks!
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May 4th, 2013, 05:35 AM
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Felluca sail boat rides are best in the afternoon because the winds pick up later in the day. In the morning you are more likely to sit on the river and go no where.
Friday morning traffic is nil. You don't have to worry about traffic on a Friday, in general - however it will pick up in the afternoon, after prayers.
Port Said is a LONG way from Cairo, and Giza is attached to Cairo, like Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Cairo and Giza are separated by a river, but that is all. I suppose you could take the Ring Road around the whole city and avoid Cairo if you wanted to, but it wouldn't be my choice. The Ring Road is a nutty place to be with nutty people behind the wheels of cars. Everyone with a brain should avoid it as much as possible.
I would do the pyramids in the cool of the morning, and then do the felluca as the sun sets, and go to Port Said the next day...but that's just me. Have fun.
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May 5th, 2013, 02:00 PM
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Thanks Debbie! I assumed it's possible to travel directly to Port Said from Giza via Ring Road. But I had no idea about the conditions of Ring Road and certainly we want to avoid it now you pointed it out. We need to get back to Port Said because our ship leaves at 8pm.
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May 7th, 2013, 12:25 PM
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Good Luck.
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May 7th, 2013, 06:37 PM
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No one has said anything about Emo tours here, which is something re: which I would like to hear some responses.
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May 7th, 2013, 09:33 PM
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MD
 
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I assume that does not include entry fees?
According to my pile of tickets...
The Egyptian Museum is 60LE (about $10)
Giza Pyramids are 60LE
I'd have to dig up last year's tickets, but I assume Darshur is also 60LE, since Sakarra is.
That's $30 of tickets, not counting a felucca ride.
Either EMO comes cheap, or there are extras.

(Why Darshur? Sakarra is closer and far more historically significant, with the step pyramid and some nobles' tombs with beautiful carvings - tomb of Ka-Gmni)

The other point our guide in Israel made, complaining about cruise ships - the cruise line will try to intimidate you into taking their tours, and warn you that if you are late on a self-organized tour like this, they will sail without you. If you book on an over-priced Princess tour, on which they no doubt get a cut, they will wait for you or fly you to the next stop or whatever.
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May 8th, 2013, 06:29 AM
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Dashure is LE30 and very interesting, but they can do it practically as a "drive by" and still say they did it. It isn't the way it should be seen, but gbdog will be able to say they saw it, giving more time for Carpet Schools on the way back from that destination.

You ask how they can do it so cheap? The papers have been recently full of articles by disgruntled guides working for second rate companies that are paying the guides all of 50LE for a days work plus the commissions they can earn on the carpets, gold, papyrus, etc they will buy. You think there won't be a successful shopping stop on this tour? Too many guides are out of work with families to feed to not accept that deal if they are offered it.
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May 9th, 2013, 12:11 PM
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MD, we could do Giza+Sakarra+Dashure but considered this too much pyramid overload. We are not historic bluffs so being the first pyramid might not attract us enough. At Dashure we could enter the pyramids and have three different ones to see, compare and wonder. Of course, less people are there. Yes, $85 include admissions but no lunch (we opted out to save time on sightseeing).

Debbie, there will be no shopping stops on this tour. It is what written in the contract. If they do not follow, then their reputation is at stake. We are not going to spend and they will not earn commissions anyway. However, if the tour is satisfactory, we are ready to tip generously.
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May 12th, 2013, 12:14 AM
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Good that you are OK with tipping as that will be what your guide will need probably. At $85 x 6 there is only $510.00 they are taking. They will be spending something like $200 on the van and driver to drive you up and down from Alex and out to Pt Said I guess, and then $130 on tickets for you (Giza, Museum and Dashure, correct?). Next to nothing on the felluca, and no meal, so whatever is left ($180) - some has to go to the Port to get you off the ship, some to the guide and some to the company. They are operating on a shoestring (so to speak) so please remember your guide AND driver at the end of all of this. Also, don't be surprised if they ask you to tip the felluca captain. If you do, each of you putting in $1 is enough. $6 is a fair tip for the captain. It is only NOT fair if they did not pay enough for the felluca. If they ask you to tip more than $1 each, then I guess you are paying for the felluca. If they don't mention tips for the felluca captain, FANTASTIC!

If you get a choice as to where and what to eat for lunch - my first recommendation is Andrea's in Giza near the Giza Pyramids (not the fake one down the Sakkara Road)for the BEST BBQ chicken in Cairo. OR second choice is the take-away stand of Felfella - get their tamayia (same as falafel) sandwich and/or their musakhaa sandwich (eggplant or obergine) They are both soooooo good and dead cheap. Or if timing has you in town by lunch time, then maybe Abou Tarek for Kosheri or El Tahrir for the same. Kosheri is another very economical lunch and so good.
Any of those will be good and a memorable lunch!!
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Jun 4th, 2013, 04:10 PM
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I went with Lady Egypt for my holiday in 2010 and loved them. One of the guides did comment that if they have a group of US tourists they would have a guard. When we were not able to enter the King Tut room at the museum because there was a visitng South American President our guide told the museum attendant that we were US citizens and we wanted to go in and it was our last stop at the museum and we didn't want to wait. We were let in immediately. The guide later commented that the US is a world power and they didn't want anything to happen to them in their country. Maybe that's why they had the option of a guard.
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