Frustrated Please Help

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Oct 8th, 2005, 10:39 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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Frustrated Please Help

I know this subject has been posted "ad nauseam" but for those of us who are yet to go and worse yet to make a decision have pity on us

I am looking at an Aswan Luxor cruise 3night 4 day cruise in April
one ship is the Esadora at $330 p/p booking with Tut Egypt and another one under consideration is the MonteCarlo at $411 per person booking with Sakkara travel.
has anyone heard of either of these companies and or the ships.

Of the many companies I've contacted these are the only two that have will guarantee the ship we are booked on at time of booking and not give us "the luck of the draw" when they play "musical ships" after you've made a booking.

I am so frustrated that I am considering forgetting the cruise portion of the trip and just staying on land the entire trip.

the only thing that has made me hesitant is that neither of these companies listed AETB, IATA,ASTA, ETAA on their websites. These are all organizations that give some credibility to the business.

comments are appreciated
hopefully someone out there may have heard of either or both the ships and the travel agencies.

Mahalo
salam
traveling with aloha
the coconut wireless
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Oct 10th, 2005, 01:02 PM
  #2
 
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I wish I could give you some specific advice on the ships, but I can't. And this is the frustrating thing about trying to do all the bookings yourself. This is why we have US- and UK-based travel agents that specialize in Egypt, and for countries like this, I'm a strong proponent of using them. I'm not saying this to scold you but to emphasize that planning independent travel in Egypt does carry these kinds of hassles that you can avoid by using a travel agent and paying just slightly more (and sometimes very slightly more).

However, I can say one general thing that I hope will be of some help to you. Whatever you do, don't skip the cruise portion of your trip. I just got back from an OAT trip to Egypt on Saturday, and the 4-day cruise was the most pleasant, relaxing part of my entire vacation. Plus, the opportunity to see Kom Ombo and Edfu temples shouldn't be missed. While you could see Kom Ombo on a bus tour from Aswan, Edfu is really only feasible on a cruise, and it's the best-preserved temple in Egypt.

I know that all Nile cruise ships aren't created equal, but I do think people spend an enormous amount of anxiety-ridden time on picking a specific ship, and I'm not sure it really matters all that much in the end unless you are going for the luxury end (the Abercrombie & Kent ship or the Oberoi Philae) or the low end. The ships in the middle are pretty much all the same, with 100-plus passengers, good appointments, and buffet lunches and some buffet dinners.

If you want the protection of ASTA, then you need to book through a US-based cruise agency that specializes in Egypt and not directly with the Egyptian company. I don't know either of the companies you are looking at, but most of these companies are legitimate, and you can usually pay in cash on arrival (sometimes even by credit card). Buy travel insurance in any case and try to get confirmations in writing.
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Oct 10th, 2005, 04:39 PM
  #3
 
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I booked a Nile Cruise out of Luxor locally. One of those near death experiences. On the surface it was quite a nice boat. But, service and a closer view everyone noticed it wasn't exactly well maintained. Hence the cheaper price. On the last nite, the diesel fumes were venting in my compartment. In the early AM I woke up, had enough senses to roll literally out of bed and crawl out the door. 1/2 down the passage one of the crew found me. To make a long story short, they couldn't work fast and hard enough to get me off and out of sight. Mid morning they got a taxi arranged at a pier with no instructions. They refused all responsibility. After nearly 2 weeks I was back to normal. But the nausea and vertigo was something I don't care to repeat.

Go for a company that is accredited. And yes, it was a pleasure cruise up until that point and would do it again, but be more selective.
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Oct 11th, 2005, 05:50 AM
  #4
 
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I agree with Doug. We just returned from a trip with GETours and all details, bookings, transfers, etc. were handled by them. We sailed on the Miriam for a 7-day cruise and it was great -- not the most luxurious or most modern, but elegant and comfortable with great food and service.

We got a chance to see the lobby areas of several other boats when we docked. Yes, some felt like a Vegas Hotel, but we did not regret our choice. Booking through a tour company gave us peace of mind and our guide travelled with us, making the most of our day trips, arranging sightseeing early in the day and late afternoon to avoid the mid-day heat.

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Oct 13th, 2005, 08:05 PM
  #5
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well I will be in thailand and will travel to Jordan and then to Egypt (which is another whole subject ) as the Jordan trip is a prearranged trip (not booked through a US travel agency) with a national organization- so my trip cannot be booked from the US as most of the agencies here in the US want to do all inclusive tours or cruises and don't want to be bother with a booking for two- people on a three night cruse from Aswan to Luxor. If you know of one let me know ? I will be purchasing my air fare from thailand to jordan and then on to Cairo in Bangkok. so I really do have to make my own plans through a re

so it would be very helpful if you could recommend some Egyptian agencies that are reputable.

thanks
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Oct 14th, 2005, 06:57 AM
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There are two Egyptian companies that people I know have had direct experiences with: Misr and Travco. Both are large tour companies based in Egypt. Travco owns its own boats; I'm not sure about Misr. Toni Stround of the Chicago Tribune booked an entire tour, including a cruise, with Travco and wrote about it in an article a year or so ago in the LA Times. If you search on Google, you can probably find the article.
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Oct 14th, 2005, 02:21 PM
  #7
 
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Hello - not sure if you have booked already. My husband and I used Gezira Travel and picked the Sonesta Moon Goddess (little bit more $, but balcony in room was priceless as we cruised on the nile). This agency picked us up from airport in Mercedes, confirmed all flights, made sure we had nice rooms in our hotels etc. You can check Gezira travel through http://www.geziratravel.com/. OR go straight through cruise line on http://www.sonesta.com/egypt_nilecru...p?pageid=16724

Hope that helps some.

Michelle
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