Help please- Egypt tour question

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Sep 2nd, 2003, 12:01 PM
  #1
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Help please- Egypt tour question

My husband and I are planning a first time trip to Eqypt for fall 2004. We are generally independent travelers and don't care for tours, but are planning to take one this time. I have read here that Abercrombie and Kent are overrated. Has anyone been on a tour with them? How about Sonesta? Any recommendations or info would be appreciated.
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Sep 2nd, 2003, 12:57 PM
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sandi
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Basically every tour operator does the same 10-day tour. The difference is the quality of hotels and Nile cruise boats and, of course, price.

A&K offers a ship that is exclusively theirs which looks like a lovely yacht and I'm sure the cabins inside are beautiful. Otherwise, they stop at the same sites. And you pay more than anyone else doing a similar tour.

The Sonesta boats are next loveliest, then the Oberoi (they have 3 boats, the Philae their top), or the Movenpick. The thing that is nice about the Movenpick is that it doesn't dock at the bulkhead with the rest of the boats in Luxor, rather at Crocodile Island where they have their Movenpick resort, which is very lovely. There is a shuttle bus from the hotel into Luxor proper, maybe takes 10 minutes, or you can taxi to/fr (not expensive).

If you want to book an independent trip you can contact the Egyptian Tourism office MISR and they can arrange anything you want. Tell them what you want - hotels, ship, sights to see, etc. - and they'll arrange is all. There is another site Egyptian Connection - see what they have to offer. I would suggest you pick up a few brochures from a travel agent and see what the various companies are offering so you know how to compare and what to ask for. Some of these tour operators might do independent tours as well.

We traveled independently, transfer from airport to hotel, then a private guide for our time in Cairo, transfer to airport for flight to Aswan and Abu Simbel (where we picked-up an English speaking guide), return flight to Aswan, boarded Cruise ship - here we had a guide from the boat for all the English speaking guests - about 10 or 12 (some other groups had their own guides) - and when we returned to Cairo staying an extra day, we were on our own, and it was easy. The tour operator did our final transfer to aiport for our return to the States.
 
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Sep 2nd, 2003, 06:22 PM
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We had an awful time with an A&K trip to Africa a few years ago--they were overpriced and sub-contracted and even sent me a $600 refund when they read my complaints. WE love Globus but we are considering a trip with Grand Circle Travel which is VERY inexpensive. If you are over 50 years old maybe you should check www.gct.com
Everett
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Sep 2nd, 2003, 08:59 PM
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Maupintour!!! Absolutely fabulous!!! The Oberoi was in drydock or something so we sailed on the Sonesta MoonGoddess....I was alone and had a huge cabin and a balcony!!! I highly reccomend this company......and Heba the best of the best when it comes to guides!!!
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Sep 3rd, 2003, 09:16 AM
  #5
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Thank you all for your replys! I will do some more research and come back with more questions.
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Sep 3rd, 2003, 01:48 PM
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My wife and I are planning an independent tour to Egypt in Mar 04. We have found that the best land rates are quoted by Egyptian travel companies (less than 50% of US companies). We are staying in Cairo -5 nights (5 star), Hurghada - 4 nights (5 star) and an 8 night nile cruise (5 star deluxe - the "Moon Goddess"). All tours (including Abu Simble), transfers and local Egypt airfares are included. We have received 3 quotes from $1600 to $2000 USD (It takes some work but it can be done). LEANNAT - You said you sailed on the "Moon Goddess". Question - What did people wear at dinner? Did men wear Tuxes, Dark suits, Jackets and ties? How about the women? Most info says "Smart Casual", what does this mean?
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Sep 3rd, 2003, 02:39 PM
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Ken -

Smart Casual is just that! Casual, or "nice casual" but not what you wear during the day. We never saw on men - a tux, or a tie, though there were a few sport jackets. Women wore slacks or skirt with shirt/sweater and shawl.

The temp a night does drop, sometimes as much as 30 degrees, so a jacket or shawl needed if you go outdoors (in Cairo we were almost blown off the deck of restaurant on El Gezerah Island) or on upper deck of boat.

There is usually 1-nite that they have a Gallabeya party where everyone dresses in Egyptian costumes, rentable from the boat - lots of fun. Though many people buy a gallabeya when ashore for the nights' event and then maybe rent a wig or piece of jewelry or toga style wraps.

We met two couples who had been traveling 3-month from France (barge trip) to Ethiopia (one couple had volunteered for Medecines sans Frontieres) and then onto Egypt - so limited with clothing. The wives stuck with one color for nights - black - and supplemented with scarves, many they found in Cairo and were beautiful and cheap. Wherever we stopped after seeing the first scarf, we bought as many of these as we could, in all colors, great as gifts (less than $5 each).
 
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Sep 3rd, 2003, 07:08 PM
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Sandi is right on w/ everything she says. Smart casual is the dress for evenings...I always take black pants and 2 or 3 flowy tops and my fake pearls and I fit in just fine and most certainly did on this trip as well River cruising world wise, I find, has just a simpler way of doing things, compared to ocean cruising.....and I"ve sailed quite a few rivers!! You will enjoy the Moon Goddess and you will love Egypt!!!
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Sep 5th, 2003, 09:43 AM
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KenS:
Would you mind telling me what Egyptian travel company you chose and what hotel are you staying in in Cairo? The Moon Goddess looks quite nice.
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