Help -- Sandi --

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Jan 17th, 2004, 11:46 AM
  #1
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Help -- Sandi --

Do something quick about the weather at JFK. I believe you are from NY and thus responsible for the weather there. Am flying from Dallas to JFK on January 31 to make Cairo connection. Tour company only allowed 1 hr 45 min to make connection (terminal 3 to 4) but Delta does check bags thru to Cairo on EgyptAir (maybe I should bid them a fond farewell at DFW). Some sunshine would be nice and dry air,i.e. no rain, snow. Really, pleased keep me posted on the weather there. By the way, sun is out, rain has vanished, and it's 68 deg. here.
Wishing you sunny skies and warmer weather,
Carolyn in Texas
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Jan 17th, 2004, 02:41 PM
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Hi Carolyn,


I am in New york City who frequenst JFK alot for travel. I can tell you it will either be bitter cold maybe or maybe NOT a snow storm it is very hard to predict the weather in New York City. late Janurary can be anywhere from 7 Deg to 45 Deg and when there is a snow storm they are very quick to clean up the runways.

Joe-
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Jan 18th, 2004, 05:26 AM
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One of the things we did regarding luggage when we went to Egypt (had similar anxiety about luggage not transferring from Boston flight to NY flight) was to have each family member carry some essentials for another family member in his/her suitcase - like my husband and I each had an outfit or 2 for the other in our luggage. We figured it was less likely they would lose 4 pieces of luggage. Don't usually do this, but did not want to find ourselves shopping for clothing in Cairo.

Since most tours don't leave Cairo for a day or 2, even if your luggage took an independent vacation of its own, it would have some time to catch up with you.

That said, we had a similar "discussion" with our travel agent and tour company (Globus) when we thought our connection time was too close (90 minutes) - especially since it was on a Friday evening into JFK on a small regional jet. They would not budge much, but finally agreed to let us pay a relatively small fee to change to an earlier flight. Downside was that we got to spend 5 hours at JFK (I hate that airport) - great upside was that if we had kept later flight, we would have missed our connection since that flight was delayed.

Sorry if I have made you even more nervous about your connection - just something to think about.
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Jan 18th, 2004, 05:48 AM
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CarolyninTexas -

Wish I could tell you that I have a direct line to the weather person - considering they don't even have a good track record predicting good weather. That's why I hate traveling in winter. With any luck the lousy weather we're having now, will be long gone by end January.

Hey, I've had just as much lousy luck in DFW in winter - you do know that DFW isn't without it's faults. I seem to recall snow and ice there also.

However, what I know is that those Int'l flight rarely get cancelled, but we don't know about your incoming from DFW. The 1.45/hrs is more than enough time to connect between terminals. Either by shuttle bus, or just hop in a taxi and have them drive you to the other terminal - driver will not be a happy camper, as when he drops you off at Term-3 he's going to have to get on another taxi line, and in the rear, hoping by the time he gets up front the next passenger will take him closer into Manhattan, even Queens or Brooklyn - and, hopefully, not back to Term-4.

Unless there is a blizzard, for a few inches of snow, the runways get plowed quickly to get those silver bullets off the ground and on their way.

Now, everyone who reads this thread - and whatever persuasion you may have - from today till Jan 31, light your candles or incense, say little (or big) prayers, be a good person - whatever works - Carolyn is going to Egypt.

I have this feeling that everything will work out well, and I do know you'll have a wonderful time in Egypt.

 
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Jan 19th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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Sandi & all others: Thanks for your replies and especially for your positive thoughts. Sandi, you are so right about DFW. I never make connections there, but my worst travel/flying experience started there a few years ago when the plane taxied to the runway and sat there for close to three hours, causing us to miss our cruise ship's departure. I try to avoid northern connections in the wintertime from such airports as Chicago, NY, Boston, etc. There don't seem to be any flights that connect from, say, Miami, Atlanta, or Houston even though Cairo is south of even Dallas. The JFK web site is touting the new tram. Has anyone used this? Is it up and running?

Thanks all,
Carolyn
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Feb 16th, 2004, 11:34 AM
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Hi Sandi - Thanks for the prayers and candles. You must have a direct pipeline to someone who listens because the trip was flawless. This was a GCT tour with 130 passengers. We were divided into four groups. No one became ill on the trip. Arrived at EgyptAir desk at 5:30 for a 6:30 flight. They were doing final boarding and zipped us right on. We were stuck in the middle section with four seats but the other two seats were empty. After we had dinner (American food - chicken or fish), my traveling companion sacked out in the two extra seats and slept all the way to Cairo. We took a water bottle pre-mixed with Vodka and grapefruit. No one seemed the least bit interested in what we were drinking. I had read somewhere previously that EA handed out small bottles of wine at JFK for the flight to Cairo. That did not happen. If you want booze on this flight, bring your own. Sandi, you are so right about DFW. When we left Cairo it was 45 - 50 deg. Arrived JFK at 3:00 in afternoon, and it was 46 deg. Called hubby in Dallas as soon as plane landed and was told it was 36 deg and it had snowed 4 -6 inches the night before. It had all melted when we finally got to Dallas about 9:30 p.m. Delta was taking extra precautions because of the "weather in Dallas" and had loaded on extra fuel. They said the plane was overweight. Thus, we sat on the ground at JFK for 1 and 1/2 hours while they off loaded non-revenue passengers and asked for volunteers to deplane. They were offering $400 flight certificates and hotel accommodations and meal vouchers for the night. My traveling companion had a flight back to Las Vegas on Sunday, so we didn't even try. Bottom line, out of six flights, DFW/JFK - JFK/CAI - CAI/Luxor - Aswan/CAI - CAI/JFK - JFK/DFW, the only problem was getting back to DFW. Everyone was right about Egypt. It was a trip I will never, ever forget. Thanks to everyone who provided information, advice, and personal experiences.
Carolyn
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Feb 16th, 2004, 12:00 PM
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Carolyn - Wonderful to hear that JFK and Egypt Air came thru for you. Admittedly, we did have a few decent days at the end of the month and you breezed thru - sorry that DFW proved itself to be DFW. However, when DFW works, it does work.

Since Egypt was such a good experience, why not a trip report, when you can.
 
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Feb 16th, 2004, 07:07 PM
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Carolyn - glad you enjoyed Egypt. I was the one who mentioned the wine upon boarding - I guess they don't do that anymore (we went almost 3 years ago) - but the wine was not all that great, so I think your brown-bagging option worked better!
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Feb 17th, 2004, 05:00 AM
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carolyninTexas: My wife and myself are on a GCT to Egypt In March. How do you like the hotel and boat. Did you find any ATM'S on the trip? Did you take cash, traveler checks or used ATM'S. Any tips to pass on for this trip. Where is the best shopping and prices? Do you have a trip report, sorry lots of questions!
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Feb 17th, 2004, 07:29 AM
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Hi Garah - Both the hotel and boat were excellent. The Marriott is huge and beautiful. Food was very good. I stayed away from raw vegetables first few days until program director assured us they were properly washed. No one on our tour became ill. Bottled water is provided on dining tables at Marriott and on boat. Water is also left in room on boat. Program Director took us on walk of Mariott neighborhood as soon as we arrived. There is a Mobil station around the corner where water can be obtained 3/$1.00. Travelers checks proved to be a nuisance. They were difficult and expensive to cash. I did not use an ATM machine while there. There are three or four banks in the Marriott that readily exchange US for Egyptian pounds. I usually exchanged $20 at a time. There is no fee for this. Best bet, take at least 50 $1 bills. Best shopping, I thought, was at attractions. There are hawkers everywhere. The day we went to bazaar, it had rained and it was one big mudhole. There are also shopping stands at attractions along Nile. Most prefer US. Name of the game, bargain, bargain, bargain. If you drink liquor, take it with you. You could buy drinks at Marriott and on boat. Drinks on boat were very reasonable. But you cannot buy liquor anywhere that I found. Draft beer at Marriott was 23LE which is a little less than $4. Cocktails were a little more expensive. Sakara beer on the boat was 13LE which is $2.16. I think cocktails were about 20LE. You can sign at the Marriott and on the boat and pay your final tab with a credit card. In fact, no cash is accepted on boat except in gift shop which preferred credit cards. Their prices were reasonable. If you like to have a drink in your room, bring your own liquor and bar will give you glasses of ice, tonic, etc. I believe credit cards were also accepted at papyrus institute. Their prices were also quite reasonable. I bought an approximate 8 x 10 piece and it was 60LE which is $10. I am already having buyer's regret for not having bought more. Most items are cheap, cheap, cheap in Egypt. Several people mentioned later they had their laundry done on the boat instead of dragging home dirty clothes because it was so reasonable. I missed out on this. You are busy, busy on this trip and most meals are provided. There were three dinners in Cairo not provided and a few lunches. The home hosted dinner proved very interesting and fun. If you have more questions, feel free to post them.
Carolyn
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Feb 17th, 2004, 07:39 AM
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Hi again Garah - Another tip: Egypt Air seating is three across (ABC) four across (DEFG) and two across (HI). The most comfortable seating for two is H & I. On return flight, my traveling companion obtained seats and got A&B thinking it was two across. It was not. It was window and center. There was a large gentleman in aisle seat (C). He promptly took a sleeping tablet upon takeoff and proceeded to sleep most of the way (12 hours). This proved a challenge for us. If you can't get H & I, you might try for aisle seats across from each other, C&D or G&H. Hope this helps.
Carolyn
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Feb 17th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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Hi to CarolyninTexas: thanks so much for the answers to the many question. They really will help. Did you take any of the optional tours. I signed up for Abu Simbel and thinking about taking the rest (Alexandria) except for the "sound and light" show at the Pyramids. We are also on Delta (Atlanta-JFK) but getting there with lots of time between flights. I had the same experance about the seating arrangment on a flight to SF to Aus. it was not pretty!
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Feb 19th, 2004, 11:24 AM
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Hi Garah - We did Alexandria. We went via train and returned via bus. It was a totally different experience from Cairo. There is also a wonderful museum there. Lunch is at a former palace which was wonderful. We didn't get back to Cairo until about 8:00 p.m. as it was raining on the trip back. We also did the Contrasts of Cairo which was an okay trip. It takes you up to the Citadel, through the mosque there and then to the Coptic Church and Jewish synogogue. It also takes you to the bazaar for about an hour. It was worth the $20 we paid. Both trips were good value for the money. If you're not interested in the Citadel or the churches, you can get a cab to the bazaar for about 10LE ($1.75)from the Marriott I was told. We did not do the sound and light because it was cold at night. Most who went said it was wonderful but they nearly froze to death. My cousin did Abu Simbel and said it was not to be missed. Even if you are not a big souvenir collector, leave room in your bag for extras or take an extra bag for that purpose. Egypt is the cheapest place I have ever been. I'm already hearing, "You went all the way to Egypt and didn't bring me a pyramid or some papyrus?" And I travel a lot and don't fool with a lot of souvenirs that usually end up in my next garage sale, but I wish I had brought back more. The food on this trip was wonderful. I was expecting the worst and looking forward to maybe losing a couple of pounds. I gained 7. The second night, dinner is at the Egyptian Nights which is a large tent in the garden of the Marriott. We were served steak. The trip to the pyramids at Giza, lunch was at the Le Meridian out at the pyramids. It was buffet and wonderful. Upon return from the Contrasts tour, we were served lunch at the Marriott, and it was broiled chicken breast. The breakfast buffett at the Marriott is plentiful and good. There are scrambled eggs on the buffet line or an egg bar where omelets and fried eggs, etc. are prepared. All meals on the boat were good. The only meal I wasn't wild about was the farewell dinner on the Nile boat Le Pacha. I don't know what it was, maybe Egyptian. The food wasn't that great, but entertainment was provided and a free glass of wine. It was great fun. I do go on, don't I? I am still jazzed about this trip. It was so much better than I expected. One thing about the seats on E Air, I talked to my cousin today and she said it was not H & I, that there was no I. I know it was H and something and I am sure H is the aisle seat and there are only two seats, so it may be H & K, but I am absolutely certain about the ABC, DEFG. Write again if you think of more questions.
Carolyn
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Feb 24th, 2004, 10:33 AM
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CarolyninTexas: Thanks for all the info. It will be well used. I tried to get seats on E-air but will have to do that at the airport. How were the people dressed on the boat.. lunch, dinner?
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Feb 27th, 2004, 12:18 PM
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Hi Garah - Dress was mostly casual. Jeans would have gone just about anywhere. There were no shorts because it was too cool. Many dressed a little more for the at home dinner experience, dockers and sport shirt type outfits. I believe the ship asks for no shorts or muscle type shirts at dinner. I know I wore T-shirts there, because that is the basis of my travel wardrobe; T-shirts, overshirts/jackets, jeans, khakis, and black slacks. We returned from Aswan on Friday, and the Program Director announced that if you wanted to dress up, the dinner at Le Pacha was the opportunity to do so. I had packed on the boat not intending to unpack for the one night in Cairo, so I wore what I had on which was a sweater set and black pants. All of the Program Directors wore suits, tuxes, for this event. Most people there didn't appear to be dressed up. I don't think any of the guys wore suits. One or two had sport jackets with them and wore them, but most wore the same travel uniform we had been wearing all week. No one wore a suit on the boat. The only dress-up night was Egyptian night where everyone who wanted wore a galabeya or something Egyptian looking. The cruise was certainly not like the cruises I have taken in the Carribbean, Alaska, Mexico, etc., where one dresses for dinner every night.
Hope this helps.
Carolyn
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