Just back from Egypt w/ Gate1

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Apr 1st, 2004, 07:00 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Just back from Egypt w/ Gate1

Hello everyone,

I received such valuable advice on this board, that I think I owe it to everyone to post a bit about my amazing trip to Egypt w/ Gate 1. Of course, as has been noted by nearly everyone on this board, Egypt is INCREDIBLE. I had one of the best trips of my life, and will absolutely go back. We took the 8 day egypt super saver- $1099 for 2/3 days in cairo and 4 day nile cruise from aswan to luxor INCLUDING direct flight from NYC-cairo. At that price I wasn't expecting much, and yet everything was very, very good.

As everyone and their mom has mentioned before, Abu Simbel is NOT to be missed. It is in the most breathtaking location and truely awe-inspiring. We also took a lovely felucca ride in Luxor to Banana Island- a tropical paradise indeed.

As far as the Gate 1 trip: overall it was excellent. I would definitely recommend them. Everything was handled seamlessly through the entire trip EXCEPT the last day. We had a flight from luxor to cairo scheduled at 6 pm. Then it was rescheduled to 10 pm, but we still were forced to check out of our rooms on the cruise, leaving us stranded in the lobby for most of the day (the boat was NOT sailing the next day- it still had 2 days until a new sailing...why kick us out?). Then, it took so long for the baggage to be claimed and transported we weren't to our hotel in cairo until 2am, when we had to wake up for our cairo-NYC flight at 6. Although not entirely gate 1's fault, it did leave a bad taste in nearly everyone's mouth as we were SO tired and exhuasted!

Other than that, everything was excellent- our egyptologist guide (Ms. Hanan) was wonderful, and tickets, check in, bags, etc were all handled well. We stayed in the Sheraton Royal Gardens Hotel (in Giza), which was much nicer than I was expecting, and sailed on the Ramses King of the Nile boat (we were supposed to be on King of Thebes...). It was nice, although the rooms had a funny smell and food was only ok. I militantly avoided all salads and uncooked vegetables and did not get sick. Others on our trip did get sick, although my traveling companion ate some veggies and was fine. I was shocked at how careless people were being!

I had a VERY hard time finding an ATM in Luxor. I walked to 5 ATMS, including 2 in the main bank, and ALL were out of order. Ultimately, I got a cash advance at the bank, but I would really suggest bringing dollars or traveler's checks. I had no problem finding a working ATM in cairo, but luxor was definitely a problem.

As far as dress, I made sure to cover my arms and legs, and everyone in my group did so as well. Other (european) groups I saw were much more scantily clad, and although it didn't really seem to offend anyone (they must be used to it on the tourist path), I personally would have been VERY embarassed to walk around like that. Besides, wearing a thin long sleeved 100% cotton shirt made me feel cooler than exposing my bare skin to the scorching sun.

Well, that's all I can think of at the moment. Thanks for all your help!!


Next stop- south africa!
Cheers-
Natasha
bluescharm is offline  
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Apr 1st, 2004, 01:59 PM
  #2
sandi
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bluescharm -

Well, that sure was a great price and including air! You know that tourism is hurting with those prices, but you got the deal.

Sorry to hear about the last day on the boat - yes, check-out is after breakfast, but if it hadn't been that the boat wasn't scheduled to sail again for 2-days, you could have hung out on the boat. Again, probably because of low tourism, the boats aren't going out as often - they usually just do a turn-around. And, of course, in the end you barely get to Cairo and hotel and had to be up in 4-hrs. Thankfully, it was at the end of the trip, and you could at least hope for sleep on the return flight.

As far as dressing modestly - I too noticed that while American's were very in-tune with respecting the culture, more often than not, those we saw in more abbreviated clothing happened to be Europeans. But as you mention, "guess they're used to it on the tourist path"

Well, welcome home!
 
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Jul 15th, 2004, 02:15 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 102
Bluescharm - I'm am very very interested in your Gate 1 trip, I cant believe we are looking at going - never thought we'd be able to, but with that price - it may be a reality. I was pretty skeptical of Gate 1, I'd love to hear any other advice/ expeirences. Tell me about your excusion to Abu Simbel - was that extra? and when did you do it? Fly?
More, More, More please!
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Jul 15th, 2004, 02:35 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks for reporting back, it's always nice to hear about a great trip!
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