Nile Cruise December

Nov 6th, 2005, 02:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 11
Nile Cruise December

Hi, everyone. My wife and I are new to the forum and we are going on our first vacation to Egypt. We have purchase a 17 days vacation and have a few question.

1. We keep reading that once in the cruise, the tours tend to wake people up around 5:00 am in order to start the tours before the heat of the mornings starts. Our question is, do they apply this time frame during the entire year. Our vacation in on late december when the temperatures are quite cold, no morning heat to avoid.

2. Does this time frame applyies to all the ships, we are booked on the Sonesta Moon Goddess.

3. Are we wrong for thinking the climate is diferent. We keep reading that in december during the day is about 70f degrees, are we right.

4. Do we have to leave the tips in the front desk of the cruise, is this mandatory. Don't get me wrong, I consider myself a great tipper, but I dont like having it imposed on me.

For now those are our questions. Will appreciate some tips or hints. thanks.
lcdocv is offline  
Nov 6th, 2005, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 867

1. When the weather is cooler, the trips start later.

2. see answer to 1.

3. No.

4. Well, no, you don't have to. But the ship's staff depend on their tips just as a waitress does in the U.S. My thoughts are that tips are a part of cost of the cruise and, to be blunt, if you don't tip you shouldn't take the cruise.

5. The cruise staff most likely will be great & you will want to tip them.

6. Have a great trip!
sunshine007 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2005, 07:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160
I was in Egypt a couple of years ago during the same time frame as your upcoming trip. My family and I did the A & K tour over Christmas and New Year so here's my advice.

Cairo: was overcast most of the time and quite cool when we were there. Nighttime was very cold.

Abu Simbel and Aswan: very pleasant temperature during the day was around 70 - 80 degrees but cold at night.

Luxor: similar to Aswan.

Cruise boat(Sunboat 4): Our sight seeing activities did not start until about 8 or 9 am. I assume that the other boats had the same schedule as ours since we could see the other tourists visiting the sites at the same time as our group.

Other advice - we really enjoy the sound and light shows in Cairo and Philae. Abu Simbel side trip is a must.

Hanuman is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 05:12 AM
Posts: n/a
Even though the overall temps are cooler in December thru March, he further south you are (Upper Egypt), the warmer as it's closer to the Equator. And weather is just that - whether it will be mild in the 70s-80s or hot in the 90s.

Generally, the schedule you've been provided is for the hotter months, though I'm sure some of your days will start early. And Egypt is true desert where you will find cooler evenings (some downright cold), so be prepared with some warm clothing - blazer, sweater, long pants - though by 9am the temps should be rising.

Of course, no one is obligated to "tip" but as mentioned above, the boat crew depend on tips. I would suggest you include tips as part or your overall expenses for your time in Egypt. And because the tips are distributed amongst the crew, they suggest this be left at Reception. You can, however, tip your guide directly and should a particular crew member go over and above, likewise, can tip directly.

I'd prefer to know the tipping policies, rather than be surprised and not prepared. You will find the crew and others in Cairo to be most welcoming and going the extra mile to make your visit memorable.

Happy travels.
Nov 7th, 2005, 05:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 11
Thank you for your replies every one. I guess we won't have to wake up very early.

As to the tipping, I don't mind tipping at all, its just the envelope thing and hoping that every one get something is what worries me. I guess i will follow your advise and give extra to the ones that deserve it.

Also we are staying six days at the mena house. I keep reading that it is run down. Does this apply to the palace section also or is it the new wing only.
lcdocv is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,036
Is your 17 day vacation all in Egypt and are you going on a tour or by yourselves?

We did the Nile Cruise last month and we did not have to tip anyone on the Cruise Boat as this was all included in our price for the Cruise.

Our tour guide told us ahead of time that there is not tipping at the end of the no envelopes will be given out.
You never knew who did your room, and you had a different waiter almost every meal..

That was fine with us,it was nice to know that the tip was included.

You will know ahead of time if your tipping is included, that is why Iasked if you are going on your own or via a tour.

Also when we had the Carriage ride in Aswan,this was included in our tour as was the tip for the driver...but how could you not give this sweet little fellow something extra at the end of the ride.

Don't worry after a day or two you will know who and when to tip.

We did of course tip our Tour Guide who came with as from Cairo to Luxor and then on the Cruise to Aswan and the flight to Abu Simble.

Also if you should take a taxi anywhere,you also do not tip the taxi driver because you bargain for the price of your trip( you better know now that you bargain for everything in Egypt).
Our tour guide who is from Cairo said that when you agree on a price for the taxi ,the driver has already included his tip in his final price agreement with you.

I agree with the other posters comments.

I might also my agreement that Abu Simble is not to be missed.
I considered Abu Simble my Highlight Temple of the whole trip.

Let me also add,like the others have that you take a sweater and/or light jacket.
It was well over 100F during the day in Aswan but at night for the light show it got cool(!!!)..I was glad I brought a sweater.

Also,one more thing.
I tipped many people when I did not have to... they live and rely ontips.

They are in your face to sell you something all the time, but you know they have no jobs to go to it is either you buy something or they make no earnings.

The extra $100.00+ I gave in tips( not counting our Tour Guide)will not break me ,but I know how much it meant to those I gave it to.

Also 5 to 10 Egyptian Pounds here and there is nothing....because one 5 Egyptian Pounds is less than one $US.

I am glad that sandi mentioned Upper Egypt.!

When you are doing your reading,remember that Upper Egypt is the region BELOW Cairo and Lower Egypt is the region ABOVE Cairo...should be clear as mud right !!!

Have a nice cruise


Percy is offline  

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