Our great experience in Egypt, Dec. 2000

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Apr 15th, 2001, 08:42 AM
  #1
Ryan James, Ed.D.
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Our great experience in Egypt, Dec. 2000

This is a long overdue note about our Egyptian adventure in December of 2000. When I first told our travel agent that we wanted to go Four Star for economic reasons, he said he could not recommend that level for Americans in Egypt. With that in mind, I decided to book the whole trip on my own. After posting notes in Frommers.com, Fodors.com, and www.groups.yahoo.com (Egyptian travel group), I received many personal responses and lots of good advice. I also received dozens of offers from Egyptian tour companies.
My first order of business was to scour about 10 tour brochures that the travel agent provided as well as at least five guide books. I made a list of all of the sights that were important to us and that I would not want to miss. I also knew that a 7-night cruise was on the top of my list of things to do. I wanted a boat with less than 125 people for comfort and service. The most important thing was to maintain a budget. We travel for one month each year and alternating years, we fly on frequent flyer tickets. This year, we flew to Cairo on Air France using my Delta miles. Since neither of us are well to do, in order to take a month off from work without pay (I am self-employed), it is necessary to keep it cost effective.
I sent my list of things to do and see to each of the tour operators that responded to my postings and to all that were recommended to me by other readers. I asked for a price quote from each. I received over 20 replies. The information was so overwhelming; I had to create a grid to “score” the information. We were planning two weeks in Egypt, then flying to Istanbul for two more weeks. Many of the operators wanted to send up to places in Egypt that we did not have interest in and others ignored my list of “most important things to see and do.” I rewrote them giving them the benefit of the doubt to meet my demands before scratching them off of the list.
On my own, I found Viking Travel with offices in Canada and Egypt. Lucille, the partner/operator in Canada was one of the best people that I have worked with in the travel business. She quickly responded to e-mails, calmed my fears and was extremely responsive to my requests and concerns. The two weeks we were in the capable hands of this agency were a couple of the best experiences I have had with travel. Since we have been to 26 countries and all self-guided, this is really a complement to their service. I would never think of going to Egypt again without the services of Viking Travel.
VIKING TRAVEL 3460 Simpson Street – Suite 307 – Montreal, Quebec H3G 2J4
Tel: (514) 931-4557 – Tollfree 1-888-931-4557 – Fax: (514) 931-0889 e-mail: [email protected]
Head office: Salah el-Din Square - Luxor Branch office: 139 Nozha Street, Heliopolis – Cairo

If you would like the longer version of our tour and adventures, you are welcome to e-mail me personally for the entire note and e-mails we sent home along the way.

Dr. Ryan James, Ed.D. [email protected]
 
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Apr 15th, 2001, 07:16 PM
  #2
Alice
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Sounds like you prepared well. I contacted Lucille a couple of times when planning my trip and she was so helpful although I did go with a different tour. I know she is the top banana with the folks who post on the Tour Egypt Web Site. How do her tours work? Does she arrange a guide for the complete tour or does she arrange for one to be available at the places you visit. What about the stops along the way while on the cruise? Do you see the sites on your own or with a guide? I know Viking is very strong on personalizing their tours to fit your wants and needs and are one of the best if you plan to travel with a group of people, but have always wondered just how it works. Her web site is www.viking.com if I remember correctly. Thanks, Alice
 
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Apr 16th, 2001, 04:20 AM
  #3
xxx
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Why would anyone on this board post his title? What that has to do with traveling? Unless you are selling those services Dr. James. Relax! My father (PhD chemist) and my mother (MFA) had a very different experience with the same company. Maybe because they did not brag about their education? Your post confirmed my decission to never deal with Viking. Are you one of those people who calls restaurants and make reservation by saying "This is Dr. James?" That is so sad.
 
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Apr 21st, 2001, 07:59 AM
  #4
Kareena
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It to give his name and is really sad that you have nothing better to do than give Dr. James a hard time. At least he was willing give his name and E-mail add.Unlike yourself. This site is for helpful information about travel.. Get the hint...
 
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