overseas adventure travel

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Jun 8th, 2004, 10:19 AM
  #1
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overseas adventure travel

Has anyone used Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) to Egypt?
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Jun 12th, 2004, 07:29 AM
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No, but just returned from Egypt using Grand Circle. Noticed that the OAT group was occasionally arriving on the same plane. We however, traveled with a group of 130 so seemed as if a lot of time was wasted. Now that OAT has lowered their prices to Egypt considerably, I'd certainly choose them if I were doing it now.

I've traveled with OAT three times, to Thailand and Vietnam, China, and Peru and Ecuador and I much prefer the small groups. If OAT fits in your schedule, by all means go for it!
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Jun 14th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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We took the OAT trip to Egypt in March and thought it was wonderful, therefore, highly reccoment it. We stayed at lovely places, had yummy food, a good guide, and friendly co-travelers. The ship portion was just for our small group plus and another small OAT group so we got to know everyone, yet we toured separately in two separate minibuses.

I am leaving for another 2-week vacation to a different part of the world in two hours so will be unavailable to answer any specific questions you might have concerning this particular trip, but will try to respond after I return on the 28th.
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Aug 9th, 2004, 05:51 PM
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evelyntrav: How good to run in to your post. You helped me so much with your advice on my trip to South Africa.So I am delighted to see you have been on the same tour of Eygpt I am thinking of.

I would love to hear anything you care to share about your trip. I also have a few questions that come to mind.

How was the weather in March? I am thinking of going the middle to end of March.

I will be traveling alone on this trip. Did you happen to run in to any other women traveling a lone? I haven't traveled solo before and am a little apprehensive.But think traveling in a group should be a good experience.

I am wondering also what I would need to pack? Any dressy clothes needed? Or can I get by with casual? Was laundry services easy to come by?Did the rooms have irons ect.?

The Nile cruise has lower and upper level rooms.Which did you have and is it worth the extra cost for the upper level?

Thank you so much, for any information

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Aug 10th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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Dottie, you certainly did find a way to get my attention.

The attire was "dressy casual" for meals, but not jeans. During the touring,it was very casual. Although we did not wear shorts, others did. I never used the laundry services so cannot answer that question. I didn't see any irons, but then again I didn't look for them.

About the weather. Most of the time it was warm but not too uncomfortable, except in the Valley of the Kings and Queens and that area in general when the temperature soared above 100. I do not handle heat well and on those days, I visited the site then left the tour to either sit in the shade or the air conditioned bus. As you probably know, bring a wide brimmed hat, a long-sleeve short for sun protection, and sunglasses. My friend went in February and it was unseasonably cold.

Our room was on the lower level and it was fine. We had a big window that opened. I think the single rooms are on the lower level. We looked at some of the rooms of the people we met and they varied in size, but we spent so little time in the room it was just fine. The Nile is calm and I don't think it matters at all whether it is the top or lower deck. I cannot imagine any advantage to being on the upper level on the ship we were on, the Ninfeadue.

There were two single women on our trip who traveled with their families and a pair of single women traveling together. The other OAT group sharing the boat with us had one single woman and one single man. It seems to me that most of the group was married or paired couples who often split up to walk with others. I spent a lot of time with people as individuals rather than couples. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was extraordinary friendly and helpful.

One word of warning: the food on the train ride was just terrible. I had been warned and we had brought two small pop-up cans of tuna with us from home, plus some goodies from the hotel.

There is a fair amount of free time on the boat, so be sure to have something to read. There was some book swapping among the group as we were finishing our personal book supplies.

This was our first OAT trip and we would definitely go with them again.

Would you believe we are leaving for Yellowstone on Thursday, but will try to remember to check this site when we return.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 02:22 PM
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Thank you for your response. You think of those little things, that most of us don't think to mention,that really make a lot of difference.

You gave me a lot of those little pointers when I was planning my trip to South Africa also.I would have never thought to ask to set upper deck on the plane.My daughter and I also took your advice about the Victoria Alfred hotel in Cape Town,and were very pleased.

I do have a couple more questions.

Was there any time you didn't feel safe?
What did you think of the places you stayed?
Was there any of those magic moments on this trip for you? You know those moments when you see somthing that makes you go WOW! Crazy question maybe, but I am on a budget so I pick my trips pretty carefully. One of the biggest things to mark a trip special is those moments.

What part of the month did you go in, First or bottom of March? I have read about sand storms that can happen in the bottom of March;Is that correct?

I now know the food on the train is bad. How was the food for the other part of the trip? Did you only drink bottled water?

Oh! and did you take a camel ride? How was that?

That is all I can think to ask for now. Thank you so much for you help.
Have a great trip to Yellowstone!
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Aug 10th, 2004, 03:13 PM
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OAT has wonderful trips. We loved the China/Yangtze River/Tibet trip. Had to cancel my trip to Egypt/Jordan when I lost my husband in March, but have an early March OAT for Kenya/Tanzania. As I am a widow, I read in OAT's "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) that if you asked for a roommate to share, even if they couldn't find you one, they would not charge you the single supplement. When I reserved my trip, I was told that they were not going to offer this with 2005 trips. However, they are still advertising this online even today with their 2005 departures. I have written to them asking them to credit me for the single supplement portion which is over $900. So, single people, please be careful. The trip sounds wonderful, is 28 days long, and I am hunting for a roommate. Want to go? Maureen from Maine
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Aug 10th, 2004, 04:08 PM
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Mareen,
Sorry, to hear about your husband. Good for you for getting out there. You will love Africa! Haven't been to Kenya or Tanzania,but did make it to South Africa and Victoria Falls last September.Awesome trip! I can only hope that Eygpt is half as good.If I wasn't pretty set on this trip I might think about you offer. It sounds wonderful.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 04:38 PM
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Our trip was from March 20-April 4. The air around Cairo was hazy because of a sand storm, but did not affect us. It is not like the sandstorms we see in the movies. Perhaps some are, but we did not experience any.

The food on the trip was terrific. Not one complaint about that. The driver had cold water which we purchased for $1 a bottle. We only used bottled water.

Safety: We had an armed escort on every bus and boat. Sometimes, we had police on motorcycles and in cars in front and the rear of the bus. Egypt is very concerned about safety and takes these precautions for all US and British tours. There are guards (often on camels) at every site and every hotel entrance. When my friend and I wanted to take a walk rather than go to a rug factory, our guide had an armed policeman from our escort car walk with us. Even with all of this, I really never felt unsafe. We did not walk around without the group except in the bazaars. The vendors are very interested in selling their wares, so pose no threat.

Other than viewing the sites, especially Abu Simbel, my favorite event was the included long camel ride to the monastery and Nubian village. It was terrific, we all loved it. We went as a group and the guide handled the payment and tips so there was no hassle. We were on the camel for 30-45 minutes in the desert so don't bother with the tourist camel rides at the attractions. The camels were very well trained and the drivers helped us on and off and walked alongside during the tour.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 04:44 PM
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I forgot to add this to my previous post.

Dottie, it feels good to know I was helpful to you in planning your trip to South Africa. Hearing that makes me want to continue to contribute to this site. I get great advice from others so it is nice to give back.
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Aug 20th, 2004, 12:57 PM
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To evelyntrav;

I know you are still on vacation. I hope you see this when you get back.

I just received my travel packet from OAT. They recommend getting the visa ahead of time,but it is a lot more expensive to do it that way. Did you get yours by mail or at the airport in Cairo? Which way do you recommend?

Thanks a lot. Hope you are having a great time on your trip.
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Aug 20th, 2004, 01:19 PM
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Hope you don't mind me butting in on your conversation with evelyntrav. I just returned from Egypt in April and we were advised by our tour company to get a visa ahead of time too. We didn't and the rest of the group were very annoyed they didn't wait also. It is so easy and cheap. You just go to one of several counters and get two stamps and stick them in your passport - no wait. Then you go through immigration.
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Aug 20th, 2004, 04:44 PM
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Louise,

No,I don't mind at all! Thank you so much. That is kind of what I thought. Everything I have been reading on this board made it sound that easy.

Did you get your money changed before hand or when you got there? Also how was your trip?I would love to hear about it if you would like to share.

Thanks so much for any info.
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Aug 24th, 2004, 07:32 AM
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Dottie and Louise (and others),
We have returned from a wonderful trip to Yellowstone.

We sent our passports to the Egyptian Embassy and they were returned to us with the visa stamp within 10 days. It was the base price, no commission. I think we sent them to Washington, but do a search on "egypt visa washington dc" and you will get more information.

We got some money changed at the airport and then later exchanged a bit more. We did not have big cash expenses as most of the trip was included in the cost of the trip and other restaurants accepted charge cards. We did not make any big purchases, but they would have taken chargecards, too. Items from street vendors had to be paid in cash.

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