Trip Report Egypt-tour company

Nov 28th, 2007, 11:42 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 195
Trip Report Egypt-tour company

OK. My mother and I are just now returning from our trip, arranged by cinderella Egypt Tours in Cairo.

First let me say this. We will NEVER visit Egypt again. This company presented very nice, detailed itinerary, with an excellent breakdown of what was to be included and what was not included. What they provided, however, was NOTHING as promised.

Here are some examples:

We were sold a 5* deluxe cruise on the nile. We were given a 5* low cruise on the nile, berthed at water level, the lowest priced cabins.

We were sold this trip with private, late model cars throughout. We were given cramped over crowded older mini vans with backpackers on budget tours throughout Aswan, Abu Simbel, and Luxor.

We were sold a private, 5-6 person balloon. We were put on a 32 person balloon.

This company gave no communication once they received our 50% deposit, and made sure, when we got to Cairo, that they got every penny of what we *owed* them.

I suspect that many of the Egyptian tour companies do the same thing online...sell one thing and deliver a much lesser quality product.

The company switched our first three nights in Cairo from Delta Casablanca, which offers views of the pyramids, to Cairo Europa hotel, and claimed that Cairo Europa was an *upgrade* hotel!

So, we got taken by Cinderella Egypt. I hope any people considering this company in Egypt read this post and take it into strong consideration BEFORE going with them.

Oh yes...we paid for several activities in Sharm El Sheikh, including overnight on Mt Sinai, a Bedouin party, and a snorkling trip to Ras Muhammed as well as meet and greets. None of that happened. We took a taxi from the airport, wasted our 1st day in Sharm trying to contact the company and get things straightened out, with no success, so we booked our own trips...again..and paid for them...again. Mr. Mohammed Refaat, of New Baron Travel/ Cinderella Egypt is a dishonest person, as is Tamer, the tour manager who works for him.


zengeos is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 12:11 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,823
zengeos - I am sorry that the tour company did not deliver on the things you were promised, but why are you blaming Egypt and saying that you will never visit Egypt again? It is a shame that your bad experience with this company has so tainted your visit to Egypt, but it's the company's fault - not the country's fault.

"I suspect that many of the Egyptian tour companies do the same thing online...sell one thing and deliver a much lesser quality product."

I think that many of the people who have taken tours to Egypt will strongly disagree with your above statement. If you read the majority of posts on this forum you will find that people are quite satisfied with their tours and recommend them to other. Of course, there are also a good many people who chose to travel to Egypt independently.

What kind of research did you do on this company before committing to their package?
Grcxx3 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 12:56 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 193
WOW how dissapointing for you. My mother and father did Egypt this year much the same trip as you have done and they booked it through Akorn destinations in Egypt as they own their own boats. They had the MOST wonderful time so much so that they are booking for next year again, it is so sad that as operator can do this to a country, try another operator and you may be very surprised!
Doogle is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 01:53 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hello,

I'm so sorry to hear that this horrible company ruined your trip to Egypt. There are dodgy companies operating in many countries, and it's always terrible when you're the one who gets stung by them.

I hope that one day you'll consider returning to Egypt, either independently (as my sister and I did) or with a more reputable company. We made all of our own hotel reservations and hired a private guide, and had a wonderful trip that was exactly as we had hoped it would be. If you wanted to plan another trip, I'm sure that plenty of people here on Fodors would be happy to help make sure it was a success!

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 02:05 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 867
I'm so sorry that you had this trip. I found Egypt so wonderful that I moved here.

Just curious--did you check this company out on this board? What sort of research did you do? Where did you learn of this company?
sunshine007 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 02:15 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 96
Zengeos,

I'm so sorry to hear of your experiences with this tour company. I remember you planning for it earlier this year. As others have said, I hope you give Egypt another try. I've found that for every 1 bad experience in my travels, I can remember 10 other good experiences so I focus on the good ones.

Did you go to Syria also? I would love to hear that if you did.



bkk95 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 10:10 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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zengeos,

I too am sorry that this company has soured your opinion of Egypt. Unfortunately for Egypt there are some companies out there that are more interested in lining their pockets than being good ambassadors for Egypt. I'm very sorry.

I feel it is necessary to set the record straight in a few areas though. First is about your cruise. All double rooms on any of these boats cost the same as any other double room. The floor level makes no difference. If you were unhappy with being in a low room, you might have found that people in higher rooms nearer to the engines or to the disco were equally unhappy. There are NO wonderful rooms on any of the cruise boats. If there are, they may only be one or two of them. I've even stayed in the fancy suites of one cruise boat and while it was better than any other room I've had, it wasn't THAT fabulous.

Second, I can tell from the hotels you mentioned, Delta Casablanca and Cairo Europa that you were not on a 5* tour. Were you led to believe you would be? If the Delta Casablanca is the one I'm thinking of on Faisal Street, excuse me, but you were upgraded when you were sent to the Europa. The Europa is on Pyramids street, right? It may not have pyramid views, but I think it is a site bit cleaner and newer than the Casablanca. I might be wrong or thinking of the wrong hotels, but if not, I'd be happy to have been moved, if I were you.

The balloon ride and the transport cars were a rip off if you have the promised in writing somewhere. I know the balloon companies can give a perfectly good flight, even with the large balloons and baskets, so I hope you enjoyed that anyway. The smaller balloon wouldn't have really made any difference I don't think. An experienced pilot could make certain all had a good view and a good ride with any size balloon.

If you have something in writing that says you were to have private cars, then I would be pissed off that I had to share vans. If the vans were to be yours alone, then that is one thing, but to have to share the vans with more people than you agreed to travel with, that is something bad.

I hope some day you'll want to come back and let a GOOD company help you with your trip.
Casual_Cairo is offline  
Nov 30th, 2007, 03:54 AM
  #8  
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Grrrx,

There are far too many places to visit to likely be able to visit again. Also, our experience was such that we are leery about having similar problems again, if we returned to Egypt. Lastly, I will likely not be traveling at all for the next few years due to financial constraints. I have no money at all right now, so I may never have the opportunity to travel again. It's just irritating that possibly my last trip overseas was such a bad experience for us.

My mother has been to egypt twice before over the last 30 years.
zengeos is offline  
Nov 30th, 2007, 04:02 AM
  #9  
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Bkk,

to your point, most all of my other trips have ben very nice. Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim, Iran, etc...with minor little issues here or there, and we have mostly received more than expected. This trip was the exception, and, likely our last for years to come. I think that is partly why I am so bothered...that an my mother's 77th birthday was certainly memorable, but not in the good way I had hoped.

zengeos is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 10:47 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,282
Zengeos,

I too am sorry that you had such a bad experience. But I too think you are blaming all tour companies (and the COUNTRY?)in Egypt for the experience you had with one. My husband and I went with a private tour company based in Cairo called Gat Tours, and not only did they deliver exactly what they promised, they went above and beyond to make sure our trip was exactly as we dreamed it would be.

If you change your mind I would highly recommend Gat Tours.
heymo is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 08:49 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 26
I've had a similar experience in another country with another tour company. I think a combination of things happens...
1) it's probably harder for the smaller operators to get the hotel rooms if bigger operators are taking them over, and they have to switch you.
2) for a lot of things in countries like Egypt (for me the trip was in India), the whole country is very disorganized and it's difficult for anyone to deliver on what they promise, because they are relying on other people and nothing is ever guaranteed. I can't say this is true of Egypt but perhaps it is.
3) Sometimes they honestly think they are upgrading you but their values are different from yours. Hence my tour company in India wanted to "upgrade" me to a big concrete monstrosity outside of the main city that had a swimming pool. To them, it was nicer because it was new and had a pool. But I wanted the hotel I asked for, a old haveli in the middle of Bikaner. I insisted (it was my birthday after all and I had confirmed the reservations myself) - and they took me to the hotel of my choice. You have to stand up for yourself sometimes (not saying you didn't).
nypintha is offline  

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