Upcoming Egypt Trip...Need Help

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Jan 21st, 2005, 12:41 AM
  #1
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Upcoming Egypt Trip...Need Help

My wife and I are leaving for an Egyptian adventure in March. Unfortunately I didn't find this wonderful forum until AFTER I booked everything. Now that I've been browsing I'm starting to second guess things, but there's no turning back, so I thought I'd share my itinery and allow the experienced to reassure and/or suggest their thoughts. I booked through Trailfinders in the U.K. They pieced together the following itinery for us. My main questions are: Is this a good cruise? Will we see all the sites along the way from Luxor to Aswan? How much of a negative is it to be staying so far from the "action" in Cairo? How accomodating are hotels in letting you check in early/stay late for those people (us) who are traveling by plane through the wee hours of the morning? The overall safety issue in Egypt? Bus transfers from hotels to/from airport? Thank you so much for all your help!!

SAT 19 MAR LONDON (HEATHROW) to AMSTERDAM 1450 1710 ECONOMY CONFIRMED 1753.00
E-TICKET
 
KL553 SAT 19 MAR AMSTERDAM to CAIRO 1925 0055 ECONOMY CONFIRMED
Arrives 1 day later.      
 
MS131 SUN 20 MAR CAIRO to LUXOR 0445 0550 ECONOMY CONFIRMED
PAPER TICKET
 
SUN 20 MAR TRANSFER Airport to Hotel in Luxor CONFIRMED
Operated by TRAVELINE EGYPT
Seat in coach transfer  One way transfer only
 
SUN 20 MAR HOTEL SHERATON LUXOR RESORT in Luxor CONFIRMED
ACCOMMODATION : 1 Double room for 1 night
ADDRESS : KHALED BEN EL WALID ST PO BOX 43 LUXOR EGYPT
REQUESTS : Nile view incl breakfast  Non-smoking room requested
Transfers requested  
 
MON 21 MAR CRUISE 4NDLX operated by OBEROI SHEHRAZAD CONFIRMED
Luxor to Aswan for 4 nights
NILE CRUISE 4 NTS/5 DAYS DELUXE CABIN
Meals as per brochure/itinerary  
 
4 NIGHTS/5DAYS
 
FRI 25 MAR HOTEL ELEPHANTINE ISLAND RESRT ASWAN in Aswan CONFIRMED
ACCOMMODATION : 1 Double room for 1 night
ADDRESS : ELEPHANTINE ISLAND ASWAN EGYPT
REQUESTS : Standard including breakfast  Transfers requested
 
MS138 SAT 26 MAR ASWAN to CAIRO 1340 1510 BUSINESS CONFIRMED
 
SAT 26 MAR TRANSFER Hotel to Airport in Aswan CONFIRMED
Operated by TRAVELINE EGYPT
Seat in coach transfer  One way transfer only
 
SAT 26 MAR HOTEL CAIRO DISCOVERY - MERIDIEN in Cairo CONFIRMED
ACCOMMODATION : 1 Double room for 3 nights
ADDRESS : EL REMAYA SQUARE, PYRAMIDS GIZA EGYPT
REQUESTS : Pyramids view room including breakfast   Non-smoking room requested
TF BONUS : Stopover includes transfers, 2 half day city tours and breakfast.
 
KL554 WED 30 MAR CAIRO to AMSTERDAM 0230 0715 ECONOMY CONFIRMED
 
KL1007 WED 30 MAR AMSTERDAM to LONDON (HEATHROW) 0825 0900 ECONOMY CONFIRMED

traskyuk is offline  
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Jan 21st, 2005, 03:58 AM
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Having some trouble this early in AM figuring out the lingo in your posted itinerary, but one thing that immediately comes to mind is - can you stay one more night in Aswan and catch a flight to Abu Simbel - you really should not miss that and then cut a day off Cairo at end of trip.

Staying in Giza IS a bit away from Cairo (about 20 minutes), but not impossible if you can not change it.

Oberoi Nile cruisers are great
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Jan 21st, 2005, 05:16 AM
  #3
sandi
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Have to agree with Gail that you should try to arrange a visit to Abu Simbel. Disembarkation from the Nile cruise boat is usually after breakfast, but if you do breakfast real early, you can probably manage to fly to Abu Simbel early with a return around lunch, just in time to check into your hotel in Aswan. Your bags from the boat can be transfered by your tour operator to your hotel in Aswan, waiting your arrival. Have your tour operator arrange this for you.

Regarding the early morning hotel check-in, if the operator has arranged this, they should be available, but do verify that this is indeed so.

On your Nile cruise, you should see all the sights - First day you'll probably visit the Valley of the Kings & Queens, do the tour at Luxor and Karnak Temples right there in Luxor. Then cruise will stop at Esna (possible, not all boats stop here, so check) Edfu, Kom Ombo and Aswan. At Aswan a visit to the High Dam and Philae Island.

Staying in Giza isn't all that terrible. The Pyramids and Sphinx are here. As to your other tours, you don't mention what these are as 2-half-days tours. I assume one must be the Egyptian Museum, the other the Pyramids/Sphinx. For anything not included (the Bazaar, old and Coptic Cairo, etc.) that you wish to visit during the half-days not provided, you can arrange these thru your hotel with a private guide/driver at reasonable prices, but be certain to bargain the price. A number of thread on this board provide an idea of what a private guide/driver will cost. Do a search here for the details.

Otherwise, the itinerary is fine.
 
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Feb 21st, 2005, 11:37 AM
  #4
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Was wondering how much we should bring to Egypt next month. The above itinery calls for 10 days with breakfast always included and four nights on the boat with all meals (not including drinks). We plan to relax a bit at the hotels, see the sights like everyone else, with most included in tours and shop around in Cairo. Was thinking around $1000. Will this be enough for lunches, dinners, drinks, taxis and some gifts? Thanks for the help!
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Feb 21st, 2005, 12:54 PM
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Are you asking budget info or actually planning to bring cash. Credit cards will likely be the preferred means of payment on the boat and are accepted in many restaurants - though not in little local places. It is easier to get Egyptian pounds from an ATM than try to exchange your home currency - and we had no trouble finding ATMs.

We found US one dollar bills very useful for small purchases from vendors and for tips - they were readily accepted and often price was quoted in US dollars. I am guessing from your flight plans that you are from London - and I have no idea if the same is true for British pounds.

While you are there, try to carry a collection of small denomination Egyptian pound bills and/or coins. These are essential for the frequent need to tip for something and it is also important to have correct change if you are trying to barter for something.

Egyptian paper money is the oldest, dirtiest currency I have ever seen - it all smells of smoke and is so worn you would think it might fall apart. But it is very decorative, with drawings of ancient sites.
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Feb 27th, 2005, 11:08 AM
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Posts: 34
Traskyuk:

Was in Egypt last year. Stayed at the hotel on the island in Cairo. Think it was a Marriott. Had absolutely no problem exchanging cash at hotel bank. Had read on this board it was law that money had to be exchanged at official rate regardless of where it was exchanged. Word to the wise, don't get too much of it however you get it because they don't want it back. I tried to exchange some leftover pounds at airport and they demanded receipt from original transaction which, of course, I didn't keep. Even more amazing, I thought of going into the duty free liquor shop and burning the pounds there. They would not take Egyptian pounds in the Egyptian shop at the Egyptian airport in Cairo. I ended up giving them to a young security guard or cop. He had no problem taking the Egyptian money. By the way, best trip I ever took. I only went because it was my cousin-traveling-companion's turn to choose the destination. We had an absolutely wonderful time and fell in love with Egypt.

Have a wonderful trip,
Carolyn B.
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Mar 5th, 2005, 09:14 PM
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The hassle of exchanging local currency for your home currency at the end of a trip is not unique to Egypt. We had the same problem in China. Luckily - I had kept MY receipts since my dear husband had not!

Having lots of small bills (1 and 5 Egyptian Pound notes) is important when making purchases. Merchants very seldom have change.

And yes - the money is filthy and often taped together. But if you are lucky enough to get a nice new bill - save it for the kids or grandkids. The designs are lovely.
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Mar 9th, 2005, 10:11 AM
  #8
bbq
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Hello. I am planning an Egypt trip too - but mostly with a cruise up the Nile - 3N/4D on the Oberoi Shehrazad as well. But I noticed the Oberoi site no longer includes this vessel as one of their properties. Does anyone know if the company has divorced itself from the ship?
Also anyone stayed at the Mena House Oberoi Hotel in Cairo (in Giza)? It looks awesome. A bit pricey but seems worth it.

Cheers!
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Mar 9th, 2005, 02:26 PM
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I'm leaving for Egypt end-March. I am taking the nile cruise which ends March 30 in Aswan, but the problem is I am confirmed on the 11:55pm flight back to Cairo which is quite late. My agent is suggesting I book a hotel in Aswan even if not staying overnight since we disembark from the cruise at 12noon--meaning a good 10 hours in Aswan till we get to the airport.

Should we book a hotel in Aswan even if we will stay there only 10 hours?
What to do in Aswan?

I would rather go back to Cairo if there was a chance since we already are booked in a hotel there and don't want to be too tired for our pyramids/museum tour the next day. Plus I want to go to the El Khalili bazaar too. Can I fit all three in one day? I'm leaving the next day. Aargh!

Any suggestions/opinions?
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