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Royal Egypt Tours: Highly Recommended

#1 User is offline   Funsun60 

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 01:13 AM

We have just returned from an 18 day trip to Egypt arranged through Royal Egypt Tours. Without a doubt, this was the best holiday that we have ever taken. Egypt has long been a destination we have wanted to visit, and we wanted to ensure we saw everything of historical and cultural interest to us. Initially, we had planned to travel with a large tour company that we had used on previous trips to Greece, Turkey and Italy, as well as for a Greek Island Cruise. However, its itinerary for Egypt did not meet our needs, and previous experience told us that while we would see a lot of Egypt, the visit would not be in depth and much touring time would probably be used visiting various shops and shopping outlets. We sent out a request for customized tours via the Tour Egypt Forum as travel companies responding would be AETBI members ("Association of Egyptian Travel Businesses on the Internet", members that include some of the largest, most respected travel companies, including the largest tour operators in Egypt, as well as many reputable tour organizers in other countries that deal with Egyptian tours specifically.)

Ms. Naglaa from Royal Egypt Tours replied with a comprehensive itinerary that addressed our requirements. Their initial information included an extensive list of previous clients that could be contacted for references. They arranged for the Nile Cruise on the specific ship we requested, The Sonesta Moon Goddess. Our accommodations were booked for 5 star deluxe. We had our own private guides and air conditioned transportation,including the land visits we made during our Nile cruise. Any questions we had prior to leaving Canada were quickly answered by email.

From our arrival at the airport until our departure, we were provided with personal and excellent service. Royal Egypt provided us with a phone so we could contact the agency or family members at home if there was an emergency. Mr. Wahid contacted us or our guides on a daily basis as we travelled throughout Egypt to ensure everything was going well.

We had excellent guides/Egyptologists and drivers throughout our tour. None of them are included in TA recommendations for guides, which is understandable in such a big country where tourism is a large part of the GDP. There are too many excellent local resources to list, but it is reassuring to know Royal Egypt is aware of these excellent and knowledgable local people and utilizes them for their tours.

We spent 5 days in Cairo and saw:

1. The Monastery of St Samaan the Tanner, which includes a large cathedral seating 5000 people carved into a mountain. The church is located in Garbage City, a neighbourhood of Coptic Christians who recycle the Cairo trash. Their efforts have been recognized by the UN and their methods of recycling have been introduced in other third world countries. The people, especially the children, were very friendly, and we were privileged to witness two baptisms.

2. Memphis, Sakkara and Dahshur, where we visited inside two pyramids.

3. Giza, including a visit inside the Great Pyramid, the Solar Boat Museum, and the Light Show.

4. An afternoon at the Cairo Museum.

5. A full day tour of Coptic Cairo, where we saw four churches, the synagogue, and the new Coptic museum.

6. A full day tour of Islamic Cairo where we visited the Citadel, four mosques, Al-Ahzar: centre for learning, and the Khan El Khalili Bazaar.

Our guide for Cairo, Mamdouh Ismail, was excellent. Not only was he knowledgable, he is a wonderful person who added much to our enjoyment of touring this great city of contrasts.

We flew to Abu Simbel before returning to Aswan to join our 6 night Nile Cruise on the Sonesta Moon Goddess. We stopped in Kom Ombu,Edfu, Luxor and Kena. The Temple of Hathor in Denderah was particularly of interest as its ruins contain aspects of the last pharoah and the beginning of the Ptolemies. It also contains the only known carvings of Cleopatra.

The Sonesta Moon Goddess was excellent, both food and service. The Captain/Boat Manager Dr. Maged Nader is a personable man who is committed to providing good service to his passengers.

Our guides for this portion of the tour: Ghada Salah Adeeb in Aswan, Mahmoud in Kom Ombu, and Osama Raslan in Luxor and Kena were also very good.

After the cruise, we flew to Cairo for overnite before travelling by van to Alexandria with our driver, Hossein, another wonderful person. He accompanied us on our visit to the monasteries in Wadi El Natrun, where the monks were very kind and hospitable to us as they explained the history of their monasteries. After overnighting in Alexandria, we drove to El Alamein and we were amazed at the development as we drove along the Mediterranean coastline. At El Alamein, we visited the German and Commonwealth cemetaries and the museum. The following day, we had a full day tour of Alexandria, including Fort Qaitbey, Pompey's Pillar, the site of the Mother Library, the Catacombs, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Alexandria Museum and the new Alexandria Library. Our guide in Alexandria, Moushira El-Menshaury, ensured we had a very enjoyable tour.

The drive between Alexandria and Cairo was very interesting: much new development and many lovely productive farms.

We stayed two further nights in Cairo: saw the Whirling Dervish show (compliments of Royal Egypt) and spent an afternoon at the City Stars Mall. On our final evening, we were treated to a lovely dinner hosted by Mr. Wahid and Ms Naglaa and her two children. The food at Abou Shakra ( we ate there three times in Cairo and once in Alexandria) is wonderful, plentiful and reasonably priced.

At the end of our tour, we were sorry to leave. Egypt is a land of contrasts: from people living and farming by the Nile as they did many years ago compared to the modern shopping and conveniences in Cairo. Most of all, the people are fantastic: we never felt bothered or harrassed and everyone we met was helpful and kind to us.

We ate everything, including fresh fruit and salads, and never had any stomach upsets. Both of us came down with colds while on the cruise. I think this was due in no small part to the fact many passengers on the ship came on board with colds/flu and insisted on coughing and sneezing on top of the food as well as handling the food rather than using the provided utensils. The ship's staff tried as hard as they could to keep things sanitary, but you can't regulate good manners.

We can't comment on comparative pricing between Egyptian travel agencies as we only dealt with Royal Egypt after receiving many preliminary responses from other operators to our email request through the Tour Egypt forum. Booking directly with an Egyptian company was less expensive than if we had booked through a Canadian company for a comparative tour. However, you get what you pay for, and we have no complaints about the price we paid for the superb services we received.

We want to thank Royal Egypt and Mr. Wahid and Ms. Naglaa for making this a wonderful holiday for us. We would recommend this company, without reservation to anyone. They can be contacted at: OR

#2 User is offline   Steve7680768 

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:45 AM

I am late buddy... I want to join you in your next tour... When you people are going to arrange a new one? Just inform me , I will try to join you in that tour....

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