Poll For Delta Tours Rate your experience
Posted 21 July 2007 - 06:11 PM
My name is Reuben Matene. I live in Australia. We travelled to Egypt between the 8th July 2007 - 18th July 2007, and these were my experiences:
Tour Operator in Cairo: Excellent!!! His name is Hamed El Gabry. Forthright, sincere, honest, genuine and has all the characteristics that you would expect from any professional working in the tourism industry. Coupled with this, is his long family history of tour operators dating back to the early 1900's (His Grandfather....Ask to see the photos!!)
Accomodations in Cairo: Excellent!! Zoser Hotel - The only bad thing here were the gift shop operators. Beware of them because their prices are exaggerated to accomodate for the rent of their shops. Don't buy anything here...save your money for the markets and the Tourism commision endorsed outlets.
Tour Guide in Cairo: Excellent!!!!! Her Name is Shima. We absolutely fell in love with her. Not only did she have the mental capacity to discuss a great deal more about the inner workings of Egypt (Education System, Government Infrastructure, knowledge of different religious denominations and their intricacies, explanations of the non-existant social welfare, tipping etc..), but she also had the physical, behavioural, knowledgeable and professional prowess and presence to ensure that you maximised your total experience in Cairo (She's very well known and has much respect amongst the other tour guides).
Transfers in Cairo - From Airport to Hotel: Excellent!!!! The Meet and Assist representatives name is Issam (sorry if i spelt this wrong). He had a sign with my name, had our visas ready, straight through immigration, collected our luggage, straight through customs, straight to the waiting air conditioned transfer, straight to our hotel, did some paper work at reception, then straight to our room.
Transfers in Cairo: Our timely drivers name is Abul (sorry if this is spelt wrong) When he's behind the wheel, let me assure you that he's an adventure all on his own. We're used to Australian traffic and were amazed at the complexity and the caotic nature of Cairo traffic. He's AWESOME...
Transfer to Aswan - Sleeper Train: Excellent. It's what you'd expect from an airline flying economy, except it's on rails and has a bed. If your sleeping cabin is toward the end of the train however, expect some turbulence!
When we arrived in Aswan, it's here that everything changed. So before i go any further and in defence of Hamed El Gabry and his fantastically incredible staff in Cairo, i think it only fair that i explain the nature of the infrastruture of the tourism industry in Egypt (the way i understand it).
Delta tours has local offices in all major cities and sight seeing locations where your tour will take you. It's these local offices that organise your hotels, transfers and tour guides etc...for the location that you happen to be in. It's also their responsibility to ensure your tour runs as smooth as possible and also to ensure your utmost comfort and security.
These local offices (in a manner of speaking) sub-contract representatives, tour guides and transfers for the duration of your tour at the location that you happen to be in. Consequently, a vast majority of these sub-contractors are freelance and have neither loyalty or otherwise to the tour company that they are employed with...Basically, there out there for themselves. They have no scuples or conscience, nor do they care about who they rip off and how, or even how much!!! To say the least, they'll rip you off (If you let them) and they'll rip off the tour company that they happen to be working for.
We compiled a report on the happenings in Aswan and Luxor for Hamed El Gabry in much the same fashion that your reading now, in fact, we were asked to compile this report for him: "be my eyes and ears please" is what he asked us to do - Oh, we recieved a considerable discount on our next trip to Egypt for doing this (We're going back in 2009 and only because the following people i mention will not be working for Delta Tours ever again!!) It was our sincerest hope that this report would weed out these stupid little sub-contracters and to ensure that they never work in the industry again. In some way, we hope that we've restored at least a little faith in the tourism industry by getting rid of these people. Anyway, here goes:
Tour Representative in Aswan: S@@@!!! His name was shareef (don't care if i spelt this wrong). Stupid, useless and totally unprofessional. Had no sign, either for the people that he was supposed to pick up, or the tour company that he was working for. He was walking up and down the platform calling out "Delta Tours" in an extremely heavy arabic accent of which i had to confirm with him more than once to ensure that he was our representative. He didn't have the correct documentation, in fact, he photocopied mine! Took him 2 days to return! He questioned us about other documents pertinent to our tour like the tickets for our cruise etc.. Something he's supposed to organise and take care of! He also expected to be tipped (of which i told him to go and get f'd!) but he also TOLD us to tip drivers, bell boys and all other manner of staff during our tour! (I told them to go and get f'd too!!) We had over 5 different drivers for our transfers in the 2 days we were in Aswan, and were expected to tip them also (They got told to go and get f'd aswell!!)
Transfers in Aswan - From Train Station to Hotel: S@@@!!! The transfer didn't even fit our luggage in correctly, nor was the transfer air conditioned!
Transfers in Aswan - Hotel to Abu Simbel: Excellent!!! Our drivers were Awesome (we Tipped these ones!) I can't really explain this other than to say, we felt safe!
Accomodations in Aswan: Good - Very Good - Isis Hotel - The only bad thing here was the air conditioning. It may have just been our room.
Accomodations - Cruise: Good - Very Good - HMS Aton - The air conditioning wasn't working satisfactorily, nor was the fridge. Our cabins were changed the next day and everything was sweet after that! The kitchen staff were excellent and so were the meals! Cabins were very well appointed and felt very posh! Coming from an Occupational Health & safety background, i did have reservations about the construction and maintenance of the staircase that led to the sundeck - The rise and spacers of the staircase were at incorrect lengths and heights, the balestrade was broken and in disrepair, the balestrade itself was the incorrect length and did not extend to the top of the stairs (consequently, you had to bend down to reach the balestrade when descending the stairs)
Tour Guide in Aswan - Luxor: S@@@ - Very Poor!!!!! His name was hazim (don't care if i spelt this wrong. He also travelled with us on the cruise). We gave him a "Very Poor" rating only because he was exceptionally knowledgable about the sights we visited (We tipped him for this), but that was about it. Everything else about him was S@@@!!! He was selling his own jewelery (by commission no doubt) of which was neither endorsed by the tourism commission, the government or the vendor as to it's value or authenticity! He also TOLD us to tip staff and drivers alike (They got a "go and get f'd!" quick smart) He had neither the intellectual capacity or sensitivity to discuss anything that didn't have to do with the temples and monuments that we visited! Introduced other side excursions that could only be booked through him (by commission no doubt) like felluca rides, other sites etc.... Gave us a sob story about why we should tip him and how much. He intended to make us feel guilty for his position etc.. (At this stage, he was gonna get more than a "go get f'd!) He didn't take us to one of the sites that were included on our itenerary and glossed over the fact that he just pointed out the site to us from a motor boat without actually visiting the site. He fast tracked the pace of the tour - We could of seen Karnak temple in the early morning instead of at 4:00pm in over 40 degree heat - furthermore, my Aunties ankles swelled up like balloons as a direct result of the heat and the amount of walking she had to do (see below) - she couldn't even go into the next temple because of how bad her ankles were. Made us pay for the transfer from the cruise to Edfu temple by horse drawn cart!!
Transfers in Luxor - From Cruise to Temples/Monuments: S@@@!!!!!!!! It's unclear at this stage as to who was at fault for these crappy transfers, so i'm gonna blame the Tour Guide (hazim) because he did nothing to alliviate the situation nor did he in anyway communicate the unsatisfactory condition of the transfers to the local office (If he did, it would have been changed immediately) The transfers air conditioning was sub-standard, in fact, it was cooler when we wound the window to let the 40 degree heat in. The transfer wasn't even an endorsed tourist vehicle, it was a private vehicle that was not allowed passed the tourism police stationed at the forefront of all sites in Luxor. Consequently, we were made to walk from where we were dropped off (at some sites, nearly 300 metres from where the other tourist endorsed vehicles were allowed) to the temple/monument entry another 300mtrs away - then we had to walk around the Temple/monument (sometimes up to 1.2km) - then we were expected to walk 600mtrs back to the fuckin transfer!!! (At this point, i rung Hamed El Gabry in Cairo myself and then everything went relatively smoothly from then on)
Tour Sub-Representative in Luxor: Excellent!!!!! His name is Hussien. We fell in love with this guy. Consciencious, sensitive and caring and really tried his hardest to provide us with the services that should have been expected from this tour.... We labelled him the "Sub-representative" because his services were employed from the Tour Representative at the local office in Luxor and his orders came from that office. Consequently, it was that office that clearly dictated the budget, which in turn dictated the level of service that we recieved, which in turn dictated the quality of facilities we recieved and so on. He was forced to make decisions based on money - of which he didn't have. (He did not scam us into thinking this, we witnessed what was going on on more than one occasion!) Some of the services that he arranged for us, he paid for out of his own money!! We sincerely hope we get him again when next we visit Egypt!! And i suspect a great deal of changes would have occured by then too!!!! We also told Hamed about this when we got back to Cairo after our time in Luxor and made assurances to him that he was an asset to his company, because he reminded us of what it was like to treated in Cairo!!!!
Transfer to Cairo - Sleeper Train: Excellent. It's what you'd expect from an airline flying economy, except it's on rails and has a bed. If your sleeping cabin is toward the end of the train however, expect some turbulence!
Transfers in Cairo - From Hotel to Airport : Excellent!!!! You get dropped off right out the front by Abul. You get escourted to the correct terminal and are kindly asked to produce all necessary documents for entry into the airport.
Anyway, those were my experiences. My final words of wisdom are these: Be strong of heart and mind (if it feels suspicious, it probably is) Don't be afraid to tell someone (threaten to tell the Tourism Police, or threaten to ring Hamed in Cairo) Don't let any bad experiences over shadow your real reason for being there (To visit Pyramids, temples and other monuments in Egypt - for the history, art, workmanship of these ancient people... There's some AWESOME stuff to see!!!)
Posted 02 May 2008 - 05:30 PM
Didn't deliver as promised. Missed our initial pick up at airport cause didn't understand flight times! Made us pay for the transfer although I'd paid for it in package! The hotels were dire! Cairo hotel o.k but tour guide in Cairo might aswell have worn a mask and carried a knife to mug us-at least we wouldn' have felt so stupid and deceived! She made sure we were over charged with the camels, took us to rubbish and expensive restaurants without choice. Took me to a fish restaurant fixed at $20 pere person and expected me to nibble even though I am vegetarian! The cheek!
The hotels in Aswan and Luxor wre disgusting and only fit for local students. Our Luxor hotel was full of ecxited locals but no other tourists. It was below 2star, although Delta promised us good 3 star! The bathrooms wre like gutters and the students shouted all night. The price of the room was 70 egyptian pounds (reception tried to charge us!)Imagine how rubbish it was at that price. Hoew could Delta be so blatant after charging us so much?
But Luxor was gorgeous. The tour guide in Luxor was also great.
NEVER EVER travel with Delta. They could potentially ruin your dream holiday.
I'VE tried to use the complaint form but no joy. I am despserate to complain about Delta Travel to an official Egyptian Agency and make sure they stop ripping other poor tourists off!
Posted 02 May 2008 - 05:34 PM
Save yourself! I've just come back from egypt 2 weeks ago. Avoid Delta at all costs and book with a better company. They will cheat you with the hotels!
Posted 10 June 2008 - 02:13 AM
I can't believe you're talking about the same company I just took my dream holiday with. They were MARVELLOUS!!! I travelled by myself (single, white, female, over 50) and was treated like royalty. Every person from the company I dealt with, the owner and his representatives as well as the local guides in Cairo, Aswan, the cruise, Luxor were professional, knowledgable, friendly and very helpful and accommodating of my needs and requests.
My hotels were terrific! The Oasis in Giza and Isis in Aswan.
I am going again in a couple of years and will definitely be using Delta Tours again.
Posted 26 July 2008 - 07:54 AM
There are not enough words to thank you and your staff for the magnificent vacation we experienced with Delta Tours in Egypt. The service we received from you and your guides, assistants, drivers, etc. far surpassed our expectations. We felt truly pampered the entire time as both Osama and Abdou catered to our every whim and confided in us about Egypt as if we were old friends. Abdou seemed to have a sixth sense and always anticipated our every need before we even had to ask. Osama had overflowing enthusiasm to show us the local side of Cairo and he went out of his way repeatedly to treat us to surprises that dazzled our senses.
I was quite impressed with the accommodations in Cairo, we thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent swimming pool area and the waiters at the restaurants were incredibly kind and fun to talk to. The cruise was the most luxurious experience of all, I was blown away by the beautiful staterooms with the large sliding glass window that opened up so we could watch the Nile shore go by from our room.
The entire tour was an exhilarating adventure from start to finish with so much more sightseeing packed in than I had expected. I will be encouraging all my friends to use Delta Tours to see Egypt, which is a must do for everyone this life in my opinion."
I have written about our trip on my blog, so if anyone would like further details about our adventures with Delta Tours here is the link: Melanie's Egypt Blog. I also have a gallery of my photography in Egypt here: Egypt Pictures with Delta Tours.
Posted 05 February 2009 - 03:33 PM
Posted 05 February 2009 - 04:00 PM
No such thing as a "mandatory" tip. What was the guide's name?
Posted 18 February 2009 - 03:39 AM
I did my Delta tours trip in early Nov '08 for 16 days all the way from Aswan to Alexandria. YEs we had this same experience too on our cruise from Aswan to Luxor. Our guide's name was Mohammed and he had a shaved head, preggas wife and lived in Aswan. Anyway, he was adamant that we had to tip taxi drivers up to 40 egyptian pounds depending on how far they'd driven us. Anyway, he put alot of pressure on us to tip and expected a massive tip for himself after our 4 days with him. Other than this particular guide, Delta tours was great. We trusted them, all hotels were good and we often got upgraded to suites for nothing!
Posted 18 February 2009 - 12:41 PM
Tipping is "Customary", not "Mandatory". Did you inform Delta tours about this? Many Cairo based companies have reps in Aswan or Luxor that they subcontract to. I would think that Delta would want to know if these subcontractors are harassing or putting unnecessary pressure on their clients to tip.
Question - Delta was taking you around to the different sights in taxis or are you talking about private vans?
Posted 20 February 2009 - 01:02 AM
Question - Delta was taking you around to the different sights in taxis or are you talking about private vans?
My bad, i mean drivers of private vans, not taxi drivers. We went everywhere in private vehicle. No, we didn't tell Delta tours because this particular guide also made us write a letter of reference for him to Delta tours saying how great he was! We couldn't write anything negative because he sat and watched us as we wrote it. It was a very uncomfortable experience.
Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:55 AM
Did he hold a gun to your head, why on earth didn't you say no
Posted 16 March 2009 - 04:44 AM
Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:34 AM
I completely understand why you didn't at the time, the question really remains - have you written to Delta to let them know how you felt you were treated? Granted, it may be too late to help your situation, but giving honest feedback to these companies really do make them better. I encourage you to write a note to Delta letting them know the specifics. If I was running such a business, I would want to know.
Posted 24 April 2009 - 04:51 PM