We had a great time in Egypt. The sites are just incredible and worth the trip -- even the heat of the early Egyptian summer couldn't keep us away from seeing the amazing sites! They scheduled our tours in the cooler parts of the day, which was a relief. We were there during Ramadan, which actually slowed down a bit of the normal hustle and bustle of the shops, etc. and we appreciated that as shop keepers can be a bit pushy and overwhelming. Being there in Ramadan also meant we got to peek into the local culture in a very unique way that we really neat to see.
The accommodations were great and the tour guides were incredibly knowledgeable. They were definitely top notch. The communication up to the departure of the trip was very helpful and quick. I went to Egypt at 29 weeks pregnant, and felt very taken care of -- there were no issues or concerns! This travel agency was really great to work with and I would recommend them to others.
The tombs are really amazing. As was the museum and the pyramids/Sphinx. It was all really great. We opted for some extras -- Nefetari's tomb, walking inside the Great Pyramid, Nubian Village tour, and sunset camel ride to the Pyramids. I really enjoyed all of those, although I would say I loved the Nubian Village tour the most [but I am really into culture]. It included a camel ride that was very peaceful and the camels were healthy and well taken care of! The sunset camel ride in Giza made for some nice photos, although it should be noted that you don't actually go to the Pyramids... you stop on a hill quite far from the pyramids where you can see them in the background. Walking inside the Great Pyramid was a neat opportunity, but it is short without much in there, so if you are wondering what to cut out, I would suggest that. Nefetari's tomb is beautiful, but unfortunately the Valley of the Queens is otherwise not too interesting in comparison to the Valley of the Kings, so if you don't have a ticket to Nefetari's tomb I wouldn't make the trip.
Overall we loved all the sites!
I wouldn't be so excited for the felucca ride around the island with the botanical garden. I really wanted to ride the felucca and the ride was advertised as one along an island of a botanical garden... but ours ended up being a very short ride basically from one side of cruise ship to the other. The botanical garden was never mentioned or pointed it, we didn't learn anything about it, and the ride was quite short. I was a bit disappointed in that.
I would also get some guidance on tipping before I got there. A friend gave the heads up that tipping is big in Egypt, but I wasn't sure how much I needed to allot for each person and service, and it got to be really stressful -- to the point that we found ourselves rushing through the sites in hopes that no one would speak to us and then ask for a tip for speaking to us. It made the tombs especially less enjoyable because of the stress of trying to avoid anyone asking for tips and we weren't aware of what was the best thing to do in each situation.
TRAVEL COMPANY COMMENTS:
Thank you for your feedback.
I’m really glad that you had a great time with us and enjoyed all the amazing temples and tombs.
I would like to address a few points regarding the felucca ride and tipping:
--Felucca Ride: The felucca is a sail boat, thus dependent on the wind. As you were traveling in the middle of June (the hottest month in Egypt), the wind is unfortunately limited, causing your ride to be shorter than normal. If the wind is good, it usually goes for longer. While the wind is out of our control, I am sorry for your experience, and will take your feedback into account for future travelers.
--Tipping: First and foremost, tipping is always at the discretion of the traveler. While I am extremely sorry you felt stressed from tipping, I would like to mention I sent you tipping guidelines prior to your trip - twice. After reading these guidelines, our travelers typically feel they have a good understanding of tipping practices for those who work for our company, including tour guides, drivers, and cruise staff. Those working in the temples and tombs are employed by the Egyptian government, and thus we have minimal control over their actions. While I understand they can be pushy, you are by no means obligated to tip them either. I apologize this was not clearer in the guidelines I provided.
Thank you so much again for traveling with us. I truly appreciate your feedback and appreciate your time.
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