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Gracie115

Uniworld-Egypt

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Interested in hearing from anyone who has taken the Uniworld Egypt trip and what they liked/didn't like about it. We are very excited about this trip!!

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djett did this cruise in January. He posted a review and a "live from" thread. Both of these should give you lots of useful information.

 

Live from: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2582114&highlight=egypt

 

There is also a link in that thread to his blogsite (not on CC).

 

Review: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2589498&highlight=egypt

 

Enjoy. Egypt is fantastic. We did it in 2012 with A&K but the itinerary was very similar.

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djett did this cruise in january. He posted a review and a "live from" thread. Both of these should give you lots of useful information.

 

Live from: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2582114&highlight=egypt

 

there is also a link in that thread to his blogsite (not on cc).

 

Review: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2589498&highlight=egypt

 

enjoy. Egypt is fantastic. We did it in 2012 with a&k but the itinerary was very similar.

 

 

thanks!!!

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We did this trip in January, 2018 and loved it. This is the link to my review https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=605970 and this is the link to my blog http://https://dpjetton.blogspot.com/. Uniworld did a wonderful job and we always felt very safe and had no problems at all. January is the best month weather-wise but also the lowest water level. Your tours are early morning and late afternoon-evening to avoid the hottest part of the day.

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We did this trip in January, 2018 and loved it. This is the link to my review https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=605970 and this is the link to my blog http://https://dpjetton.blogspot.com/. Uniworld did a wonderful job and we always felt very safe and had no problems at all. January is the best month weather-wise but also the lowest water level. Your tours are early morning and late afternoon-evening to avoid the hottest part of the day.

 

Thanks! I've read your review and blog...so much wonderful information. We are going in November 2019, so hopefully weather will be cooler then too....we can't wait!!!

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Gracie115....we did Egypt in November last year and it was still hot...usually around 90-100F. Most of our tours were done early in the morning and later in the afternoon to avoid the warmest part of the day. An absolutely wonderful cruise....far exceeded my expectations! If you get a chance to do a hot-air balloon ride, do it. We did it over the Valley of the Kings and then landed and went to the Valley of the Kings. Just a wonderful excursion. Cairo is a really amazing city and the Egyptian people are so friendly. The vendors are awful but again, they so need the money so be polite when saying no to them. You will have an amazing time.

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Gracie115....we did Egypt in November last year and it was still hot...usually around 90-100F. Most of our tours were done early in the morning and later in the afternoon to avoid the warmest part of the day. An absolutely wonderful cruise....far exceeded my expectations! If you get a chance to do a hot-air balloon ride, do it. We did it over the Valley of the Kings and then landed and went to the Valley of the Kings. Just a wonderful excursion. Cairo is a really amazing city and the Egyptian people are so friendly. The vendors are awful but again, they so need the money so be polite when saying no to them. You will have an amazing time.

 

 

Wow! Had no idea it would get that hot...looked at average temps which show much lower than you experienced..but will go prepared for very hot based on what happened to you. Thank you for responding, we are very excited about the trip even if it is still a year away. Did you enjoy the cruise portion? I've read some conflicting reviews that say River Tosca is beautiful and others that say she is tired and past her prime, which is hard for me to understand since the ship is only 9 years old. Just curious as it's not really important to me as long as it's clean and the service is good and everyone says that both are top notch.

 

Uniworld told me that transfers to/from the airport are only good on the actual scheduled day of arrival and departure so if you have a 3AM/4AM flight the morning after I assume they are going to transport you before midnight...correct?

 

Thanks for any info you can provide, have been reading all the CC threads on this topic that I can find!:)

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Gracie....we did not go with Uniworld but basically they are all quite similar. We enjoyed our Nile sailing. Our itinerary was changed as we were supposed to change ships at Aswan and be bused to another ship above the dam and sail that area. Due to fighting near the Sudan/Egyptian border, they changed our itinerary to stay below the dam and be bused to areas we were supposed to see via ship. Our ship was old but neat and clean and that is what counts. I couldn't care less the age of the ship as long as there are no bedbugs and it doesn't sink lol. We did not have a balcony or floor-to-ceiling windows but we had a huge window that opened to the breeze and armchairs right in front to sit on and watch the Nile sail by. Just absolutely wonderful. The scenery is just like you see on TV. Desert sand up to green farmland that is irrigated from the Nile and bull rushes and farmers using oxen to plow....just takes you back in time! The food was very good, catered to North Americans but with local dishes also on the buffet. I am picky and never went hungry. BRING A HAT! I usually don't wear them but I was so glad I brought one along. I forgot it one day and was so hot without it. Also a small fan might be good to as it is hot when you are standing in the sun listening to the guide. It is nice inside the tombs though. We mostly sailed in the afternoon. We would tour in the morning, go back to the ship for lunch and sail until 4 or so, tour and come back for dinner. Tourism is still way down and we have pictures standing inside the tombs with the beautiful walls behind us and no one else...no people taking selfies, no people pushing us onward or saying "keep moving"...so amazing that 10 of us could get in a picture and have no one else in the background. Lots of security, army, guns, which us Canadians are not used to but if it keeps us safe then I am okay with it. We never felt unsafe and we found out afterwards that there were 4 armed guards that sailed with us all the time. Very discreet.

We were taken over to the airport quite early for our flight back but that was fine as we like to people watch. Don't worry about the transfers, they know what they are doing and will take care of you. As I said, it is an absolutely wonderful, amazing place to visit. Any questions, just ask as there are few others here that went before me and I got lots of great info from them. I assume Uniworld told you that you need a Visa to get into Egypt. If you read one of the other reviews, you can do that on-line now. I am not sure who posted the website address but read a couple of the other reviews and you will find it. Have fun!

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Gracie;

 

Uniworld picks you up and delivers you to the airport based on your flight schedule. They won’t dump you off at midnight for a 4:00 am flight!

 

The River Tosca is a beautiful ship in great condition. It was built in old world era charm. Some people only want shiny, glitzy, minimalistic modern ( much like Viking ships) and consider all else tired or out of date. Most love the ship and the crew is great.

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Gracie;

 

Uniworld picks you up and delivers you to the airport based on your flight schedule. They won’t dump you off at midnight for a 4:00 am flight!

 

The River Tosca is a beautiful ship in great condition. It was built in old world era charm. Some people only want shiny, glitzy, minimalistic modern ( much like Viking ships) and consider all else tired or out of date. Most love the ship and the crew is great.

 

 

Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions...there is an amazing amount of information on the threads I've read...so very helpful in our planning!

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Gracie;

 

If you book any additional nights, pre or post cruise, in the Four Seasons through Uniworld, they will still pick you up and deliver you to the airport whenever you need. We booked extra nights in Cairo through them for the same price we would have gotten booking online and received the transfer services included.

 

I would recommend going in early for an additional day touring in Cairo and staying an additional day for the tour to Alexandria. The Alexandria tour will be offered when you get there, but you have to have the extra day scheduled to do it!

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Gracie;

 

If you book any additional nights, pre or post cruise, in the Four Seasons through Uniworld, they will still pick you up and deliver you to the airport whenever you need. We booked extra nights in Cairo through them for the same price we would have gotten booking online and received the transfer services included.

 

I would recommend going in early for an additional day touring in Cairo and staying an additional day for the tour to Alexandria. The Alexandria tour will be offered when you get there, but you have to have the extra day scheduled to do it!

 

 

We are doing the pre cruise extension to Jordan so can't come in a day early but may take your advice about staying a day longer. Thanks again!!

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Gracie....we did not go with Uniworld but basically they are all quite similar. We enjoyed our Nile sailing. Our itinerary was changed as we were supposed to change ships at Aswan and be bused to another ship above the dam and sail that area. Due to fighting near the Sudan/Egyptian border, they changed our itinerary to stay below the dam and be bused to areas we were supposed to see via ship. Our ship was old but neat and clean and that is what counts. I couldn't care less the age of the ship as long as there are no bedbugs and it doesn't sink lol. We did not have a balcony or floor-to-ceiling windows but we had a huge window that opened to the breeze and armchairs right in front to sit on and watch the Nile sail by. Just absolutely wonderful. The scenery is just like you see on TV. Desert sand up to green farmland that is irrigated from the Nile and bull rushes and farmers using oxen to plow....just takes you back in time! The food was very good, catered to North Americans but with local dishes also on the buffet. I am picky and never went hungry. BRING A HAT! I usually don't wear them but I was so glad I brought one along. I forgot it one day and was so hot without it. Also a small fan might be good to as it is hot when you are standing in the sun listening to the guide. It is nice inside the tombs though. We mostly sailed in the afternoon. We would tour in the morning, go back to the ship for lunch and sail until 4 or so, tour and come back for dinner. Tourism is still way down and we have pictures standing inside the tombs with the beautiful walls behind us and no one else...no people taking selfies, no people pushing us onward or saying "keep moving"...so amazing that 10 of us could get in a picture and have no one else in the background. Lots of security, army, guns, which us Canadians are not used to but if it keeps us safe then I am okay with it. We never felt unsafe and we found out afterwards that there were 4 armed guards that sailed with us all the time. Very discreet.

We were taken over to the airport quite early for our flight back but that was fine as we like to people watch. Don't worry about the transfers, they know what they are doing and will take care of you. As I said, it is an absolutely wonderful, amazing place to visit. Any questions, just ask as there are few others here that went before me and I got lots of great info from them. I assume Uniworld told you that you need a Visa to get into Egypt. If you read one of the other reviews, you can do that on-line now. I am not sure who posted the website address but read a couple of the other reviews and you will find it. Have fun!

 

 

Thank you again for all the information!

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The Tosca is a beautiful boat and our cabin and bathroom were the largest that we've ever had on a ship. The cruise director told us that when Uniworld decided to enter Egypt, they examined all the river boats and chose the Tosca which was then remodeled to Uniworld's specifications. You'll have a wonderful time.

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The Tosca is a beautiful boat and our cabin and bathroom were the largest that we've ever had on a ship. The cruise director told us that when Uniworld decided to enter Egypt, they examined all the river boats and chose the Tosca which was then remodeled to Uniworld's specifications. You'll have a wonderful time.

 

 

 

Wonder if you can describe your tour to Giza and sakkara? Did you see the older pyramids? We have a day to plan and do not want to miss the complete older pyramid experience.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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diet, as you cruised in January and February an you share what your average weather was like.

We will be doing Petra pre cruise tour starting 1/29/19 and then starting in Cairo 2/2/19.

Was planning on mostly warm weather clothes but now not so sure.

Thanks

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We saw Memphis and the Saqqara complex the same day. The daytime temperatures in January were in the high 70's, low 80's. Very comfortable but it did really cool off at night.

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On 10/3/2018 at 6:21 PM, rumba2015 said:

 

 

 

Wonder if you can describe your tour to Giza and sakkara? Did you see the older pyramids? We have a day to plan and do not want to miss the complete older pyramid experience.

 

An answer by someone more recently in the area with Uniworld might be more useful to you, but on our January 2017 trip, on the way to Saqqara we had a brief stop at the Mit Rahina open air museum, which features statues of Ramses II, other statues, a sphinx and other relics of the little that is left of Memphis. After a rest stop at a carpet factory/store, we then proceeded to Saqqara, where we drove past a few pyramids not yet excavated, and stopped to enter the highly decorated Mastaba of Kagemni, a high ranking official of Pharaoh Teti and Teti’s nearby pyramid. Then on for a stop at the Step Pyramid of Djoser, and lunch at the Mina Hotel (not always an option but we were a small group and able to eat there) before our final stop at the Pyramids of Giza and of course the Sphinx. We had the option of paying small fee to also enter the “Solar Boat” exhibit, well worth doing.

 

On 10/3/2018 at 6:21 PM, rumba2015 said:

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

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We leave tomorrow for a two week Tauck tour of Israel and Jordan.  After that, we fly to Cairo to join the Uniworld Egypt tour.  I will post a review when we get back home.  I will also TRY to post throughout the trip but good intentions often go awry.  

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We're booked on Uniworld Jordan/Egypt in November 2019 so will be anxious to read your review and also hear about the weather you experience.  We're also considering adding on Israel so will look at Tauck's itinerary.  Enjoy!!  

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We did Uniworld on Tosca in 2016, and it was the best trip ever!  It was near the end of October, and yes it was hot!  But everything was amazing. I wrote all about it here but the thread is pretty old.  As someone else said, our suite was wonderfully large, the biggest we've ever had on a cruise.  Don't know what it's like now, but in 2016, we had only 12 passengers on the ship.  The crew was great, very accommodating, and our guide was wonderful.

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39 minutes ago, zelker said:

Only 12??  Our date in mid-November of 2019 is sold out!!  

 

Well good, I'm glad to hear that.  That means the political situation has settled down, or the perception of same.

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We have been in Israel the last 10 days or so.  Just got to Jordan yesterday.  Heading to Jerash today and Petra tomorrow.  Leaving for Egypt and our Uniworld cruise on Sunday.  We are having a great time.  We got to see everything that we wanted to and are looking forward to our bucket list item -- Petra.  I will try to post as we are on our Uniworld cruise but not promising anything.  

 

Don't hesitate to visit Israel and Jordan either before or after a Nile cruise.  It is well worth the experience.

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Jerash was unbelievable.  Better than Ephesus.  Petra today and tomorrow.  Packing now.

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Glad you liked it. We added it on as an afterthought on our last day as it wasn't in our original itinerary. Boy, are we glad that we did!

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I must say that the agent Uniworld uses in Egypt is outstanding.  We are arriving a day late for our tour so I have been in contact with them for a couple of months to insure that we are met at the airport and all the optional tours are taken care of.  They answer emails quickly and professionally.  Looking forward to meeting them in a couple of days.

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On ‎11‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 8:43 PM, fred111 said:

I must say that the agent Uniworld uses in Egypt is outstanding.  We are arriving a day late for our tour so I have been in contact with them for a couple of months to insure that we are met at the airport and all the optional tours are taken care of.  They answer emails quickly and professionally.  Looking forward to meeting them in a couple of days.

This is great news, we don't plan to arrive late but just to know that they are responding to you quickly is reassuring.  

 

Would love to hear about your experience at Petra, we will be there a year from now!!

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Sorry I haven't been able to write day by day.  Uniworld conducts the most amazing tour in Egypt.  Totally super!!!!  Our tour guide, Ossama, was the absolute professional.  The ship and her staff were top notch.  We leave Egypt at 3:15 tomorrow morning so I will write when we get home.

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Glad to hear! Have a safe and relaxing trip home despite the painfully early departure hour. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

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Great to hear you had a wonderful trip in the hands of Uniworld.

Our trip is approaching.  1/29 in Jordon, starting in Cairo 2/2/19.

Uniworld, here we come.

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fred111 - so good to read such positive posts.  Looking forward to further comments.  Curious what cabin # you were in?  

 

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OK.  Here goes. 

 

We arrived in Cairo on the 18th (one day after the cruise officially started) since we were on a tour of Israel and Jordan.  We were met at the airport as soon as we got off the plane by a representative who took us through the passport and customs lines and straight to the van.  We arrived at the Four Seasons about 10:30 at night and went to our rooms since we had an 2:30 wakeup call for an early flight to Luxor.  

 

That morning, our Egyptologist, Ossama, met us and briefed us on the tour.  We travel a lot and have had many tour guides, but, without a doubt, Ossama was the best ever.  Knowledgeable, personable, and professional; he went out of his way to help everyone enjoy the trip.

 

The flight to Luxor was uneventful but the Egyptian airports have some rules which are "different".  First, you must put everything through a scanner before entering the terminal building.  Then seating for the flight is given as you check in.  Then you go through security again and board in do discernable order.  The planes are well maintained and the flight attendants are very good.

 

Arriving in Luxor we went to our buses.  There were two groups of about 25 each.  The buses were large, comfortable, and had plenty of leg room.  

 

First stop was the Temple at Karnak.  I won't describe each temple/site since the information is online.  Ossama did a great job explaining the Temple and its background.

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After spending a couple of hours at the Temple, we drove to the River Tosca, which was docked a few minutes away.  We had an easy check in and were met with wet towels, and cold drinks.  Our bags were already in our rooms and we were escorted to them by staff.  We were in room 214 which was in the middle deck near the stairs, on the starboard side.

 

The ship is in superb condition.  Rooms were large and bathrooms more than adequate.  There is plenty of storage space in the room and the beds are very comfortable.  Also important -- the blackout curtains worked well.

 

This was our 13th Uniworld cruise so we had some high expectations for the ship and the crew and all were exceeded!!  Every staff member was friendly and helpful.  The food was outstanding, even our Thanksgiving lunch, which was a surprise to many.  I can't say enough good things about this part of the trip.

 

If anyone has specific questions, I will try to answer.

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Entertainment on the ship was all local.  Belly dancer and "whirling guy" (I forget the real name) one night.  Local musicians and dancers another.  Essential oils class.  Cooking class.  Lectures several times.  We went to some and didn't go to others.  We enjoyed the ones we went to but enjoyed sleep also.  

 

The bar on the ship was outstanding.  Wines tended to be local, some good and some not to my liking but that is personal preference.   My wife said the bartender made a great Cosmo.  

 

Laundry service was the best we have ever had on any cruise ship.  Fast, well done, and they followed instructions.

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The river level on the Nile was low so we had a few changes that did not substantly effect the itinerary.  We could not dock in Dendra due to the low level so took buses to the site.  It was a two hour bus ride each way but the time went quickly.  The site was a definite "must see".  After our return to the ship we visited the Luxor Temple.  

 

Sailing on the river is done during the day (usually).  It was great sitting on the upper deck, on a comfortable lounge chair, with a gin and tonic, watching the world go by.

 

 

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The Valley of the Kings was amazing especially if you start off with the optional hot air balloon ride.  Somehow, Uniworld books the balloon ride with the "best" company providing the service.  I believe there are eight companies and each is allowed to launch four balloons each morning. 

 

We had an early departure, 5:00am.  We took a boat across the river.  The boat provided breakfast, tea and twinkies.  Yes, I said twinkies.  Then a quick van ride to the airport in the dark.  We got to the launch site and quite a few of the balloons were already filled up and taking off.  It was dark and I don't think the passengers could see much.  Our group went to the launch site slowly and we were the next to last balloon to launch.  This was as the sun was coming up.  Great pictures!!!  Bring a video camera!!  Our pilot was super.  We were flying over the Valley of the Kings when other balloons were already on the ground.  Well worth the money and a great experience.  

 

 

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While talking about optional tours, here is my opinion.  Hot air balloon -  A+.  Abu Simbal A+, Luxor Light and Sound show - B (it was great going into the temple after dark but there were a lot of pushy tourists who didn't know how to turn off the flashes on the cameras).  I would do it again.  We did not do the Nile River dinner since we were arriving after it was over.  I didn't hear anyone comment on the tour.

 

More later.

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