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Author: emsmark

Joined: 2/22/2011
Posts: 2

May 19, 2011

We just returned from a fantastic trip to Israel, Egypt, and Jordan and I want to comment on how well the trip progressed and how SAFE the area is. The sites were incredible and our Program Directors for the Israel and Jordan portions need special recognition. They are for Israel (Rafi Rozenes) and Jordan (Jafar Ghazal). Both went above and beyond what you would expect for a PD. In Israel one of our tour members and a close friend fell and broke her arm. Rafi helped tremendously in facilitating the ambulance ride to the hospital, driving to the hospital in his private car, and negotiating a late night pharmacy in Jerusalem to fill a prescription for pain medications. While in Jordan Jafar enhanced our experience by introducing us to local foods often by stopping the bus at a bakery or roadside stand to purchase the foods. His humor and great nature made the trip fun and enjoyable. Bravo to both.

Author: odee

Joined: 1/16/2011
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Ireland, British West Indies, Mexico, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Canada, Spain, France, Puerto Rico, . Did a GCT River Cruise last fall and just loved it.

Traveler Since: 2002

May 19, 2011

Simply put: If you take only one trip in your life, this is the one to take. You will never believe what you are seeing when you experience this country in person.

I just returned from Egypt on May 7th.  It was a perfect time to travel to Egypt. No crowds  at the sites, the Egytian people were happy to see the tourists coming back to their country.

Absolutely no security problems. Our Program Director Ihab  brought centuries of history to life. His discourses weren't a dry recitation of dates, but the interactions and events that led to specific events that led to the creation of a tomb, temple or other antiquity. The ship was very clean, the crew very pleasant and the food excellent.

 

Author: lynanddona

Joined: 1/31/2011
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2011

May 19, 2011

 The US travel site says civilian police may be slow to respond.  Did you feel safe in moving around Cairo on your own outside the tour?

Author: dpmischler

Joined: 2/1/2011
Posts: 6
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2011

May 20, 2011

I am sitting in the Marriott Cairo now. We left May 7, our tour did Cairo, Alexandria ,and we just came back from the river tour of Aswan to Luxor. We took almost all of the optional tours, and you could not be safer. The people here are great, there are no crowds. My wife and I are going to Jordan with 20+ of newest friends.

The guides were simply amazing -  we were blessed. Sherif and the other group's leader Fawzi, are both wonderful people. With all of their knowledge, they made trip interesting and they explained what was going on in the country.

The people were very friendly, we were very safe. If you have any questions, feel free to ask - I will answer next time I connect.

Pete

Author: hawkeye62

Joined: 12/8/2010
Posts: 27
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2006

May 20, 2011

I've traveled to Egypt 5 times, and I have never had a bad experience. Cairo is a very safe city. Get out of your hotel, walk around the streets and talk to the Egyptian people. You will find them to be gracious, friendly and welcoming.

Author: lynanddona

Joined: 1/31/2011
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2011

May 21, 2011

 Thanks to everyone so much for your responses and comments.  My wife and I are just beginning to travel (we go to Egypt in Sept.) and the social unrest, additional tour security (armed guard?), etc. was causing us to reflect a bit :-)  We are going ahead with our planning and looking forward to the trip.

Author: hawkeye62

Joined: 12/8/2010
Posts: 27
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2006

May 21, 2011

No need to be alarmed. Having armed guards isn't because of any civil unrest, there have been plain clothes armed guards on the buses even before the revolution.

Relax and enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

Author: martycooper

Joined: 8/23/2010
Posts: 18
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 0

May 22, 2011

We too (six of us) are going in Sept. It is a relief to hear all the positive posts!

Author: odee

Joined: 1/16/2011
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Ireland, British West Indies, Mexico, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Canada, Spain, France, Puerto Rico, . Did a GCT River Cruise last fall and just loved it.

Traveler Since: 2002

May 23, 2011

Cairo--- a city of 18 million people with no traffic regulations or stop signs. Along the Nile --- tiny fields and villages where people live and farm as they did thousands of years ago. Visiting the temples, Abu Simbel, the pyramids  "Priceless"

Meeting and chatting with the Egytian people informally were highlights that will never be forgotten.

As I said, if you can take only one trip in your life, this is the one to take,  I've taken several but this is the only one I'd like to take again.

You are probably safer with GCT than you would be on a tour of some of our metropolitan cities. Go to Egypt, don't worry, have a wonderful time.

Author: martycooper

Joined: 8/23/2010
Posts: 18
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 0

June 08, 2011

Anyone recently return from this trip? How was it? Was safety an issur? What side trips do you reccommend?

Author: hawkeye62

Joined: 12/8/2010
Posts: 27
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2006

June 08, 2011

I've been to Egypt many times and it is very safe. Tourism is a large part of the Egyptian economy and they are very careful with their tourists. You will be very safe and very welcome as a tourist.

Go to Egypt, you'll love it.

Author: dpmischler

Joined: 2/1/2011
Posts: 6
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2011

June 10, 2011

We returned from Jordan Friday 5-27-11. The trip to Egypt and the post trip to Jordan was very safe. In Egypt we were a group of <80, and Jordan about 28. It was safe, and the crowds were very small.  My wife and I were first time travelers with GCT, and we will definitely travel again with GCT or OATs. if you have questions feel free to ask. dpmischler@aol.com

Peter

 

Author: dpmischler

Joined: 2/1/2011
Posts: 6
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2011

June 10, 2011

correct e-mail address dpmischler@aol.com

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 177
GCT Trips Taken: 13
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

June 11, 2011

Please tell us the vendors at all the sites are not more aggressive and desperate with so few tourists to sell to.  The day before we were evacuated, we experienced the vendors at the Valley of the Kings were two to a tourist and wouldnt take no for an answer.  Our PD's were nowhere in sight to run interference..

Author: dpmischler

Joined: 2/1/2011
Posts: 6
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2011

June 11, 2011

Yes, the vendors are there,  and with less tourists there to sell their things to, they popped up from everyhere. But as our PD's told us, "If you are not interested, DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT AND DO NOT SPEAK WITH THEM". Do not let a couple of annoying vendors stop you from going anyplace, or enjoying your vacation. Our PD, Sherif explained to us about the vendors at every stop .I think that he did a good job of speaking with the vendors when possible.

Author: martycooper

Joined: 8/23/2010
Posts: 18
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 0

June 22, 2011

I am so disappointed that our tripand all other trips to Egypt and the Nile are canceled for the rest of 2011 AND 2012. OAT is still running theis but it only offers 3 days on the NIle :(

Is anyone else unhappy about the cancelation? I haven't seen many posts lately!

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 559
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

June 22, 2011

That's too bad. My guess is that they had too many cancellations to continue with the trips. It's been a very bad year for travel companies and not just in Egypt. (Tunisia, Japan, New Zealand, ...)

I took the OAT Egypt tour with the four-day Nile cruise a few years ago and it was wonderful. The hotels were good and were well located -- except for the airport hotel, but that was for convenience.

I'm sure that you're very disappointed, but do consider the OAT trip.

Author: martycooper

Joined: 8/23/2010
Posts: 18
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 0

June 22, 2011

One of the reasons that we went with GCT was they offered a day trip to Alexandria and very few companies offer that (not even OAT). We are looking into other companies and I did find one that even has an overnight in Alexandria but it is much more $$$$!

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 559
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

June 23, 2011

OAT offers Alexandria as a post-trip extension now, but when I went it was pre-trip and it was wonderful. The hotel is beautiful, located in the Montazah Gardens, a nice place to walk, with a view of the Med. We visited the catacombs, the waterfront, museums and the amazing library. I was very glad that I'm very glad that I took the extension.

I hope you find something that suits you, Egypt, including Alexandria, are wonderful destinations.

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