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Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

December 19, 2010

As I read over the itinerary for the Cairo/Nile riverboat trip (leaving on Feb. 5), it states that one night is a "black & white" dress night. What exactly is this? Is it dressy?.....or do they just want you to wear black & white? What happens that night?

Also, any input on the optionals for this trip, as well as for the Jordan post-trip would be greatly appreciated. There are quite a few, and they add up, so am wondering about all of them. I usually do all of the optionals on a trip because it certainly enriches and expands the trip, but still want some input!

Thanks!

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 524
Trips Taken: 8
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

Traveler Since: 2006

December 19, 2010

I took the Egypt trip with OAT a few years ago and Sakkara was included at that time. It was interesting, but looking at the number and costs of the optionals, I wouldn't pay $75 for it. You will see so much in Egypt that I don't think missing Sakkara would be a loss.

I took the Alexandria pre-trip extension and am very glad that I saw the city. It's very different from Cairo and I loved the Archeological Museum and the amazing library. So, I would definitely recommend the optional day trip to Alex.

I also enjoyed the Spiritual Cairo optional but did not do the balloon ride. Those in our group who did didn't seem too enthusiastic but I've seen good comments in the discussions here.

I missed Abu Simbel because of illness (darn) but I had planned to do it and think it would be worth the cost.

I don't know any thing about the "Black and White" night. We had a costume night, which was fun. We could rent or buy Egyptian style clothes.

Have a great trip, you'll love the Nile cruise, it's so relaxing.

 

 

Author: sgerheim

Joined: 12/15/2010
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 7
Traveler Since: 2007

December 19, 2010

We just returned from our Egypt trip in December.  For the Black and White party, most people (but not everyone) wore something black and white.  It was not that formal as most people were dressed in what you might call resort casual.  Our groups also celebrated anniversaries, etc. on that night. 

We enjoyed our pre-trip to Alexandria and also did most of the optionals.  I especially liked the optional trip to Abu Simbel.  While it is an early morning wake-up and a longer bus ride, it was worth it.  Grand Circle arrives a little later than most of the other bus groups, so by the end of the tour we had Abu Simbel almost to ourselves. 

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 157
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2005

December 21, 2010

nancyf:
Also, any input on the optionals for this trip, as well as for the Jordan post-trip would be greatly appreciated. There are quite a few, and they add up, so am wondering about all of them. I usually do all of the optionals on a trip because it certainly enriches and expands the trip, but still want some input!

luisa:
I took the Egypt trip with OAT a few years ago and Sakkara was included at that time. It was interesting, but looking at the number and costs of the optionals, I wouldn't pay $75 for it. You will see so much in Egypt that I don't think missing Sakkara would be a loss.

also enjoyed the Spiritual Cairo optional but did not do the balloon ride. Those in our group who did didn't seem too enthusiastic but I've seen good comments in the discussions here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I did the OAT trip this last June (2010) and unlike luisa here, I really liked Sakkara and didn't care for Spiritual Cairo.  Everyone has a different opinion.  My best advice is to do them both. Considering the cost of the entire trip and the fact that you may never go back to Egypt again; the optional tour cost (OAT price Sakkara = $75 and Spiritual Cairo = $80)  is not that much. Besides they also include a lunch and there really isn't too much else to see/do if you don't go. Abu Simbel was included on the OAT tour and it really is worth seeing too. I didn't do the balloon ride (since we did one in Australia on an OAT trip and had a rough landing); however, those that did it said they really liked it. The OAT Jordan pre/post trip was well worth it. I assume that GCT's "Jordan add-on" would be a similiar trip.

Author: hawkeye62

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

December 21, 2010

We did the Jordon extention in 2009. Aside from the last minute changes that GCT made which allowed us only one night in Petra and caused us a very early call to get there in time, it was worthwhile.

However, be prepared for a very long walk over rough terrian in Petra. It's about a 1-1/2 hour walk, depending on your conditioning. Some in our group had a very tough time making it. There are horses you can rent, but they will only take you part way. Donkey carts are also available which will take you all the way in and out, but it's a very rough rise and costs about $60 (don't hold me to that number as I walked both ways).

The food left much to desired, unless you're a big fan of babba-ganoush. Pretty much the same fare each night at the hotel in Ammon and in the included restaurants. One restaurant required the group to walk about 20 minutes to get to it, and it was down countless flights of steps along the walk. The tour guide had to arrange taxis for some people as simply couldn't walk back up. I blame GCT for this as he explained they choose the restaurant, not him.

As I said in the beginning. it's a worthwhile trip but with the early wake-ups for tours and the airport, it's very tiring. I'm happy we did it, but I wouldn't repeat it.

Author: nancyonkey

Joined: 12/27/2010
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2007

December 27, 2010

My trip to Egypt and Jordan was Christmas/New Year's 2009-10.  It was a wonderful trip!  I've read the other posts, and also want to recommend Dendera.  It isn't visited by as many tourists and is spectacular.  You are permitted to photograph inside, too.  We went down a dark passage where a small flashlight would have been helpful, but the camera focus was adequate to help see the steps. 

In Cairo at the Pyramids, do choose to see the Solar Boat Museum, and don't get tricked into having your photo taken on a camel; but, hey, it's part of the adventure!

Jordan was a delightful surprise!  The guide, Jaffir, was exceptional, but he treats you to so many sweets, which are delicious, that you may gain weight!  Jerash is a must!  Float in the Dead Sea if it's warm enough;  it was last January, and plaster yourself with mud.  Petra is so memorable- take it all in that you can.

I enjoyed the food, but even with lots of hand sanitizing, had one bout with "Pharoah's revenge."  The snack on the bus after Abu Simbel may not have been the culprit, but the time frame points to that.  Wouldn't have missed Abu Simbel- one of the highlights of the trip.  Do buy the postcards from the children outside, since photos aren't permitted inside.

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 168
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2002

December 27, 2010

Is the Qena by Night worthwhile. Also, how many school visits on this trip?

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