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MARK P

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MARK P

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Nov112012

Tour/Activity

Lima City Sightseeing Tour

Lima, Peru

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Rosa was an amazing guide. She knows the city well and tailored the tour to my interests. I didn't feel rushed at venues where I wanted to spend more time. She even offered to take pictures of me at scenic points since I was traveling alone. I hope she's my tour guide when I return with my family.

Oct112010

Tour/Activity

Private Tour: Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Egyptian Museum, Khan el-Khalili Bazaar

Cairo, Egypt

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review
This tour was nothing more than a sham shopping trip with side trips to the Pyramids, Sphinx, museum. I would give 0 stars if I could. My guide took me to no less than 5 government-run shops, each with high-pressure salespeople who wouldn't take "No!" for an answer. Traveling alone, at times I felt threatened and found myself buying stuff just to get out of there. When would I ever wear a thobe in the Midwest? And the guide was no help; he got in on selling me stuff. The Guide spent so much time taking me through the shops that I only had 30-minutes at the Museum. This was barely enough time to get to the Tut Exhibit. The Guide made no mention of the Bazaar. The camel ride at the Pyramids was supposed to be the experience of a lifetime. It was priced as such. I made a point of asking The Guide about the price before starting. The Guide said it would be handled after the ride but that he would negotiate a "good price". As his company was recommended by Viator, I trusted him. Big mistake! After the 25-minute ride, The Guide negotiated $140 (USD) for the ride. I shudder to think what he negotiated it from. To add insult to injury, the camel handler demanded a tip as did his manager whom came out of no where. As we departed, I saw the manager hand The Guide a few bills. At the end of the "tour", The Guide asked for his tip as we dropped him somewhere Downtown. Luckily, he settled for a price that was more than I paid Viator ($128). What exactly did I pay for? I certainly didn't sign up for a sham shopping trip and an unscrupulous tour guide. Epic Fail!!!

Oct102010

Tour/Activity

Nile River Dinner Cruise in Cairo

Cairo, Egypt

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Overall, the cruise was great! The set menu was surprisingly good and the entertainment was breath-taking. I can't say enough about the belly-dancer and whirling dervish. They were worth the price of admission alone. My flight into Cairo arrived later than expected and I would've missed the 7:00 p.m. seating. Luckily, a friend was able to contact the travel company in Egypt to arrange for me to enjoy the late dinner. Service was a bit slow and I found that the waiters were more attentive to the large groups as opposed to the smaller tables at the periphery of the dining room. My only complaint was the tour guide, Taha, from South Sinai Travel. I didn't mind the fact that I was picked up 2 hours before my scheduled dinner and ended up waiting over an hour at the riverside dock. But I did mind that Taha thought he was doing me a favor by suggesting I tip my guide the following day "at least $100 US." He made it a point to say he was referring to US currency. I also found it unprofessional of Taha to ask me for the use my cell phone after he had forgotten his in the tour van. That call cost me about $10. Then after he showed me to the dock and handed me my ticket, he said it was time for him to leave. He said that I would not see him again which was code-speak for "Tip, please." Afterwards, he said that I should just stand outside on the street by the entrance and the driver would find me. I didn't feel that safe doing it, but the driver did manage to find me in the post-cruise chaos.

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