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We booked our May, 2017 Egypt tour in early March through Viator. Once that was completed, the tour operator, Vacations To Go Travel Mr. Magdy Aziz promptly contacted us via email with all the information we needed to plan our travels. No question was too small or deemed unimportant. Frankly, I thought we asked too many questions, but he readily answered every email promptly and courteously. We were meeting friends from the states in Cairo with different arrival dates and Magdy aided in coordinating our stays as if we had booked as a single group. This was our first trip to Egypt and I was skeptical of using a company which I was not familiar with. Magdy and his wife Walaa provided timely information and alleviated all my concerns. Upon our arrival in Cairo, Magdy was the first smiling face we saw as we entered the terminal and it was almost like we had known each other for years. He made sure we got through immigration quickly, gathering our luggage and getting us to our hotel. Honestly, Magdy is an Ironman as he not only met us on our arrivals at unusual hours but also as we departed for other segments of our travels making us think when does he ever get to sleep? Magdys selection of our guides were impeccable and he helped us rearrange our tour visits as we arrived a day early to enable us to see more and spend a little more time at the pyramids and other locations we visited. While in Cairo our guide was Walid. Not enough can be said about his enthusiasm for providing our group with the proper amount of information and making us feel welcomed. After we left Cairo for our Nile river cruise from Aswan to Luxor, we were met by our second guide, Tayeb. He traveled with us while on the cruise, so we ultimately felt he was not our guide but another friend traveling with us. He, like Walid, was very dedicated to making us feel comfortable and shared the history and culture of the area with great expertise. If you should have the opportunity to travel to Egypt, you should not hesitate to book your travels with Magdy and Vacations To Go Travel and ask for these good men Baby and The Kind Man to be your guides.
With regard to our accommodations, we stayed at the Le Meridien Pyramids upon arrival. I have read mixed reviews but I have to say I was pleased with the hotel. Beware, that some floors are all smoking floors. I have to recommend that you should choose to stay in a pyramids view room and you should ask or even upgrade for a room with a balcony. It is worth the view and to sit on a balcony in the early morning or late evening is something to experience. The breakfast buffet was excellent and restaurants available on-site are fine. Prior to departure, we stayed at the Le Meridien Cairo Airport and that hotel is definitely a 5-star even by western standards. However, it caters more to traveling business types and the restaurants seemed to be a little pricey. Our river cruise ship was the Anwaj Living Stone. It was a nice boat with great rooms. The staff was very pleasant and the food was good. Overall, we were very happy about our places to stay. In any event, if you travel to Egypt, you should go prior to May as that month is the beginning of summer. I suppose so we could say we had the full experience in Egypt the temperatures during our week there exceeded 100 degrees F at least two days were 109 to 111 degrees F. I can tell you that is HOT HOT HOT!
Finally, a word about the safety of Egypt. Even with all the tragedies which have and can occur, Egypt is no more unsafe than a person can be in Chicago, New York City or some anywhere small town. We all know the places you should not go in our hometowns and being in Egypt is nothing different. Showing the proper respect for the culture and people, listening to your host guide and being aware of your surroundings go a long way in making your visit pleasant. At no time did we feel unsafe and in most cases, the amount of visible security shows the concern the country has for visitors and its own people. If there was any negative at all it would be the annoyance of vendors in certain locations trying to sale their wares to you, and in some cases offering it for freeword of adviceNOTHING IS FREE!!! Tipping is a way of life in Egypt and it can be a little overwhelming for the first-time visitor. Overall, the best policy is stay close to your guide, walk deliberately through the sales gauntlet, keep your head down and eyes front sunglasses work great and maybe learn a few Arabic phrases for hello, thank you and no thank you and use a smile. Generally, thats all that is necessary. The Egyptian people are warm and friendly, and even curious about visitors. The country has a full rich world history and we found most people are eager to just say hello to you and share what they know. We had a great time in Egypt and our thanks to our friends Magdy, Walid and Tayeb for being part of it.
Great Time to Visit Egypt. Our trip to Egypt was everything we hoped it would be. Vacations to Go director, Magdy Aziz met us at the airport at the beginning and ensured that everything was smooth and easy for us through to his personal goodbye at the airport for our middle of the night flight at the end. We felt safe the entire time and enjoyed all the top ancient sites without having to contend with large crowds. All our accommodations were clean, comfortable, and safe. Even the weather for our late March trip was perfect. Our Cairo and Alexandria Egyptologist and guide, Tameer was extremely knowledgeable, and patient as we peppered him with questions. He anticipated our every need. Our Upper Egypt and Nile cruise Egyptologist and guide, Hassan, was likewise friendly, attentive to every need and comfort, and arranged our visits to the ancient sites at the perfect time of day to see them at their best. His depth of knowledge, enthusiasm for ancient Egyptian culture and accomplishments, and anticipation of the best ways to help us enjoy modern Egypt made every day wonderful. Together, Magdy and our guides took any potential worry and stress out of the trip and ensured that it was a fantastic experience. I highly recommend booking a tour of Egypt through Vacations to Go.