Ramses or Egypt Private Excursions?

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#1
105 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
I've been researching Cairo excursions for our upcoming October cruise. These are the two tour companies that seem to get a lot of positive reviews. Does anyone have any thoughts on which is better? Thank you!
#2
20,365 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I doubt you will find anyone who has used both, and they both have a number of positive reviews.

I considered both companies and decided to go with Egypt Private Excursions. They really seemed willing to listen to what I wanted to do and were able to offer very good feedback and suggestions based on what I proposed. I ended up really enjoying the full-day tour of Alexandria so much that I used EPE again when I was in Cairo to do a separate tour (since this was my 4th time to Egypt, I wanted to do something different than just the pyramids/museum/Citadel).

If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to try to answer.
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)
#3
105 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Thank you, CruiseMom!
I see your reviews all over the place. I want to travel with you! We have 2 days docked in Alexandria. Would you recommend an overnight stay in Cairo or a day in Cairo and a day in Alexandria?
#4
20,365 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
If it's your first visit to Egypt, then without a doubt I would recommend doing the overnight in Cairo. There is so much to see and do in that area that I would consider to be truly "must see" things -- the Giza pyramids and Sphinx, Cairo Museum, and the Step Pyramid and tombs at Sakkara would be among my top things to include.

I enjoyed Alexandria very much, but I have sort of specialized interests (more into the Greco-Roman period, of which there is more to see in Alexandria) and I'd already been to Cairo area twice by then....!

And thanks for the compliment.
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)
#5
105 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
That's what I thought you'd tell me! Thank you so much for your help, and for posting such great reviews of the places you've visited. I have all of your information for Athens ready to take with me too!
#6
San Diego
4,221 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
We used Ramses 2 years ago for a full day Alexandria tour. They were very good. We had a driver and a private guide and a nice lunch at a local restaurant. We hope to go on another cruise to Egypt later this year and plan to use Ramses again for an excursion to include Cairo. Last time we took the ships tour to Cairo but felt rushed.
#7
Tennessee
1,675 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
We used Ramses for an overnight to Cairo and had a fabulous time! Would highly recommend them. And for places to see for the first time visitor, I also recommend the overnight in Cairo and same places as the ones Cruisermom42 recommended. Hope to return to Egypt again and would definitely use Ramses again!
#9
Vancouver, WA
923 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
We have been given to understand that Ramses and EPE draw pretty much from the same pool of free-lance guides and drivers. Whether that is so or not, both companies are highly motivated to make a visitor's excursion as positively memorable as possible so that the companies can continue to compete with the agents contracted to the cruise lines. It is clear that any small lapse by any of the excursion providers is trumpeted here and elsewhere in the travel blogosphere. In short, go with the one that makes the better first impression. (By the way, do not miss a chance to overnight in Cairo, and opt for Mena House Oberoi if given the choice.)
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Seven times on NCL since 2005, around the horn on Carnival Splendor in 2013 and two years long ago and far away on USS Princeton LPH-5.
#10
usa
9 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
We used Egypt Private Excursions and we were delighted with our tour in Cairo, we were completely satisfied and we are very glad that we booked this tour with Egypt Private Excursions Company Thank you
#11
Melbourne, Australia
5,246 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by ccemom
Hey, Cruisemom42,

Would you recommend seeing Memphis?
I've visited Memphis twice. Personally, its just to see the big statue of Ramses II and there is not much else there. But it is close to Saqqara and Dahshur which I find both sites much more interesting to visit.
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Sarah (icat2000)

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Carnival Spirit - 8 nights South Pacific, 9 October 2017. Feels good to cruise again.

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Ruby Princess TA October 2012| Dawn Princess New Zealand December 2012 | Ruby Princess Eastern Caribbean | Celebrity Equinox TA April 2013 | Sea Princess Auckland to Sydney August 2013| Dawn Princess Sydney - Hobart - Melbourne November 2013 |Diamond Princess Tasmania December 2013 | Rhapsody of Seas South Pacific January 2014 | PO UK Arcadia - Sydney to Melbourne February 2014 | Dawn Princess - Melbourne to Auckland March 2014 |Carnival Spirit South Pacific August 2014|Dawn Princess - Melbourne to Auckland October 2014 | Sun Princess - Fiji & New Caledonia December 2014 |Diamond Princess - Sydney to Singapore March 2015 |Caribbean Princess - Iceland TA September 2015 |PO UK Oceana - Mediterranean September 2015 |Pacific Jewel - Eden December 2015 |Golden Princess - Tasmania January 2016 |Diamond Princess - Perth to Singapore March 2016 |Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands April 2016
#12
20,365 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by icat2000
I've visited Memphis twice. Personally, its just to see the big statue of Ramses II and there is not much else there. But it is close to Saqqara and Dahshur which I find both sites much more interesting to visit.
I agree. I'd opt to spend more time in Saqqara (there is a lot to see there) and/or more time seeing some of the sights IN Cairo, if possible (e.g., no major demonstrations). I have enjoyed, on various trips, seeing the Khan el-Khalili bazaar (more for photo ops and local color than shopping), the old Coptic area, the old Muizz el-Din street (recently restored) with lovely old mosques and madrasas, etc.
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)
#14
USA
530 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
I would go with Ramses. I cannot recommend them highly enough. On my recent cruise, we had 3 stops in Egypt---overnight in Safaga (Luxor/Karnak) Sharm El Sheikh, and Sokhana (for Cairo). We had used another company for our overnight from Alexandria a few years ago and were not happy. I solicited proposals from both EHE and RAmses, outlining my proposed itinerary and the feedback from them. They both came up with identical proposals, but when I specified some sites that were not mentioned, EHE padded the price while Ramses included it free of charge. Ramses also followed our directives for No Shopping or factory stops and threw in a 2 hour felluca ride on the Nile instead. Again--no charge. The guides were excellent, as was the driver. We used them in all three stops and were equally pleased with each. I would use them again in a New York minute.

#16
105 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
What do you recommend in Dahshur? I know the step pyramid is in Saqqara, but I am unfamiliar with the sites of Dahshur.
#17
montreal
125 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by icat2000
I've visited Memphis twice. Personally, its just to see the big statue of Ramses II and there is not much else there. But it is close to Saqqara and Dahshur which I find both sites much more interesting to visit.
from my own perspective, i recommend EPE. they are friendly and give better promotions

best of luck
terry
#18
Melbourne, Australia
5,246 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by ccemom
What do you recommend in Dahshur? I know the step pyramid is in Saqqara, but I am unfamiliar with the sites of Dahshur.
Just more Pyramids to visit like the Red and the Bent Pyramid. You can climb up to them and go inside. It was really peace there after all the hustle and bustle of the Giza Pyramids.

This site provides some further information and pictures on what is there.
http://www.richard-seaman.com/Travel...r/AllPyramids/
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Sarah (icat2000)

Upcoming Cruise
Carnival Spirit - 8 nights South Pacific, 9 October 2017. Feels good to cruise again.

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Ruby Princess TA October 2012| Dawn Princess New Zealand December 2012 | Ruby Princess Eastern Caribbean | Celebrity Equinox TA April 2013 | Sea Princess Auckland to Sydney August 2013| Dawn Princess Sydney - Hobart - Melbourne November 2013 |Diamond Princess Tasmania December 2013 | Rhapsody of Seas South Pacific January 2014 | PO UK Arcadia - Sydney to Melbourne February 2014 | Dawn Princess - Melbourne to Auckland March 2014 |Carnival Spirit South Pacific August 2014|Dawn Princess - Melbourne to Auckland October 2014 | Sun Princess - Fiji & New Caledonia December 2014 |Diamond Princess - Sydney to Singapore March 2015 |Caribbean Princess - Iceland TA September 2015 |PO UK Oceana - Mediterranean September 2015 |Pacific Jewel - Eden December 2015 |Golden Princess - Tasmania January 2016 |Diamond Princess - Perth to Singapore March 2016 |Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands April 2016
#19
sydney, australia
785 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
I have just returned from Cairo and used Ramses Tours for a 2 day tour post disembarkation at Sokhna. Our guide Mina was wonderful - a really nice natured Christian who understood and answered all my biblical history questions along with the ancient egyptian questions. He was very knowledgeable. All my emails were answered promptly by Mr Attar and he was always flexible with any planning I wanted. i found Ramses to be professional and reliable. We stayed in Giza for security reasons and found that worked well in terms of location
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#20
20,365 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I think both companies (Ramses and EPE, as well as others) pull from the same pool of licensed guides for touring. The key is in communicating in advance what you are looking for so that you can get a guide who is a good match.

Some people just want the basic information on a tour and prefer to "experience" a site without a lot of facts. Others want to hear as much as possible. Still others already have a basic level of knowledge and want to hear some more advanced things.

I spoke with several different companies before my first excursion with EPE, and I just felt overall that the communication was better and that they were committed to providing the experience I wanted. I didn't get rote replies from them or (in the case of one operator who, I think, is no longer in business) promises that I suspect could not be kept.

In addition, I was very impressed that people from the EPE office actually met me at lunchtime to ensure that everything was going as I wished.

Because of these things (and the really terrific and knowledgeable guide that they matched me up with), I've recommended EPE to many others. And if you read these boards, you may know I'm not an easy grader when it comes to tours -- I've been on my fair share that were just average.
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)