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  #1  
Old November 23rd, 2009, 10:08 PM
museumlover museumlover is offline
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Smile stranded in Egypt-what to do next?

Before asking my question let me pass on praise for the great postings found here on Cruise Critic. As we approach our first ever large ship cruise, your postings have been a big help. As we consider what to do about Egypt, here's our question. Based on your postings, it seems that Ramses and Blue Nile are the two best excursion companies to use in Egypt. What happens if we go with one of these companies and they fail to get us back in time to the port? If I'm understanding correctly, our cruise ship will keep our passports on the ship (is that correct?) and that would cause us problems on getting out of Egypt on our own. I don't think we could leave via the airport if we don't have passports. Egypt will be the last port for our ship before returning back home in Rome. Any thoughts?
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 11:03 PM
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In 2006 on Princess, our passports were returned to us the day before we docked in Egypt. I believe it is required in Egypt that visitors have their passport (with the quick-stay or regular visa) with them.

I assume this is still true. So, if the worst were to happen (and it won't), your passport will be with you. It then becomes a matter of getting a flight to Rome.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 01:56 AM
Jade13 Jade13 is offline
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We always take our passports with us.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 04:19 AM
John Bull John Bull is offline
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As Cruisemom's answer, in Egypt you are required to carry your passport ashore. And it has to be stamped or visa added, authorising entry to Egypt. This is why you have to hand your passport to the ship & it's given back to you before you arrive.

But the tour companies will not risk your missing the sailing, & missed sailings - which are very rare anyway - are exceptionally rare when involving reputable tour companies.

John Bull
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Old November 24th, 2009, 09:36 AM
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If Princess has you passport and you are not on the ship at sailing time, they give your passport to the ship's local agent. You collect from them before flying out.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 11:09 AM
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Although the ship collected our passports when we embarked, they were returned to us before we went ashore in Egypt. So, no worry at all about not having your passport.

But I have to say, I have yet to read where any of these tour companies didn't get the passengers back in time. They leave plenty of room for mishaps and if they had a problem not getting the passengers back, just think of the bad PR they would receive.

On our overnite tour, we weren't worried one little bit about getting back at the proper time. Enjoy!
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Old November 24th, 2009, 11:11 AM
strobellayjam strobellayjam is offline
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The previous posters are correct - you must carry your passport with you at all times while in Egypt. I was just in Cairo + Alexandria on the Grand Princess last month. The passports were collected upon embarkation for visa / processing requirements. We then had to pick up them up from Passenger Services desk the night prior to landing in Egypt.

Incidentally, we toured with Blue Nile and they were excellent. Very professional and knowledgeable guides. We had a crazy (in a good way!) driver that could navigate through the chaotic Cairo traffic. You should rest assured that they'll get you back to port in a timely fashion.
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  #8  
Old November 24th, 2009, 11:41 AM
MercedMike MercedMike is offline
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Exclamation Be Prepared is not just for Boy Scouts

Quote:
Originally Posted by babydoc2 View Post
As far as getting people back to the ship on time, you don't have to worry. The reputation of these companies would tank instantly if they ever came even close to causing a client to miss their ship. Their guides are under strict orders to get clients back at least 2 hours before sailing, I believe.
IMAO, this statement, which I see often on the boards, is ingenuous. It is certainly true that the tour companies make it a number one priority to get back to the ship on time. But to say that you don't have to worry and nothing can ever happen is too broad. Things CAN and DO happen when you travel. There are things beyond the control of any tour company, for instance a sudden illness, a heart attack, or even a major traffic accident with injuries.

Therefore I think that when booking any independent tour, it is of vital importance that the passenger have this in mind and consider the implications of a major problem. The question asked by the OP, for example, is a very wise and pertinent question. It is better to be prepared.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
IMAO, this statement, which I see often on the boards, is ingenuous. It is certainly true that the tour companies make it a number one priority to get back to the ship on time. But to say that you don't have to worry and nothing can ever happen is too broad. Things CAN and DO happen when you travel. There are things beyond the control of any tour company, for instance a sudden illness, a heart attack, or even a major traffic accident with injuries.

Therefore I think that when booking any independent tour, it is of vital importance that the passenger have this in mind and consider the implications of a major problem. The question asked by the OP, for example, is a very wise and pertinent question. It is better to be prepared.
Sorry, Mike, but you are significantly over-stating your case. I've been careful to use the word "rare" rather than "never", but like Toto I too have yet to hear of folk on a private tour missing a sailing, in Egypt or anywhere else. No doubt it has happened, somewhere, sometime, but if we all worried about the mathematically-possible we'd never leave home.
And taking a ship's excursion doesn't make a cruiser immune to injury, illness, or a hundred different misfortunes - if the cruiser is consequently unable to rejoin the ship, it will sail without them, that's what insurance is all about.

BabyDoc said that the OP doesn't need to worry, and within reasonable bounds thats a perfectly responsible answer.

OP's "very wise & pertinent question" was about their passport, and the correct answer, that they will have their passport with them, has been confirmed by several posters.

Regards, John Bull
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  #10  
Old November 24th, 2009, 01:21 PM
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Marie-Claude Marie-Claude is offline
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I totally agree with the OP and previous poster... you should be prepared because you never know what could happen!

That's why I asked numerous questions to the tour operators I was considering BEFORE booking. I chose Ramses because they had 11 groups on our particular sailing, which meant many cars on the road between Alexandria and Cairo - that's a big advantage if something was to happen on the road.
Ramses also assured me they had 'back up cars' in case of emergencies.

In addition to carrying your passport, you should probably have a copy somewhere! That too can be convenient should you loose it or get it stolen. Guest relations will make copies with the Visa stamp without a problem.

While all tour operators make the best attempt to return everyone back safely and timely, accidents happen. Having back up solutions is important!
On a 13 hour excursion, it's wise to bring more than just your passport - extra medication, food and water is also a good idea!!

We had a fabulous day with Ramses, and I hope you have a great time in Egypt as well!
MC
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Old November 24th, 2009, 08:56 PM
museumlover museumlover is offline
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Thanks everyone for your replies! I misunderstood about the passports. Thanks for correcting my mistake. At the moment we are leaning slightly to Ramses but Blue Nile is not out of the running yet. Thanks again!
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Old November 28th, 2009, 06:54 AM
museumlover museumlover is offline
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Wow! Thanks for all the additional info. I wish our trip was an overnighter in Egypt but unfortunately our ship docks at 7 a.m. and leaves at 9 p.m. so it's only one day. It sounds like our worries are few if we go with either of the three companies mentioned on this forum but we are still leaning toward Ramses over the other two. Thanks again!
museumlover
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 12:31 PM
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We have just gotten back from Brilliance of the Seas Nov 18 cruise and did the overnight with Ramses Tours. They were incredible, we had the best tour of our life. Our guide Karim was so knowledgeable, helpful and took such good care of us..We never experienced the touts hasseling us anywhere, we saw much more than we had on our list. We were ugraded to a pyramid view room and were given surprise gifts to remember our tour. It was our 50th anniversary trip and it awesome. Our driver Mohammed was so competent in getting us thru the traffic and to places on time i think we saw just about everything we could in two 12 hr days.
We would love to go back and do upper Egypt to Luxor etc and will contact Ramses again when that becomes possible, I am sure they will do just as good a job showing us the rest of their country. The weather was absolutely perfect which made it very comfortable touring for such long days. It was perfect in every port and we enjoyed the entire cruise. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Ramses for your Egypt tour..

Doris & Joe
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 12:46 PM
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Cool just back from Egypt

I have a correction. Our drivers' name was Ahmed not Mohammed..Just want to give credit of excellent driving to the right person.
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  #15  
Old December 20th, 2009, 10:49 AM
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Default Nile Blue Excursions not Blue Nile

Quote:
Originally Posted by museumlover View Post
Before asking my question let me pass on praise for the great postings found here on Cruise Critic. As we approach our first ever large ship cruise, your postings have been a big help. As we consider what to do about Egypt, here's our question. Based on your postings, it seems that Ramses and Blue Nile are the two best excursion companies to use in Egypt. What happens if we go with one of these companies and they fail to get us back in time to the port? If I'm understanding correctly, our cruise ship will keep our passports on the ship (is that correct?) and that would cause us problems on getting out of Egypt on our own. I don't think we could leave via the airport if we don't have passports. Egypt will be the last port for our ship before returning back home in Rome. Any thoughts?
Just wanted to let you know that the company's name is Nile Blue Excursions, and yes, they're excellent!
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