Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Gardendog

Uniworld Egypt February 9, 2019

Recommended Posts

Cormike1,

I think we had vendors throw things up on deck once. I was not part of it. I actually don't know if anyone bought anything that way. I had read here that vendors on boats would attach themselves to the cruise ships in order to sell. We got a cabin on the higher level because of that, but I don't think anyone did that. Perhaps security kept people away.

 

Sawtooth

Thanks for following along. They changed up the dates for activities a bit for us, but I don't think we missed out on anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also am so loving following along. So far it's been very much like our experience (no belly dancer, though). Esna was a highlight for us, too--how the temple is situated and the fascinating walk through the neighborhood behind the temple with the various shops used by the locals as well as passing by their homes. Valley of the Vultures--not so much! 

 

We had wares thrown on our top deck, too, as we passed through the lock. Some landed in the pool. Good thing they were in plastic! They were fished out and tossed back. The vendors in boats tied up to our ship were so noisy DH had a hard time taking his afternoon snooze. I, like cormike1, enjoyed being up top and watching    Egypt pass by. Totally fascinating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monday February 18

We had to get up early for the 5 AM departure from the ship. Check in and pat down again, but by now we were used to it. On this flight no one got upgraded to the business section, it was all empty. We had booked (and paid for) the optional Coptic tour ($30 or so per person), so we were taken directly to the Coptic area with our guides. The guests who chose could go directly to the hotel Four Seasons Nile, but the rooms would not be ready.

 

This was a very fascinating area of Cairo. The locals call it Old Cairo, because it’s one of the oldest areas of Cairo. Small narrow streets, old churches with many icons, vendors selling old photos of the pyramids. It was great. It was also very clean and our guide said that the government keeps it that way. I would hope that the home owners would as well. The guard was with us the whole time.

 

Our guide informed us on the way to the hotel that all of us had been upgraded to rooms with a view of the Nile. I know some people also got suites, but we did not. We were very pleased with our room. In our room there was also a basket of fruit and a huge tray of sweets, why we got it and not some the others, I don’t know. This was another instance where it seemed totally random who got the suites. Again,  I would have thought that people with many sailings with Uniworld would have got them, but no, several first timers got those fancier rooms. We were very happy with our room despite it not being a suite, LOL, and someone important must have stayed on our floor because there were two armed guards at the elevators.

 

DH and I ventured out on our own, walking by the American Embassy. We were stopped by guards, asking us where we were going and why. The whole street there is blocked off with huge boulders. Some of the guards told us how to get to the street where we were going, through a parking garage! Quite the adventure! Walking in Cairo is not for the faint hearted, crossing the street seemed impossible to me. We did not see any locals that we could follow as we did in Hanoi last year.

Upon return to the hotel, the security guards were very careful in checking out a man in front of us. The alarm went off several times and they had him empty out more and more! Then they apologized to us for the delay. No worries! 

 

This day dinner was on our own so we had the Egyptian buffet again at the Four Seasons. So delicious, and so many different choices. Truly amazing food. The guides do not want us to go to local restaurants, they want to make sure we stay healthy, and we did!

 

Normally this would be the day for the Cairo Sound and Light show at the Pyramids, but this week, there was no show on Monday. This was the evening for the Nile cruise in Cairo. A dozen or so went. Most were not too happy about it. We did not go as we had dined on the Nile the whole week on the Tosca. Some felt that it was so nice to see Cairo from the water by night. We went to bed very early after such a long day. 

I apologize, but I don't have any pictures from today. DH must have taken them all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tuesday, February 19

 

PYRAMID DAY!

Early morning start again but we had time to get the lovely buffet breakfast at the Four Seasons. We saw the three pyramids and got to climb them a little bit (the allowed area). We also had the opportunity to climb into one of the pyramids, lots of steps and had to stoop.

 

Camel riding in the desert, it seems so touristy but it was so much fun. We paid the camel driver directly, $11 per person and then our guide told us to tip him $2, but our guide required more than that. It was one of the more fun things to do in Egypt. Highly recommend, if you are with a tour. If not, you might be taken advantage off, money wise.

We also saw the sphinx and it started to get a bit busy.

 

We had been encouraged to order lunch boxes from the Four Seasons as a lunch stop was not included. There were fruit and water and juice on the bus, so I don’t think it was necessary to order the lunch, we did and one was good the other very average.

 

We stopped at a papyrus shop where we were shown how papyrus is made. We also had a chance to buy, fancy that. We did end up buying a piece that we really liked and it is now displayed in our home.

 

Excursion to Memphis to see the huge lying Ramses II. We were escorted by armed vehicle that drove to all intersections and closed those cross streets so we could just drive through. It was through neighborhoods.

 

This day we also visited Saqqara step pyramid and saw the bent pyramid from a distance.

 

We had an early dinner in the hotel lobby and enjoyed people watching. Many people from the gulf area dressed in impeccable white and others as well. Lots of body guards around some of those guests.

 

This was the last night and the night of the Sound and Light show at the pyramids. Armed guards escorted our bus again, and we sat through the show which was fine. Many people missed it due to the middle of the night departures, they did not miss much.

 

Out of all our days in Egypt, this might have been my favorite!

 

IMG_7990.JPG

IMG_8029.JPG

IMG_8030.JPG

IMG_8038.JPG

IMG_8047.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking us along.

we found this to be a fascinating and rewarding trip.  We had Nile River view rooms at the 4 Seasons on both ends.

Uniworld does it right!

loved the guides, always felt safe and...well fed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, sawtooth said:

Thanks for taking us along.

we found this to be a fascinating and rewarding trip.  We had Nile River view rooms at the 4 Seasons on both ends.

Uniworld does it right!

loved the guides, always felt safe and...well fed.

 

I had read that people got Nile view rooms on Uniworld. We did not and the others I spoke to did not either. It's still a nice hotel and the rooms were nice even if they did not have views of the Nile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, pyramid day is fantastic. We also had the opportunity to visit the "Solar Boat" exhibit, which was interesting. Didn't ride the camels there but had done so in Turkey. We visited a carpet factory on that day (principally to use the restrooms) but did visit a papyrus shop in Luxor where we bought three pieces which we framed and enjoy. You seem to have had a bit more armed guard presence than we did but we always felt safe. Thanks again for your excellent posts.

 

PS The sound and light show at the pyramids was a disappointment to us. Could be improved, I think. We found it interesting for about 15 minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We also stopped at the Papyrus shop and bought our zodiac sign (we are the same) and 1 for our daughter.  Very reasonable I thought but then got it home and had them framed lol.  I found the camel ride very scary and just had him walk me in front of the pyramids in the background to get that touristy picture and then I got off.  My camel was growling and I know he didn't like me haha.  I had to do it though.  I went to the light show....husband stayed behind....I could have missed it but wanted to experience everything offered.  I wasn't that impressed but it was okay.  We had a Nile view room but were only in our room such a short time that it seemed a shame not to be able to really enjoy it.  Your pictures are wonderful and bring back such great memories!  Thanks again for taking the time out to write a review!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/27/2019 at 5:15 PM, jklc123 said:

 

 

PS The sound and light show at the pyramids was a disappointment to us. Could be improved, I think. We found it interesting for about 15 minutes.

 Yes, it was a disappointment for us as well, and we went to two of them! One is more than enough. People on this board gave the Luxor one B, I'd give it C-. This one would be a bit higher, just because it was included and it was by the pyramids. 

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cormike1, thanks for reading and commenting. I have one more post wrapping up the Jerusalem extension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wednesday February 20

 

We had purchased the Jerusalem extension from Uniworld so we left at 5:15 in the morning on a bus for the airport with the rest of the group who also had signed up for this excursion. We were 11 all together. Uniworld did a fantastic job getting us through security, making sure that we were well taken care of by them and that we would not hand over our bags to any baggage handlers (he did not want anyone to take advantage of us).

 

The flight to Tel Aviv was great and we were met by a Uniworld representative at the airport who helped us to the smaller bus/van that would be our mode of transportation in Jerusalem. Rooms were not ready so the Uniworld rep took us to a restaurant for coffee while waiting for the lovely rooms at the Orient Jerusalem. DH and I wanted to check out the town so we left and did our own sight seeing in the Old City, and had the best time.

 

I will not give a detailed description of the Jerusalem extension, but have the following comments. The hotel was top notch, very new and modern and of excellent standard. The breakfast buffet was immense. The only meals included were breakfasts. I posted a picture of their special coffee treat.

 

We did not have the Vox system for this part of our tour, and boy did I miss it. It was hard to wait for everyone before the guide would give her talk at the different site (usually holy sites), and some of us were slower walkers than others, some needed/wanted to shop so there were lots of waiting for each other. If she turned her head, we could not hear. There were lots of crowds in most of the holy sites so we never really got a chance to see anything much up close, because we had to stand right next to her to hear what she said. I think for Jerusalem and Bethlehem, a private guide is the way to go. There are special rules for smaller groups. Also, lots of time was spent on getting lunch, while not everyone might want to eat lunch. We were on our own for dinner and DH and I have lovely dinners every night at close by restaurants.

 

After three days of touring, we left early again from the Orient Jerusalem. The hotel provided us with lovely boxed breakfasts. We were taken by taxi to the airport and the Uniworld rep met us by the taxi,  helped us through the first security and to the check in counter. After that, our own flight arrangements took over. We were very pleased with the high service in getting us to our flight. We came back to Chicago in very high winds but landed safely. It was such a great trip. I think DH and I would have had more fun doing Jerusalem on our own, but now I just feel that we need to go back and see all of Israel.

IMG_8065.JPG

IMG_8087.JPG

IMG_8094.JPG

IMG_8139.JPG

IMG_8195.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • Celebrity Edge in Europe Sweepstakes
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...