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Jade March 8 from Barcelona--Day Eight & Nine (Cairo)


Carnac767

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1. At-sea day on Saturday, March 14th. Began the morning with our 25-minute half-body massages at the Spa. This was part of our deluxe Honeymoon/Romance package. My masseuse was Silvia, from Spain; while my wife’s was Katie, from the UK. I’d never had a massage before and I can’t think of enough good words to describe the experience. It was fantastic. Actually, it was way beyond fantastic. Wow.

2. Later in the morning we joined some of our roll call friends in Spinnakers for the morning trivia contest. Our team won in sudden death, snagging some of those highly sought-after NCL luggage tags. Can’t have too many of them.

3. It’s a beautiful day, incidentally, with calm seas. The weather seems to be warming, too. We had lunch at the Garden Café, sitting outside on Deck 12. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as we sat it started to rain. Fortunately the rain passed quickly and we were bathed in sunshine again.

4. Spent a really lazy afternoon just lazing in the sun and reading. We did get in a work-out and some time in the spa. The spa package has been a great investment for us.

5. The roll-call trivia team prevailed again in the afternoon session, again in sudden-death. We snagged some more of those priceless luggage tags and some extremely valuable NCL playing cards.

6. We had a late dinner in the Grand Pacific with some roll-call friends and then went back to the cabin to pack for our Cairo excursion.

7. The following morning, Sunday, March 15 (the Ides of March), we were scheduled to arrive in Alexandria at seven. However, when we got up at six, we found that we were already tied up at the pier. I barely had time to take a few photos from the balcony before it was time to rush off to the Stardust for our tour muster at 6:45. We were called immediately to leave the ship. This time our bus number is printed on our excursion ticket. We’re finally number one.

8. On the bus we met our guide, Hany; our driver, Said; and our security guard, Muhammed. All NCL tour buses have a security guard onboard, armed with a submachine gun. Hany holds a master’s degree in Egyptology and is one of only three hundred scholars in the world who can speak Hieroglyphics. He was a terrific guide. Sometimes he’s like having Egypt’s version of Jerry Seinfeld as your guide. He has a great sense of humor.

9. The bus is equipped with a toilet and Hany said that apart from the bathroom in our hotel, the toilet on our bus would be the cleanest and safest to use during the next two days. Someone please bring some Trader Joe’s citrus spray with you . . . maybe some Lysol, too.

10. Though the drive from Alexandria to Cairo takes about three hours, Hany made the trip fly by. Immediately he began telling us the history of the city of Alexandria, starting with its founding by Alexander the Great. Among the sights he pointed out to us as we left the city were St. Mark’s church (only Protestant church in Alex); the Roman baths, amphitheater, and university; the statue of Muhammad Ali (the 19th century ruler of Egypt, not the boxer); and the most beautiful bridge in Egypt (well, he said it was).

11. Most of the drive to Cairo was spent discussing ancient Egypt’s history. I won’t bother to repeat everything because most of you will be taking similar tours and getting a similar crash course on Egyptology. I can’t imagine you’ll find a guide with a more distinguished background than Hany, though. His company, NASCOTours, is contracted by NCL for the Cairo Overnight. I don’t know if you can ask to be assigned to Hany’s bus but it’s worth asking at the excursion desk.

12. Of course, we were also given a sales pitch on cartouches on the way, too. These are perhaps the number one tourist purchase in Egypt and Hany gave us a rundown on exactly what they are. The original cartouches were outlines inscribed around the names of Egyptian royalty in Hieroglyphics. Now gold pendants with ones’ name spelled in Hieroglyphics have become quite popular. Hany passed out brochures to show us what was available and the price. If anyone was interested, he could take orders now and they would be picked up this evening. I think just about everyone on the bus placed an order. I nicknamed the gentleman in front of me the Cartouche King because he ordered twelve—lots of grandchildren.

13. I’ve spoken to several members of our roll call—everyone gets the cartouche pitch whether they’re on an NCL tour or a private tour.

14. As we approached the outskirts of Cairo we could see the Pyramids at Giza. What a tremendous sight. Hany said that this was a very rare day, indeed, because normally the pollution is so bad in Cairo that one can never see the pyramids from where we were.

15. The traffic mushrooms into a chaotic crush once one gets into Cairo. If there’s someone you strongly dislike, I suggest you buy them a plane ticket to Cairo and get them a rental car. You’ll never see them again. Fortunately, Said our driver has nerves of steel and calmly just plunged our bus through the traffic chaos. I think the law of gross tonnage applies. I noticed that traffic lights have no apparent meaning in Cairo, other than to perhaps indicate that the electricity is working in that part of the city.

16. We drove across the Nile (twice) and then found our way to the Citadel and Mosque of Saladin, both very impressive structures. This was our first stop of the day. Hany guided us around the citadel and then took us inside the mosque, giving us an extensive history of both the fortress and the mosque. Said gives you a plastic bag to place your shoes in or you can buy shoe covers for a dollar. If you buy the shoe covers, you don’t have to take your shoes off to enter the mosque. My wife was wearing a dress that was hemmed below her knees but they still made her put on a green robe that went down to her ankles. She was styling.

17. After we exited the mosque we had time to wander about a bit. From the citadel walls we had an excellent view of the pyramids. Once again, Hany said this was rare.

18. We ran the gamut of vendors to get back to the bus. You’ll be faced with this challenge everywhere you go in Egypt. Hany told us where the most reputable sellers would be on our tour. Everyone in the country is looking for a piece of the action.

19. After the citadel we went to the Egyptian museum of antiquities, where we focused primarily on the King Tut exhibits. As we exited the bus, our driver gave each of us a water bottle. Photography is not allowed in this museum. For this tour we wore the whisperers, the little ear phone gadgets you use so you can hear your guide over the mob of tourists. And the museum was mobbed, and not just by folks on NCL excursions. We were the first NCL group to arrive there and the last to leave. We certainly got our money’s worth here. That made us thirty minutes late for lunch but nobody minded. Hany also explained that we were operating on Egyptian time, which is very elastic.

20. There are many exhibits in the museum where guiding is not allowed. Hany would stand outside the exhibit and talk to us via the whisperers, pointing to the different artifacts he was talking about. That was extremely helpful. DeCastro and Nile Blue didn’t have this, I was told.

21. I should mention here that you’ll have to go through metal detectors at every exhibit you visit in Egypt. And each time you re-board the bus your driver will give you the old hand-sanitizer squirt. At each stop, too, your security guard gets off first to ensure its safe to get off the bus.

22. Let me state here that we found the Egyptian people to be warm, friendly and gracious. The amount of poverty and squalor you’ll see is appalling. Many people there live in conditions little changed in five hundred years. Despite this, almost everyone we encountered had a smile and a wave for us.

23. After the museum we were taken to our hotel for lunch. The hotel for our group was the Conrad, located right on the Nile. We went directly to lunch, which was a buffet—the first of many. The buffet featured a wide variety of salads, entrees, and desserts in plentiful amounts. Water, tea, and coffee were included. Everything else was extra. It was recommended that if anyone wanted soft drinks to buy them from Said. He sold sodas for a dollar fifty or one Euro. They were around five dollars in the hotel.

24. After lunch we went up to our room, where we had about an hour until we were to re-board the bus. That’s when we discovered that we were in a suite. We had rooms overlooking the Nile, with two balconies, a living room, full-kitchen, two bathrooms, and large bedroom. The rooms were huge and spotlessly clean. The NCL brochure said we’d be in a five-star hotel and they weren’t kidding.

25. Another warning—Hany warned us that not even Egyptian tap water is safe. Don’t even use it to brush your teeth. Use the bottled water provided in your hotel room.

26. We were back on the bus about 4:30 for the drive to Giza to attend the Pyramids Sound and Light Show. Hany said it would take about an hour to get there and the show would start at 5:30. We arrived at 5:40 and the show began a little after six. Egyptian time, once again. While waiting for the show to begin we were able to snag some great sunset shots of the Pyramids and Sphinx. The sight of those awesome structures was breathtaking. This was something both my wife and I had wanted to see our whole lives. I think just about everyone with us felt the same way.

27. The show itself was entertaining, though at times a bit overdramatic. The narrator seemed to be direct from central casting for a Cecil B. DeMille epic. Still photography is allowed at the show but you have to pay a seven dollar fee to use a video camera.

28. After the show we drove to Papyrus Institute for shopping. Earlier in the day Hany had explained that papyrus is a popular souvenir in Egypt and that 90 percent of what tourists buy is fake, made from the banana tree. Banana papyrus has a vinegar odor and a rough feel. Genuine papyrus has a pleasant aroma and smooth feel. The fake papyrus will disintegrate in a few weeks. The store Hany took us to was a reputable seller and provided a certificate of authenticity for all its products.

29. I had no idea what all the fuss was about. At the institute Hany gave us a demonstration of how papyrus is produced, which was very interesting, and then turned us loose to shop. The papyrus is used for artwork. So that’s what they do with it. Many different drawings on papyrus were available, almost all featuring scenes from ancient Egyptian mythology, of which we’d heard a great deal about during the day. We ended up getting two small scenes, both related to King Tut and his wife, for about fifty dollars. I’d say they’re about 10” X 12” in size.

30. Next door to the Papyrus Institute was the shopping mall where we picked up our cartouches. Hany explained that Egypt is the best place in the world for 18 ct gold but that India was tops for 24 ct gold. Of course, after picking up the cartouches, there was the inevitable pitch for the gold chains. Eighteen carat chains were being offered at $159, but they’d come down to $138. I don’t know a gold chain from a chain store but my wife said that was a very good price. She didn’t need one so we ended up just getting one . . . and I will never ever wear this cartouche. What was I thinking? Well, my daughter has an extra gold chain! (or she thinks she does).

31. After the shopping extravaganza, the last item on our itinerary this evening was our Nile dinner cruise. We drove back into Cairo, about fifteen to twenty minutes, and boarded the Nile Crystal for an evening of food (another buffet) and belly dancing. The food was good, quite similar to what we had for lunch, and the dancing was fun to watch. Trying to get a drink was painful. There were lots of waiters but service wasn’t their strong suit. But they surely were good at standing around. We finally got our drinks after we’d finished our dessert.

32. Meanwhile the boat did circuits up and down the Nile in the hear t of Cairo. That was fun . . . for about the first fifty times.

33. We got back to the hotel around ten. It was time to enjoy the flipping sweet suite, which had the most comfortable bed and big pillows I’ve ever enjoyed . . . and I travel for a living. My wife was thrilled with the gigantic towels. That Egyptian cotton is awesome! (emphasis provided by Sarah).

34. We had breakfast in the hotel around seven-twenty and were on the bus at eight. So we didn’t have all that long to enjoy our flipping sweet suite. Our first destination this morning was the burial ground at Sakkara (or Saqqara . . . they still can’t figure out the right way to spell things after 4500 years). Sakkara is the burial ground of a whole bunch of dead people . . . the live ones kept running away, I suppose. It’s actually where the first pyramid was built, and it was an accident. It’s where the step pyramid of Zoser is located. We were the first tourist group of the morning to arrive and had the place to ourselves. Hany gave us an indepth history of the area and then took us into the mustabah (tomb) of Ptah-Hotep, an architect of several Pharaohs (2400 BC). Inside the tomb he deciphered the Hieroglyphics that adorn the tomb, which brought the story of Ptah-Hotep alive. It was incredible.

35. Our next stop was Memphis, which was destroyed by Ramses II because he decided he didn’t like the place. Later he had second thoughts and rebuilt it. A museum is located on the site now, displaying artifacts that have been uncovered. Incidentally, I mentioned that we were first on the site of Sakkara. When we left, there were thirteen other tour buses in the parking lot.

36. From Memphis, we drove to Giza to see the Pyramids again. Last night we’d viewed them at a distance at the Sound and Light Show. Today we would get up close and personal.

37. Hany warned us in advance about the vendors at Giza. He said that Egyptians are a decent and honest people, by and large. All of the dishonest people have been rounded up and placed at the Pyramids. Here are some of his rules for dealing with vendors:

a. Do not talk to them

b. Do not acknowledge them

c. Do not accept anything from them

i. They try to give you “gifts” and then later demand $20. When you try to give the item back, they say that’s a grave insult

ii. Keep your hands in your pockets and guard your wallet

d. Don’t be intimidated by them. Insult them if you have to. Don’t feel sorry for them.

e. They will try to be friendly but they’re just reeling you in.

f. Even the police there will try to fleece you.

g. Your bus security guard is a good man to stay close to.

38. Only one pyramid is open for viewing. This year it’s the Pyramid of Khufu (or however it’s spelled). It costs six dollars to enter and you can’t take your camera. You have to bend over at the waist and duck walk down a dark corridor until reaching the middle, where you’re in a dark, dank, almost airless chamber. It’s not worth it! But if you absolutely must say you did it, then knock yourself out. Everyone else will be outside in the fresh air snapping mondo photos of the pyramids (and getting fleeced by Egyptian vendors because they’ve failed to follow their guide’s advice).

39. Our first stop was at the Great Pyramid of Cheops. I just wanted to stand there and soak it all in but that was next to impossible as I fought off wave after wave of vendors. I just wanted to borrow Muhammad’s MP-5 for five minutes. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re there on your own, on a private tour, or on an NCL excursion—you’re going to get hammered by the vendors. Just be prepared and be tough.

40. After Cheops we drove a short distance to the Pyramid of Khufu, who was the son of Cheops. That’s where many of our group were going to board camels (those nasty, temperamental creatures) and ride over to the third pyramid, built for the son of Khufu and whose name I can’t even begin to remember. Hany had arranged ahead of time for the camels from a reputable camel jockey. The cost would be $22 each. For those of us who weren’t into camels, we could take pictures and then ride the bus to the next stop. Hany also arranged a camel for those who just wanted to get their picture taken on one. I believe that cost six dollars.

41. An older woman in our group tripped over a rock on the way to the camels and broke her ankle. An ambulance was immediately summoned and she was taken to the Anglo-American Hospital of Cairo, which Hany told us was the best hospital in the city (and the only decent one, according to him). All of the doctors at that hospital are U.S. or U.K. trained. Luckily the woman was on an NCL excursion, so she was completely covered by the ship’s insurance. I spoke to the Jade’s captain today and he told me that the woman had surgery this morning. She and her husband will be flown back to the States once she’s released from the hospital. This will all be done at NCL’s expense.

42. The accident certainly put a big damper on what had been a terrific day but our guide assured us that the woman and her husband were in excellent hands. An NCL representative would be staying with them and taking care of everything.

43. Our final stop at Giza was by the Sphinx, where we had a little more time for photos. Then it was on to lunch at Le Meridien Hotel, which overlooks the Great Pyramid. It’s the hotel where the folks on the DeCastro tour stayed. Our lunch was yet another buffet. I was beginning to think they just moved the food from one place to another. It was very good but it was all the same.

44. We left the hotel at three, heading back for Alexandria. Our guide summarized all the things we’d seen in the past two days. As he highlighted the sights of Alexandria, I found it hard to believe we’d just seen them the day before. It seemed as if our tour had lasted five days—that’s how much information we’d received. Listening to Hany was like getting a PhD level course in Egyptology in two days.

45. We took a different route on the way back to the ship and arrived at the port at around five thirty. What an incredible two days. I think almost everyone had booked this cruise with Egypt first and foremost on our minds. We certainly weren’t disappointed. I recommend our particular excursion to everyone. I’ve talked to the DeCastro and Nile Blue cruisers and they also report a great excursion, though the Nile Blue people have complained that their hotel beds were very uncomfortable. They were originally scheduled to stay at Le Meridien but then were changed to another hotel, which I can’t remember the name at the moment. Needless to say, Cairo and the Pyramids were a massive hit.

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Thanks for another excellent report!

When the internet is cooperating again, could you please tell me how NCL handled the return of your passports? They collect them at the beginning of the cruise and return them as you disembark in Alexandria, right? Do they do this the night before or the morning you arrive? I know you've been on all NCL tours, but have you noticed how they manage private tours at disembarkation, especially in Egypt? Are NCL's tours routinely first off the ship?

Thanks so much--I can't wait to hear about Malta!

Susan

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Thanks for another excellent report!

 

When the internet is cooperating again, could you please tell me how NCL handled the return of your passports? They collect them at the beginning of the cruise and return them as you disembark in Alexandria, right? Do they do this the night before or the morning you arrive? I know you've been on all NCL tours, but have you noticed how they manage private tours at disembarkation, especially in Egypt? Are NCL's tours routinely first off the ship?

 

Thanks so much--I can't wait to hear about Malta!

 

Susan

 

We did this on the 11/30 cruise last year. The sea day before Alexandria everyone can pick up their passports from a central location from like 8:30 - 9:30. I think it was in the other free restaurant not Grand Pacific. If you don't pick them up then you can get from the customer service desk with your room keys. They collect them afterwards on your return the second day. We did Egypt on our own using the train. Was an adventure to be sure but no problems. Just follow all the rules listed on this thread when it comes to dealing with the locals.

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Thanks for the nice feedback. Passports were distributed in the Alizar restaurant on the sea day prior to reaching Alexandria. They were available from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I'm sorry I didn't mention that in my report. There was just so much stuff to cover my head was about to explode. I also forgot to mention the weather--it was sunny and a little bit cool when we got off the ship but warmed up nicely. I was comfortable with a short sleeve shirt. You'll need a jacket and possibly a light sweater for the evening, though, because the desert does get quite chilly at night. No problem for the private tour people leaving the ship as soon as the port authority clears the ship. Oh, and the spa passes were $250 for two people, which is just a little more than ten dollars per day. We've made great use of them. We also added the couples razul session for another $25. That ordinarily is $79. It's an hour long session by yourself with mud and other funky stuff. Since this is a PG site, I'll say no more. ;) But it was fun.

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Trying to decide between Nile Blue and NCL for the overnight--- can you tell me around how many people were in your NCL group?

Thanks!

 

 

Please do the NCL one. The OP's points 41 & 42 are the most damning. We also did the NCL's Best of Cairo overnight (coach #3) and it was EXCELLENT. Althought we stayed at different hotel and ate buffets at different places (except Nile Crystal) we also enjoyed them all - there was one thing that everybody got addicted to by the end - Egyptian bread (OMG).

 

I concur exactly to what OP said about the tour and Egypt. We loved it.

 

OP, looking forward to your Malta review!!

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Please do the NCL one. The OP's points 41 & 42 are the most damning. We also did the NCL's Best of Cairo overnight (coach #3) and it was EXCELLENT. Althought we stayed at different hotel and ate buffets at different places (except Nile Crystal) we also enjoyed them all - there was one thing that everybody got addicted to by the end - Egyptian bread (OMG).

 

I concur exactly to what OP said about the tour and Egypt. We loved it.

 

OP, looking forward to your Malta review!!

 

Appreciate you pointing that out. Hadn't even thought of that in terms of private tour vs NCL. I've booked my daughter and I on NCL's Classic Cairo day trip and then Alexandria tour the next day. With being a single mom with teenage daughter, I'd rather be in the hands of NCL and overnight back on the ship.

 

Want to hear about Malta! I'm sad for Carnac that his cruise is coming to an end. Have really appreciated his posts and it makes my trip seem not so far away.

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thanks for the report. I love Cairo and two days isn;t enough. If you want to watch them making a cartouche its posted at my you tube site. http://www.youtube.com/smeyer there is also me on the police Camel by the Bent Pyramid(I didn't take the picture so don't blame me for the fact the potograher turned the camera)...

 

BTW the tour guides are paid practically nothing. They bid for the tours. They get paid by commissions for the cartouches and their share of the camel rides...and tips of course

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thanks for the report. I love Cairo and two days isn;t enough. If you want to watch them making a cartouche its posted at my you tube site. www.youtube.com/smeyer there is also me on the police Camel by the Bent Pyramid(I didn't take the picture so don't blame me for the fact the potograher turned the camera)...

 

BTW the tour guides are paid practically nothing. They bid for the tours. They get paid by commissions for the cartouches and their share of the camel rides...and tips of course

opps its http://www.youtube.com/smeyer418 sorry about that

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Please do the NCL one. The OP's points 41 & 42 are the most damning. We also did the NCL's Best of Cairo overnight (coach #3) and it was EXCELLENT. Althought we stayed at different hotel and ate buffets at different places (except Nile Crystal) we also enjoyed them all - there was one thing that everybody got addicted to by the end - Egyptian bread (OMG).

 

I concur exactly to what OP said about the tour and Egypt. We loved it.

 

OP, looking forward to your Malta review!!

 

 

I am considering the NCL tour- and you do make a good point. However just don't enjoy being part of a large group. How many were on your bus? Did you do things in a different order from the other buses or did all the buses go to the pyramids, museum, ect at the same time and just split up for eating/sleeping? Thanks for your help!

I also loved reading all of the OP reviews and can't wait to here about Malta!!

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We did the NCL Cairo 2-day tour over Christmas. Our bus was full and one of many (eleven???? I forget the exact number).

We did things out of order - the museum was our first stop followed by the mosque. There were usually a few NCL buses at any one place at the same time.

 

Remember though - these are all busy tourist stops and the NCL buses were not the only buses there. Every spot was very very crowded when we were there.

 

We were at the mercy of one very selfish family who had us waiting at every stop. This could've happened on any tour, no matter how big - it's just the luck of the draw when it comes to your traveling companions.

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I am considering the NCL tour- and you do make a good point. However just don't enjoy being part of a large group. How many were on your bus? Did you do things in a different order from the other buses or did all the buses go to the pyramids, museum, ect at the same time and just split up for eating/sleeping? Thanks for your help!

I also loved reading all of the OP reviews and can't wait to here about Malta!!

 

We did the NCL Cairo 2-day tour over Christmas. Our bus was full and one of many (eleven???? I forget the exact number).

We did things out of order - the museum was our first stop followed by the mosque. There were usually a few NCL buses at any one place at the same time.

 

Remember though - these are all busy tourist stops and the NCL buses were not the only buses there. Every spot was very very crowded when we were there.

 

We were at the mercy of one very selfish family who had us waiting at every stop. This could've happened on any tour, no matter how big - it's just the luck of the draw when it comes to your traveling companions.

 

ukbecky is right - we did things out of order - we did the museum first when arriving in Cairo - there were about 3 or 4 coaches visiting the museum at the same time and funnily enough each coachload went on different route within the museum.

 

Yes, we preferred to tour in small groups (or by ourselves) - we did so in all other ports, but for Egypt, being a completely different, non-English speaking, Arabic country, we chose to be at NCL's mercy for our security and safety sakes. We were so happy to have taken the NCL tour. The coaches were clean, comfy and offered large windows high up to be able to sightsee and take drive-by photos.

 

Our coach has about 30 pax - sorry I didn't count - maybe 34? A handful of seats were empty.

 

I don't think all coaches went to same hotel for the night - some went to one, some to a different one, etc. But I did notice that ALL coaches went to the same dinner cruise (Nile Crystal) and to the same luncheon buffet on the 2nd day before returning to Alexandria.

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Thanks for all the info! For now-we have booked the overnight with NCL. Your review sounded amazing- so we decided to go for it. There were a few reasons: knowing we will be safe and that the ship will wait on us if we get stuck in that traffic, having a clean and always available bathroom,and knowing exactly what is included (with the few private guides I have been emailing it's very confusing on whats included and what is extra).

 

I do have a question for you though: Did you get to visit the Mummy Room at the museum and if so was it included?

 

Thanks!!

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Thanks for all the info! For now-we have booked the overnight with NCL. Your review sounded amazing- so we decided to go for it. There were a few reasons: knowing we will be safe and that the ship will wait on us if we get stuck in that traffic, having a clean and always available bathroom,and knowing exactly what is included (with the few private guides I have been emailing it's very confusing on whats included and what is extra).

 

I do have a question for you though: Did you get to visit the Mummy Room at the museum and if so was it included?

 

Thanks!!

 

Yes, we visited the Mummy Room. The museum was so huge that you'd need a full day or two to cover, so when we visited we were shown the major highlights of the museum.

 

All admissions are included in NCL's price.

 

Make sure to take lots of US$1 bills and a few US$5 bills - for haggling and buying souvenirs.

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Thanks for all the info! For now-we have booked the overnight with NCL. Your review sounded amazing- so we decided to go for it. There were a few reasons: knowing we will be safe and that the ship will wait on us if we get stuck in that traffic, having a clean and always available bathroom,and knowing exactly what is included (with the few private guides I have been emailing it's very confusing on whats included and what is extra).

 

I do have a question for you though: Did you get to visit the Mummy Room at the museum and if so was it included?

 

Thanks!!

 

What Blue Sea said, though we concentrated mainly on the King Tut exhibit. Be a hero on your tour bus and bring a small can of air freshener for the loo. You'll be glad you did.

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Thanks so much for providing all of this information. I have already booked the NCL overnight tour for the 4/10 sailing, but was unable to find out if a camel ride or entrance into one of the pyramids was an option. I am much happier with my decision now. Not sure if I'll do either, but I'm glad to know that I have the option.

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