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Tour of Cairo and Alexandria


scrustyrock
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Hi all. I just wanted to share my experience of Ramasside tours (same as Ramses tours) based on my recent experience on the 1st November Norwegian Gem cruise.

 

First thing to mention is do check you are indeed booked on a private tour if that is what you booked. I booked a private tour many months ago but as I started asking questions closer to the date the responses I got back made me think we were on a shared tour. When I asked the direct question this was confirmed. I shouldn't have accepted this but as we subsequently had to make changes to our numbers and I didn't even think we would get to Egypt, I let it go. 

 

One important point to note: In Alexandria RAMASSIDE DO NOT PICK UP INSIDE THE PORT. They advertise themselves as being the only independent tour company who are allowed to pick up inside the port. This is simply not true. Less than 48 hours before the tour I got an email saying that Alexandria port had introduced a $200 charge for pickups inside the port gate so pick up would be outside the port gate, next to the mosque over the road. This was an easy 10 minute walk but there were many other independent tour companies picking up inside the port. In fact it seemed pretty much all of them did except Ramasside!! I recommend people reconfirm the pick up point in advance.

 

We got there at the requested time but we had to wait 30 minutes for others to show as they didn't get the email. Not their fault. Guide was waiting outside port gate with sign. No police escort like official ship tours got (not sure if other tour companies who picked up inside the port got this or not). Didn't feel this was necessary anyway and generally felt safe, except for one incident I will mention later.

 

Vehicle was ok but some seatbelts didn't work. I'll make allowances for Egyptian driving standards being low anyway, but still the driving of our driver was dangerous, especially on the way back in the dark once the guide left the group in Cairo so he could get home earlier. Constantly one hand on mobile phone, one on the wheel. When brake light of car in front came on he would accelerate. That kind of thing.  We felt it was more luck than anything else that we didn't end up in an accident.

 

Tour itself was rushed, mainly so others on the tour would have time for quad biking at the end. The 30 minute delay at the start didn't help either. Tour guide was good but he kept taking pictures with himself in with our phones then was insistent we WhatsApped them to him. That was just strange. We did tick off the pyramids, Memphis and Sakkara as advertised though. Just very quickly.

 

Where the day really turned sour was when the others in the group did the quad biking. This takes place in the kind of place I would not want to be roaming alone in the day, let alone at night. Three of our group (we made up six of the 10 on the tour) decided to do the biking to pass the time and three stayed behind. Those that stayed behind (2 ladies and a child) were simply left in the van alone without AC for one hour in the dark (was 6pm by this point). I repeat this was not a pleasant area - saw a dead horse on the street and a random camel leg! Tour guide said he would stay with them but neither he nor the driver did.

 

We arrived back at the ship at 9:30pm. Advertised return time was 7pm. Fortunately the Gem was overnighting in Alexandria so no big issue.

 

Those who are genuinely on a private tour will probably have a better experience but hopefully this will be of interest to those with upcoming Ramasside tours in Alexandria. Would definitely be looking at other independent tour companies if I came back to Egypt.
 

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