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Anyone Recently Used Ramses Tours?


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I surely hope those who have experienced a very poor guide reported this to Ramses to spare those of us who follow from getting the same subpar experience. That's what I would do.

 

Kathy[/quote

 

I did report this to Ramses and got a very apologetic reply offering us a refund and stating that he had telephoned the guide and told her that her services were no longer required. He also stated that since my comment on Cruise critics he had had lots of cancellations and would I delete my comment!! Bit difficult to know how to reply to that one.

Despite this I still feel that if you get the correct guide this company is to be recommended. Other people can confirm this and I think there are more good reports than bad.

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Wondering if anyone has recently used Ramses Tours for an overnight tour while in Egypt? Will be using them in a few months and was wondering if someone could give a review of how their recent tour was with them. I have read many posts from people who are booked with them for upcoming excursions, but not from anyone who has actually used them recently. Did you visit everything as planned? Any info will be most appreciated.

 

Recently used Ramses Tours and was not pleased. I believe they have just become overwhelmed with tour requests and can no longer provide

the quality of services they once did. Take the time to look into other

tour companies for your Egypt experience!!

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Recently used Ramses Tours and was not pleased. I believe they have just become overwhelmed with tour requests and can no longer provide

the quality of services they once did. Take the time to look into other

tour companies for your Egypt experience!!

 

Can you give some more details about what you didn't like about your Ramses tour? We're booked with them for next May, but I must say this sudden flurry of bad reviews is a bit worrisome.

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We have just returned from a tour of a lifetime that we had booked with Ramses Tours, www.ramsestours.com in Egypt overnight in Cairo. We had a group of 54 people which filled 5 seperate mini-buses. I worked with George from Ramses for almost a year with the booking process and questions that would arise from our group. He never tired of the questions and always responded so quick, you would have thought he was only down the street from us. He accomodated our large group into 5 small groups so we could maintain only 10 - 12 people verses 54 at once. It worked out perfect. We were able to go at our own speed per bus and taylor the tour to what everyone wanted to do, such as lunches. For example, some groups chose to skip lunch and eat a snack so they could see more while others were looking forward to a traditional Egyptian lunch to experience the tastes of the land. Our bus stopped at a buffet lunch by the pyramids. It was delicious.

 

To begin, our guides were waiting for us as we exited the terminal buiding and we did have to walk a little way to the back end of the terminal parking as priority at the port parking is given to the large buses that are booked with the ships tours, so if you are booking with any private tours, they do make them park outside of the terminal parking area. Once we reached our buses, we were off to Cairo. The trip is about 3 hours, but we stopped at a very nice rest stop for a bathroom break. There was a girl waiting inside, distributing sheets of toilet paper and you would pay her for this if you needed any. It was no shock for our group as anyone that has done their homework and read the boards on Cruise Critic and also Trip Advisor, everyone has mentioned this issue and we were all prepared for this. We even were given good advice from both boards to purchase and carry Charmin to Go that is sold for $1.00 in many stores, not only for Egypt but while visiting all European countries.. So we had no problems as the bathroom was very clean and moved quickly to get in and out of.

 

We were back on the bus in no time and again on our way. Our driver, Mr. Hassan, should come to America and be a race car driver, he would have no probelm getting a sponsor as good as he is. The first and most important tour factor in Egypt is the traffic. We had read many posts with people telling us how much traffic was there, but it still did not prepare us for what we experienced. If it was not for the precision and experience of Mr. Hassan's driving, we would never have been able to see all that we saw in the limited time that we had. For those people that have special places in their hearts that they really want to see, I must explain here that sometimes it just does not happen in the amount of time that we have there. I know, how many of us will ever get back to Egypt again and we want to see it all on this trip, but you really need to go back again to get it all in. I would like to say at this point that I would not reccomend doing a one day tour in Cairo. It is a three hour drive to Cairo on a good day, but there could be, and usually is, heavy traffic that could delay you further and Ramses has no control over this issue. Then you see the sights and have to drive another 3 or so hours back to the ship.

 

The overnight that we did was the best way to see it all. Our tour guide, Karim, was the best. He was very informative and answered all our questions. He was accomodating to all our needs and kept a schedule that allowed us to get it all in. We found in the beginning of the tour that the pace was a fast set and that took us by surprise as we knew we had two days to see it all, so why go so fast. We didnt appreciate the fast pace until the very end of the tour as we then realized that if he would not have pushed us and kept us moving, we would never have seen all the beautfiul sights that we did. We had no idea as to how far apart the sites were from one another and how much traffic delays eat up your time. Karim is one of the top 10 guides in Egypt and we all can understand why. He was great. He not only kept us informed but he was in constant contact with our next stop by cell phone to ensure everything was set up and waiting for us for easy entries so it would not hold us up.

 

Our stay overnight was at the Oberoi Mena House and was so beautfiul. If you are choosing the overnight tour, the Oberoi Mena House without any doubt is the way to go. We payed $30.00pp extra for the Oberoi Mena House and another $30.00 extra for the pyramid view room, and it was worth every single cent as when I entered the room, it was so beautfiul with the balcony facing the pyramids, that I cried at the beautfiul view. Our guide, Karim, called everyone after being in their rooms for 5 minutes to ensure that all was 100 percent satisfactory. The hotel was 5 star as they said and lived up to everything it advertised on the Oberoi Mena website. It was fabulous. All of us wished we did not have to leave the next morning. We were treated to breakfast before setting off for another day of wonderful sights and great fun as Karim had a great sense of humor.

 

Egypt is a hard tour for the guides as you have people on the tour all doing different things, such as some do the mummy rooms, some choose to do the camel rides, some go into the solar boat museum, some do the entry to the pyramid, some choose to do the Nile dinner cruise and some choose to do the light and sound show. Karim was so organized, that when others were doing their choice the remaining people were shown something else. We did the Nile Dinner Cruise, it was great. It was on the Nile Crystal rather then the Nile Maxim as we thought, but our time delayed in trafffic set us back and the Nile Maxim had already sailed. Karim worked hard on calling ahead to ensure our passage on the Nile Crystal and we loved every minute of it as the entertainment was excellent, the singers were great, the belly dancer was beautiful and the food was delicious and plentyful. Going down the Nile at night was peaceful and romantic. We loved the food and the Egyptian atmosphere. It was the best and gave us the true experience of Egypt. We had two days of Egyptian style food and none of us became ill. Ramses uses the same places over and over again to ensure that past customers tell them that they did not become ill, so they do know, trust and can feel very confident taking them there for the safety of their guiest.

 

At the Museum we were shown the masterpieces of the collections as you can not see all of them in the time that you have alloted. My husband and I never expected to see the magniturde of people visiting the museum. There had to be thousands there that day, but our guide still managed to get us through in a timely fashion that we were able to see the most important pieces and the mummy rooms.

 

I could go on forever about Ramses as they never strayed from what they promised, a tour of a lifetime. In todays world, you will not find many companies that deliver 100 percent anymore, but Ramses did.

 

My best advice to everyone visiting Egypt is that you must be flexible and be prepared to move along. If you want to do shopping, then sign up for a shoping tour, as there is little time to shop if you want to see all the sights. Traffic will have alot to do with what you see and how much and if you dont see it, it will not be because of Ramses as they really do everything in their power to get it all in for you.

 

As for payments, we all payed USD cash at the end of the tour. That included everything, we had to pay for nothing anywhere we went I had made up a list for each person of what they chose so they knew what they were responsible for and they paid the guide as we drove back to the ship at the end. When we first signed up with Ramses that was a major concern, the money issue and how to carry it. My husband carried his money in his front pocket. We never were afraid in Egypt and none of us experienced any issues with the money. I think more people are going to have more troubles with loosing their money with their methods of hiding it then they will with sometone taking it. Some people on the ship were said to be putting it in their socks, bras, and shoes.

 

I recommend Ramses with all my heart as our memories of Egypt are perfect ones thanks to them. If you have any specific questions, as there are so many when you are traveling to a place, please feel free to email me at optifire173@comcast.net

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We have just returned from a tour of a lifetime that we had booked with Ramses Tours, www.ramsestours.com in Egypt overnight in Cairo. We had a group of 54 people which filled 5 seperate mini-buses.

 

 

I sent you an email to thank you for this very helpful report, but I wanted to do so publicly as well. Our group of 61 is looking forward to the same wonderful experience!

Kathy

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It's interesting to read all the recent reviews, and always expected that all experiences should not be equal. It's always difficult to judge a company by some specific experiences, but to me, it's a question of balance.

 

I would be very surprised to read 100% perfect reviews for a tour operator - that would be suspicious! Having travelled quite a bit, and cruised quite a bit, I have done dozens of shore tours privately, on my own, with local guides and with cruise sponsored tours as well. Some were great, some good, some bad.

 

I also believe it has a lot to do with the individuals more than the company!

 

But how I will judge a company is by their responsiveness to my needs before hands, and to my comments (positive or negative) during and after!

 

I also used Ramses a year ago and was most impressed with the pre-arrangements. But what I was most impressed with was their attentiveness during the tour. Their manager called a few times during the day to ensure all was to our satisfaction. I would have felt very comfortable mentionning anything that was not to our liking at that time, and feel they would have corrected it.

 

I strongly agree with Cruisemom42 when she says that we must be clear and upfront with our needs and expectations BEFORE so that the operator can have all the requirements to build a tour and provide an appropriate guide for us. Email can be deceptive as we have to read between the lines sometimes... By stating clearly what we want, like a guide with excellent English skills that can answer in depth questions about history, culture, art etc., the company would know to send an experienced guide! Also, you can certainly ask to speak to the manager during the day to check on your satisfaction level!

 

I sympathize with those who didn't have a good tour with Ramses, but I hope that it won't prevent people from booking with them, or even worse, cancel their bookings as we had a wonderful experience with them and look forward to repeat it next year!!

 

MC

Edited by Marie-Claude
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Like NY Cruisequeen, we had Ayman Khalifa as our guide. He was wonderful. We also had a guide in training with us for the day. She was very nice. There were 12 of us in a group, and my husband and I enjoyed the tour. I'm assuming everyone else did as well because I didn't hear any complaints. Personally, my husband and I didn't like Egypt very much. This had nothing to do with Ramses. My only "complaint" is that Ayman had originally said we were eating at Hard Rock. (YESSSS!!! "Safe" food...I got a little germophobic while in Egypt.) Then later in the day he said it was too crowded. We ate at Cleopatra (I think?) Buffet. The food was fine, none of us got sick. It did make me a little more nervous than eating at Hard Rock. :)

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Our group of eight used Ramses for a two day tour from Alexandria in early October. We all enjoyed our time in Egypt even though it was extremely crowded and rushed. But really, just our ship brought 3000 of our closest friends and we all wanted to see the same things! And we wanted to see everything. So the itinerary was (by our choice!) packed with things to see and do and places to go.

 

Our tour guide Shady (pronounced Shoddy) spoke excellent English and was very knowledgeable and informative and welcomed questions about modern Egyptian life, religion and politics in addition to ancient times. Our driver Sherif got us to the places we needed to go in one piece and made the best of the traffic situation. The one complaint we had was that lunch the first day was put off later and later by all the things we were scheduled to do until we begged to eat at 3 pm before Saqqara but then had to rush to make it before they closed at 4. But the other option of eating lunch at 4 pm made no sense to us since breakfast had been at 6 am and dinner was to be at 7:30 pm on the dinner cruise.

 

There were huge crowds everywhere but especially at Memphis where the small Sphynx and huge Ramses statue are and the Egyptian museum. The crowds made those stops less enjoyable but we still would have stopped to see them. But Shady urged us along so that we could fit everything into our short stay. We stayed at the Mercure which used to be Le Sofitel. We didn't have any time to see anything in the evening because most of us went to the dinner show/cruise but in the morning I took the time to see the grounds. They were filled with gardens and an inviting pool area. It was a little oasis in the city. The drive back to Alexandria took almost 4 1/2 hours but nothing anyone can do about that! We still arrived in plenty of time before the ship left.

 

All in all, I think we were all pleased with the trip. We saw everything we could possibly fit into our time. I would stick with small groups. I think it went smoother than having more people would have. I can recommend Ramses.

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We used Ramses for our Cairo overnight tour in early October. Our guide was absolutely fabulous. He was sweet and accommodating and absolutely wonderful (despite a few difficult people in our party...)

 

The same cannot be said for Ramses management. The company failed to take care of our wonderful guide--to the point where they did not even have a hotel room booked for him or our driver! We were in a ridiculous 5* hotel, while they were supposed to be in a lesser hotel nearby. We came to find out the next morning that they had not booked a place for him, and our guide ended up sleeping on a friend's couch overnight, as he had no where else to go.

 

That put a really bad taste in my mouth. Ramses seems to know that they have the guides in the palm of their hand. These people are desperate for income, so the company can treat them poorly and the guides have no choice but to continue working for them.

 

Needless to say, we all tipped our guide very generously to make up for it. (When you crunch the numbers and take into account the ticket fees, hotel costs, and food, there's not a whole lot of profit left over...and my guess is Ramses takes a good portion of it). I think many of these guides live on tips.

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The same cannot be said for Ramses management. The company failed to take care of our wonderful guide--to the point where they did not even have a hotel room booked for him or our driver! We were in a ridiculous 5* hotel, while they were supposed to be in a lesser hotel nearby. We came to find out the next morning that they had not booked a place for him, and our guide ended up sleeping on a friend's couch overnight, as he had no where else to go.

 

 

I would find this alarming, especially with the driver on a safety basis - with the traffic and long days, I would want my driver well-rested. One of the things we were promised in writing by our service was that our guide and driver would be put up the night before at the port so that they wouldn't have to get up early and already have driven three hours on the day they picked us up at the ship. Your post brings up a good point to include with any communication with any tour operator in Cairo that the driver will have accomodations to ensure that he's at his best throughout the tour.

 

Thank you!

 

Best,

Mia

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We were in the same tour group in Egypt as Caliterp07 who posted above. I booked a group of 24 people which was split into 2 groups of 12.

Since I booked the group of 24 from Cruise Critic members, there was a great deal of emails back and forth from Ramses to coordinate people, hotels, excursions within the tour (mummy room entry at museum, camel rides, etc). With over 60 emails back and forth, Ramses was fabulous to continually add more people to the group over a 2 month period. They answered many questions much of the group had prior to booking.

The tour was fantastic. I believe that it was much less than half the price of similar tours booked through the cruise line ($210pp with that amount of people, if I remember correctly).

Our tour guide was Muhammed Ali. He was easily the best guide we had on our entire 2 week trip. Very knowledgeable, well spoken, and seemed to genuinely love his job.

He explained to us that he had to stay at a friend’s house during the night because Ramses forgot to book him a hotel room. This was of course upsetting to some of us in the group, because our new friend had to make arrangements late at night. This in no way affected our enjoyment of the tour. Had a mistake been made with our hotel arrangements, then there would have been hell to pay. This was not the case. The hotel (Oberoi Mena House) was beautiful. This was very refreshing after viewing the rest of Egypt, which is not the cleanest country in the world. Never before have I seen a truck drive down the street with a pile of burning garbage in the back.

My experience with Ramses was great. I can’t say enough about how wonderful Muhammed was. I would not hesitate booking with them if you’re itinerary takes you there.

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There were four of us on our Ramses overnight Cairo tour. We let the guide and driver decide the order we saw things. The result was a very, very good tour. I'd put it at the top of our all time favorite tours anywhere. Hany, our guide, had personality plus, was fluent in several languages, and watched out for us at all times. He explained how the guides stayed in Alexandria the night before a tour and mentioned several hotels the company used for that purpose. In Cairo, he went to his home. I'd highly recommend Ramses.

Edited by Grannycb
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Hi

Have a few questions.

Since this is our first time to Egypt we are just letting Ramses plan the tour...except for a shopping stop...

Did any of you change any money into Egyptian Dollars??

We are planning to go to the bizarre and wondering what currency would be best.

Also did anyone eat at the Mena House? (We are not going to do the dinner cruise or light show) Or is there another restaurant anyone would recommend?

 

There will just be the two of us...any other recommendations?

 

Thanks!!!

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Hi

Have a few questions.

Since this is our first time to Egypt we are just letting Ramses plan the tour...except for a shopping stop...

Did any of you change any money into Egyptian Dollars??

We are planning to go to the bizarre and wondering what currency would be best.

Also did anyone eat at the Mena House? (We are not going to do the dinner cruise or light show) Or is there another restaurant anyone would recommend?

 

There will just be the two of us...any other recommendations?

 

Thanks!!!

 

We changed money after we got to Egypt - got a much better exchange rate than what we found in the U.S.

 

Don't be afraid to bargain like crazy!!!

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Hi

Have a few questions.

Since this is our first time to Egypt we are just letting Ramses plan the tour...except for a shopping stop...

Did any of you change any money into Egyptian Dollars??

We are planning to go to the bizarre and wondering what currency would be best.

Also did anyone eat at the Mena House? (We are not going to do the dinner cruise or light show) Or is there another restaurant anyone would recommend?

 

There will just be the two of us...any other recommendations?

 

Thanks!!!

 

We used USD the entire time. Our guide helped with the bargaining.

 

Bathrooms in all but the hotel were not up to the usual standards. I'd suggest you bring dollar bills (to pay at the WC), sanitizer sheets, TP and a good sense of humor. I found it surprising to find boys and men, as well as women, collecting money and passing out the TP in some of the ladies room.

 

Falafel sandwiches are terrific. Ask your driver if he can pick some up for a quick 'lunch/snack' break. I believe there is one particular shop that Ramses drivers like. The normal lunch break fell very late in the day - late enough for us to use as dinner.

Edited by Grannycb
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Bathrooms in all but the hotel were not up to the usual standards. I'd suggest you bring dollar bills (to pay at the WC), sanitizer sheets, TP and a good sense of humor.

 

Agreed ... Egypt was the one place on our Med cruise where we were happy we'd brought those little travel sized rolls of TP. (And of course you'll want to have little bottles of hand sanitizer with you, which I think is a good idea for travel anywhere.)

 

As for a sense of humor... Definitely a necessity. I'd been very careful during our overnight Cairo tour in terms of not drinking the water and being careful about what I ate. I was doing fine. Then, on our second day, I was using the women's room at the restaurant where Ramses had taken us for lunch, and for the life of me could not figure out how to flush the toilet. I could not find any handle, chain, button ... .not a thing. Finally, I found one lever that was sticking out toward the bottom of the toilet. I pulled it and the entire contents of the toilet exploded all over the floor and me. Nothing to do but laugh, and hope that I hadn't picked up some terrible disease. (Apparently I didn't. :)) And give a bunch of US dollars to the woman who rushed in to clean up the floor.

Edited by Turtles06
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I have posted this question elsewhere on the boards, but thought I would post it here as well.

 

Has anyone received an urgent message from Ramses regarding overbooked hotel rooms within a month of their sailing? We are little over three weeks out from our stop in Alexandria and are just being notified that the rooms we booked 6 months prior are not available. The rooms were confirmed back in May. We have been corresponding with them since earlier in the year and always received timely responses.

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Hi

Have a few questions.

Since this is our first time to Egypt we are just letting Ramses plan the tour...except for a shopping stop...

Did any of you change any money into Egyptian Dollars??

We are planning to go to the bizarre and wondering what currency would be best.

Also did anyone eat at the Mena House? (We are not going to do the dinner cruise or light show) Or is there another restaurant anyone would recommend?

 

There will just be the two of us...any other recommendations?

 

Thanks!!!

 

When you say you want to go to the bazaar, be specific with your guide -- the Khan el Khalili bazaar, or a government shop? We were not specific and ended up at a government shop (which probably was best anyway because we had very little time).

 

We changed about $50 (actually, took it out of an ATM at the rest stop all the tours seem to stop at about halfway between Alexandria and Cairo) and found it very useful. The hotel only accepted Egyptian pounds and credit cards in settlement of the extra charges we incurred. We also were able to buy stamps for postcards, give baksheesh in local currency (one enterprising gentlemen actually refused American dollars and asked for local currency), buy drinks for our lunches, etc.

 

We did eat at the Mena House. The food was good (though I wasn't very hungry because we ate a huge lunch of Egyptian food). We had a window table at the Khan el Khalili restaurant and we were able to see the Great Pyramid periodically lit up by the Sound and Light show. There are several other restaurants at the hotel as well. After a long day of touring and another to come we were happy not to search out a restaurant, plus it gave us more chance to enjoy the Mena House itself.

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We did eat at the Mena House. The food was good (though I wasn't very hungry because we ate a huge lunch of Egyptian food).

 

If you don't mind me asking, how expensive was the restaurant at the Mena House?

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We are doing the Cairo overnight tour with Ramses in January. It is $220 pp. I am just wondering what a base range for a tip is. I know that tipping is subjective, but what would be considered a decent gratuity for this kind of tour? I put money back for everything we do so I wanted to figure out what to budget. Thanks.

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We are doing the Cairo overnight tour with Ramses in January. It is $220 pp. I am just wondering what a base range for a tip is. I know that tipping is subjective, but what would be considered a decent gratuity for this kind of tour? I put money back for everything we do so I wanted to figure out what to budget. Thanks.

 

Talking with other people, it seemed the usual tip was 10-15% for the guide and 5-10% for the driver. Our tips fell into that range as well.

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We are doing the Cairo overnight tour with Ramses in January. It is $220 pp. I am just wondering what a base range for a tip is. I know that tipping is subjective, but what would be considered a decent gratuity for this kind of tour? I put money back for everything we do so I wanted to figure out what to budget. Thanks.

 

I generally ask the tour operator for specific tipping info. I got this response directly from Ramses:

 

As for tipping kitty, it is really up to your satisfaction, and how much you appreciate the service. Average of 8-10% of the tour price (that is a suggestion guide)

 

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