Egypt Top View
Just got in last night and it was fantastic! We were on the Norwegian Jewel and arrived into Alexandria last Saturday. All the sights are of course around Cairo. The ship was docked for 2 days and since it was about a 2 and a half hour drive to and from we spent the night in Cairo to maximize our sight-seeing time. I was part of a group of 6 girls who were very hesitant to book any tours other than what was offered on the ship. I knew that we could save some money so convinced them to try Egypt Top View but everyone was reluctant and a bit scared. In the end they all thanked me because it was soooooo wonderful. and unlike the big cruise ship exursion we weren't on a big bus and fighting to hear our guide and being herded around like cattle. So we got a better service for a lot less money. From the start Samuel Said, owner and operator of Egypt Top View, was always quick to respond to my emails and questions and I told him what we wanted to do which was exactly what the ship offered (minus the papyrus factory tour) and it was all arranged. We were worried about getting our Egyptian visitor VISAs but the ship gave us our passports the morning we desembarked with the stamp already in it so we were good to go. I man with a sign with my name waited for us outside, we walked to the airconditioned van that fit us all very comfortably, plus the driver, Samuel himself and a bodyguard-who all sat in the front. We drove from Alexandria to Cairo then then to meet our guide for the day-Sally-who was incredible. She really knew her stuff but abbreviated her vast knowledge to the most important for us before entering the museum. After the museum visit we were hungry and told her so, since it's our own little tour van we can do what we want so we stop for falafels. Cheap and delicious. We are so thankful that she knew where to take us and helped us order..we were just so taken care of. From there to see the Mosque of Mhohammed Ali, some interesting churches and crypts and again Sally really enriched the whole experience with her knowledge. She kept it all upbeat, moving along at a great pace and then we went to our hotel for an hour's rest, some of us caught up on our email. Samuel was waiting for us there, checked us all in. We just felt we were in such good hands the whole time. Then we were off to the Sound and Light Show at the Giza Plateau...amazing. And then to a dinner cruise on the Nile with spectacular entertainers/dancers. We were all exhausted from a good day's adventure but none more than Samuel himself whom had been up since 1am assuring that everything would go smoothly with the port authorities. Slept well and up early the next day to have breakfast and go see Sakkara and shortly after the pyramids at the Giza Plateau. Camel rides were a bit extra but our guide that day did all the negociating for us so we weren't ripped off. It was such an experience! We requested to stop somewhere for falafels to go (loved them so much from the day before) and then it was time to head back to the ship in Alexandria. Private, personal, safe, knowledgeable, and made such an improvement to our experience in Egypt. Egypt Top View is the way to go. Email Samuel. He's been in business for 17 years, is very kind, you may regret NOT choosing him. Oh yeah, and we saved a couple hundred dollars each by not doing the ship's exursion. We still ran into people from our ship everywhere because we were doing the same things...just in our own private custom-made tour! The poor suckers! To us it was all a breeze and they were happy to let us think that but infact there was so much behind the scenes work put into making our tour so wonderful. A lot of orchestration, details with documents and all that stuff you don't want to deal with as a tourist...they did it all.
I don't know how long you'll be in Egypt but they offer a variety of tours or write to Samuel Said himself at www.egypttopview.com you'll be soooo glad you did!! We sure are!
Sincerely, Colleen Grimard.