Our private tour guide was waiting for us and whisked us away to Cairo and Giza as quickly as possible. Ramses Tours was all you could ask, and I highly recommend them. Our guide, Hanni, and driver, Hussein, treated us like wealthy family members. There are not enough words to describe the experience of Egypt. On one hand there is the fantastic history of this nation: the pyramids, Sphinx, statues, some of which were built 5000 years ago. But the modern life of Egypt is truly an experience of a third world country. Picture Cairo, city of 19 million inhabitants, with not one stop light. Picture the latest in American vehicles zooming past dead horses and water buffaloes on the sidewalk. Picture a mix of Eastern and Western apparel, without any discernible pattern. Let's not talk about the dust, smog, pollution. What an experience and especially rewarding because of Ramses Tours and staying at the Oberoi Mena House, looking out at the pyramids.
What a wonderful, urbane, gentile and hospitable city is Valletta. And so historic, too. Everyone was helpful, pleasant, welcoming.
We took a city bus in the rain to the city center, at a cost of 1 Euro apiece, round-trip. We shopped and toured 'til we dropped. And then we were pleasantly surprised with a tour guide on the famous Malta city bus on the return trip, pointing out all the statues, trees, buildings, fountains, and carvings!
This port really made our trip - even though Egypt was our reason for booking this cruise. (Because it completed our goal of visiting the 7 continents.)