Our TA did this tour and his reviews have always been spot on for us. So 5 couples who have traveled widely and together went. I have read previous reviews that were critical of the information given by their Egyptologist. We had Tarek and he was great! As my wife told him when we said good bye, we were 10 educators by profession, and he was a master educator for all 10 of us. We were met by the Uniworld rep BEFORE passport control. Our TA said that was new. The 5 couples came in on different planes, but our experience was similar, even for those BA flights that get in early. We all met up at the 4 Seasons for an in room Happy Hour. We brought some duty free wine in from FRA, as did others and no one had a problem bringing it in. Security was outstanding, and quite frankly we felt safer there than anywhere in Mexico or Quito recently. The light show at the Pyramids was cheesy and could be skipped, but if you have night shot capabilities, there are some good opportunities. The very first thing on the bus, Tarek handed out 5 pound notes for toilet tips. He was available for 5 pound refills as needed. He also tipped all the people along the way so you don't have to if you don't want to. The ATM to the right of registration at the 4 Seasons will give small bills if you get smaller amounts and large bills if you get larger amounts. If you are going to shop then you should get the money recommended by your greeter, but we don't shop much as a group and the ATM visit for a large amount was really not necessary. We also brought a lot of $5s and $1s which were appropriate and welcomed. We flew the charter to Luxor. There were 66 on the ship. We were in 202, another of our group were in 201, and we were able to host happy hours for the group in our suites, all included. This may not be available when the new ship launches at the end of 2020. Some time after November 2020 would be a good time to go since the new ship should be launched and the new Egyptian Museum should be open. We were in 3 buses of 22 each so plenty of room to spread out. It was 45 F in the morning, and we would shed layers in the afternoon and leave it on the bus. Nobody in our group got sick and we all eat a lot of leafy vegetables and fruits. The wine was perfectly acceptable, all Egyptian or South African. It was too windy to do the hot air balloon on the day available, but on our last day we saw 11 balloons up, over the west bank, so it does happen. You can skip the Luxor light show without a problem. Abu Simbel was worth the expense, but go right in to the interior and take exterior shots later because the 60 bus caravan from Aswan will be right on your tail, and it will get packed if you wait. On the day you go back to Cairo, they offer a stop at the "market" with the option to go right to the hotel. Two thirds went to the market, and said it was largely for tourists and the real local market was over 2 streets. Also the 1 hour bus ride for the evening "buffet" farewell dinner was completely unnecessary, and if we did this again we would skip it and eat at the 4 Seasons. The last day of touring was an all day trip leaving about 7 am and getting in about 5 pm with lunch on the bus if you brought it with you. We had a big breakfast and just had fruit at lunch, which worked out well. One of our group had the inspiration to upgrade to a Nile River view room at the Four Seasons, which worked out great. Departure was very easy, but early. You are escorted by a Uniworld rep all the way to the second security check point.
Huge cabin and easy to entertain in, especially with the butler.
Amazing Dam constructions by the Russians. It was worth having mobile internet to read up on the history, wars, and politics that led up to it being built by the Russians instead of the UK or the US.