My friends ask each year about my pending travel arrangements and when I told them I was going to Egypt and Israel on a 12 day cruise(solo) they could not believe I was so brave. After retiring from my full time job last February, I wanted to fulfill one of my dreams by going to the Holy Land. Now that I had the time, just had to budget the money for the cruise. I used FF airline miles to get to Europe so I had to pay for the cruise only.
My airline was non-stop from DFW to London then I transferred to another airline and flew into Venice where the cruise departed the next morning. I had been to Venice before so was familiar with the airport and the cruise port. After arriving in Venice I took the Airport transport bus to the port and arrived about 5:00 p.m. at the ship and began to process in, which did not take very long. I took my luggage up myself since all the other passengers luggage was already loaded and being taken up on the elevators. My first impression of the ship was not good. I did not think the check-in group were friendly and then trying to find my way to an elevator not in use was utter confusion. The elevator I rode to my floor smelled like a cat had been in it and when I got to my floor the outside of the elevator was dirty with smudges and fingerprints, I found my room and believe it was the smallest I had ever been in (not what I was expecting). I complained to the front desk but they said the ship was full and they could not move my anywhere else. The room service was great though and all other employees were very nice. The food was nothing to brag about but after all, I came for the fantastic ports. The excursions seemed a little expensive in Egypt and Israel but after going on the excursions enjoyed them so much.
First stop after 2 days at sea was Alexandria, Egypt. I took the tour to Giza to see the Pyramids and to Cairo to the market. It took the bus 3 hours to reach Giza and each bus had a guard with a gun; the buses travelled in two's from the port. I enjoyed seeing the Pyramids and did not book a Camel ride because did not want to be hassled by the workers, but it was a great photo op with the Pyramids, the Camels, donkeys and horses. The bus then went into Cairo to the market. The vendors at the market were so aggressive I did not feel comfortable and it was so crowded I did not feel safe until the armed guard from our bus took us into several shops and waited for us to haggle for some bargains. The bus then drove through Cairo, the streets were very crowded, donkeys and animals everywhere, people selling in the middle of the streets which was quite a scene and culture shock. The next day I took an excursion to see Alexandria which included seeing the library, the old ruins and the beautiful beaches where the Four Seasons Hotel and the extravagant presidential mansion is located to the extreme opposite. The Catacombs were located in one of the oldest sections of Alexandria. The dirt roads leading to it and the poverty in that area was unbelievable. The litter and filth were disgusting but now I have a better understanding of the revolt over there and was glad to have the experience of visiting.
Room was too small, bathroom was so tiny I could barely move in it. The location was good but the smallest room I've ever had on a ship. I was glad I did not have a room mate because it would have been terrible and embarrassing for a person on their first cruise.
My E-mail has changed from what is listed on this form.
My E-mail is now email@example.com I have been trying to change it for quite a while without any success.