Background: We are a professional couple...mid 40's. This was his first river cruise and her 2nd, both with Uniworld. We've previously sailed on many ocean cruises, mostly with Princess. We consider ourselves somewhat well-traveled with usually at least one trip out of the country each year.
Pre/Post-Cruise Travel: We arranged our own round trip air travel to Cairo on Air France. We booked their Premium Voyageur cabin both ways. This is a three row section between regular coach (Voyageur) class and business (Affaires) class. It provides increased leg room and seat width over coach as well as the same amenity kit and upgraded blankets/pillows as business class. Also, drinks are free in this section but the meals are the same as coach. The shell seats are nice for the fact that the person in front of you cannot recline their seat into your space. However, the seats could use some additional padding and they were not comfortable for sleeping. Both flights were on time and we had no problem transferring at Paris-Charles De Gaulle with a 2 hour layover. We flew in a day early as a precaution against any flight issues and to give ourselves an extra day to adjust to the time change. We booked the extra night at the hotel through Uniworld to ensure that we would be met by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the hotel. Even though it was a significant cost premium over booking the extra night with the hotel directly, we're glad we did it. Our Uniworld representative, Ehab, was extremely helpful when Air France lost one of our bags. He handled all the communication with the Air France representative at the airport and provided them with all of our information so that they could deliver the bag to our hotel (which they did the next day). The return trip was not as smooth. Air France downgraded us on the first leg of the return due to the cabin crew strike. Although they compensated us with a 100 euro voucher, we were not happy sitting in coach when we had paid for a premium cabin. In addition, they broke the lock and zipper on one of our checked bags. It will probably be a while before we fly Air France again.
Pre/Post-Cruise Stay: We stayed at the Cairo Marriott Hotel and Omar Khayyam Casino. Uniworld offered us an upgrade to the Four Seasons about 4 months before leaving for a fee. After researching the two hotels, we decided that the change in hotels was not worth the amount they were asking. After talking with a few from our group who paid for the upgrade, we're glad we stayed in the Marriott. They visited our hotel the first day of the tour and said they wished they had saved the money and just kept the Marriott. I believe this will not be a choice going forward because Uniworld has changed the future itinerary to use the Four Seasons exclusively. The Marriott was a very nice hotel. I won't go into a lot of detail here because there are many reviews for the hotel itself on TripAdvisor. The rooms were just average but the grounds were very beautiful, the pool area was very relaxing, and we didn't get sick from any of the restaurants we ate at.