Just returned this morning from a two week break and when I say a break I do mean a break so that's the first positive. I'll try and do this in order and try not to put anyone about to depart off too much. It might just be us......
Airport - Lots of bad press but not sure it was really valid. Yes you do get herded like cattle and yes others seem to advance quicker than you but get used to it as it will continue like that when you get to resort, not sure the Russians and Germans can help it if truth be told. Anyway, just remember to have your visa cards, English money (not Scottish notes, they didn't like them) ready and have your visa ready for the final check or the man will shout at you :-)
Transfer - It says 20mins and that was spot on, can't ask for anything better though good that it's dark as the surrounding area looks like war torn Baghdad. I wasn't ready for that but my fault and you can't complain about that, just a bit of a shock to the system. Guys loading your cases onto the bus are looking for tips, and not "don't eat yellow snow" my wife quickly tired of that joke!
Check in - Again quick and friendly, you get your room keycard and towel cards that you exchange each day for fresh beach towels. Definitely worth tipping the towel guy if you want beds at your pool or in a particular place at the waterpark. So, checked in and then you write your room number on your luggage labels and get pointed to your room. We got a bit lost though that was our fault, the guy pointed us in the right direction and we still screwed up.....the place as you will have read before is bloody huge!
Room - It was dark and it looked nice and clean, awoke in the morning and it wasn't clean, it was gleaming, aircon was fantastic and very, very much needed. Every day the room was cleaned to the same standard, tipping does get you the animal towels and the guy we had at room 1106 was a real gem, visited our daughter when she was sick, brought little flowers for her and was never without a smile and a hello. TV could be better but Spongebob in German worked for our kids and channel 26 had movies on for the adults at night. A bit more privacy would be good but we knew what we were going to when we booked it so again no complaints.
Breakfast - Fried, scrambled, omlette or boiled.....you can have your eggs anyway with rolls, croissants or toast. French toast, some frankfurters, "beans", tomato, potatoes and cereals, fruit and jams made it up. It's not great but you'll survive fine.
Lunch and Dinner - We tried, we put on positive smiles and faces but oh it was a real struggle. There is plenty of it and lots of variety, technically no reason to eat the same thing twice but we quickly moved onto pizza and chips for lunch every day and then picked at whatever we could find that looked reasonably tasty at night. I like my food, not lots of it but just decent quality and that's what was seriously lacking. You will not go hungry but I came home the same weight as I left and that's not right for two weeks on holiday, I should be on a diet now!!!!
Drinks - Coke, Sprite and Fanta Orange....all the real McCoy but too often it was warm, the mix was wrong of there was no fizz. Plenty of bottled water available and your fridge gets stocked daily. Get into Tesco or Asda before you go and get pint plastic cups, couple of quid for 10....lifesaver idea from a friend of ours as you just get small plastic cups and trust me, you don't want to keep queing for drinks! Fruit juice for the kids was ok but they tired of it by the end so maybe worth grabbing some ribena or blackcurrant diluting if they aint big on warm "fizzy" stuff.
Restaurants - First time we'd done AI so I can't compare but not my idea of dining unless I'm trying to re-enact my Primary school dinners and I don't want to queue for something to eat. It's not fun. Best meal we had was Asian Plant but it was just luck, Tarzan we found the best of a bad lot but others liked the Meditteranean, others the Kaiser. Viking is pretty much just fish and I won't miss the smell of them BBQing the fish every night.
Bars - ohhhh, where do I start. We drink lager....it was warm more times than not out of bottles, great out the tap IF the taps worked but I'd say that less than 50% of the time we went to the bar was it cold. Warm lager just aint good. Only one guy serving at the bars and whilst they do try they simply cannot get around everyone....especially when the other barman is acting as a waiter to those Germans again! Also, not enough seats and the "singer" was bloody woeful but what a laugh to watch the Russians and Poles dance, every night was Eurovision rolled in with Strictly!
Waterpark - Great for young kids, big kids and the adult kids. I heard lots of complaints about cold pools but I can only imagine those reviews were due to the time of year.....no way could I complain about cold pools when we were there. There is a huge issue though, not enough lifeguards so lots of flumes remain unopen. It's probably not dangerous in anyway but to queue for so long then for slides to be closed as you get near the front is no fun. Real shortage of rings and loads of pesky foreigners trying to sneak them back to their beds. Again, if there were enough lifeguards it wouldn't happen but it does. It is slippy around the pools was another common thread and yes, it is but it;s water and tiles....not sure what else you can do that is hygienic given the numbers going through.
Flies and Mozzies - It's Africa I thought so you have to expect it.....I reckon 1 annoying fly a day between 4 of us and zero, yes, zero mozzie bites between us all. They fumigate every day, aircon helps and we took Deet and Avon Skin so Soft as well as Boots after sun with repellent. Overkill....aye maybe but no bites means it was money well spent.
Out of the complex - Huge mall with supermarket in it with everything you could want. Ideal for something nice, chocolate, good juice, crisps and very reasonable. They also have a McDonalds....we went once, my 2nd McDonalds in 3 years I hasten to add, not something I enjoy but oh it was heavenly and worth it to break up the prison food, sorry, the hotel food. We also went to the Marina, totally stunning, meal for 4 and drinks for £40 and that was two fillet steaks, lasagne and a cheeseburger and chips. Sure Hurghada itself would be cheaper but my 7 year old had the fear of death in her eyes as she looked around out the taxi. Again, it was a bit of an eye opener, I thought it would be more "holiday resort like" but it wasn't, I'm sure it was proper Egypt and not for us. Worth going to see it though as it does get you out and about.
The People - Very friendly and accomodating, they couldn't do enough for the kids but just not enough staff and you feel for them a bit. They try but with our European friends taking the you know what and shouting at them when they feel like it (ok not all of them but I didn't see any Brits or Dutch at it) you have to wonder how long they'll continue to be nice before they just turn into any other holiday resort workers!
Recommend you: take the pint cups as mentioned earlier. Get swimshoes for the kids, our daughter didn't slide once but we saw some horrific slips and one woman with both arms in fresh plaster! Take lots of chocolate and stick it in the fridge, if you have sweet tooth the puddings won't cut it. Hand tips over, don't stick it in the jars. Tip regularly but no need to go mad on the size of tip.
I think that is it. No reason for people not to enjoy the day time but nights were tough for us and the food really was pretty poor, sorry, I know lots of people did enjoy it that we spoke to but I just can;t see how. I didn't expect sausage and mash and roast dinners and god forbid that we should go to Egypt or anywhere else expecting that but I do like good quality and good tasting grub and drinks and it just didn't manage that. I was one of those people that assumed others that moaned about the food were perhaps the Benidorm crowd, sorry you guys but you do wonder sometimes!
If anyone wants to ask me anything on it I'll try and answer and be as honest as I have been here, just go and enjoy it, we had a good break but that is the last AI we'll do as a family and the last time we'll do Egypt. Now it's time to save for next year!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Jungle Aqua Park offers the largest water theme park in Hurghada. It is an amazing resort of endless choices at Red Sea coast. Being an Aqua Park, it is popular for its water slides, varied swimming pools, besides a multiple range of sports and social activities for people of all ages. You will find something for everyone at the Jungle Aqua Park, whether you are planning an active holiday or a family vacation combined with a most exquisite theme of water sports and leisure. ... more less
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