My partner and I booked 2 trips with Sharm Excursions - Cairo by plane and quad biking. The organisation of pick up and drop offs was great, efficient and comfortable. Cairo was an eye opener with the bustling streets and overcrowded roads. The quad bike trip was great fun, although the big kid in me just wished it lasted a bit longer!!
The down side to the Cairo trip was being badgered to buy something at every opportunity, even the tour guide on the bus tried to sell us bracelets and necklaces!
There was no advance warning that we could not take cameras into the Museum in Cairo and I'd taken all my camera gear thinking I could get some great photographic momentos of my holiday, but the guide ordered (not politely asked) me to hand over my camera just before we walked in. I was very nervous about leaving my camera in the reception area with little or no confidence in the security. At the end of the visit, the guide then tried to sell us a DVD of Egypt.
It was suggested that one of the best ways to see Cairo was on a river cruise... or Taxi boat as it turned out... it cost us £10 sterling each! I'm sure if we were local, you'd get the whole boat for that!
The lunch stop was a buffet, but half way through our plate, we were encouraged to finish as we needed to move on... sorry, but if I've paid for a buffet, I'm going to eat as much as I can!
The Papyrus "museum" was basically a shop, where we were told we could browse without pressure or hassle to buy, but as we were looking around and about to leave, numerous staff members tried to offer us discounts on the pictures to make a purchase... not exactly hassle free!
After the amazing view and experience of the Pyramids (apart from tip begging by the camel owners who had been paid up front) we went to view the sphinx, another great life experience, but then were "encouraged" by the owner of Sharm Excursions to be filmed for a video for his website saying how safe we thought Cairo was... everyone felt uncomfortable and were too polite to refuse.
Just then, when we thought we were heading back to the airport, we were taken to an oils shop where another sales pitch took place, although we were told we didn't have to buy, we all felt uncomfortable about just listening and trying. The staff there were visibly not happy about the lack of purchases form the group and although none of us spoke the local language, we could tell that this was then related to the tour guide, who also appeared unhappy at this too.
TIP: everything they try to sell you costs £10 sterling!
On the quad biking trip a camera man offered to film us and produce a DVD, which we accepted, but then when we paid the £25 sterling (bit steep, but a one off) he said we should not forget him too, i.e. tip!
The quad bike tour stopped half way for a drink in a mountain bar area, but they tried to sell us drinks before offering us a free local tea.
For £25 I expected a smartly edited DVD coverage of our quad bike trip. What we got was EVERY minute of footage he filmed, of everyone in the group, with some unnecessary digital balloons and fireworks over the top of it... RIP OFF!!!
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