We were moved from the original ship were to take. So we ended up on the M/S Pascha. It is said that this ship was 16 years old, I don't know the rate of deteriation for a ship but I would think it would have had some upgraged in those 15 years.
We had a slider key to get into the room, when we enter our state room we step into a reading room that has a love seat and chair and light. Then you walk into your room. There are 2 twin beds pushed together, the beds are neat and tidy. There is a dresser at the end of the bed, but very little space for unpacking. Then you walk into the bathroom - A full tub/shower, sink and toilet and bidet. When you took a shower it was a 50/50 chance that you would get a hot scalding shower or an icy cold one. The room had an awful smell, like sewer. We opened our windows to try and get the smell out.
Your meals are included with your cruise.
Breastfast Morning bread, jams , toast, soft rolls, croissant , mostly hard-boiled eggs and omelette as desired with cheese , onions , peppers and tomatoes and sometimes crepes with powdered sugar or chocolate. Tea ( black tea varieties only ), coffee, cold milk. Cornflakes for cold cereal, there was also hot oatmeal. By and large, the breakfast was the highlight of the entire meal!
Lunch and Dinner For lunch and dinner soup, potatoes, rice or noodles, meat (liver, chicken, beef, always varied) steamed vegetables with gravy (sometimes), fries with ketchup, salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage) and mixed salads (coleslaw, macaroni) and salad dressings. Baguette and soft rolls. Finally fruit cake for dessert.
We recently found a very helpful, very honest and very safe taxi driver in Luxor. His name is Ahmad and his number is 002 011 448 125 04.
He is quite willing to take you out for a visit to his farm, too.
I visited Luxor twice and had been grossly overcharged by drivers of small and uncomfortable taxis. My hotel then recommended me a taxi almost the size of a London cab at the cheapest possible prices. The car is a Kia MPV with powerful air-conditioning with lots of leg room. The driver, Mr Abou is an affable and honest man who will handle your luggage with deft care. He is able to get you anywhere around Luxor at anytime. If you wish to travel out of Luxor to Sharm El Sheik or Hurgada, his rates and the leg room for stretching during the long rides are unbeatable. I have used his service quite alot and have saved myself quite a bit of money. As returning customers, you get further discounts from him. Mr Abou will also provide free and comprehensive guide on the best and cheapest places to eat and shop in Luxor as well as all the sights to see and things to do. Call or SMS Mr Abou at
(002) 01114409007. His taxi number is 1732. He speaks English and Arabic.
I thought I would offer some info on Getting around by taxi as we had some good & bad experiences. First the bad. On arrival I wanted to get a sim card for calling home & using internet for tethering my android tablet. We went reception & ordered a taxi & cab arrived with a chap called gaddafi taxi number four. He took us to tv street & kindly waited while we got a sim from the vodafone shop fyi £20 got me 2gb of data & about 1000 mins. He then recommended a restaurant called the sofra which was great. He then took us back to the Hotel( sofitel Karnak) We gave him the equiv of £10 because he had waited for us. The next 2 nights he charged us £8 english to go to Luxor & back we gave him ep 100 on the second night of the 2 & he said he had no change & would give us following night. The following night we asked him to take us to karnak village 5 mins away to a lovely restaurant called El hussien . He picked us up & at hotel he wanted an extra 30ep on top of 20 he owed us. This was the final straw as is should have cost us no more than 30 for the round trip. We new that the price for Luxor & back should have been no more than 50ep he had been overcharging us by 30. The next night I looked at the notes I had made on my tablet before leaving uk & found a note for taxi 1617 Tariq so asked for him at front desk he arrived & told us straight away he would charge us just 30ep for return trip to Luxor which is the local rate. Taxi 4 saw us leave & was awaiting us on our return at reception accusing hotel off losing him our business. We spoke to front office manager as this driver Number 4 hassled us more to more days until we told tourist police. As for Tariq 1617 he took us everywhere , we went to west bank for the day seeing various places he charged us just EP120.00= £12 for the day & to Abydos & Dendera all day & waiting for just EP350=£35 great value very friendly. He also told us drivers get commision from restaurants like Sofra & el Hussien which is why driver take peple there. So he was honest from the outset & only charged us local rates Excellent service & fair prices.
We were surprised when our guide told us that starting from 2010 day trips to Luxor does not have to be organized in a conwoys and escorted by the army vehicles. Several years ago some tourist buses have been ambushed and number of tourist killed by the terrorists but thank God such a danger do not excist anymore. There are, however, at least 5 or 6 spots along the road with the army barracks which look alike new constructions.
I was pretty much surprised with the beauty or rocky hills along the road and the fact that not one settlement could be seen around, not even the small villages. There is only one resting place on the road from Hurghada to Luxor and we stopped there for breakfast which was pretty bad....
On my first visit to Luxor, I came by tour bus from the Hurghada resort. On the second, however, I made things much more comfortable and went by plane direct from London. About 5-5.5 hours' flight, Luxor is served both by Egypt Air (but you have to change planes in Cairo) and by UK's own charter airlines, catering mostly to the groups doing the Nile Cruise. Some airlines you can check are Thomas Cook, Thompson Fly, etc.
To Keep in Mind:
If you are doing the Nile cruise, charter airlines work out cheaper as you don't really need flexibility in dates. If you're exploring the area and are, at least to an extent, on your own you may find that there is no direct return flight on the day you want organised by the charter flight, so make sure you check Egypt Air as well.
We found this taxicompany on internet. Their response by mail was very quick and the English used correct. We confirmed the booking of a transfer from Luxor to Aswan last april 2011. We were picked up at the reception of our hotel and the trip to Aswan lasted about 3,5 hours. The driver was driving safe and the car was a 2009 Toyota Corolla with airco. We had a relaxed trip with even music on demand! I recommend this taxicompany to anyone who wants some assistence (transport) in Upper Egypt. The price was more then reasonable: € 80.- for two persons. Their website: www.luxortaxi.com
There are several colors of taxi in Luxor much the same as any other big cities in Egypt. Some have aircons, mostly non. And similar to the caleche, agree on the fare before getting in. A 5 - 8 hours tour around the westbank will cost you around EGP100 depends on your bargaining skills, non-AC will costs less.
I took a non-AC taxi from Luxor Temple to the airport at 4:30AM (it's normally cold during early mornings) with an nice old driver that cost me EGP35 only.
i think there is a bus too, from Cairo to Luxor directly with two times to move from cairo an vice versa
Upper Egypt bus Co
Luxor to Cairo
Time Of Departure:19:00 -21:0
60 LE For a local
85 LE for a tourist
in the same time Hurghada is a good midpoint in traveling and will make the road shorter in time by 3-4 hours and the departure time all over the day from cairo to hurghada
Hurghada / Luxor
30 LE For a local
40 LE for a tourist
When you are in the area of the Valley of the Kings, it is nice to take a donkey ride. Our tour group organised ours from the boat at the West Bank to the Valley of the Kings and from Deir El Medina back to take our boat at the West Bank.
On the way back we also passed the Colossi of Memnon to take photos.
The ride was enjoyable but some of the donkeys were a tad unruly!!!
Our tour gave us the chance to take a horse drawn carriage or caleche a few times whilst in Egypt. In Luxor, we took one from our Nile boast mooring area to Karnak Temple and on the return journey too.
As for cost, we did get quoted as little as 10LE to the centre of Luxor which is a 10 minute journey.
The caleche drivers are everywhere and especially on the Corniche by the Nile boats!
Mini vans will take you anywhere in Luxor. Each has a set route and can be very confusing. Just pray that one of the passengers speaks English, or write down your intended destination in Arabic (Your hotel will do this for you)
Our family went for a week 1-8th of November in and about Luxor to enjoy the ancient culture. As we where new to the area we did not know how to get around other than through the offered tours from the travel agents.
Do not buy that!
In our case the offers where more than double expensive and also very tied to a schedule that wasn't very flexible.
As an alternative, rent your own transportation, either through a local travel agent or as we did through a very good contact. We used this "agent" for several days, locally in a ordinary taxi cab and for trips to the "Valley of the Kings" and other sites further away, in a new airconditioned transit bus, with an very good english-speaking guide. A full day's rental with driver and and guide cost about 250 egyptian pounds, and was worth it to the last pound.
The "agent" that we used, Adel Said, can be reached through a call to his mobile (ph:012 2866505) can be reached any time and help you out with almost anything, balooning, restarant, or shop tips, different kinds of excursions. Probably most of the things you'd need for getting around. It was a no hazzle, good experience that definitley heightened our perception of both Luxor and the people there.
Your flight to and your hotel in Luxor can be booked online or in advance, but unless you have arranged for local guide who will wait and pick you up from the airport, you'd have to take the dreaded black-and-white taxis waiting outside the arrival area. Our guide in Cairo advised us to pay no more than US$ 15 from the airport so that's exactly what we agreed with the driver. I thought that it would be the same amount when we fly back but when I asked our hotel front desk how much the normal fare should be, they said 40 LE or about US$ 8!
Geez, so I paid double when I arrived but that's what my guide told me to expect. I guess they do that as one has no choice nor the energy to haggle when you're tired after the flight. Whether that's the norm or not, just be sure that when you need a taxi to the airport, ask the hotel staff to call one for you who will agree to the normal fare. Egyptian taxis have no meters so fares have to be negotiated beforehand.
Once you've got through the entrance to the valley it's a bit of a walk to where the majority of the tombs are. For those who prefer sitting to walking or those who are being herded about en masse there are these twee little thingies to ride in. I think the ride costs 1LE (if it does, it's about all 1LE will buy you in Luxor) but am not certain since the price was included in my tour fee.
Actually they Valley of the Kings is definitely a place to conserve energy. The tombs themselves involve fairly steep ascents, and if you're on an organised tour you'll have very little time.
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