Giza, EgyptThis was an excellent experience and overall we'd certainly recommend Nile Melody Travel and their staff. The local guides were first rate and spoke good English, the tour covered all the points we would have wished and in particular the Lake Nasser cruise and accommodation in Luxor were fantastic.

Above all the trip was one that was customised to my wife and I and we were able to set the pace we wanted to view the various monuments to suit ourselves. A side benefit of not being part of a group was that we were (once we'd figured it out) able to skip the 'factory shop' tours where you get the opportunity to purchase carpets, papyrus, jewellery, souvenirs and other stuff at 'special' prices. Others may find it of interest and again you're be able to tailor this to suit yourselves.

On the down side several things went wrong but they don't distract from the overall experience. I've listed them for the benefit of others and I'd suggest some of them will apply to other tour operators.

The internal flights appeared to have been booked late giving us times that were very inconvenient and caused us to effectively lose at least one day. As a result we spent too much time kicking our heels in Cairo and missed our second day in Luxor. You need to make sure that your itinerary is completed to your satisfaction well before arrival in Egypt (we only got the last details the day before departure)

A mobile phone that works in Egypt is essential to deal with contingencies. When our (late model) mini bus broke down en route to Alexandria, Nile Melody took some persuasion to send an alternative transport (lost us another day) and we were not met on arrival at Abu Simbel.

Watch for the Ramses Hilton appearing in your itinerary. It's a dump and certainly does not deserve to be in a five star accommodation itinerary. Our room was dirty, the curtains and carpet were stained and I have never seen so many angry people in a hotel reception. Nile Melody got us upgraded to a better room but clearly whatever passes for management at the Ramses Hilton have a room that they show tour operators and another set that they try to pass off on guests. Be warned!


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