Thank you very much for arranging this amazing trip for us. It was extremely well organized and we had a wonderful time -- all 17 of us. The trip was exhilarating, exciting, educational and a whole lot of fun.
My hugest thanks goes to you for getting us Ayman Bassily as our guide in the CairoNile Cruise part of the trip. Ayman made the trip 10 times more amazing. He is very well organized, dealt with all our last minute changes very easily with absolutely no hassles (day 1 and day 2 got swtiched around when my husband missed his connection in London, we changed our mind on the Sound and Light show at the intersection), took us to local restaurants when we complained that we did not want hard rock cafe, told us what is just a tourist trap and not worth doing, never pressured us to buy when he took us to the papyrusalabasterjewelry shops.
When it came to the actual temples and places we visited, Ayman was absolutely riveting with the way he taught and guided us through the various monuments. His depth of knowledge is astounding. He is able to communicate very clearly, without being judgemental and always presents all sides. He quickly figures out who is interested in the art, and who is interested in the stories and directs everyone according to their interests. The trips and bus rides were filled with all of us asking him many many questions about the past and the present. He never took umbrage at any question and answered them all without ever hurrying, and always with all points of view.
He helped us beyond what was in the itinerary. He took us shopping in Edfu and Cairo. He came a 2nd time to the Egyptian Museum, so that the 2 people who missed it the first time could see it with a guide (and the 2nd trip he explained different thinks in the museum), he arranged a car for us to go to the Whirling Dervish and Dashur, he called on New Year's day to make sure the car came to pick us up, and he always showed us the best places to eat, even giving us recommendations in Sharm El Sheik. Finally, he does all this with an amazing sense of humor which is the icing on the cake. We all suffered from Ayman withdrawal in Sharm and when we got back from the trip. He is just an amazing tour guide with an infectious enthusiasm for his subject (which he is the master of) and an extremely understanding and outgoing personality. We thank you again for making it possible for all of us to be guided by Ayman. It was an honor.
Wael was also very personable, courteous, highly efficient and professional. He helped and guided us so ably through immigration on the way in and was amazing with the way he got us checked in for our flights on the way out. The place was utter confusion and we would never have made it out without Wael's help.
Overall, Sakkara did a wonderful job of handling all our needs. We appreciated the up grade to the Mojito, the large bus for us 17 people, the ease with which Sakkara and you agreed to us cancelling St. Catherine and transferring it to Ras Mohammed, helping us with all ariport transfers. Sakkara was really very professional and kept it all running extremely smoothly. We also appreciated that they sent us a separate guide (Michael) for Ras Mohammad and so on the boat we had 2 guides -- the boats guide and Michael. Michael helped us through the rentals and then took good care of the couple of people in our group who were snorkelling for the first time and eased their fears and took good care of them.
The only person that we felt could have done a better job was Reda, who was our main guide in Sharm. We assume he is new at this job. He needs to put himself in the tourist's shoes and understand that sometimes changes do need to be made. He gets frustrated if any changes are made. His English needs a bit more improvement as it sometimes comes across as rude (but we understand that he does not mean to be) and sometimes we truly cannot understand what he is saying. He seems extremely hurried and has a hard time juggling everything. He means well and is trying hard. He finally did execute what we needed at Sharm, just not with the ease and personality of the other Sakkara folks we met.
And finally, thanks to you folks at STI for being flexible with the bookings and handling the ever growing group (from 8 people to 12 to 17). Thanks for changing flights to Sharm just a couple of days before we left and for handling the St. Catherine to Ras Mohammed switch very easily.
We loved our trip and hope to go back to Egypt in another 5 or 6 years. We will definitely recommend you to all our friends.