We travelled with 2travel in july 2008.
I know I'm posting this a bit late, but i realized it will probably be helpful to others making a decision about that company, as they might be facing the same kind of questions and doubts I had.
We found a fantastic offer at a fantastic price on 2travel. We'd never heard of the place before. It seemed like an extremely good deal at a very good price.
We couldn't find any credible reviews on it though. So it was a complete unknown. As a result I almost backed out of it but my girlfriend talked me into it. And as is usual with her, it turned out to be a good call.
If you're looking for a sincere review on 2travel here you go.
At a price of 790Chf each all inclusive . Consisting of 11 nights 12 days, Cairo, A Nile cruise, and Hurgadha, with (a) private tour guide(s) and all transport and meals included.
It seemed to us to be a lot of bang for the buck.
Our flights there and back were at our own additional cost.
The trip we originally looked at, 'Culture and Fun' wasn't exactly what we wanted. So We tweaked it and got the itinerary exactly as we wanted. No Broblem.
Heres a quick synopsis:
1st day -- arrived at night and went to sleep at a nice hotel.
2nd day -- Cairo Sphinx, Museum, pyramids slept at the hotel
3rd day --Cairo Citadel, and more.. Slept on train to aswan
5th day -- Abu simbel, Kom ombo, Edfu , slept on Cruiser.
6th day -- another great great, slept on Cruiser.
7th day -- Luxor, valley of the kings Karnak, slept on Cruiser
8th day -- bus to Hurgadaha , slept at hotel
9th day -- aah sun,sand and snorkeling. slept at hotel
10th day--sun,sand,boats and snorkeling slept at hotel
11th day-- sun,sand boats and snorkeling slept at hotel
12th day-- sun and sand , flew back home on latest possible flight.
slept at home.:)
There was one thing that worried me. They would not accept a credit card payment for the trip.!!
They wanted me to bring cash and settle up with the guide at the hotel when we checked in.
Now this put me off. It didn't seem right at all. I didnt like the idea of some one in cairo knowing im flying in with at least 1000 Euros in cash in my possesion. I wasn't sure if it was some sort of a scam or a set up.
I searched to see if this was normal practice found one reference where someone had done the same with no problems so figured i was just being paranoid and went for it.
When we got to the airport a guy met us there, (our potential robber?) and led us to a minivan (the scene of the crime? ) and drove us to the hotel. No we didn't get robbed. And I didn't get to practice my Arabic for 'My bassbort and money were stolen blease help'. (not that I'd been practicing that or anything.)
It was fine. I'm sure by now they've got the credit card thing taken care of. But im sure that must have cost them quite a few potential clients at the time.
Flew in guide met us, checked into the hotel, went over the itinerary, we paid the amount in cash as agreed.
His itinerary wasn't exactly what we had agreed to , and he tried to talk us into his altered version of the itinerary, we insisted on our agreed itinerary , then , 'no broblem' no broblem' he made a phone call and we were back on track.
Everything else on the trip was exactly as promised.
Abu Simbel costs extra and you have to wake up very early for it.
The boat was very nice, I liked the food and had no problems with it.
My girlfriend liked the food but her tummy definitely had problems with it.She had some decent pills with her which helped. Cant remember the name of the medicine.
The boat had a pool as well. which was a blessing in the evenings after touring around in the summer heat. It was well air conditioned and the staff great.
Your daily outings with your private tour guide who stays on the boat with you , start early. Meet in the lobby after breakfast and off you go.
(It is HOT there in summer. Particularly in the south. Drink lots of water. in fact it might be a good idea to take one of those little spray bottles with you. to cool down every now and then during the day while touring the historic sites.)
Our guide was good and did his job, but I am curious and tend to ask a lot of questions, i was overwhelming him with my desire to know more.
I recommend getting a book and reading up on the places you're going to visit. the various temples the various characters.
It adds an extra dimension to your trip if you actually know who the king is that built the temple your looking at or who's featured in the epic battle scene depicted on the walls or who and what the various gods are and what they represented and why everything is drawn funny and what some of the hieroglyphs mean etc...)
I found my self eavesdropping on the anecdotes and detailed information provided by guides of other groups. And found my self a bit mad that they hadn't provided us with
Mr.Ramses ExpertArcheologist the 3456th , sufficiently educated to answer my every whimsical question.
I bought a nice book in a tourist shop and started reading up.Egypt History and Civilization.Published by the Egyptian Museum.
Poor tour guide, I started butting in and finishing his explanations and stories adding all the interesting detail he'd left out.
Or asking leading questions so he would point out some remarkable feature or anecdote. It was good fun though.
And he took it in stride. He started wagging his finger at me in a joking way , as if to say 'hey you're ruining my game here..'
The guides will take you to shops they have deals with, If you're looking for real bargains hold out on the purchasing till your trip allows you to shop on your own.
Otherwise what the heck let the guy make a buck. Its not going to break the bank. (they are paid miserable wages, if they're decent human beings , let them know they've run into an equally decent human being ).
After the fourth night on the boat and another half day of more ancient egypt, Completly templed out, we said goodbye to our guide , tipped him (think i gave him about 75$) , and caught a couple of hour bus ride to Hurgadha.
We tipped our room guy, slipped a couple bucks in the hand of the dining room staff and the guys at the pool bar. 5$ here 10$ there. 5 or 10 bucks is well appreciated. Give according to your abilities and appreciation. There are no real guidelines.
Got there at night.Slept and woke up to enjoy the next 3 nights and four days taking boat trips snorkelling and relaxing.
Quality of the hotel in cairo. Good.
Quality of the cairo tour guide. Good.
Quality of the sleeper train. Not Bad.
All you do is sleep there in your own private room with the door locked. The conductor wakes you in the morning with a couple sandwiches for breakfast and you've arrived.
Quality of the Nile portion guide. first impression hmmm.but getting to know him good. (not too many difficult questions though. )
Quality of the boat .Good. A lot of people have problem with the food on the boats . I was fine but my girlfriend wasnt the only one.
Quality of the hotel in Hurgadha. Good. (The magawish. Nice hotel prime location, needs some renovation. Great staff, good food.)
Transportation in general: Local taxis taxis during nile portion, some nice and new some rickety.
Air conditioned nice vehicles in Cairo.
So all in all 2travel delivered the goods.we had a great time and didn't have to spend a fortune for it.
The only negative was that i would really have enjoyed working with a guide who was more passionate about his history.
But he did his best, covered the basics and was a nice chap.
PS.You have to be aware that in egypt a hotel touted as 5 stars will be a nice 3 star or a 4 star but is rarely a 5 star as you may be accustomed to.
PS again.I if you expect a well versed historian\archeologist passionate about his subject for a guide, i'm sure they can definitely organize that for you as well. I know there are a lot of them around , I was eavesdropping on them. :)., You could rely on a roll of the dice and see who you get.
But to be more sure , i'm certain if you communicate your need explicitly they'll arrange a real expert for your trip. In Egypt everything's flexible so tailoring things is never an issue.