Going in spite of our friends' cancellations

Hi, we're on the Dec.5 tour to Jordan and Egypt. I've been stalking this forum for weeks to hear from those brave hearts that have traveled ahead of us. We're about to make a final payment even after 3 of our traveling companions decided not to go. I think with boosters, our return to the states is more assured. I am concerned that if the group is too small the tour might be canceled. Anyone on this tour? Anyone had their tour canceled? We've traveled with Tauck 8 times and wouldn't feel confident going on this tour with any other company.

«1

Comments

  • edited September 27

    SE travel Too bad your traveling companions cancelled. I'm on the tour starting December 12th. I'm hoping to get good feedback from you. I'm glad you're still planning to go. Your friends will miss out on a fabulous trip. We're hoping to get some feedback from Mil. She is on the JE tour that started September 26th.

  • edited September 27

    Since tours started back in earnest this fall, I can't recall anyone reporting that their trip was cancelled because of too few travelers. If any were cancelled, too few people was not the reason given.

    On the contrary, two standard size J&E tours have recently gone with very low numbers- 10+TD on one and 17 on another in progress as we speak. One recent K&T tour which has a normal complement of 30 (6 pax X 5 safari vehicles), went with only 4 people- less than one safari vehicle full!

    However, who can say what will happen if this trend of last minute cancellations continues.

  • Thanks for the encouragement. I'm chomping at the bit to go and have read and probably forgotten everything I can get my hands on.about Egypt and Jordan.

  • We have done two cruise tours in the last couple months due to ‘cancelation jamming’ … not our cancelations. We have canceled nothing. Everyone on the tours and the boats are vaccinated. Everyone takes precautions when indoors, but there will be some parties … where everyone is vaccinated. In my view the only reason to cancel is if you lose your passport or your CDC card. As I have said before, your first tour after the pandemic will probably be one of the best you have ever done. The people in Europe and the Caribbean can’t wait to see you!

  • We have friends who finished their Tauck Jewels of the Nile trip today. There were 10 people in their group. Everything went well and they had a great time!

  • judy05 awesome news...thanks for sharing. I'm so excited!

  • Judy05- Id love to hear more about your friends that just returned from the Egypt trip. I'm booked on the November 28th tour. looking for any and all feedback, from what to do in free time to masking requirements to clothes. So far there are 26 booked and final payment was the 27th. This trip has been cancelled on me 3 times and I'm ready to travel, SO I know Tauck will make it fun and if I don't go now it it will get easier to keep postponing.

  • I think Tauck is avoiding cancelling tours because of group size. Our Switzerland group was 22 and Normandy/Brittany 9. Both were full Classic Sized tours. I do feel bad for the TDs and drivers whose work load isn't reduced in the same proportion but their tips are.

  • Claudia Sails - do feel bad for the TDs and drivers whose work load isn't reduced in the same proportion but their tips are.

    I feel bad as well that the TDs aren't able to make a full income, but remember if Tauck cancels, then their tips are zero!

  • edited September 30

    Also, as far as Tauck losing money- it depends on the cancellation policy, insurance, contracts with vendors, hotel companies, etc. If an individual cancels, depending on how many days prior, the individual forfeits some of the cost of the tour, correct?

  • Alan, I’m not sure they do forfeit any tour cost at the moment, apart from insurance, and that maybe why so many are canceling. This is until the end of 2021 as I read it on the Tauck.website
    In the past, when popular Tauck tours sold out way in advance, I’ve spoken to people who book multiple tours just incase they want to go, but never intend taking all of them, they don’t mind losing deposits here and there. We had friends who did this too.

  • Hi Franlovestravel! I asked our friend your questions about Egypt and here is her response:

    First of all, this was a special trip with many truly amazing experiences, made even better by having a group of just 10. We had a wonderful tour director who assured us that trips would go, even with small numbers. Entry requirements are very strict regarding covid testing. Some people who were supposed to be on our tour were turned away because they did not have a qr code or a lab stamp. Tauck arranged return testing at the St. Regis. Be aware this has to be paid by MC or Visa or cash. We had a problem because our American money did not consist of brand new bills, even though they came directly from our bank. You will need small bills to use for bathrooms. Technically, Egypt requires masks, but few people do.

    The hotels and cruise accommodations were simply amazing and the food was excellent, especially fresh fruit and vegetables. You cannot drink the water, but ice is made from bottled water.

    The one thing we were not prepared for was the lack of sleep. There were 3 early flights mid-tour (3:30 and 2 5:30 bag pulls). The call to prayer is at 3:45 am, and while on ship, the loud speakers were right next to our windows. There are also weddings with very loud music on Saturday night at the Mena House.

    I tried to be conservative in my dress, but this was not necessary, except going to mosques on the last day. We even saw string bikinis at the resorts! I wished that I had brought a bathing suit. The pools were very inviting after days in 107 degrees! You will need sturdy closed-toe shoes. Sand is everywhere, and there are a lot of stairs and rocky surfaces. No ADA compliance here! The only dressy night was at the Cataract Hotel — jacket for the men. Since we were the only group there, even that was not necessary.
    There is not much free time. We were told not to walk around by ourselves, but to use a hotel car and guide who spoke Arabic. Some ladies on our tour went to the textile museum.

    I hope that this information is helpful, and I am happy to answer questions!

  • Judy05 and friend - thank you for posting this very helpful information. I do have questions.

    Did you think you had enough time at the old Egyptian Museum?

    Was there any discussion about or opportunity to go to the new Egyptian Museum of Civilization on Day 9, in light of the cancellation of the market visit? It is located in or near Coptic Cairo, which is toured that day. The royal mummies were moved there earlier this year.

    Is there a second camel ride during the cruise portion of the tour?

  • Thanks so much, Judy05! It all sounds very exciting. Lack of sleep, not so much….Yikes. But sounds like everyone took all that in stride. I’m sad the market visit was cancelled. I’m hoping by the time I go Tauck will deem it safe. I wondered about the “free” time too as other Tauck Tours had very little free time- here it’s the safety factor too. So appreciate the information!

  • In the past, Tauck gave us money to use at pit stops, or had already paid the tips that are customary. I’m assuming the small bill requirement is when one is off on their own. It’s that correct? I don’t carry much cash when I travel, although I read somewhere to bring $50.00 in singles for this trip. I still have that money in my safe from March of 2020!
    I did a lot of reading 2 years ago for this trip and now trying to refresh my memory. I’ll take recommendations.
    My challenge is when exactly to go for the PCR test as I leave Dallas the day after Thanksgiving. Dallas to London, 5 hour layover then arrive Cairo at 10:30 pm. on Saturday night. Tour starts on Sunday.

  • As of now, the requirement for the PCR Covid test is that it be administered no more than 96 hours prior to the last direct flight departure to Cairo - in your case the London to Cairo flight. And the test result must have a lab stamp or QR code. Monitoring these requirements is prudent, as they could change.

  • Tauck's website states the PCR must be taken within 72 hours of the first point of departure for Jordan. Timing of this is test is important. We had our test taken at the 71st hour because we were concerned that we wouldn't get the results back in time. But our flight was delayed and we ended up spending an additional night. As a consequence our original PCR had exceeded the time requirement. We had to pay $250 per person for a rapid PCR test at the Dulles airport. ( Neither United or our Tauck insurance would reimburse us for this additional expense.)
    It's a fabulous trip.

  • edited October 4

    **loves2travel2 ** Did Tauck provide guidelines in your green book on timelines of when you should have the PCR test administered? I'm confused as to why your timeline had expired. It's unfortunate about the unexpected cost. BTW, by guidelines, I'm referring to "If you're traveling to the airport on Sunday and arriving at your destination on Monday, you should have the test administered by _____ "

  • From what Tauck says on their website, it appears that it is up to us, the customer, to keep up to date with the timing of tests and so on because they change so frequently and any paperwork sent us might be out of date.

  • Has anyone heard from Mil? I can’t find any of her posts. I’m sure she’s home by now and was looking forward to her posts.

  • edited October 13

    I just heard from mil- she got home yesterday (she flew on Emirates and stayed in Dubai for a few days, post tour). She is at work right now, but will start posting soon.

    She said, "Everything is great! I got back yesterday.... now I'm at work. I'll post a report soon.. but just heads up, it was Amazing!!!
    NO COVID PROBLEMS- group of 16 people- monuments and flights almost all empty. - GEM will not open till 2022 as we know.
    I'll write my report soon. :)) "

  • This is very reassuring. Thanks for the update. Looking forward to mil's report.

  • franlovestravel Hello!!!
    I'm back... and I would advise everyone... to keep your bookings!, there is nothing to worry about. Covid situation in these countries is way better then here... you'll not be anywhere near the locals and everyone that in some way have to deal with the group will be fully vax.-by law if they are not, they cannot operate.
    At the Old Egyptian museum you'll find other groups and some do not wear the masks properly but as soon as the guards see it they will take action and also the local Tauck guide will pull the group to a side and keep everyone together and away from others .
    I went in the 3rd group and everyone was vax.- all PCR were negative and we did have a good chance to be without the mask at the sights, Tauck takes the groups early so no crows... in Petra we were literally the only ones.

  • Thanks Alan! Can’t wait to hear Mil’s expanded report!

  • coming up soon.. weekend for sure.

  • Thanks Mil! I am now getting super excited to go! This trip must have felt like a private tour. Not only was your group size small, you were not competing with other travelers to see everything. Must have felt weird and wonderful all at the same time! The last time I spoke to Tauck the group size of the November 28th departure was 14.
    I did speak to Tauck about when to go for the PCR test and I found the gal I spoke to very helpful.. For me the confusion was that labs are closed on Thanksgiving, and I'm leaving on Friday, making each hour count! At the end of the day, I found a lab 10 minutes from DFW that guaranteed results in 30 minutes. They are geared toward international travelers so they knew the QR code requirement. Tauck did confirm we will need to present results with that code on it. So, while last minute, I'll head to the airport early and stop on my way to be tested. Perhaps this information will be helpful others as I'm sure there are labs like this one in other parts of the country.

    I loved Petra when I was there a couple of years ago and would love to go back. What an adventure - Jordan and Egypt! Fran

  • franlovestravel the PCR process here in US is the most stressful requirement to go through.... I hate it! but at the end it is easier then you thought... it's just the lack of info. that gets really bad.- the airline here in US will ask you for the QR. before boarding together with your CDC- VAX card and the PCR results- do make 2 copies of ea. - when I checked in here in Seattle , that gal did not gave it back and thanks god I had another copy- because Jordan did ask for it.
    In Jordan they asked me only the QR which proves you got the Vax. and the PCR results, nothing else.

  • Thanks for that! I'll make sure the lab gives me 2 copies (at least)! I understand from a friend that Heathrow is very confusing as well. Did you travel with your original CDC card or just copies? And here I thought the flight to London was the easy part and the test results were for entry into Egypt!

  • franlovestravel Nothing about Heathrow is easy :D . I hope everything goes smoothly for your travels.

  • Hi cathyandsteve
    I got my PCR done here in Seattle at the Discoveryhealthmd off. $ 189.000 for same day results.
    not sure if the have offices nationwide. - It was super easy and reliable.

    https://discoveryhealthmd.com/

Sign In or Register to comment.