Is anyone from the first departures back?

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Comments

  • Hi karen1672
    one question, on the visit to Wadi Rum , did anyone or do people have a choice to seat inside the vehicles or those everyone have to seat on the back ?

  • edited March 8

    mil
    3:23PM

    Hi karen1672
    one question, on the visit to Wadi Rum , did anyone or do people have a choice to seat inside the vehicles or those everyone have to seat on the back ?

    Judging by candy_habich's and BlountvilleTN's photos (see below), the vehicles look like some sort of small Totota AWD pickup or customized AWD SUV with a back seat and small truck bed with seating for 4(?) people. There doesn't appear to be enough seats in the truck beds for everyone on the tour but I don't know the size of the tour or number of vehicles. Blountville, Candy or Karen will need to confirm.

  • edited March 8

    candy_habich
    March 4

    We were on the February 15 departure with karen1672 and I agree with everything she has posted. I've made some of my own notes and put them below. . . . .
    Link to our photos: http://www.fototime.com/inv/F690C49BD3454EC

    Are you sure you weren't on the Feb 16 departure? :)

    When I first looked, I thought you weren't done posting photos, then I realized the pics were in 3 folders. After reviewing your photos and reading the captions, I have some follow-up questions:

    I couldn't tell, but it certainly appeared you used flash in all the tombs in the Valley of Queens and Valley of Kings (Nefartari, Tut, Ramses III, and Ramses IV). Did you use a DSLR camera with flash in every tomb or just smart phone (iPhone 11, etc.) in some? If you used a DSLR did you have any issues with permission, guards, etc. or did you buy your own photo permit?

    Correct me if I am wrong but from your photos it looks like at Saqqarra, you entered the Pyramid of Teti, Tomb (mastaba) of Mereruka, and Tomb (mastaba) of Kagemni and you toured the exterior of the Step Pyramid of Djoser but did not enter? It also looks like you only saw the Red Pyramid, Bent Pyramid, and Black Pyramid in Dahshur from afar? Is this correct? In Giza you toured the exteriors of the big 3, the sphinx, and entered the solar boat museum. You had the opportunity to enter the Great Pyramid, but only two in your group chose to do so?

    Thanks!

    Alan

    As you can see I'm still pressing ahead as if our 22 Mar departure will go as scheduled, though, in view of the recent COVID 19 outbreak on a river boat, I am not having a good vibe.

  • I do hope your tour goes ahead ALAN, I’m so looking forward to a review from you. We are taking the Israel and Jordan tour next year. Neither of us wanted to go to Egypt but would love to hear lots of details and some pics of your adventures.
    We are glad to be escaping the US tomorrow for our own adventure, this madness is driving Mr B crazy. Did anyone on the forum see the 20/20 Live program on Friday. We were appalled by the pathetic response by the surgeon general and you could see poor Dr Jen Ashton cringing at his response.

  • I was on the same tour with Karen1672 and Candy_Habich (my spouse). I posted on the other Jordan/Egypt forum, but this one seems to be the most active. Be forewarned about taking binoculars into Jordan. They are not allowed in the airport, and they will confiscate any luggage (even checked!!) containing binoculars (cameras with long lenses are apparently OK). After several levels of security people & questions, I eventually got the binoculars back, but it was quite the ordeal. Trip was perfectly safe. Tauck does some exclusive surprises for you … don't want to give it all away to you, but you might get up close and personal with King Tut.
    In Luxor, you will visit the Karnak Temple. UCLA has done an extensive study of it, and has produced MANY animated videos of how the place might have looked, and also the CENTURIES of the building progress. Do a google search on "Digital Karnak UCLA"!

  • Thank you for the tip about binoculars. I did some additional research and found similar warnings from other Jordan travelers. The consensus appears to be that they may be viewed as surveillance equipment.

  • edited March 8

    BlountvilleTN
    11:28AM

    I was on the same tour with Karen1672 and Candy_Habich (my spouse). . . .

    Thanks for the link to info on Karnak. I have just scratched the surface of the wealth of info there. One thing I haven't found are any actual videos, but as I said, I've just scratched the surface.

    When you get a chance, could you or your spouse address Mil's (7 Mar) questions above about the seating in the 4X4s at Wadi Rum and the questions in my post about your photography in the tombs and what you saw and visited at Saqqara and/or Dahshur.

    Thanks!

  • BlountvilleTN
    1:56PM

    Seating at Wadi Rum was bench seats in the back of the 4X4's . . . .just wait and see for yourselves.

    Thanks so much!!! What a quick reply! I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'll be very disappointed if we don't go. Next year's departures around the same time are pretty much sold out!!

    Another quick question, the app Daily Agenda (always subject to change) says we arrive in Wadi Musa at 4:15 and someone on the forum suggested there was time to hike before dinner but didn't mention where? I'm not really a hiker but have hiking plans for Petra the next day in the afternoon. So I was wondering if the access (tickets) to the archaeological site were also good for the afternoon you arrived in Wadi Musa until the site closed?

    p.s. I usually use my laptop at home, but earlier today decided to check out the Tauck app on my iPad. The general itinerary was active for me a month or two ago, but I just noticed the Daily Agenda is available now, too. (It may have been there for a few weeks. I just didn't see it. :D ) J&E promises to be an epic but tiring tour. I read some of the bag pull, breakfast, and departure times to my wife- just hearing and thinking about them made her so tired she had to take a nap! :p

  • Venting just a little here. We are leaving Friday for our Jordan/Egypt trip, and if I get one more text/call/email asking if we’re still planning to go, I think I’ll scream! I know that most of them mean well, but it’s driving me crazy and adding to the angst I already have.

  • edited March 10

    Sue, I know what your mean. But give us a shout from the airport, will ya? :D I'm not having angst about going, on the contrary, my angst is that we won't get to go. I will send you a msg, not about this but another tour-related topic.

    If your departure goes, unless something changes, there is a good chance ours the following week has an excellent chance of going too. Don't break the "Tauck bubble" :) Leave a good trail of bread crumbs! :D

    I was looking at the availability and it appears some folks have bailed from our departures. At least 4 have bailed from ours since two cabin classes are showing "limited."

  • Alan, your group is showing “limited “ now and ours is now showing “available”. Do you know what the difference is?

  • milmil
    edited March 10

    "Limited" a few spaces available up to 4 or 6 , "Available " more than 6 spaces avail. , that I was told....

  • edited March 10

    Yup! though I don't know if there are fixed numbers, but that sounds like what I was told awhile ago. Limited can be as few as one cabin (a couple).

  • I’m sorry to say, but our tour this weekend just got canceled. What a colossal disappointment.

  • Virginia Sue - Were there specifics given for the cancellation, eg. Egypt placing all arrivals in quarantine, top attractions are being closed, etc. or was it just an overall assessment type of cancellation?

  • Oh No...I'm so disappointed for the cancellation Virginia Sue

  • Well, if there is a BRIGHT side and there always is....at least when/if you re-schedule, the GEM will most likely be opened:)

  • Sam, we were given no specifics for the cancellation. When we saw this morning that the WHO declared a pandemic, we were expecting it. It’s such a disappointment though. And Pure Luxury, thanks for the sympathy!

  • edited March 11

    I have much stronger words, all unprintable here in polite company!
    What is the chance our 22 March tour will go? Figure the odds? Thanks for letting us know, Sue. Ya gotta feel for Tauck too! The return to Egypt was 9 years in the making. And what about Egypt? Tourism, their main industry was just starting to rcome back after the Arab Spring. The trickle down impact is unfathomable- an entire industry, all the workers, hotels, lodging, tour guides, street sweepers, street vendors, even the touts, etc, etc, it boggles the mind!

  • edited March 12

    Here is a daconian but quick fix to the COVID 19 problem- quarantine everyone over 75 or so who has underlying medical conditions (few of them work, many don't travel, so a 14 or 21 day quarantine is not a big deal- just more ice cream and more time to watch "The Wheel" and reruns of the Golden Girls. Once they are on lock down, (assuming re-infection is not possible) expose everyone else in the entire population of the world (everyone that is not quarantined) to the virus. Anyone not showing symptoms in 2 - 9 days, expose them again. Then, once everyone has had it, has recovered, and there are no new cases, sanitize everything and let the quarantined people out. Except for those who get it bad, during this time everyone else can continue their normal daily routines- go to work, school, travel, play basketball, attend March April madness games in person, etc. etc. wheezing, sneezing, and coughing all the while. The whole thing could be over and done with in less than a month. Propagation could be done with spray trucks (like mosquito sprayers), hand "de"-sanitizers/infectors placed at all entrances to all buildings, subways, etc. added to the evil jet exhaust (contrails), all money, candy, and fast food etc, etc. since it seems to be spreading quickly now without any help. I wonder how the anti-vaxers will react? :o

  • Did anyone just listen to the Presidents message...ban on travel from Europe. What re the flow down implications from that for the folks that in currently in Europe or planning to go. I see many Tauck tours being cancelled...ugh

  • It is unclear to me what all this really means. The devil will be in the details. The way things are going, I can see the ban being extended to Asia/rest of the World. Buckle up!

  • Well Alan..the NBA has just suspended its season after tonight...we really are headed into strange unchartered territory...oh my.

  • I’m so glad we didn’t leave on our trip - looks like we wouldn’t have been able to come back. And Jordan has closed its borders to all their neighbors, including Egypt. Good grief, are we overreacting here? Alan, I know you’re as disappointed as we are!

  • I am scheduled for April 12 trip. Anyone hear anything yet?

  • edited March 12

    Virginia Sue
    March 11

    I’m so glad we didn’t leave on our trip - looks like we wouldn’t have been able to come back. And Jordan has closed its borders to all their neighbors, including Egypt. Good grief, are we overreacting here? Alan, I know you’re as disappointed as we are!

    I think the Jordanian border is closed to incoming not outgoing flights. Also, the travel ban on flights from Europe announced by the President last night, apparently doesn't apply to US citizens (see other post). It doesn't matter anyway if the tour is cancelled. Our 22 March departure is still listed but I'm fairly certain it will be cancelled as well. Big, all day meeting at Tauck HQ today so the phone agents will have no new tour status info.

  • Thanks for info. Hope that trip will be a go by April. So looking forward to it!

  • Dianne_Solomon
    2:17PM

    Thanks for info. Hope that trip will be a go by April. So looking forward to it!

    I really doubt it, not with the conditions as they are. There are still 39 active cases in Egypt. The phone agent said they are looking at tours between now through June. So maybe we will know something tomorrow.

    Plus you still have to get there on whatever airlines. I just got a notification from Air France that our leg from CDG to Amman has been cancelled. Surprisingly, we booked thru Delta and haven't received anything from them yet.

  • Alan - Delta cancelled my Osaka-Seattle return flight last week, which I discovered by looking at My Trips on their web site. I first heard from them today (via telephone) and they said I could reschedule or get a full refund (not a credit). My trip is in April, so I'm holding off another week to see what happens.

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