We made it



  • If you're concerned about bathing suits, you can get one of these:

    It's called a Burkini (no joke). I took this pic in the shopping mall a few miles north of the Dead Sea hotels, where we stopped for lunch. This was on the I/J tour. Don't know if the J/E tour stops there.

  • Cheekyrn the Jordanian Dinar exchange rate is strong against the $ which is probably one of the reasons the cocktails are costly. I’m not a big cocktail drinker. I’ll try the local specialty but besides that, I’m just fine with sparkling water and the wonderful pomegranate juice that I’m sure is served everywhere. That said, I did check to make sure Qatar airlines served alcohol on its flights :D

    Glad to know you didn’t have issues hiking in Petra with open toes sandals. As Mil and others are going when the weather should be a bit cooler, I’ll wait on their reports before finalizing shoe options.

    Hopefully I will have time to enjoy the pools. The properties Tauck uses are always spectacular but it’s unfortunate that we rarely get the opportunity to enjoy them. The India Oberoi properties were simply amazing. I saw them in the morning and late evening upon return when we were too exhausted to do anything else. In that aspect, I’m hoping to book the Singapore-Bali tour for 2023 as 2022 is sold out! . I was fortunate to stay at the Singapore Raffles on my previous visit. The other hotels on that tour look beyond amazing.

  • cheekyrn dear .. one last question, I think :)) ... is dinner time on the boat set up already ( do they have specific hours) or could you pick your own? I have a Spa reservation and I'm wondering if I need to cancel it.- I'm on the phone on hold with Tauck , so I thought maybe you could help. I have it on the Day # 9.

  • ****BKMD**** thanks but no thanks ;) … I’ll pack a modest bathing suit. Just need to decide which one I’m willing to sacrifice when floating in the Dead Sea in the event the salt water destroys it.

  • edited September 15

    Cheekyrn- Thanks!!!

    What time did your flight leave Cairo? It appears many flights depart Cairo after midnight. Did you or any others depart late the same night as the Farewell Dinner (or after midnight) or 24 hours later, the next night?

    If you departed the next night did Tauck provide day rooms until it was time for the airport transfer like they do sometimes (e.g. K&T)? Or did you have to check out at noon, normal check-out time, then hang out at the airport or somewhere else until your flight. Or did you book an additional (partial) night at the Mena house like we have?

    We chose a flight that leaves after midnight the next night after the farewell dinner. At present we have booked an additional night even though we won’t be staying the whole night, just so we have a room to leave our bags, and a place to rest and clean up after another day of touring on our own.

  • Hi Pureluxury! Chlorine probably damages swim suits more than salt. I love to swim in saltwater pools, there was one in our hotel in Charleston this spring and it was lovely. I guess the Dead Sea might be saltier than the pools, not sure. Rinse your suit as best you can. I tend to take older suits on Tauck tours incase my suit has to be put in the suitcase not quite dry, in a zip lock bag of course. But on a long flight home and in heat, it could easily get moldy.

  • Alan - we have air booked for our Egypt trip in March and our flight leaves Cairo at 4 AM for Frankfurt on Lufthansa. We plan to go to the Farewell - at least for now - just for a short time. Probably have to leave the hotel around 1AM. Our TA booked us on the flight with Tauck as it was the only one available but he thinks later flights will be scheduled as we get closer to the date.

  • PureLuxury
    I’ll pack a modest bathing suit. Just need to decide which one I’m willing to sacrifice when floating in the Dead Sea in the event the salt >water destroys it.

    The salt water shouldn't be a problem for your suit. At the beach area at the Mövenpick, there were showers to rinse off after getting out of the Sea. You'll want to rinse off to get the salt out of your hair and off your body, than the suit. The Dead iSea is roughly 8x saltier than the ocean!

    And don't shave within several hours of going in the water and don't have any cuts on your body. it will burn like putting lemon juice on it!

  • milmil
    edited September 15

    PureLuxury , me again... Yes, I'm counting the min. -Yes, my mom and I have make a deal... we travel together every other year.. I need some time on my own too! we live together... :)) but somehow... she has manage to travel with me the last 4 trips :))
    we travel well together .... she let's me booked and take care of everything.. she follows ...and as long as I give her some shopping time, she is okay!

    Cheekyrn thanks for the info.- not worry about covering anything... :)) I put on my Bikini and Viola! at my age.. if you still have it in place.. show it! :))
    Also good to know about the sandals.. I'm packing mines again.
    I just find out my group is only 17 people, that is great.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Mil Awesome. I also travel with my mom once a year. She loves NYC so it's easy. I take her to a few broadway shows and eat at a few of her favorite restaurants and she's golden. I love NYC as well so it's a win-win. Broadway-Shopping-Museums-Walking---what's not to like!

    Good news on small tour size. I wouldn't want the tour to be too small but I certainly don't want 30+ people either. As a single traveler, I enjoy getting to know my fellow travel mates during meals and such. My Portrait of India tour was only 17 people and it was great!

    British My health club has a salt water pool which I love; however, I just use a basic swimsuit for swimming or water yoga. When I'm traveling I like to break out the fancy swimsuits. Perhaps I'll take a basic one for the Dead Sea photo op and bring a fancy one with matching cover-ups for the hotel and river boat pools.

    AlanS On Qatar I have a choice of flights departing Cairo either 1:30 AM or 7:30 PM. The 7:30PM flight would be ideal if the GEM was open as I could take advantage of spending more time at the museum. I'm a Platinum Marriott member so I know I could get a late check-out. if I choose the earlier departing flight I'll probably pack the night before, attend the farewell dinner and then head to the airport. What sights are you planning to visit on your extra day in Cairo?

    I'm so excited...I just have to say that again B)

  • PureLuxury
    AlanS . . . What sights are you planning to visit on your extra day in Cairo?

    A lot of it depends on what we see with Tauck, so I haven’t firmed up a hard list. Though I haven’t confirmed it with, Cheekyrn, the itinerary and reports from those few who toured in early 2020, seem to indicate we primarily do a drive-by of the pyramids in the Saqqara/Dahshur area (Step pyramid of Djoser, Bent pyramid, Red pyramid, etc and only enter the small (rubble) pyramid of Teti I and the mastaba of Mereruka, both of which also have interesting interiors -walls covered with extensive hieroglyphics or highly colored reliefs. So, I am looking to return to that area with driver and guide and maybe enter the Step Pyramid which was reopened last year after being closed for many years (FYI, all that I mentioned are open but may, like the pyramids of Giza, be on some sort of schedule so who knows what will be open the day we visit. I also want to enter the Serrapeum, ceremonial tomb of the Serapis Bulls, It is much easier to enter and explore than any of the pyramids. After lunch, maybe make a return visit to the GEM if it is open by the end of March, or just return to the Giza plateau. So much to see, so little time. :(

  • Cheekyrn, did you have the opportunity to enter any of the pyramids and tour the inside on your trip? Looking forward to our October 24 departure of Egypt: The Jewels of the Nile.

  • PureLuxury jejej! my mother just reminded me why.. we should travel together only every other year ..... :# I tell you, us daughters need to have a lot of patience.... she is histerical cus she says I'm always on the Forum.... Lololol
    Yes a 17 people group can be nice... as long as everyone is in there best behavior and friendly, but I do like my space too.

    AlanS my flight back to Dubai is @ 12:05 pm I get to Dubai @ 5:00 and will spend 3 days..

  • Alan tonight Is our last evening. After the farewell dinner I will put last things in our bag and we have a 11:45pm transfer for a 2:45am flight on Turkish airlines

  • Cheekyrn Enjoy the Farewell Dinner & Safe Travels home. I hope you can have a cocktail & rest well on your flights. Thanks so much for your input during your travels. It helped a lot with our planning and was sincerely appreciated. :)

  • edited September 16

    Cheekyrn- thanks, again. I guess I’ll need to wait for anyone who is spending the farewell night in Cairo and leaving the following night to see if Tauck is providing day rooms. Of course I guess I could also call Tauck.

    Since we are flying Delta from RDU to a Turkish gateway, it normally wouldn’t matter too much to us which one. However, several months ago I selected a Turkish flight out of Chicago. I just discovered they changed the previously assigned A350-900 with a 1 - 2 - 1 seat arrangement in business which gives everyone direct aisle access, to one of their 777-300ER which has 2 - 3 - 2 seating. I just did a flight change and are now flying out of Atlanta which lessens the possibility of snowed-in runways and gives us a 787-9 with a 1 - 2 - 1 seat arrangement again. :D Picky, picky. :D We are also scheduled to depart Cairo on the 2:45 am Turkish flight.

  • Alan. I’ve always enjoyed Turkish. Coming over the flight was 1-2-1…I think it’s the same for our return. We go Cairo -Istanbul-Houston-el Paso. We only have a 30 minute connection in Houston so hoping the instanbul gets in early..with global entry we should make it. We only travel with carry on so we should be ok….I hope and pray. You know how it is when returning home. You just want to get home and slobbered on by the pups

  • Thanks again. Hopefully we’ll be busy touring on our own the last day so will be tired and able to sleep most of the way home (except when we are awake eating :D ).

    I allowed extra connection time in Atlanta outbound and JFK coming back because we’ll be changing carriers/alliances from Turkish to Delta so must retrieve and recheck our bags.

  • Alan - You'd need to retrieve your bags, anyway, to go through customs, right? Only difference is going to the counter to recheck, rather than putting them on a nearby conveyor to recheck?

  • edited September 16

    ”Alan - You'd need to retrieve your bags, anyway, to go through customs, right? Only difference is going to the counter to recheck, rather than putting them on a nearby conveyor to recheck?”

    Depending on airport, calling it a retrieve doesn’t quite describe it when bags are ticketed through, because it all happens in the same or adjacent hall and is usually a short, painless, process.

    Since our bags won’t be ticketed through at either US gateway, we will need to retrieve them, go through customs (coming home,) then schlep them to a counter which may be in a separate terminal so we will also likely need to exit the air side, check in and drop bags at new airline, then go through security. This will be a new experience for us.

  • Hopefully it will go smoothly. Personally, I've never done the split ticket thing. Understand its purpose, though.

  • BKMD - The split ticket thing is for people whose home airport is a minor hub, like for Alan and myself. Sometimes you can save $1000 plus or minus per person on international business class tickets from a minor hub by accepting the risk of the split ticket (two reservations). People whose home airport is a major hub (like you - Denver) don't have to deal with these inconveniences. One of the perks of your big city living.

  • when I was at the dead sea, I had dead sea mud all over me including my face. It was fun to experience although it did make a mess. Between the showers near the shore and a really long shower in my room, I got all the mud off me and out of my bathing suit. I'm still wearing the same suit 3 years later. Just be sure you have waterproof shoes to wear when you go into float. It is very rocky and will cut your feet.
    I'm going at the end of November on the Jewels of the Nile and didn't think about packing shorts and tees. Thanks for the tip! I was in Israel/Jordan in Mid to late October and the weather was cool in the morning and by afternoon light weight nylon travel pants and shirts were perfect. REI type clothing.

  • ****Mil****A group size of 17 must be the magic number. I just spoke with Tauck. My December 12 tour is showing “sold out”. The group size is 17.

    Safe travels this week & don’t forget to pass along helpful information throughout the tour (when you can).

  • In his weekly update, Peter Greenberg said he got an answer from the Egyptian Minister of Tourism that the GEM will open in February 2022. Hope that date is real since we will be on the Mar. 20 t

  • Joe95129 ** that's GREAT news! Unfortunately my December 2021 tour will miss the opening. I contemplated postponing my trip but the GEM opening date has been a moving target and I'm just ready to travel now. That means you and **AlanS will have to promise to share the details and pictures.

  • edited September 24

    In his weekly update, Peter Greenberg said he got an answer from the Egyptian Minister of Tourism that the GEM will open in February 2022. Hope that date is real since we will be on the Mar. 20 t

    Then again, the GEM has been going to open any day now for the past 3 years! :D

    Greenberg doesn't say which Egyptian minister of tourism said the GEM will be open in Feb '22, but if it was Khaled El-Enany (or Khaled Al-Anani), that is significant. Al-Anany's full name and title are Dr. Khaled Al-Anani, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities. He received this title in 2019 when President Al-Sisi merged both ministries. He is THE Minister and a member of President Al-Sisi's cabinet so a pretty important guy.

    Below is a video of Greenberg's 23 Sep Global Update. He has a lot of great travel info, and is sometimes quite humorous, but I can only take him for just so long before he gets on my nerves:

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