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Clients Letters, Testimonials and Photos - 2009




Tim & Gail O’Grady –  2 Sisters Travel to Egypt – December 2009

They had a great time and your tour guides were wonderful. Gail will send you a more detailed information sheet when she gets caught up on her sleep.  It was everything you advertized and more. Tim

I really enjoyed the trip and the work you did. Escorted tours for women traveling to a country where they don't speak the language or know the customs is the only way to go.
 
Although A-Z tours gave us an abundance of information to ready us for the trip, I was awe struck by the history and hospitality of the Egyptian people. The biggest surprise was the A-Z staff that made our trip so memorable. Starting with Carol who spent hours making arrangements for our personalized tour. Our safety, comfort and enjoyment was always foremost for our guides and drivers. In Cairo Mona, Mohammad, Hassen and Osama – saw to our every need. Greeting us at the airport, escorting us to monuments, and sharing history and personal life.

 In the Luxor/ cruise portion of the trip our guide Mousa, an Egyptologist was diligent to see we achieved everything on our itinerary. In both portions of the trip we were greeted in the morning and escorted to our private van, given knowledgeable tours, fed lunch or tea in local restaurants, shopping assistance and speedy access and exits to all our venues. I have never experienced such VIP treatment.
 
Your staff spent as many as 12 to 18 hours  a day with us and Mousa even traveled with us on the cruise portion of the trip and was our guide for all our tours. He made sure that my sister and I were well taken care of on tours as well as aboard ship. Our trip to Egypt was a trip of a lifetime. Thank you A-Z tours.

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Belinda Louie – VIP Tour to Egypt – December 2009

We had a marvellous experience in the Middle-east, and you and your team deserve accolades for the part you played. Thank you very very much, and please thank everyone for the superb arrangements and execution. I believe also, that Khalid from Egypt is a friend of yours and Tom's….he is indeed a good friend and has done you proud!

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Jane Alexander – Egypt – December 2009

Mum and I had a lovely trip, we really enjoyed it. Our guide in Cairo was superb what a lovely girl she is, so knowledgeable and caring, a real gem! Mr Hussein was a good ambassador for your company no matter how late we were and boy were we late on the last day he was always there and ready to help. We had a good time.

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Richard Knight – November 2009

Yes I have had the most exciting adventure of my life on this past tour. I did get to go to Stonehenge on my birthday though it was raining a bit and there was a powerful cold wind I was still visited by a Raven sitting on top of one of the Lintel stones.

The rain seemed to follow us a bit from place to place but it was not enough to spoil things. We had a fantastic tour Director and even though it was a lot of traveling by coach we enjoyed all the optional excursions offered by Cosmos as well. So we got to see all those things offered on the regular tour and Mt. Pilatus, and ride on Lake Lucerne, the Cabaret in Paris which was quiet different by the way, and took part in our farewell dinner as well.

The accommodations were wonderful even though the only bedding arrangement was proper in Paris ironically. Just one queen sized bed which was wonderful. The food was delicious everywhere we went and I now know that if you ask for sweet tea in Germany you have to specify not sparkling as they also make theirs with tonic water LOL

It was very hard to leave the tour as we had made several good friends and it was like having to snap back to reality after living a fairy tale of sorts.

I have to commend Cosmos for even though they had replied that they would get back to us in six to eight weeks they gave me a complete refund of my 43 pounds upon my return to London. Went out and had a great dinner on them LOL Also the arrangements were all set to take us to the airport but a bit earlier then we really needed to be there. We were shuttled from the hotel around 5:45am and my flight did not leave until 9am and Roy's shortly after 10am.

Thanks again for all your help.

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Susan Stevenson – Jordan – November 2009

I meant to do this the day after we returned from Jordan but I didn't so before I completely forget I wanted to tell you how wonderful our trip was. Amer, our guide, was just terrific as was our driver. Mahmoud who helped us through the airport - both arriving and departing - was charming and very helpful. They all were extremely kind to the children. The sites were beautiful, beyond our imagination and our only complaint was that we didn't have enough time at any one of them. Our time constraints - not your planning.
 
My only suggestion is that you have your agents provide solid information for tipping. Your Egyptian agent did that and it was extremely helpful. We do not want to scatter money around like 'ugly americans' nor do we want to under value great effort. The guide books are not helpful because they address taxi drivers, waiters, etc. but not our situation. It would also be helpful to know what currency is most desired and typically used. We were surprised that dollars were more prized than euros even though euros have a higher exchange rate. 
 
Please understand - this is a minor issue and in no way diminishes the wonderful service your crew has provided my family on our trips to Egypt, Istantul and Jordan. I have raved about your organization to my friends and hope that some will contact you. We are moving back to San Francisco in the next month or so but will be planning more adventures in the future.

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Bob & Sue Goldstone – Egypt – November 2009

Bottom line first: we are very satisfied with AZ service and a good "bang for the buck".

Cairo of course is really huge. Our trip was broken up into two visits, both at the Sofitel. The Sofitel is quite far to and from the airport, and a nicer itinerary would have been for us to first stay in a more central hotel to see the Citadel, Hussein Square, the museum and the Nile river trip (also making it easier to get back to the airport for the morning flight to Aswan), and then using the Sofitel for the pyramids, Saqqara and Memphis on the return. We spent a lot of time just getting through the city to the outskirts. January was really fine weather for that area.

Overall we were very happy with the guides and drivers, and everything went as scheduled. We especially appreciated their services at the airports and when checking in to hotels, which, along with their wealth of information and skilled driving made the entire trip easy. We had a single guide problem, and that was with the very pleasant woman who was to have been our guide from Aswan, during the Nile Cruise and in Luxor. She could give the tour lingo, but she simply didn't understand English well enough to understand any of the questions that any of our group that day (we were six) put to her. Fortunately you had given us contact numbers and I did have a cell phone.  I called in my complaint, and within an hour she had been replaced on our boat with Temo who was wonderful.

While one thinks first of the Pyramids while planning a trip to Egypt, it was Luxor that blew us away.

The pre trip information that you provided was invaluable. I showed it to someone who had just returned and he commented that he wished he had been given that by his travel agent.

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Shoba Gobin – Egypt – November 2009

Would be very difficult to find any fault with the arrangements made and also about your tour person in Egypt. Very courteous young people with a fair idea of Egyptology who made every effort to make our stay there very pleasant and informative. Also their ability to cater to our whims was amazing.

All in all very good and do pass on our comments to your tour organiser in Egypt.

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Roxanne & Patrick Aprile – Egypt – November 2009

Our trip was just fantastic and we enjoyed every minute of it. Naglaa, our guide was very knowledgeable. She was great. Yaser, the driver was very good at negotiating the very busy Cairo traffic and Hassan, was also very good at his job. We found the Hotel Sofitel Le Spinx to be very good also. The breakfast was excellent as was the service of all departments. We would not hesitate to recommend your company to others and we thank you for your prompt and efficient replies. This was really a time to remember for us all.

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Richard Burry – Egypt – November 2009

The trip was amazing. First off Hassan was great. He  really organized everything and was there to help us the entire time. A very nice man. The staff are more than tour guides, they are baby sitters and do everything they can to help from getting me medicine, getting my bank card back from hsbc, waiting with us at the train stations, lending me money when I had no change, the list of things they did is exhaustive.

Moussa was also an incredible guide. He is very knowledgeable and equally helpful and generous with his time. The trip itself was jam packed with things to do. The ride in the desert at 2am for 4 hours to Abu Simbel was a bit much for a couple hours to look around and then return another 4 hours. Then try to do more stuff the same day. Overall it was spectacular and for the price an amazing value. I would recommend your tour and your guides to anyone wanting to go there.

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Ron & Diana Lassley – Turkey – November 2009

I am not sure how we did it, but it seems we saved the best tour for last. 
 
As you know, we took several tours this last year; each very special. But Turkey was extraordinary. The country held far more interesting visits than we could have imagined. The guide was superb with a scope of knowledge unparalleled by any of the other guides we had on the other tours. The hotels were far better and for the dollar spent, we got much more than we anticipated.
 
We are back in the U.S. now after more than a year and it will be some time before we travel again, but we really cannot thank you enough for all the wonderful advice, support and extra service you gave us. I am quite sure we would not have been able to accomplish all we did if it had not been for you. I have told several people about A-Z Tours and I am hoping they will take advantage of the quality service you have always given to us.
 
We have blogged our trip (although I am about 3 months behind on entries at the moment); here is the link:  http://rootless.tokenwebsite.com/ or you can google "route of the rootless" to get a location listing. If you get a chance to look at any of the posts, please give yourselves a pat on the back for contributing greatly to our trip and giving us memories to last the rest of our lives.
 
After some time goes by and we get settled, I expect we will be looking to take another tour. You can bet I won't look any further than A-Z Tours.

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Kim Tieszen – South Africa – November 2009

We're just back from an awesome trip to S Africa. Three weeks was a perfect length and it allowed us to see lots of great stuff. I will give you the highlights and the lowlights so you can better inform your clients OK?
 
2 night in London as a stopover on the way to Cape Town was fabulous. We stayed at Hotel 41 right behind The Palace and from there were able to walk everywhere. The hotel was small and quaint with excellent service. I found everything in London to be pricey, but I guess that's to be expected. Hotel 41 is part of Ruebens hotel. They took the top floor of the hotel and made it into an exclusive boutique hotel with it's own entrance and staff etc. Rooms were small, but I hear that is the norm in London. 2 nights in Cape Town was not enough. We arrived late afternoon, did a sightseeing tour the next day, then had to leave the next morning. One more night would have been great. We did the sightseeing with a company called "Rhino Tripping" and had excellent service. The owner's father was our tour guide and I liked the fact that he went with us on all the stops, he didn't just sit in the car like some guides do. He also had a wealth of info on the history of SA which we talked about as we drove to our destinations. All in all excellent.
 
Franschoek for 2 days was wonderful, and again one more day was needed. Stellenbosch is only a 25 minutes drive with more wineries and we would have loved another day. We stayed at "The Franschoek" which was a small hotel, 6 rooms which was part of a hotel group for which I cannot remember the name. You might be able to find it on-line. This hotel had excellent staff and a very homey feel, but we felt it fell short of the 5 star category by a fair bit. Rooms were spacious but not much sound proofing especially out into the shared hallway, and the street appeal was sadly lacking as the hotel is set back off the main road, hard to find and a nasty gravel driveway. There were better choices in Franschoek. The food in Franschoek was fabulous!
 
We then spend a day driving "the Garden Route"  which was a complete waste of a day, long and tedious. I suppose if you had time to stop off and visit in some of the small towns, you could make a better time of it, but we would have been better to fly from Cape Town to George and would have saved a day or so in transit.
 
Tsala Tree Top was a great experience.  Fabulous private suites, all at least 15 feet above ground in the trees with private plunge pools, tree top decks, and very cool jungle type lodgings. The baboons are a problem here as they are in many places in SA so you have to be vigilant and always keep your doors and windows locked. The Hunter family also operates Hunter's lodge, which I think is more of a five star resort also on the same property. I would give Tsala a 4 1/2 star rating. They do have a beautiful main lodge and outdoor/indoor dining with a fabulous restaurant. Elsewhere on the property, the Hunter's have recently built a new restaurant, I think it was called Zinzi or something like that. Chef is a very young go getter of about 22 years old. She runs the show, and had a hand in every aspect of building the restaurant.  She does a fine job of both managing and cooking. It has a wonder covered outdoor patio with a fabulous fireplace. Despite the weather, we ate outside with heaters and the fireplace. Fabulous.
 
Did I mention the weather????  It was so terrible and nasty almost our entire vacation. No really.......it was bad. Tons of rain, and cold.
 
Plett Bay and Knysna were fabulous. Golfing was great at Pazula, as was the very fine Pazula hotel and Zachery's restaurant. This is truly a five star experience which I could go on and on about. The hotel is just stunning and the meal was like a king's feast complete with at least 4 servers for one table. Crazy. There are several fabulous 5 star hotels in this area, lots to do and incredible beaches.  Did I mention the weather???  Would have liked to experience the beaches myself. Maybe next time...
 
We then flew to Londalozi in the Sabi Sands. This was truly the highlight of our trip and again, I could have had 5 nights here, instead of 3. The Granite Lodge at Londalozi was very special, only three suites for a max of 6 guests. We were waited on hand and foot, food was fabulous and didn't quit. The first two nights we were joined by a pair of loud and obnoxious peeps from Boston society. Need I say more. The next night a honeymoon couple arrived from Seattle, as well as a lovely couple from Australia. We had a super time with these couples and enjoyed a fabulous final night dinner together that is very memorable. We were entertained by staff each night. The suites were just incredible and huge with an amazing view out to the river where wild life roamed at will. The game drives were spectacular and within two drives, we had seen every animal more than once, including the big five. Just fabulous. I can't say enough about this place.
 
Next we went on some little puddle jumper to Zambia and onto a hotel called Tongabezi. This place was about 20 years old and getting very worn and dated. We did have a cool room, but it was challenging as there were only three sides to the structure and open out to the Zambezi river the entire front side. Crazy. Lots of bugs which no mosquito net could keep out, and we had visits from the baboons into our room at night. Sweet. I am missing a bikini. Go figure??? Maybe they liked the colour. Oh well, with the bad weather, I hardly got a chance to put it on anyways. Again, the staff here were great but the wine list was hurting and everything just needed an update. 
 
Observation......in SA, every lodge or hotel was managed by a white S African. When we were in Zambia, that was not the case and I think that the blacks just don't relate to the level of comfort that the rest of the world is looking for. They are very happy people and will bend over backwards to serve you, but as they haven't seen the way the rest of us live, they can hardly be expected to understand what we are looking for in terms of creature comforts in lodging. The little town, I think it was called Kasane, was very third world and very much a developing type country. It was pretty rough and you have to go there in order to see Victoria Falls.
 
On that note, I could have skipped Vic Falls and looked at it on-line instead. It is quite an amazing wonder, but at this time of the year, the falls on the Zambian side are dry so you have to use your imagination.  The park where you go to view the falls is rather dangerous with very little safety rails, and the ones that are there are broken and badly in need of repair. I would never go here with children or elderly folks. Way too dangerous. You can also view the falls from the Zimbarbwee side but relations between the two countries are somewhat tense right now and so we didn't go over the border.
 
Lastly we crossed the border into Botswana and stayed for two nights at the Chobe Chilwero Lodge on the Chobe National Park. This place was pretty nice, I'd give it a 4 star, maybe a 4 1/2. Run and managed by a white couple from SA and well run. A beautiful main lodge well appointed and soon to receive some updates. It was situated high on the banks overlooking the Chobe River Delta which separated Botswana from Namibia. The Delta is just huge and we could see wildlife out there all the time. Because of the rain, the game drives were non eventful, although we did take in a wonderful river cruise where we watched an Elephant swim across the river. Saw some Crocs and tons of Hippos, but other than that saw none of the big five.
 
I would not do Botswana again although it is a much more progressive country than Zambia. I was still uncomfortable there, had some money stolen from my room and we both found the food lacking in taste and presentation. Aren't we just the critical bunch??  To sum it up, I would go back to SA again and especially to Londalozi and the Kruger National Park. It was just amazing, but I would not go back to any of the other countries unless I was looking for a true African adventure where I lived and moved amongst the locals and appreciated things their way.
 
Hope that's helpful!!
 
Oh, British Airways didn't really score any points. Despite our "Club" category, it was a bit of a cattle call at the best of times. The layflats were a bit tight and once your neighbour bedded down for the night, it was tough to get out to the bathroom unless you crawled over their sleeping body. Very awkward. One of the bathrooms did not flush and although the crew was aware of it, they did not shut the toilet down.  I would not by choice fly BA again if there were other options. 

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Jim & Cyndi Crutchfield – Egypt – October 2009

Egypt itself, it’s people, sights, and history were a perfect fit for someone who’s favorite song as a kid was “Faraway Places”. Our guide was knowledgeable and the ship “Sapphire” and its crew went the extra mile for us. Our guide “Hani” was knowledgeable and generally helpful.

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Diana & Ron Lassley – Greece – October 2009

Greece was fantastic. We had a WONDERFUL guide and we absolutely loved the country. The hotels we very good as well. Thank you for all your help getting this set up for us.
 
Again, many thanks for all your SUPER help - because of you are travels are a roaring success.

Thank you SO much. This is exactly what I needed. 

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Kirt Nichols – October 2009

Thank you. You’ve been wonderful and a great help with the BI tour. We will definitely use your service again when we’re ready to go to the Greek Islands.

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Stella & Ming Quan – Scandinavia – October 2009

We had a great time in Scandinavia. Everything was more than expected. The tour director, Lynette was very helpful. We had a wonderful time.

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Darlene & Dennis Simpson – Vacation Planning Service – October 2009

We have returned safely and thoroughly enjoyed our trip! Loved the scenery and the people. We drove almost 4000 km which, although a lot, did give us a good overview of the area. 
 
Our accommodation was fine - we really loved the atmosphere of the Kindred Spirits Inn and the location of the Brigantine in Lunenberg. One attraction that was not on your list that we found very interesting was the Wyatt House in Summerside - we had an excellent tour of that.
 
Thanks for your help!

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Susan Stevenson – September 2009

In late May we visited Istanbul - a trip that I arranged with your help. We thought our guide, Omer, was one of the best - extremely knowledgeable, easy to work with, articulate, everything you could ask of in a guide. We know of another group that is going to Istanbul and I wanted to provide contact information.

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Maria Gawin – Scandinavia – September 2009

Yes, the trip was awesome! Scandinavia is beautiful specially Norway, but relatively eeeexpensive! The first hotel Comfort Osterport is in great location, but it was noisy. The room I think is a converted warehouse, because we have no windows, just a little door. Even the door was closed, you can still hear the train running. If we open the door (no AC) can't sleep because of the noise. Thank goodness we have to stay only for 2 nites. 

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Fran Martin & Ann Palmer – September 2009

We had a wonderful time. Saw so much. Ate well, experiencing local foods, along the way. (Ann tried the Haggis, in Scotland, too !!)

Our driver, Ron, was great. Helpful and thoughtful enough to have ice water available at a reduced rate-very nice.
 
Our tour guide, Paul Fleming, was OUTSTANDING. A wealth of knowledge. Wish we could have absorbed it all !!  He made the trip very interesting. He ran a "tight ship" which was necessary if we were to fit it all in.
 
As you knew, we spent the last few night abroad with friends. It really put the finishing touches on our trip. We are both tired but happy with our special memories of the UK.
 
Our "dream" of thirty years has come true, at last, and it couldn't have been better.
 
Thank you so much for making all of the arrangements for us. We know it is your job, but you did it very well. We feel that you went "out of your way" to accommodate our requests.

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Bachoo Master – Central Canada – September 2009

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Canadian capital cities. It was very well conducted and the guide was excellent I will recommend it to my friends.

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James, Petra and Alex Konow – Egypt & Jordan – September 2009

I apologize for taking so long to get back to you about our Jordan and Egypt trip. It was a great trip, and everyone was very helpful. In fact, I have recommended you highly to a colleague who, after looking at your website, is now planning a trip to Egypt this summer with her family.
 
We really appreciated the materials you provided about preparing for the trip. That was really useful. That shows you go beyond the call of duty. Nicole was very patient in getting the facts and adapting the trip to our specialized wishes. When our flight was delayed and we lost a day, everyone was great about rescheduling the first Jordan part of trip so that we missed very little. We want to thank everyone sincerely for that.
 
Our three main guides were extremely knowledgeable and very kind: Talking with them not only gave us a wealth of knowledge about the lands, but also about the cultures and the people. We obviously only heard a small fraction of what they know. They are very good and decent people, and we valued the attention and guidance. We appreciated the way people speak very frankly, and it gave us important insights into other countries. The same was true of the Egyptians we encountered elsewhere. Westerners should know they need to get used to the way people sell goods and services aggressively, which is different from what they are used to, but, otherwise on a personal basis, people are very kind and respectful. The restaurants they used were good and reasonably priced. I'm sorry not say more about the guides individually at this point, but I'm a little rushed, they were excellent.
 
In terms of the general structure of the tours, we were also quite happy. Things ran on time and the sights were well chosen. We feel they hit the most important and interesting spots.

We were very pleased with the accommodations. We did some research, as you know, on our own and requested some specific hotels. I can highly recommend those hotels to others (mostly current or former Moevenpick hotels). The program was perhaps best designed in Jordan, where it went from morning till night. There were some gaps elsewhere, where the only reasonable alternative seemed to be to buy an extra tour. It is not that the guides pressured us, but we might have simply preferred to take a little longer at the morning sights.

So, the bottom line is that we had a very good time. We found the people and the sights fascinating and enjoyable and are recommending Egypt and your agency to others. I hope this is helpful.

Incidentally, I told my wife about writing you, and she said she has also recommended your agency to a colleague who is planning an Egypt trip, so hopefully something comes of that.

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Jeanette Weeks – Ireland – September 2009

Great trip. I'll pop in this week to fill you in. Thanks for all your help getting us to Ireland. It was like a scene out of a comedy truly but then you know this with the travel business.

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Kurt Ross – Egypt – September 2009

Was great, thank you very much!

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Gillian Holland – Atlantic Maritimes Tour – September 2009

I felt I must just let you know how much I had enjoyed my recent trip to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the Cabot trail etc .It was well organised and the tour guide Jonathan Riley, and the driver Don Spence were both excellent. So polite and helpful.

Thank you once again for all your assistance. I will be saving to make another trip as soon as possible.

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Jeanette Nicholls - Nova Scotia & P.E.I  August 2009

The Tour was fabulous, and the Hotels were especially very nice. the young Tour Guide Heidi was especially very hard working and put a lot of effort into the Tour prepeparation. She always had a smile and nothing seemed to phase her. We would not hesitate to use Caravan again. Everything went very smoothly.

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Judy Lockhart – Egypt – August 2009

As promised I want to highlight a few things that I really appreciated about your company. You company was recommended to me by Rob Roy in New Glasgow Pictou County. I will also pass this web site along to anyone interested.
 
Carol I was very pleased with the organization of the company. They were on schedule and very prompt at all times.
 
The information that you sent ahead of time was very helpful to me even though I have been in Egypt before and Brian who has never been there really appreciated the information.
 
Our guides, Mohammed Zakarya in Cairo and Abd el Hamid Migally Mohammed in Aswan and Luxor were fantastic. They were very knowledgeable and spoke very good English. On my last trip to Egypt my tour groups were large and the guides were good but the English was limited and it made us very tired straining to understand. I also appreciated that Mohammed and Abdo were very personable. They were also very flexible, accommodating us when we wanted to make alternate arrangements. I would like you to pass along this information about the guides to the Cairo office if you can and I will e-mail as well so that they can be credited for their professional work.
 
Most of our drivers were great except one. We spoke to Abdo about this. Abdo did not go with us to Abl Simble another young guide went in his place. The guide was ok but we were not pleased with the driver. It in no way impacted on our overall trip.
 
The hotels were excellent, we were spoiled. The cruise ship was good, the food good. We did wish that we could have had a pool to swim in on the ship. This ship had a pool but it was just a wading pool more for kids.
 
The Itinerary was good however we found that it was very rushed on the first day. We were so tired and jet lagged that we really wished that we could have had a day to adjust. I realize that it was all do to how the cruise would fit into the schedule.
 .
Well I think that I have covered everything. I really do appreciate every thing that you have done for us. Once again the trip could not have gone smoother or better. We had a great adventure and met many new people.
 
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Linda Ekizian – Nova Scotia and PEI – August 2009

The trip was wonderful! the tour guide Olive was a natural: friendly, enthusiastic and informed. We learned quite a bit about the history and landscape of the region and its people, as well as its present. Bus driver Gordon brought us safely to our many destinations with good humor. There was a perfect balance between free time and tour time. The local experts were terrific - engaging and educated.

The accommodations were comfortable and centrally-located. The stops along the way were interesting (if not simply to stretch our legs at a rest stop). The group size was ideal with a good mix of people from throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada + one couple from Australia.

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Diana Lassley – UK – August 2009

The U.K. is just beautiful. The tour was quite good and we did enjoy it. I am afraid we were a bit spoiled by both a superlative tour director and driver on our Central Europe tour and found the staff on the Taste of Britain tour not quite as good. But, even still, it was such a treat to see all of these beautiful places. 
 
Again, thank you for all your help with this tour and all the others you have arranged for us. We are really a very lucky couple of people.

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Iris Berke – Atlantic Maritimes – August 2009

Thanks, Nicole. The Maritimes trip was really excellent. Enjoyed the itinerary, guide and driver were terrific, and other participants were an easy-going, interesting, and cohesive group. Thanks so much for getting me booked on this tour. Particularly as a last-minute option, it exceeded my expectations - especially when I saw "Grey Line."

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John – Iceland – August 2009

It was absolutely fantastic! Thank you for your assistance. Iceland is unbelievable.

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Ann Ward – Vacation Planning Service – Nova Scotia and PEI – August 2009

My Dad and I had a great time last week. All of the accommodations were great, and the car was very comfortable. I’m glad we kept the full size car (we had a Chrysler Seabring). Dinner at the Blomidon Inn in Wolfville was the best meal we had. It was delicious. The best breakfast was at the Oak Island Resort, where I had eggs benedict. We went whale watching with Captain Mark as you recommended, and we were not disappointed! My Dad loved seeing the whales the best of everything we did. The Alexander Graham Bell museum in Baddeck was interesting, and the Cabot Trail was inspiring.

We went to Gespeau winery, and had a fun tour and tasting. We also stopped and explored Ross Farm. We enjoyed the drive down to Peggy’s Cove, but Daddy couldn’t really get out and walk around. We went to a piping at the Celtic College in Summerside, PEI, and that was great.

All in all, it was a great trip. I didn’t get lost but a few times, and I knew almost immediately that I had messed up. I thought I did pretty good driving and navigating.

The people of Nova Scotia were very friendly and helpful. I hope to return some day and enjoy the wealth of outdoor activities. I think Cape Breton was my favorite part of the trip.

Thanks for all your help and hard work. It was a great vacation.

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Lori Leo – Britain & Ireland – August 2009

We had an excellent trip! I would recommend and would use Cosmos again. There were a couple of times we wanted more time - The Cliffs of Mohr and Stonehenge, Bath, but understand can't work it perfectly in a schedule like that. They did make special arrangements for us to see Lion King and appreciated that. There were many things to see that we would have had to pay for to go into which I wasn't expecting - cathedrals, Roman Baths, just various things everyday. 

I understand why they charge and why they didn't automatically purchase them for the whole group, but it was unexpected and maybe could be a little bit clearer in the advertising. You did mention $30 per day spending money but not really that it would be needed to get tickets into sights. Anyway, I had enough money but was surprised that everyday we had to spend money to see things or just see the outside of something. Overall, wonderful, wonderful trip! Thanks for all your help. 

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Angela Gagnon – Vacation Planning Service – Nova Scotia and PEI – August 2009

Had a wonderful week, the weather was awesome. I've fallen in love with PEI. The colors there are out of this world. When someone says the grass is not always greener on the other side... Well it is. The contrast of the green grass and the red soil is indescribable. The only place I was not impressed with was Halifax. I wouldn't go again. To commercial, it's just another city. The hotel room "Delta" was over priced for what they offered. No continental breakfast and the room was not ready until 2 hours after the check in time. No apologizes given either. However the beds were comfy and we had a good view of the bay.

You did a great job on the travel time and destinations! Could have used 2 weeks to accomplish everything. Loved the old villages.

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W. Kirt Nichols, MD, MHA – British Isles - August 2009

Just got to Chicago an hour late and by time cleared customs missed our flight to St L. In general all your arrangements were "spot on".

Ireland was both enchanting and magical. I believe Keegan is a reincarnated leprechaun.

For all the angst over the switch in March it had worked out well. Keegan celebrated his 14th birthday in Killarney and Michael our Globus tour guide even saw to it that he had a cake at the hotel that night. Tour consists of Australians, Americans and Canadians.

Finally got internal clock reset. Trip was GREAT but of course extremely busy. On/off bus several times per day with leg “Storm trooper boot” as my youngest daughter called it was tiring but wouldn’t trade experience for anything. The people on the tour for a random group of strangers at the start were fantastic! What a group. About ½ from Australia, close to ½ from US and remainder (5-6) from the wonderful country of Canada.

Each country we visited was wonderful and unique and we both learned a lot about each country and the heritage of each of our home countries. Spent most time in Ireland and least in Wales. Ireland was absolutely ENCHANTING. Keegan celebrated his 14th birthday at a pub in Killarney (drinking Coke) but the Irish folk singers made a big deal of it and everyone on tour sang him happy birthday. Our wonderful tour director arranged a BD cake at the hotel that night for dinner. Then about a week later in Scotland upon learning he just celebrated his BD, the Master of Ceremonies had him up front in the Scottish club and recognized his BD all over again. He milked that BD for everything he could. Edinburgh was great even though I had been there before learned even more.

Tour guide and driver were great. Extra events along the way though expensive were great…….for example saw Billy Elliot in London on return there before homeward journey.

Hotels in general were good to good+ with an excellent in Bristol and London. Others were a bit tattered and threadbare. In Glasgow several of our group had filthy rooms with virtually no ventilation. Complaints got some changes but the experience was unsettling to everyone

Food varied to very acceptable to excellent at the various hotel venues.

I have no frame of reference except for a surgical group tour by bus my wife and I took through Italy. I think this trip was comparable in a favorable way to that one in 1995

Thanks again for all your assistance. Your attention to detail was greatly appreciated.

Your thoughts re: next summer for my/our “bucket list” of places to see.

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Mitch Balaban – Egypt – August 2009

Thanks for asking. We had a great time. Egypt was great. Iman was as good as it could get.  When he started reading the hieroglyphs we were amazed. Lunch was also great, although we all had stomach troubles two days later but that could also have been from the ship. The pyramids were a dream come true and the camel ride was lots of fun. Thanks so much for all your help. I will forward a picture when I get things all caught up.

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Mary Gross – America’s National Parks with Badlands Extension – August 2009

Globus does a great job with their tours. We didn’t know it was a Globus tour until we got the information, and was pleasantly surprised. The bus held 50 passengers and there was only 33 on the tour, so we had plenty of room to stretch out. The meals were good; some of the hotels were not quite up to date. The Alex Johnson hotel in Rapid City, SD needed to be renovated. Even the beds were falling apart!  But it is a hotel with plenty of history and charm.

We had a great time. Touring was strenuous at times, but with the vast amount of territory that we needed to cover, this was the only way to go.

Hopefully, we will be off again next summer. Thanks for all your help. You made planning this trip very easy for us.

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Diana Lassley – Cental Europe - June 2009

It was a WONDERFUL tour. We learned and saw so much and our tour mates were great. Both the driver and tour director were SUPERLATIVE!! We felt it was money very well spent and all your help with the arrangements was invaluable.
 
We can hardly wait for our Taste of Britian Tour starting August 10th. (I must say, this retirement thing is working extremely well!!) .
 
Thanks for all your great help and take care.
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Jeanette Hortiz – British Isles – July 2009

My granddaughter and I had the best time on our trip to England. We now have to decide where to go next. Everything went well from the hotels to the bus driver (BARRY) and the tour guide (JOHN). John was very informative and made everyone feel welcome.

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Francisco Castañeda – England – July 2009

We are just coming back from England. Frankly speaking everything was excellent, I appreciate your assistance. If we travel again to Canada or England we will contact you again
Thank you again.

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Gina Bremar – Africa – July 2009

Thx so much for the update - I've mentioned your site to quite a few people in BERMUDA - they find your tours very interesting. Who knows I may just have company on my Safari next year! :)

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Neil Cannon – Vacation Planning – Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick – July 2009

Everything was great. The only exception was the Driftwood Inn which didn’t fit our needs. Too remote. It might have been better in mid season when it was busy as the unit itself wasn’t bad. The good news is that we moved on, found the “Maple Inn” (lovely) in Parrsboro for the same price and got the manager of the Driftwood Inn to not charge us.

Thanks for all your help!

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Marianne Feissli – Newfoundland – July 2009

Yes, everything went well (except the fire alarm in the hotel in St. John's - fire in an engine in the service elevator - and the unexpected landing in Gander - a passenger had health problems - on our flight back) I enjoyed sunshine, fog, rain ... everything. the landscapes in Newfoundland and Labrador are beautiful, I was impressed by the icebergs and many other things (whales, puffins, flowers....).

Unfortunately the holiday is over, Thank you for your help and your emails.

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Marcia Watson - Vacation Planning – Nova Scotia and PEI – July 2009

Let's see, if this is Tuesday, I must be home! We did arrive home safe and sound yesterday after a wonderful trip - thank you so much for all of your help and knowledge sharing. Everything went extremely well until I lost my camera on Sunday - discovered as we were almost to Peggy's Cove. To make a long story short, when we got back to the Cambridge Suites, the front desk young man came running up and said is this your camera? I had left it in the restroom off the lobby when we ducked in after visiting the Maritime Museum on our way to Peggy's. He had looked at the pictures and recognized me when he saw me! They saved the day for me! I will be sending them something from Wisconsin as a thank you.
 
The weather did not cooperate, but that did not deter us at all. We indeed made it to Springhill on the 25th, and met Anne Murray! She was so gracious to everyone and stood for about 1.5 hours posing for pix and signing autographs. She is such a Canadian Jewel!
 
We enjoyed all of the sleeping accommodations but the B&B at Baddeck was our least favorite. There just was never anyone around to ask questions of, get the local color, etc. I guess the owners are involved more with the restaurant. Anyway, when we left, I could not rouse anyone in the B&B so we left the keys, but I would have liked to get a receipt. I'd say the Sonata was our favorite - Michael was extremely accommodating and obviously loves what he is doing.
 
Thank you, again, Nicole for all of your friendly assistance. We will certainly keep you in mind for any future trips.

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Greta Brooks - Vacation Planning – Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island – July 2009

Nicole, the Maple Inn is fantastic! I'll send a trip report when we're home, but this place is wonderful. Steve could stay a week. Mom's room is luxurious and the boys have a room in our suite that has two double beds. And the owners are great too. Thanks for finding this gem!

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Elsa Versino - France - July 2009

All was ok in the tour. Thanks for your wishes.

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Laura Tinkham - Egypt Jordan & Isreal – July 2009

We are back, and our trip was great! Thank you so much for planning and helping us out along the way as well. We had such a great time!!  Thanks again!

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Marcia and Eric Birken – Vacation Planning – Nova Scotia & New Brunswick – July 2009

We LOVED our trip. Everything was great. We really enjoyed the New Horton Lakeview Inn in Alma, NB. It was a little out of the way, but so charming that this made up for the extra driving. The Inverary Resort was also lovely - they put us initially in a room with only one queen bed, so they upgraded us to a suite at no extra charge.

The Bay of Fundy was fantastic, Cape Breton Peninsula, Cabot Trail, and park were amazing, and we saw moose (lots of pix) and bear (too fast for me to get a picture). One of the highlights (totally unexpected) of the trip was the Miners' Museum - absolutely wonderful and overwhelming experience going down into the mines. The only hotel we didn't care for was the Brigantine Inn and Suites in Lunenberg. It was "seedy 1950's." Halifax was so crazy with the Jazz Festival, the tall ships, and pouring rain, that we ended up doing very little there - couldn't find a place to park anywhere! 

Our weather was great - only one day of rain until the last day of the trip. We did a whale watch in St. Andrews by the Sea and Donelda's Puffin Tour in Cape Breton. Both were good - not great, but much better than I expected. Didn't get any great puffin pix - they are way, way too small and fast - but did get some great eagle shots.

Thanks for everything - the itinerary was well balanced, interesting, and very, very enjoyable. And we are happy to recommend you to future clients.

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Shahnaz Vakil – Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island – June 2009

Everything went well. The tour was great. The tour operator Blair and the bus driver George were very good-hospitable, polite, humorous and extremely helpful. Had a marvellous time. Thanks again.

Our trip to Canada was wonderful. My husband and I had a great time. All the arrangements were perfect. Canada is a beautiful country and I am very happy to have had this opportunity to visit this ruggedly beautiful part of your country. Thank you and Caravan for everything.

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Bob and Dar Beaudry - Magnificent Europe Cruise – June 2009

Just wanted you to know all arrangements for subject cruise went very well. The trip exceeded our expectations, and though pricey, was well worth it. We were 75 on board the POETRY, so had lots of room and very good service, had an excellent cruise director, and were extremely lucky with the weather. We think the Budapest to Amsterdam direction that we took might be better than the reverse - it is busy at first, then is at a quieter pace towards the end. We are recommending the trip to our friends. Thanks for your work on this.

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Alan Li - Quebec City, Rail, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island – June 2009

We have been experiencing a relaxed and enjoyable trip. We decided not to stress ourselves by pushing us through an early journey back to Halifax to catch the Peggy Cove tour.

Teresa and I enjoyed thoroughly the captioned tour organized by A-Z Tours International and Cartan Tours. The arrangement of the itinerary, the accommodations, the city tours and the rental car was all good and satisfactory.  We also found good seafood restaurants at the designated cities and towns and along the sightseeing routes. 
 
We appreciate your help before and during our trip to deal with the unexpected incidents. We would like to thank Stacey for her special efforts in rearranging the Peggy's Cove tour .We crossed over to PEI via the Caribou Ferry. On the return trip from Charlottetown to Halifax, we left the hotel at 9:00 a.m., crossed the Confederation Bridge to get to New Brunswick and visited Moncton and then Peggy's Cove before arriving Halifax in the evening. That was an interesting drive as well.
 
Once again, we must thank you for your efforts and we would very much like to recommend this tour to our friends.  As for Mr. & Mrs. Poon, they may consider the similar package in the future when Mrs. Poon recovers.

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Laurie and Miyo – Newfoundland – June 2009

I had a great time - loved Nfld. and Labrador, and the spots in Halifax we managed to get to on our own, and took nearly 900 photos. (will do a lot of deleting!)
 
The tour guide, Annette, was really wonderful, the bus driver was very friendly and helpful, and the accommodations were just fine. We were sorry to have to leave the group early.
 
Thanks for all your help.

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John Cowley – Egypt – June 2009
 
Just a short note to let you know again that our two tour guides on our trip to Egypt were what made the trip so special. Both guides did a fantastic job of explaining not only the sites, history, and culture of the ancient Egyptians, but also the Egyptian culture, religion, and day to day life of the present. Mark and I came to understand the beauty of the Egyptian culture as it is today, and to appreciate its differences with our culture. It was like being in school again and learning things from the beginning. And even threatened to give us test for graduation.

Just wanted you to know they are both special and to highly recommend both of them for future use with your company. Thanks Again. John Cowley

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Kathy Jacob – China - June 2009

A thousand THANKS to you and to Myra!!!
 
What a fantastic trip we had! Every single participant is calling it THE trip of their life!!! - and we know these folks have gone lots of places...
 
Forget complaints of hotel rooms too this or meals and buses too that or even not enough shopping/free time. The typical remarks go something like this: ''Yeah the hotel in Beijing was not up to par but I don't care, it was a great trip'' or ''I really don't want to have Chinese food for the next 6 months but I wanna go back to China'' or ''I wish I could have had more time to just hang out but when I go back I want to have Rocky again as my guide''.
 
At the end of the day, everyone agrees this was a wonderful journey into a different world. They all want to go back and they are all telling their friends. And we now have all sorts of people asking me to put together another trip to China!
 
Congratulations on the selection of M Shi Jun Yan - aka Rocky Stone - as our guide. He was the perfect host and ensured we had a grand time throughout. He shares his knowledge in the most relaxed fashion and his sense of humour is delightful. Attentive in subtle ways, patient and most certainly a gentleman, he is happy to share his culture with ''foreigners''. Everyone want Rocky again!
 
By the way, even those who had to be dragged on this trip - a few husbands - have come back enchanted and are calling it their best trip... Aïsha had a fabulous time. As for me, it is a dream come true. I just have to go back and see the rest of the country now ;o)

The clients were overall EXTREMELY pleased with this trip!!! I have added some of their comments below.
 
1)    The group decide to check into the hotel upon arrival in the early morning though Rocky had warned us that if we chose to do so the best rooms might not yet be available, therefore the few who ended up in a room not to their liking -bedding obviously not changed, carpet seriously stained, etc- did not complain about it but instead, asked for the situation to be corrected when possible, mentioned to me how it was for them and hoped for better luck at the next hotel. Anyway, we spent so little time in our rooms...
My room and the other family rooms were absolutely great! All appreciated the non-smoking rooms and even those which did not specify non-smoking had no smoke aroma left behind.
 
2)    Personally, I feel that when in China...you must eat Chinese food! The meals were the ones to obtain the lowest review by all, but no one rated them below satisfactory. Perhaps simply offer a couple Western choices when possible and some child friendly options - though disconcerting, the fries in Shanghai were a huge hit with the kids. Some with more adventurous palates wished they could have tried more "far-out" food - scorpions etc- but all enjoyed the specialty meals - Peking duck, noodles, dumplings, farmer's lunch, etc. Further, Rocky never had a chance to sit or relax as he spent our mealtimes explaining the dishes to us, which we greatly appreciated. I think this culinary exploration should be part of the deal!!! It means a little foray into local culture and an unusual chance to develop our taste buds.
 
3)    The drivers were very skillful and the buses were just fine. No one, not even one passenger, complained about the buses. Which is a first for me! And we have gone to many many countries in Europe and elsewhere. In my previous email, when I wrote "buses being too that" I was referring to the usual complaints and CERTAINLY NOT ON THIS TRIP. Yes, our groups have experienced the best, but being military and having gone on certain missions they also experienced the worst, which is why I like to deliver a comfortable vacation for them. As far as China is concerned, they have said only good things about these buses and their drivers.
 
Comments from group:
"Thanks for everything Kathy. The Trip was fantastic!!!"
 
"The China Trip was an incredible experience that we will never forget. Our teenager thought this was far most the best trip ever and to be able to meet interesting people felt as a privilege."
 
"Thanks Kathy for providing us a trip way beyond my expectations. It is something I will remember for years to come. Like you, I now want to go back and explore a whole lot more. Lets hope we will get the opportunity."
 
"It was a good trip and I told others here it was well worth it. It was a well coordinated trip and Rocky did a fantastic job. We were kept busy every day and could have possibly used the odd night off to relax and/or shop. Overall a very good trip and I wish my son would have come. He would have really enjoyed it. Thanks."

"The best trip I ever had. Loved it and I would love to go back to China. Maybe Hong Kong or Tibet. It was worth the long time travel. Hopefully with the same guide Rocky."

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Dawn Fadely – Egypt – June 2009

My trip was great! Amany in Cairo is an excellent tour guide! She was so much fun and she knows SOOO much about the Egyptian history and Islamic religion. We had a blast. I really like  my driver, for Cairo. He was funny. My tour guide for Luxor, Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu, was fun too but there was a little bit of a communication barrier some times. Muhammad out in Hurghada was excellent and very helpful.
 
I really appreciate the tour company accommodating me of some issues that I had on the tour. It really made up for a couple of inconveniences.
 
The hotels on the trip were great. The Nile Cruise was awesome. I was on La Terasse and I would definitely recommend that cruise to other tourists in the future.
 
Thanks to you, Khaled, the tour guides, drivers, and A-Z for giving me a memorable trip to Egypt! I really enjoyed it

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Archana Aliyar – May 2009

Thanks-everything went very well-we enjoyed the trip and all went smoothly!

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Dave and Wendy Beenie – Egypt – May 2009

Our Egypt trip was a great success with many highlights, the mix of history, snorkelling and desert was the perfect mix. Everything ran smoothly and our fluent English speaking guides, Asmal and Mohammad were wonderful. A few minor hiccups are not even worth mentioning. However we have a few suggestions, no complaints!
 
-  The Hotel upgrades to Pyramid/Nile views were well worth the extra. We suggest all clients be aware that they can upgrade. This absolutely made our holiday!
- Camping in the desert was a wonderful experience and we appreciate Mohammad making this available. Clients should be aware that the 4 wheel drive vehicles are unroadworthy by Western standards, may not have seat belts and the AC is winding the window down.
- The Hot Spring Hotel is ok for a stop over but when included in 4/5* trip the client should be aware that the rating does not apply here and there is no AC.
- It was unfortunate the sand storm prevented our day trip to Abu Simbel. We were well entertained on the day with alternative visits.
 
Thanks for organising the trip. All the best.

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Bodil and Erik Eriksen – San Diego & Golden West Adventure Tour – May 2009

Thanks to you we had a wonderful tour in California. It was a rather strenuous experience, but it was worth all our efforts. The guide was very good, he knew all about the route, and also the driver showed great skill.

The California-tour was fine in all respects, and also when it comes to the San Diego trip, we were very satisfied. However, we must say that our stay on Doubletree Club Hotel, 1515 Hotel Circle South, San Diego was not very smart. The hotel was fine, but its position to Downtown, was most inconvenient, when you don't have your own car. Too troublesome to get to town!

We take liberty in recommending you to choose another and more suitable hotel for your other carless-clients in future. But San Diego is a wonderful place. We are happy that we took that extra trip.

Once again we thank you so much for the way you arranged the tour. You were most helpful.

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Michel Jacques – Egypt & Jordan – May 2009

First, let me say we had a great trip. There is not much we would change and the only surprises we had were good ones. The weather was fine, not too hot, but a sandstorm led to the cancellation of a few excursions. Other than that and a little change we made for the visit to Ste-Catherine, everything went according to plan: hotel reservations were respected, guides, planes and cars were on time and food was appropriate (although one does not go to Egypt to enjoy gastronomy – the desserts in Jordan are quite nice though). Egypt is all and more than one could imagine. Generally speaking one of the discoveries was that Jordan is a `more comfortable country` to visit than Egypt. It is cleaner, with little dust, more green with grass and some trees, the infrastructure is in better shape, drivers are not as crazy, hotels and the food were better. We did not care much for the visits to the carpet, perfume and alabaster factories included in our program but the people were nice and not too pushy  - we told our guide outright that we did not want to spend much time `souvenir hunting`.   

Here are some more detailed comments, which I wrote to help you and fellow travelers:

- Cairo portion: the Mena House is a fine hotel (our rating 5*) but we could have stayed only 2 days rather than 4 and still have a satisfactory palace experience at a lower cost. We did get a pyramid view and the room was modern and very chic. The Movenpick Pyramid hotel (our rating 4*) is very good and our room was OK. Although we would recommend to combine the visit to the Gizeh pyramids with the ones in Sakkara in a single day. We visited the Citadel, the Coptic area, the Egyptian museum and the Khan al Kalilli all in one single day: that is too much and we would have like to spend more time in the museum and in the Coptic area. 

It would have been nice to see modern Cairo or Heliopolis, which we only glimpsed at as we drove to the airport on the last day. We enjoyed the dinner cruise on the Nile not for the food or scenery but for the Dervish and belly dancers. The light and sound show at Gizeh was a good experience but we should have brought warmer clothing.

- Oases and the White desert: the White Desert was a highlight of our trip. Had we known we would have planned to stay overnight in the desert and witness the sunset and sunrise…. Must be absolutely fantastic! The Hot Spring hotel (our rating 3*) in Bawiti is OK, not fancy but clean. The visits of the Golden mummies museum or the tombs in Bawiti are of little interest and deserve just a few minutes, which we gave them.

- The cruise on the Nile: Our ship La Traviata was very good (our rating 3*+) and probably from what we could see walking through others, one of the best in its class. Our cabin was small but clean and well located. The ship is getting old however. Food was good but a little repetitive after a few days. The 4 days from Aswan to Luxor is the right length of time for such a cruise.

- The Aswan portion: We did not particularly care for the visit to the High Dam but the visit to the Philae temple was great – the approach by boat, the land visit and the surroundings. The visit to the Botanical Garden was disappointing but the ride on the Nile to Kitchener island was very enjoyable, as was the minutes spent in the souk in Aswan on the way back. We could not make the felucca ride because of strong winds. We could not go to Abu Simbel as the roads and airports were closed because of weather conditions. We used the available time to see the Nubian village (worth a quick look) and climb a giant sand dune along the Nile (not as easy as it looks).    

 - On the Nile: the stop at Om Kombo was interesting but the real treat was the visit to the Edfu temple. That day cruising was very pleasant and a nice way to relax and recharge. We were glad to overnight on a larger vessel and not on a felucca (I guess we are of that age now).. 

-The Luxor portion: We visited the Luxor museum on our own and can recommend to include it in the standard itinerary. The light show at the Karnak temple was very different from the one at Gizeh and well worth it. We enjoyed the visit of 3 tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and enjoyed just as much if not more the visit of 2 tombs in the Valley of the Nobles (not initially in our program but added as we missed Abu Simbel). The visit of the Karnak temple was a true discovery – this one is huge! The Steinberger hotel (our rating 5*) in Luxor is excellent, well located and first class service and accommodations.

- The Sharm el Sheik portion: One should not expect much ‘Egypt’ in Sharm – this is a new, bland tourist zone with little if any Egyptian content. We could have been in any large, very large resort town. The Crowne Plaza (our rating 5*) is a great hotel and benefits from direct access to one of the best snorkelling areas on the Red Sea. We arranged an optional snorkelling excursion thru AZ Tour – and had a great day at sea. However it must be said again that we did our best snorkelling right in front of the Crowne Plaza. Food and taxi prices in Sharm are on a different level,at least twice the levels of elsewhere in Egypt.

- The excursion to Mount Sinai and Ste-Catherine: The climb to the Mount Sinai (Moses’ mountain)  was another highlight.  What a sight as the sun slowly burns its way in the sky. We were happy we had decided at the last minute not to stay in Ste-Catherine but to keep our room in Sharm and leave directly from Sharm in the evening to begin our climb. We had breakfast at the Catherine Plaza upon our descent. This was also a much better use of the time since there is little to see in Ste-Catherine other than the monastery, which we visited in one hour. 

- The Amman portion: Jordan is very different from Egypt and surprisingly to us, appears to be much more modern and developed. Amman is a new city and there is not much to see other than the Citadel and the roman theatre, but the small archaeology museum at the Citadel contains fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls and some very old sculptures – worth a stop.  On the same day we visited the old roman city of Jerash, which is most impressive and again a nice discovery, and the castle at Ajlun, some old ruins from the middle ages. The Royal Amman hotel is the best we have seen during this trip ( a true 5 *+) and we had one of our best meals at the Kan Zaman restaurant just outside Amman.

- Dead Sea, Petra and the Wadi Rum: We spent two days criss-crossing Jordan. The visits of the old Christian church and its mosaic at Madeba, the castle of Karak and the stop at Mount Nebo were interesting but our dip into the Dead Sea and the mud bath were another highlight of our voyage. It was well worth the few hours we spent there. Now Petra! We enjoyed Petra more than anything else in Jordan – what a site! We have fond memories of the Petra by Night excursion and can recommend it. There is much to see in Petra but one day was fine for us. Luckily we were well rested and in good form because we walked here more than anywhere else during this trip. The views from the Monastery and the surrounding hills is a fair compensation for the arduous climb. The Movenpick hotel is first-class (5*), with the best location just 100 meters from the entrance to the Siq. The excursion in the Wadi Rum was probably too short to do it justice but it was somewhat ‘ordinary’ after seeing the White Desert in Egypt. This is a place to experience more than to visit quickly and our opinion would surely change if we explored it more thoroughly and slowly.

A few additional remarks in closing. We had 3 guides over our stay. They were all very helpful, punctual and well organized.  We now appreciate better how important the guide is to the travelling experience. Mohammed, who accompanied us for our Egyptian travels except the Sharm portion, is most knowledgeable and has a great personality, which we tested thoroughly. He made a huge difference! Ahmed (not sure of the spelling), who climbed with us the Mount Sinai (a Bedouin guide is mandatory so tour guides generally do not make the climb) was alert to all our needs and truly wanted everything to be perfect. Lastly Rami, our guide in Jordan, was very professional, well organized but we spent less time with him. We also had very good drivers… and that is most important in those two countries. The driver Ahmed for our jeep excursion in the White Desert and Afram Michael, our driver in Jordan, in particular were top class, made us feel safe and kept us on schedule.

I also want to mention that the Australian couple who joined us to the Nile cruise and the Sharm portion were most pleasant and we got along very well. I hope they agree! They added to the enjoyment of our trip.

This trip in Egypt and Jordan is and will remain I am sure one of the best. We discovered and learned a lot, had the right mix of comfort and adventure and met with the unexpected but in a managed way. 

We want to thank you for your help. 

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Maria Perez Lee – Egypt – May 2009

Yes, Wing and I arrived safe and sound yes. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and found the accommodations and the food of the highest standards. We also enjoyed the company of Hepa, the tour guide who was like our `governess' during stay at Luxor and for the duration of the cruise. She proved herself to be an exceptionally caring and attentive individual and we felt safe the whole time we were with her. NO problems with any of the pick-ups or drop-offs with any of the guides/drivers too. We trusted A-Z so much that we actually booked another city tour with your company which was handled expertly by another guide by the name of Mona.
 
Rest assured that you will be hearing from us in the future for any special travel needs! Thanks again for a truly memorable trip!

You and Avril can rest assured that A-Z Travel will be highly recommended to family and friends should the opportunity arise. And I do intent to contact you in the future for my other travel needs. Thanks again for your part in making my 'first' trip to Egypt so memorable and I hope A-Z continues to prosper despite the state of the world's economy right now. Now I have to start accumulating vacation days again :-).

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Victor Feder – Nova Scotia – Vacation Planning – May 2009

The itinerary was great with good balanced use of our times. The reservations worked well and we were pleased with the accommodations. We really enjoyed the trip and your service was very good. I wish I'll have similar services when I travel to other places.

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Dr.Ann Langlois - Palm Beach Atlantic University Group – April 2009

Thank you for a wonderful visit in Egypt. The students and faculty continue to talk about the Egypt Business and Cultural trip as amazing and outstanding. Your efforts in ensuring that the trip ran smoothly and the experience the students gained will be life long memories.

We enjoyed learning first hand experiencing Egyptian business, culture and political environment. Thank you for sharing information on your business and the challenges in doing business in this dynamic and developing country.

On April 28, the students and faculty will host a Global Forum on Egypt. We will share with the university our experiences, the business visits, and warm memories.

I hope to contact you in the summer since Kim and I am interested in writing a case on “Doing Business in Egypt.”  We would mirror the case on your professional experience as we discussed during our visit.   

Thank you for making this business trips a success. We will be in contact soon.

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Eldon Sheirer – Egypt – April 2009

Had a great time—we are all “templed” and “tombed” out—The trip home was a bit daunting, but it was what it was—Had a great time with our Daughter in Dubai and then Egypt was an experience not to be forgotten—now to get over the jet lag

Thanks to you and your team in Canada and Egypt—they treated us great!

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Donna Preece – Egypt – April 2009

I had a wonderful time. The climb up Mt. Sinai left me with very sore legs but I made it. I just opted out of the tour activities on the following day which was my last in Egypt. I stayed at the hotel and had a massage and sauna and early dinner so I'd be ready for my 5 a,m. pick up the following day. I enjoyed everything.

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Sharon and Margaret Schooley (mother) – Egypt – April 2009

I just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our trip, and appreciated your help, advice, and scheduling.  Our accommodations were top quality, and the sightseeing was amazing. The trip exceeded all of our expectations. We especially liked our guide in Cairo, Mona, and our guide in Luxor, Mahmood. Mona was charming, intelligent, and informative, and Mahmood made everything fascinating, and had a lovely personality. All of our guides and drivers were punctual and helpful. The included sightseeing was outstanding. Thank you so much for all your assistance with making our trip such a wonderful experience.

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Manuela Torrijos – Egypt, Syria & Jordan – April 2009

First of all, I would like to thank you for all our effort. We very much enjoyed our trip to Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

I would like to spend some time giving some feedback that I hope it is useful to A-Z Tours.

Syria
We loved the city and the Sheraton hotel was excellent. Our tour guide and the driver were very friendly and made us feel very welcome.

We both felt we should have spent a bit more of time in Damascus. One day didn’t feel enough to get a flavour of this remarkable piece of history. Definitely we will go back!

Jordan 
We loved the Jordan leg of the trip and it was all thanks to our driver (Mahmoud) and our guide (Ali), who made our stay very memorable. The country is very beautiful and very welcoming to tourists.  

The tour was very well planned and we felt we saw loads of interesting and varied monuments and sites. . 

We felt the Movenpicks hotels were a real treat, especially the one in the Dead Sea. Beautiful location, outstanding service and remarkable decoration and architecture.

Egypt
Based on fantastic experience with the guide in Jordan we thought we would have plenty of time to stroll around by ourselves and being able to take it all in. This was not the case in the pyramids.

We have to say, however, that Mona as a guide was very knowledgeable and very passionate about Egyptian History and Culture.

Our guide in Luxor – Answan, Mauwa, was lovely and very knowledgeable. She really made us feel very welcome and helped us a lot understand the history, the culture and modern Egyptian life. We really enjoyed her company and her stories.

The cruise, Sherry Boat, was excellent. The cabins were very clean and were serviced regularly. The boat staff was very professional, very welcoming and the food was outstanding.

We visited the Botanical garden on a felucca, which was really absolutely fantastic, visited the dam and eat in a Nubian restaurant. It was all fantastic, very well planned and organised.

We paid extra for the Abu Simbel trip and I thought it was worth the money although it is a very tiring trip for a mere 1 hour visit. We understand that it is due to local regulations as the convoy has to arrive and leave at certain times.  .

On our last day in Aswan we had some spare time so we suggested Mauwa whether we could visit the unfinished obelisk. .

We arrived back to Cairo at 6am and were delighted to see that we were not driven straight to the airport but to a hotel to freshen up. . 

In sum, our trip was truly amazing and we are now back to London with a lot of great memories that we will treasure forever.

Big thanks to you for organising everything and to A-Z Tours for making it possible.

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Lourdes Ruiz – Egypt – April 2009

I had a splendid time during the trip. I would really like to thank you for all of your assistance.

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Jroish Kanippilly – Egypt – April 2009

Our trip to Egypt was fabulous. We didn't have any problems anywhere. It was a well organised tour, thanks to you and your team. The weather was also favourable so didn't get tired at all. Our tour guide, Mona, was also good. She was like a teacher to us, explaining everything in detail.

The guide Mohamed was also good. Egypt is such a beautiful place and it’s sad that we couldn't cover the entire Egypt. We had an entirely different picture of Egypt before the visit. The restaurants where we were taken for lunch were all good and we enjoyed the Nile cruise too. All in all it was a memorable trip. Thank you once again for everything you did for us.

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Margaret & Richard Shurack – Egypt – April 2009

Thanks for planning a wonderful trip for us. We enjoyed every minute
 
Everything went as planned but a few things we might suggest when planning future trips are:
 
1. At first we were disappointed when we found our trip was not starting in Cairo as originally planned. But after experiencing it, we are so so happy that we did not start in Cairo. After experiencing all the sights we were able to comprehend and appreciate the Cairo museum to the fullest. There is so much "knowledge" that you acquire on tour that it made the museum a complete experience. If we had gone there first we would not have been able to comprehend all it offers.
 
2. A suggestion: I would recommend staying at a hotel at the airport for the one night if catching an early morning flight. As you know traffic is horrendous in Cairo.
 
3. When going to the Karnak Temple Sound & Light a flashlight is a must. The walking is difficult in the dark.
 
We enjoyed all of our guides and drivers. Azizza was inspirational and had a wealth of knowledge on all Egyptian subjects. We were very disappointed that we were only able to have her as a guide for two days .
 
Thank you again for an exceptional tour. We look forward to booking with you in the future.

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Kathy Jacob – Egypt – March 2009

So I am sending just a quick THANK YOU for now. You have worked very hard and been very patient and I truly appreciate it!!!
 
The group was and still is very happy about this experience. Hopefully I can write more soon.

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Avis Jones-Porter & Fletcher Porter – Egypt – March 2009

We loved Egypt and enjoyed our trip very much. We agree with all the summation comments sent by Ken and Phyllis and want to emphasize how much we enjoyed Mohamed as our main tour guide. He was very knowledgeable about Egypt's history, answering all our questions. We enjoyed learning from him and appreciated his comments and suggestions, throughout our trip. I was also impressed by how well he spoke English and how timely and organized he was. He made our trip and I would heartily recommend him to others!
 
The hotel and cruise met our expectations for the "deluxe" category that we booked. We were so busy that we didn't seem to spend much time in the rooms, but appreciated especially the comfortable bed, fridge for keeping our water cold and hearty breakfast, that we had at the Sofitel Sphinx in Cairo. The hotel Isis Island in Aswan was very scenic and we did have a brief moment to enjoy the grounds and pool.
 
We also added to our trip the Nubian Village in Aswan. It was a fun afternoon and well suited for our small group. The Hot Air Balloon Ride was also an add on and one that I am glad that we did, even though we had to get up early in the morning for it, with a full day of sightseeing still ahead.
 
Overall there is not much I'd change about our trip.

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Corry and Kelly Lodders – Amsterdam - March 2009

Just wanted to say thank you to you for all your excellent help in regards to our trip to Amsterdam, to visit my ailing and very sick parents.

We are back and really are happy we went. It was very tough to say goodbye and to leave them behind. Mom is still with us but not for long any more. A few surgical procedures have prolonged her life with a few more weeks, which was very nice for us. We could visit and spend some valuable time with her.

The passports came on time and the flights were absolutely beautiful and so was the service.

Therefore thank you once again for all you did, because you made it easier to travel. Just to know that you were available!

Thanks again from the both of us and hopefully when we travel again we will approach you again.

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Evelyn Wakeforde – Previous Client – March 2009

I travelled very successfully with your company in Egypt in 2004 before returning to Australia. I was a single mum travelling in Egypt with my three children and your guides gave me the most wonderful support and journey when I was very nervous taking 3 children alone. I loved the whole process.

Our guides Hassam in Luxor and his scottish wife Lyn. He was so supportive and when my son Michael got sick his wife and he did everything to support us and he took us back to his families home where Lyn kept him safe while we continued our tour of Hatshepsut temple. He bent over backwards to make our journey special.
 
I also had the immense pleasure of meeting Hamdan who was our guide in Cairo. Again he was so perceptive in his understanding of my needs as a single parent and three young children. He went out of his way to support our trip in Egypt being just as knowledgeable and happy to support my 10 year old fascination of Egypt along with my 16 year old son who just wanted to check out the railway line...nothing was too much trouble and he assisted us, laughed with us, cried with us in a very personal and professional manner that made us befriend him as part of our family immediately.

I most fondly remember him being most concerned that my 10year old daughter Tamara who was riding solo on a camel in the desert in front of the pyramids....(the ultimate dream of mine! to ride in front of the camels on my 40th birthday). I thought he was going to run along beside the camel when she took off so excited behind the camel guide at a gallop. I was still plodding along at a snails pace watching my darling daughter disappearing over a sand hill with a huge smile on her face. It was Hamdan that took a beautiful photo of all four of us sitting astride the camels with the pyramids in the distance. One of my most precious memories with my children.
 
Please pass on these thanks and stories to Hamdan and Hassam as appropriate.
 
I have written this to you to thank you and of course thank those wonderful people including Mr Islam who supported our arrivals and departures in our tours from Hurgahda. I often thought how I was an Australian visiting England on a teaching exchange sending an email to Carol in Canada and paying money to meet with unknown people in Egypt to take us on a magical journey. Wow the world works in such mysterious ways. I was so blessed to trust and have such an incredible experience of a lifetime and dream with my children and your wonderful guides.
 
Again I want to thank your company for the integrity in which u supported me and my beautiful children to witness and experience such joy in Egypt. My children now 14,19 and 22 all still love Egypt and I think it has given them the gift of the travel bug!

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Jan Sumner – Egypt – March 2009

We had a wonderful time. I was afraid we would be joining a large tour group but was so pleasantly surprised when it was just us and our guide and wonderful drivers. Our usual driver in Cairo was the BEST driver. I was never nervous when he was at the wheel, an astonishing feat given the way the driving is in Cairo.

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Manny and Sonia Nijjar – Mexico – March 2009

Hope things are well, just wanted to let you know that we really enjoyed our stay at the Dreams resort in Cancun - it is a great family resort. Everything was great - beach, water, pools, friendly staff and the weather was just right. 
 
Thanks for recommending it and look forward to chatting with you for our next vacation.

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Chantal & Maurice Aucoin – Egypt – March 2009

We had an absolutely wonderful experience during our Egypt trip. We were very well taken care of from the time we arrived until our departure. The guides were knowledgeable and interesting. Considering the jam packed itinerary that was planned for us, we were impressed that it went so well which speaks volumes of how organized A-Z Tours is in planning trips to Egypt. We are extremely pleased with what we saw and experienced in such a short time - we have already recommended the programme to many of our friends.
 
The staff onboard the Cruise was very friendly and the food was great. When our guide couldn't get a cabin onboard she made arrangements for us to be met by local guides at the ports and this always happened without a hitch. A-Z Tours was prepared for all eventualities and that was very appreciated.
 
All in all, we were very happy with the programme and we will cherish the memories of our trip. An incredible experience!!!!!

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Phyllis Newkirk – Egypt – March 2009

The trip was wonderful. Our time in Egypt was very busy and full of interesting activities and sights. I will give you some thoughts about our itinerary below. We also returned safely and with no trouble. 

The itinerary was almost perfect. We enjoyed almost everything and wished for more time at many sites. There were a few items you might want to consider: The Pharonic Village was not very useful. The place is almost like an amusement park, and we went after we had seen most of the real sites. The one part of the village visit that was somewhat interesting was the Nasser museum.

If we had fully comprehended the length of the drive to St. Catherine’s and Mount Sinai, we may have decided to forego that excursion. The climb and camel ride was fun, the monestary very interesting.

The trip to the Suez Canal two days later was a duplication of much of the trip we had just made, so we toured Islamic Cairo instead and had a wonderful day. The only other “complaint” was the short time allowed us in Abu Simbul, especially after the early and long drive to get there. It was not enough time for us to see everything. If we were to go again, we would ask to spend the night in Abu Simbul and have more time viewing the temples. Everything else was terrific. We added the Red Pyramid on our first day after arriving, and enjoyed that very much. We believe it was worth doing and were glad we had the opportunity to visit that area.

Our main guide was wonderful. Mohamed was very knowledgeable, very organized and interesting. We were fortunate enough to spend 16 or our days with Mohamed. We could not have asked for a better guide. Mona went to the Red Pyramid with us, and again to the Pharonic Village and Cairo Tower on a day when Mohamed second son was born. She did a nice job and we enjoyed her perspective and information. We also had a guide by the name of Sharif who accompanied us to St. Catherine. He was friendly, he was adequate and got the job done, but was not the same quality as Mona and Mohamed. He was just young and a bit unfocused. 

We had several drivers, but the most frequent driver was a young man named Ashrof. He did an excellent job and assisted us when appropriate. All drivers were professional and pleasant, but Ashrof was our favorite.

The hotels were all good. St. Catherine’s hotel was the least plush, but was clean the people friendly. The Isis Island in Luxor had free internet in the lobby which was a delight to my husband. Internet connection in the other locations was very expensive so we did not use it. The hotel we spent the most time in was the Sofitel Sphinx in Cairo, and it was very acceptable. They had the best breakfast of all we stayed in, and once we found the quiet side of the hotel was very comfortable. 

We got a bit tired of the lunch/dinner buffets. They all tended to be the same fare, whether on the boat or on land. Mixing a few meals in restaurants offering ordered meals was a relief from the routine. On our day in Islamic Cairo we ate lunch at the Koshary Abou Tarek restaurant and found it delightful. Mohamed was careful to take us to restaurants with approval from the Minister of Tourism, but looked for a bit of variety at our request. The only other comment about meals would be about the Nile cruise in Cairo. We enjoyed the cruise, but happened to be one of only a handful of small groups there not affiliated with a huge group of Chinese and Japanese tourists. When the food was served they swarmed the buffet like starvation was just minutes away. We and several other small groups from Europe waited until they had finished seeking our dinner! That is not critical of A-Z, or the cruise ship, just our luck. It does illustrate one of the problems with large groups and trying to feed them in a timely manner.

I am pointing out our few problems, but do not wish to give you the impression we were unhappy with our trip. We truly enjoyed it very much, found everything very well organized, and appreciate your efforts to put together a trip to meet our requests. Thank you. Having the luxury of a very small group of only the four of us was also a bonus. We enjoyed the couple who joined us for two days in Cairo, and they were from our state so we felt like friends. It was a very good trip.

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Toni Visconti – Egypt – February 2009

I just got back today and wanted to give you feedback on our trip. It was terrific. The itinerary was perfect; every guide was a pleasure to have with us. They made changes in schedules for us in Cairo with no problems and no one was late or left us unattended at any time. It would not have been the trip it was without your help.

I would recommend using your company to anyone!!!

The cruise was great as well.

We had the pleasure of going to a free performance of musicians and whirling dervish entertainers in Cairo that was in our guide book, it is put on by the Egyptian Tourism Council, and it was wonderful.

One of the tour guides we had in Luxor was able to get us on a hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings for a very inexpensive price; we had an amazing sunrise trip on our last morning.

I can’t rave enough about the guides and drivers you hired for us. They were just wonderful.

Thanks so much again for making our trip a very memorable one.

******************
Susan Stevenson – Egypt – February 2009

The trip was absolutely fabulous and everything worked so well.

We were particularly impressed with the guides and the drivers. The guide in Cairo [I believe his name is Mohammed] was wonderful, very knowledgeable and helpful. The Cairo driver was just the best. Marwa was wonderful in Luxor and Aswan and the kids just adored her. Everybody was on time and where they were supposed to be for which we were grateful.

The cruise was lovely - my only suggestion would be that they serve Egyptian food rather than more 'English' type food. A minor thing at best.

We had a camera disaster and lost our pictures from Giza so we asked Marwa is there was some place in Aswan that we could ride camels. She arranged for us to visit a Nubian village for the after noon and we had just a marvellous time - what a fun and unexpected adventure.
 
Thank you so much for your help in arranging this - we all had a wonderful time.

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Rupali & Rohit Vidwans – Egypt – February 2009

The trip went very well, enjoyed every minute of it. The guides were very good. Especially we liked Mona who showed us the Cairo museum. Thanks for making the arrangements for us.

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Robert Goldstone – Egypt – February 2009

When time permits I will offer you a fuller "debriefing", but it was, overall, very good, and essentially as promised by A-Z.

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Richard Stevens – Egypt – February 2009

The trip was fine overall. I have some feedback to pass on to you - mostly positive. I'll try and send it out in the next few days.

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Michelle Tsui – Egypt – February 2009

We did enjoy the trip & we would like to thank for Mr Ahmed's care & follow up every time we arrived at a new city, his call would arrive few minutes right after we met the guide, we appreciate a lot & please send our best regards to him. He assured us we were 100% take cared & we had to behave ourselves as we were under his supervision... (just kidding)
 
Overall the trip is great except some of the guides we had difficulty to understand the English they spoke. You know people travel to Egypt is to know more about the history of the country it's very important the tourists fully understand the language the guides speak.
 
We would also like to say thanks to the guide went to Abu Simbul & Luxor with us, she is great & her elaboration is super details & her presentation is very interesting which greatly enhances our curiosity,
 
Thanks again for the whole crew take caring us when we were in Egypt without which our trip wouldn't be that memorable.

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Maureen Orr & Bob Linden – Egypt - February 2009

Why does the anticipation of the journey always seem so much longer than the actual event? Anyway, we had a wonderful time. All the arrangements were great with pick-ups, deliveries, guided tours, meals, etc. Chrissy and Marlin also enjoyed themselves.
 
 We especially enjoyed Luxor for its history and the temples. The Giza pyramid sound and light show was awesome. Definitely recommend the Dinner Nile Cruise if just to see the "twirling dervish". Just so much of the week had us smiling and listening to the fascinating history of Egypt. Definitely would consider a trip back to the country.
 
Just a couple comments:     
Aswan was just okay but then we get to see huge dams in our country - wonder if Alexandria would have been more interesting?
We especially enjoyed the hotel in Luxor - beautiful setting on the Nile and very nice rooms and restaurants.
Seemed like we weren't quite sure how much to tip and when to tip. We had so many different drivers, guides, managers to get us around and couldn't remember who we actually gave a tip to and who we didn't - I'm sure we got everyone but maybe twice.
         
Thanks again for arranging everything. It was just what we needed for our work break and an opportunity to meet some of our kids in an interesting part of the world.

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Christina Cyr & Alan Page – Egypt – February 2009

We are back (although a bit tired), and we had a wonderful time. Thanks for taking care of everything and arranging such a great trip for us.

Thank you for being such an excellent guide for our tour through Egypt. We thoroughly enjoyed learning all the information and especially you giving us a "test" at the end!
 
Attached is a photo of a hieroglyph of a woman nursing a baby, which I was excited to share with my breastfeeding education group.

It was so exciting for us to learn about ancient Egypt and we can't wait to return!


******************
Bob Goldstone – Egypt – January 2009

Trip was great. We are not "home" as we are now in the south of Spain untill the weekend. Will send you a more detailed debriefing when time permits.

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Dave Cates – Egypt – January 2009

We had a great time in Egypt and were very well taken care of. We particularly enjoyed the upper Egypt portion of the trip.

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Anne Schaefer – Vergilian Group Egypt – January 2009

The trip was quite an experience, an adventure. I enjoyed it very much and we had a most congenial group of people. Our guide was pure gold. He seemed to know absolutely EVERYTHING about Egypt past and present and was of immeasurable help in navigating the in's and out's of everyday life. All the sightseeing and traveling went off without a hitch.

Thank you so very much for all your hard work in putting it all together. I know that I am greatly appreciative and I'm sure all the other tour participants feel the same way. A-Z Tours did an excellent job.

******************
James Lawrence – Vergilian Group - Egypt – January 2009

I want to congratulate the fine program you presented to your participants. EVERYTHING we did, visited, saw, or ate was exemplary.

Mohamed was a superb guide and knowledgeable Egyptologist. You would do well to keep him in your employ. Khalid and Avril were charming hosts and made us feel very welcome in Egypt. The itinerary we took was in every way edifying. How else can I compliment the wonderful program! Good luck in the future and keep me informed of other Egypt trips that I would enjoy.

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Ron Ross - Tanzanian Safari – January 2009

I haven't been in touch since our return from Africa, but wanted to thank you and your agency for setting up such a wonderful trip.

The Safari staff, especially our guide and friend, Enock, were outstanding! Please pass on to the Simba management how nice a job he does. His love of, and his knowledge of, the amazing wildlife shows through in all he does. He was courteous, friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to do anything to make our trip one of the most memorable we have ever taken.

He is a real asset to the company. If (when) we plan a return trip, we will request him again. I certainly hope they appreciate what a great employee they have.

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Deborah & George Olsen – Vergilian Group - Egypt – January 2009

Overall, we had a great time. We were impressed with the organization and efficiency of A-Z Travel and would recommend the agency to others. Mohamed was an absolutely WONDERFUL guide (superb English and extensive knowledge of every site), and Mona (who guided us through Islamic and Coptic Cairo) was very good. Our guide to St. Catherine was friendly and kind, but his English and general knowledge was not at all at the level as our other guides. All our drivers and guards were very good, and we felt very safe.

I know we were trying to cover a lot of territory in a short amount of time (and there was the unfortunate cancellation of the train to Aswan), but in future, we would not want to begin a trip with two consecutive VERY early mornings (one to catch the plane to Aswan, the other to catch the bus to Abu Simbel). We would also prefer to stay in somewhat more commodious places, though I understand that the budget price of the Vergilian tour made choices limited. The Victoria was fine. We enjoyed our accommodations at St. Catherine Village and were very pleased to be able to visit the monastery (unfortunately it was only open one hour on our second day)

We were impressed with all the staff from A-Z who met us punctually and were always friendly and well organized.

As we anticipated, Beverly Berg’s lectures were excellent, and her advice and guidance always superb. She and Mohamed worked very nicely together.

Thank you for all your assistance with our trip!

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Billy Gwin – Dominican Republic - January 2009

The ground package went very well. I enjoyed myself and the great weather. The property was great. I would definately recommend the property and the GoGo/Prieto staff.

The return trip was terrible - stranded on the ground due to a twin prop plane stuck in the middle of the single runway at POP which delayed me getting into EWR. Coupled with losing my First Class seat from EWR to SEA there was also an overnight stay in freezing weather which I was not prepared for. I know you have nothing to do with the air portion, but thought you should know anyway.

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Valerie Schaire – Egypt – January 2009

The trip was for most part very, very enjoyable. Today and probably most of the week I'll be very busy but by next week I'll send you my detailed comments.
 
Thanks a lot for these beautiful memories.

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Beverly Berg – Vergilian Group Leader - Egypt – January 2009

The Egypt program went fine. There were no real hitches. It was too bad the sleeper train was cancelled Cairo/Aswan but good that Khaled found flights for us. The participants had a great time, although there was some tourista and a few colds (I remained healthy). Everyone loved the guide, Mohammad. I would definitely recommend doing Egypt through A-Z to others, and would opt to use it again for another Vergilian Program. People liked the accommodations except for the Kaoud hotel in Giza, but I hope that soon your Canada House will be a good alternative in the area. Thanks for all your work making the program happen.

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Delia Kang – Jordan – January 2009

Thank you for recommending us a reliable agency. They provided us with 2 excellent people. Jordan is a tip happy country and we did our best to oblige. (over 150US$ in tips in 3 days)
 
The food was excellent and in no way did we feel unsafe at any point of the tour. Our guide was an ex-military colonel.

My only gripe is that the (restaurants) do make you order a set meal where ever you go and with the dinar the same as the one euro, you are eating a parisian meal every time.
 
My only regret was not bringing a solid winter coat thinking desert equalled heat - it was freezing! The night in the desert in Wadi Rum temperatures were near zero. And no hot water at the camp.

But Daniel and I had a great time in this whirlwind trip before whizzing off to Egypt.
 
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Allison & William Blines – Egypt – January 2009

We had a great trip and returned to Australia just in time for Christmas. Egypt was a highlight as you probably anticipated. We had a great time on the tour. Ashraf was a fantastic guide and was so patient and thoughtful with the children. Ahmed was also great and really looked after us. Nice driver too. The tour was perfect for us and exactly what we had been looking for.

I have a colleague planning a similar trip at about the same time this year, also with 3 children and have recommended the tour and your agency very highly. 

The tour was top stuff and we had an amazing time.

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Kathleen Hoenig – Egypt – January 2009

All went well on the trip.

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Stephanie Cini – Egypt - December 2008

It’s been quite some time now that I wanted to send you how our trip to Egypt was.
 
Well I would like to tell you thanks as you made our dream come true. We had always wanted to go to Egypt and everything so organised so perfect. All the Guides were great and all places we visited were great too.
 
Thanks a lot for all the help.

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Dilip Rajagopalan – Egypt – January 2009

We had a lovely time in Egypt. Everything went very well - all the arrangements were great. We were very impressed by how A-Z seemed so well organized, and things went so smoothly.

We would be happy to recommend A-Z to other folks interested in traveling to Egypt.
Thanks for all your help.



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