Kishani_U, Sept. 2023
We have travelled to over 40 countries and Egypt was in our bucket list for over 20 years. So finally after careful research and after reading what we thought were honest reviews we booked this tour 6 months in advance and secured our spot. We are a family of 6 including 2 adults, 2 kids, and 2 senior parents. So cleanliness and safety was our priority. However, please do take Viator's positive reviews with a grain of salt as we faced many issues with this tour. Overall we had a great time because part of the tour was good because of how we chose to accept what happened to us. But our tour company Mody Tours Egypt messed up our travel plans a couple of times during our 9-day visit to this beautiful country.
First one of their guides with the name Jxxx (not naming her at least as a courtesy because we are not like her even though she cheated us), double charged us and demanded money twice in cash (in USD) and pretended that we forgot. Meanwhile, I had a count of cash I took and the breakdown. Since we were in the hands of foreigners and it was our 1st day in Cairo we went quietly but reported to her boss and Mody Travels. They only said sorry for what happened. Notice that many will instantly force you to pay in USD or Euro and easily make Egyptian Pound = to USD or Euro. Unless you show the exchange rate and ask how come they are equal, they will try to trick or raise the price.
Second, when we boarded the Nile Cruise, the guide with the initials MG gave us a long lecture on how much he would like to be tipped every day and how much we needed to pay the drivers and others who would come along during all site/temple visits. We noticed he only gave this lecture to us and not the others on the tour (we were the only South Asians). Later on, we talked to the others on our tour and found out the guide never approached them in that matter and demanded tipping on day 1. We always give generous tips and that's why we carry cash in different denominations. But we never received such a lecture in our decades-long travel across the world. This incident I reported the to Mody Travels Egypt and they did speak to the guide and he behaved a little bit later on. But towards the end of the cruise he bothered us even late at night texting and asking me to do 6 trip advisor reviews (I have saved those text messages via Whats App). Again I did 2 because we are a family in a foreign country and for safety reasons to make him happy. But deleted them once we reached home and reported all this to Viator.
However, we like to acknowledge the best guide we met during this tour. His name was Farook and he took us on our Alesandria tour and was a saint.
Finally, if you are ever considering booking these tours kindly please have your communication via Viator as this company ignored going through Viator and used Whats App and always avoided me when we had issues and delayed responses and stated the reception was bad etc., and stalled time.
Note, some guides stop you from buying from street vendors indicating they are fake, they charge more, etc., and lured us into various stores and forced us into buying unnecessary stuff at a higher price we even saw them getting a commission under the table (spotted accidentally as we went back to the store to find a lost hat).
Mody Travels doesn't share the detailed itinerary until the last minute and canceling certain excursions last minute will force you into different ones trap you in those excursions in front of other tourists and will embarrass and make you pay for extra items. If you don't pay you are stranded in the middle of the desert and will have to wait for other tourists to return to go back to your hotel. So we had to pay for the dessert buggy safari extra money in the middle of nowhere in Hurghada as they canceled our all-day snorkeling tour. Kids were devastated and we were so looking forward to Snorkeling in the Red Sea.
Also, be aware that even though they say the tour package includes 8 nights and 9 days and certain meals will be included, they will make you pay for certain meals and when they return you back to Cairo on your last night, they will make you pay for that night even though that was the 8th night that was clearly included in the package.
On top of it please refuse to stay at the " Pyramids Oasis Hotel" in Cairo. It's not at how it looks online. It a a 1 star-type motel by US standards and frankly sorry to say but the dirtiest hotel we have ever seen. We refused to stay after our 1st night. We took pictures of the bed and bathroom and my goodness that was sad to even see. I can't believe we chose to even stay our 1st night there out of tiredness and afraidness.
Finally, please note that we have used Viator throughout our travels over the past few years and we trusted Viator with this tour. However, when we returned and wrote them our concerns with proof of pictures and text messages, Viator just turned their back and refused to help.
So if you are traveling or booking via Viator, please take notice of these. I am not sure whether race had anything to do with us being over charged double charged or cheated while on this tour. But it's better to be prepared regardless of your race just in case.
We were advised by our friends in the US to report this Viator and this tour company to the appropriate authorities so no other American is scammed this way.