Many days we were ‘on the bus’ very early – often between 6:30am-7:00. Some days were even earlier. We would go from breakfast (which had to be eaten by 6:00, to make it to the bus) until 2:00-2:30 without any food. One day our excursion went from 7:15am -3:00pm – NO FOOD. There were small mandarin oranges on the bus and on one occasion bananas. Thus, we were going 8-9 hours with NO FOOD. I tried speaking to our guide about the early start times. He was extremely rude and condescending. He simply said that we are starting early to miss the crowds and the heat. Of course, there was never any ‘heat’. It was actually quite cold in the mornings.
Viking River Cruise guests were sometimes seen on our excursions. On the last day, I spoke to a guest of Viking. They took ‘one’ excursion in the morning, leaving between 8-8:30am. They would ALWAYS be back on the boat by 1:00 for lunch. Then, in the afternoon they would take another excursion. They NEVER encountered any crowds. It was December.
Our guide refused to share any information about the next days schedule until the night before. There was a paper on our bed, after dinner, that would give the times. Several times I heard guests request information about times, and Akram (our guide) would not give them an answer. We felt like we were being treated like children! Twice, we had to skip the excursions because of the ridiculous times. We were not the only ones that missed excursions because of the scheduling. Almost 70% of the people on the ship were sick by the end of the trip, from the terrible food and extremely strenuous schedule.
The day we went to the Giza Pyramids, our guide stated that Uniworld did not feel like there was anywhere ‘safe’ enough for us to eat lunch. We were told to order box lunches from our hotel. The boxes needed to be ready to go by 6:30am. I questioned eating food that had not been refrigerated for 5 to 6 hours. The guide said ‘no problem’. Within 5 minutes of the Giza Pyramids are 2 very nice hotels, the Marriott Mena (where A&K guests stay) and Le Meridian, where I’m sure we would have been safe eating lunch.
Obviously, there was no need for us to pay for box lunches.
I could go on and on with the list of horrible experiences we encountered on this trip.
The guest review sheet we were given at the end of the trip did not allow much space to comment, but I did try to share our dissatisfaction. We spent a significant sum of money on this trip and we were treated very very poorly. When we returned, I tried contacting customer service at Uniworld. It took many attempts before anyone at Uniworld customer service would respond. The bad memories of the trip were only exaggerated by the lack of customer service at Uniworld!
Hopefully, we will all have the opportunity to travel again in the near future. NEVER again with Uniworld!