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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Monday, 15 October 2007

I was a little disappointed by some aspects of our trip to Egypt, so I wrote a letter to Bales Worldwide for their comments and feedback:

"We would like to take this opportunity to summarise a few comments following our recent trip with Bales Worldwide to Egypt.

We must acknowledge a number of special touches that seemed to make our trip special compared to other tour operators. Examples include: taking responsibility of our luggage as soon as we arrived, and taking care of our tipping. This ensured we could relax and unwind fully during the trip.

We would also like to pass on our thanks to your local Bales Operator, our Egyptologist (Neveen el Desouky), EastMar Travel, and also the staff and crew of the Nile Beauty Cruise Ship who all provided an excellent level of service to us during our holiday trip.

There are a few comments which we felt we should pass onto you to further improve the experience:

  1. Flight Transfer: Attention to Detail – Our tour guide kept close to the group during the majority of the tour. During our transit flight arrival between Cairo to Aswan, our tour guide failed to ensure that we departed the plane and arrived at the terminal building (she went on ahead of us). This is more significant as two members of the tour group were expected to stay on board the plane for the Abu Simbel excursion extension.
  2. Health and Safety – during two parts of our trip, we boarded a separate transfer boat to support our tour activities. I understand that in your overview, life-jackets are not provided, but I feel Bales should be responsible in reminding tour groups on whether the members wish to take the cruise ship’s life-jackets with them. We noted that other tour operators ensured that their tour party took their life jackets with them.
  3. Touring: Attention to Details – during a few visits to a number of tourist sites, we felt that only 80% of the effort was provided by our tour guide, which seemingly did not exceed our expectation of Bales. We experienced a number of "passing comments" regarding exhibits or specific sites of interest, rather than a more explicit presentation – which we observed had been the case with other tour operators who had visited the same sites at the same time. Examples: Crocodile Pit (Kom Ombo) and Perfume Room (Temple of Horus). During the trip to the Granite Quarry in Aswan and Queen Hatshepsut Temple, we weren’t supported around the site like numerous other tour groups; instead we were left to our own devices. Although, we were initially explained things to note at the start of the visits.
  4. Bus Transfer: Inadvertent Wait – during a visit to the Temple of Philae, we were left waiting for 30-minutes for our mini-bus transportation to arrive to return us to the waiting boat.

Again, although the overall trip was enjoyable, we just felt that these few points made us feel that we were not having an extraordinary experience as we were expecting from Bales Worldwide. We felt slightly let down by these incidents.

We hope you can reflect on the above comments, and welcome your views in response, in the near future. We hope we are not deterred from using Bales Worldwide again in the future.

Many thanks for your time. "

Our touring colleagues, weren't that attentive to these points - and it was only after we flagged them, did a couple of them acknowledge and agree that these shortcomings did exist.  It's amazing how some people don't notice things that were so blantantly obvious!

We'll wait and see Bale's response!

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