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  #1  
Old January 25th, 2011, 09:57 PM
cruzerca cruzerca is offline
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Default Egypt - Escalating Revolution - Uniworld Response?

If the situation in Egypt continues to escalate (unstable government) what will Uniworld do for booked guests?
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  #2  
Old January 26th, 2011, 09:28 AM
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We are book for a March 25, 2011 Egypt, Nile & Lake Nasser cruise/tour with Uniworld. I contacted my travel agent. As soon as she knows something we will know whether to cancel or go.

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  #3  
Old January 26th, 2011, 01:08 PM
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Thank you for your posts regarding Tuesday's protest demonstration in Cairo. Please be assured that the safety and security of our guests, crew and vessels are our top priorities.

At the present time our Egypt programs are operating as planned without incident, and we are monitoring the situation along with our ground operator in Cairo to ensure the safe and smooth operation of the programs. Our ground operator has reported today that all is calm in Cairo, and the central square is open without any police restrictions. Our guests in Cairo enjoyed their visit to the Egyptian Museum today on schedule.

We are continuously monitoring the situation in Cairo, and we anticipate our Egypt programs will continue to operate as orignally planned. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact your Travel Professional or Uniworld at customerservice@uniworld.com.

Thank you very much, and we look forward to welcoming you to Egypt.

Kind regards,

The Uniworld Team
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Old January 26th, 2011, 04:23 PM
cruzerca cruzerca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uniworld View Post
Thank you for your posts regarding Tuesday's protest demonstration in Cairo. Please be assured that the safety and security of our guests, crew and vessels are our top priorities.

At the present time our Egypt programs are operating as planned without incident, and we are monitoring the situation along with our ground operator in Cairo to ensure the safe and smooth operation of the programs. Our ground operator has reported today that all is calm in Cairo, and the central square is open without any police restrictions. Our guests in Cairo enjoyed their visit to the Egyptian Museum today on schedule.

We are continuously monitoring the situation in Cairo, and we anticipate our Egypt programs will continue to operate as orignally planned. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact your Travel Professional or Uniworld at customerservice@uniworld.com.

Thank you very much, and we look forward to welcoming you to Egypt.

Kind regards,

The Uniworld Team
Thank you for the response. What about security at the Cairo Marriott? It's closeby to Tehar square. Can Uniworld confirm this as well for the selected hotel property? Is it possible for Uniworld to consider an alternative away from potential protests/violence?
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Old January 26th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzerca View Post
Thank you for the response. What about security at the Cairo Marriott? It's closeby to Tehar square. Can Uniworld confirm this as well for the selected hotel property? Is it possible for Uniworld to consider an alternative away from potential protests/violence?
Dear Cruzerca,

We'll have another update by tomorrow morning, so we'll be happy to post more information then. We've received no reports of any problems from the Marriott hotel, and our guests currently there are safe and well cared for.

Nevertheless, we continue to monitor the situation closely. Please feel free to email us at customerservice@uniworld.com, and we'll be happy to further address any concerns you have.

Thank you very much.

Best regards,

The Uniworld Team
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  #6  
Old January 27th, 2011, 08:49 AM
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Obviously, Uniworld has not looked at the latest televised images of the rioting currently going on in Cairo! We are scheduled to leave in about 3 weeks on a Uniworld Nile cruise, and we are getting very concerned about this situation. We have traveled extensively and are not nervous travelers, but have reached the age where common sense kicks in and is telling us that traveling to a location where there is major rioting is not a smart thing to do. I'm surprised that Uniworld is taking such a "wait and see" attitude as opposed to being more proactive. They obviously don't want passengers to cancel, but on the other hand, we want to be able to enjoy our trip and not worry about personal safety.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 11:30 AM
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We to are watching the situation in Cairo very closely...we are scheduled to leave on Feb. 21st. I am sure that all the tour companies are watching this really well...they sure wouldn't want anyone to come on cruise critic and report that "such and such a tour company put us in danger" We are registered with our government website and if the Canadian gov't decides it is dangerous to travel in Egypt then they will notify us and put a warning on their website. We then could get our money back-full refund. As it stands now we couldn't cancel because of what is going on in Cairo. I am sure hoping we don't have to...this is my dream trip and I want to go NOW as we have planned this for over a year now!!!
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Old January 27th, 2011, 12:13 PM
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Cornmike & Wineart - I completely agree.

We are scheduled to leave in a few days! (next Weds) - so trying to assess.

Uniworld says one thing but looking into this independently is another. I think the logic of "it's fine now - let's stay tuned" is one thing. But imagine if we go and the county goes under marshall law - or borders closed - or airlines decide no fly or worse. I know these are "what if's" but if I were running a company I would fully understand the repercussions and make a common sense business decision.


ElBaradei: Egypt in Not Stable
http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video....elbaradei.cnn
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Old January 27th, 2011, 12:14 PM
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Never underestimate that in our constant news constant reporting world some things take on more power than they really deserve. Living near Washington DC with many monster marches etc. We who live around here actually go about our work and lives pretty much as normal with a few modifications. Keep a good eye on it but I would think that as of now it might 1. blow over 2. kick the guy out and go back to normal 3. this is local and they are too busy with their own mess to worry about hitting "outside" targets.

Stay away from the crowds and mobs and maybe stay in a hotel with good security (try emailing Marriott for their opinion and reassurance) and as hard as it is hang in there and wait and see. OP was right that as long as you can go legally (no govt. advice to avoid) then the operator has the right to expect that you will fulfill your part of the contract and they are certainly not going to write anything here on CC that could have legal ramifications later IMHO
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Old January 27th, 2011, 12:38 PM
cruzerca cruzerca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowie MeMe View Post
OP was right that as long as you can go legally (no govt. advice to avoid) then the operator has the right to expect that you will fulfill your part of the contract and they are certainly not going to write anything here on CC that could have legal ramifications later IMHO
Bowie, agree with most of what you said. However we have to also consider there is a big difference between DC and a large city in the Middle East. Both have potential for extremists, radicals etc. But a big difference if something were to unfold and

a) you are in a foreign country
b) you are in the middle of a hotzone of conflict
c) you are at possible risk of anti-American sentiment
d) bordering nations are currently fairly risky (Arab/Israeli conflict)

So we are talking about a possible fall of government - coup - overthrow - etc. I believe if this were to happen, certainly due to the strategic nature of this country, both sides (Arab/Israeli) would be looking for a stake.

Would you want to be in the middle of that? Would you if you were running a business (looking out for the safety of others) place guests in the middle of that?

This is a tough call - but if it were my choice - I would be conservative in this situation.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 01:13 PM
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Update: On Friday, the protesters have called for an open revolution nation-wide that they promised will not end before the regime is removed. It should all start right after the Friday prayers around noon.

This would be at midnight tonight (Thurs) PST or 3am EST.
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  #12  
Old January 27th, 2011, 01:35 PM
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I totally agree with CruzerCa. It's one thing if you're in your own country and are familiar with the area. It's a totally different situation if you are in a foreign country, especially one in the Middle East. The bottom line is that this is supposed to be an enjoyable vacation. The enjoyment aspect evaporates if I have to worry about personal safety. Even if extra security were added (bodyguards, etc), it's still not a situation that I would want to vacation in.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 01:58 PM
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This morning, Uniworld’s management team had a phone conversation with our ground operator in Cairo who confirmed for us that today, Thursday, all itineraries operated as per normal schedule, as has been the case all week. We have further confirmed that no demonstrations have taken place nearby the Marriott Hotel. News reports indicate there may be another demonstration in Cairo on Friday, though. We are monitoring that situation but remain optimistic that it will not interfere with our program or pose a risk to our guests. We’d also like to mention that the River Tosca has not been affected by the recent unrest. Cruises continue to operate normally, and our guests are enjoying the ship and the shore excursions.

We’d also like to note that no official Travel Warnings or Travel Alerts for Egypt have been issued by the U.S. State Department or the Canadian or Australian governments. A heightened level of caution is being recommended when traveling to Egypt, but these governmental agencies are not recommending that one curtail travel plans to Egypt at this time. Please see the links below:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1108.html

http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pa...g.asp?id=79000

http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Egypt

Uniworld’s cancellation policy remains in effect and we are being guided by reports from our ground operator in Egypt, information being provided by official government agencies and our interpretation of the news reports. We do however understand that each individual will react differently to the information being received about the unfolding situation in Egypt. We therefore suggest you consult with your travel insurance carrier to determine the benefits offered under your policy if you are considering curtailing your travel plans.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updates as necessary. In the meantime, please feel free to contact your Travel Professional or Uniworld at customerservice@uniworld.com with any questions you may have.

With kind regards,

The Uniworld Team
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  #14  
Old January 27th, 2011, 05:33 PM
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Uniworld, thank you for the update.

Let's see what happens overnight (the Friday event).

Facts:
-The current government is cutting internet, social media, and some telecomm
- Mohamed ElBaradei arrived today in Cairo
- Friday after 12 noon revolution organizers are planning "an event" in the city of Cairo
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Old January 27th, 2011, 06:55 PM
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Cruzer,

Having traveled with Uniworld to Egypt in 2007, I would also share your concern. Security is very heavy for travelers there under normal circumstances, and an armed guard was always with us on the coach. I felt perfectly safe and had a wonderful time, but I would be very uneasy traveling there right now (we have friends scheduled for a trip there in early March).

Disatisfaction with Mubarak's repressive regime is long-standing among the Egyptian people and has increased greatly since we were there, so we can only wait to see what happens. I'm sorry that I don't remember when you're traveling, but it would be wise to sit and wait for a while before making any decisions. It's situations like these that have caused us to always buy good travel insurance!

(By the way, there's a 7-hour difference between Cairo time and our time in EST, so it will be after 7 am before we will know about the widespread demonstrations planned for tomorrow.)
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Old January 27th, 2011, 07:03 PM
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Interesting forum posting on the situation in Cairo from a Cairo resident on Trip Advisor. Here's the link:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...day-Cairo.html
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Old January 27th, 2011, 07:28 PM
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Default another good site

here is another interesting site for up to the minute updates on the unrest:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog...egypt-protests
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  #18  
Old January 27th, 2011, 10:20 PM
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Egypt moves to cut access to Internet
Police break up Egyptian street protests
Police used water cannons and tear gas to break up a demonstration in Cairo overnight. Three protesters and a policeman were killed in protests across the country.

By Janine Zacharia
Washington Post Foreign Service

Thursday, January 27, 2011; 10:06 PM



CAIRO - Opposition activists in Egypt vowed to defy a government ban and turn out by the thousands for demonstrations Friday, prompting authorities to apparently cut access to the Internet in an attempt to limit their ability to organize.

Egyptian officials started cutting Internet access in the country early Friday, and also moved to disable text messaging services and disrupt cellphone networks, according to a U.S. official.

The Egyptian shutdown, if continued Friday, could be the most drastic move against anti-government activists' use of technology since the Iranian government cracked down on protests in 2009. The U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said the actions to shut down the Internet and cellphones began after midnight Thursday.
Cairo and other cities were girding for what activists labeled "Angry Friday," a pivotal moment in their newly energized campaign to oust President Hosni Mubarak.

Among those planning to attend was Mohamed ElBaradei, a political reform advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who returned to Egypt after nightfall Thursday with the aim of leading a peaceful transition to democratic government. The former chief of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency could challenge Mubarak in the presidential election in September.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, also said it would take part in the demonstrations, potentially drawing many more people to the streets. While some members of the Islamist group joined protests earlier in the week, the group said it had not been playing an organizing role.

Neither Mubarak, who has ruled here for 30 years, nor his son, Gamal, a possible successor, has appeared in public since the demonstrations began Tuesday.

But Safwat el-Sharif, secretary general of Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party, expressed sympathy for protesters' concerns Thursday and said the party was "ready for a dialogue" with youth activists, whom he applauded for expressing their views and described as "Egypt's future."

Nevertheless, Sharif discouraged demonstrators from gathering Friday. Egypt's Interior Ministry has banned all demonstrations and arrested hundreds, defying a call by the United States to allow peaceful protests.

"The minority does not force its will on the majority," Sharif told journalists as he spokebeneath a large photograph of Mubarak at his party's headquarters in Cairo a short walk from Cairo's Tahrir Square. where about 15,000 demonstrators protested Tuesday.

Egypt's protesters have said they were inspired by Tunisia, where demonstrators ousted the country's president this month. But Sharif said Egypt would not "imitate" other countries.

This week's demonstrations have fed uncertainty about Mubarak's political future and Egyptian stability and wreaked havoc on the local stock market, which was halted for a half hour on Thursday amid a steep slide in shares.

The streets of Cairo were largely calm Thursday. Still, riot police remained deployed throughout the city. At the lawyers' guild earlier in the day, hundreds of uniformed and plainclothes police blockaded dozens of protesters inside the building in a tense standoff.

Demonstrators clashed with security services in the eastern city of Suez where activists reportedly set fire to a police post and threw rocks at police. In Ismailia, police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
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Last edited by cruzerca; January 27th, 2011 at 10:24 PM. Reason: Formatting
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Old January 27th, 2011, 10:21 PM
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Thank you Ladies & Gentlemen for posting those excellent and informative links to other sources. Helps us who have to make a decision soon!

Let's see what tomorrow brings . . . .
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Last edited by cruzerca; January 27th, 2011 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Formatting
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Old January 28th, 2011, 12:00 PM
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Well, it looks like tomorrow is now today, and the situation in Egypt is getting worse, not better...................
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