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Sharm El Sheikh 25/2 - 3/3 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:27 pm Reply with quote
Stw1955
Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 185
Location: Ayrshire
Hi there just back from a wonderful week in Sharm –El Sheikh, our third visit. I will use this as a practice for our Meeru report in June.

Travelled with Thomas Cook from Glasgow, good seats, two good films, nice meal (honestly) and a few drinks later we arrived at Sharm. This is where the fun starts, if you intend to travel outwith your hotel area to do any trips you require a tourist visa. These cost £10 and must be purchased in the arrivals hall, there are usually a number of booths open and you can purchase your visa from any of them. Word of caution, only Egyptians are allowed to work within the airport so you do not see your rep until you leave the airport. As you enter the arrivals hall you are met by a number of Epyptians holding tour operator clip boards and they try to tell you that you require to purchase your tourist visa from a particular booth. When you reach the front of the queue they tell you that they require your return tickets and then tell you they will meet you at your transfer transport with the visa and your tickets and collect payment. Here comes the sting, eventually they arrive at your transport and charge you £3 or £4 pound over the odds, as they have your return tickets you have no option but to pay up. According to Thomas Cook these people do not work for them, however to date they have not warned customers to avoid them. We have refused to be taken in by them and if you stand firm and refuse to hand over your return tickets they will direct you to one of the other booths.

We booked into the Marriot Mountain Hotel which is 10/15 mins from the airport, the main road from the airport to the resort centre, Naama Bay is called Peace Road. A number of the big chains have hotels on either side of Peace Road, one on the beach side and the other on the mountain side. Patrons are allowed to take advantage of facilities in both sides. From the Marriot Mountain you are approx 5 minutes walk to the Beach. The Hotel is spotless and you are well looked after.

The weather was fantastic and we decided to have a relaxing time on the beach, sun bathing and snorkelling. The snorkelling is excellent and for the novices there are reefs 10 feet from the beach, and it is like swimming in an aquarium. I am a keen photographer and purchased an underwater casing for my original digital camera, a coolpix 4300, unfortunately within five minutes of entering the water, and despite me testing before I packed it, it filled with water and ruined the camera. My friend had been given a reusable 35mm camera and I used that, pictures are not great but there are one or two which will hopefully give a flavour of what is available only feet from the beach.

There are numerous trips available, too many to list them all but here are a few, snorkelling, scuba diving, jeep safaris (well worth for the views alone), there are also organise trips to Cairo and the Valley of the Kings (both very long full days but reasonably priced ).

The Naama Bay area is built around the horseshoe bay and there is a promenade which stretches from the Sofitel at one end to the Lido Hotel at the other. This is the main thoroughfare into the town centre and there are numerous restaurants and bars along the way. The main centre looks a bit like Blackpool with sun (no offence meant) but there is a good atmosphere and numerous bars and restaurants both local and franchises. Little Buddha, Hard Rock Café and TGI Fridays to name but a few, we find that some of the best restaurants are attached to the Hotels and all offer excellent choice and value. One of the best is the Italian Restaurant attached to the Marriot Beach.

We have noticed a great number of changes in the past three years, you used to get hassle to browse the shops and we were manhandled into a number of shops on our first visit. They seemed to have learned the lesson and yes they will still ask you to come into their shops but a polite no will generally mean they will move on to the next punter. Also this year they appear to have replaced all of the old taxi fleet, they used to be nothing other than ‘old bangers’ but they are now all brand new.

A couple of things that disappoint me is the number of people who feed the fish and walk all over the coral. When will they learn.

Anyone going to the area should research their accommodation, there are a lot of 5 star all inclusive resorts but a lot of them are a taxi ride from the busy areas. There is no doubt that you will be well looked after in these resorts but you are not encouraged to wander very far from the resort and this may inhibit some people.

Following the bombimg 3 years ago they do take a number of security arrangements but you should not be put off by these , they are not intrusive and they are for your safety.

I hope this has been of some use and if any of you have any questions I will try and answer them

This break has put me in the mood for Meeru – must get a new underwater digital camera!!!!!!

Hope this works

http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/7761048

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:31 am Reply with quote
CandT
Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 316
Thanks for that report. We are going in June and haven't been before so a little aprehensive. We are staying in a marriott too but the Renaisance Garden View one.

Are there any must do's or must don'ts??

I really want to go to El Finar (the lighthouse) and to Tiran Island
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Re: Sharm El Sheikh 25/2 - 3/3 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:03 am Reply with quote
Steve from Durham
Site Admin
Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 5859
Location: Lancashire.
Quote:


Travelled with Thomas Cook from Glasgow, good seats, two good films, nice meal (honestly) and a few drinks later we arrived at Sharm. This is where the fun starts, if you intend to travel outwith your hotel area to do any trips you require a tourist visa. These cost £10 and must be purchased in the arrivals hall, there are usually a number of booths open and you can purchase your visa from any of them. Word of caution, only Egyptians are allowed to work within the airport so you do not see your rep until you leave the airport. As you enter the arrivals hall you are met by a number of Epyptians holding tour operator clip boards and they try to tell you that you require to purchase your tourist visa from a particular booth. When you reach the front of the queue they tell you that they require your return tickets and then tell you they will meet you at your transfer transport with the visa and your tickets and collect payment. Here comes the sting, eventually they arrive at your transport and charge you £3 or £4 pound over the odds, as they have your return tickets you have no option but to pay up. According to Thomas Cook these people do not work for them, however to date they have not warned customers to avoid them. We have refused to be taken in by them and if you stand firm and refuse to hand over your return tickets they will direct you to one of the other booths.


Great heads up tip


Quote:
A couple of things that disappoint me is the number of people who feed the fish and walk all over the coral. When will they learn.


You will see this on Meeru, despite notices posted around meeru, in the room and the rep telling you at the welcome meeting



Quote:
http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/7761048



Loved the photo of the towels/sun glasses on the bed


steve
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Re: Sharm El Sheikh 25/2 - 3/3 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:08 am Reply with quote
Steve from Durham
Site Admin
Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 5859
Location: Lancashire.
Quote:


Travelled with Thomas Cook from Glasgow, good seats, two good films, nice meal (honestly) and a few drinks later we arrived at Sharm. This is where the fun starts, if you intend to travel outwith your hotel area to do any trips you require a tourist visa. These cost £10 and must be purchased in the arrivals hall, there are usually a number of booths open and you can purchase your visa from any of them. Word of caution, only Egyptians are allowed to work within the airport so you do not see your rep until you leave the airport. As you enter the arrivals hall you are met by a number of Epyptians holding tour operator clip boards and they try to tell you that you require to purchase your tourist visa from a particular booth. When you reach the front of the queue they tell you that they require your return tickets and then tell you they will meet you at your transfer transport with the visa and your tickets and collect payment. Here comes the sting, eventually they arrive at your transport and charge you £3 or £4 pound over the odds, as they have your return tickets you have no option but to pay up. According to Thomas Cook these people do not work for them, however to date they have not warned customers to avoid them. We have refused to be taken in by them and if you stand firm and refuse to hand over your return tickets they will direct you to one of the other booths.


Great heads up tip


Quote:
A couple of things that disappoint me is the number of people who feed the fish and walk all over the coral. When will they learn.


You will see this on Meeru, despite notices posted around meeru, in the room and the rep telling you at the welcome meeting



Quote:
http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/7761048



Loved the photo of the towels/sun glasses on the bed


steve
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:20 pm Reply with quote
lindags
Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 1285
Location: Merseyside
Thanks for the report and the info, my son's looking to go here so I'll pass on your advice.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:12 pm Reply with quote
anne.gannon@hotmail.co.uk
Joined: 24 Oct 2006
Posts: 148
Location: Aberdeen
Hi There

Thanks for the report, we are going to Sharm in July , staying at the Hyatt Regency and really looking forward to it. This will be the first time we have been so it was great to get the tips about the airpot etc.

Thanks again
Annie

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:00 pm Reply with quote
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Joined: 11 Aug 2021
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Sharm El Sheikh 25/2 - 3/3 
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