I went with a friend on the River of the Pharoahs tour in the fall of 2000, it was hosted by General Tours. It was a great experience and I am happy that I did this before all the terrorism stuff started up again in the middle east.
We did not take the included air tickets, I arranged a separate flight on British Air. They were going to use Egyptian Air and I preferred British Airways to London and then to Cairo.
Well, arriving in Cairo was like another world! We were met by a man who barely spoke English however he was holding a large General Tours sign printed with our names. He promptly took our passports and ran off with them! Well this made me a bit perturbed but it's part of the process: he ran to get us a stamp in our passports to enter Egypt. However I ran after him because I didn't want to be left in Cairo without a passport! It was alright as he went right to a counter and got us our stamps to enter.
We were escorted to a van and taken to the Hotel Ramses, which is a beautiful place. My first trip to Egypt and I didn't know about baksheesh. Everyone who comes near you wants baksheesh so unless you want them to carry your bags you have to hold on tightly. The hotel was wonderful and we joined the General Tours tour group of about 15 people the next day. We were all introduced to our guide, Mahmoud, a very well spoken and knowledgeable guide. He accompanied us everywhere through Egypt.
We saw the Egyptian Museum, the pyramids, the city of Cairo, the Blue Mosque, the bustling marketplace, wonderful. Then we flew to Luxor to meet the Nile cruiser. The flights within Egypt are via Egypt Air which uses old Russian jets. I was fascinated and a bit nervous on these old Russian jets but they seemed to work alright, One of them was a bit loud as it had an extra jet engine on top that the pilot kept turning on and off. Flying in Egypt is beautiful - no clouds, you can see forever.
The tour guide was wonderful, he was the General Tours representative as well as our nanny. One older lady became ill on the Nile cruiser and General Tours found doctors and treatment for her immediately, I was impressed. The Nile experience was fantastic and unforgettable. Mahmoud our guide got us everywhere and we even climbed all the way up inside pyramids and things and he flew the flights with us, kept us together and we all got to know each other pretty well over the 12 days or so. We all had a good time and afterward we emailed each other to see how our separate journeys turned out after Egypt. We went on to the Sinai, others went on to Turkey. But we made good friends and had a great time and I would recommend General Tours as they handled everything well.