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AIBU to rain on dh's parade about taking 4 dc 's to Egypt for half term ?

(111 Posts)
FOURBOYSUNDER6 Thu 07-Feb-13 05:10:03

Dh made Last minute decision to book Hilton sharks bay resort in sharm el sheikh. Has anyone been recently? We have young boys is it ok for younger ones etc? Dc's aged 6, 5, 3 and 7 mths.... He is mega excited and wants to book but i am not sure .... Can't really afford it, I have irrational fears about dc 's getting shot, trafficked , food poisoned , too long travelling from uk..... I would love a holiday in the sun and we need one as it is long long overdue... But AIBU to just want to chill at a villa in south if France or Spain in summer where it feels so much more sensible with young children or am I being ignorant and unreasonable ? He fancies Hilton sharks bay. Budget can't stretch to mark Warner !!!! Has anyone been to Hilton and is it good or poor mans Egypt ... Why am I posting this at this time instead of sleeping !

RafflesWay Thu 07-Feb-13 11:40:28

We went to hiltonsharksbay a few years ago but not our cup of tea. Bit too holiday camp style for us but in fairness kids would love it. Sharm is very safe although we went to different resort on the Red Sea coast in May 2011 following the earlier troubles in Egypt and DEFINITELY noticed a less courteous attitude towards tourists. So much so that we won't be returning again and had previously been there on many occasions.

Onlymydogunderstandsme Thu 07-Feb-13 11:44:02

We went to Hilton in Sharks Bay in November last year and took our DS who was 5mo, it was fab! The staff are brilliant with the children and its very family friendly. There is a good pool area for the children as well which is shallower. No tummy upsets and the food was really nice we would definately go back.

There had been quite a bit in the news about the riots in Cairo etc just before we went but it was fine.

cantspel Thu 07-Feb-13 11:44:07

Fluffy i love the Fort, one of my favorite hotels in egypt. Not as flash as the marble monstrosities build in some places but with a charm of its own.

It is italian owned and so the standards of service are quite high and i love the fridges everywhere so you can help yourself to beers, soft drinks, water and ice cream.

I will go back one day. The Makadi Palace just further along the bay is lovely as well but has got very expensive and the house reef is not as good as the fort.

Agree with Taba airport being horrendous. We went to Taba 4 years ago as my sister has been a few times so was interested in your opinion. I think we were in Taba Heights though (?) as there were more hotels. Very quiet though and I was more nervous there then I was in Sharm.

OP I've been to Sharm three rims, once in Naama bay, once Nabq bay and once Sharks bay in the Concorde El Salam which is next door to the Hilton. Sharks bay had fab snorkelling. I never felt unsafe while there. I went while they were building Soho Square in Sharks Bay. One thing though, do your children like beaches? As the hiltons beach Is man made by cutting in to the rock so not the smoothest. Also by the Hilton and Concorde there's a big chunk of reef, this means to get in to the sea you have to go along a jetty over the reef so you're straight in to deeper water. This is def true at the Concorde and I think it's the same at the Hilton

cantspel Thu 07-Feb-13 11:57:26

You were at Taba heights which is a good 40 minutes from taba and is a purpose built holiday resort. It si very quite as it is in the middle of no where where as Taba is on the edge of no where.

Naama is pretty souless,(i have been twice staying in Nabq bay and Ras om el Seed area) great if you just want sun but a bit of a cultural desert for anything else. Wouldn't be my choice again as there is much nicer places in egypt to holiday even if you are only after the sun. Sea life and snorkling are the only reasons i might go back but as the reefs are mainly accessed via a jetty then not ideal for children.

shinyblackgrape Thu 07-Feb-13 12:18:52

We went to sharm 3 years ago - only go if you like rude, drunk, Russians.

I got bitten all over with sand flies and the food in our supposed 5 star hotel was grim. Constant recycled buffet with said rude, drunk, Russians touching everything. DH and I were super careful about what we are as the whole place was a food poisoning accident waiting to happen. I will never forget the half melted ice cream with serving spoons dropped in th that a million people fished out to use before dropping back in. On the bright side, I lost 5lbs in a week. If we had been there for 2 weeks, I would have made arrangements to come home early

I also found Sharm to be increadibly tacky. Because I became so paranoid about the food hygiene, I didn't even want to eat out - the only places there seemed to be though were McDonald's and a Hard Rock Cafe.

The pool was also freezing cold in January. I have a 10 week old DS now and I would never take him there - notwithstanding the instability.

I really would save your money.

shinyblackgrape Thu 07-Feb-13 12:28:52

Yes - second the canaries or Majorca even if you could hold out til April

Also, second what was said up post about the alcohol. Horrible. Thank god we had brought a bottle if vodka or it would have been a dry holiday too

Also, our hotel had apparently been double booked hmm. We arrived in the dead of night and were punted put to another hotel with e ergo e else on our flight. . Didn't get on to our room til 5pm the next day after much complaining. We were e cited from the other hotel at 12:00am do had to hang around with bags like displaced persons. Apparently ( from tripadvisor), this is pretty common. I wouldnpt like to have to do that with 4 children!

shinyblackgrape Thu 07-Feb-13 12:29:30

Sorry - 11:00am the next day were evicted from the hotel

fromparistoberlin Thu 07-Feb-13 12:33:16

my main concern is terrorism (sorry OP!)

algeria seemed to take everyone by suprise, even oil firms that spend billions on their security

and now they are saying that North Africa is the next hot spot for AQ

and obviously we have no idea what the intelligence networks are like

sorry!!!!!

but I would not want to go there with yound children when there IS a level of risk

and airports make me wary

LtEveDallas Thu 07-Feb-13 12:54:55

If you do go make sure you book through someone like Thomson/First Choice and not online.

After you have booked if FO advice is NOT to travel then Thomson/FC will book you somewhere else to the same standard/price. If there is nothing suitable they will allow up to an extra £300 per person to book somwhere else (on top of what you have already paid).

We had this when we booked to go to Tunisa just as it all kicked off. We had looked in Sep to book for fol Aug, but the prices were too high. It kicked off in Dec and prices dropped dramatically. We booked in Jan for £1000 less than we were expecting and were told by FC that if the FO advised NO travel 8 weeks before departure date we could either cancel or find another holiday of the same type to go instead. When we pointed out that all the other Holiday Villages were dearer they told us they would subsidise us to the tune of £300 ea.

We've just booked with Thomson for Hurghada in Aug and have been told the same again.

Cakecrumbsinmybra Thu 07-Feb-13 13:00:03

I've been to Egypt 3 times with v small children in the last 3 years (DS2 was 4 months old on one trip). It is a fantastic winter sun option, and family friendly. I would not go if there were any travel restrictions in place and as I understand it there are currently no restrictions to the resort areas of the Red Sea. But if you're not going to relax and enjoy your holiday then there's not really much point you going.

Cakecrumbsinmybra Thu 07-Feb-13 13:01:36

Also to add - I haven't been to Sharm, we went to Dahab, which I believe is less built up, less tacky and more laid back than Sharm.

Kungfutea Thu 07-Feb-13 19:04:59

I wouldn't. A good friend was murdered in a terrorist attack on a beach resort in Sinai about 8 years ago. Terrorism can happen anywhere but its more likely now than then.

Christelle2207 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:18:45

you would be safe but youll be stuck at the hotel. the snorkelling is fab but i guess the dcs are too young for that.

Kungfutea Thu 07-Feb-13 19:19:59

Google Sinai insurgency if you want to see how unstable it is now. Sorry op, I wouldn't risk it right now.

Hissy Brazil Thu 07-Feb-13 19:27:23

Please don't go to Egypt, anyone. It's a vile country, with a uniform and everyday harassment of women: locals, forigners, covered or not. No equality, no respect for children, no real safe provision for them, a general loathing of the west, and everyone after your money or a passport.

I lived there for 3 years and would never spend a single penny there until women and children are treated as human beings, until they have a realistic sense of safety and security become a civilisation once more.

It's cheap because it's nasty. Food hygiene is a total bafflement to them, generally. Education so poor as to not know enough to make any positive impact. Western ideas of respect, equality, human rights, food hygiene, behaviour, child rearing, road safety, health, medicine, you name it, dismissed out of hand, cos they do it wrong differently. The combination of ignorance and arrogance is breathtaking. Society there is BUGGERED. By going there good money is funding a bad state.

Please don't.

EspressoMartiniToGo Thu 07-Feb-13 19:30:24

We went to Sharm last October half term. No safety issues, but then the tourist areas are clearly defined, the hotel we were in had guards and sniffer dogs at the main entrance. We stayed in sharm the whole time, we were with our dc, 9, 7 and 10 months, dh ventured off with ds for a jeep safari which they liked...but again our main reason for picking Egypt was the diving for us and snorkelling for the older dc. Just amazing.
As others have said, if you don't want to dive or snorkel then go for a different country where you can hire a car and explore.
May I recommend Andalucia - I live here and it's bloody gorgeous all year round!

LtEveDallas Thu 07-Feb-13 19:33:03

Thanks for that Hissy hmm

Cakecrumbsinmybra Thu 07-Feb-13 19:38:35

Perhaps that's why they're in the midst of a revolution then, eh Hissy.

Fwiw, I think it's wrong to dismiss an entire country based on the things you've said in your post.

Kungfutea Thu 07-Feb-13 19:41:54

Just as bad as people here telling the OP that Sinai is safe because they went and they were safe and because Cairo is far away.

Sinai is NOT safe. In fact, I'd feel safer in Cairo than I would in the Sinai.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinai_insurgency

Kungfutea Thu 07-Feb-13 19:44:46

And the other thing is that if there is a terrorist incident, the Egyptian authorities first response will be to try to hush it up and cover it up rather than save lives or get people treated.

When my friend was murdered in 2004 they couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery. She was killed outright but another woman who was injured died because the Egyptians didn't bother sending ambulances and she didn't get medical help.

Given the chaos in Sinai, I suspect the situation would be far worse now.

To risk it with 4 children for a bit of sun and snorkeling seems bonkers to me.

ihearsounds Thu 07-Feb-13 19:45:00

If you cannot really afford it, then how does he expect to finance it?
You go on holiday surely to somewhere that is within your financial needs.
He might fancy it, but that doesn't pay for it.

cleo78 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:57:21

I live in Egypt and have done for 8 years now. I am not a fan of Sharm to be honest, but with 2 kids I can now appreciate its 'charm'! It will not reflect the real Egypt in any way really, but I am sure if you appreciate the fact that you are in predominantly Muslim country which many people class as being under developed or developing at best, then you could potentially, have a fantastic time! Egypt is extremely child friendly in my experience.
We spent the weekend at the beach 2 weeks ago, and with a heated pool, we could spend at least a couple of hours in the sunshine, playing.
As for political based stability- who knows. I would not drive to Sharm from Cairo at the moment, but wouldnt worry about flying. Yes, terrorist attacks have happened, but the majority of issues have been arising in Cairo and hereabouts and yet I personally (thank goodness!) havent witnessed a thing. Incidents have always been pretty isolated since the beginning of the revolution, 2 yrs ago.
I am very sorry for all those people who appear to have had bad experiences in this country- I certainly dont blame you for not wanting to come back. The world is your oyster, so why would you!? Sharm and Hurghada have always been a bit of a nightmare for hassle, but now people are becoming desperate. Most of the people working in the resorts will be from elsewhere in Egypt, and will be sending any money back to their families. Hotels have had to pay off staff due to the drop in tourism. It's really sad. I wish I could say that our new government appreciate the value of the tourism industry and are trying to sort it out....

If I was in your shoes, I assume I would lose a lot of money by changing or cancelling and would just look forward to a nice holiday playing by the pool!

cleo78 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:01:27

Sorry, just re read your message and it looks like you may not have booked yet? If not, then I would either go to Dahab or El Gouna- the latter being perfectly 'safe'! Great deals to be had, and possibly the nicest weather you are going to get at this time of year.

LtEveDallas Thu 07-Feb-13 20:05:40

Hello Cleo. I'd agree with your statement * Most of the people working in the resorts will be from elsewhere in Egypt, and will be sending any money back to their families* We were in Hurghada in Aug 12 and ended up quite friendly with a lot of the 'staff' (DH always ends up chatting to locals rather than other holidaymakers). Almost all of them actually had family in Cairo, and used to travel back to them for a weekend every 6 weeks.

We went out one night (DH, DD and I) with some of the 'day workers' - we were there over Ramadan and they were having a party that evening, invited us along. They were all absolutely lovely. We had a wonderful time at a local cafe bar and DD has been emailing one of their children ever since.

We had such a great time we are going back this year and cannot wait to meet up with them again. It's certainly not all bad.

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