jmar- We are booked on the Pacific Princess on July 2010, now looking at reliable, independent 2-day tours for both Israel and Egypt--- because Princess wants way too many $$$. Read on another board that for Egypt the Blue Nile Tours were excellent. Maybe we can provide some feedback for you, the wife is estatic about this one!
I am not sure how long you are in Egypt, but if you only get to Cairo all you can see are the pyramids (as if that isn't enough). The best Egypt sites are upriver at Karnak and Luxor. Travel time is a problem there.
I really urge you to start looking into Israel tours - you want to be sure to see Jerusalem - it is the experience of a lifetime. and (if you are Christian)
you may want to go to Bethlehem. And if you have time you can also go to the Dead Sea, Gallilee, Nazareth and other significant sites.
If you are Jewish then you probably want to go to the old city of Jerusalem, Dead Sea Scrolls, Holocaust memorial and Jerusalem museum.
My husband and I took this cruise the first year it was offered Oct. 2007 on their small ship Royal Princess(now renamed). We did the all day tour to the pyramids, which was pretty good. I agree the overnight one was far too expensive, but it would have been nice to see those sights. I didn't feel confident arranging my own tours, but others on the ship did and they said they had wonderful experiences. We also did a full day in Jerusalem and Galilee through the cruise line, which were incredible expeirences. This was one of our best cruise experiences. Don't forget Greece and Turkey. I could spend a week in Santorini. Have a great time. 8)
Hi Mizzoucruiser. My wife and I are also booked on the Holy Land cruise on July 2, 2010 on the Pacific Princess. So far, I haven't been able to get on line with Princess and review their shore excursions. I've read several postings from others about the 2-day trips in Egypt and the Holy Land. Would like to stay in touch and compare possible bookings. We live in Columbia, MO and are Tiger fans.
I have done similar cruises as well. If possible - the best thing would be to arrange a two-day tour (hire a car maybe and then hire a guide and ask him to drive you) where you drive to the Dead Sea and Gallilee and then on to Jerusalem where you spend the night. Get up early and see as much of the city as you can before you need to get back to the ship.
For Christians: Around Gallilee you want to see Capernum, and possibly Nazareth (not really much to see there now). Go to Dead Sea then on to Jerusalem. There you want to see the old city, of course, plus the museums, Dead Sea scrolls, etc.
There is SO much to see in and around Jerusalem and it is a once in a lifetime experience, no matter what religion you are.
The drive back to the ship is even interesting with many remnants of the 67 war along the roadside.
In Eqgypt, if I could arrange an overnight tour to Luxor I would skip that over seeing the pyramids, honestly. Saying you saw the pyramids is a big bragging point, but seeing Luxor is seeing the true Egypt.