Rea Sea Ripoffs

Red Sea Ripoffs

Planing to go to the Red Sea? Here is some good information to help you choose a good operator. 
There are a few operators that advertise unrealistic prices and if it sounds too good to be true …… you are probably right it is.
For example an advertised price of R19,000 seems a great deal. But lots of extra fees and costs are then added in. The small print says that airfares costs might change and the exchange rate might change. And do you know what?….. It does!  so instead of R 19,000 you end up paying closer to R 30,000.
So here is a few things to look for:

The Boat

Look at the size of the boat, how long and how wide. 
The bigger,  the more comfortable however it also depends on the number of passengers. most take 20-24. 
Next look at the cabin size. 
The more budget cabins have bunk type beds and a tiny bathroom where you shower over the loo. That is fine if you are paying a budget price.
Three more luxurious cabins have proper beds, more space and a separate shower in the bathroom.

The Drinks

They advertise free beer and wine – but some only allow one beer or one wine with dinner.   You pay for a second one. Others, you may drink as much as you want.

Tips

These are given to the crew and it is usually 10 Euro per day per person.

Added Costs

Reef tax, Fuel Tax, Port Fees. 
Paid in Egypt, with some operation all fees are included in the cost. Others add huge “extra” amount when you get there and this can add up to a few thousand Rands.
So add these fees to the actual cost of the trip.

Airport Tax

This is the tax for using ACSA Airports and does vary from time to time but has been stable at around R4000-R4500 for a while.

Airfare

The small print may say this is subject to change. However this will be fixed when you pay. In reality Egypt Air sets costs for the year! Some operators offer a really cheap trip and once you get close to departure, the air fare suddenly “Increases” by 4000!

Exchange Rate

Yes this will affect the price.
When you have been quoted a price, ask at what exchange rate this has been based on.
If the rate moves you can then see what the new price should be.

Hotels

Some trips have a lay-over at a local hotel, check the quality and whether food and drinks are included. 
Some are 5 star and are one of the highlights of the trip and others are just yuk.
So before you book ask questions and do your home work. 
Read the small print and clarify all issues and costs before you pay a deposit.