I would be careful with the tour operators. Depending on how comfortable you are in the country. Try shoretrips.com.
We have actually gotten off the docks in Turkey, Greece and Italy and used tour vendors right off the dock (just use your common sense but we have never had a problem). In Egypt, I would def. book with the cruise.
The Meet On Cruise Team recently set up a program for our members with the Shore Excursion Group. Their website is very user friendly and displays only the tours that are relevant for the ship you are sailing on. They have a good reputation among major cruise retailers for excellent and relable service and competitive pricing. There is a more in depth posting on the blog but in the meantime, this is a link to the site: www.shoreexcursionsgroup.com
I think it depends on your usual style of travel and what you're comfortable with. If you cruise and usually walk off the ship and find a tour operator or tour guide and you're confident doing that, then like eaton said, just use common sense. But, from your question it sounds like you would like to book something ahead of time, just not pay a high price. I would look at the site CruiseProfessor posted.
@CruiseProfessor, great web site. Going to peek at the blog you mentioned.
Excursions.Thanks all for replying to my question on excursions.Sorry for being so late in thanking all.Since my post RCL have cancelled Egypt and Israel.Not enough interest was the reason.Find that hard to believe.Anyway same cruise and dates but Istanbul and Kusadasi and Greek Islands instead.This cruise looks good as well and will be able to meet with my niece who lives in Crete.Anyway if anyone has any pointers on excursions for these places would appreciate some comments.Thanks all
Enjoy your time and have a nice meeting with your Niece..Love and Luck.