Written on: 21/02/2013
We wanted to get away from the dank UK weather so booked this only 4 weeks before travelling. We chose Grand Rose cruise boat (Grand Cruises) all-inclusive through RSH with 60ish cabins, and had the last cabin on the boat although we paid for an upgrade to top deck to avoid possibly being allocated an inferior cabin. The compilation was approx. 50% UK, 50% German with some Scandinavian guests mixed in. The boat never felt overcrowded with plenty of seating space on top deck. Food was good and varied although some passengers did experience sickness problems, which were assumed down to undercooked food (possibly egg-related, we think) and the menu did get a little repetitive by the end of the week. General cleanliness was good but housekeeping would have benefited from a little more attention to detail (dusty carpets, worn furnishings), but I guess in the severely hot weather it's more difficult to maintain. The staff and crew were very attentive, polite and welcoming. The excursions were excellent but our guide became less attentive as the week went on, and in the end we felt he was doing the bare minimum - we didn't mind as the early mornings get harder if you do everything so choose your excursions carefully. We can thoroughly recommend the balloon trip over Valley of the Kings which is at extra cost. The street sellers are warring but if you wear sunglasses and ignore them they are less of a problem; excellent quality textiles can be purchased very cheaply if you can stand the hassle-factor. We were warned about handling money given as change because of hygiene, so I avoided this by paying in euro or GBP pound coin denominations and not accepting change; I used bacterial hand wash regularly. The weather was lovely during the day. It went off chilly around 5pm when the sun set but if you dress for it you can sit on the top deck all evening because there is little breeze.
Overall a great trip which I can thoroughly recommend at December time of year. Would not want to go when any hotter.