Written on: 29/05/2010
Read spirit dancers comments before we went. Felt a bit down hearted and wondered what would happen to us. The fact was we had a wonderful time. Yes the itinary was changed - yet again - to accomodate the 5 day cruisers, but I feel it was for the better in the end. We saw every site expected, in fact we got to the sites in some cases before the 'crowd'. Our little cruise ship got to Aswan a day before the rest, we saw the places with ease. We sat one night and watched, boat after boat, arriving in Aswan and parking up. We'd done the sights and were heading off in the opposite direction the following day! Dendera was lovely, on the final part of our Nile cruise bit, not only because of the place, but we were the only tour there. The other cruises had been and gone and were sitting down in Aswan. The Royal Rhapsody is getting a little tired yes, but it is a fantastic little boat, run by a wonderful crew. Food was plentiful and of good quality. The boat was spotlessly clean. No tummy issues. The motor launch to the Botanical Gardens was magical, even though we had to carry our life jackets onboard. There was no horse and carriage ride, and I'm glad there wasn't. The horses in Aswan and Luxor are cruely kept. I've never seen sets of bones covered in horse hair pulling a carriages before. I'm glad Thomas Cook do use them. I would like to say that our Tour Rep, Osarma, was the perfect rep. I cannot put together the words to express our thanks to him. We felt safe in his hands. Our two weeks ran so smoothly. There was no entertainment - but we didn't need it. An Egyptian evening was organised and everyone dressed up, plus we had a buffet on deck one of the evenings. Another change to the itinary was out of Thomas Cooks control, in that EygptAir stopped the internal flight back down from Luxor to Aswan, and we had what turned out to be a lovely coach trip south. We went through villages and saw sights along the way we wouldn't have seen from the air. I hope Thomas Cook keep this one going. The only negative point I can thing of for this holiday, was the number of cruise ships on the Nile and the parking up at night, sometimes 8 abreast. Our boat being the smaller, it felt swamped by some monsters belching out diesel. Our second part of the holiday was with the Prince Abiss on Lake Nasser. This was a much bigger boat, more modern, good food, bigger cabins - but it lacked the friendliness of the Royal Rhapsody.