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★★★☆☆

“Where do I start! ”

Written on: 08/12/2010

Where do I start!

Left Cairo for Luxor on a late flight and did not arrive at the boat until 11.45pm and set sail south immediately. Consequently we did not sleep well as come 3am we docked at Edfu and had the noise of coming alongside another vessel to keep us awake. Other overnight sailings had the same problem - don't expect a quiet night when sailing/docking!

Our room was average at best and in dire need of a refit (the carpet fitter should do one more job and give up - or just give up now) and the cabin decor reminded me of my nan's 1970s mobile home - very plain and lacking in colour and warmth. The size of the boat is good as it is not too big and the crew were fantastic. Very helpful and accommodating but I would not agree with other people's comments about the food. To my mind it was very plain and only once did we have a flavour of Egypt. Having said this there was a lot of it but I think we had chicken and/or beef on the menu most days. We were told by the Ship Manager that water was boiled for 20 minutes and passed through 2 UV sterilizers and is OK for cleaning your teeth but probably not ok for drinking. Can't say if the boiling and UV is true or not but most people came down with the "Curse of the Pharoahs" at some point or other. My stomach has just started to return to normal after 3 weeks and the best part of 2 weeks of work!!

Finally, be aware of the cost of drinks. ALL water is charged to your room (which is a bit much as the water from the taps is not for drinking and the temperature was mid 30C. A free bottle per person per day would have been a nice gesture) and the only free drinks available are fruit juices at breakfast and tea in the afternoon (with cakes so dry they need dunking). We did not drink much in the way of alcohol but our bill for the week was still over £100 (mainly water and tea). Some people were paying in the region of £250 - £300.

Having said all this I loved the sites we visited and the Egyptologist/Tour Manager we was excellent. She was very knowledgeable and very helpful when I stated to feel ill at Karnak temple and even arranged a car to take me back to the ship instead of going on to Luxor temple.