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★★★☆☆

“3 star at best”

Written on: 25/11/2014 by tobythetyke (1 review written)

We have just returned from a 7 nights cruise on MS Emilio and a 4 night stay in the Old Palace Resort in Hurghada which was booked through Travel Interaction the agents in Egypt was You Travel which came under the umbrella of Meeting Point. We started our holiday with a 3 night stay at the Old Palace. The hotel was lovely a truly 5 star Hotel.
We got picked up by Meeting Point for the Journey to Luxor to the boat at 1 pm we had been told that it was a 3-4 hour journey. We in fact arrived at the boat at 7.30 pm as we had spent 2 hours travelling around Hurghada picking up which was absolutely ridiculous.
The booking it at reception was fast and we was allocated our room 329. As soon as we walked down the corridor there was strong smell of diesel as we walked towards the rear of the boat and we was the next to last cabin above the engine room. The room was dreary and was in need of redecorating and upgrading. We set sail that evening and the following morning we moored in Komombo.

Day 1
We had our welcome meeting that morning we were told by the guide that the tips of £27 per person was compulsory. We found later in the week that some people had not paid this but had elected to tip individually. We booked the trips package ( which we thought some was included free with the cruise) which was the visits to Valley of the kings, Karnak, Edfu, Aswan, Komombo temple. This cost £140 per person and we also booked Abu Simbel £80 and a trip to the Nubian Village £24. We met some people who had actually booked all these trips in resorts and got them 25% cheaper.
The first trip to Komombo temple was lovely but it was just a short walk off the boat so could have been done individually at a cost of 30LE ( £3).

Day 2
Aswan… 7 am start and we did the High Dam and Temple trip. Some people just caught a taxi there. The guide Ahmed was really informative but on our way back to the boat we was taken to a perfume shop where we had to endure 2 hours of sales pitch the buy perfumes and essential oils.
In afternoon we went on a motor boat to the Nubian villiage which was lovely and well worth the money of £24 pp.



Day 3
Aswan…. A 2.45 am early morning call to go the Abu Simbel. The journey was about 3 ½ hours but the cost of £80 was well worth it. If you do this trip make sure you take a pillow with you.
Day 4
Edfu… Visit to Edfu temple and then sail straight back to Luxor. Again this trip can be done individually as it is walking distance to the boat cost 30 LE (£2)
Day 5/6/7
Luxor…. We were moored against a disused boat so our view from the balcony window was crates of empty coca cola bottles Which was going to be the view for the last 3-days of the cruise. The first night in Luxor I complained about a smell in the room of diesel and we had an engineer in the cabin at Midnight to investigate. The following morning we was moved to the opposite side of the boat up one floor and this room had a lovely view of the Nile. We felt a bit cheated as this was a Nile Cruise but spent 3 days moored up in Luxor. The trips to Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings was excellent be aware that you have to go through the Papyrus shops for 1 hour after the visits.

The boat MS Emilio.
Food was repetitive and tasteless with little choice. If you didn’t get in the queue early most of the food had gone and it wasn’t replenished. There was not enough cutlery in the dining room and on more than one occasion I had to stir my coffee with a fork because there was no tea spoons.. None of the chefs were wearing gloves and no tongs for handing dry food like bread. In all the hygiene was poor.
There was little regard to safety we saw fire doors propped open with fire extinguishers. The was no notice of assembly points in case of emergency and we were never told were the life jackets were stored although we found them in the wardrobe. One day we were sailing with the main doors unlocked with just a table in front. Someone complained but they dismissed it saying it would be fine.
You also got an option to upgrade all inclusive for £20 per person per day. We didn’t do this but be aware that some people we spoke to found that they were slow getting served and also you can only get served wine in the restaurant but not the bar although if you weren’t all inclusive you could buy wine in all the bars. If you wer all inclusive you could only get drinks between 11 am -11 pm and not even tea or coffee outside of these times. The drinks were expensive e.g. 42 LE (£4.20) for a 500 ml bottle of lager.
We paid at the start of the cruise £54 in tips so if everyone on the boat paid these that would be over £3500 in tips. There was 60 staff on the boat and we was told that the waiters and bar staff only see £5 of this so what happens to the other £3k.
We did have an enjoyable week sightseeing and would recommend this but the boat was in need of an upgrade it claims to be 5 star but I would rate it 3 star at best

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