As I was having difficulty in finding the right place to post this I have written my Nile Cruises review in this section. The boat was not listed anywhere, neither was the travel company. This review is about our trip to Egypt on a Nile Cruise from 8th to 15th Feb followed by two days in Cairo. I hope it will prove helpful to anyone planning a Nile Cruise.
My husband, myself and two friends have recently returned from a 7 day Nile Cruise and two days in Cairo. We booked through our travel agent with Discover Egypt and were on Viking Princess from 8th 15th Feb and in Cairo, staying at the Ramses Hilton from 15th -17th Feb.
Travel Arrangements – we flew from Heathrow to Luxor and Luxor to Cairo with Egyptair and from Cairo to Heathrow with Egyptair in conjunction with BMI Star Alliance. All flights were on time, the service could not be faulted, plenty of legroom and some of the best in-flight meals we have had. My husband is registered disabled and has mobility problems but thanks to the excellent arrangements made by Discover Egypt we had airport assistance throughout. He was also well looked after by the tour guides, crew members and fellow passengers during the holiday and although he found some of the trips tiring he was able to cope admirably.
On arrival at Luxor we were met by Viking Travel the local agents for Discover Egypt who obtained our visas for us (we paid our tour guide for these once on board – £12 each in UK Sterling – so there is no need to go to the hassle of trying to obtain your own visas prior to departure). We were taken by coach to the dock where we joined Viking Princess. Our luggage was in our cabin just 20 minutes later.
There were 90 passengers on board with a crew of 75. We were divided into three groups – Ramses, Isis and Pharaohs lead by Moyshen, Ahmed and Sayed our tour guides. They were so knowledgeable having studied Egyptology and they really gave informative talks on everything we saw throughout the week but we never felt overpowered by their talks. They made the history come alive and answered questions in simple language. They all had a wonderful sense of humour too which created a happy atmosphere for everyone
Viking Princess has recently undergone a refurbishment and the work has been very tastefully carried out. Everywhere was spotlessly clean. Our cabin on Lower Deck(105) was spacious and although we had sufficient hanging space we did feel it lacked drawer space. Our cabin steward was courteous, friendly, hard-working and very efficient. We would take bets each day as to what animal would be waiting in the cabin on our return from excursions. The cabin steward would create wonderful animals out of the towels and we were greeted by elephants, seals, scorpions, crocodiles and monkeys. The cabin steward delighted in seeing our reactions each day.
The DINING ROOM was very bright and cheery and it was good to see that the use of hand sanitizers on entry was strictly enforced. The LOUNGE BAR had comfortable seating all round and a good sized dance floor. The SUN DECK had ample sun beds and there were several gazebos with drop down sides to give shelter from the sun. Wicker furniture under complete cover was available at one end of the deck for those not wishing to be out in the sun at all. The pool was not large but adequate. However the water was very cold until one became accustomed to the temperature. Some ladies started a water aerobics session on a few days but surprisingly the four men who joined the first session did not participate again – they actually admitted it was too much like hard work!!
There was a GIFT SHOP which was run by a most obliging man. His prices were very reasonable and there was a good selection. It was possible to arrange a MASSAGE session on board and our friends did actually book this and were very impressed – very reasonable too with a Full Body Massage for 1 hour at £30 (charged to the on board account)
FOOD & DRINK – We could not fault the food – in fact we were spoilt for choice at every mealtime. It was well presented, piping hot and very satisfying. The desserts did little to help the waistline though! Celebration cakes were made for passengers celebrating birthdays/anniversaries and for Valentine’s Day the chef made a huge cake for all the passengers to share. Drinks tended to be pricey but no more than on other cruise ships. The Egyptian wines were very palatable. Whilst sailing, afternoon tea was served on the sun deck which was most welcome. Bar staff were very polite and we were not kept waiting for drinks to be served whether in the lounge or out on deck.
When arriving back from excursions each we would be greeted by smiling crew members who would be waiting in reception with warm towels to freshen up and glasses of mint/apple tea to quench our thirsts. Getting back on board was fun because on leaving the boat we could find ourselves having to pass through sometimes four or five other boats before reaching the quayside. On our return we would sometimes find our boat had suddenly moved up a place – obviously the boats are moving around all the time to get the best docking space but it was interesting to see what other boats looked like.