We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

m.s. serenade nile cruise boat

Swansea south wales
Level Contributor
10 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
m.s. serenade nile cruise boat

Has anyone sailed on this boat recently.we have booked for January and after reading reviews from March there doesn,t seem to be any recent reviews.Would love to hear if the food upsets have been resolved.

anne

Shropshire
Level Contributor
25 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
61. Re: m.s. serenade nile cruise boat

We stayed on MS Serenade from 12th to 19th December and had one of the most memorable holidays ever. I think TG58's comments above sum everything up well. We were concerned about the remarks that had been made on this site and considered cancelling - I'm so glad we didn't - we had a fantastic time. The only tip I would give, is make sure you see the You.holidays representative before you pass through passport control. We misunderstood some of the comments on here and ignored the rep, choosing to buy our visas ourselves. This meant that we didn't get the details of which bus to board once we got out of the airport and struggled to find anyone who could help us - when we did find the correct transfer bus, the driver wouldn't let us board as we hadn't got a ticket from the rep. During this time we were being harassed by men who wanted to carry our bags (for money of course) and made us feel very uncomfortable. Once the rep appeared he sorted everything our for us - no problem. We didn't purchase the excursion package in advance and just paid for any thing we wanted as we went along - this suited us as we wanted a lazy holiday. It also meant we had the sun deck to ourselves one morning - very peaceful! We found all the staff to be extremely friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Initially we were concerned about not paying as you went along for drinks so we kept a keen eye on all receipts. We needn't have worried as our bill at the end was exactly as we had calculated. We also though the idea of tipping at the end of the trip a little odd but with hindsight, it was ideal. We found the food excellent and couldn't fault it at all - the only problem was that I came back 4lbs heavier! Anyone worried about an upcoming trip on the Serenade should forget a lot of the comments on here and just look forward to a fantastic time. Its not 5* but great value for money.

Dorking, United...
Level Contributor
14 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
62. Re: m.s. serenade nile cruise boat

How much does one pay at the end of the cruise for tips?

Exhall, United...
Level Contributor
1,108 posts
1 review
Save Reply
63. Re: m.s. serenade nile cruise boat

Tips are a VERY subjective issue. You will pay as little (or nothing if you wish), or as much as you want.

There seems to be a consensus, that you get a couple of envelopes and you are expected (if that is the right word), to put £10 per person or sometimes per cabin) in each envelope, this may be different for each boat though.

Personally I prefer to tip as I am going along, that way, i am tipping the right people who have helped me.

Edited: 5:27 am, January 05, 2013
London, United...
Level Contributor
4 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
64. Re: m.s. serenade nile cruise boat

We were given two envelopes at the end of the cruise, one for all the boat staff (75 of them) and one for our 3 Egyptologists who took us out on all the exursions. The "recommended" tip is £10 per person per envelope, ie. £20 total in each envelope which we thought was a reasonable amount to share amongst all who had made our trip so enjoyable.

Our cabin boys who cleaned the cabin twice a day and made animals out of towels etc, however expected an additional tip to be left in the room.

It is entirely up to you how much or little you put in these envelopes.

Dorking, United...
Level Contributor
14 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
65. Re: m.s. serenade nile cruise boat

Thank you for your replies. Could you also, please, tell me the currency used on board? For the excursions, drinks etc. Thank you

London, United...
Level Contributor
4 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
66. Re: m.s. serenade nile cruise boat

for drinks on board you pay at the end of your trip, you get a receipt everytime you order something on board and can pay at the end in any currency or cards. I paid in Egyptian pounds (the bill will be in Egyptian pounds). For excursions again you can pay in Sterling or Egyptian or by cards. The two shops on board also took either currency or cards for jewellery if you wanted to pay that way. On the excursions most places take Sterling, Egyptian or Euros. They are really flexible.

London, United...
Level Contributor
3,208 posts
Save Reply
67. Re: m.s. serenade nile cruise boat

You will find that it is not so much about being flexible, but rather that they will take just about any currency in payment rather than lose a sale.

With regard to tipping and the infamous 'tip envelopes', there have been many posts and threads on this subject, which is basically a 'con' to seperate you from some of your money by tugging on your heart strings - don't be taken in by it.

.

For more detail see a previous reply on that subject here :--

tripadvisor.co.uk/…41822987

Earls Colne...
Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
Save Reply
68. Re: m.s. serenade nile cruise boat

We have just spent Christmas on MS Serenade on the Nile. The boat is in need of some renovation especially the sun deck beds and chairs whiich have seen better days and the towels are a dirty grey colour ( I think they must wash them in the Nile ). Despite these minor things, we had a great time, a lovely cruise along the Nile. The cabins are very satisfactory, clean and comfortable and the staff are friendly. We have been on luxury cruises and of course this does in no way compare, but then again neither does the price. We did not have to walk through other boats being renovated only one that was in use and docked in front of us.

We had reservations after reading some of the comments but were not disappointed. None of our party of 6 were unwell. I believe it is down to personal hygiene i.e. after handling serving spoons at the buffet, use some hand gel before eating etc.

On boxing day we transferred to Hurghada to the Titanic Palace Hotel which was a 4 hour transfer from Luxor, only to have to do the same journey back to Luxor airport a week later. There is an airport at Hurghada but Thomson do not fly from there. A lovely hotel but don't be tempted to be upgraded to a room by the pool unless it is free. We paid for the priviledge of steps into the pool from our balcony but what they didn't tell us was the water was too cold to get into, a waste of money. There is a heated pool in the water park in sister hotel Titanic Beach.

Have a great time and enjoy the lovely warm weather.

.

Dorking, United...
Level Contributor
14 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
69. Re: m.s. serenade nile cruise boat

Thank you for all your replies. Very helpful. We are going on the cruise and then on to Titanic Beach Spa. We are also flying both ways via Luxor. A further question please. How safe is the cabin safe? It says that it has a key. Does that mean that someone elso holds the other key? We were planning on carrying cash, is this a good idea? Every other way incurs charges.

Once again, thank you to everyone for thier help.

London, United...
2 posts
Save Reply
70. Re: m.s. serenade nile cruise boat

You are in danger if you are on this boat before they fix the hazard. This is a WARNING to anybody about to cruise on this boat.

My husband and I have just returned from a week's cruise and your experience will depend on where you are accommodated on the boat, please heed this warning,

We were first in room 114, As soon as I entered the room the smell of diesel was overpowering, and I asked to be moved to another room, but was told there were no other rooms, having just gone through the flight and difficulties at the Airport, my husband said to just see how it was later as we were tired from the travelling, this meant we were gassed for three days and two nights with Diesel fumes and Carbon Monoxide. They are fully aware of the problem, the carpets and soft furnishings are completely impregnated with diesel, to mask it they keep the Air Con on max in the rooms at this end of the ship (front) so you cannot smell it so much, the cabins there are freezing due to the air con, but they put it on to dilute the fumes, I suppose they think that is sufficient to make it safe, our experience is it is not sufficient.

The biggest danger is that even if you cannot smell it, the fumes are still damaging your lungs, as Diesel is a carcinogenic and can cause cancer. They now spray air fresheners all the time and burn incense to mask the smell, but cabin 114 has the highest amount of fumes from the engine, even when it is not moving as it powers all the systems and lighting. The boat is also refuelled next to that room, and when the boat starts to move, the fumes are substantially increased. We only noticed the Carbon Monoxide fumes once we began moving, he became very pink, was very drowsy and confused, and it caused my husband severe breathing problems, it can kill you if you are not careful, I would advise you to take a carbon monoxide detector with you, if you notice a family member going pink, not sun pink but everywhere, stay as far away from the cabin as you can. We forced them to move us as he was by this time seriously ill with a fever and swelling in the leg. We would have slept in the bar to get away from the danger had they not moved us on the third day.

We then had room 229 which is a reps room, it is tatty next to the engine, very noisy, but safer, it is usually occupied by one of the reps one mattress is bearable, the other is so old and mashed with springs poking through,it was impossible to sleep on, that was the bed I had as my husband was so ill, and needed his sleep, the rep refused to come and see us at any stage during the cruise, he did complain to other guests that he was very ill from being in the room that first night that we cruised, which increases the fumes dramatically.

After the visit from the Emergency Doctor on the fifth night as his condition was worsening, we got moved to cabin 304 which was lovely, but it was only for the last two nights of the cruise, we had to pack and unpack three times on this cruise, but it did mean we were in a safer nicer and more comfortable cabin for Christmas eve and Christmas day, which was nice after the hell we had already gone through. By this time, he was seriously ill, and was hospitalised once we got to our resort for the second week of our holiday from hell.

If you are elderly or young, you are at great risk from cabin 114, and the others particularly on that side of the boat, and if anybody lit a match in any of those rooms, I believe it would be a fireball. I don't know whether the fumes caused him to develop a serious abscess in his leg, but it could not have helped as I am sure it lowered his immune system.

They know about the problem and have spent a good deal of money in putting serious air conditioners in those rooms, but only those rooms, all the others have no real air conditioners, but they continue to use this boat which should be taken out of service immediately until it is fixed, if it can be fixed. Before long somebody will die in one of those rooms. That is why they are the only rooms with working Air Cons, none of the other have it.

I don't blame the staff, they are all hard working, and allowed me to take food and refreshments to our room when my husband was so ill as to not be able to go down for a meal, however they were anti it until we got the emergency doctor out to him. He was perfectly well prior to getting on the boat, and has had to have two surgeries in Egypt, followed by another surgery in the UK to deal with the damage to his leg. He is currently still hospitalised, and could be there for some time and may have to be on treatment for up to a year. The swelling in his leg was not DVT, and it took two days for him to have a severe fever, and oedema in his leg, which worsened throughout the cruise.

After the cruise we had a week in a wonderful complex 200 miles away, but had a tyre blow out on the way there in the coach, which like most vehicles was poorly maintained, and the tyres are only replaced when they blow up, and one of the coaches also had a blow out on the way back to Luxor. Standards are not what they should be, and safety is low on the priority of the owner of this boat, or the tour operators still sending people to sail on this boat, they do not want to know about the danger.

If you are on the first floor 114, 112, 110, 113, 111, etc, opposite to where reception is, at the front of the boat, spend as little time as possible in the rooms, and do not allow anybody to ignite anything in those rooms. We were unable to have any holiday due to what happened, He was ill in the room for the whole cruise and after was in hospital for 4 days and an outpatient having to go to hospital for the other three. This was our Christmas and New Year holiday from Hell.

Please take care if you are booked on this cruise.

Everything else seemed minor in comparison to this, but I will give the heads up on a few other things:

Arriving at Luxor Airport, there is no clear direction, and nobody could tell us what coach we were on, we were pointed to the bank in the airport to have our visa's put in, and it cost us £10 each, however other passengers for the same cruise were directed to a table where the visa was put in, but they had to pay between £15 and £20 for their visa to a tour rep, and we were prevented from boarding the coach for almost an hour as they wanted us to pay another £15 to the rep, even though we had already paid.

There are dozens of people who will grab your case and push it 10 feet and then demand money from you, they all want english money and will accept any coinage. While I appreciate they are trying to make a living, most do nothing at all and still demand you pay them money, my advice is to ignore them all, and hold on tight to your baggage and your money. This part of the journey was very stressful as you have already had a long flight, and are exhausted, so easy to con.

When on the boat, many small boat owners will tether their boat to your cruise boat and throw towels and robes, and demand rediculous amounts for their fare, one passenger Tommy, had the right idea, he decided how much it was worth to him, they were asking 300 Egyptian Pounds about £34 English, and he offered them 30, £3.40 If you stick to your guns, they will sell it for much less than they originally ask. Only a fool will pay the full price. Beware when going through the locks, they are very aggressive in their selling techniques, and it can be quite intimidating.

If you do go on the cruise take every precaution to protect yourself and your loved ones. I would never go on this boat again, even if they offered me a week free accommodation in their best cabins, as it is a disaster waiting to happen, I hope it does not happen when you are on it.

The food is uninspired, and the best food we had was the liver, not that we particularly like liver, but it was the first thing that tasted like it should.

The deserts were bland, but several people coped with the soup and the deserts as most of the food was unappealing and boring.

Having said all this, that is nothing compared to the risk to your health and life if they continue to use these cabins knowing how dangerous they are.

I'm sorry if this puts a damper on your holiday, but I do not want anybody to go through what my husband has, he almost lost his life. Onl the superb work of the surgeons at the Jasmin Village Medical Centre in Hergara meant that we were able to both get home alive. Also please check with your medical insurance, we had to pay the £5,000 as Global Response rejected the claim after two weeks, by which time we were already home. Global response is the worst insurance agent I have ever dealt with.