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Reviewed August 2, 2013

A “Last Minute Bargain” resulted in a great trip on the Nile…
On June 28th, we celebrated our 38th Wedding Anniversary whilst enjoying a fantastic 7 nights on the MS Grand Rose. We received excellent service throughout our Nile Cruise (Red Sea Holidays)!
It was a late booking and for the price we were nervous, you know what they say “if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is!” This was our first river cruise and although we have done many ocean cruises, we didn’t know what to expect. We shouldn’t have worried; it turned out to be one of our best holidays ever!!!
We flew from Manchester on a Thompson flight. Entry cards were handed out and we completed them before landing at Luxor Airport. Upon arrival we went straight to the airport booths to buy our Visas, at a cost of £10 each. DO NOT buy them from the reps, they will charge far more!!!
The cabins are all spacious, beautifully furnished and cleaned to a high standard. All have a safe and fridge. There are lovely picture windows; however, when moored up at Aswan or Luxor alongside other boats, the view is blocked by the other cruise boats. It didn't spoil our trip as we spent a lot of time on the sun deck and not inside the cabin! Toiletries are provided and there is a hairdryer in the bathroom, but its low wattage and very slow (I was glad that I had taken my own). The cabin boys were fantastic and arranged different towel arts every night, amazing!!!
On the first night we were led to a table which was to be ours for the week. Thankfully, we enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers. The food choice was amazing, delicious, varied and plentiful. The manager and staff in the restaurant were fantastic and all went the “extra mile” to ensure that everyone was happy. They sang and served cakes to anyone celebrating a birthday/anniversary – it certainly made our anniversary extra special when we were gently persuaded to get up and join in this tradition!
The MS Grand Rose is all inclusive and well worth it! Water, soft and alcoholic drinks, including cocktails were available from 9am-midnight!! Tea and coffee was available during the day on the sun deck where afternoon tea (pancakes & cakes) was also served. Bottled water was available from the bar, we used to get ours the night before a trip and put in the room fridge for the next day.
Our Egyptologist/Guide for the week was Hadey; we felt so lucky to be in his group. He was very knowledgeable and able to answer any questions asked of him. He advised us on everything we needed to know and was available 24/7 – making sure we had everything we wanted.
Tipping was very straight forward (unlike ocean cruising!!!) we paid £20 per person in advance for the week. This is then shared out between all the staff. It doesn't include the services of the guide - we happily tipped Hadey at the end of the week, he was so worth it!! You can of course tip at your own discretion throughout the cruise.
The bar on the sun deck was a lovely place to sit and watch the world go by. Waiters would come round all day and night refilling empty glasses. Freddie was fantastic - he looks like the Freddie Mercury!!!! Sun beds were always available and pool towels were provided free of charge. The pool was small but adequate and a perfect place to cool down under the blazing sun.
The entertainment which was really good fun, included a belly dancer and an Egyptian night. Your must take part in the Egyptian night it’s great fun. You can get an outfit on board, but it’s much cheaper to buy while out and about – we paid about £5 each for ours.
We had 10 free excursions included in the package – they were all amazing. We also visited Abu Simbel and the Nubian visits – both highly recommended. Be aware that most are early starts, thus avoiding extreme heat. We soon settled into a routine of early starts, followed by lazy afternoons on the sun deck. Oh and the Karnak Sound and Light show is a must, but you can book it yourself and save ££’s. The boat moors right in front of the Karnak temple. The boat charges £30 for the Karnak light show which includes a horse drawn carriage around Luxor, but you can do it yourself for £10 either on Monday you arrive (English at 7pm) or the Sunday night (English at 8pm).
The boat is absolutely fantastic and we met some great people and we can confidently recommend it.
We returned home on July 3rd 2013 when sadly, due to the tense political situation in Egypt, a lot of people in Luxor had their holidays cut short. Thomson’s sent a gigantic plane to pick up "British" holidaymakers as well as staff. People due to go out also had their holidays cancelled. It’s tragic because Egypt is such a beautiful country as are the people we met…

Date of experience: June 2013
5  Thank aldo28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

We went to Egypt last December. We cruised from Luxor to Aswan and returned to Luxor on MS Farah ship.
MS Farah ship was amazing, modern theme, very clean, great food and excellent service. There was not a single thing we can fault about the ship.
Visited Luxor & Karnak temple, Valley of the Kings, Philae temple, Abu Simbel, Edfu temple and Kom Ombo.
It was a magical experience. We could not believe how creative ancient egyptians were. Thier architecture and engineering simply unbelievable.

We could have covered all the sites in one way cruising, tehrefore felt 7 days cruising was bit excessive.
The bit I didn't like about egypt was tour guides and vendors. Tour guides are more interested in taking you to shops than showing the attractions. As they they get big commission from inflated prices. So be careful when tour guide says I'll take you to nice shops.

They other bad experience was street vendors, they are very aggressive sellers.

Also any person do any sort of things expect a tip. Even as simple as 'you can take a better picture from this angle'

Date of experience: December 2012
1  Thank iV0yager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Have recently returned from a fantastic holiday in Egypt from 1st to 17th July of which the first week was on a Nile cruise, and the remainder spent at Hurghada. We had planned to spend 2 nights in Cairo/ Giza but followed the tour agent's advice and gave that a miss due to the security situation there. The cruise (on the MS Esadora) was excellent in every way taking in all the sights from Luxor to Aswan and the optional trip to Abu Simbal (we flew, i think it would be a long drive at this time of year). Our guide/ Egyptologist, Elia, was excellent and so helpful in making all the necessary arrangements, giving advice and keeping us up informed of changes to plans. The standards on the ship were very high, food was great and varied, rooms were kept immaculately, service throughout was always friendly and welcoming. As others have noted, the sad part was knowing that the staff would be laid off afterwards due to lack of bookings. We saw many cruise ships laid up in ports along the way and were told there are only around 40 ships currently operating out of 400 or more due to lack of tourist numbers. On the up side, for us anyway, this meant that all the temples etc were very uncrowded - we found ourelves alone in Abu Simbal, for example, which was fantastic. We saw no hint of trouble while we were there although we were advised against the evening trip round Luxor on our last night due to a political rally. Overall, we had a great cruise and would like to thank Jane at Orbital Travel for making the arrangements together with the last minute changes - everything was well organised and ran very smoothly despite the problems outside their control.

Date of experience: July 2013
4  Thank freeroddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

Wondering if any has traveled recently on a Nile cruise with the travel warning and recent unrest, mainly in Cairo. The last travel warning update was July 4th.
We are contemplating a Nile cruise at the end of September and would love to get feedback or opinions on travel safety on the Nile on an upscale cruise ship. We would love to take advantage of great pricing, but certainly do not want to risk our lives.
Thanks for your comments and feedback!

Date of experience: July 2013
3  Thank mcada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

We spent 4 nights on Domina Prestige Emilio 5* superior. I really enjoyed this cruise and would love to to a longer one next time.

Date of experience: May 2013
Thank Julvol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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