Health/Hygiene on Nile Cruises


Aug 16th, 2004, 03:32 AM
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Health/Hygiene on Nile Cruises

My friend and I are planning a Nile Cruise in November. Someone, however, told us that there's a good chance we'll catch a stomach bug because food preparation on board doesn't involve totally clean water (ie don't eat any salads) and because of ineffective refrigeration.

This has put my friend - who likes things to be scrupulously clean - off the trip and I must admit, it's given me a few concerns.

How seriously should we take this warning?


Channel_Isles is offline  
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Aug 16th, 2004, 03:57 AM
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We did the Nile Cruise on the Movenpick Radamis boat and with the exception of an older woman who took ill - which didn't have anything to do with food - we were not aware of anyone of the 100 passengers who was ill with stomach problems.

There definitely is refrigeration on board these boats - for meats, dairy products, fish, etc. The boats have water purification systems, though if one prefers to avoid ice cubes, they certainly should. We didn't, and looked forward to mango or guava juice over cubes when we returned after most sightseeing in the heat - very refreshing.

There was no lettuce on board nor did we see this anywhere else in Egypt, but we ate watermelon, and cucumbers and tomatoes. Mummy Tummy didn't get us.

I believe there are some boats that might be preferred over others as far as sanitation goes - so would assume the Sonesta, Oberoi, Movenpick boats might be the best. But there are new boats coming online yearly, so you should inquire for details. Though I can't tell you what specifics you might be able to find out about the health precautions taken in Egypt versus other countries. But then intestinal problems occur everywhere - never any guarantees.

Of course travelers should only use bottled water, onboard as well as at hotels and restaurants, and which is available throughout Egypt and inexpensive. Should you or your friend be apprehensive, I'm sure you can avoid those foods you find questionable - you still won't go hungry.

In the end it's a personal decision.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 08:11 AM
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I agree with Sandi - my family and I cruise on the Sun Boat 4 and non of us, as well as the other passengers that we knew of, had any stomach problem. My daughter drank milk everyday, my wife ate a lot of fruits and vegetables and I ate ice cream everyday.

Being a boat owner myself I did ask about their fresh water supply(tap water) and they told me that use a good water filter and that they regularly service them.

Hanuman is offline  
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Aug 16th, 2004, 03:00 PM
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Pick a quality boat and enjoy your trip it will be a river cruise to remember.
atlcity is offline  
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Aug 17th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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Regardless of the cruise part, your friend may be distressed by some shore places. Many of the bathrooms at historic sites are very dirty, smelly and odd, by Western standards. Near Cairo, the Nile is very polluted - we saw shop owners cleaning sidewalks in front of their shops so they gleamed - and then turn around and throw all the rubbish directly into the Nile. We saw dumpsters emptied into Nile. Cairo is a big city, with all the associated grime, made worse by the fact it so rarely rains that dust can be everywhere.

None of this detracted in any way from our trip 3 years ago - but if your friend is upset by things not "scrupulously clean" s/he may not be comfortable.
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Aug 17th, 2004, 11:11 AM
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We found everything to be super hygienic on our small Nile cruiser, although it was 'only' a 4*. We did get salad and other raw vegetables which we avoided although no-one got sick on our boat. They do use purified water to prepare the food, ice cubes etc.
It's not just the food that causes sickness. Also jetlag, the big changes in temperature etc. are major factors. You don't have to worry if you use common sense.
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