King of Thebes?

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Nov 24th, 2003, 04:38 PM
  #1
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King of Thebes?

Hello all, I have decided to go with Gate1, which several people have recommended for my travel to Egypt. However, the package I'm going to book includes the King of Thebes nile cruise. I am a student and can't afford the best, but is this a decent ship? Has anyone been on it? I did a board search for it and there was one review from 1998...just wondering if anyone had been on it recently! Thank you and I am SO excited!

Best,
Natasha
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Dec 28th, 2003, 03:26 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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I cruised from Aswan to Luxor on the King Of Thebes end of October 2003. My experience was very positive. Only 5 Americans onboard, and we were treated like Royalty. Celebrated my birthday, with entire crew, awesome, a birthday to remember. Coffee and/or juice is provided with breakfast meal, otherwise NOTHING to drink is provided. Bring your own bottle of water, or purchase it at meal time. Additionally, all meals are buffet style. We had beef or chicken; or chicken or fish, every meal. Not that great, or appetizing sometimes, but the soups were delicious, and the vegs were super too. Enjoy your trip, you'll have many fond memories, I'm sure.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for your helpful post. I'm unbelievably excited, and will remember to bring lots of bottled water.

Cheers-
Natasha
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 12:54 PM
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sandi
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Yes, drinks are extra, but not expensive in any way. They have some great mango and guava juices which are great after a day sightseeing.

As to water, often before boarding for the first time, you will find young men selling bottles of water. Buy from them, as their prices less than if buying on board - or stop into a grocery store (which is easier in Luxor). Buy large bottles, but also a smaller size, so you carry the smaller when out on tour and replenish it from the larger bottles. And if you can find one, buy an insulated bottle carrier which goes over your shoulder which should keep the water cold, or cool. Either warm, cool, or cold you must drink water regularly, but not so much that you have to fine the loo!

You should have a refrigerator in your cabin, set it at the coldest and leave water there overnight so it's cold next morning.

You should have a great time. Egypt is a fascinating country. Don't forget our camera and extra batteries and lots of film, unless you're into digital. Happy travels.
 
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Jan 24th, 2004, 01:24 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Hi Natasha - Don't know if your isp is aol. I found the message below posted on the Egypt board today and thought you might enjoy it.
Carolyn

Thought I would drop a note on our vacation to Egypt. 1/9 - 1/19/04
We booked through FIT (foreign independent tours) and it pretty much went off without a hitch. Flew Egypt Air non stop to Cairo and stayed at the Sheraton (El Gezirah). Very nice, but not centrally located. Flight was great. Had a 2 hour delay at jfk as a water in take valve froze open (-10 degrees) and took a while to thaw it out. Left at 1AM, and we were fed dinner around 4AM and another meal a few hours later. Whisked straight through the visa process.
First day we toured the pyramids, sphinx, solar boat, Step pyramid and museum. Paid 100 pounds to buy ticket to enter the "Great Pyramid." Well worth it from the stand point of doing it. Lot's of bending and a rather steep incline and not much to see. But again how many can say the have been inside it??
2nd Day it was windy and raining. We toured the citadel, synagogue, Coptic church, bazaar. An armed "tourist" policeman joined us at the hotel. Seems that when you do this days tour, one is assigned to the group. I have to say, at no time did we ever feel unsafe.
3rd day we flew to Aswan and then Abu Simbel. Awesome. worth the extra bucks to see this.
Flew back to Aswan and checked into our ship. "King of Thebes." Nice, comfortable clean. From what we were able to see, most ships looked pretty much the same. Ours had "sliding" patio style doors in the cabin Vs others that just seemed to have windows. The two nicest looking ships we saw were from abercromby and finch and one from sonesta. We did a 4 night/5day cruise and saw the usual sites. The colors in the tombs look like they were painted yesterday!!!!!.
Now then--impressions.
Egypt is a typical 3rd world country. Dirty, poor and lot's of soviet style 1960's-70 buildings. Once you are outside of Cairo you share the road with ox carts and mules. A two lane divided road means it is really 4 or 5 lanes. . I traveled with my 17 year old daughter, sister in law and niece (I'm 50 and male). The girls were gestured at, oogled etc. They were dressed very-very conservative-long dresses, long sleeves, head scarf. Made no difference. It really put a damper on their visit.
We were constantly pestered by street vendors. "No" only meant to them you were not interested in their first price. If you ignored them, they blocked your path wanting to know why you were not friendly. If you engaged in conversation they would start a sales pitch. We learned to just keep on walking, but then you walked into another vendor and then another and another..... And yes, the vendors speak English, French and German. We also heard Italian. Now I know "they are trying to earn a living-yada-yada-yada." But just be prepared to "run the gauntlet" when you step out of your hotel or ship or pyramids..
We came to the conclusion, that if the shop keepers learned how Americans shop--we want to browse in peace, we would have bought a whole lot more. Instead, when we were not left alone, after saying we were just looking etc a number of times, we walked. It was a real pain in the old you know what.
Now I know there are wonderful, friendly people in Egypt, but on a tour, you are not going to meet them, which is such a shame.
We did China on our own and met some great people, still write to people we met in Greece. Of all the countries we have visited (32 according to my passport), this was the worse for vendors and males in general. From the first day, unlike other countries we have visited, you knew you were not a visitor to their country, only a source of potential income. Tipping--didn't bother me. I tipped when I needed to and didn't when it was not called for or didn't ask for the service. The tipping thing was not as big a deal as the board sometimes makes it out to be. Although service charges were included in the food bills, we left money, we tipped the bell hops, guides, drivers, cruise, airport porters but beyond that we didn't. I smoke, so I usually (without being asked) offered a smoke to a guard or policeman.
Was it worth it. Oh yes. Sights were amazing, cruise was as perfect as I had hoped for.
What an amazing place. "Spectacular" still is too mild a word. I am so glad we went.
I was the only one who did not get sick. Sister-in-law got hit with Mummy Tummy the 2nd day, niece the 3rd and daughter the day we got home. I ate the same food, but chalked up not getting sick to the bottle of vodka I brought along with me--lol.
We saw only a few other American "WASP's." Lot's of French, Orientals and British. Plenty of security everywhere. As I said earlier, felt 100% safe, 100% of the time. Daughter and I walked around Cairo and Luxor and Aswan on our own with no safety issues we just used common sense as to where we went and what we did.
Don
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Jan 29th, 2004, 12:33 PM
  #6
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you guys are great! i'm no longer concerned about the ship...should be adequate for my budget needs. i really appreciate all the tips- i'm considering buying a camelback water pack to keep water cool and on me most of the day, as i expect it to be pretty hot in late march.

one other thing- is everyone sure the juices on the cruise are not reconstituted? i would hate to get sick when reaching for juice made from water i otherwise wouldn't touch.

thanks everyone,
natasha
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Feb 5th, 2004, 02:40 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Carolynim Texas said:
We were constantly pestered by street vendors...

Yeah, everyone will have the same experience. I can add something instead 'No'.

You can try some words in Arab. When I was there it was very helpful. You say no and then:
'Habeebee'= Friend
'Sokrum'= Thank you
If you are male, you can touch the vendor in the arm at the same time. It is very appreciated for muslims.

They will smile, and treat you as a King, but will keep on trying to sell you everything.

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Feb 5th, 2004, 06:04 AM
  #8
sandi
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bluescharm -

Re the juices - they were pure juice - the mango and guava. These are also served aboard Egypt Air flights.

These juices are produced in a factory, not unlike how such would be produced in the States. These Egyptian brands are even sold in stores here in NYC. If there is any water in these juices, the water has certainly been heated to a high enough temperature to eliminate any impurities, but likely the souce of this water is the same that you would buy as bottled water (not from the Nile) for your own use while in Egypt.
 
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