oberoi philae or sonesta moon goddess?

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Sep 5th, 2003, 04:49 PM
  #1
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oberoi philae or sonesta moon goddess?

i plan to travel to egypt and take a cruise on either the philae or the sonesta.
the philae is recommended by CN traveller and has apparently excellent guides, but the moon goddess seems to be very good too...
this is a once-in-a-lifeime trip, and i want to be on the right boat!!! please help!!
thank you!! e.
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Sep 6th, 2003, 02:54 AM
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My guess is that you will not find anyone who has been on both boats - since for most this is a once in a lifetime trip. So I can only comment on Oberoi boat.

We sailed for 4 days as part of a longer package tour. To my taste, the boat was perfect - lots of wood paneling, older fixtures - it made me feel like I was on an exotic journey 100 years ago. I am not saying it was dated or services were ancient - it just felt right rather than a more modern setting. Pool on top deck was tiny - I have seen larger jacuzzis in big hotels. Food was very good (not great). Service was great - for example, we were greated with iced face towels after dusty sight seeing trips off boat. Afternoon tea each day was a nice touch.

Since we were on a tour, we used our own guide, so can not comment on that.

Cabins obviously had been doubled in size from original construction - each had 2 tiny bathrooms and you could see line in wood paneling where a wall had been - big enough for 2 beds, a sofa, small desk - even room to walk around.

The best part of any Nile cruise is standing on the top deck of the boat and watching what could be ancient Egypt go by. At the locks on the Nile local kids row out in leaky boats and try to sell you stuff. They are able to throw items (blankets, etc.) up to the third level of the boat, you negotiate after seeing the item and then throw agreed upon money down in plastic film cannister. Another highlight of our trip.

After doing all your research, my guess is that you will be happy with either - Egypt is magic - have a great trip.
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Sep 6th, 2003, 03:33 AM
  #3
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The Philae is the best boat of the 3 on the Oberoi line. The Sonesta line, I believe, has 2 boats. And along with the Movenpick are the best on the Nile. However, many new boats have come on line and might have since outdone those above, but have yet been reviewed by Conde Nast, or been paid to do so.

But an earlier post mentioned that the Philae might be in dry-dock for repair and might not be available. If the Philae is, than their other two boats are not as comparable, but are fine.

What the Philae has that many other boats don't are terraces, however, that said, and since the boats have to be certain width to pass thru the locks, I believe, the terrace takes away from actual cabin space. So check that out - get sq.footage of cabins to compare if that is a concern.

What's nice about the Oberoi, Sonesta and Movenpick boats is that they get dock positions at the bulkhead at any sight, whereas, the other boats dock next to them and you have to walk thru each boat to the dock. Sounds confusing, but when you see it, you'll understand what I mean.

While we were on the Movenpick which was excellent, if your choice is the Philae or the Sonesta, you can't go wrong with either boat. It has nothing to do with the "right" boat, basically, they're all designed similiarly, decorated in whatever theme is chosen, are staffed with smiling personnel, good food choices - though prices will ranges change - but every boat sees the same sights.

It's your choice.
 
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Sep 6th, 2003, 04:54 AM
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Gail, were you and a spouse/friend the same Gail we met on Globus trip including Egypt in June of 2002?

Dick
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Sep 8th, 2003, 01:05 AM
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To rsnyder - no, we were there with our 2 teenagers in April 2001
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Sep 8th, 2003, 03:35 AM
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Gail,

Thanks. Wrong Gail but great trip.
Dick
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Sep 8th, 2003, 04:56 PM
  #7
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thank you very much for the information. it gives me peace of mind, that either ship is fine...
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