Which Nile Cruise??

Jul 15th, 2009, 04:13 PM
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Which Nile Cruise??

Trying to decide between the Oberoi Philae and the Sonesta St Michael for Nile Cruise we're taking in January. Anyone have experience to share?
Ivy is offline  
Jul 15th, 2009, 05:57 PM
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Both are great companies.

The Philae gets excellent reviews, but when was it last refurbished? These boats do take a beating if not redone periodically, but not too many years between. The St. Michael might be a new boat of Sonesta's as unfamiliar with this name.
sandi is offline  
Jul 16th, 2009, 03:01 AM
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We were on the Philae in January 2008 and really enjoyed it - food was good/staff terrific (we had a separate private guide so can't comment on the guiding although the other patrons were very happy).

At that time all the public areas had been renovated and the guest rooms - they said they were going to renovate all the bathrooms later that year.

One reason we chose the Philae is that you don't end up in a giant rafting situation - Sonesta might be the same but I'm not sure.

Some pics on our blog - navigate on the right hand margin to the Nile Cruise area

Elizabeth_S is offline  
Jul 16th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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We did an Oberoi cruise (different boat) several years ago and it was great. We had lots of friends who went on the Philae and they all loved it. Oberoi generally does a first class job.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 03:32 AM
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I was on a Nile cruise boat a few months ago. It was the "M/Y Mirage" by the Sinai Group of hotels. Although not of Oberoi quality (and I'm an regular Oberoi client), it was very comfortable, spotlessly clean and the staff was great. http://www.miragecruise.com/ It was also far less expensive than the Oberoi if that is of interest to you.

When we pulled in one day at Kom Ombo, we walked through the Abercrombie and kent ship. Other than all the semi automatic machine guns that were being held by the soldiers all over the boat (I was not certain if they were for terrorists or for prying tourist from the "lesser" boats ), it looked fabulous. The A&K boat is not limited to A&K tours so you might want to check that as well.

I had friends who were on the Sonesta last year and did not like it. However, they may have just had a bad room--the toilet never worked correctly. They are also Oberoi regulars and they regretted not taking the Oberoi. You'll never go wrong with the Oberoi, but check out the Mirage if you want to pay a lot less, but still have a really nice boat. Get one of the top levels. All lower levels of all most boats have vibrations at the low levels.
BostonHarbor is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 03:39 AM
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And Elizbeth_S--what fabulous pictures! Love your blog.
BostonHarbor is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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No help for you Ivy, but Elizabeth_S, I love the blog! Great pictures and descriptions.
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:49 AM
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Can't take any credit for the blog and photos - all my husband's work! Will pass it on to him!
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 11:27 AM
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I just spent the past couple of hours pouring over your blog. What an amazing experience. I have been obsessed over Egytian culture since I was very young and always dreamed of going to Egypt. My husband and I are making plans to go there in the next year. I plan on using the Oberoi Philae as well. However, it seems that some of your trip was not a part of the four day cruise. How did you coordinate drivers for those locations. How did you find your personal guide Emad? Also, do you have any other recommendations? My husband and I just got married in June and have only traveled togeher once (our honeymoon)and so we both very new to planning trips...especially to a location such as Egypt. It seems pretty overwhelming so any insight you could offer would be great.

Also, my email is [email protected]

Hope your trip to Barcelona was amazing!
Natalie27 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Hi Natalie - thanks for your lovely comments!

I worked with a travel planner/guide in Cairo by the name of Ahmed Hamed Yousif. We worked together on the itinerary and he arranged all the accommodation, guides (such as Emad), ground transportation, internal air, etc.

His contact info is

[email protected]

I've emailed you as well.....happy to help if I can


PS - Barcelona was wonderful!!
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 04:27 PM
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Yikes - got my saints mixed up!! the sonesta ship is the St George!! i've seen a bunch of great reviews but would love anymore additional input.
Ivy is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 07:49 AM
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Dear Ivy,

I was trying to pick a Nile cruise ship last year -- it's not easy!

I chose the Oberoi Philae and it was truly everything I hoped it would be and more. My friends even considered it the highlight of their trip.

In addition to the wonderful rooms, food and service, I enjoyed the comparatively small size of ship -- great for small touring groups led by excellent guides. (I am very picky about guides

Also, the ship seemed to alternate docking sides - so no matter which side your room faced, your balcony faced the river 50% of the time. We had our own dock - we did not tie up with other boats at any port.

Hope this is helpful - enjoy your trip!

PS - If you are interested/have the time, I have a little youtube video of our trip from October of 2008:

m_bran is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 09:28 PM
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I really enjoyed your video-and the music. Thanks Chris
BeniciaChris is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 08:49 AM
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I did too, M_bran. I loved the use of still photos and the way you made it seem you were zooming in on them.

The video took me by surprise at first as I forgot M-bran was you. So, I'm sitting there watching it and thinking as I see the camel pictures, "Man those look familiar" and "whoa that is Nasr on the horse" - then the penny dropped and I remember that day very clearly. LOL Glad you loved it all so much when it was done!
Casual_Cairo is offline  
Aug 1st, 2009, 02:38 PM
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I decided! we're taking the Sonesta St Michael! thanks to all who helped me decide!
Ivy is offline  
Jun 16th, 2010, 04:59 AM
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Hey Ivy,would like your thoughts on the St George now that your back. Is it worth the extra money and can u please fill me in on the docking situation at night.Thanks
jet30d is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 05:34 PM
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Hi Everyone,
this thread of feedback has been extremely valuable for me! we are a group of 3 planning a custom trip and wanted to know where do you book your nile cruise. Do you book directly with the cruise liner or does anyone recommend a local tour operator?
sarahh_sf is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 09:57 PM
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I think it is best to go through an angency or tour company to book, but there are some that you can go direct to, like the Sonesta boats. You probably won't get the best rate if you go direct though - keep that in mind - the agencies that book X amount of rooms on specific boats are able to offer the better prices to you. It's just trying to find the agency that reps the boat you want, that can be the trick, I suspect.

One agency that I like, run by an American man (Ted Cookson), but based in Egypt is Egypt Panorama Tours - you can find them here- http://eptours.com/ They represent the Movinpick boats and some others, I think still. Ask them what boats and what prices they can offer you.
Casual_Cairo is offline  
Jul 6th, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Has anyone tried the Presidential Nile cruises? Their rates seem competitive with movenpick boats but I haven't heard much about them- has anyone heard or has any feedback? thank you!
sarahh_sf is offline  

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