Domina Prestige Emilio Cruise, Nile Cruises
"3 star at best.
We have just returned from a 7 nights cruise on MS Emilio and a 4 night stay in the Old Palace Resort in Hurghada which was booked through Travel Interaction the agents in Egypt was You Travel which came under the umbrella of Meeting Point. We started our holiday with a 3 night stay at the Old Palace. The hotel was lovely a truly 5 star Hotel.
We got picked up by Meeting Point for the Journey to Luxor to the boat at 1 pm we had been told that it was a 3-4 hour journey. We in fact arrived at the boat at 7.30 pm as we had spent 2 hours travelling around Hurghada picking up which was absolutely ridiculous.
The booking it at reception was fast and we was allocated our room 329. As soon as we walked down the corridor there was strong smell of diesel as we walked towards the rear of the boat and we was the next to last cabin above the engine room. The room was dreary and was in need of redecorating and upgrading. We set sail that evening and the following morning we moored in Komombo.
We had our welcome meeting that morning we were told by the guide that the tips of £27 per person was compulsory. We found later in the week that some people had not paid this but had elected to tip individually. We booked the trips package ( which we thought some was included free with the cruise) which was the visits to Valley of the kings, Karnak, Edfu, Aswan, Komombo temple. This cost £140 per person and we also booked Abu Simbel £80 and a trip to the Nubian Village £24. We met some people who had actually booked all these trips in resorts and got them 25% cheaper.
The first trip to Komombo temple was lovely but it was just a short walk off the boat so could have been done individually at a cost of 30LE ( £3).
Aswan… 7 am start and we did the High Dam and Temple trip. Some people just caught a taxi there. The guide Ahmed was really informative but on our way back to the boat we was taken to a perfume shop where we had to endure 2 hours of sales pitch the buy perfumes and essential oils.
In afternoon we went on a motor boat to the Nubian village which was lovely and well worth the money of £24 pp.
Aswan…. A 2.45 am early morning call to go the Abu Simbel. The journey was about 3 ½ hours but the cost of £80 was well worth it. If you do this trip make sure you take a pillow with you.
Edfu… Visit to Edfu temple and then sail straight back to Luxor. Again this trip can be done individually as it is walking distance to the boat cost 30 LE (£2)
Luxor…. We were moored against a disused boat so our view from the balcony window was crates of empty coca cola bottles Which was going to be the view for the last 3-days of the cruise. The first night in Luxor I complained about a smell in the room of diesel and we had an engineer in the cabin at Midnight to investigate. The following morning we was moved to the opposite side of the boat up one floor and this room had a lovely view of the Nile. We felt a bit cheated as this was a Nile Cruise but spent 3 days moored up in Luxor. The trips to Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings was excellent be aware that you have to go through the Papyrus shops for 1 hour after the visits.
The boat MS Emilio.
Food was repetitive and tasteless with little choice. If you didn’t get in the queue early most of the food had gone and it wasn’t replenished. There was not enough cutlery in the dining room and on more than one occasion I had to stir my coffee with a fork because there was no tea spoons.. None of the chefs were wearing gloves and no tongs for handing dry food like bread. In all the hygiene was poor.
There was little regard to safety we saw fire doors propped open with fire extinguishers. The was no notice of assembly points in case of emergency and we were never told were the life jackets were stored although we found them in the wardrobe. One day we were sailing with the main doors unlocked with just a table in front. Someone complained but they dismissed it saying it would be fine.
You also got an option to upgrade all inclusive for £20 per person per day. We didn’t do this but be aware that some people we spoke to found that they were slow getting served and also you can only get served wine in the restaurant but not the bar although if you weren’t all inclusive you could buy wine in all the bars. If you wer all inclusive you could only get drinks between 11 am -11 pm and not even tea or coffee outside of these times. The drinks were expensive e.g. 42 LE (£4.20) for a 500 ml bottle of lager.
We paid at the start of the cruise £54 in tips so if everyone on the boat paid these that would be over £3500 in tips. There was 60 staff on the boat and we was told that the waiters and bar staff only see £5 of this so what happens to the other £3k.
We did have an enjoyable week sightseeing and would recommend it for this alone but the boat was in need of an upgrade it claims to be 5 star but I would rate it 3 star at best."
- Holiday details: Nov 2014, Booked Independently
- Advice: dont pay the tips tip at the end of the holiday, don't go All inclusive
2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"My wife and I sailed on the Ms Domina Prestige during February 2014 against the advice of friends who traveled on this boat in the early part of 2013 before the Foreign office restrictions. I really should have known better than disregard our friends advice, all the problems and issues that he identified where still present on board.
The sun beds and gym equipment (I use this term loosely) were poor to be kind and shameful to be honest. The covers on the bed looked like they were purchased from the cheapest market stall and never washed or cleaned. The Gym equipment had exposed wires and only worked intermittently
Our cabin, was small but we expected that given the size of the boat, but we did expect it to be clean, we did expect the bathroom to be free of cracked tiles and mold on the joints. The towels and bed linen had seen much better days (probably a very long time ago) and were now grey in color rather than white. I was amazed, given that Egyptian cotton is considered to be the best in the world yet was so poor on board.
Buffet food was passable, edible but not great, mostly just about warm, and very bland everything seemed to be the same color and texture, a bit like your worst Indian meal. The staff, chef’s and everybody on board were very good, trying to cover the problems on board. But there was only so much they could do.
The sites, amazing, the country and its people fabulous the Domina Prestige not worth the money and certainly not something I could possibly recommend, please take my friends advice and give this boat a wide berth."
- Holiday details: Feb 2014, Booked Independently
- Advice: the sites along the Nile river
Did you find this review helpful? Yes
"We had the most perfect holiday on this boat. We booked through Co-operative Travel/Classic Tours and the company on the boat were Orbital Travel. Given the political situation we had been concerned about safety, but from the moment of meeting the Orbital Guides we felt absolutely safe. The guides were helpful, informative and very knowledgeable about Egyptian architecture and history. We added all the options and so saw a lot. The bird watching option was an unexpected delight. The boat and staff were also brilliant - nothing seemed too much trouble. Everything was very clean. The food was varied, substantial and tasty - of a broadly European cuisine, with Egyptian touches. We were all-inclusive which meant not only wine/beer with meals but free bottled mineral water. Doing all the trips did mean getting less sleep, but that was well worth it."
13 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We went in a group on 19th November. The boat was excellent, very clean. The service was excellent. We reached very late because of the flight dleay. They left sandwiches, fruits and water in our cabin. Five of us were vegetarian and the chef prepared veg. dish for us everyday which was really good - 8/10. The room was good - they always do different designs of flowers or birds etc on the bed. We heard some negative reviews but good job we didn't take seriously. The bar service was good, we use to get as much water as we want. Our tour guide was George who was very good at explaining. The transport was fully a/c and was good.
Lata and Rajni Patel and Friends"
- Holiday details: Nov 2012, Booked Independently
7 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Fantastic first time in Egypt excellent holiday.Nile Cruise Oct 2012
Domina Prestige Emilio Nile Cruise boat is beautiful with high standard of cleanliness. Lovely air conditioned clean cabin. Looked forward daily to receiving origami using towels in our cabin. Fantastic views from top deck while relaxing on comfortable padded loungers and chairs in sunbathing and shaded areas. Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular. Nice pool for cooling down and towels provided. Enjoyed the massages, pedicures, manicures and reflexology available at small cost.
All inclusive was very good. We are fussy eaters and were very happy with the choices and quality of food provided. Antibacterial hand gel provided at entrance to restaurant. All inclusive drinks available from 11.30 till 23.30. Bottled water available from bar staff for taking on next day for early morning trips.
Recommend you do as many trips as possible as Egypt is rich with history and culture and friendly egyptians. We went on all of the inclusive and optional trips, our personnel favourites were the sunrise balloon ride, Karnack Temple daytime and Karnack Temple night light show but we enjoyed all of our trips. Our tour guide accompanied us on every trip and was very knowledgeable and informative. I recommend a hat, comfortable walking shoes, long shorts or cargo pants and loose cotton tops for trips to keep cool and avoid sunburn. Onboard cruise tourists wore varied clothing.
From collection at Luxor airport until we returned to UK all organised transportation in Egypt was efficiently on time and all vehicles were air conditioned we were extremely impressed. Coaches have toilet facilities.
We had a fantastic time with the British group of people on our trips, meal times and evenings together and enjoyed the friendliness of other nationalities.
Excellent team effort from the staff to ensure your holiday is an enjoyable experience. All of the staff were efficient, polite, friendly, helpful, attentive and always smiling. They made us feel very special. To name a few, Abdul the restaurant waiter provided excellent friendly customer service and table entertainment, Seyam the branch managers organisational and customer service skills are second to none. Antoine the general manager ensures that he and all his staff provide an excellent friendly customer service and nothing is too much trouble.
We constantly heard we are happy when you are happy.
ATM not available on board, this was not an issue as upon request our tour guide took us to ATMs after trips onshore. Found difficulty getting low denomination Egyptian pounds for tipping and purchasing. Suggest you order from your bank before travelling.
We experienced no issues with regard to personnel safety onboard cruise or trips.
We highly recommend this Emilio Nile Cruise to everyone and look forward to being on the same cruise next year for another excellent holiday.
Thank you very much. Kim and Willie"
Thank you so much for taking the time to share us your remarkable stay experience at MS/ Emilio Cruise during your recent visit. As a well traveled guest, your comments are valuable in helping us to maintain a high level of service and ensure that your expectations are met each visit. On this occasion, we are delighted to learn that you really enjoyed our accommodation have the opportunity to welcome you back next year with warm and gracious Egyptian hospitality. Yours sincerely,George Ibrahim assistant General Manager
- Holiday details: Oct 2012
- Advice: experience as much trips as you can.
14 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"This is the 2nd Nile Cruise for us as there is so much to see. The boat is well equiped with beautiful cabins, very clean with patio doors. no english TV but did not miss this. On the sun deck there is a fab pool, very shallow area to allow you to lay in the water to cool down and a deeper part to swim, not Olympic size but what do you expect on a Nile Cruise! Crew on the boat are very polite and please to see the British Tourists as they get involved in all the activities. You will need good walking shoes, hats and dont worry about long trousers for dinner the Germans wear shorts. Only downsside was the fully inclusive option, it is a must to have as you will drinks lots to keep cool, but the bars do not open until 11:30am so if you are back from a tour early you can either pay for a drink or wait. Get bottles of water before you go to bed at night and keep in your mini bar.
All in all this is an excellent choice of boat with a great crew and a professional tour guide. Ours was Sam who really brings the Egyption history alive."
- Holiday details: Sep 2012, booked with Classic Holiday/Co-operative Travel
- Advice: Respect the crew and they will make you welcome and help you to enjoy your trip to the full
- Good For: , City Breaks
20 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"A very good boat, was the second trip on the Nile and would recommend the Domina prestige cruise to friends and family and would travel again with them.
good clean boat, rooms very clean and cleaned everyday
good choice of food, staff very helpful and polite, nothing was too much trouble, excursions well organized.
will recommend to all my friends and family.
12 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"My husband & I were on the Emilio in June 2012 and had a wonderful time. The staff of the ship were phenomenal and they truly "made" the trip. Anything that the ship may have lacked in 5 star amenities was easily overlooked as the staff was exceptionally gracious. The spa and gym were not well equipped, but this was not a big disappointment for us as we just skipped massages and working out for the week. The cabins were clean and the beds comfortable and linens fresh. Our tour guide, Ehab, thru Flash Tours was superb. By the end of the week we felt as if Ehab and the staff on the ship were like family. One thing we found disappointing was the smoking in common areas etc. We aren't used to smoking in public spaces."
- Holiday details: Jun 2012, booked with Flash Tours
11 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Domina Prestige ms Emilio
18/06/2012 to 25/06/2012
Just returned from a Nile cruise on MS Domina with Orbital travel this is a fantastic ship very clean and
A wonderful staff, our waiter Abdul kept us stocked with plenty of wine at lunch
And dinner. Food was good and hot. Our cabin cleaner left a different design with our
Towels each night. Our guide for the week was Mina a very very good guide kept us
Fully informed and knows his Egyptian History he certainly made every trip enjoyable.
MS Domina is a 5 * ship. Only complaint and that is smoking is allowed although only on
One side of the lounge. They did try to ban it altogether apart from the sun deck but
Booking went down.
there is no troubles in this part of Egypt everyone we came across very friendly all problems
are in Cairo, but with the election now over things may calm down. Cabins are cleaned twice a day.
clean towels every day.
Not sure if Bradbrad(report further down) was on same boat because her comments are completely wrong.
Issac the orbital Rep met us at the airport and issued us our visa he then ushered us through security and to our coach Once on the boat we were introduced to Mina our guide for the week who gave us an insight into what Was to come.
Also Bradbrad could never have been on a ship before as dark wood is used a lot in cabins as for toilet facilities quite a few middle east countries do not allow paper to be flushed away.
All in all a very enjoyable week."
- Holiday details: Jun 2012, booked with orbital
- Advice: all inclusive
10 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"I had a great time on the Domina Prestige Emilio Cruise! I took a week Cruise down the Nile in June! The rooms were cleaned twice a day and were very well kept. The staff were all professional, super friendly and went above and beyond their duty. They were willing and ready to serve with a smile to accommodate any need we would have. I had a great time in the pool and I liked that it had a section to wade and just sit in the water. It could have been a bit bigger for my liking but it was still great and sufficient to cool off. The food was fresh, hot and very tasty. I thought they could have changed up the food a bit more and more variety but they did a really good job. The front desk staff were great and very helpful with the Internet and using the computers. That was much appreciated to have quick access to email people back home and stay connected and they were very committed to serve us. I would highly recommend this boat, the staff and the food! Also I really felt the staff cared for our safety and well being and being responsible that we were safe, and that was really nice as well. Thank you again!"
5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"I Have just got back from a seven day cruise on this boat. before I went I read the review left and I can say I was more than a little apprehensive
but it was great the food was good a choice of beef,chicken or fish every day, along with salads and a selection of great sweets.the same for lunch and breakfast.as for the all inclusive, yes it was between 11.30am and 11.30 pm but you could drink as much as you want.yes the beer was served in little glasses but you just got more to drink!!. the waiters in the restaurant were very good. ours was called Abdull he was great. nothing was to much trouble. the waiting staff in the bars or sundeck were good but you may have to wait a couple of minuets. the room was very clean the balcony was a patio door with enough room to both lean out of.the towels and sheets were changed every day. the room was cleaned twice a day.over all the boat was very good value for money.
the trips and guide were excellent our guide was called Mina he stayed on the boat with us and was always on hand for any questions, and when we were on trips he knew everything you asked. he was very very good.
as a review the only down side would be. I would not recommend this trip for the less able because there is a lot of walking on rough ground and the Egyptians don't tend to cater for wheel chairs"
- Holiday details: Jun 2012, Booked Independently
- Good For: , City Breaks
6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"The staff aboard the Emilio were very helpful and cheerful. Very clean rooms, with all modern conveniences. Different variety of foods each day. Pity water, tea and coffee were not included in the price of the trip. Also the smoking by a lot of the other passengers was very unpleasant for us that didn't smoke.
But overful the trip was very enjoyable and would recommend the cruise on the Nile on the Emilio to you all."
3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Rating by feature
" Take new £5 notes, pens for kids, tummy tablets. All Inclusive is cheaper as boat prices are high. "
" Refuse to be pressured into handing over "tipping kitty" at start of cruise. Tip as YOU wish. "
by sunshine bear
" Sunsets and views along the Nile were stunning "
" Don't buy perfume, papyrus, stonework at the 'shops'. All available at the airport and much cheaper! "
" Take as many excursions as you can. There is so much history and the tour guides provide a wealth of information. "
" we gave the tip in one lot at the reception for 7 nights and they share this among the drivers, guide, bar attendes etc ( whoever works there) "
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