MS Magic Hotel, Nile Cruises
"Just came back from a cruise on the Magic 1, it was absoloutely brilliant can't wait to go back. When we arrived at the boat the marine boys took all our luggage from the bus to our cabins. We went all inclusive which I think is the best way to go. Our cabin was very very clean, and the house boys always did different designs with the towels, the cabin was of a decent size and had a safe, our room was on the 4th floor. There are some shops on the boat where you can buy galabayas, jewellry, souveneirs, and postcards.
The dining room was on the bottom floor and you were allocated your seat for the week, we met up with some lovely people at our table, the food was all buffet style and was of a varied selection, the waiters got to know what you drank and had your tipple waiting for you when you dined, which I thought was a nice touch.
There was entertainment a few nights in the week, including a galabaya night where everybody joined in and got dressed up and took part, (it's what you make it) our group were absoloutely brilliant we all joined in and had a ball.
On our last night the captain joined our group for a while, and I think he enjoyed our company
The excursions that were included were all well worth it, our Egyptologist Ernest was great he had perfect English and really looked after you when you were out on excursions, he was with us all the time.
The tours started early, but was well worth it, because you got out before it got busy and before it got too hot and then got back for lunch on the boat.
There is extra excursions available if you want to do more.
The captain also gave us a tour of the boat including the kitches, which were spotless, there were different rooms for preparing different foods so there was no chance of cross contamination, and they also had temperature control
We had a little while at the market in Aswan, just be sensible and watch your valuables, just like anywhere else, there are some traders that are quite pushy but a firm NO usually does it, I like the haggling for stuff and I think if you can have a laugh along with them they are usually quite happy and when I agree a price for something in my head I always convert it back into my own money and think I would pay that at home for it. Ernest waited in a cafe at the end of the market for us, in case we needed help about anything and then made sure we were all on the bus safely.
We were told that there was a tipping policy of £20. per person for the week which was shared amongst all staff and £10. for your Egyptologist. I thought that was a good thing it saved you worrying about what to tip, but I think most people gave a bit extra to the staff that were more attentive to them.
All the staff on the boat were lovely.
I don't know why people are scared to go to Egypt, it's a lovely country with lovely people and so much history, I felt safe at all times and never saw any trouble."
- Holiday details: Feb 2012, All Inclusive, booked with Cosmos
- Advice: Just get out there and do everything, join in on all the entertainment on the boat, don't be shy,
5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"My husband, sister and I went on a Nile Cruise on the MS Magic 2 on 30 May 2011. Booked through Archers Direct one month before we left, it was a last minute thought which proved to be amazing.
Fantastic value for money, our rooms were a good size with lovely big picture windows and my sister had to pay a minimal amount for her single room which turned out to be the same size as the doubles. The staff were extremely attentive and helpful and the boat was spotlessly clean.
The food was buffet-style, very tasty and never boring and we made some lovely new friends who were seated on our dining table.
Archers/Cosmos arranged all of our tours, which were included in the all inclusive price and although the early morning starts were a little daunting at first, it was definitely a good idea and meant we missed the burning sun and were back on the ship early enough to enjoy a relaxing day. We had an Egyptologist, Alaadin, on the boat with us all week and he was brilliant. He made everything so interesting and had a great sense of humour. Thank you Alaadin.
I would recommend anyone to do one of these cruises. We were blown away by the history in this wonderful country.
It is so sad that people are afraid to go to Egypt now because of recent troubles. Please don't be. We felt safe everywhere and it is so worth making the effort for the benefits you will gain from the trip."
- Holiday details: Jun 2011, All Inclusive, booked with Cosmos
4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We had never cruised before and from this experience I will most certainly do it again. This was our honeymoon and also fell over my birthday. A week cruise from Luxor to Aswan and back with cosmos. The cruise ship was very clean and had very good facilities considering the space you have on a boat. It had a wonderful personal touch and the staff went out of their way to make you enjoy the experience. On my birthday they went the extra mile, I was very impressed with the effort demonstrated. The food was nice and there was lots of variety, our waiter was very attentive so a special mention to Apoud - Thank you! The included excursions were fabulous and balanced the holiday so that you saw enough of Egypt but also got to relax, the early mornings were not always loved but well worth it when you beat the crowds at the places of interest as well as avoiding the mid day sun and heat - it was very well planned. There are also lots of optional trips offered giving you the option to do more and they are very reasonably priced for what you get. We done the Aswan City Tour where we took in a lot more of the culture including going to the market, which was most definitely an experience. We also done quad biking and camel riding when docked in Luxor which we would most definitely recommend. Other trips include - Abu Simbel, Karank sound and light show, Hot Air Balloons. You are put in a group and assigned an Egyptologist who escorts you to all the sights and gives you loads of information, ours was very entertaining and would like to say Thank You to Shereen, you made our excursions extra memorable.
This was an amazing experience and even though at 25 and 26 the majority of travellers were older than us, it was thoroughly enjoyed and would be by most ages. A busy and relaxing week and we made lots of new friends - its a shame that due to recent events in Egypt tourism has seen a decrease. If you are considering this, stop and just do it.
Thanks to all of the Magic 1 staff - Fabulous!!!"
- Holiday details: Apr 2011, All Inclusive, booked with Cosmos
5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"As a single traveller I was allocated a single cabin on deck 4 - cabin 430. It was at the back of the boat with just 2 small portholes, one one the side and one on the back. Despite being several decks above the engines, the cabin suffered from incredible NOISE and VIBRATION when the boat was sailing; at night it was almost impossible to sleep. The sound of the engines was bad enough, but the vibration was worse: everything in the cabin shook violently: the shower doors, toilet, wardrobe doors, walls, ceiling, even the bed! Apart from the cabin, everything else was fine."
- Holiday details: Nov 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Cosmos
14 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We travelled to Luxor to Board MS Magic 1 in November 2010. I had been to Luxor some 15 years previously but had never cruised before.
The rooms were very clean with a personal safe, which did not work at first but reception quickly sorted this out so that I could leave my valuables safely locked away which made me feel a whole lot better. My only criticism of the room was that the hairdryer was very poor. I have thick hair so the hairdryer took ages to use, but this would be ok if you have short or fine hair. Hairdryers are not permitted, neither are irons, kettles or hair straighteners! I did take my straighteners with me, and used them but was very careful to ensure I unplugged them and packed them away after each use. I did the same with my travel iron. Naughty I know, but needs must! My bed was really comfortable and the room was much more spacious than I had anticipated.
The room did have lots of light switches which was confusing, but there again it was nice to be able to change the lighting so much.
As ever, many of the locals outside the ship were quite annoying, wanting money for absolutely everything (even for handing you a sheet of toilet paper). This is their way of life and is to be expected and I suppose will continue.
On arrival at MS Magic 1 we were told that ideally we should tip £10 per traveller at the beginning of the trip and £10 per traveller at the end. Envelopes were provided for this, but at the end of the trip another envelope appeared for the Egyptologist also, wanting another £10 each. So that is £30 per traveller in tips before you even spend any of your hard earned holiday money on yourselves folks!!!
The excursions included were very good (although tiring), but please take care when boarding motorboats and felucas as health and safety is non existent.
Water was free as you can't drink the tap water. The restaurant service was excellent and the food was varied and interesting to try. I found the bar service not so good and on a couple of occasions was served the wrong drink. One of the staff speaks no English.
I would not recommend leaving the boat without a guide as the locals will just hassle, hassle, hassle you for money and they can be quite dangerous and agressive.This is such a shame.
When travelling to and from Egypt please ensure that your cases are locked with a padlock. When we arrived at Luxor airport to go home, the guy "helping" to unload the coach was trying to break into my partner's suitcase right away! If you leave a bag open anywhere, chances are things will get stolen. One of the ladies on our trip had her mobile phone stolen from her bag while having a coffee in a market. Be very wary of small children milling about.
I love Egypt, always have and always will, but the hassle from locals and demands for money from every direction makes it not a good place also. I don't think I would cruise again, not because of Magic 1, but because of demands for money and the sheer hassle."
- Holiday details: Nov 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Cosmos
36 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Super Holiday took it for our Silver Wedding Boat was superb staff excellent and inclusive drinks local but good
The food was very good and varied we had a tour of the kitchens and they are scrupulously clean and well segregated
Inclusive trips not bad if you don’t mind getting up early Disappointed with the onboard DVD man poor quality recording and editing other tan that super week and I would recommend to friends"
- Holiday details: Aug 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Cosmos
11 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"My family and I have just arrived back from a cruise on the Nile.
We travelled with Cosmos setting off from Manchester Airport on the 19th July for a seven day cruise to celebrate my birthday on the Nile.
We flew out to Luxor from Manchester airport with Monarch Airlines. A comfortable 5½ hour flight, arriving in Luxor at 4.30pm (their time, two hours ahead of ours). A swift transfer from the airport via a coach and we were on our boat, the Magic Two.
The ship is impressive, very clean, plenty of space over five decks, the top being the sun deck. The sun deck is the full length of the boat and complete with a welcome swimming pool and believe me, you will want a dip just to cool down. Some of the sun deck is covered so you can choose to be in the shade or the sun. There are plenty of sun lounges and seats for all.
Our cabin was the same as all the others, a good size room with two single beds which were very comfortable. Plenty of wardrobe space and cupboards for clothing. There is no iron and you are not allowed to use a travel iron because of fire risks. You can ask the staff to iron anything at a small cost. One complete side of the room is glass so you could go to sleep or wake watching the Nile float by.
The bathroom was large enough with all you need. The hair dryer is powerful enough to dry without any problems.
The cabins are very clean and comfortable and cleaned twice a day whist you are out or in the dinning room..
The whole staff on the boat and amazing. They are so friendly and can’t do enough for you. The chef in the dinning room works miracles, cooking up some lovely dishes. Each meal is a buffet and the choice is extensive for meat eaters and vegetarians. They offer English food and Egyptian. They offer a range of Egyptian breads with each meal. Try them all, they are lovely.
If it is your birthday or a special occasion and they know about it in advance (tell your tour rep when booking your ho9liday) the Chef makes a special birthday cake and all the staff sing to you. The cake is then given to you. Another lovely touch. Very special.
If you like a beer or wine etc, it is cheaper to book
all -inclusive as the drinks can be expensive otherwise.
We had no problem with poorly tummy’s. The trick is to wash your hands before each meal and take alcohol cleansing gel with you. Use alcohol cleansing gel before each meal. Also use it after you handle their money and a number of times throughout the day. Only drink bottled water and wash your teeth in bottled water. Stay away from tap water, any food washed in tap water, ice cream made from water, that sort of thing. Common sense really and you will be fine.
On board with you is a fully qualified Egyptologist who will take you on all the tours to the temples and explain the history of each. If you are very, very lucky, you will have Ernest. His knowledge is extensive and his love for his country’s history is infectious and he makes it so interesting he just draws you in. We never got tired of listening to him. He made the holiday.
The trips out to the temples were all early starts to avoid the heat of the day and the crowds. There are so many wonderful trip to go on. A must to see is the trip to Abu Simble. For us this was not in the cost of the holiday but an extra. We choose to fly there and back, (a thirty minute flight each way ) to allow us to be there to see the sunrise at Abu Simble. Something to behold. To do it by coach it is 4½ hours each way and you miss the sunrise.
As part of the excursions you visit markets and bazaars. This is an experience. The guide will advise you on what to expect and how to haggle but it is still and shock the first time you come face to face with the market holders. At first you feel like a piece of meat that has been thrown to the lions but you quickly learn how to say NO and how to haggle and get the best price. They expect you to haggle and enjoy it as much as you do. They key is to stay calm, don’t let them fluster you and stick to your price. If they don’t agree, walk away and they will call you back and if your price is fair you will get what you want.
There are so many trips and all are an experience to treasure. All show you the real Egypt. This is not a holiday for those who like to sit on the beach and do nothing.
Half-way through the week, after the evening meal , they hold a dance on the sun deck where you are encouraged to wear the local dress. This does not cost much and is cheaper bought from the markets rather than on board. It is a cracking night and lots of fun.
The heat is full on and very dry. The temperatures are 45 degrees in the shade rising to 50 - 60 in the sun. While we were there it reached 52 degrees. You NEED you sun block and MUST drink plenty of water. When you can’t stand it anymore, the boat is air-conditioned and a lie down in your cabin will cool you down. One thing to say. There are no lifts on this boat so I can’t see how anyone disabled would manage if they can’t climb the stairs. Also they are stairs to and within the temples.
We had never been to Egypt before but have now fallen in love with the people and its culture. It is so very different to the way we live here, but that is its beauty and fascination. I would recommend this holiday to anyone with an open mind and an eagerness to explore the world. I strongly recommend the Magic Two and all that work on it and I hope you are lucky enough to have Ernest show you around. If you have all that, you are in for a wonderful time."
- Holiday details: Jun 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Cosmos
- Advice: This cruise is fun, relaxing and extremely enjoyable, allowing you to see sites that are
- Good For: , City Breaks
41 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"If you just read all of the good parts of previous reviews that pretty much covers it for me.
I was a bit concerned that, at 37 and 32, my partner and I may be a little young for this holiday but that was not the case at all; there was a good mixture of ages and different types of people too.
You were up very early for most days for the trips but when you felt the heat and saw the crowds later in the day you feel grateful for the early starts. All of the trips were excellent - we did every one which was included and a couple of the optional extras (hot air balloon is a must!).
The boat was beautiful; the staff friendly and helpful but not "in your face" (I admit, being blonde and from previous experiences, I was a little worried about the Arabs before we went but on the boat they were all perfect gents). The food was top notch - a great selection every meal and of great quality (there were things like beef wellington and roast duck which I would never have expected to see on an all inclusive buffet style menu). I think most of the noise in our room came from the air con. rather than the engines but even if it was the engines it never stopped me sleeping like a baby (the bed was the most comfortable ever on holiday).
Sailing down the Nile was absolutely magical; the first night we pulled back the curtains as we sailed and watched the moon and its reflection on the water and the silhouettes of the river banks - holiday perfection. Coming back up the Nile from Esna was windy but at temperatures of approx 50C it was very welcome and allowed you to sit on the top deck in the sun without being too stifled.
So, as you can probably tell, I am now a big fan of the Nile cruise and this one in particular. I will most definitely go again but give it a few years so the trips aren't too repetitive. I can 100% recommend this boat and this holiday, especially if you're into history or like sightseeing on holidays and like getting value for your money (not many holidays where daily trips and specialist guides are included in the price of your holiday)."
- Holiday details: Jul 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Cosmos
- Advice: Go for it and enjoy every minute
16 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Our cruise was organised very efficiently by Matt at Thomsons, Exeter. Within 10 days he had arranged an itinerary of our choice and we were on our way up the Nile. When we pulled back the curtains on the first morning and saw the lush banks of the Nile as we drifted by it was like being on a film set.
Our Egyptologist, Said, was great. He gave us tips on what to do to avoid bugs and how to manage the tipping etc.
He made sure we were first at all the sites and his re-enactments of historical events with members of our group were very informative and amusing. As we were a small group of 14, we had a lot of attention and we were able to chat and ask numerous questions.
Said was extremely helpful and very organised which kept us focussed. This was necessary to get the best out of the information and schedule we were given. The Cosmos rep on the other hand, when I asked a simple question was rude and unhelpful.
Abu Simbel was magical; we arrived at dawn and watched the sunrise. It was worth the middle of the night flight and the extra cost.
The optional extras not to be missed were the Magic Horizon Balloon flight and the Karnak Sound & Light Show.
Although very interesting the excursions we would have been happy to opt out of were the visits to the Alabaster workshop, the Nubian essence house, the Papyrus workshop and the Gold gallery. The ever outstretched hand and the heat were not so good but did not diminish our enjoyment of the cruise.
At the end of the cruise we flew to Cairo for 2 nights; wish we had stayed longer. Our travel advisor, Mahmoud, was excellent, very informative and interesting. He arranged for us to have and 8 hour day trip with a driver and guide at a cost of £65 per person. This was extremely good value. Our guide was Magdalena and she went out of her way to make sure we did everything we wanted to do in 1 day. We visited the Pyramids, Sphinx, Citadel, the Bazaar, where we had lunch, and the Museum. I even had a ride on a camel which was very amusing and great fun. Make sure you do not linger too long at the Citadel, as you need plenty of time at the Museum. (This is why we should have stayed longer!).
We flew back to Luxor for 5 nights in the Iberotel Hotel. Make sure that if you book a superior room it is at the front of the hotel with a Nile view.
In Luxor we were able to visit the Museum and visit the Temple again. We spent a very pleasant few days relaxing by the pool.
Take a variety of currencies. We took American dollars, Euros, Sterling and Egyptian pounds. Best value was dollars to settle bill in Cairo and Euros at Airport. We tipped with one dollar bills as it was difficult to get small change in local currency. Thomson's advice was very good.
We had a wonderful time and this holiday came up to our expectations."
- Holiday details: May 2010, Cruise all inclusive, Cairo and Lux, Booked Independently
- Advice: An excellent cultural holiday
16 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We have recently returned from a week on the MS Magic 1. Please let me warn all of those that are going on this boat to please ensure you do not get allocated cabins 325 - 327 which are on deck 3. These cabins are directly over the engines and if you are a light sleeper be warned. We had one overnight sailing and couldn't sleep because of the noise and vibration. During the day we couldn't sit in the cabin when the boat was moving. We had paid extra to be higher up the boat and to get a picture window, for what it's worth we didn't use it for this purpose as when we were moving the noise was horrendous. My husband has spent many years in the Royal Navy and he said he has never encountered noise and vibration like this.
When we were docked we couldn't have the curtains open because of other cabins looking directly into yours. We did request a change of cabin but was informed that the boat was full. I believe that the last six cabins on decks 3 and 4 suffer the same problems. You get a constant noise from the generators whilst docked and as well as hearing everybody elses. The fumes from the boats when all together is pretty bad and sitting up on the top deck was not pleasant.
I would say that the boat is adequate for your needs although it could do with a bit of updating. I certainly don't think it's 4 star more like 3 star. The staff were execellent very helpful and worked extremely hard. They kept the boat beautifully clean at all times. The food was average but there were a few that went down with bad tummies. It certainly helped being All Inclusive as you need to drink plenty of water and this would have cost quite a bit over the week.
We did enjoy the trips they were fantastic. We also had spent 2 days in Cairo prior to the cruise. We stayed in the Movenpick Hotel which I can highly recommend.
I don't want to sound too negative but I don't wish somebody else to suffer like my husband and I did, with the trips you do, you need to be refreshed instead of being tired all the time."
- Holiday details: Mar 2010, booked with Hayes and Jarvis
20 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Having already taken two Nile cruises, I decded to embark on this one with my 82 year old mum. Following a hard winter she needed some sunshine and relaxation. We chose this cruise because of the all inclusive option and decided not take the trips to temples but to stay on board.
We arrived at Gatwick just as chck-in was opening but I was unable to secure a window seat for my mum. No problem..we sat either side of the aisle. Much to my horror the two people who sat beside me were of humungous proprtions and I was forced on to only half of my seat. In order to accommodate their ample bodies the armrests had to be in the upright position...Not a good start. Add to this the fact that they kept needing to make use of the toilets and that the female in the party had the window blind pulled down for the entire journey I was a little miffed.
On arrival at Luxor airport, which I have to say is amazing compared to the one I remember, we were greeted by a Cosmos rep who showed me where we could purchase our visas. I know that they are £12 each and the rep reiterated this to me. Mum and I joined the back of the queue and were given two pieces of paper to stick in our passports. The Egyptian male who gave us the visas then asked for £25...when I told him that I knew the price and that he was trying to con me he replied "You are English and can afford it".
We were taken by coach to the boat, our luggage was portered to our cabin and we were settled. The cabin contained two very comfortable single beds, a wardrobe, a dressing table. bedside tables, mini-bar, and a television. the bathroom had a very decent shower cubicle (far too small for the people I sat by on the plane) a toilet and a lovely wash-basin. Only one very small criticism of the cabin...it looked a little jaded and could have done with brightening up. This also applied to all the public areas.
Sadly this was not so much a Nile cruise as a trip up and down a river on a boat, which for most of the time was docked in either Aswan or Luxor. We spent two nights docked in Aswan and a futher three in Luxor...During these periods, due to fact that other boats were tethered either side of us, the curtains in our cabin and in the dining room had to be closed. As the boat had quite dark decor this gave a depressing feel to the place. On the sun deck all the adjacent boats and ours had their engines running omitting dense, choking fumes..add to this the fact that they were all playing different music, you can imagine how peaceful this was..NOT!!
Besides the negatives I have mentioned, on the up side I have to say that the boat was spotlessly clean, the bedding was changed daily. The bathroom towels changed twice a day. The menu in the dining room gave excellent choices and the staff were fabulous.
My mum had never been on the Nile before and despite being docked for the majority of the time (inhaling enough black fumes to kill a herd of elephants) she thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
Sadly my journey back to the UK aboard a Monarch plane was even more horrific than the outbound. This time I was once again seated next to someone who needed my seat as well as her own. This meant that for the majority of the trip my left shoulder was out in the aisle. Every time anyone walked passed my they made cantact with it!!
What REALLY bugged me about the plane journeys is that when we checked in at Gatwick my hand luggage was weighed and I was warned that it was nearly up to permitted limit. Had my hand luggage, mum and me have been weighed I am sure that we would have been lighter that my fellow travelling companions!!"
- Holiday details: Mar 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Cosmos
- Advice: Pay more...get more cruisng
29 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"I had never been on a cruise before or to Egypt for that matter. The boat was amazing, beautifully fitted cabins and bathrooms. Nice easy layout. The staff were all helpful and friendly. The towel sculptures on the beds daily were a nice touch and at times very amusing.
The temples and tombs are breathtaking. Don't miss the hot air balloon ride over Valley of the Kings (even if you don't like heights, well worth it and not at all scary)
The Egyptologist (Shareen) was brilliant, very knowledgeable and funny, she had us like a well oiled machine by the end of the week :D.
The only negative I can think of was the so called masseuse, avoid them like the plague, not what was advertised, the foot reflexology was basically a pedicure!!! And the one hour massage took 20 mins.
The gallabear evening was fabulous and great fun, the food was plentiful and tasty. All in all a fantastic holiday and one I would recommend and do again. Suitable for any age group, although there is a lot of walking involved."
- Holiday details: Feb 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Cosmos
15 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Rating by feature
" Take lots of small english money with you as this proves much more valuable if you are wanting to buy from the street sellers and markets "
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