MS Orchid

Nile Cruises
8 / 10
Average rating (39 reviews)
MS Orchid

Traveller reviews

5 / 10
Just okay

"A group of us booked a week on the MS Orchid and a week in the Iberotel Luxor. The boat was clean but dated, our room was really nice with a huge bathroom and comfortable bed. The boat was only 1/3 full so it was a nice experience as it was not to busy. The food was a bit repetative but okay, It isn't the best AI I have experienced, service in the restaurant was quick because they couldn't wait to get us out of there, bar service was virtually zero, the only time we got waited on was on the last but one day when they were all expecting a tip. One thing that no-one mentions on this site is :- Two envelpoes are left in your cabin 1 to tip the boat staff amd 1 to tip the Egyptologist and they expect around 200LE in each. We did not get the service we thought we would so that was a no goer for us. We did all the trips which were just out of this world..... do not miss Abu Simbal you will definatly regret it if you do, truly amazing. The Egyptologist on board was fantastic, his knowledge of Egyptian Antiquites was second to none. As for the holiday travel rep ...... appalling, and that is all I will say on the matter. As for the Iberotel the second week it was fantastic. I would spend another holiday on a Nile cruise but next time choose another boat."

  • Holiday details: May 2011, All Inclusive, booked with First Choice
  • Advice: Best bit is sitting on the lounge deck watching the sunsets.

8 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
fab trip to egypt

"have been back 2weeks from the most amazing hol wow was blown away by sights week cruise down the nile then to resort red sea saws pymids in second week toumbs in the first week balloon ride over valley kings and queens fab fab food and serivce great cait fault anything had a lvley rep called karen

mandy alec

  • Holiday details: Apr 2011, All Inclusive, Booked Independently

10 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
must do

"we went august last year during ramadam and loved it arabic prayer was great and i enjoyed every min staff was a1 food a1,hope to go soon and it will be the orchid again..."

  • Holiday details: Aug 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Thomas Cook
  • Advice: plenty of film

7 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
The Orchid is fantastic

"The cruise was fantastic. Egypt is a beautifull country, many things to see. The Orchid is a beautifull boat, the rooms were very good, also the airco, the beds, the bathroom. Very clean. The crew is fantastic and they will help you all the time. The food was fantastic, very tasty ans all cleaned with mineral-water, so you can eat everything.

The pool and the deck were very good to relax and with many shadow. I'll come back!

Yvonne from Holland

  • Holiday details: May 2011, All Inclusive, booked with Holland International

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
ms orchid april 2011

"i never had a cruse before and was looking forword to this holiday .

what can i say but it was fantastic the staff was fantastic could not do enough for you .

i am disabled ,only down point was i was on the lower deck at the bow of the boat so i had to climb 6 to 8 flights of stairs to reach the dining room /bar this was hard work for me a lift would of made the holiday for me .

The rooms was very clean and tidy the staff very helpfull ,the food well you had a choice of BEEF ,CHICKEN ,FISH ,ok for one or two day but after a week of the same thing (cooeked in differant ways )it was gettting a bit boring.

the seats the the main bar seating area where a bit on the low side a few high back chairs would help as getting out from the low chairs was not easy .

i whet on the trips cost of them was £155 for the luxor -aswan trips ,the extra of £79 for the abu simbil ,by bus was good value but the early start 315am was a bit early for some so word for the wise not to over do the drinks the night before).

the egyptoligest where great rabi and omar great guys and there show one night well very funny .

for people with a disabiliaty there is a lot of walking at karnak and luxor temples with no wheel chairs to help you to the gate karnak was like a mile from the ticket entrance and in 33deg heat was a chalange but well wearth the effort .

be aware of the sellers in luxor they pounce on you like a cat on a mouse but if you keep looking ahead and say no thank you you will get away from them but this was the norm at most of the sites in luxor and valley of the kings .

there are NO cameras allowed in the vally of the kings and you are serched and your bags xrayed as you go in the gate so dont bother to take it with you leave it on the bus .

the toumbs are well just brillent overwelming colors and art ,

be warnd the heat in the valley can be very hot drink plenty of water and keep your hat on ,the men that man the toumbs will rub there finger asking for a backish if you take pictures of them a LE10 or £1 is a fair price keep plenty of small notes with you you will need them ,but wash your hand witha sanitiser as the money is very dirty .

the airport as you arrive you will need to buy a visa ,about £15 ,go to the last booth on your left as you entre the hallway we got ours for about £9 sterling

i never been through an airport so fast with haveing a walking dificulty iwas rushed through passport control in less than 4 minutes no waiting for me lol ,same on the way home i have to hold my hands up and say well done to the staff at the air port (they where first choice staff but working for the egypttion airport not first choice).

as the boat whent in to the lock at esna seveal small boats with local sellers tied there boats up to the boat and started to through there wares up on to the top decks of the ship saying you buy this was great was to try your haggling skills they start at a silly price but the balls in your court as you have the good they are 20 foot away in a small boat on the nile so start at a third of the price ,you will get the hang of it enjoy the experance .

aswan was tottaly differant to luxor the sellers are not as agressave as the ones in luxor they seem to have got the message that if they leave you to look around first you will tend to buy from them .

please note the asswan high dam you not allowd to use any video cameras at all as it protected buy the army so film at your perail take as meny still as you like.

now abu simbal best part of the whole holiday well weath the 3 hour drive and the early start be warnd it is very hot here its like 40deg plus and this was early april so use plenty of sunscrean and drink plenty of water and keep your hat on your not allowd to take picture in side the temples but as menys as you can of the out sides.

or bus broke down on both the trip out and the trip back 3 hours there and 4 1/2 hours for the trip back bit of a worry as we had limited water and in the middle of the desert you kinda start the think of all the water water films you seen on tv .

to sum up i would go again at drop of a hat and have a longer stay in luxor and try to get to chiro to see the pyrimids and sphinx and of course the egyption meuseam.

  • Holiday details: Apr 2011, All Inclusive, booked with First Choice
  • Advice: take the tourpackage its well wearth the money

16 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
MS Orchid 13-20th April 2011

"Egypt is somewhere I have always wanted to go, and so for my 40th birthday present we decided to go on a Nile trip in order to take in as many of the sights as possible. We wanted to take our daughter, who needed to be over twelve, and thus had to wait a year and also pay a single person's supplement and have two twin rooms. These were adjacent on the lower deck, and unfortunately my husband's was next to the crew quarters and smelt of diesel and constantly had the crew moving a heavy door throughout the night. This was our only real problem, as the trip far exceeded our expectations.

I would definitely buy the cruise package again (£155 pp), but wouldn't pay to go to the Karnak light and sound show as this we found disappointing. We were lucky enough to be able to go into Tutankhamun's tomb and see his mummified remains (which they will be closing in the future, so I would go in if you can), which cost £10 pp. Our favourite temple was the one at Kom Ombo, which we did as an evening trip - it was built during the Greek occupation and is dedicated to good and evil, but shows the Egyptians advances in medicine and surgery. We visited Abu Simbel, a 3 hour coach trip, getting there about eight in the morning. Inside is totally amazing, with possibly the best hieroglyphs of all. On the final day we did the hot air balloon ride (£75 pp), which was amazing and for us was the best part of the trip.

Our guide was Yasser, who had the most incredible passion and knowledge about both modern and ancient Egypt. The crew on the boat are lovely, but one member of the bar staff upset us on the last few days as he was so obviously waiting for a large tip. This must be said about most Egyptians you meet - take lots of pound coins or try to get low denomination Egyptian currency as virtually everyone expects to be tipped. Don't take any towels - you will fond the most incredible towel sculptures in your room, and they even provide towels for the sun-loungers. Everyone dresses up for dinner, so I took shorts and t-shirts for the trips and a different dress for each evening. The food is very good, although some of our fellow travellers complained about the variety - I guess it depends on previous experiences, but I wasn't cooking so that was a big plus for me! The free bar opens at 10 am through to 12 pm, and there is tea, coffee and beer/spirits, although they can be a bit too generous in their spirit measures, leading to some sore heads the next day. Take anti-bac hand gel, and toilet paper with you when you go out. You get a small fridge in your room, but only the luxury rooms got kettles. I would take some extra coat-hangers as you only get about eight per person.

It was the best holiday we have ever had, and we would love to go back. We made many friends with our fellow travellers, and it was them that also made this trip for us, so thank you to them as well xx

  • Holiday details: Apr 2011, All Inclusive, booked with First Choice
  • Advice: Don't worry about the food.

30 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

8 / 10
Lovely Holiday

"Just returned from a great holiday on the MS Orchid. The cabin (upgraded to deluxe) was comfortable and good shower.

Food was nice, although some people did complain about lack of variety, there was always something available to eat - you certainly would not go hungry.

Bar staff were friendly (although a bit too friendly at times!!). Entertainment was either very good or very poor - they were reliant on the free Sunday newspaper CDs for the disco! Galabeya evening was a good laugh and the majority of people dressed up - outfits available from the onboard shop, but also suggest looking when out on trips for more variety (and slightly cheaper).

Trips were very good and the Egyptologist was extremely enthusiastic,knowledgeable and his English was easy to understand. Great sense of humour too. The basic package of trips was £155 and there are several early morning starts to miss the midday sun (which gives you the afternoon to catch up on sleep and sunbathe).

Towels are suppled for the pool area, so use the space saved in your suitcase to bring your purchases back with you!!

  • Holiday details: Apr 2011, All Inclusive, booked with First Choice
  • Advice: Do not be afraid to visit, we saw no trouble whatsoever.

18 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
What a cracking cruise!

"The only down-side of this cruise is that the ship is a little tired and could do with a refurb; other than that I cannot find any fault.

The bedrooms were comfortable,clean, air-conditioned and serviced every day.

The restaurant served good quality and variety of food every day, and plenty of it!

The other areas of the ship, ie the bar, lounge, sun deck and reception were all well maintained.

Entertainment was good except the DJ needs shooting!

All staff were very friendly, efficient and helpful.

Trips to the temples, tombs etc. were excellent and the guides very knowledgeable.

Yes you do get pestered by local traders, but so what, that's what they do in this country to make a sale-it's all part of the experience-you can always say "no".

Take plenty of small change as you are expected to tip anyone who carries out any type of service for you, eg. coach drivers, baggage handlers, toilet attendants, anyone taking your picture......

In summary a very good cruise combined with excellent trips.

  • Holiday details: Jan 2011, All Inclusive, booked with First Choice
  • Advice: Do it!

20 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

4 / 10
going downhill

"this our 4th time on the orchid and certainly our last,this time unlike the others spent most of our time docked or travelled through the night,even tho we were told last time that most of the cruise would be daylight.the food on board was very poor and mismatched and most of it was raw,the potatoes were totaly uncooked and the turkey was only cooked in places.when we was having our meal the staff seemed like they couldnt wait to get rid of us.actualy took one plate of our friends table while he was still eating of it.and another occasion elbowed my partners face to get her plate with no apolagy.the rep again thought she was on a glorified holiday and was nowhere to be seen most days.when we went a couple of years ago the orchid complained about a certain rep on board who was rude and arrogant but we just found out that shes been on the ship since so its obviouse first choice are not taking much notice.the only time we started to get good service was at the end of holiday when the staff were after there tips."

  • Holiday details: Nov 2010, All Inclusive, booked with First Choice
  • Advice: only not to go

10 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
fantastic value for money

"we have just come back from Egypt, from a nile cruise (MS ORCHID).we have a fastastic time on board, everybody was very friendly, we were looked after by the staff and the gift shop on board was one of shops in Egypt that you don't feel hassled to buy from.

The food was a buffet style with tuesday night as a candlelit dinner, where you had to dress up. The food was a very good selection, i am a very fussy eater and found and tried alot. As it was our honeymoon, reception found out and the staff made us a cake and called us up during dinner, where we had to stand up and sing and clap.

Brilliant service on board, we are going back in 2012. November 24th-1st december was 32 degrees all week! :-)

  • Holiday details: Nov 2010, All Inclusive, booked with First Choice
  • Advice: great for an every changing scenary of Egypt

19 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

8 / 10
If you see a good deal, dont hesitate!

"We wanted a heavily discounted deal and so when the Orchid came up with First Choice at under £500 (no excursions included)we started doing some research on the web. The reviews we found left us feeling we were taking a degree of risk and should keep our expectations low. So, when we arrived, we were expecting a pokey room, smelling of diesel, tedious buffet food and a generally run-down tub of a cruise ship. Given that are very frequent, independent travellers for whom finding fault comes very naturally, the fact that we were delighted with the food, the accomodation and the onboard facilities hopefully gives some credibility to our recommendation not to hesitate booking on the Orchid if you find a good deal.

The food was truly outstanding, some of which you would happily pay top dollar for if offered a la carte in London. Once they discovered that my partner is vegetarian, the staff were extremely solicitous in making sure she had something tasty and frequently served her a special portion of fish or non-meat alternative.

We booked 2nd deck accomodation which, tho not luxurious was very adequate with lots of hot running water, comfy beds and a/c.

The pool was tiny but, again, perfectly adequate to cool off.

The ship generally wouldnt win any prizes from Kevin McCloud for its aesthetic merits but it was smart and clean. The reception staff were helful to a fault. There were always plenty of free drinks available, but the range could have been a bit wider, even if that meant paying for a bit of variety.

Our only significant criticism is that on what we believed was a child-free ship, children appeared in the last 2 days whose behaviour spoilt the enjoyment of many of the english guests. I will just say that the family was of non-european origin. If I say more, I will be accused of xenophobia.

So, all told, a great experience that I happily recommend.

  • Holiday details: Nov 2010, All Inclusive, booked with First Choice
  • Advice: Dont hesitate

23 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
Loved It.....but too hot!!!

"I have always wanted to go to Egypt and decided a Cruise was the best way to see the country. We decided to do the cruise, go to Cairo and then the last few days in Luxor.....but do not do it in the UK summer time it is far Too Hot.....went upto 45 degrees which exhausts you. Our Trip was the end of July and begining of August 2010. The cruise was lovely. The staff were very friendly, always trying to make you laugh (in an egyptian way!!) the food was nice it was a buffet style menu, with plenty of choice. There were a few people ill with stomach upsets, but this could be due to the heat, they tell you not to drink cold drins as soon as you come in from the sun but to have a hot drink, this helps your stomach cope when you do decide to have a drink from the bar. The only complaint would be one they took the WINE from the fridge then left it on the side which ment the next time you went for a drink it was warm!!! The theme night was good everyone joined in....if you don't join in you will be the odd one out. You can buy cheap out fits from the shop on board. The excersions were expensive but worth going and paying extra to go to Abu Simbel is well worth the money......Thery do expect you to leave a tip at the end of the Cruise.....which some guest were reluctant to leave......All cruises expect a tip at the end.......just be prepared. I thought it was worth it......"

  • Holiday details: Jul 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Thomson
  • Advice: Do not go in UK summer, it is Far Too Hot!!!

18 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

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