MS Terramar, Nile Cruises
"Do believe the hype, this really is a great ship, great staff, great suite and the best tour guide in mohamed mansour.
When we travelled on 6th march, there were but 18 passengers on aship that holds 50. Great for us, but not for the egyptian economy.
On our first morning, I asked if they had any soya: unfortunately not, so hey ho ! to be expected. But next morning what's this ? a jug of soya milk -just for me. Gluten alergies ? ! no worries, the chef prepares something for you.
The tours all start early, around 8.00 . Our group only had 8 and mahomed knew all of us by name. Extremely knowledgeable, but to be expected from someone who has previously worked at the cairo museum , but has had to leave his family and come to luxor for more work. The sites had NO queues at all. The locals, having had no income for the last 3 years, were a little desperate for your custom- but just be polite or ignore.
Anyone undecided about travelling - dont hesitate, I was a 50 year old woman travelling alone who met a great bunch of people and had the perfect holliday I've waited 3 years to take."
- Holiday details: Mar 2013, booked with Thomas Cook
- Advice: all the rooms have river views. all the same size withexception of 3rd floor royal suites.
4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"This was the greatest holiday ever! On the way home my husband asked me what the best bits where - but there were none - it was all fantastic from the time we were greeted at the airport in Luxor until we left. The service was second to none, nothing is too much trouble for anyone, all the staff were very friendly and polite. Our cabin (upper deck suite) was brilliant, huge bed (7ft wide)nice sitting room (not that we spent any time in it apart from to sleep - too much to see, the cabin was cleaned twice a day with fresh towels (sometimes made into sculptures on the bed, floor or even a monkey hanging from the ceiling). The quality, choice and service of the food was excellent we certainly didn't go hungry and no-one had an upset tummy.Our tour guide Mohammed was very informative, helpful and friendly and was always ready to answer any questions -he looked after us very well. The scenery and sights we saw were stunning, the beggars can be a bit daunting but don't let them put you off if you ignore them they go away. The weather was just right around the mid 70's. Didn't know what to expect when we booked but it was a wonderful holiday and would recommend to anyone. We have some wonderful memories of everyone and the sights. Fantastic."
- Holiday details: Jan 2013, booked with Thomas Cook
10 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"* We have just returned from our holiday in Egypt that we booked with rivernilecruise.com and we had a great time. The boat, service, food and trips were everything we could have hoped for and more. We were a little nervous about the holiday before we left but the welcome we received helped us to settle in and everything just got better from then on. We would reccommend the Ms Terramar to anyone who might be thinking about a Nile Cruise."
- Holiday details: Sep 2012, booked with rivernilecruise.com
- Advice: Go All Inclusive so that there are no surprises.
15 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Could not fault the staff, food or rooms. All very attentive and cheerful.
very friendly homely feel on boat as small. Tour guide very helpful and experienced. only downside was being asked to fill envelopes for staff tips which was not expected. tour companies do not tell you about the constant tipping expected everywhere."
- Holiday details: Sep 2012, booked with holiday elite
- Advice: take lots of lots change for tipping
- Good For: , City Breaks
12 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"I was outraged to see that someone could be so negative about this beautiful boat and the wonderful staff it employs. I am so pleased that someone was quick to oppose the views of Tony 12345 who must surely have been on another boat.
We stayed on the Terramar back in November 2010 and i reviewed it back then. I was that impressed that we intend going again in January 2012 and it cannot come soon enough. My wife and i shall be taking my son and his partner. I can assure everyone we are not bogus nor previously co-erced into writing a positive review.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and i would not normally respond in this way. I can only implore anyone intending on doing a Nile Cruise to consider the countless positive reviews and act accordingly."
- Holiday details: Nov 2010, Booked Independently
- Advice: Respect the staff who work so hard to make your stay a happy one. They will greet you with 'welcome home', in January 2012 that is how we shall feel, back home.
15 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"i absolutley loved this boat, very clean, definatley 5* The crew were so friendly couldnt do enough for us! The manager in the restaurent was excellent any thing i wanted i got (french fries) lol. The entertainment on a night was good had lots of laughs Mostafa sorted us out with some lovely outfits for the egyptian night. The pool area on top deck was lovely pool was emptied and cleaned regularly, we were all inclusive the waiters always there 24/7 to get us drinks, snacks, Meals were good too!They even made my friend a birthday cake for her birthday!! our guide was wale he was very good i learnt alot from him round the temples. i would definately reccomend the balloon ride and camel ride we had so much fun!! i am definatly returning to the terramar as soon as i can!!"
- Holiday details: Aug 2012, booked with Thomas Cook
11 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"You must certainly have been on a different ships to the one we travelled on in March, firstly, if you had done your homework, its suicidal to do this trip between April and October - its just far too hot - we had no trouble, heat wise, whilst on the ship. Not one person had any tummy troubles and the staff at all times wore gloves and paid great attention to hygiene. Drinks on board not cheap but again we knew this by doing our homework before we left home. You really did not have to buy anything in the shops - again you should know that goods are not up to our standards. In fact we only had a couple of shop trips the whole week - Papyrus and Pottery. Yes there is lots of poverty, but after a while the hawkers become very amusing and you can just have a laugh with them.
Your review seems just sour grapes to me, please don't let this put people off what is a truly remarkable experience."
- Holiday details: Mar 2012, booked with Thomas Cook
- Advice: Abu Simbel and afternoon tea at the Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan
14 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Terramar Nile Cruise - Summer 2012
Read this review before travelling on the Terramar Nile Cruise! This is the real story.
We stayed on the MS Terramar, Nile Cruises, booked via Thomas Cook. I have never posted on a trip advisor before, but have travelled all over the world. After reading all of the 5 star reviews I thought this is the trip for me.
The Best Bits :-
1. The cabin was cleaned at least twice a day and was kept spotless by the cleaners. Thank you guys. The hotel manager got issues dealt with in regards to the few things that did not work when we first arrived. Everything else was awful, including the air conditioning which never really worked because it was already at maximum capacity.
The Worst Bits
2. Everything else was awful. I think most of the tripadvisor reports are bogus or at the very least coerced. Every minute of the day when we were leaving one of the crew would give us a notebook and ask us to write a review in their presence for trip advisor and other holidaycheck sites sitting next to you, which really peed me off, as I read the reviews before I book my holidays.
3. My wife, myself and some people from a different country we met on the cruise got an intestinal stomach infection. We are still waiting for the results, but our specialist Dr thinks its a nasty bacterial infection or an intestinal parasite called Giardia that is caught by 50% of travels from the west who travel to Egypt which increases to 80% on Nile Cruises.
4. The food was only A1 on the first day, but we had no change for tips on the first night having just arrived and could not give a tip, every other night after this the food was completely awful. The waiter even wore gloves on the first night, but nothing on the other nights. Any tips left went straigt into the waiters pocket, so the Chief probably thought let them eat crap. The breakfast every day was an omelette. The dinner was a mixture between carrot soup, courgette soup or a mixture of the two. The fish and veal (old cow) in fact I have never grazed and had to chew beef so much in my life. It was like chewing leather/rubber. The wine had a fly in it, but the waiter put it under the counter. My wife saw a waiter drop some sliced bread onto the floor and the waiter picked it up and put it back with the other bread for the next customer.
5. On arriving a woman asked us where we were heading and we told her Luxor Nile Cruise, she said thats a shame, she said she tried it, got ripped off by everyone and only now goes to all inclusive hotels as everyone is on the take. To be honest we thought she must be a bit eccentric, but how right was she. 5.1 The egyptologist will show you the sites, and then takes you to a shop every other day, where the shop will try and rip you off by selling you items that are 100 times more expensive then the locals. I earn lots of money, but by the third luxury shopping trip I started to say no. The guide will tell you that this is the real hand made stuff and that the other stuff is knock off. While some of this is probably correct that the other stuff the traders sell in 90% of cases is pure crap, the stuff these shops sell can either be brought at the airport for a tenth of the price from proper real airport shops. Plus one of the items we brought back broke on the first day of use. Also each one of these shops will have some local people who apparently made this hand made stuff and when they see you they will start working. When we went into the shop, these same pretend workers stopped working, only to start working again when we came out of the stop (How stupid was I to buy from these guys). These shops will let you knock them down a little and the guide in our case even said he could get the goods at half price if you leave the shop and do not buy anything. The shop keepers may/will add insult to injury and ask you for a tip because of the lost commission. This tip I felt then gets given to the guide, but because his hands were closed I could not tell 100%. If this happens to you, “ask the guide what the locals gave him the money for”.
6. This ship is supposed to be a 5 star. We choose this Thomas cook booked 5 star full board boat over a 4 star Thompson all inclusive one and paid an extra £250 each each. After talking to other couples on the other boats, they told us they were just as good if not better in many cases.
7. The views of the nile where amazing and the double rooms which we upgraded to a luxury upper deck suit was very good, but we had to keep the curtains shut as the room was too hot with the air con at full blast and this was made worse when you had the curtains open during the day. Its like going to sleep on a very hot summers day with the windows closed. The cleaners as already started were brilliant, could not fault them. The air conditioning however did not work on the way down because it could not cope with the sun on the right hand side. It did cope better on the way back because the sun peaks on the west side and the east side is more shaded.
8. The waiters - Some of the waiters were good, but being full board I asked to pay my bill up front each night, which I was told could not be done. I did not like this because I knew I would end up with a bigger bill at the end of the cruise. We just accepted this, but at £10 for two beers this was expensive and nowhere else on the trip could we purchase wine or beer. The next day one of the waiters (Mahmoud) a 40/50th something baulding waiter told me that he was in charge of the drinks and would after all let me pay for the drinks and if I paid in cash then I would get 2% off each drink as there was no credit card surcharge. I did this, but each day he kept on trying to charge us extra for things I had not ordered. I initially thought this was my mistake and paid him, but on the 2nd to last day he came to me and said that I owed double the money I knew I owed. After a brief stern discussion where I told him, that he was wrong he told me that I must not discuss this with the boat manager as he would get into trouble for giving me 2% discount. After further discussion it was obvious to me that he and his local cartel was pocketing the money. What upset me more was that I was also being ripped off as this scam he was running was actually costing me more money and that he was ripping off Thomas Cook and the Ship as a whole. This was the same guy that I had given good money tips to for letting me pay each night because I thought he was doing me a favour only to realise that he was ripping everyone off.
9. The locals - What a nightmare. At the beginning of the holiday, I felt that everyone was poor and needed the money which being honest is probably the case and initially I must have given away at least £400 in tips/hand outs and purchases of things (rubbish) we did not need. Adding onto this the £300 bar bill, the £300 extra excursion costs, the £200 tip to the crew and guide, plus the rip off shops disguised as part of the experience these events almost cost us as much as the initial cruise holiday.
10. Tip, don’t give your money to the guide if its for the crew as the crew may not get it. On the 2nd to last day the head waiter introduced the chef again and said this is your chef (if you can call him a chef as the food was awful apart from the 1st day). It was obvious that he was looking for a tip. I told him I had given my main big tip in the envelope to the guide for the grew and the guide which the thomas cook rep advised me to do. One of the waiters then ran (literally) out to the main reception to see if this was the case. He came back with his head down and did not look at me. I called him over and asked if he got the money from the Egyptologist guide and he said yes (which felt like a no), he then talked in Arabic and they all started shouting at each other, then one of the waiters went into the kitchen and more people came out. After finishing our dinner we could still hear everyone shouting and the guide we gave the money too, name came up several times in a very heated discussion between themselves. We have not mentioned the guides name because we do not know if he had given it to the crew, or had kept it, or had given it to the ship management and they had not passed this on. If he did keep it, then maybe the rep was involved to as he advised us to give it to the guide. We talked to other guest who also heard the ruckus and they asked their guide who told them that we should give money to the individual who deserves it at the very end of the cruise as you get to see the real people i.e. the ones who are nice after tips and the real nice people. They were told that they should pay £30 for the crew and £30 minimum for the guide which was optional, but at least £30 was the starting point.
11. Of all of the people we gave money to. Only the Nubians seemed honest and a small Egyption boy who was selling fruit to the locals seemed appreciative and deserving. I now wish I had given him all of our tip money, as he seemed like the true in need person. No begging, no trying to sell me something I did not need, just someone trying to make a living honestly. The template hustlers were mostly trying to rip us off constantly and this was worse than when we visited a Bodrum market in Turkey
12. Trips - The light show in luxor is rubbish. The nubian village is amazing. Abel Simbel is also amazing, but our thomas cook rep did not tell us that we had to get up at 2am in order to catch a bus, probably because this was one of the most expensive trips at £200 for the two of us.
13. Rep - The holiday rep seemed a nice guy, but we never saw him, apart from the trips, and the payment for the trips and on the leaving coach.
I feel that the negatives outweigh the positives by 3 to 1 and can only give a two star. Had it not been for the cruise boat management and the room size/cleanliness I would have given this boat 0 stars.
I loved the temples and the cleanliness of the room. I loved the cruising on the nile.
The stomach infection which being honest I was warned about before Travelling on a nile cruise, awful food, non-caring waiters, the back hander expensive pretend workshops which were really shops, the whole rip off culture and non sharing/caring of the locals ruined my experience.
Don’t give your tips until the last few days
Don’t spend anything for the first few days unless you really really like and need it.
Leave your credit card in the safe and take a small amount of money with you.
Take a hand sanitizer if you handle the local Egyptian currency (being honest this made no difference with us as we were all ill for weeks afterwards) as many of the people trying to sell you stuff will not have washed their hands and aparently 80% carry some kind of infectious bug or parasite that cause things like travelers diarrhea or worse.
Don’t eat raw unpeeled fruit or salad as the local water is untreated
Use bottled water to brush your teeth.
Tip the people directly who do not hassle you and who are truely nice."
- Holiday details: Jul 2012, booked with Thomas Cook
- Advice: Don't tip anyone until the end of your stay
10 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Discovered the real jewel of the Nile with this boat. It is exceptional, only 20 cabins all of which are suites, very comfortable with lots of space. Coffee & tea provided in the room, just call reception for water & milk.
The service on board was fantastic, cannot be faulted on any level.
Meal times were a joy as the chef was always creative - previously we've found the food gets boring and 'samey' on a cruise but not on this one, always something different to try.
Have to mention the pool purely for the fact that through the week it was drained, cleaned and refilled twice - never had that before on a Nile cruise!"
- Holiday details: Apr 2012, Booked Independently
- Good For: , City Breaks
9 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"While most cruises follow a similar format the facilities, service and tour experience can make a huge difference. On MS Terramar the accommodation is not small cabins but large suites. Service by the staff was first rate and our tour guide Mohamed was easy to understand provided the right amount of information.
Other ships usually overtake the Terramar which adds to the feeling of relaxation on board.
The cruise provided by this ship is totally recommended."
- Holiday details: Mar 2012, booked with Sunshine.co.uk
- Advice: Just relax - everything is taken care of!
5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Just returned from a truly fabulous week on the Terramar, very difficult to find something new to say in praise of this Nile ship.
The Terramar is certainly 5star in every sense, small in comparison with some of the other boats-but certainly better for it.
We only had fifteen passengers, which meant the atmosphere was ever so friendly and everyone quickly got to know each other.
Highlights are very difficult to define, everything is magical, but ours was probably the trip to Abu Simbel, we flew, and afternoon tea at the Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan. We sat on the balcony overlooking the Nile, it does not get much better than that-believe me.
Our guide was Saba, very knowledgeable and easy to follow.
All in all a very memorable holiday.
I am glad to answer any questions you may have."
- Holiday details: Mar 2012, Full Board, booked with Thomas Cook
- Advice: Just be friendly to everyone
10 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Travelled with Thomas Cook on this boat for seven day cruise concluding on the 1st February.It was superb.We last did a Nile Cruise some 14yrs ago and the experience is as good as ever.We had a good and knowledgeable Thomas Cook tour leader (Suzie) plus and outstanding and humourous guide ( Sasser) who pitched the infomation at the right level the whole week.The crew on this boat work very much as a team from Security to Chef.Everyone seems to go out of their way to make each day enjoyable.The cabins were well appointed and spacious with clean towels twice a day.Everything was maintained to a high standard.Food was imaginative but I loved the fish dishes at lunch and dinner.Service all round was excellent and Ali Baba was our star performer during the seven days.Only ten cabins out of twenty were occupied, five of which were Thomas Cook guests so our party of ten was a good group.We had some fun on the entertainment nights but it always helps one everyone participates.The room boys entertain you each night by leaving towel & linen sculptures but the best ones were the ones hanging from the ceiling of the cabin which make for good photo opportunities. All in all this was an excellent cruise well organished with good transport and guiding.Would definately recommend Terramar over the larger boats even though it costs more. The TC all inclusive package costing £23 pp per night is not good value for money as you get a large glass of wine and a bottle of water with each meal.Upper deck cabins are worth the bit more money."
- Holiday details: Feb 2012, full board, booked with Thomas Cook
- Advice: Book an upper deck cabin
8 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Rating by feature
" Request a starboard cabin as quite a bit of time is spent docked and these have beautiful Nile views rather than looking out at other boats. "
" Go all inclusive "
Do you own MS Terramar?
- Promote your business with Holiday Watchdog content
- To respond to a review, use the Management Response Form