MS Monica

Nile Cruises
7.5 / 10
Average rating (91 reviews)
MS Monica

Traveller reviews

8 / 10
Very Good but not 5*

"We had a wonderful time aboard the MS Monica, yes, it was not 5* and the rooms were a little shabby, but I loved the Juliette balcony, being able to sit by the open doors and watch the Nile go by was amazing. We found it clean and the staff lovely. The all inclusive package was definitely worth it and all the excursions were fab. We were lucky that it wasn't too busy so most of the temples were quiet, and not many boats tied up together. All in all a fabulous trip."

  • Holiday details: Mar 2013, booked with Co-op
  • Advice: Ask for a cabin in the middle or front of the boat

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

7 / 10
Great trip and service, but more like 3*.

"This was a great holiday, but definitely not the 5* advertised. Booked through the co-op, we had looked in detail at the boat and itinerary on the classic holidays website and were unaware that the trip was actually managed by Orbital. On our return, the Orbital website has a more up to date version of the itinerary.

Although there had been a mix up with tickets prior to travel, the organisation by Orbital once in country was fantastic.

We arrived early Wednesday evening and were disappointed not to actually sail until Friday afternoon. The boats were moored 4 in a row, so when not sailing we were unable to even open our curtains. On deck, there were no views of the river, only adjacent boats, and you had no choice but to listen to their choice of music too!

The additional night at Luxor was due to the trips at Edfu being removed from the itinerary. It is a shame that there wasn't an alternative rearrangement which would have allowed sailing earlier.

The trips were fantastic. Our guide Amr, was incredibly knowledgable, entertaining and had excellent English. Although exhausting with very early starts, some thought had gone into how the trips were arranged, to allow for more 'restful' days after some of the more hectic ones!

The bar and waiting staff on board were fantastic and opulent have been more helpful. We took the all inclusive option, which was well worth the money.

As a single woman, a small number of the staff were rather leering and made me feel uncomfortable. On other holidays you can avoid returning to certain bars etc where this is a problem, but no so on a boat. On our last day, some staff directly asked for money - again this was disappointing on a 5* boat.

The cabins were a good size for a boat, and generally clean, although much in need of a refurb. When unable to open the curtains (most days) the room was very dingy. At one point 3 of my lightbulbs had blown, after reporting this 1 managed to be replaced! Although changed daily, the towels weren't particularly clean. As amusing as the towel sculptures are, damp towels were used and combined with bedding and my belongings. Personally, I would prefer towels that were hung to dry and not having to remake my own bed each evening before being able to get in it! Shower gel was initially available, but was not refilled when it ran out after day 1.

On deck, the pool was a decent size for a boat although very cold. Many of the tiles were falling off, which is a shame when you expect 5*. Beach towels were available, but not particularly clean, often appear to have been refolded and put back.

Entertainment was good and having been split into 2 smaller groups for trips, you got to know lots of people.

I think the food was possibly the most disappointing element. There was plenty of it and good ingredients were used, but it certainly wasn't 5*. The food lacked in flavour and variety and was luke warm. I tried the fish on several days and I think this would have been the tastiest option, but it was seriously undercooked every time I tried it. The same for the potato option some nights. Salads were varied and good, but vegetarians would struggle as many dishes would unexpectedly contain meat. There were several dessert choices, not much of which I ate, but the availability of fruit was limited.

There were no facilities to change money on the boat although sterling was accepted everywhere both on and off the boat. Although the boat accepts card payments, Orbital themselves don't, so additional trips require cash payment.

In summary, I had a great holiday. It is not worth paying extra for a boat like the Monica with a balcony as there was only one afternoon when I could use it.

  • Holiday details: Apr 2013, booked with Co-operative travel
  • Advice: If you are a drinker, take the all inclusive option. Ask for a starboard cabin to increase your chance of a view.

6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

3 / 10
ms monica

"Went on ms Monica 20th;Feb;2013 for 7days.Very disappointed Does not live up to the pictures on website.Loose taps,cracked sink in bathroom.

Cabin could have done with less towel models and more cleaning!food was average,very little for vegetarians and itinary says special diets catered for!Usually on these cruises the food is replenished when containers are getting low but when it was gone it was gone!There are no gym facilities,no piano bar,no discoteque.Never use this ship again.Except for the lovely company we were in,it would have been dreadful.All inclusive doesn't include wine in the bar,only in dining room with food.

Management response from Agnès Brémont, Tour Operator 20 Mar 2013

Hi Zena, Many thanks for posting your review. We were sorry to see how disappointed you were with your Nile Cruise. We were surprised by your comment about the cleaning in your cabin as your boat report states that it was excellent. You have also said that you were disappointed with the food quality and variety and your dietary requirements were not met. Unfortunately we were not advised of your vegetarian requirements by your booking agent, however your boat report states that the food quality and variety were very good/good. We do not advertise gym facilities, a piano bar or discotheque on the Monica. With regards to the All Inclusive package you are correct in saying that wine is only available at meal times and this is how the All Inclusive package is advertised with ourselves and is stated on your cruise vouchers. Kind regards, Agnès Brémont Product & Marketing Manager - Orbital Travel

  • Holiday details: Feb 2013, booked with Olympic Holidays
  • Advice: Have a sense of humour.

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
First Nile Cruise

"What a great trip, the food on Monica was very good especialy the daily egyptian dishes, and the staff were so friendly. The boat was nice but am afraid a bit tired think its time for a refit. Our first time and a dont think our last. The guides were so informative and friendly."

  • Holiday details: Sep 2012

13 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
Wonderful experience

"To celebrate my 60th birthday my sweetheart Harry secretly organised a Nile cruise on the MS Monica from Luxor to Aswan and back again.

He could not have chosen a more wonderful holiday. I knew very little about Egypt ( past or present) beforehand, but now I know so much more about this beautiful country and its warm friendly people. I can't wait to return.

This was far from being a slow resort holiday as evryday was full with new experiences. But the smooth organisation of Orbital Travel, the professional hospitality and the steady, silent , ever present river achieved the perfect balance of rest and interest. Excursions were varied and all was beautifully explained and made accessible by Ayman our Egyptian Egyptologist and guide. He made sure that we learnt about the present day strengths and challenges of Egypt as well as its past triumphs and treasures. He kept us well entertained, combining the skills of teacher, performer and shepherd !

The Monica itself is a beautiful boat and its crew looked after us perfectly and with great good humour. I would recommend this cruise to anyone !

Jo Engelkamp


  • Holiday details: Jan 2012, All Inclusive, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Relax and let the wonderful boat and guide look after you...they will !

8 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

6 / 10
Freindly Boat but not 5*

"My husband and I have just returned from a 7 day trip on the MS Monica on the 5th October. This is a pleasant traditional style of boat which possibly could do with a bit of updating. The centrum of the boat is quite attractive and the bar lounge is very nice. The cabins are ok similar in size to a cruise ship cabin. The television did not work at all throughout the trip, so was a waste of time and space. The food is buffet style apart from one evening. It was average and a bit repetative, a lot of vegatarian dishes but little in the way of meat and fish, the same each time. Breakfast was slightly better.We went full board,not All Inclusive and found drinks similar in price to UK but as we don't drink much in the way of alcohol found it saved us money on paying for A/Inc. The guide we had for the tours was Waleed who I have to say was excellent, with exceptional knowledege, helpfull and had a good sense of humour. Most staff were very nice but got the feeling they still expected tips even though you pay them up front. Overall I think the trip and boat weren't bad for the money but it isn't a 5*. We both got home with stomach bugs and I overheard many other guests say they had the same problem, so be carefull about what you eat and drink."

  • Holiday details: Oct 2011, full board, booked with holiday expert
  • Advice: Don't expect 5* but ok for price

12 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
A fabulous holiday, what an experience

"Just returned from MS Monica 8 day cruise. Boat, staff, food and all amenities were first class. Only slight disappointment was only actually cruised for 1 1/2 days in daylight. Boarded boat in Luxor Wednesday lunchtime and didn't sail till Friday lunchtime. Staff were first class and couldn't do enough to help. Yes, the wine was not good but thoroughly enjoyed the rum and coke available all day in the inclusive drinks. We stockpiled our water in our fridge which is a must."

  • Holiday details: Sep 2011, All Inclusive, booked with Co operative
  • Advice: Drink plenty of bottled water

11 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
An Unforgettable Experience!!

"Just came back from a week on the boat and it was amazing. The tours are very interesting and you will feel very pleased with yourself by the end of the day! Usually you wake in the morning to sightsee till midday then you get the rest of the day to do what you want.

The interior of the boat is quite quirky but in a nice way, with the design of the dining room ranging from art deco lights to a few Greek style wooden columns. The rooms are big enough for it to be comfortable but not massive. However there are so many little details that the crew do, for example you always get towel and sheet sculptures on your bed when you get back from the trips or dinner!

If you get ill on the boat (what we called the Wrath of Ramses! - bad stomach) on the boat they will recommend ways to feel better and bring suitable food up for you if you cant make it to lunch of supper. The crew themselves are so kind and brilliant and everyone is willing to do whatever they can to make you have the best cruise. There is no shortage of conversation there! But if you want some quiet time you can sit in the low lit lounge or tan on the sun loungers or swim in the pool or jacuzzi. They also have a little library of interesting books and some board games to play.

I would recommend you go for the all inclusive deal as this includes free water/wine/beer/anything you want (they every make special cocktails!) - without the inclusive offer you have to pay £3.50 for a beer etc.. And with the amount of water you will be drinking, it will probably rack up to quite a lot.

As for the food, they have something for everyone in the buffet, and if you know of any Egyptian meals you want to try, they will be quite happy to make it for you. The falafels are amazing!

In terms of extra trips, they have a wide range from hot air ballooning, a light and sound show, trips around Luxor, a ride on a Felucca to a beautiful little island and more. And a trip to see Abu Simnal at 3am - WORTH it - you can sleep on the coach with your pillows.

All I can say, is go. You will not regret it.

But a word of warning, the way of life there is probably different to what you are used to at home. If you go, expect to be hassled to buy goods when you go on your tours, there is no way of avoiding it. The best method of efficiently dealing with the men is to walk in your group and don't stray or you might feel harassed, don't look at them (sunglasses are a blessing) and don't talk to them. Just understand that they are not picking on you, all they see is a tourist they can get money from. Don't take it personally, as I said, it is a way of life there and it will only ruin your trip if you want it to.

Apart from that minor detail, it is amazing! I will be going again, as soon as possible.

  • Holiday details: Sep 2011, All Inclusive, booked with Thomson
  • Advice: Go expecting an amazing time and it will not disappoint. If you go expecting to not have fun/like the sun/like the locals then you wont enjoy it. But it will be your own fault! I loved every moment.

16 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
Dont buy Silver.

"Loved the m. S. Monica the people food pool, everything was lovley till a few weeks when i got home only to find the silver chain was nothing but was supose to be a reminder o my holiday but now feel ripped off. Our guid had taken us to this jewlery shop i wonder if he new anything about this ripp off."

  • Holiday details: Jul 2010, All Inclusive, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Dont buy from jewlery as the chain my Husband bought me was not Silver in fact its gone black. Tried cleaning it but still black.You think you are buying Silver then you go home and ther is not a lot you can do about it.our guid had taken us ..

13 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
Really good

"Just returned from Nile cruise on the Monica, as mentioned before the rooms are a bit tiered but as for the rest it was really good only 35 people on board so we were well looked after, food varied and hot,Stella cold and nice.

Wine seemed to get weaker as the week went on, Meena our guide was fantastic so was Michael serving and bringing drinks.

The Monica might not be 5 star but as far as I am concerned she was the best boat on the Nile.

Ian (south wales)

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

10 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

8 / 10
Loved the ms monica

"we have just returned from the monica,we had a great time,the rooms and the pool were a bit tired and needed some work doing on them but apart from that it was great,the staff are fabulous and cant do enough for you especially michael he made our trip, and a lot of others on the ship,unfortunatly my husband and about another 15 people came down with the runs and that spoilt it a little for him,but i would recommend the monica to anyone.Angela"

  • Holiday details: May 2011, All Inclusive, booked with classicholidays4u

5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10

"my husband and i have just returned from a nile cruise on the nile on board ms monica it was fantastic all the staff were excellent as were the tour guides food and service were top class we would definetley recomend this trip"

  • Holiday details: Apr 2011, All Inclusive, booked with classic holidays 4 u .com

12 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Write A Review

Ratings summary


Rating by feature

Share your opinion with other travellers. Write a review.

Do you own MS Monica?