El Fostate

Overview

A very popular 5* deluxe cruiser with our clients. All suites are equipped with air-conditioning, en-suite facilities, internal telephone, fridge, television and hairdryer.

Reviews summary

4
Good
( 25 reviews)
Brilliant
17
Good
3
Average
1
Poor
0
Awful
4
 

Traveller reviews

take no notice of bad reviews

5
Brilliant
by

"We have just returned from Nile cruise(6 adults).We were met at the airport by our rep Amol who stayed with us all week & she was excellent from start to end.The boat was only half full so we had no problems with any of the services. We couldn't fault the crew who were great & very friendly.We even got to go & meet the Captain up on the bridge and take turns in steering the boat. The food was variable & we never had a bad meal nor did we get the tummy problems that everyone talks about-which is more than can be said for the following week when we stayed in a lovely 5 star hotel & i got food poisoning.The rooms were cleaned at least 3 or 4 times a day, and the towels were changed at least once a day the crew have a bit off fun with the many shapes they make with the towels.We were a bit apprehensive before we went due to the negative comments but they were totally unfounded. There were only 10 english on the boat & 55 germans & even this wasn't a problem. We had a great week on the boat & would recommend it too anyone-don't let negative people put you off.Whilst sailing we sat & watched the children swimming in the Nile from the banks and they sang to us as we passed.
The only downside was the following week we stayed in Hurghada & they didn't tell us this was a 4 hour journey so on the last day we had a 4 hour car journey followed by a 5hr 45min plane journey so be aware.Also get used to being hassled on the trips by sellers but just say No thanks.
Last note has to go to our guide Amol who was excellent for the whole week always making sure that everything was ok & brought each of the tours to life by her vast knowledge of Egyptian history.She went above & beyond the role of rep arranging any other trips we wanted to do & then coming with us- she was great Thank -you Amol.
We had a great holiday & i'm sure you will....go with an open mind & Enjoy. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 30th of July 2009

If you don't eat anything you'll be fine!

1
Awful
by

"We went to Egypt as a celebration for my 40th Birthday due to the appauling food hygene on this boat I was extremely poorly and continued to be ill for 2 weeks after we came home - really really would not recommend this boat, but the sights of Egypt are a wonder and an amazing experience.

Nile Cruise Boat

Change of boat upon arrival at airport– told we had been ‘upgraded’ to El Fostate.5 Star - no way! Very limited facilities on board, even the entertainment was repeated! We walked through boats that were of a far superior standard.

Found out there were triple rooms available – we had paid single supplement for 2 cabins.

Noise in room from generator constantly, noise in room from engine during sailing, noise from restaurant staff moving things around in early hours. Asked about a change of room was told no changes available and that it was a good boat and noise was to be expected. This was not the experience of guests we met at the hotel who had cruised with other companies.

All inclusive – full board with very limited drinks package – no snacks available outside of meal times – hardly all inclusive. The food was repetitive, i.e. what was on show at lunchtime was there again for the evening and same at breakfast. Food – nearly half of the British party on board, including myself and my husband, was made ill as a result of the food. ( I don’t know about the German guests). We all complained about it and some guests were given ‘tablets’ stocked in reception – we later discovered these were anti-biotics, Why would the boat stock anti-biotics unless they were aware there was a problem with the food? Some guests were ill in bed for 3 days or more and missed many excursions. We were assured there was nothing wrong with the food. On the last day the manager of the ship said mistakes had been made and the chef had been replaced. One of the tour guides also confirmed this. I suffered from diarrhoea and vomiting at the end of the cruise. This started on the cruise and completely ruined my hotel stay and my birthday celebrations at the hotel as I was ill in bed. The holiday was for my 40th birthday.

Orbital Travel Ltd - local tour company on board ship

Orbital Rep – Welcome meeting - we were told to follow the guide up to the lounge where we were told “this is the lounge – the restaurant is opposite, now go back down to reception to get your keys!” What was the point? We were not given an overview of how the week would go or an explanation of the food & drinks on board. We received a papyrus welcome note on our bed on the last day of the cruise! During the cruise we found the rep was not listening to concerns and was unapproachable. Sat with the tour guides every day and did not show an interest in the paying guests. We were drip fed information for the whole of the cruise. Phoenix Travel who looked after the German guests on board have a very comprehensive information board (I speak some German) and the whole week’s itinerary, advice and information.

Tour Guides - On the whole our guide was brilliant on the excursions, giving enough information and allowing enough free time. However, they were clearly working with the sales staff on board and assured us that products bought on board could not be purchased cheaper ashore. Passengers who bought off the boat paid about half the price of the shop on board.

Excursions - Orbital Travel offered a variety of additional excursions. There was a very hard sell on these optional extras. We also discovered that the charges were double those of an agent based at the Winter Palace Hotel, eg Hot Air Baloon Ride £70,00 with Orbital; £35.00 with Winter Palace agent. We were required to pay in cash and were told no receipts were available. The money was given direct to the tour guides with no proof of payment. This was also the case at the hotel. We were offered a trip to Cairo for £275 by Orbital and we went with Thompson for £160. The rep was only at the hotel at 8.30am the morning after we arrived. Gave us a list of excursions and wanted a reply within the hour as he would not be returning. I was ill in bed so fortunately we declined excursion from him and booked through Thompson and the hotel direct – far cheaper and much friendlier and professional service – with receipts!!

We enjoyed the fabulous sights of Egypt when I was well enough to leave my room and cannot say it was a total disaster. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 6th of July 2009

AI My a**e

1
Awful
by

"If this boat was five stars, then the local YMCA must be at least ten.

The cabin were clean if you don’t mind a bit of black mould growing on the grout, and your linen being an off white/ grey colour don’t bother trying to watch the telly they have only Egyptian or German programs.

The food was some of the worst slop I have ever seen served up. Never mind though, they were clearly doing there bit for the environment with all the recycling they were doing (same cake served breakfast lunch and afternoon tea, yesterdays left over meat or veg turned into soup or fried up and labelled oriental).

I thought all inclusive was available all the time why can’t I have a cup of tea before leaving for a trip at 6:00am?

I have never seen such poor service from some of the most un-attentive and surly staff, Orbital travel only adds to this by insisting you give over £28 to tip them all. I would recommend you forget this advice and only tip the one or two members of staff that can be bother to provide some service.

I must say though both tour guides were excellent and had a never ending knowledge and enthusiasm for there subject."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 28th of May 2009

very disappointed

1
Awful
by

"We looked forward to our Nile Cruise and were so upset and disappointed. We were told we had a deluxe cabin. The flush did not work, the tiles were falling off the wall in the abthroom - our was not the only bathroom with these problems. When we tried to complain about this - and the food, nothing happened. A group of Germans who arrived half way through our cruise refused to stay on the boat and their tour leader took them off to a hotel until the boat was made clean and safe. Our UK group of about 20 wished we had a tour leader who could find a hotel for us.

A local guide told us (and showed us a brochure) showing that El Fostate has been downgraded to 4* and in German brochures it may be downgraded to 3*

Everyone came down with a tummy bug. Charley advised us not to eat anything but the fried meat. The veg were horrendous and we have eaten all kinds of weird food all over the world the El Fostate choclate pastry covered meat was too much even for my son - especially when it was pointed out that the meat was a bit green and slimy !

By the way Charlies wife did have a little boy."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 27th of May 2009

a great holiday but...

4
Good
by

" We had a wonderful holiday over the new year on the El Fostate. The staff where extremely pleasant and the boat itself is very clean but it is nowhere near a 5 star by European standards. The food onboard was plentyful and varied and well presented. The tours where well organised and our guide was very informative. However the lack of free time to wonder around the sites without the guide was disappointing especially when "free time" was always found to drop us off at the obligatory perfume factory and papyrus "museum" etc which was really an opportunity to inflict a sales pitch on the unsuspecting tourists. We had the All Inclusive package as did most of the British people on board which is strongly advised as drinks are very expensive . Most of the Germans went to bed early as they where not on the A/l pacakage! The A/l ended just before lunch on the last day, so drinks with lunch would have been very expensive had we chosen to buy them. As some people have mentioned the optional excursions do tend to be very expensive when purchased on the boat. Some guests booked via the travel agency in the Winter Palace Hotel and found them to be 50% cheaper, especialy the balloon ride witch Orbitol charged £70 for and some people got for £35 elsewhere.
You can come off the boat and explore,( beware the boats do move about and it may not be where you left it. Just ask the security if it has moved). We came off in Luxor where we found the Museum and the promenade with cafes and bars which was a pleasant walk but do expect to be hassled everywhere you go and do not be afraid to say no. Beware everyone in Egypt wants a "tip", "present","gift", if you ask for directions be prepared to get asked for money. Even in Luxor museum the security gaurd wanted a "gift" for asking us where we where from and pointing out that the "mummys were around the corner". Needless to say we did not pay.
Would I recommend the El Fostate?, all things taken in consideration, absolutely yes because we had a wonderful holiday."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 8th of January 2009

first time not the last

5
Brilliant
by

"just got back from 7 night nile cruise on el fostate and thought it was excellant.Nothing was too much for any of the crew.The tour guide (mohamad)the tour organizer (peter)were excellant,food was good plenty of choice.All the included trips were very interesting,entertainment was good but there was only entertainment on for 2 night of the 7 which wasn't really a problem.The only down side was the all inclusive didn't include spirits only beer and wine.Will definately be going again"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 30th of December 2008

Actually I went in April 2008 and it was...

5
Brilliant
by

"Actually I went in April 2008 and it was absolutely brilliant. I have already posted a comment further down as I was so shocked at people's criticism. I am happy to recommend this cruise to anyone and have done so. in fact a friend of mine is repeating my holiday in November but as she is going on a Monday she will be on King Tut 1. I only hope it is as good as El Fostate and that her Egyptologist is as good as Ahmed. (Charley).
The reason for this post is to ask if anyone knows if Ahmed's wife did have a boy, when it was born and what they called it? There was considerable dispute with his mother-in-law about this when we were there! He was such a nice chap it would be interesting to know how he is faring."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 16th of August 2008

What a experience we went on the 25th of...

5
Brilliant
by

"What a experience we went on the 25th of June 2008 and it was the best holiday for us the boat was very clean and the cabin boys did every thing to make your stay has comfortable has possible we were a group of 10 and we all got on really well and we all became very close and we have all been in touch now we are back in England the staff really work hard and they kept the boat really spotless the food was not bad there was something for every one the one off tip of 28pounds was fair there are many staff on the boat who do a lot of the the work behind the scenes. Our guide Charlie was full of information and the passion he showed reflected on the whole Angela group. Charlie went that extra mile for us all. The temples are out of this world and you wanted to learn more about them. One person in our group had a birthday and arrangements were made for a birthday cake we all had to do the conga around the restaurant with the waiters as they took the cake around singing happy birthday that same night it was the Egyptian night and we all dressed up it was really great night and one we will not forget it another night we will not forget is the dancers and the a person out of our group took part. Two couples in our group did the balloon trip and they said it was out of this world. Every one in our group said it was the best holiday they have had and it was all down to the great company we never stopped laughing. And plus the fact a great guide and great staff. You must watch the boat going through the locks and watch out for the men in the rowing boats selling there goods they throw them up to you on the sun deck but there aim is not very good they end up in the pool and you have to fish them out it is great bartering with them. The all inclusive is from 1130am to 1130pm and the beer is Stella and there is white, red and Rosa wine it is really nice sitting on the top sun deck of a evening having a drink and watching the world go by. From the time we landed at the airport in Lu-xor the tour operators had our visa ready and everything was done for us and on our return trip back home. We would highly recommend this boat and we have a lot of memories of our trip around the temples and cruising down the Nile."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 21st of July 2008

My husband and I had a fantastic holiday...

5
Brilliant
by

"My husband and I had a fantastic holiday aboard the El Fostate.

The staff were fantastic and our tour guide Ahmed was very informative.

The all inclusive drinks were very good and you couldn't beat enjoying a drink on the sun deck in the evening and during the day it was incredibly relaxing sailing along the nile.

My tip is to definately go for the all inclusive option as the drinks were quite expensive looking at the prices.

My only criticism is that on the last day whilst waiting to be taken to the airport you feel like a bit of a spare part and the staff aren't quite as attentive as they were the rest of the week (maybe because they've already got their tip?!). We found some of the porters quite rude insisting to be tipped .(On your last day you dont have much money left and the 50p tip we gave him was snubbed!- but that's Egypt for you) We had just paid £28 each for tips.

Overall, we had a really great time and would definately use this ship again."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 10th of July 2008

I have just had a holiday of a life time...

5
Brilliant
by

"I have just had a holiday of a life time on the El Fostate and was shocked to read that one of the reviews had given 1 out 10.
From the time I arrived in Luxor we were met by the Orbital Travel Representative who arranged our visa's and escorted us to get our luggage. It was a quick efficient service to the boat and from the time we arrived in Luxor my husband and I never touched our luggage until we checked in at Luxor airport on our departure.
The El Fostate was more than I expected. The boat was very clean, cabins were comfortable and hats off to the housekeeping boys with their towel arrangements. Staff were faultless, food was always hot and plentiful. The guides enthusiasm was infectious and his knowledge was astounding it was absolutely marvellous.
With regard to tipping at the end of the holiday we had no problems with this arrangement as we were informed about before this prior to our depature and it was cheaper this way rather than tipping the individuals each and every time. My husband and I have been on many Nile cruises but this trip we have just returned from would honestly take some beating. I would highly recommend this cruiser."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 5th of July 2008

My wife and I have just returned from a...

5
Brilliant
by

"My wife and I have just returned from a week on board the El Fostate and I have to say it was one of the best holidays that I have ever had the pleasure to experience.

The staff were absolutely marvellous the food was plentiful with a choice to match any cruiser that I have been on.

Cabins were of a good size and well maintained and were kept exceptionally clean by the house keeping staff.

Excursions were excellent and our guide who bought them to life went beyond his call of duty.

Having read previous reports I fail to see how anyone can give this boat anything other than 10 out of 10.

I booked direct with Orbital Travel and the service I recevied from them was superb. Personally, I would have no hesitation to recommend the El Fostate or Orbital Travel."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 25th of June 2008

Sadly there was very little cruising dur...

3
Average
by

"Sadly there was very little cruising during daylight hours - I suggest you drop one or two of the temples since they merge into the same thing after a while. It is not five star and the food, though adequate, is indifferent. DO NOT book through Orbital Travel who seem to have a rather childish and unprofessional attitude to any adverse comments. Forget the £4 per day per person tip demand - you will be asked for tips by some of the staff anyway so you might just as well give it to those who gave you good service. Forget your celebratory glass of wine at your final lunch before leaving the ship - the "all inclusive" tag disappears just before you sit down! The staff were very good until the last day and then everything went on the slide and you became invisible while you waited for your airport transport."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 20th of June 2008

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