An interesting itinerary, combining cruising with some hotel stays. We flew to Cairo and due to a delayed flight spent a short night in the Fairmont Nile Hotel before beginning our tour of the Museum, Pyramids and Sphinx. Our guide for these visits and the following day was excellent but unfortunately this was the highlight and the subsequent guides varied from average to poor. This hotel was good apart from the dining arrangements for dinner which took place on an open veranda with a strong wind blowing. Not a place to linger over one's meal. The following day we flew to Luxor and a further overnight stay visiting the Temples and Valley of the Kings before travelling to Safaga to embark. A further overnight was spent in Palmyra whilst visiting the large site.
At many of the ports we were late leaving for our tours, clearance seemed to take longer than planned and as a result we arrived at St Catherine's Monastery just 30 minutes before it was due to close. We had tendered at Sharm El Sheikh which added to the time to get ashore, although a similar sized ship was berthed alongside the quay and there appeared room for our own ship.
Organization for the tours was not good, our cabin level (concierge class)gave us priority for disembarkation but in reality this didn't happen all the time.
The size of the groups were large but the whisper devices were good. At St Anthony's Monastery the local monk acted as guide which was good except that the size of the party meant that those at the rear of the group seldom knew to what he was referring.
Food on board was reasonable but not to the standard I have experienced on other ships.
The cabin was fine and the beds comfortable. The air conditioning seemed to work well but the temperatures were never too high to test it.
Speakers on board were good but it would have been nice if they had been introduced by the cruise staff and facilities made to catch up on the On board TV for any missed.
TV facilities were very limited throughout the cruise and only came back as we approached Athens at the end of the cruise.
I believe the idea is good but the organisation must be improved. The young staff who acted as assistants to the cruise director were very willing but one felt they lacked direction and were not sure what their responsibilities were.
The cruise director was lacking in personality and failed to make announcements interesting.