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River Tosca Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
38 Reviews

Uniworld Exceeded Our Expectations With Splendors of Egypt

River Tosca Cruise Review by pdefra1500

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2019
  • Destination: Africa
  • Cabin Type: Grand Suite

I have been wanting to visit Egypt since I was 4 years old. Instability and fear had always held me back until I discovered Uniworld River Cruises. Uniworld has a unique way of always making you feel like you’re a VIP. So was it possible that Uniworld could possibly provide us the security and comforts of home that we demand in Egypt? The only way that question could possibly be answered was to book the trip and find out first hand. So after much anxiety we did we booked our trip for March 23, and I am all the more thankful and grateful for the decision we made. For us, it was truly that trip of our life time thanks to Uniworld.

We arrived at the Cairo airport a day early and was greeted by a smiling and friendly Egyptian holding up a Uniworld sign named Ahab. He grabbed our luggage and the luggage of another Uniworld couple and headed us to the Uniworld Van. He then began to explain all the wonderful things we would be experiencing over the next two weeks and gave us a short Egyptian language lesson. He was funny and knowledgeable and gave us a very positive impression of what was instore. He offered us an optional day trip to the bent pyramid. Any time you meet a 55 year old guide with a high energy cell phone ring tone, you know you are in for a really good time but we had already made other plans.

Uniworlds trip includes a visit to the pyramids, sphinx and camel ride, but we were so anxious we booked a private half day exertion via Viator and had a really good guide named Marwa who made certain we had a great time, along with lots of photo opportunities.

Our stays at the Four Season Hotel was wonderful. This hotel is well managed and was like an luxury oasis in the middle of the desert. This hotel exhibited very good security and we always felt safe. Our room was magnificent and over looked the Nile River. My wife and I were treated like VIP’s the entire visit and we received exceptional service. The spa was fantastic and the services they provided were extremely professional. We dined at the Italian and Oriental restaurants and the buffet. The food and service at the buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner was our favorite!

Since there was 72 people, they divided us into two groups and each assigned a bus and our own Egyptologist. Ours was named Tarek Mostafa and he was absolutely wonderful. Not only was he extremely knowledgeable about Egypt but had good command of the English language, authentic, funny and extremely good dresser. He also made us feel like we were VIP’s the entire trip. My wife and I have traveled to a lot of places in this world and used a lot of guides via Uniworld, Tauck and Viking, but Tarek Mostafa is hands down the best we have ever experienced. I hope you are lucky enough to have him as your Egyptologist. He went out of his way to provide our group with plenty of safe shopping opportunities during a very packed schedule and even helped us negotiate prices with vendors. He will teach you how to deal with locals trying to sell you stuff for one dollar. Every local knew him, and locals treated him with great respect and admiration. If you are lucky enough to get Tarek as your guide, you tell him Pete said hello.

I loved the ole majestic Tosca river boat and all the five star staff that they had on board. I thought it was elegant and beautiful just not a quiet as the electric boats Uniworld has in Europe. She parted the waves of the Nile like a knife through butter. I loved all the wood work, comfortable seating and the pictures of old Egypt that hand on the wall. We enjoyed the Egyptian entertainment and dressing up for the Galabeya party. I even learned how to really dance like an Egyptian!

We absolutely loved cruising the Nile River from on top of the Tosca. Plenty of comfortable seating and nice relaxing pool. We returned home so dark, that our family thought we had gone to Miami. Expect to see lots of beautiful tall palm trees and tons of banana trees. The only modern machinery you will see is electric pumps to irrigate the miles of farms. I saw lots of fisherman checking trout lines and nets. My favorite were the smiling faces and waving arms of children along the banks of the Nile all happy to see us.

Every single day of our trip went as planned and we were always informed throughout the day by our Egyptologist, staff on board the ship and received a printed itinerary of next day’s events in detail. We always felt extremely safe because on every single excursion we had our own embedded guard who wore a three piece suit and holstered an impressive 9mm MP5. In addition, our buses were always escorted by the Egyptian military or police. Everyone waved to us and thanked us for visiting Egypt. I cannot tell you how many people randomly thanks us for coming to Egypt. Not once did we feel unsafe or threatened. We loved the balloon ride and the trip to Abu Simbal. Everything worked like clockwork during the entire trip. We were lucky that the Nile was high enough to cruise to Dendra, and that there were not sand storms or strong winds for us to experience the hot air balloon ride. All the interior Egyptian flights were with Egypt air and they ran smooth and security was extremely good. Expect some early morning wake-ups to avoid the heat, other tourist and sand that can rise up to 13,000 feet during the mid-day. Trust in the process cause these folks are experts when it comes to experiencing Egypt in a safe and comfortable manor. In return, we experienced a perfect trip and a trip of a life time that I will always remember. We left Egypt with a greater knowledge of Egypt and a much better understanding of the Muslim and Christian people who call Egypt home. The last days visit to the pyramids, sphinx and camel ride was as much fun as the first one! I just wish my wife would have let me buy one of those camels for the back yard. Uniworld not only meet our expectations but exceeded them. Ahab, even helped us inside the airport terminal to make sure we made it through security and check our luggage with no issues on the way home. No other company has ever done that for us. These folks treated us like family. If you want to see and experience Egypt first class and feel like a VIP, choose Uniworld’s Splendors of Egypt!


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Cabin Review

Grand Suite
Cabin S 220

The Tosca is a beautiful and elegant grand ole diesel engine driven boat. I personally loved how it was decorated and the beautiful entry. Our room was always clean and everything worked. The walls are upholstered with soft green and gold fabric. Super soft sheets and large rooms. Though we could hear the gentle rumble of the engines at night when cruising, we never needed ear plugs or lost any sleep. Occupants higher up and toward the front of the boat heard zero engine noise.There are not electric boats on the Nile. We loved our room and the staff assigned treated us like VIP's the entire trip. The right side (even number) always had us facing the Nile in the mornings and evenings.It was the prettiest and most elegant ship on the Nile that we saw, and we passed at least 150 other boats. I absolutely loved this boat.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Abu Simbel

Wow, this was truly beautiful. None of the images that line walls had been defaced. Was my favorite temple and worth the flight. Took some really good images flying to Abu Simbel.

View All 3 Abu Simbel Reviews
Felucca Ride

Loved the ride since we focused on the wild life. Tarek allowed us to do some shopping for some camel bone necklaces and bracelets.

View All 4 Felucca Ride Reviews
Karnak Temple

You can spend the entire day at this Temple and not see it all.

View All 6 Karnak Temple Reviews
Luxor Temple

Absolutely beautiful with all the beautiful images.

View All 5 Luxor Temple Reviews
Queen Hatshepsut's Temple

Another beautifully decorated temple.

View All 4 Queen Hatshepsut's Temple Reviews
Valley of the Kings

Absolutely beautiful! Even though King Tuts tomb was small and lacked engravings, I thought the painted murals were beautiful.

View All 5 Valley of the Kings Reviews
Pyramids

The pyramids were beautiful. My wife is shorter than me and she went inside the low and long corridors and said it was a wonderful experience.

View All 20 Pyramids Reviews
Sakkara Walking Tour

This is not a heavily visited sight like the pyramids of Giza. Well worth the visit because the landscape was beautiful and the pyramids were restored.

View All 7 Sakkara Walking Tour Reviews

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pdefra1500
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