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

Wonderful Boat, lousy tour of ancient Egypt

River Tosca Cruise Review by BarbaraMafuta

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2019
  • Destination: the Middle East
  • Cabin Type: Presidential Suite

We chose Uniworld as friends said their experience is ultimate pleasure and luxury.

That said, we also wanted a total cultural experience of the wonders of Ancient Egypt. We read reviews that extolled the Uniworld Egyptologists as knowledgeable and entertaining. We were excited to experience this as we wondered at the marvels of the temples, tombs, etc.

This was a family trip and we loved the River Tosca and its aging gentility. The crew/staff were most accommodating and friendly, with attention to one’s every need.

We had a Royal Suite and were able to have private relaxation times with our family there - this is a really comfortable and large cabin with an additional sitting room. Egyptian whisky, gin and vodka and all soft drinks are available free of charge as well as three pots of snacks - one usually nuts or roasted corn, one of Egyptian chocolates, and one with potato crisps in packets. There is also a fruit bowl and laundry is thrown in. My husband says he may never recover from having his scants ironed!

We are accustomed on guided trips to have hour long presentations of the periods and places of the next day presented each evening. Our “Egyptologist talk” each evening was when we could need to be ready, where we were going, and when we could be back - and oh yes, where shopping would be available. No real information! The documentaries on the TV were outdated documentaries of how movies were made, a story of some Egyptian conscripts at the time of the pyramids (all based on guesswork), and some ancient stuff from the BBC - and the Peter Ustinov version of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile.

Our Egyptologist Sameh was repetitive and very good at shepherding his flock, but we were there for the cultural experience and we kept getting the feeling that everything was boiling down to “the boy king” and a limited number of “stars” that they had decided would make good storylines. We were frustrated in the extreme. We are not idiots and the stuff we were being fed was pure Hollywood/`Disney. King Tut, Nefertiti, Amenhotep, Hatshepsut and the odd other walk on part. These were minor players in the grand scheme of things, but we learned nothing more than we already knew from previous research, and that was bitterly disappointing.

So Uniworld - Get serious and bat with the heavyweights like Regent and Azamara. Have proper detailed briefings each evening prior to the visits - Egypt demands this!!

Egyptian tourism has decided to pander to the Hollywood and Disney superficial storylines. Don’t bow down to this (remember your South African heritage, dammit).

Give us the real thing please. Your boat and crew are delightful. Your packaging of the ancient Egyptian historical experience needs serious review - unless we got the dregs of your Egyptologists? Perhaps we did.

Who knows.

BarbaraMafuta's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Presidential Suite

Our cabin was delightful but be prepared to experience Diesel engine noise and fumes as it is at the bows and the tie ups are often inconvenient. Egyptian whiskey, gin and vodka are included, as is laundry. The balcony is really tiny and we did not use it. The front windows look out over a working area and sometimes crew come there to pray.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Colossi of Memnon

Questions raised - how done?

View All 3 Colossi of Memnon Reviews
Karnak Temple

Very interesting = researched it on You Tube and other to find out something about it

View All 6 Karnak Temple Reviews
Luxor Temple

Outstanding but not good guiding

View All 5 Luxor Temple Reviews
Queen Hatshepsut's Temple


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

The very best experience because of the preservation of the hieroglyphs

View All 5 Valley of the Kings Reviews

Where to start. I recommend previous research

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