The Cruise Critic reviews helped me tremendously prior to taking my cruise so I am now giving back with my thoughts to help others! Unfortunately, our cruise did not have a good start- most of the passengers had booked this Nile River cruise based upon the cruise being on the brand new ship, the Sphinx. After unexpected fire damage on the Sphinx in December, we were told that our January cruise would be on the old and worn, Tosca. After my travel agent and I both requested that Uniworld provide compensation to me, considering that the contract was based upon a new ship, not a worn older ship, Uniworld declined. I guess they knew that my travel insurance would not cover cancellation in this circumstance and they had my money. So when I boarded the ship, and so many passengers told me they had received compensation from Uniworld for the ship change (one passenger got $600) , it soured my Uniworld experience. Ok... now going forward with the cruise- Tour Leader: We were fortunately assigned the best Egyptologist - his name was Hani. I think a good tour guide can make or break your trip as you are touring with your whispers most of the day. Hani is excellent and a true asset to Uniworld. Schedule: I had asked Uniworld prior to the trip for a time schedule and they were unable to provide one. Now I know why- Most mornings you have to be on the bus at 7 am so for me that meant getting up at 5 am so I could shower, and make it to breakfast. The day we were leaving Cairo to fly to Luxor, bags had to be out your door at 5:15 am so I had to get up at 4:00 am that morning. Afternoon: The Uniworld hotline had told me that most afternoons we would be relaxing on the ship. That is not so - we were on the run for most of the trip. You get to see a lot, but you will return home really tired. Packing: I suggest that you pack a hat, sunscreen, lip balm, and base layers - temperatures were chilly in the morning then warmed by noon. You may want to take crisp dollars for bathrooms at temples and also for the small children who break your heart begging to sell you something. Staff: Staff on the ship are hard working and eager to please. Ship Condition - Is worn and tired, as you would expect for an older ship. Food- Very good! Waiter Bassam was our favorite. Giza Light Show: This was another sore spot for our group. When we contracted with Uniworld, the itinerary on the Uniworld website showed that the Giza light show was included in the cost of the trip. But when we arrived in Cairo, Uniworld told everyone that the Giza light show was now $55/person. This soured the trip as well. When we requested an adjustment, Uniworld’s attitude was too bad , it’s now $55/person . Extra excursions: While the Uniworld hotline had told me that the Hot air balloon ride and camel ride had been discontinued, I was pleased to find once on the ship that you could book these events - they just no longer were being offered through Uniworld for liability reasons. Abu Simbel is a must do - and of course, it is an extra cost. Safety: Uniworld did a good job keeping us safe with armed guards and police escorts. Buses- The bus rides were frequent and tiring and almost daily modes of transportation. I would have enjoyed more walking but the cruise group was a much older group so the buses worked fo them. Bus driver, Nassar, did a good job. So overall for my review, I think that Egypt is an interesting place to travel. While the Uniworld cabin staff, kitchen staff, and tour leader did a great job, I do not plan to book another trip with Uniworld. I don’t think it was honorable the way they handled my booking contract in regard to the ship change and the Giza Light show change.