The Antares is an older ship but only in its age. We were amazed how well appointed and taken care of this ship seemed to be upon entering. When we entered our stateroom we both said WOW! The room was amazing and not what we were expecting. The rest of the ship was also well appointed with all the wood paneling making it feel warm and inviting. While other ships on this line may have more modern accommodations such as more outlets to charge your devices, the staff provided adapters for charging more than one device at a time. The crew and staff were also top notch, always smiling and friendly and looking after your every need. The whole cruise I never saw floors dirty or cups or debris lying around. I'd hate to even single out any one member of the staff as they all performed their jobs to perfection.
Moving on to our guides we were split into two groups with Ehab taking one group and Ahmed the other. We got to experience both of them at one time or another and both were very knowledgable on not only the history of the historic sites but also the everyday lives of modern Egyptians. Seeing the mosques and learning how important their religion plays a role in their daily lives was a great experience. To single out any one tour presented to us would be difficult. Some of my highlights would include seeing the Great Pyramid (and getting to go inside to the burial chamber, not for the weak of heart), the Sphinx, the dawn balloon ride, and going into some of the Pharaohs tombs. Of course the temples were also amazing in their own way with many retaining their original colors. The temples of Philae sound and light show was interesting and I enjoyed the way the light played on the buildings and columns. It made for some great photos. Overall a well balanced tour.
One thing that bothered us was all the vendors selling all sorts of souvenirs at most every entrance or exit of each site we visited. I understand tourism is how many make their living but the sheer number of vendors at times made us feel like chum in the water. Still, with most of the vendors approaching and following you around their designated area, only a few became more aggressive and annoying. We always had a security person with us and at times they stepped in to shoo the vendors off. Most times our groups were spread out and we just had to look away and keep walking. Our guides always gave advice on haggling with the vendors and how much we should expect to pay. My advice if you have anxiety issues or just don't want to shop is not look at them, ignore their chatter, and keep moving. Also, never let a vendor hand you an item or they will expect you to buy it.
As stated in the review, we both said WOW upon entering the room. This was the last room available on the date we were traveling and decided to take it instead of changing dates. We were glad we did as the room was amazing. A wall of floor to ceiling windows the length of the room. A large bathroom, sitting area, and an area to store clothing. Fresh fruit and restocked mini fridge each day added a special touch to traveling.