The Best Accommodation You’ve Stayed In
MS Kasr Ibrim – Lake Nasser, Egypt
Not a hotel, but a cruise boat. Egypt had always been high on the “top places to go” list for both me and Sally-Jayne and we did it in style two years ago. We had a three-week tailor-made private tour that took us to all of the main ancient sites throughout the country. The country is dominated by its waterways, particularly the River Nile, and many people take a Nile cruise as part of an Egypt trip, but the agent we used (the wonderful Florida-based Egypt Magic) recommended that we take a cruise on Lake Nasser instead, as it is more peaceful than the hectic cruise routes further North. So that’s exactly what we did. As it was a special trip, I booked a small suite rather than a normal cabin on the cruise boat. When we arrived in Egypt, we were informed that our cruise boat had been changed from the original one to the sister ship, the MS Kasr Ibrim, but we were to be compensated with an upgrade to the “Imperial Suite”. Not sure why we needed compensation, as the facilities on board were the same, as was the itinerary, but we did not complain!
The suite was huge, running the full width of the boat, complete with its own sun deck, and floor to ceiling windows right the way across. It had a huge bed, a lovely sitting-room area, even a dining table (although we ate our meals in the dining room / outdoor deck), and a massive bathroom, with bath, shower and jacuzzi, where you could sit and watch the scenery drift by through a large porthole.
It wasn’t just the suite itself that was fantastic, the whole boat was superb.
The lounges were comfortable, bright and relaxing, the staff were all friendly, helpful and efficient. And then there was the food! Wow! The cruise is fully catered, and the quality and sheer amount of food was incredible. Each morning, you get coffee before sunrise sightseeing (before it gets too hot), then cake and more coffee when you get back to the boat. Breakfast shortly afterwards, a huge buffet spread. Cocktails on the top deck on a couple of occasions, a delicious and filling lunch, afternoon tea and cake (Egyptians seem to be obsessed with cake, we were offered it everywhere, huge portions too), then later in the evening dinner either in the dining room or on the open deck of the boat. If the cruises were longer than a few days, you would need to shop for larger clothes upon disembarkation!
Taken as a whole – the fantastic upgraded suite, our beautifully relaxing sun deck, the amazing catering, the lovely boat and the service – the Kasr Ibrm is my number one. Add to that the surroundings of Lake Nasser itself – deserted temples in the desert, a full day of sailing through tranquil scenery with no sign of human life at all, and the final destination of Abu Simbel – as depicted in the photo I use at the header of my blog, from one of our sunrise sightseeing trips, taken from the back of a camel.