Linda U. is no stranger to river cruising with AmaWaterways. In fact, her October 2023 Secrets of Egypt & the Nile itinerary was her fourth AmaWaterways river cruise experience – and she was thrilled to have brought 23 friends along with her for this extraordinary journey.
Luxurious and Spectacular
As with every AmaWaterways Nile River cruise and land journey in 2023, Linda’s began with an included 3-night stay in Cairo at the 5-star Four Seasons Cairo at the First Residence. Linda described the accommodations there as “luxurious, suite-like and spectacular,” but what she appreciated the most was the central location of the hotel. “It has a choice of several restaurants on site or just across the road, so we didn’t have to wander very far on our own.” She also noted the hotel is attached to a high-end shopping center just off the fourth floor, perfect for guests browsing for high-quality souvenirs who wish to stay close by and out of the heat. Highlights for Linda and her friends were being able to experience some of Egypt’s most sought-after iconic sites, such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx.
The Best Kept Getting Better
Once the group’s time in Cairo had concluded, a short flight took them to Luxor where they boarded the stunning AmaDahlia for their 7-night Nile River cruise. A veteran of many luxury ocean cruises, Linda fell instantly in love with AmaDahlia. “We loved the décor on board, and our stateroom was the best we have had on any ship – anywhere. We loved lying on our bed and looking out through our French balcony at the Nile as it went by.”
Linda and her group happened to be on board on October 31st and were treated to a totally unexpected Halloween celebration. From waiters wearing monster masks to orange and black decorations to carved gourds, chocolate bats and pumpkins, Linda felt this unexpected and non-local celebration of the “macabre” set the tone for excellent service and other happy surprises that followed during their week on board.
Linda found the atmosphere on board magnificent, praising AmaDahlia’s Chef Youssef for preparing wonderful cuisine throughout the cruise, including an extra “special” dish each night, such as Beef Wellington. “If you didn’t order it, they’d bring you a little piece so you could try it anyway,” she recalled with a smile. “We were really impressed.” Linda especially enjoyed the exclusive feeling of The Chef’s Al Fresco Restaurant, where she and her group were served a multi-course meal that included braziers with coals upon which their shishkabob sat, as well as endless platters of Egyptian sweets.
Highlights of the Experience on Shore
One of the standout experiences for Linda during her Secrets of Egypt & the Nile cruise was the private tour of Abdeen Palace in Cairo. “That was just unbelievable,” she said. “The palace is only used for private functions, so you can’t just walk up and buy a ticket. AmaWaterways gained access and it was all ours. We were treated like royalty.” Linda also commented on the chandeliers, beautiful decor and multi-course meal at the palace catered by the Four Seasons.
In addition to Abdeen Palace in Cairo, other outstanding memories for Linda during the river cruise were seeing the temples at Luxor and Kom Ombo illuminated at night, when temperatures were cooler and there were less crowds.
For Linda, it is the thoughtful service details that really put AmaWaterways above the rest on the rivers. She could not say enough about the kind members of the AmaDahlia crew. “They were hands-down the best crew I have ever experienced anywhere! They couldn’t do enough for you,” she said. “By the time you sat in your chair, your favorite drink was on the table.”
“While we were having our tour of Abdeen Palace,” she remembered, “our Cruise Manager Sameh and the driver had taken our suitcases to the Four Seasons so when we arrived at the hotel, our suitcases were all waiting for us in our rooms. It really was above and beyond.”
As for any pre-departure safety concerns some members of her group may have had, those quickly disappeared as the group felt welcomed and safe throughout their whole journey. The Egyptian authorities went above and beyond to make sure they all felt protected and comfortable, from enhanced security at the airport to bag and x-ray screenings at popular tourist sites to checkpoints for buses. “We also received a great deal of thanks from the local people for supporting their tourism industry,” she stated. “Continuing on this river cruise was the best decision we ever made.”
Staterooms are still available on board AmaDahlia and AmaLilia for our 11-night Secrets of Egypt & the Nile cruise and land journeys in 2024. Contact your travel advisor to reserve yours today!