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Nile Cruise Holiday Diary

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Here is Day 4 of Chris' Cairo & Nile Cruise holiday diary.

Wake up at 3.15am, surely not? I’m afraid so because we had to be ready to leave the hotel in the minibus at 4.15am. Our Egypt Air flight to Luxor was due to leave Cairo Airport at 7.10am and because of the early start the hotel staff had given us ‘breakfast bags’ to be eaten on route. The weather was fine but a bit foggy and we had to pass through several police checkpoints on the way. The mad Cairo traffic was quieter at that time of the morning and we arrived safely at the airport just before 5.30am. The Orbital Travel agent met us and took all of our bags into the airport for us before checking us in. We went straight through without any problems and waited for the call for us to board the aircraft. When opening the breakfast bags we found they mostly contained bread! Not to worry, we ate some of it and there was plenty of time to eat later. The flight left on time and we had just made ourselves comfortable in our seats when the ‘fasten your seatbelt’ sign came on and it was time to land again!

Out of the aircraft and off we went to meet up with the ever prompt and helpful Orbital representative. As usual nothing was ever too much trouble for these nice people and he took our bags as we passed quickly and without any problems through the terminal at Luxor Airport, before calling for the minibus to come and pick us up. Roz and I were the only Orbital customers on that flight and their agent made the journey through Luxor very interesting by telling us about everything as we were going along. We were now starting the main part of our holiday on board the River Nile Cruise Boat, the Royal Esadora. It only took about half an hour for the minibus to reach the Royal Esadora where we were greeted by various receptionists who checked us in and showed us to the lounge where a cup of coffee was waiting for us. We sat and waited for our tour guide to arrive and when he did he was standing with his back to us. I said “hello Elia”. He looked at me and said “you’ve made it” before giving me a great big hug. I think at this point I must explain myself! 

During my holiday to Egypt in 2013 Elia was the guide on the Orbital Travel Cruise Boat the ‘Emilio’ and because I was on my own he made a point of either looking after me himself, or making sure there was somebody else to look after me if he wasn’t there. He made the holiday for me and what Elia didn’t know about Ancient Egypt would not have been worth knowing anyway. 

On my return home I sent an email to Elia thanking him for everything and for making my holiday something to remember for the rest of my life. I also informed Greg Garner at Orbital Travel just how good Elia had been with all of Orbital Travel’s clients. 

MS Orbital Royal Esadora

When I booked this 2015 Nile Cruise holiday I had jokingly said to Greg that it would be great if Elia was the guide. I had not expected Greg to take me seriously and to see Elia on our boat. I was amazed that he remembered me after two years and during the conversation he told me that he remembered my email to him as well. That made my day and I knew that for Roz and myself the rest of the holiday was going to be great. 

Elia took us to our room, which was situated on the top row of cabins on the ‘port’ side of the boat with some of the best views out of the window. The room was very nice, however it didn’t take us long to trash it when we unloaded our bags all over the place. We put some of our clothes away before the ‘sundeck’ got the better of us and we went up to have a paddle in the pool. The day was nice and warm but the water in the pool freezing cold so we didn’t sit with our feet in it for very long. What we did do though was to fall asleep and when we woke up we went along the corridor to the lounge for something to eat.

As usual on the Orbital Nile Cruise boats there was a good choice of food for us to sample before returning up to the sundeck. By this time Dezzie and Antonia had arrived on a later flight from Cairo and we all sat together until Elia came to find us with our ‘wrist bands’. “Why do we need them Elia?” “Because you have been upgraded to an all-inclusive holiday”, came the reply. Now that explained about not having to pay for our extras at the hotel at Cairo! This must have been something to do with Greg at Orbital Travel but I wouldn’t know for sure until I returned home. All I do know is that it was a really nice thing to do and made us both feel very special indeed. When I mentioned to Elia about my message to Greg about him, he said that must have been the reason for him being on the boat. Anyway Roz and I chilled out for the rest of the afternoon until it was time for our evening meal and then it was back to our room to finish putting our things away. During the day I had rang Keith at home a couple of times and all that was left now was for an early night to bed and sleep (again).

Please click here for Day 5.

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