Day 8

Sunday 30th May 2010 – Luxor

Woke at 6am after a good nights sleep; no more excursions so no early morning start. I guess that’s a good thing as Tina has just been to the toilet again with Pharaoh’s Revenge. Luckily today is a free day so we will remain on the boat.
I got washed and shaved just before 8am and then Tina woke still feeling rough. She had a shower then we both went for breakfast. Tina was advised last night to have black tea or coffee but when I mentioned to Sabry that she has been ill he fussed around her and made her some toast and lemon tea. He then offered to come back to her cabin to ‘look after her’. I think our Sabry has taken a shine to Tina! I had my usual breakfast of mixed omelette and cheese. Back to our room to get ready for a lazy day by the pool (if it is not too hot of course).
Up to the sundeck to make use of the early morning lower temperatures and surprisingly we managed to get towels and sun beds. This is probably due to the number of people away on optional excursions. Unfortunately the view from the boat towards the river was not great; another boat moored up against ours over night. That meant nine boats were now side by side on the river and still there was space for about 20 or 30 more and allow boats to sail past. A very wide river.

Made only my second visit to the swimming pool during the holiday this morning, bit of a shock temperature wise as it was a bit cold when you first got in but worth it once in. Tina’s not ventured in yet due to her delicate condition.
Another boat has docked onto the one that arrived earlier, now ten side by side.
Apparently the MS Da Vinci boat is being refurbished after this trip has ended and will be out of action for a month, I had read reviews before we came out stating that guest found that it was a bit tired. It seems that they’ve taken the comments on board. I personally didn’t think it was too bad but I guess if you advertise it as five star then some people will be critical. Popped back to the room to discover another ‘towelanimal’, well not strictly true as it was actually a flower.
Midday and it’s now getting very hot. Not sure how people can sit in the sun like this. Walking on the floor without shoes on is impossible, it is scalding. Thankfully the sun beds were in the shade although I think we’ll lose it after lunch as the sun moves around.
We went back to our cabin to freshen up before lunch, which served at 1.30pm. Tina, still with an upset stomach skipped it.
As four out of eight on our table were on an excursion and the other two were exploring Luxor, I sat on my own eating lunch, feeling a bit of a ‘Billy No Mates’. My starter was served first; a very nice spinach and onion concoction topped with a poached egg.

 This was followed by BBQ chicken and chips and salad, again served before the rest of the diners. I had fruit and jelly for dessert.
I returned to our cabin and Tina said that it should be me having stomach problems not her based on the amount and varied types of food I’ve been eating. I agreed (and how prophetic that comment turned out to be!). Up to the sun lounge, but staying in the shade as it’s now getting very hot.
In the pool to cool off then Tina joined me in the shade, her stomach still gripey but no diarrhoea for a couple of hours.
A couple of cans of Sprite to keep the fluid intake up then both of us went in the pool. Despite it being 4pm it is still very hot!
Looking at boat number 10 and yearning for the cooling spray that is coming from the top of the sundeck awning. I want some of that!
The last tea of the holiday was served at 5pm. This daily ritual is the highlight of many peoples day judging by the rush to get their cakes and tea or coffee. Obviously no point in me rushing for cakes although there are some mini meringues I could eat. Tina chanced one of my biscuits and a cup of coffee, hopefully she won’t have any after effects.
Been reading some of the feedback in the book in reception of guests holiday thoughts and there seems to be a common theme about lack of tea/coffee included with the meals. And I would tend to agree although I can see why they don’t as it would take ages to get people out of the dining hall.

Our last sunset over the Nile

Back down to the coolness of the cabin for a couple of hours before dinner at 8pm.
Showered and changed for dinner which tonight is at 8pm. We went up onto the sundeck to watch our last Egyptian sunset of this holiday with the sun going down over the west bank of the Nile.
Back down to the cabin as I forgot the water and wine. Tonight we have to pay cash for any drinks as they are making up the bills for the week. We were told yesterday to hand out any tips you feel you would like to give to the crew so I gave the cleaner £10 in £1 coins and took my wallet to dinner just in case.

Those musical chefs are at it again!

Dinner was vegetable soup followed by beef and rice. Tina ate light. Only John and Karen were at our table during dinner, the others not back from Cairo yet.
Once dinner was over the familiar drums and other musical instruments started up, being played by the kitchen staff. We assumed it was another birthday but actually it was a goodbye song.
A cake with ‘goodbye’ written on it had been cooked by the kitchen staff and was then paraded around the dining hall whilst the staff sang and played instruments and we all clapped.
Then came the funny part of the evening when the front of house staff started ‘hovering’ over us. Soon we realised that they were expecting their tips so I gave Sabry his envelope (£10 about £80 EP) which I had written a little note on thanking him for looking after me. Then the waiters all started lingering at the table so I ended up giving the three regular waiters £50 EP each. I hadn’t expected to have to do this as we paid the tipping up front at the start of the week, but they did do a good job and looked after us. Barbara and Stuart arrived just as we were finishing; worn out after their long day but full of enthusiasm over what they experienced. Then shortly after Catherine and Santosh arrived.
Once we finished dinner we sat in the lounge for a short while exchanging e-mail addresses then decided it would be cooler to sit upstairs on top deck so we all moved up there. We then spent a couple of hours discussing our experiences, our thoughts on other guests and had a really good laugh at the same time.
As 1am got closer we called it a night and went to bed exhausted, even though we’d had a very lazy day today.

Click here for Day 9