The Oberoi Philae is a wonderful boat on the Nile. While we have been warned that it is perhaps the best boat on the Egyptian waters, we don’t really appreciate it until we are at home on the boat.
We have arrived a tad bit early – around 8AM – the boarding time printed was 12noon. Nevertheless, we are warmly welcomed on board, despite the fact that the previous passengers are still disembarking. We are escorted to the lounge by no less than 3 escorts – and served a chilled Karkaday. This is perhaps the most attractive looking drink I have ever had – reminds me of the Indian drink Rooh Afza, a rose flavored sweet and refreshing summer drink – a deep red infusion of hibiscus flowers, it is a really refreshing drink. Although a bit on the tangier side, the drink is very refreshing. the locals claim that the drink calms the nerves, and after the long train ride, I can’t disagree with them.We hang out around the pool area until a suite is available.
The Philae is a small ship, but one of the most elegantly decorated boats I have seen. The lobby is stately, every cabin comes with a balcony for an excellent view of the Nile, and we are told that it is the only boat on the Nile that has its own dock at every port. A cabin is quickly readied for us and by 9AM we have showered. the sun is shining bright, and we are sure that this will be a real hot day. Since we are early, there are a couple of hours to kill before the rest of our fellow passengers arrive. We dress up casually in a pair of jeans and t-shirt and head out into the city of Luxor to interact with the locals.