6/20/10: Nile River, Egypt
That’s the sound I make each time we come step foot onto our lovely boat. Here’s the first thing I do when we get back into our cabin:
If you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re loving the cruise. Not only does it give us a chance to get out of the heat, we can actually do things inside. Our last hostel that we stayed at had “air conditioning,” but the walls let in so much heat that we couldn’t do anything in our rooms (except nap) without sweating (I did a lot of napping).
Almost all Nile cruises boats bill themselves as a “five-star cruise” and ours is no exception. This greatly confuses me. Firstly, who’s giving out the stars? Is there some kind of association that goes around looking at all the boats and then gives them a rating? If so, who is it, and are they trustworthy? Secondly, if they’re all five-star cruises, why are some of them ten times more expensive than others? Thirdly, is this the same system as hotel ratings? Actually, scratch that, I know the answer to that last question. It can’t be. Granted I’ve never stayed at a five-star hotel, but I’ve seen pictures, and I’m pretty sure our boat wouldn’t match up. Don’t get me wrong – I love our boat – it’s clean and comfortable, our cabin is awesome (clean towels! clean sheets! our own bathroom and shower! a closet! a TV!), there’s comfy lounge chairs and a pool on the sun deck and we eat three buffet meals every day. It’s not the Ritz, but it’s at least a very good Holiday Inn.
What’s funny about the boat is that everything is in German. We’re pretty sure this boat is affiliated with a German hotel chain. So this means all the written announcements about activities are in German, the books and magazines are in German and all the board games are even in German. Everyone else was also part of a tour group with a tour guide, so we were the only ones without a set schedule. This was nice most of the time – we could stay in our cabin all day if we wanted to. (I don’t think I stepped foot outside the first day.) The only problem with not having any idea what was going on was that we didn’t know what time meals were, what time any of the shows were (or if there were any shows at all). We usually figured it out though.
Even with just a few short days on the cruise, we’ve fallen into a routine. Breakfast around 9. The morning is spent seeing temples (if there are any), writing (Kevin), napping (me) or playing Scrabble. Then it’s time for lunch around 12:30. After lunch, we would repeat the morning’s activities, except we’d add in sun deck/pool time. Then dinner, time to relax and in bed early for the next day.
A routine is one of the things that we crave on the road that we don’t usually get. It’s partly because we don’t spend enough time in one place to get into a rhythm, and even when we do stay in one place for more than four or five days, there are so many day trips and excursions that it’s impossible to start each day off the same way. But now that our trip is coming to an end, I’m starting to realize that there’s something really exciting about waking up and knowing that this day is going to be different from all the other days that came before it. And that’s something I’ll definitely miss when we get home.
Picture of the Day: Truck…ATM?