Nile River Cruise – Dining
Before we left home for this cruise, we had some concerns about the type of meals that may be served, seeing that we do not eat meat at all, and salads and vegetables may be dicey. Being on a river cruise like this, all your meals are taken on board and there’s no option of taking off to a restaurant onshore if you didn’t like the ship’s food. I must say that from the first evening’s meal onwards, our fears were allayed when we arrived in the restaurant.
The meals were buffet-style and for us, there was a wide selection of salads of Domiati cheese with tomatoes, stuffed vegetables, stuffed vine leaves, fuul (a traditional Egyptian dish of mashed fava beans with lemon juice), hummus and babaghanoush, and they were all quite delicious. With their hot sun and fertile Nile soil, the Egyptians are able to grow tomatoes and other salad vegetables that are really tasty.
Meat-eating passengers seemed quite satisfied with their lot as well. Egyptians traditionally grill their lamb or chicken, as in kebabs or you could have koftas which are patties of minced lamb.
Everything was cooked and baked on board and the chef made changes to the menu each night. He would always make something vegetarian for us, so that we were not restricted to having the same salads every night. The spread of deserts each night was very good as well and rather than our anticipated weight loss, we had to be careful not to over-eat and over-bulk.
At mealtime, everyone is provided with a litre bottle of water. They are very cautious about keeping good health standards as each boat carries 160 passengers and it would not be good for the reputation of the tour if boat loads of passengers got ill. In fact on our cruise, there was only 1 young girl who felt a little ill and that was due to water or food that she had had on shore and not on the boat.
The restaurant staff were really nice and helpful and nothing was to inconvenient for them. If it was anyone’s birthday or special day, they would always bring out a special cake which is delivered to the special guest with much fanfare. One of our favorite waiters was a guy we christened Mr. Why Not. Whenever you asked anything of him his response would always be Why Not!
So, it’s possible to stay away from gastro ailments as long as you’re sensible and take heed of health warnings, particularly if you’ve never been exposed to extreme heat and surving in less developed countries.