We booked the 10 day cruise with Celebrity spending 3 nights in Quito at the Marriott and 7 nights on the Xpedition in the Galapagos. Celebrity took care of us from the time we stepped off the plane until it was time to get on the plane and head home.
We had a wonderful time in Quito. We arrived around 6:30 PM and entered Immigration and Customs. We spend almost 1 1/2 hours in the Immigration line. This was really frustrating. Everything had to be entered into the system by hand, and there were several flights arriving at the same time, and they only had 3 booths open. One was for nationals and the other two were for foreign visitors. This was really frustrating. After getting through Immigration and Customs, a Celebrity representative was waiting for us. She then took us through the airport as a group as we walked to the bus. We quickly boarded the bus and were off to the Marriott.
The Marriott was a wonderful 6 star hotel. We could not find one thing wrong with it. The room was well appointed, modern, and clean. The breakfast buffet was excellent with lots of choices. We ate one meal at La Hacienda in the hotel on our final night, and it was also very good.
The tours of the city were excellent. Celebrity provided a tour guide and security officer on each bus. We were informed that we should remove all necklaces. One person did not, and a thief ripped it from his neck. The security guard ended up getting it back, and Celebrity had it repaired. We toured the Old Town area and the Equator, and found them all to be very good.
We flew from Quito to Baltra, and everything was first class. We had to wait a little while at the airport for the bus to the Xpedition. Again, everything went smoothly.
The cruise itself was fabulous! The guides were knowledgeable and friendly. We enjoyed all of the hikes and snorkel activities including 2 deep water snorkels. We can't say enough about how great everything was. We saw so many animals and learned so much. We even went into the highlands to see the giant tortoises. We were super busy for the entire cruise, so there was no time for boredom. Breakfast started at 7:00, and dinner finished around 9:00.
The cruise director has everything very organized. Each evening we would have a talk about what the next day would offer, and then we would sign up for activities. We pretty much chose the harder excursion each day, and they were not hard.
Our cabin was just fine. It was actually the room that is located right over the anchor. There was a room open across the hallway, and it was offered to us. We declined. We were only in the room twice while the anchor was being moved. The cabin itself was minimal and very clean.
The only two things that we found lacking was television and the food. For the price of this cruise, they could have provided satellite TV. Now, we didn't go to the Galapagos to sit in the room and watch television, but it would have been nice to have in the mornings and evenings.
The food was just okay. Again, when paying these prices, we expected something more exciting. Breakfast was the same everyday! There was a nice buffet that had fresh fruits, breads, and the same hot dishes each day. The hot dishes were not very appetizing. They also had an omelet bar where you could also get eggs cooked to order.
Lunch was a buffet with a different theme each day. Again, we do not like buffets. The food just isn't as good as food that is cooked to order. They also had a hot station each day with pizza and pasta. The grill was open on the outside deck with burgers, etc. The burgers were strange. We only ate there once. One day they had a barbecue where they grilled seafood, chicken, and steaks. This was very good.
Dinner was a 3 course meal and was cooked to order. We found it good when we ordered the fish. The steaks were not good (strange taste, maybe a marinade), and I ordered vegetable lasagna that was inedible. It had no pasta in it. It was strange. During the week I had warm, not hot, soup, and did not eat two of the entrees. I do not consider myself a picky eater.
The entertainment was pretty much non-existent, but that was okay since we were pretty tired by the time the meal was over.
Overall, this is a great cruise and Celebrity takes good care of the guests.