We were on an Xpedition Cruise from the 19th May - 26th May and had Suite 503, which was excellent. We cannot praise highly enough the staff on Xpedition - they were all fantastic. Diego, the Maitre'd, was amazing, he catered for my 'no onions, no garlic' dietary problems on a daily basis. He always had a smile and nothing was too much trouble for him. Sebastian, our waiter, was also excellent, smiling, cheerful and so helpful, he went through the menu every night to tell me what I could eat that didn't have the dreaded g & o!
All the naturalists were very good and we enjoyed the trips very much. The Zodiacs were fine, although some people had a struggle to get in and out of them when there was a swell. You do have to have a reasonable level of fitness to be able to get on and off these.
It was very sad to find out about the Galapagos National Park Authorities and their very unreasonable charges against Celebrity. We know from our cruise how seriously Celebrity take their 'green' credentials and go above and beyond what is usual to make sure that the Galapagos Islands do not get damaged in any way. They also contribute a lot of money to the Park to help with all the conservation work. The letter from the Park Authorities was a bombshell to the crew - they were upset and couldn't believe that this had happened. There is a new boss of the Authority - if he is not careful, the action of the Authority will put off people going to the Galapagos (maybe that is what they want).
Our last full day was scheduled to go to the Charles Darwin Conservation Centre, but because of the restrictions imposed on Celebrity, the naturalists were unable to go with us. The general view about the Centre was that it seemed to be run-down, with no signage around to tell you where to go and what was available. We were very disappointed and felt that what should have been one of the highlights was spoilt. Not Celebrity's fault at all.
The only negative was the motion of the ship. We had 3 nights when it was really bad. I was prepared for the rocking motion and had taken lots of otc medicines like Dramamine, etc with me. BUT, it was seriously bad - I basically lost 3 nights' sleep and felt dreadful because the movement of the ship was so pronounced. There is now a 6th Deck on the Xpedition and the ship was built for 5 decks with the stabilisers to match. The ship really needs to go to dry dock and have the stabilisers changed - quite a few people were ill on the ship.
It was our dream trip and we had a wonderful time and will not forget the Celebrity crew who made that week so memorable. Don't be put off going to Galapagos and comments about eating a lot of lobster on the cruise is silly - it is widely available and people like it, hence it was on the menu a lot. I'm sure a lot of the other vessels in the area offer the same when it is in season. Celebrity has done nothing wrong and is clearly the victim, as are the people booked on forthcoming cruises who might not get the chance to have their dream holiday.