As an avid ‘review’ reader myself, I want to contribute my own review of the ‘Galapagos’ experience as guests of ‘Celebrity’ cruises on board the Xpedition.
My wife and I (68 and 67yrs) just returned from one of the best vacations we have ever experienced. Here are some particulars that will be important to you.
The Expense: All told this cruise cost about $150/day (including air). That’s the bad news. The good news is that everything is included [Food, beverages (including wine and mixed drinks), tips, all offshore activities, even Internet in the lounge]. We paid only for clothes we bought and off shore purchases that were mainly gifts for family.
The Ship: Excellent! Well maintained and clean. It is well designed and functional. The cabins (318) were not overly spacious but compare favorably with our previous experiences on similar sized ships like ‘Windstar’. The bathrooms are small but not cramped and showering is very comfortable. Storage space is more than adequate for a 7-night stay. I would bring and extra bag/suitcase and leave it in Quito with a few ‘dirties’ and then you will have extra space for gifts on the way home.
The staff is the most friendly we have experienced. The naturalists outstanding. I cannot remember a single question that was not answered quickly and accurately.
The food was also above my expectations. As on most ships, the food is pre-cooked. Yet, I was still able to get both medium-rare steak and lobster (which I had 5 different meals) that were not over-done. Carlos (in charge) is to be lauded as a hard worker who aims to see to everyone’s satisfaction.
The Itinerary: The ship stops at a different location each morning and each afternoon. The local waters give the Xpedition a gentle rocking, but I did not hear of any significant seasickness. We did not need any medication. The transfers are safe and well organized on zodiacs with seasoned drivers. Several of the ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ landings are not suitable for those with strength or balance issues. The remaining landings are reasonable for most all except the disabled. Snorkeling is good but the water cold, and a wet suit is necessary (provided). Kayaking and diving are not available from the Xpedition. The hiking is not overly challenging but still a little exercise. The views and wildlife exceeded every expectation. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Zodiac tours are breathtaking.
Local shopping is very good for clothing, leather goods, and some unique artwork.
All-In-All Don’t miss it!