Silver Galapagos Cruise Review by anickat: Not the quality we expect from Silversea
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Not the quality we expect from Silversea
We board the Silver Galapagos on December 11. We choose Silversea over Celebrity in order to get a better level of service and better food.
Transfers in Quito and Guyaquil were perfect.
Quito: after breakfast at 5:30 we went for luggage inspection in the Marriott library at 6:00 AM and it was completed after 10 minutes. If you want to lock your luggages, do it right after the inspection is completed and before they put the blue tag seal. After, it is impossible to do it. You will see your luggage only in your cabin.
We didn't had any inspection for hand luggages.
Departure from hotel was at 7:00. Easy transfer to airport where a rep give boarding pass.
No air condition in airport and bus in Baltra.
After arriving at Baltra airport we wait for about 15 minutes to board a bus. About 10 minutes after we board the zodiac to go to the Silver Galapagos. All hand luggages are put in the middle of the zodiac. If the weather is good, no More problem but if you get rain, I expect that everything will get wet...
All hand luggages are put in the reception area on the Silver Galapagos and will be deliver to your cabin. So better to indicate your cabin # on your hand luggages.
After a brief introduction and safety in case of emergency, you go for lunch.
You are not allowed to go to your room befor 1PM.
First excursion is at 3PM on a lava field in Sullivan Bay. Some travellers fall during this excursion, including my friend who is in good health and fitness. The expedition leader didn't explain well the difficulty of this first excursion.
Most guides on the ship are very good but they walk at the speed of the travellers who walk fast. If your fitness level is not good, it will be difficult to follow. One woman had multiple sclerosis and it was difficult for her to follow the rythm during most of the hiking or walking excursions.
FOOD: although Silversea has to comply with rules of Ecuador, it is not an excuse to give their customer wine which is not drinkable, orange juice which taste water, hard bread, cheese not fresh. I found a slug alive on my lettuce. No excuse....the waiter just laugh...
Safe in your cabin: with a key that you have to bring with you and be carefull not to loose it... No electronic safe ...
Cabin key: old style with holes in it. No electronic card. If you loose your cabin key, they have to replace the whole door. So they ask you to leave your cabin key at reception when you leave for excursions but they don't control who take it. So anyone can grab your cabin key with the number of cabin written on it...Not safe....
Temperature control in your cabin: impossible to control the temperature in your cabin. Very hot during the day and freezing at night and when you get up in the morning. Even with a blanket, it was inconfortable. The thermostat in the cabin doesn't work anymore. It is there only to give you the impression that you have a control...
It was possible to do snorkelling only on 2 occasions. One was cancel because of the wind. On the second one (Post office bay) they forgot to tell us to go at the right of the beach to get better view...
On the last day you have to empty your cabin for 8 AM and the transfer by zodiac begin around 9:00.
The ship is old and it is evident on many aspects. We have enjoyed the cruise and what we have see but I think that compare to the cruise we did in Antartica last year (with the company du Ponant) , we have paid a very high price for what we got. The quality we expect from a company like Silversea was not met. I don't know if it is better or the same with Celebrity but I know that the price for a balcony cabin is about 2000$ less with Celebrity...
If your are not in good physical condition, you will miss many visits and sights. I think it is easier with Celebrity because their zodiac have handrails and you don't have to climb a stair outside of the ship when you return from excursions.
We were at the end of the dry season and it was very hot (around 85F). I am very happy we didn't go during the hot and rainy season... Less
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