Galapagos and Machu Picchu: Celebrity Xpedition Cruise Review by mikey47
Overall Member Rating
Galapagos and Machu Picchu
Destination: South America
Celebrity couldn't do more for us. The Xpedition is a lovely ship and the crew and naturalists are superb.
The high intensity excursions are not difficult. You take your time and if you are concerned the guides understand. The stops were found by some to be worse because of the standing around. We always went for the last Zodiac because there was more time and usually less people in the group.
Everything really is inclusive once on board. The only extra before hand were drinks at the Theatre dinner in Quito.
Laundry is inexpensive and yes we did take too many clothes! We still made the 15kg weight though.
Coming all the way from England you really think of doing something else whilst out there. It's a long way. We did 11 flight in 15 days from Manchester!
Being able to do both Galapagos and MP in one trip was fantastic but very More hard work.
There are only 10 places a week on the add on to MP at present though they would like to go to 20 in the future.
Cuzco was made worse by the strikes which meant getting up at either 4 am or 5 am each morning. But at least we saw what we wanted to see.
This gave problems with The Hiram Bingham train to MP. Due to strikes around Cuzco they had to alter the schedule to leave further down the route (half way) at 7:20 am (instead of 9:00 am in Cuxco) which meant a 4 am wake up call and finish at the same station at 4:30 pm instead of Cuzco at 10:00 pm. That meant we only had half the time on the train and had to travel by minibus (by Celebrity) for the rest.
The "breakfast" that was supplied was basic and frugal and cannot have compared to the Brunch we should have had.
The lunch in the Cafeteria at the Sanctuary Lodge was abysmal and shared with everyone else who had come up on the other basic trains and was instead of the gourmet dinner we should have experienced.
Yes there were circumstances outside Orient Expresses control (the strike) and we did get to MP, but they made little attempt to meet the content of the contract with us.
We did not receive value for our money.
The Monasterio hotel in Cuzco was disappointing - rooms dark and depressing. Extras are extortionate - the room service was twice the price of the Country Club and Marriott. They seem to be resting on their laurels as the "best hotel in Cuzco".
The Country Club hotel in Lima was fabulous - everything was perfect.
The JW Marriott in Quito has a big problem with external noise - club across the road with blaring music to past 2:30 am! The part nearest the noise is on the right as you look at the front of the hotel. We were in room 705 and moved to 736 which was fine.
We had minor problems with the altitude but nothing that warranted medication or oxygen. Some people were less fortunate. It really seems it's the luck of the body.
Overall a great trip, mentally and physically strenuous, but well worth doing. Less
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