Well, finally getting around to writing, after having to work without Cappuccino, get caught up on sleep without the anchor dropping into the water, and sorting thru all the pictures. It's here.
First as sort of a preemptory comment, for those that have canceled already, you have made a really BIG mistake. This cruise goes well beyond an adventure trip of a lifetime. As for problems with illnesses, there was only one that I knew of and the condition was resolved in a couple of days. There were no grossly obvious measures out of the ordinary for hygiene other that when returning from Puerto Ayora to use the hand cleaner at the bottom of the stairs. Yes, you hit the ground running and it's a trip of unbelievable sights from the moment you get on the boat.
Nearly everything you have read about this cruise is true, only better - when you are there. From the cold towels when you step on the boat to the briefings at night laying out tomorrow's adventure. We had excellent weather for the entire trip on the cruise itself. In Quito - it rained until we left Sunday morning. Really didn't need that, but that's another story in itself.
OK, the numbers, passengers - 72, staff 65, find that on another cruise...ANYWHERE.
This is the summer/rainy season in the islands, but we had absolutely NO rain. High 80's during the day and into the 70"s at night - always comfortable. We were in room 311. Water temperature for the divers pleasant. Only used my farmer john's twice, DW used her's plus the ship's shorty once, the rest of the time it was swimsuit, mask & snorkel. If you are planning on scuba bring your C-card, you must have an advanced rating.. If you have one, you know what I am talking about. One man on the ship babbles about having been a diver in all sorts of different places, but didn't know what a C-card was - after watching him, it was obvious he was a better T-shirt buyer than a diver.
The activities are well planned and are what they say they are, but high intensity does not mean you have to be 25 in superb condition. Yes a good sense of adventure is important. From the first stop at North Seymour where you tend to take way too many pictures because you think that this will be the only time you see a Booby, sea lion, marine iguana, land iguana, frigate bird, etc. - don't worry there's more of everything everywhere. If you are up to the high intensity, go with it and have a great time, but don't feel like you have to do ALL of them, really you can see an awful lot just on the zodiac rides without a lot of physical demands. There was an older couple on the ship, you knew by looking at him that he was not particularly healthy, but with his cane he made most of the trips both morning and afternoon. The ship's crew were outstanding in supporting his efforts. Getting in and out of the zodiac, up/down the steps, they were patient and never appeared resentful.
Another thing about this cruise that is different is that virtually all the people on this one were here for the same thing, not gambling or nightlife - really you are exhausted by the end of the day if you participate in what you are there for.
The Food was excellent - period. Considering that the greatest portion of the food MUST come from the Galapagos Islands preferably, or at least Ecuador. The vegan plates appeared to be tasty to the one vegan on the ship, sorry but I am a carnivore and I had no problems with anything that I had. The wine selections are from out of the country, and they are presented and matched well. Taking pictures is the best way to "take nothing and leave only footprints" which is the best way to think of the entire trip.
There is no computer availability on the ship at this time (inferred in the future though). This means high capacity digital cards and/or bring a laptop or storage device, or lots of film for those SLR shooters remaining. In a previous message someone took 36 rolls and his wife thought he was crazy. Maybe, but you can take the picture while you are here, or wish you had taken another one when you get home. Yes, I went a little overboard, but have had a great time going thru the nearly thousand pictures I took including all the missed shots and splash ones, but that is what I enjoy doing. Because of that, I have a daily record of many things that we saw and enjoyed. I was able to cut it down to a little over 100 "really good shots". Clotheshounds, don't worry about bringing fancy dress-up clothes - you'll stand out more than you want to. Nice casual clothes are fine and much more practical. Bunch here, ask questions and I'll get back to ya when I can.