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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2011
My wife and I recently cruised on Celebrity's Xpedition seven-day cruise to the Galapagos Islands. (August 28 through September 4, 2011.) We went with friends of ours (who extended their trip to Peru). We had a terrific time. If I ... Read More
My wife and I recently cruised on Celebrity's Xpedition seven-day cruise to the Galapagos Islands. (August 28 through September 4, 2011.) We went with friends of ours (who extended their trip to Peru). We had a terrific time. If I were to rate the overall cruise experience on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best I would rate the cruise a 9. We flew nonstop from Atlanta to Quito (only 4.5 hours) and arrived a day earlier in Quito. One of the great features of the Celebrity cruise is that virtually everything is included. Celebrity books all of the passengers (a full ship is about 90 passengers) at the JW Marriott in Quito. Celebrity then conducts a full-day tour of Quito that includes a visit to the old city, lunch, a visit to the equator monument, and then a very nice dinner at a local restaurant. On Sunday, Celebrity books a charter flight through Aerogal on what seemed to be a brand new Airbus 320, from Quito to Baltra, a 2 hour flights. (Our friends, my wife, and I arrived in Quito a day early, and we spent the day traveling outside of Quito to Otavalo and other towns. Well worth the extra day.) In other words, with Celebrity, you feel like you're getting your money's worth. The ship itself is perfect for the type of cruise. Virtually everything is included, except for certain alcoholic beverages. Unlike other cruises we've been on, the Xpedition does not charge for beer, soft drinks, bottled water, etc. In addition, all of the excursions are included. Generally, at each stop in the islands, there are 2 excursions -- one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. Since the ship cannot dock at the islands, you must take a zodiac raft in order to get on the island. Most of the landings are "dry", although some are "wet." These rafts seat about 16 people, are driven by one of the ship's crew, and there is an outboard motor on each of the rafts. The drivers are actually quite skilled at maneuvering these rafts through water that is sometimes choppy. There are also opportunities for snorkeling at some of the stops. The wildlife is phenomenal -- you will see giant tortoises, penguins, blue-footed and Nasca boobies, cormorants, lizards, iguanas, cormorants, pelicans, etc. These animals have no fear of predators so you can get very close. I've never seen anything like this, and highly recommend. One of the most amazing sights was Kicker Rock, an enormous outcropping in the middle of the ocean, that we saw at sunrise against a black sky. It looked golden in the sunlight. Be sure to take advantage of the Zodiacs that go out in the morning so you can get close to Kicker Rock. Also, I recommend reading "The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time", by Jonathan Weiner. Celebrity recommend the book; I bought it and it was excellent. It made my trip even more meaningful. The only criticisms are these: (1) I wish the naturalist's briefings each evening had gone into more depth about the flora and fauna we were going to see. Many of the briefings covered the logistics, such as wet landing, dry landing, type of hike, etc. (2) Sometimes the pace of the hikes seemed too "rushed." I would have welcomed being able to spend more time on each island. Bottom line: this is a great ship, a great cruise, and a wonderful opportunity to see nature, unspoiled by man. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
Since the Xpedition carries only 90 or so passengers, getting on board did not involve long lines or delays. We were bussed from the airport on Baltra to a pier, boarded small 16 passenger Zodiac boats and taken to the ship. Our baggage ... Read More
Since the Xpedition carries only 90 or so passengers, getting on board did not involve long lines or delays. We were bussed from the airport on Baltra to a pier, boarded small 16 passenger Zodiac boats and taken to the ship. Our baggage traveled separately; we were responsible for our carry-ones. Transferring from the pier to the Zodiac and from the Zodiac to the aft end of the Xpedition was handled by the crew with great emphasis on safety. In fact, this attention to safety never wavered during the cruise. Our cabin was comparable to others we have been in. This is based on over 25 other cruises. The food was not top of the line, but it was very good. The staff was excellent and the entertainment was simpler than usual, but done in a more intimate atmosphere. What you would expect on a ship of this size. A little dancing, a little karaoke, some professional music and the nightly briefing by the Entertainment Director/Head Naturalist of the next day's activities. The other guests were friendly, but tended to try to respect your space. Didn't know much about CruiseCritic until the end of the cruise. The people who told us said that they had known all about what to expect before they booked. I thought we did too. When we got home, I read about 10 reviews and noted that one had mentioned that the walking surfaces were troublesome. The other reviewers gave glowing recommendations and I agree with them. It was an experience that should not be missed. The islands are volcanic and basically untouched by man. The walking surfaces included boulders, rocks, shale and lava rocks. I was always watching every place I put my foot. My wife has a deathly fear of rocks, is on a blood thinning medication and suffers from occasional moments of vertigo. The naturalist guides were very helpful. The closest doctor was on board the ship. Falling during one of the walks would have meant getting back to the small rubber raft, embarking, transferring onto the aft end of the ship and, finally, receiving professional treatment. We used a lot of bandaids, but never fell. I think of this trip as an exciting suicide mission that we survived. Read Less
Celebrity Xpedition Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 3.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 1.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.9
Enrichment 4.0 4.7
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.5
Rates 5.0 4.5

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