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4 Celebrity Xpedition Romantic Cruise Reviews

I loved this cruise. It was different than the many others I have taken--more nature; less commercial. No Diamonds International or commercials trying to sell something onboard. The naturalists make the trip a cut above. There was no place ... Read More
I loved this cruise. It was different than the many others I have taken--more nature; less commercial. No Diamonds International or commercials trying to sell something onboard. The naturalists make the trip a cut above. There was no place to buy anything until the last two ports. I liked that. Doing the package deal with flight/hotel is an addition we do not usually include but we did on this trip since getting to Baltra was more complicated than your average port. Good decision since the time in Quito was well-planned and the accommodations excellent at the Marriott. We had a late (almost 2am) arrival into the Marriott and this meant that some of the folks with us did not join us on the tour the next day due to fatigue. We pressed on but it was a long day. They should have offered the option to do only half a day as many of the tired people said they were ready to go by lunchtime but had no easy way to join the tour. The tour day in Quito was an enjoyable overview of the city. We felt rushed at the equator which was puzzling since we waited almost a half hour (some more) after finishing eating to leave the restaurant from lunch. It would have been better to hit the road sooner to get more time at the equator. Going to Galapagos on Sunday was just a matter of following the leader and having something to do during waiting times. We were ushered aboard the Xpedition after our first zodiac ride and welcomed in our small groups and had a toast with the Captain. It would be great to be offered a choice of non-alcoholic drinks for the toast right from the start (even though a substitute was brought after we refused the offered ones). Several from our small group noticed we did not drink and said they didn’t either but took the drink anyway. We did discover a favorite non- alcoholic drink of lemon ice mixed with sprite zero that was quite good. All the meals were delicious and there was always an acceptable choice. The steaks were very good in addition to the tasty seafood. A table-mate asked for ice cream on the next to last day and they brought her a neapolitan sundae. Then we all ordered one. That hit the spot on a hot day. I’m glad I didn’t know how good it was until we had almost finished our cruise or I would have eaten one every day. The ceviche was also something I had several times. All the excursions, loading, unloading, etc. takes a lot of cooperation from everyone so that all have a good experience. Some would dawdle at putting on life jackets so they could have the prized “last” seats. Others would make groups wait while they took extra photos. But most folks were very helpful to each other. If you have physical difficulties, listen to the naturalists, they do this every week and will know by watching you get around if you can do that particular excursion or not. Take a “hands free” bag for daily excursions because it makes getting on and off the zodiacs faster and easier. It can be small because you don’t need much with you. They will let you do barefoot landings on most of the wet landings so you don’t get your shoes wet. If you have a pair of shoes you like to hike in, wear them instead of more uncomfortable shoes that can get wet or switch them after you land. I purchased a mask and snorkel and practiced in a swimming pool before the cruise. I am glad I did. The salt water and uneven surfaces, rocks, and strong surf would have been too much if I was not already comfortable in using the snorkel. Many folks got discouraged with trying to snorkel because it was a new experience in what could be challenging environments at times. But don’t miss the pleasure of snorkeling—it is relaxing and you can see some beautiful animals. Be prepared to not be able to get good Wi-Fi connections. Fortunately, I had no need to get important data so this didn’t bother me but be prepared if you have need to check in with work or someone every day. I would have loved to have some more stargazing time. The sky at night with the birds flying with the ship and the stars was beautiful. The disembarkation was just a long day and having read previous reviews I had a book on my kindle to read. I have a hard time sitting for any length on hard surfaces so the airport seating for part of the wait was uncomfortable but I just walked around instead. The afternoon in Quito was the crafts market. It was the best place to shop of the entire trip. I bought a great leather purse and a pretty poncho for a good price. If we had stayed longer I would have had all my Christmas shopping done. The evening meal at the steak restaurant in the Marriott was one of the best of the trip. This is one of the best if not the best cruise I have ever taken. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
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 ... Read More
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!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We agree with most of the information provided in reviews contained in this forum but with less enthusiasm. I will add some personal thoughts. The itinerary was fine but after seeing bluefooted boobies, sally lightfoot crabs, sealions, ... Read More
We agree with most of the information provided in reviews contained in this forum but with less enthusiasm. I will add some personal thoughts. The itinerary was fine but after seeing bluefooted boobies, sally lightfoot crabs, sealions, marine iguanas, frigate birds, lava lizards, little birds, for two days they all became somewhat old after that. The contracted guides were excellent but Carlos and Marvin really stood out. The zodiac drivers had good skills. The cruise director did little more than present a briefing on the following days activities and checked people off the boat on each zodiac event. He made no attempt to get to know any of the passengers. Viewed two BC documentaries on the Galapagos during the afternoons and they were good. would have enjoyed more enrichment activities. The food was OK and well presented but nothing really exceptional. The wines were very nice. Stuck with fish dishes most nights and it was tasty most evenings. Breakfasts and lunches were average. Sitting in the aftmost section of the vessel resulted in delays in eating dinner. Dinner should have commenced an hour earlier. I got really sick on the morning we disembarked, was it the lobster the previous dinner? Ran into some other passengers in Cusco post-cruise and they mentioned the same GI tract illness and they had eaten the lobster too. Maitre'd Fernando was extraordinary, likely the best I've seen in over 35 cruises, he couldn't do enough for us, very friendly. He did a nice job of organizing my wife's birthday celebration. He was the hardest working person in the crew. Saw the Captain twice at the Welcome Aboard and Farewell meetings. He didn't mingle at all. Was not on the bridge when we toured it. So glad we opted to do Cusco and Machu Picchu on our own post-cruise as we saved thousands over what Celebrity was charging even with staying at the obscenely expensive Sanctuary Hotel for one night. It was easy for me to put together a nice 5 day post-cruise land excursion package. The snorkeling was poor (limited visibility) at best (was this bad luck or was it normal?), the Xpedition provided equipment was adequate. Opted not to try snorkeling the final opportunity because I had been so disappointd earlier and I understand I missed the best day of snorkeling. Perhaps I've been spoiled by really great snorkeling in the Tahiti area. The cabin was fine and the attendant was wonderful. The beds were comfortable and the linens were fine but the bathroom was a bit on the tiny side. Compared to our Silversea experience in the Antarctic on Prince Albert II (now Silver Explorer), Celebrity Xpedition comes in a distant second in nearly every category. All in all, we had a good Galapagos cruise but I think 5 nights vs. 7 nights would have been ideal. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
In reading other people's reviews, we noticed a constant theme which was, "trip of a lifetime" and that proved to be the same with our trip. If you are planning on taking this trip as a relaxing cruise, think again and ... Read More
In reading other people's reviews, we noticed a constant theme which was, "trip of a lifetime" and that proved to be the same with our trip. If you are planning on taking this trip as a relaxing cruise, think again and change to another ship. This trip was one of the most active that I have been on and everyday got better and better. However, let me digress back to the beginning. We arrived in Quito on Wednesday night as we had tacked a couple extra days on our stay to give us more time to unwind. We stayed at the J.W. Marriott so we could roll into the Celebrity pre-cruise package, which I would highly recommend. The hotel is nice, but not as nice as other J.W. Marriott hotels that we have stayed in. We took the Celebrity "city tour" on Saturday and found it to be well organized but somewhat boring. Others seemed to enjoy it and the lunch that was provided was great. Some reviews I read indicated the area around the hotel did not appear to be safe and not near any shopping. That is not correct. There is a three story very modern shopping mall that is a 10 minute walk from the hotel which we went to and were impressed. Anyway, on Sunday, we loaded up on the buses to the airport for our flight to Baltra. We left our luggage in the care of Celebrity and the next time we would see it would be in our stateroom. The airport was an easy experience and we were soon on the chartered A319 Airbus for the two hour flight. The service on the plane included a great hot meal and any drinks with outstanding service. This was the start of perfect service that would continue throughout the week. Upon arrival in Baltra Airport, we quickly moved through customs and were on another bus being moved to the harbor. That drive took all of eight minutes and we were escorted out to large Zodiac boats for the Zodiac trip out to the beautiful ship. On that note, be sure to wear appropriate clothing and shoes for the Zodiacs. They can be a little challenging to board! Upon arrival at the ship, we were handed ice cold towels and taken to the lounge where we were served cold Champagne and were briefly told what to expect that day. We were then taken to our rooms where another chilled bottle of sparkling wine was waiting for us. The tour of the ship took less than five minutes and then we had the usual lifeboat drill, which was painless. We pulled up anchor and were on the move within an hour. By four thirty in the afternoon, we were changed and heading back to the Zodiac boats for our ride to the first island! Our first island had us stepping over baby sea lions, Iguanas, walking by Blue-Footed Boobies and every other bird known to mankind it seemed. The most amazing part is that none of the creatures seem to be afraid of you. They either stare at you or just plain ignore you. After spending a couple of hours there, we were back on the Zodiacs heading to the ship. Walking up to the rear deck from the water line we were greeted by live music and a mini bar with iced-down beer, wine, cold water, appetizers, or you could go inside and get something stronger if desired. The following days proved to be as exciting as the first. There are different levels of activity, from strenuous to easy. We chose the strenuous and averaged quite a few miles walking each day. The snorkeling was fabulous. The sea lions (and you will see fur seals later in the trip) watch you get in the water and the baby ones immediately come swimming over to play. I had been told that anything you do in the water, the sea lions will mimic. I did not believe it until the sea lions tried to repeat my movements. I blew a bunch of bubbles and one swam up to my mask and blew a bunch of bubbles in my face....too cute to describe. The sea lions took off for a few minutes and I did not understand why until I saw the shark under me. The white tip reef shark is not aggressive and makes for a good photo op if you can get it. Each day there are two excursions in the morning and two in the afternoon. The night before you pick one morning and one afternoon. Of the two in the morning, one is more walking than the other, and the same for the afternoon. I am 57 years old and in decent shape and did not have any problems with the harder ones. The entire crew is fantastic, especially the Naturalists. The food was good, however, there were problems with the service in the dining room. If you are expecting service like the large cruise ships, this won't live up to it. I learned that the cruise line can only hire the local Ecuadorian citizen and it appeared we had a new group who were in training with limited English. However, they were all trying extremely hard to please and I was not on this cruise for a dinner party; so no worries. All throughout the week the Naturalists had been taking photos, and on our last night we were treated to an amazing Power Point slide show of our photos and were then given a free CD of the show. A very classy touch. We had the suite with a balcony which was very nice, however, I am not sure it is needed. We did not spend much time on the balcony as we could just walk out of the room and take a few steps and be on deck with a better view. If you have the extra money, then go for the suite but if not, don't waste your money on it. The transfer back to Baltra then to Quito was just as painless and we never touched our luggage again until it appeared in our room at the J.W. Marriott later that afternoon. Overall, if I had to rate this experience between a 1 to 10, I could not....I would have to rate it a 100. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
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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