Wonderful experience and one of the best cruises we’ve taken!!! I would definitely recommend doing this trip with Celebrity. Everyone else has written extensive reviews so I won’t go into all of the superlatives again. This is a fantastic trip and one that should be done while you are still physically active. We are both 68 and are glad we did the trip now. We did the Inner Loop, and I would do this cruise again – doing the Outer Loop and perhaps at a different time of the year for a different experience. We had perfect weather in April and the water was great for snorkeling.
We also did the Machu Picchu land tour with Celebrity after the Galapagos cruise, and that too was fantastic. Our main guide for the trip was Julia, and she couldn’t have been better – really an amazing guide!! Our guide in Cusco was Jorge, and he too was great.
Just want to touch on a few things that have not been mentioned before.
1. On our trip we were directed to move all liquids from our checked luggage and pack them in our carry-on luggage for the flight from Quito to Baltra. We really didn’t get a reason for this directive. Since many people had a carry-on that was only big enough for their valuables, it made it really tight squeezing all of their liquids into it also. Since in the US, TSA has the 3-1-1 Rule, we are used to packing all of our larger liquids in our checked luggage. Again we were not given the reason for this requirement for our flight from Quito to Baltra, and I don’t know if this is the usual way Celebrity handles this flight. But just a heads up, so that you can plan to have a carry-one with enough space for the liquids in your checked luggage. The guides at the hotel in Quito seemed to be vague about why they were having us do this.
2. I went for several massages on the ship as I was having some issues that started prior to our trip. The masseuse was very good. She speaks very little English. However I showed her the areas that I wanted her to focus on, and she did exactly as I asked. I would highly recommend her.
3. Machu Picchu – this part of our trip was, as I said, amazing. We are so glad that we did this add-on after the Galapagos cruise. Here is a recommendation if you are interested in the hike to the Gate of the Sun at Machu Picchu. After our tour of the Machu Picchu, we had tickets for a buffet lunch with about 1.5 hours for lunch before the next scheduled event, which was tea scheduled for 4 pm. If you are interested in hiking to the Gate of the Sun (see Trip Advisor for reviews), grab a quick bite for lunch and then set out for the hike. The Guard House is on the way to the Gate of the Sun. You can skip tea and be back in time to board the bus back to the train. We were not told about this and so did not realize that we could done this hike by eating a quick lunch (we definitely did not need 1.5 hrs) and missing tea. You have a wonderful dinner on the Hiram Bingham train back to Cusco. From what I read and was told, it’s about a 2-hour hike round trip to the Gate. Several of us on our tour would have liked to have done this but were unaware of the timing until after we had spent time lounging over lunch. So we were only able to hike halfway to the Gate before we had to turn around to make it back. However it would have been easy to do if we had realized how to plan our time. You generally only do Machu Picchu once in your life, and it would have been great to have done this hike and experienced the views! I would recommend that Celebrity advise people that this hike is possible to do in the time available at Machu Picchu.
Cabin was small but nice. Deck 4 is a really convenient location -- close to everything!