We booked this cruise through Avalon Waterways. The package included 3 nights in Quito and tours there. The Swissotel in Quito was first class and was a 45 min ride from the airport, provided by the tour co. The welcome dinner was deluxe, as was a special lunch included in the tour of Otavalo. Other tours included snacks at local places and that was fun. The tour guides from Metropolitan Touring were competent, well versed and friendly. Their vehicles were top notch as well. It was so nice to have them take care of all the transfers, etc......meaning no worries for us. The Galápagos Islands were unbelievable with the wildlife and so interesting and beautiful. The Naturalists were excellent and worked so hard to make sure we saw many varieties of animals and birds. They were extremely knowledgable, friendly and competent. Each day was another adventure as we set out on Zodiac type rafts from the Isabella II to explore islands.
The meals onboard were good with a buffet at breakfast and lunch and sit down dinner with 2 choices of entrees and wine at dinner also. Waiters were attentive, as well as the rest of the crew. We were fortunate that we only had 20 passengers on board. To really enjoy this type of cruise, you need to be in pretty good shape, as there were rugged walks some days on lots of uneven ground and getting on and off the zodiacs could be a challenge for some. A couple of meals were served out on the deck which was a treat. The snorkeling gear, including wet suit were of high quality. The only negative about the ship was that the cabins are becoming worn and shabby. They do need some refurbishing. There is no entertainment, because this is an expedition, but they had a library and free wifi. Other than that, it was a fantastic trip and positive experience. The day we left the ship and flew back to Quito, we were again provided a room at the Swissotel until our flight left at midnight, so we were able to rest and relax before our flight back to the U.S. We were transported by private car and guide back to the airport which was included.
It was shabby, needing some refurbishing and could have been a bit cleaner. However, because everything else was good and such a great experience seeing the islands each day, it didn't bother us that much. I would recommend getting a room mid ship, as it's much too noisy in the rear with the engine and our room #1 was noisy when the anchor went down at 2:30am one night! Very loud and couldn't sleep after that. However, I mentioned this to our naturalist and she talked to the Capt, and that didn't happen again......so they were being accommodating.