In December we took a 8 day cruise aboard the Grace. The trip was organized by Heather, who is so friendly and knowledgeable, what a delight to deal with.
The Grace was a ten. The trip was a ten. The Grace really is the most beautiful yacht on the open seas.
Cabin. we stayed in the lowest deck with port holes instead of windows. No problem, as you only go to your cabin to sleep. Less motion and no problem with motion sickness. The cabin in the back on this deck is the largest, but noisy due to engine noise. The people in there just used ear plugs. The bathrooms are large.
I looked into the cabin on the A deck two large picture windows on each side. Beautiful room.
Cleanliness: Rooms are constantly cleaned. The ship is beautifully maintained.
Crew: top notch. Probably the best service I have ever experienced. Smiles in abundance, they know what you like by the end of the first day.
Guides: First class. Excellent english and very knowledgeable. Raphael in particular was an encyclopedia of information. Kept up with the scientific journals and was on the fore front of current evolutionary happenings. Best of all was their enthusiasm and love of the islands.
Food: plenty and good. Not gourmet, buffet style. Wine list is sub par. But you are there for the animals and the ambience. However, the lobster on the last night was the best lobster I have eaten
Fellow travelers: a mix of cultures, American, Swiss, Mexican, Dutch, Cayman. Everyone spoke english which made for a brilliant time. I have never laughed so much in a week, as Galapagos brought out the best in everyone. I was concerned that a luxury cruise would be full of older people. And yes people are older 50s-60s. But the type of person that goes on this ship are the adventurous type. Our fellow travelers in their youth backpacked and hiked mountains, solo sailed the caribbean and generally are in love with the outdoors.
Itinerary: we did the northern route. But whatever route you do will be amazing, as the islands are amazing.
Flexibility: not sure how common this is but when something was seen the cry went out " get to the pangas" we all ran and jumped on board to explore orcas. Then later in the week at 7 am " grab your snorkeling gear and get to the pangas" hundreds of mantra rays were jumping. We were deposited in their midst and swam with them. What a highlight.
Snorkeling: the equipment was in good shape and both shorties and long wet suits were available. as well as hoodies. The water was cold on the west side of Isabella (61 F) . We swam with rays, hammerheads, turtles, flightless cormorants, sea lions, and countless fish. Cormorants were particularly curious and even tugged on my wetsuit.
In all a trip of a life time.
This is the lower deck, with port holes. Very nicely appointed. Bathroom surprisingly large. Beds very comfortable.