I'd always wanted to go to the Galapagos, and when life took a twist and the opportunity arose at the last minute, Diane was extremely helpful in booking the cruise and making sure I had everything I needed to be on my way.
Not going to lie, it was long trip to get there but it was so worth it. I wasn't exactly sure what was going to happen after getting off the plane at Balta, so I just followed the crowd and sure enough, the crew was there to greet us. That was the last time that week that I had to put any thought into scheduling or where to be as everything after was smoothly and efficiently handled by the friendly and courteous crew.
Mornings were one of my favorite times as every day we woke up in paradise. There were several of us that would get up early to enjoy the quiet before the day started, scanning the water and the land for the animals and enjoying a cup of coffee over books. Once the wake up call occurred (always delivered in a smooth and comforting voice), the day was on... breakfast, hiking, snorkeling, kayaking. There were wet landings and dry landings and some very adventurous landings, and throughout it all the Guides and the crew made sure everyone was safe and could participate according to their capabilities and desires.
We saw so many things from the panga (ah, the beloved panga!), the boat, and on land. Orcas, flying flamingoes, birds nesting on eggs or with their babies, turtles, iguanas, penguins, crabs,sea lions with their babies and untold varieties of birds. We swam with so many different types of fish, sharks, turtles, and sea lions. The scenery, the atmosphere- it really is even more amazing in person than I could have imagined.
I loved my cabin. I'm a solo traveler and it was the perfect size for me, although it could have easily accommodated another person, too. The bed was comfortable, lots of pillows, and cleaned several times a day. The staff made me smile with the different surprises they'd leave on the bed, too. My cabin seemed to be in the perfect spot- I was rocked to sleep each night and, while I could hear the engine and the anchor, neither was loud enough to interrupt my sleep.
As a solo female traveler, I'm always a bit on guard when in a new place and around new people. I quickly lost any apprehension as the crew was so friendly and courteous. I thoroughly enjoyed that I could share the experience with a great group of people, but also that there was time to enjoy the ambience of the islands on my own. It was one of the most relaxing vacations I've ever been on and a lot of that was due to the amiability and competency of the entire crew.
The only time I was uncomfortable was in the air conditioning in the public areas. Each night was a bit too cold for me during the evening activities and dinner. Next time, I'd take some warmer clothes for the evenings and would suggest that to anybody planning on going as well.
A beautiful ship, wonderful and adventurous excursions, meticulous execution of planning, the atmosphere governed by the crew, and other fun surprises throughout the cruise made this trip a highlight of my life.