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Silver Galapagos Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
100 Reviews

Excellent Experience. Do it at least once, preferably when younger.

Silver Galapagos Cruise Review by jlicharson

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2018
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda Suite

This is a great way to see the Galapagos. As I said to the Silversea rep from whom I bought the cruise, "Where else can you act like you are in your 20's during the day's activities and go back to being 70+ when back at the ship?".

Caution, however: You do have to be willing to be physically taxed. Getting on to and off the ship is not for disabled, crippled or otherwise challenged individuals, because the very nature of having to get into and out of Zodiacs, which are small bobbly vessels. Staff make doing this as safe and easy as possible, but they are what they are.

We were well taken care of, mostly personally, and always well from the time we got out of baggage claim in Guayaquil until the moment we passed through security on our way home. Silversea reps were all uniformly friendly, helpful and efficient.

The ship's crew and hotel staff, and the guiding staff as well, were all highly professional and certainly more than willing to go the extra step to making everyone welcome, cared for, happy - and safe - the whole time.

The itinerary and daily expedition parts of the cruise were extremely well planned and executed. There was something interesting and new at virtually every stop and several of the guides (Martin, Ernesto, Marco) are absolutely first class. They are intelligent, impart information without fluff or padding, know their stuff thoroughly and guide extremely well. (They also have a pretty good handle on herding cats without letting frustrations show.)

On stops, passengers are broken down into Zodiac/guide groups of 14-14 and we always tried to make sure we were with one of these three. (Our experience with one or two of the other guides was indifferent, suggesting they have a bit to learn yet.)

Food and drink service was uniformly good, often superior to excellent. Staff get to know you quickly, what you drink and how you like to be treated. And they do so with warmth and aplomb. A few are clearly still learning their trade and sometimes a bit hesitant or flustered, but all are willing and rapidly becoming able.

Food also was very good. The breakfast spread is varied, plenteous and more than enough to satisfy anyone's tastes and appetite. Ditto for lunch on the patio and dinner in the dining room, with menus changing daily. You also have the option of reserving a place in The Grill for dinner in the evening, where the menu is a bit more limited, but beautifully served in a great outdoor atmosphere. Roberto, our waiter there was super: Knowledgeable, efficient, always friendly and extremely personable.

What else can I say? If I had know that there were two different itineraries, I would have booked for two cruises back to back (i.e., two weeks). It is that good an experience.

This is the best way to see the Galapagos for people who like to do things and are also old enough to want to enjoy the experience without hardship or dealing with third-world "adventure" when the day is done.

Age doesn't necessarily matter: It is, however, for people who are reasonably fit and adventuresome.

If you are relatively young and really fit, you will have a tremendous time snorkelling and kayaking.

[One night I had a bit of a stomach upset, and this was mentioned on other days by one or two other people we met. I don't know whether this was just my older body reacting to the desalinated water supply aboard. But it was nowhere near enough to slow me down the next day.]

jlicharson's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Veranda Suite
Cabin DX 511

Our cabin was spacious, clean and well kept.

The ship is not newly refitted, so there may be very small niggles but nothing I can think to mention.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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