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We sailed the Northern itinerary May 19-26 on Xperience. Definitely recommend a trip to the Galapagos - incredible wildlife and scenery. If I went again, I would look elsewhere than Celebrity. I had counted on Celebrity providing luxury and everything top-notch, but didn't find this to be the case. It also was difficult to contact Celebrity by phone before the trip and get correct answers. Communication was lacking about what the ship truly had available or not available for guests. Activities were primarily hiking or snorkelling. Celebrity promised to provide mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit to guests. This equipment was of poor quality and there was not enough for everybody. This is inexcusable for a trip of a lifetime to see penguins, sea lions, etc in the water, and there was not enough masks, snorkel, fins for everyone to participate. At least 4 guests brought their own masks, so Xperience was way short on equipment. Masks and snorkels do break sometimes, so there should have been spares also. Snorkels were very poor; okay for pool, but not for deep water ocean. You were lucky if you got an appropriately-sized wetsuit; some guests were too small or way too big. They did provide snorkel vests, too (if they had enough!) I would definitely bring my own mask and snorkel. Many people ended up with sinus issues, so I'm not sure about the cleaning of snorkel equipment between guests. Ladders on the zodiac boats were inadequate. 3 steps is not enough to easily get out of the water. I am a 5.5 woman, so it was next to impossible without some help from others in the water; even then, I have a mass of deep bruises on my legs from wrestling with that ladder. Many guys (who obviously are taller) still complained about the short ladder and difficulty in getting out of the water. Having inadequate ladders that are too short to use comfortably does not make things easy or stress-free for guests who are supposed to be enjoying their vacation. There is one zodiac that has 4 steps, but they don't tell you about that; I found out by accident after my legs are all bruised. Binoculars are available, but they are small and cheap; bring your own. Hiking sticks are available, too. Celebrity promises internet access on the ship. Internet connectivity happens pretty rarely if you happen to be trying to get on at exactly the right time. Celebrity should be honest about this and let people know that there is no guarantee and it's very sporadic. You should also let people know that the best way to contact family is through Messenger or What's App (which I did not have on my phone and could not download onboard). The ship was nice; room was adequate with quite a bit of storage for its small size. We had Room 208 which was probably the worst room on the ship - very noisy with engine below us and some diesel smell; also ladder to zodiacs was right outside our window. The first night I got a splitting headache from the diesel smell; I mentioned this to the hotel manager, and he talked to the engineer. After that it was okay, but it would have been nice if they had offered to move us to another room as I believe there were only 42 on board. Staff were great - all the naturalists were very informative; captain, managers, waitstaff were all friendly and helpful. Meals were mostly buffet style, but very well prepared and a nice variety offered. The bar on the back deck was scarcely staffed; if after 9 pm, you had to go into the kitchen to find somebody to make your drink; not exactly the all inclusive drink service that I expected. This ship seemed tired and old; it was pretty rusted on the outside with a makeshift Xperience sign. The top deck was not cleaned up; there were always glasses and cups left there. Room attendant Salome was superb at keeping our room clean and tidy. Hint: there is a nice booklet/trip log and a map that is kept in a drawer in the reception area (just below the TV that shows the schedule); just help yourself - they are nice to have. I have no idea why staff did not offer these, or even have them available in each stateroom. There is a doctor on board which I don't believe Celebrity tells you about. She is accessible 24/7 for free, with free medications. Many on our sailing experienced diarrhea; she will give you some pills and Oralyte to drink. My advice is to get a prescription for traveler's diarrhea from your own doc to take with you. We did the 10 night itinerary with 2 nights in Quito at the JW Marriott Hotel which is a gorgeous hotel; the rooms were huge and well appointed, beds and pillos very comfy; free breakfast buffet. Final night of trip spent there, too, and they offer you late check-out for a minimal fee if you have a late flight out. The city tour of Quito was excellent, except for the Equator visit; I expected to go to "mitad del mundo", but they took us to a quaint tourist trap place where they demonstrated the effect of the equator on water and such. Overall, disappointed with Celebrity, but not disappointed with the Galapagos - these islands and their wildlife are incredible!

Tired ship; great crew; fabulous destination with well informed naturalists

Celebrity Xperience Cruise Review by gogogirly

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Premium Ocean View Stateroom
We sailed the Northern itinerary May 19-26 on Xperience. Definitely recommend a trip to the Galapagos - incredible wildlife and scenery. If I went again, I would look elsewhere than Celebrity. I had counted on Celebrity providing luxury and everything top-notch, but didn't find this to be the case. It also was difficult to contact Celebrity by phone before the trip and get correct answers. Communication was lacking about what the ship truly had available or not available for guests.

Activities were primarily hiking or snorkelling. Celebrity promised to provide mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit to guests. This equipment was of poor quality and there was not enough for everybody. This is inexcusable for a trip of a lifetime to see penguins, sea lions, etc in the water, and there was not enough masks, snorkel, fins for everyone to participate. At least 4 guests brought their own masks, so Xperience was way short on equipment. Masks and snorkels do break sometimes, so there should have been spares also. Snorkels were very poor; okay for pool, but not for deep water ocean. You were lucky if you got an appropriately-sized wetsuit; some guests were too small or way too big. They did provide snorkel vests, too (if they had enough!) I would definitely bring my own mask and snorkel. Many people ended up with sinus issues, so I'm not sure about the cleaning of snorkel equipment between guests.

Ladders on the zodiac boats were inadequate. 3 steps is not enough to easily get out of the water. I am a 5.5 woman, so it was next to impossible without some help from others in the water; even then, I have a mass of deep bruises on my legs from wrestling with that ladder. Many guys (who obviously are taller) still complained about the short ladder and difficulty in getting out of the water. Having inadequate ladders that are too short to use comfortably does not make things easy or stress-free for guests who are supposed to be enjoying their vacation. There is one zodiac that has 4 steps, but they don't tell you about that; I found out by accident after my legs are all bruised.

Binoculars are available, but they are small and cheap; bring your own. Hiking sticks are available, too.

Celebrity promises internet access on the ship. Internet connectivity happens pretty rarely if you happen to be trying to get on at exactly the right time. Celebrity should be honest about this and let people know that there is no guarantee and it's very sporadic. You should also let people know that the best way to contact family is through Messenger or What's App (which I did not have on my phone and could not download onboard).

The ship was nice; room was adequate with quite a bit of storage for its small size. We had Room 208 which was probably the worst room on the ship - very noisy with engine below us and some diesel smell; also ladder to zodiacs was right outside our window. The first night I got a splitting headache from the diesel smell; I mentioned this to the hotel manager, and he talked to the engineer. After that it was okay, but it would have been nice if they had offered to move us to another room as I believe there were only 42 on board.

Staff were great - all the naturalists were very informative; captain, managers, waitstaff were all friendly and helpful. Meals were mostly buffet style, but very well prepared and a nice variety offered. The bar on the back deck was scarcely staffed; if after 9 pm, you had to go into the kitchen to find somebody to make your drink; not exactly the all inclusive drink service that I expected.

This ship seemed tired and old; it was pretty rusted on the outside with a makeshift Xperience sign. The top deck was not cleaned up; there were always glasses and cups left there. Room attendant Salome was superb at keeping our room clean and tidy.

Hint: there is a nice booklet/trip log and a map that is kept in a drawer in the reception area (just below the TV that shows the schedule); just help yourself - they are nice to have. I have no idea why staff did not offer these, or even have them available in each stateroom.

There is a doctor on board which I don't believe Celebrity tells you about. She is accessible 24/7 for free, with free medications. Many on our sailing experienced diarrhea; she will give you some pills and Oralyte to drink. My advice is to get a prescription for traveler's diarrhea from your own doc to take with you.

We did the 10 night itinerary with 2 nights in Quito at the JW Marriott Hotel which is a gorgeous hotel; the rooms were huge and well appointed, beds and pillos very comfy; free breakfast buffet. Final night of trip spent there, too, and they offer you late check-out for a minimal fee if you have a late flight out. The city tour of Quito was excellent, except for the Equator visit; I expected to go to "mitad del mundo", but they took us to a quaint tourist trap place where they demonstrated the effect of the equator on water and such.

Overall, disappointed with Celebrity, but not disappointed with the Galapagos - these islands and their wildlife are incredible!
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Cabin Review

Premium Ocean View Stateroom
Cabin XP 208
Room was adequate with quite a bit of storage for its small size. We had Room 208 which was probably the worst room on the ship - very noisy with engine below us and some diesel smell; also ladder to zodiacs was right outside our window. The first night I got a splitting headache from the diesel smell; I mentioned this to the hotel manager, and he talked to the engineer. After that it was okay, but it would have been nice if they had offered to move us to another room as I believe there were only 42 on board.
Boat Deck Outside Cabins