The Galapagos has been top of our wish list for some time and it is the only trip which would persuade me to take to the water! However, I must say that the cruise experience was very enjoyable - albeit the ship was small and by no means a luxury liner.
My only criticism is that information about the cruise was lacking beforehand. Celebrity Cruises are clearly all about luxury cruises and much of the information we received by email didn’t apply to our trip and only served to confuse us non-cruising people! Our agent was as helpful as she could be, but didn’t seem to have access to specifics - not her fault I think. We were definitely told that the flight from Quito to Galapagos was non stop and chartered - it wasn’t. The flight home from Quito to Amsterdam wasn’t either. The instruction booklet which arrived shortly before we set out did not really allow enough time for us to equip as we would have liked - we live a long way from joined-up shops!
Enough of that - this was the trip of a lifetime.
The city guide in Quito (Diana P) was extremely well prepared and was good company. The volcanic landscape is dramatic and Quito was fun, with a great vibe as we walked through the streets. The hotel (Marriott) was pleasant and comfortable.
The number on our expedition was just about right - 40 people and one naturalist per ten guests. The company was good. We were the only Brits among our Canadian and US friends but we really enjoyed the diversity of conversation and experiences.
The planning of the wildlife cruise was second to none. Every day we saw different species in peaceful locations. It was like stepping into another world. Each night, the briefing would say ‘if we are lucky, we will see a, b, and c’. We were very lucky! The only omission was a volcanic eruption and I do understand those things are hard to plan.
If, like us, you only have one go at the Galapagos, this is definitely the cruise to choose.
We began in 203, which was a compact twin cabin and quite comfortable. After a minor plumbing hitch, we were offered a move to 209, a double cabin with much more room. We didn’t expect to be upgraded, but this was a mark of the service we experienced throughout. The hotel manager and his staff were absolutely excellent and made the whole experience as good as they could.