Visiting the Galapagos Islands has been on our travel list. When we were offered an opportunity to do it with friends we immediately agreed. This cruise was hosted by Lindblad / National Geographic. The cruise was great, there was no part of the cruise which I found lacking or poorly done.
L/NG provided the smoothest transition from the airport to the hotel on the day of arrival and then the same service the next day as we flew out to the GI and boarded the Endeavor II. The handling of the people and our luggage was smooth, and quick. They transferred the people and luggage from shore to the ship in Endeavor II zodiacs. By the time we completed the buffer lunch our luggage was in our room.
We traveled to and visit 6 islands, with hiking, snorkeling or kayaking available to see this natural wonder up close. Each days events were briefed in detail the night before, during an open bar happy hour, and then again in the morning. Carlos the Expedition Leader kept track of what was going an insured that the schedule was kept in order to accomplish the myriad of events which occurred through out the day. Ecuador does not allow individuals onto the islands with an Ecuador licensed Naturalist. There were seven Naturalists on board the E II. The lead all the small group tours, hikes and snorkeling. They were very knowledgeable and all were native to Ecuador. The promised sightings of the varieties of wildlife and birds always happened.
Breakfast was always a buffet. Lunch was also a buffet. Dinner was a menu selection of local seafood and other meats. There were always at least three choices. One of which was Vegan/Vegetarian. The food was awesome.
The ship crew was friendly and always helpful. If they had trouble with English they would find someone to help them and then help you. All the Dining and housekeeping staff spoke English fluently. The Deck Crew and Engine Crew understood English, but did not necessarily speak it well. However, they never ran away if you asked a question. They always got answer. The crew was very proud of its ship. It was clean, and in very good repair.
I highly recommend this cruise,
The cabin did not have a balcony. None of the Cabins on the Endeavor II had balconies. However, there was a very large window over the head of the bed. The cabins were well decorated and arranged very well. There was plenty of useful storage. There was 3/4 bathroom with a good sized shower which was plenty large for me (6ft, 210lbs). There was always plenty of water, as the E II has its own desalinization systems on board. This was not the largest cabin we have had cruising, but there was plenty of room to move around without getting in each others way. I highly recommend this cruise.