We wanted to see the Galapagos and initially chose the Xpedition until learning it had NO elevator. The Flora has an elevator, the ship is the newest in the Galapagos fleet, and the "tender/zodiac" design is excellent, especially for shore excursions for some of us seniors with minor mobility issues. An actual set of stairs allowed easy access to the tender, the rigid design allowed you to walk to your "seat" along the side. The front could be lowered to allow you to easily step off into shallow water for "wet Landings". It was also useful for "deep-water " snorkeling. I was nervous with my bad knees but everything was fine!
All the food was fantastic, locally sourced, lots of fresh seafood with options for meat and poultry lovers and vegetarians. Service was outstanding at every meal in every venue. Common rooms were attractive - bar service was outstanding too. The Captain was very visible and every staff member seemed devoted to making sure everything went well on your cruise.
The visits to the various islands were handled very efficiently and well organized. In fact every tendering opportunity was perfectly executed and organized. With just 100 passengers, group tours on the tenders had just a dozen passengers and our private naturalist. A variety of activities always for every fitness level.
All cabins are suites, some with standard balconies, ours the new "infinite" balcony. Now I know I prefer the old standard balcony. Infinite gives you more cabin space, and you can enjoy the sea air from your cabin, but I would imagine in hot weather is might not be comfortable, probably raising the humidity. So destination and weather might be your guide. Plus I enjoy closing the door and experiencing a true balcony. And you can't dry a towel or bathing suit on a windowsill!
The cabins were spacious, the furniture very contemporary and attractive but not very comfortable. King size bed was great! The bathroom was HUGE, the biggest on an cruise ship I've seen, HUGE walk-in shower with glass walls and a stone finish! I did not find the frosted glass half way up the wall between the bedroom and bathroom to be a problem, but I was sharing with my hubby. And it's nice to be brushing your teethe and look away from the mirror and watch the sea go by! Only thing that needs improvement is the bedside light.
Every island is unique! Some old with lots of vegetation, some new, walking through the lava fields. You'll see wildlife in their natural environment, behaving as wildlife with no human interference. So unspoiled - an inspiration for environmental preservation. Wide variety of wildlife seen on every excursion. Every month, every season has something to offer - there's never a bad time to go!