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Celebrity Xpedition Review

Editor Rating:  4.0
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Celebrity Xpedition Ratings

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Why Choose Celebrity Xpedition?
  • Pro: Offers nature exploration in more comfort than many expedition lines
  • Con: Not the right ship for the latest Celebrity offerings or high-speed internet
  • Bottom Line: Soft-adventure ship sails the Galapagos all year with fantastic results

Celebrity Xpedition Overview

Celebrity Cruises' owner Royal Caribbean acquired Sun Bay 1, a small luxury vessel, built in 2001, and launched it in June 2004. In an innovative move, Celebrity's Xpedition sub-brand, created a new strata of up-market, premium-priced cruises and shore excursions offering travelers unusual cruise experiences in exotic destinations.

The start-up of the venture marked the arrival of the first mainstream cruise company to operate around the Galapagos Islands year-round. This option opened up Galapagos cruises, formerly the province of backpacking (or high-end) "adventure travelers." In essence, Xpedition combines the exotica of this type of adventure on a small vessel with some of the amenities and features -- high level of service and cuisine, for instance -- that Celebrity is known for.

And indeed, the joy of the Galapagos operation is that it combines Celebrity stylishness with local, "small ship" ambience. Crewmembers -- almost entirely Ecuadorian from the captain down -- are sunny, charming and tirelessly obliging. Destination-oriented features are incorporated into the onboard experience, such as a performance of Ecuadorian folklorique preceded by a highly personalized slide show featuring pictures of passengers meeting wildlife during the course of the trip (guests are presented as a complimentary CD to take home).

Better still, all drinks (except for certain premium brands) and tips are included in the price, so the atmosphere is more relaxed and sociable than that on the big Celebrity ships, where passengers are more reluctant to mingle because of potential embarrassment over who buys drinks for whom!

Celebrity Xpedition Fellow Passengers

Apart from a couple of Canadian ex-pats, we were the only Britons on the inaugural cruise and, apart from the Latino family group the vast majority of our fellow passengers were cheerful, eco-oriented, middle-class Americans.

Celebrity Xpedition Dress Code

On a ship with such an outdoors-based itinerary, casual is obviously the order of the day, but guests seemed to enjoy changing out of their daytime swimmers and shorts and dressing fairly smartly for dinner.

Celebrity Xpedition Gratuity

Gratuities are included in the cruise fare on Celebrity Xpedition.

Next:  Celebrity Xpedition Cabins

158 Celebrity Xpedition Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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Member Since 2012
1 review
7 forum posts
0 helpful votes
The Celebrity Cruise line did a fabulous job organizing all the events that took place from the airport in Quito, excursions around Quito, hotel arrangements at the JW Marriott, transportation to the Hotel and transportation to Baltra. ... Read more
Member Since 2007
4 reviews
324 forum posts
0 helpful votes
This is an expedition adventure not your normal cruise you are used to. We were on the inner loop. Want to also state we have done over 60 cruises in our lifetime so far including large cruise ships, riverboats and destinations such as ... Read more
Member Since 2011
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
The most dissapointing cruise I have ever taken.. I had asked Celebrity directly if there where top brand liquors, specifically Grey Goose or Black Label and replied yes. Not only where there no Top Brand liquors onboard but I was not able ... Read more
Helpful? Thank ecb43
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