Celebrity Eclipse - March 24, 2019

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  • Michelle1234
    Michelle1234 April 21, 2019 3:30 pm

    Eel,

    Thanks for the extra tips! I am adding them to my notes for next year.

     

    Traveling Library, thanks for your review also. 

  • Traveling Library
    Traveling Library April 21, 2019 2:06 pm

    We took a slightly longer/leisurely trip to Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu.  We booked through an Ecuadorian travel agency recommended by a Cruise Critic member who we met on another cruise. The agency is called Happy Gringo.  Sebas at HG arranged our trip using SeTours as the local agent. 

    Day 1: We were met at Cusco airport by SeTours and transferred to the Xima Hotel.  Free time to get used to the altitude.

    Day 2: Pisaq market, lunch, Temple of the Sun (200 steps) in Ollantaytambo.  Hotel: Pakaritampu.

    Day 3: Chinchero with a visit to a textile factory, lunch at a local Andean community in Misminay, Maras salt mines, Moray circular terraces.  Hotel: Pakaritampu.

    Day 4: Walked to train station (it's down the street from the hotel). Vistadome train to Aquas Calientes. We arrived around 10:30 and our entry ticket was for noon so we were able to check in and leave our small bags at the hotel. Bus to Machu Picchu and guided tour.  It was spectacular!! Hotel: El Mapi included dinner.

    Day 5: Morning in Aquas Calientes.  Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo where a driver met us at the train station. Walked to the hotel to get our luggage and rode back to Cusco. Hotel: Xima Cusco

    Day 6: Tour of Cusco city and Cathedral. Visited Sacsayhuaman,  Puca Pucara, Tambomachay. Hotel Xima Cusco.

    Day 7: Transfer to airport and flight to Santiago.

     

    The only changes to the above would be to visit the archaeological site in Pisaq instead of the market (lots of souvenirs) and to take an earlier train back to Ollantaytambo.  There isn't too much to do in Aquas Calientes (though it is worth a good walk through) and most of our ride from Ollantaytambo to Cusco was in the evening and it would have been nice to see the countryside.

     

    All hotels included breakfast. The tour was the 2 of us, the driver (who varied each day), and our guide.  This gave us start time flexibility (most days we started at 9AM except for the train to MP which was earlier).

     

    I agree with 4774Papa. Go to these sites while you can still climb uneven stairs with no hand rails!  Bring a poncho (dollar store ones work fine) since it rained everyday. We took our time and enjoyed every moment of our trip and I'm glad we did it.

  • 4774Papa
    4774Papa April 21, 2019 11:20 am
    17 hours ago, eel said:

     

    Thanks for your excellent and extensive review!  Your tours from the ship were different than ours so it provided an interesting contrast.

     

    I especially enjoyed your review of your trip to Peru and Machu Pichu. It sounds like you picked up a very good tour.  We visited Peru in 2017 and thought it was was wonderful.  I wholeheartedly agree with your comment: "By the way, if you want to see Machu Picchu, I recommend not waiting until you are in your 70s."

     

    A few comments to anyone considering a visit to Machu Pichu:

    Although a tour is certainly a good choice, you could also consider doing all of the planning yourself. It is quite easy and Tripadvisor is an excellent resource to help you plan.  Also, you may want to consider spending an extra night in Aquas Calientes so you can visit Machu Pichu on two separate days. Take a guided tour the first day and use the second day to explore it on your own. This is a good hedge in case you have bad weather on the first day. A guided tour may feel a bit rushed at times so the second day you can have a more leisurely exploration.  Also an extra day touring the Sacred Valley is recommended if you can fit it in. You can spend a night in Ollantaytambo before heading back to Cuzco.  We were able to hire a private taxi at a very reasonable price through our hotel in Ollantaytambo to take us to the sights and transfer us back to Cuzco at the end of the day. In any case these recommendations take longer so please ignore them if you can't afford the time. 

     

    In any case, thanks again for the review!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    eel,

    I appreciate your comments.  We ran into people that planned their MP trip on their own.  Most spent little time in Cusco and/or the Sacred Valley.

    We felt that had we not gone to MP that Cusco and the Sacred Valley alone were worth the trip to Peru.  Of course, MP was the crowning event.

    Based on my research, I don't thing we would have saved much by doing it ourselves.  We had a private tour guide for our full day at the Sacred Valley and MP.

    As for doing MP in 2 days, my wife and I pretty much covered the entire site.  Our guide was excellent, making sure we hit all the right places.  My guidebook listed the key sites and we hit them all except the burial site up high a bit away from the caretaker's hut.  We took a slight risk to go in late March at the end of the rainy season.  Yes, it would have been bad if it rained, since those stone steps could be slippery.

  • Traveling Library
    Traveling Library April 20, 2019 9:45 pm
    6 hours ago, Coquitlam Cruiser said:

    Hi Lois and Bill, thanks again for the great times together on this cruise.  Lynda and I certainly had fun.  Cheers and all the best to you and Bill.  

     

    Martin & Lynda

    Good to see you too!  Hope we are cruising together again.  Lois & Bill

  • eel
    eel April 20, 2019 5:38 pm
    On 4/19/2019 at 6:50 AM, 4774Papa said:

    CUSCO, SACRED VALLEY, MACHU PICCHU AND CELEBRITY ECLIPSE

    FROM CHILE TO SAN DIEGO

     

    We booked the Celebrity Eclipse from San Antonio, Chile to San Diego from 24 March 2019 until 8 April 2019 because some cruise friends that sailed with us on that same ship in 2017.  While some did cancel the cruise after booking, two couples were with us on that cruise, leading to great companionship and fun.

     

    Since we were booked on this cruise, we decided to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu prior to the cruise.  I was a bit concerned about planning this trip in late March, since the rainy season for that area doesn’t end until the end of March.  However, we had no rain while in Peru, except once at night.

     

    I selected a tour from PeruAgency Tours for our Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu tour.  They had the best value and lowest priced offer.  The tour provided 4 star hotels and a private guide for most of the trip.  This describes our tour:

    ......

     

    Thanks for your excellent and extensive review!  Your tours from the ship were different than ours so it provided an interesting contrast.

     

    I especially enjoyed your review of your trip to Peru and Machu Pichu. It sounds like you picked up a very good tour.  We visited Peru in 2017 and thought it was was wonderful.  I wholeheartedly agree with your comment: "By the way, if you want to see Machu Picchu, I recommend not waiting until you are in your 70s."

     

    A few comments to anyone considering a visit to Machu Pichu:

    Although a tour is certainly a good choice, you could also consider doing all of the planning yourself. It is quite easy and Tripadvisor is an excellent resource to help you plan.  Also, you may want to consider spending an extra night in Aquas Calientes so you can visit Machu Pichu on two separate days. Take a guided tour the first day and use the second day to explore it on your own. This is a good hedge in case you have bad weather on the first day. A guided tour may feel a bit rushed at times so the second day you can have a more leisurely exploration.  Also an extra day touring the Sacred Valley is recommended if you can fit it in. You can spend a night in Ollantaytambo before heading back to Cuzco.  We were able to hire a private taxi at a very reasonable price through our hotel in Ollantaytambo to take us to the sights and transfer us back to Cuzco at the end of the day. In any case these recommendations take longer so please ignore them if you can't afford the time. 

     

    In any case, thanks again for the review!

     

     

     

     

     

     

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