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KathyL2537

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About KathyL2537

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    Columbia Maryland
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    Travel, food and wine, reading, volunteering

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  1. NM Traveller: no worries about traveling with non snorkelers. It is an optional activity. For the beach snorkels, they take place after the island hike, so non-snorkelers can go back on board or just stay on the beach while others snorkel. There are tenders going back and forth regularly so whenever she wants to head back she can. For the deep water snorkels, many just stay on board. On our cruise in August I want to say that perhaps a third to half of us did the deep water ones. So your wife will be fine hanging out on board with all the new friends you are sure to meet there 🙂 In terms of water temperature, it varies depending on what month you are going. And how cold it feels depends on your personal thermostat. There is definitely discussion about this on the "recently returned" thread. One woman on our trip swims in Colorado rivers so she was fine in a bathing suit! Check this link out for more information. https://www.igtoa.org/travel_guide/weather According to our naturalist it was mid 60s when we were there in August so this was pretty accurate for us.
  2. Galapagosbound: definitely check the Recently Returned thread pinned at the top of the Flora roll call, lots of good info there. We rinsed out our wetsuits after every snorkel and I think I heard that they disinfect between cruises but not 100% sure. The wetsuits are short sleeved. We were very grateful that we brought something to wear underneath as in August the water was cold. There is a recent posting in that thread with average water temps, but ours was definitely colder than what is listed. Still you are only in for 40 minutes and it’s so amazing that sometimes you forget you are cold. I had short hiking boots for some of the days and Tevas for most of the others and was glad I brought both. At the briefing every evening they give you a lot of info about what to wear and bring the next day. I would not bother getting dressed up for dinner. It is a very informal cruise. I brought one dress and a skirt with several dressy blouses and I definitely was overdressed! I also wouldn’t count on the shop except for souvenir hat and/or t shirt kind of things. And definitely buy chocolate at the equator. But remember the limitations on what you can bring from Quito to the Galapagos, no plastic bags, no nuts, seeds, etc. Cruise a holic: I will reinforce previous posters answers on the kids question. There are NO children’s activities on this cruise. There are small wetsuits and snorkel masks. We had several children on our August cruise; some were fantastic, never heard them whining, complaining or disrupting any activity. Others were not as good, and there were several complaints, they were rude and disruptive to others, loud, running around, banging doors, etc. on a ship this small it gets annoying. Think about whether the children you want to bring are okay in an adult environment 24x7, and also how they handle a weeks worth of long tiring days.
  3. You won’t regret it...We loved the Coral for our Alaska trip last August, below is my post from earlier this year explaining why. And thanks all for the info on the club mini suites vs. non club. We are looking at a Norwegian fjords cruise next summer and was wondering about that. We always do mini suites on Princess as I want a somewhat comfortable place to sit when I am in my cabin!
  4. Thanks Bonnie! Sounds like fun! Got my white dress and am counting the days til our Dec 7 departure!
  5. Suzy- so glad you asked that- I was wondering the same thing. I am definitely a bourbon girl, will have to think about switching to rum for the cruise, or getting DH to give up both the vodka and the rum to get bourbon 🙂
  6. Thank you so much Host Grandma! Our first Azamara cruise is coming up in Dec and I was wondering the same thing. All the information you have compiled has been really helpful, I just love the tips I get from CruiseCritic!
  7. jamacka: While not the Xpedition, there is also some discussion on Galapagos snorkeling and wetsuits on the Recently Returned on Flora thread in the Flora Roll calls. What time of year are you going ? We were there in mid August and the water was definitely cold. I used a long sleeve rashguard under mine and DH brought a long sleeved neoprene top ($33 on amazon). We were both glad we had done so, in fact I could have used gloves. For the most part though, after the initial shock you just start swimming around and mostly don't think about how cold it is.
  8. Based on our experience, that is correct. Also, in case anyone else is expanding the length of this trip, we used Celebrity Air to get from US to Quito but arrived several days early so as to spend some time in the Ecuadorean Amazon rain forest. We came in late on a Sunday, made our own arrangements to get into Quito for two nights, and to get back to the airport for our flight to Coca. We thus used our Celebrity-provided transfer from the airport to the Marriott (which was included in the 10 day package) when we returned from Coca the following Friday. As others have said, the airport is roughly 45 mins drive from Quito so the whole transfer option is important.
  9. FLgemini, we just returned from the Flora, and I had posted a lot of info about the ship and trip on a Just Back from Flora thread in the Flora roll call forums. That thread disappeared late last night or overnight, so not sure what is going on. I emailed the cruise critic help email address so hopefully the CC admins can restore it. In it I talked a bit about the luggage process, inspection, etc, so hopefully it is not gone for good. There is also some info on some of the other threads in that forum. To to answer your questions, Celebrity did a great job on these logistics. It is a chartered flight on Avianca directly from Quito to Baltra. This seems independent of celebrity air, The only people on it are those going to / from the ship. And you have already met them during the transport from the airport, or during the city tour, or at lunch or dinner....you get the idea. Mostly passengers but we also had some crew scattered in the back. Once you arrive at the JW Marriott they give you all the details, and you get the boarding passes the morning of the flight. They take you to the airport, handle your luggage, ensure you are checked in, etc. the flight was maybe 100 mins or so and they serve breakfast on the way out and lunch coming back. Upon arrival in Baltra you have to go through immigration, there was a line when we arrived and it took maybe 20 mins or so. Then you go to the VIP lounge, which is nothing to get excited about- there are snacks and coffee, juice type drinks, and a bar where you can buy alcoholic drinks and wait while they get the luggage and everything sorted. The bus to the dock is about 5 mins ride, then onto the tender to the ship. So so very easy, you are definitely herded but it is in the nicest possible way. I hope you enjoy the trip as much as we did.
  10. Sippican, you are absolutely right. Several of us currently on the Flora have been talking about these reviews and we agree with you, we think people may need to better manage expectations for this type of trip. It is not perfect but we have found the service to be very reasonable. Our toilets flush, we have not had leaks, the sinks work fine, wifi slows down when everyone is back in the evenings, but that’s not unexpected, etc. etc. The cabin stewards’ English is not as good as what we find on the larger ships, but they are lovely, very pleasant, and keep our room perfectly cleaned. Bartenders and waitstaff are as good as most that we have had on other cruises. The tender drivers and naturalists are amazing. The 7:15 presentation every night is very clear about the plans and processes for the next day. The hotel manager, John Flynn, seems interested in any input and suggestions for improvement. The food is not to the level of other Celebrity ships but that’s not why we came to the Galapagos. We have been trying to figure out when one of the reviewers had spare time, we sure haven’t seen much of that, but have done every excursion and all but one deep water snorkel. And I actually found the complaints about not being able to wander around on your own on these islands ludicrous. Seriously? I think we all need to understand the goal of preserving this amazing place for the future, and if you don’t get that, why are you even here? i have been posting live on the “Just back on Flora” thread so definitely check that thread on the Flora roll call for more info.
  11. This is one of the few things I dislike about Celebrity as compared to other cruise lines. I would much rather do my own laundry than pack more or pay a lot for them to do it. I take a portable clothesline, small travel packets of soap, and do the best I can, but I do find it annoying that they don’t give you the option. My revenge is stringing up clean clothes on the balcony!
  12. We are booked for a cruise on the Flora next month and I have been hoping that someone on this board has now completed a trip and is willing to write a review. I am really excited and have the typical Cruise Critic questions- laundry? food? how to dress in the evenings (I know Galapagos cruises are very casual in general) and any other useful information. Thanks in advance!
  13. Thank you! We googled as well and didn't find it but I also didn't think to look on a RCCL site for a Celebrity tour...
  14. We did a one way from Vancouver to Whittier last August on the Coral Princess and loved it. Coral has a full promenade deck- deck 7-which was fantastic in Alaska for the wildlife viewing- as you are closer to the water level you can see so much more than you can from a higher deck. Also, as my husband is a runner, having a 1/4 mile track sure beats the 1/13 mile one we have had on other ships. Other things we appreciated were having open viewing areas both forward and aft (we were on deck 10 but there may be some on other decks) and the opportunity to hear Libby Riddle's (the first woman to win the Iditarod) presentation. Finally, I enjoyed meeting the absolutely adorable sled dog puppies in the atrium:). We did post cruise touring on our own and loved staying in Kantishna at the "end of the road" in Denali. A one way flight in and the camper bus out two days later gave us a good amount of time to see this incredible place.
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