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KathyL2537

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About KathyL2537

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    Travel, food and wine, reading, volunteering

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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...
  8. 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.
  9. In looking at the excursions for St Peter Port, Celebrity lists a "Juniper and Jewels" small group tour. There is no further information on the web site and when we called Celebrity to ask about it, the person we spoke with was not able to find any information either. Is anyone familiar with this one?
  10. We are on the Silhouette sailing May 7 out of Southampton. In looking at the excursions for St Peter Port, Celebrity lists a "Juniper and Jewels" small group tour. There is no further information on the web site and when we called Celebrity to ask about it, the person we spoke with was not able to find any information either. Is anyone familiar with this one? here is the link- https://www.celebritycruises.com/itinerary-details/12-night-iceland-and-ireland-cruise-from-southampton-england?packageID=SI12Q031&sDT=2019-05-07&cCD=CO&aCB=false
  11. Thanks so much for posting this! We have the Premium package via a Go Best deal on our upcoming Caribbean cruise in Dec but only Classic level as a perk on our Ireland and Iceland in May. Seems like very few options with Classic...so need to think on that.
  12. Thanks to you both- we've done about a dozen cruises and it's been my experience that "formal nights" are often on "at sea" days, so was making that assumption here. But your point makes sense, the last night is when you have to put your luggage out for pickup, so can see why that would be a bad evening to have a formal night. Will watch for reviews from the 3 and 17 Nov sailings (the alternate weeks have a different itinerary although I would expect the details to be similar) and hope that one of these is not the day I booked Qsine! Love the help from this community!
  13. Wendy- FWIW I just booked our reservation in Qsine (and it was definitely not noted as Petit Chef) for 5 Dec so expect it will be there during your week. Any other info /reviews you have on the cruise when you get back would be welcomed- our last Celebrity cruise was 4 years ago and we've done five cruises on other lines since then so my recollections about Celebrity details are somewhat muddled. My assumption for this itinerary given djkretired's input is that the Evening Chic nights will be the St Kitt's Day and the At Sea day, so confirmation/corrections to that would definitely be appreciated.
  14. Thanks all! This is exactly what I was looking for. My cruise planner has Qsine as an option on Summit, so assume that the changeover to Le Petit Chef will happen during Summit's drydock in early 2019. We are on Silhouette in May which has Le Petit Chef, but from reading the reviews here, I'm thinking it's not good value for money.
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