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sippican

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About sippican

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Wht Mts, NH - Gulf Coast, FL
  • Interests
    hiking, skiing, traveling, photography
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    We cruise for itinerary, not line
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    The next one planned!

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  1. That's quite an amazing story. Thanks for sharing. Kudos to Celebrity for stepping up to the plate, from the crews of the two ships up to LLP.
  2. You are in for a great expereince! The threads listed above in post #664 may answer most of your questions, and if not, you can ask. It is more likely to be read by past and future cruisers.
  3. It is questionable if the government would allow the transfer of the 100 Silversea licenses to Royal, but a good point. Then X would still be left with the 48 Xpedition licenses and the 16 Xploration (which I presume they could sell). But, that would leave Silversea without a presence in the Galapagos, where they have been very popular with cruisers looking for a more upscale experience. Personally, works for me since we are booked for 2021 on Xpedition and I'd be happy with a new ship!
  4. Hmmmm ... This sounds like a very good option to me. You'd still get to cruise the Galapagos, but on Flora (which costs about double of Xpedition). AND you come out $600 ahead. Am I missing something?
  5. For general Galapagos crusing discussions, you will find tons of information here. (Aslo Parts 1 & 2 and Flora Roll call) As far as best time of year - the Galkapagos are a year-round destination. "Best" depends on your priorities; weather, water temperature, ocean activitt, mating seasons, hatchlings, sea lion pups ...etc. Only you can decide.
  6. Regarding Future Cruise Credit: I am very confused. If you received a 100% refund for the cost of the Xpedition cruise, were you expecting to have the same amount applied to an FCC until it was used up? Historically, FCCs have always been for one time use. It is an offer of good will in recognition of your inconveniences. The refund was for the cruise you didn't take, the FCC a bonus. If you choose to use the FCC on Xpedition, I do think they should honor that, no matter what future prices look like. It's their own error that the passenger count is so low!
  7. I've not heard of Xploration sailings being cancelled. However, Xploration is not even supposed to be sailing according to Celebrity's original master plan. She was only put back into service when the government refused Celebrity's request to transfer the licenses from Xploration to Xpedition. That being said, I would not hesitate to book Xploration. The prices are much more reasonable. If for some chance, Celebrity is able to get the licensing issue resolved, you could probably end up on Xpedition (at 64 passengers). I presume you are looking at the 10 or 11 night packages. In that case the answer is yes, once you land in Quito, Celebrity will take excellent care of you. This has been a difficult year for Galapagos sailings. Hopefully the issues will be resolved. It truly is the trip of a lifetime. We can't wait to go back. Be sure to visit the Roll Call boards (Xpedition and Flora) where you can get tons of information about the experience.
  8. So sorry to hear this, but glad you got some answers! We are rebooked for October of 2021. Hopefully the time will fly by. Enjoy your "Plan B" whatever that may be.
  9. You are correct, it's the same total lack of communication that we saw during the licensing. It must be so frustrating for cruisers close to their sail date as well as the TAs who are not given anything more than the clients are.
  10. I agree with the advice to book at least the 10 night package with Celebrity. I am also a travel professional and have booked our second cruise to the Galapagos (both on Xpedition), and others on the Flora and Xpedition. If you elect to do the 7-day cruise only, you are entirely on your own. Baltra is a tiny airport, with few flights each day. Even if you elect to fly in a day early, you lodging options are limited. (There are none at the airport.). I am a price stalker. You will see promos for Flora, sometimes free air (up to $1000 pp), sometimes BOGOHO. The only significant base price drops I've seen have been on Xpedition. I just saved over $3000. On our first trip, the [rice dropped so low, I was able to upgrade to a suite for a minimal amount. GTY room categories can pop up (and disappear) at any time. In addition to the Flora thread mentioned, it may be worth reviewing the Xpedition recently back threads, as there is much more information and Xpedition used to sail Flora's itineraries. As far as when to go, only you can decide on your priorities - best water temps, calmest seas, bird mating seasons, young sea lion pups, etc. These happen during different seasons, that's why the Galapagos are a year-round destination. I did so much research, that I actually made a spreadsheet, lol! In the end, it didn't matter. I've attended many seminars on the galapagos, and everyone thought they took their trip at the best time! So you can't lose. Here is a good resource to start. https://www.galapagosislands.com/blog/the-best-time-to-visit-the-galapagos/
  11. Great information. Although the Park regulations are 16 guests to each naturalist, Celebrity committed to have no more than 12 per naturalist as a selling point on Flora. During our trip on Xpedition, we had multiple options each morning and evening. No one was ever turned away from an activity as they allotted the guides based on the number of participants. They even custom tailored activities to meet the needs or wants of cruisers (one woman had her own personal guided zodiac ride one afternoon). The groups never exceeded 16, but usually were smaller in number. I'm not sure how they are managing with 48 passengers. The internet was upgraded during Xpedition's last drydock and worked very well. The new zodiacs sound amazing! I am not taking exception to your opinion of Flora, there is no argument that she's the crown jewel of the Galapagos! I am simply pointing these things out for those who may be trying to decide between Flora and Xpedition. You may wish to continue your general discussion of Flora here:
  12. Welcime to Cruise Critic! Have you been on Xpedition? I am sure Flora is absolutely luxurious. My two friends just returned a few days ago after hearing me rave endlessly about our trip last fall. I will stick by my opinion, that there is no way I am willing to spend double for Flora, ($24,000 vs $12,000 for a ten day trip) Heck, I can return to the Galapagos again for those savings! We were perfectly happy on Xpedition. A trip to the Galapagos is all about the experiences interacting with the destination. I am glad you were pleased with the ship. It’s not that we don’t like to splurge on comfort either; we book suites occasionally when cruising, and love to fly business class when possible. FWIW, at this time, the staff to cruiser ratio is actually higher on Xpedition, and there is more square fototage per passenger due to the passenger limit of 48.
  13. I tend to agree that we will probably never know. On the Facebook Celebrity Captain's Club page regarding the incident, the moderator has turned off commenting, and most comments have been removed. Another wonderful example of good communication and transparency!
  14. It's really hard to tell from the picture. All reports are that it was stuck on a sandbar, even though it may appear it struck rocks. No damage to the hull. Now i guess they need to figure out why power was lost.
  15. Very few choose to do the 7-day cruise only option. Air to and from Baltra is a challenge.There are very few flights, schedule changes are common, lodging options are few and Celebrity has no obligation to you if you miss the ship. When you choose any package (including MP) all transportation, both land and air, is included once you land in Quito. We flew from Miami to Quito for under $500 rt. When pricing the Galapagos trips, people tend to forget that it is all-inclusive, so it cannot be compared to other cruise fares. Once you hit the ground in Quito, you have absolutely no need to spend another dime. Pricing does fluctuate; sometimes there are air included specials, BOGOHO, seasonal differences, and sometimes they just drop. We went last year and are currently rebooked on Xpedition for 2021. Prices dropped significantly and I was able to reprice our 10 day package to around $6000 pp (a savings of over $1000 pp). Having experienced Xpedition, we feel no need to pay the high cost to try Flora.
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