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Live from Silversea Galapagos! (July 7, 2018)

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Hi everyone! I thought some of you might be interested to hear about my experience onboard the Silver Galapagos! I've been planning this trip for over a year and a half and I'm so excited to finally be here! I know I was hungry for any little bit of information that I could find about Silversea and the Galapagos. I'll try to keep you posted the best I can!

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Day 1

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

My mom and I flew American Airlines from Boston to Miami andthen Miami to Quito. The flight toMiami was about 3 ¼ hours, and the flight to Quito was about 4 ¼ hours. The plane did not have televisionscreens in the seats, but you could watch movies and TV for free either fromyour laptop or via the American Airlines App on a personal device. Make sure to download the app ahead oftime on your home wifi. I didn’t,so I had to use my laptop. It wasa little tricky to find the In-flight Entertainment portal. I ended up going toAmericanAirlines.com and then searched for In-flight Entertainment on theirsearch portal. Once I found it, Ihad access to all the usual things that you find on an airplane. Only beverages and a cookie were servedon our first flight. MIA had a fewoptions for dining. My mom and I bothordered hamburgers at Friday’s and they were really good. The MIA to Quito flight served a boxlunch that wasn’t very impressive. Still partly frozen turkey and brie on a roll, and a very yummy chocolatebrownie. By the time we arrived inQuito it was quite late. Theairport is small, but new and modern. It was a pretty simple process to go through Passport Control,Immigration, and Baggage Claim. Representatives from Silversea were waiting on the other side with ournames on a board. Once everyonearrived, we boarded a small bus and headed to the hotel. A guide was onboard the bus to providecommentary and give us information regarding the schedule for the next twodays. One thing that I didn’trealize was that the Quito airport it quite a ways outside of the city. It was a 50 minute drive to the JWMarriott. We arrived around 11 PM(12 our time) and were given a warm welcome at the hotel. They had hot facecloths, a local hotbeverage (kind of like pineapple juice) which was very good, and our room keyswaiting. All we had to do wasgiven them our name and that was it. My mom and I then headed up to our room. Silversea books guests in Deluxe rooms at the JW Marriottand they were wonderful! Large,clean, and beautifully appointed. Our room had two queen sized beds with firm (but not hard) mattresses,feather pillows, desk and chair, armchair, mini-fridge, wall safe, 2 bathrobes,and an incredible bathroom. Therewas a separate toilet room, a stand up shower, and a tub that was more like aindoor swimming pool. Amenitiesincluded soaps, shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, lotion, mouthwash, shaving kit,emery board, comb, cotton balls and Q-tips, and shoe shine cloth. There was also a hairdryer.

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Sounds like you are off to a great start, WorldTourPrincess. Looking forward to following your adventures! Galapagos is on my someday list :-)

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Hi everyone! I thought some of you might be interested to hear about my experience onboard the Silver Galapagos! I've been planning this trip for over a year and a half and I'm so excited to finally be here! I know I was hungry for any little bit of information that I could find about Silversea and the Galapagos. I'll try to keep you posted the best I can!

 

Appreciate your nice postings and follow-ups. We are hoping to do the Galápagos in the next couple of years. Your sharing is very interesting and helpful. Keep up the great "work". Fun!! AND, informative for us doing future planning.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean adventure that started in Barbados, here is the link for that live/blog. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.):

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 57,411 views for these postings.

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Looking forward to your reports WTP . . . I'm doing this next January. Interested to hear about the altitude in Quito and all about the landings in the islands. There's a volcano in a bad mood over there at the moment.

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Day 2

Friday, July 6th

Breakfast at the hotel was included in our stay and was veryimpressive. They had a hugeassortment of hot and cold items, breads, pastries, meats, cheeses, fruit, etc… There was an omelet station aswell as a smoothie bar. Probablyone of the best breakfast buffets I’ve come across. Luckily nothing was planned until 5:00 PM, so we had thewhole day to do as we pleased. Silversea offered several tours in partnership with Akorn. Prices varied depending upon how manypeople were going, but overall seemed rather high.

-Antisana Ecologial Reserve

-Cloud Forest, Hummingbirds & Orchids

-Otavalo Market

-Yanacocha Highland Reserve

-Quito and its Marvels

We ended up meeting another passenger at breakfast whorecommended a tour that she had done the day before through the hotel and itwas FANTASTIC! The concierge justcalled over a driver and this lovely older man was our guide for the day. The price was supposed to be $75 total,but we were told we could probably get it for $60 which we did. (Keep in mind this was for BOTH ofus!) He first took us to ReservaGeobotanica Pululahua to observe the crater. It was very pretty, and there were clean bathrooms there,though toilet paper was for sale in a vending machine outside the stalls for$0.25/meter! There were also some little gift shops as well. My mom and I just observed the craterfrom the top, though you could walk down if you wanted to. I was still feeling the affects of thealtitude, and had no desire to walk down anything I would then have to come up! We then went on to the outdoor equatormuseum (Museo de Sitio Inti-Nan), which was fabulous. For $4 a guide escorted us around the museum and explainedall the exhibits. We toured some traditionalhomes, learned about the people and culture, and even some of the traditions,including the practice of shrunken heads! They even had a real example in a glass case! As a science teacher, I found all the science demos the mostinteresting. There is a lot ofcool things to do at the equator, including attempting to balance an egg on anail which I did! I’ve tried itbefore at home and it’s nearly impossible! Overall we had a great time and I highly recommend thismuseum. And unlike the more famousMitad Del Mundo, this museum is actually on the true equator and you can posefor pictures with the sign. Our driverdid bring us there, but we were tired and felt we had seen enough. After the hour drive back to the hotel,we then took a little rest in our room, but not for long, because Silversea hadincluded at 5:00 PM sightseeing tour of the Old City. It took about two hours, and brought you to the oldersection of the town and a huge church. It reminded me of Notre Dame in style, but with La Sagrada Familiainfluences. I wasn’t impressedwith the tour, and was happy when it was over. One of the tour guides recommended a restaurant calledSpaghetti which was less than a block away from the hotel. We had an excellent meal for a veryreasonable price.

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Day 3

Saturday, July 7th

All guests are woken up at 4:30 AM. Luggage has to be outside your door,properly tagged, at 4:35, and they were prompt in picking them up. A light breakfast was availabledownstairs in the Bistro. None ofthe hot items were there, but there was still fruit, meats, cheeses, breads,pastries, and cereals. We boardedbusses at 5:30 AM and headed off to Quito, an hour’s drive away. From Quito we flew to Guayaquil, about30 minutes away. From the air youcan see their highest volcano, Cotopaxi, with it’s snow capped peak. After landing in Guayaquil, the planerefueled. Some passengers got offand some new passengers boarded. Those heading to the islands stayed onboard. Overall, we were on the ground for about 40 minutes. Then back in the air for a 1 ½ hourflight to San Cristobal. The planewas a normal jet, with three seats on each side, for a total of 6 seats perrow. Upon landing you had to walkoff the plane, down the stairs onto the tarmac, and then across into theterminal. We had to go throughPassport Control and hand in some paperwork, and then hand baggage had to bescreened. Luggage arrived on theonly carousel in the room. If youhadn’t guessed, the airport is teeny tiny. Once we had our bags and crossed that magic line into theoutside world, a myriad of Silversea guides were waiting to escort us to theship. We were boarded onto smallbusses and drove about 5 minutes to the pier. We had about 15 minutes to walk around, use the restrooms,and star viewing the wildlife! There were sally lightfooted crabs, sea lions, and marine iguanas rightthere! We then hopped into thezodiacs with our carry on bags and were taken to the ship about 10 minutesaway. Onboard we were welcomedwith hot towels and cold drinks. We waited in the Explorer Lounge and then were called by groups to thefront desk to check in. All we hadto do was give them our names and suite number and that was it! Easiest check-in ever! Our suite was on deck 3, just down thehall from reception. Afterdropping off our bags we headed to The Restaurant for a buffet lunch. Later than day we had a VERY thoroughMuster Drill, and a Mandatory Welcome. They introduced us to the Naturalists and talked a little about the weekahead. We also had to select ourwetsuits and snorkeling gear for the week. Around 5:15 they had a Kicker Rock Sunset Sail Away whichwas nice. The guides mingled withguests and explained what we were seeing. Later that night we were still docked, and I realized that the sea lionswere attracted to the lights of the ship and were playing alongside theship! Very cool! I even saw a few of them playing withpoor fish that they had brought up!

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Thank you for sharing your robust and delightful Galapagos posts Laurie.

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WTP - Simply wonderful report. We will be doing this in either 2019 or 2020. Can you please tell me what influenced your decision to go there in July. We do not know which months would be better than others. Thank you.

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Really enjoying your posts World Tour Princess! Thank you for sharing.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Can you please tell me what influenced your decision to go there in July. We do not know which months would be better than others.
I love this question!

 

I wonder, are there any difference in the seas between summer/fall and winter/spring?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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We have been to the Galapagos in June and in November. No difference that I could detect at all.

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We have been to the Galapagos in June and in November. No difference that I could detect at all.
Cool! I think we’d prefer to go in the dead of our winter as it can get quite long at altitude.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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We did the trip on the first 2 weeks of April 2018 and weather was superb not a drop of rain the whole time.

 

`Princess if Melissa is still on board please say the Joy & John send our best wishes to her

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My question about time of year was really not about the weather (although I probably don't want to go in the peak of rainy season) but more was a question about flora and fauna. I believe different times of the year have different things to see. We plan on being there for a B2B cruise.

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My question about time of year was really not about the weather (although I probably don't want to go in the peak of rainy season) but more was a question about flora and fauna. I believe different times of the year have different things to see. We plan on being there for a B2B cruise.

When we were there in June, the boobies and frigate birds were mating, so we got to see a bunch of the boys strutting their stuff and showing off. We still got to see plenty of the same birds in November, just not the mating dance, etc.

Sea lions and tortoises--same both times. Saw penguins in June, but I don't recall in November. Lots of birds either time.

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When we were there in June, the boobies and frigate birds were mating, so we got to see a bunch of the boys strutting their stuff and showing off. We still got to see plenty of the same birds in November, just not the mating dance, etc.

Sea lions and tortoises--same both times. Saw penguins in June, but I don't recall in November. Lots of birds either time.

Great information. Thanks Rachel. Any comment on the flora?

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Thank you for taking us along, Princess! I look forward to more.

 

For those of us who do not have the greatest eyes, do you think you could break your longer posts into a couple more paragraphs instead of having one long one? It would help me with eye strain a bit to read small chunks at a time rather than en masse, if it is not too much trouble.

 

I have considered and rejected a trip to Galapagos several times, am on the fence with worries about comfort levels, so descriptions of beds, altitude, temperature, time you have to get up, and all other details that affect creature comfort you are giving is helpful to me, thanks!

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As we haven't heard from the OP for some days I assume the internet on the ship isn't great . . .

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Thank you for taking us along, Princess! I look forward to more.

 

For those of us who do not have the greatest eyes, do you think you could break your longer posts into a couple more paragraphs instead of having one long one? It would help me with eye strain a bit to read small chunks at a time rather than en masse, if it is not too much trouble.

 

I have considered and rejected a trip to Galapagos several times, am on the fence with worries about comfort levels, so descriptions of beds, altitude, temperature, time you have to get up, and all other details that affect creature comfort you are giving is helpful to me, thanks!

 

 

 

Don't even hesitate it was one of the best we have ever had and the wildlife is so trusting.

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Love the posts. Thanks for doing this. We will taking this cruise in 1.5 months and I am so excited. One thing I was wondering about was the zodiacs and transferring from the zodiac to shore. Are these wet landings? We've had a bad experience in Hawaii when we weren't informed about a wet landing and had to run through surf in jeans and then set out whale watching in wet clothes that wouldn't dry quickly... So I'm wondering if you should wear shorts/swim suits and sandals for the trip between the ship and land?

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We did this cruise in January 2017, so maybe I can help since the OP seems to be off line currently. The zodiac trip for the trip to the ship after you arrive at the airport in Baltra is a dry landing, unless a little water splashes up. From the dock to the ship. Some landings during the week were wet and others were dry. It all depended on the activity. The crew is great and there will be plenty of notice on what to wear and wet verse dry landings.

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Great information. Thanks Rachel. Any comment on the flora?

The flora was same.

 

As far as wet vs dry landings, only 2 are dry. When you embark and disembark you are at a dock, and when you visit the town, but otherwise, all are wet.

 

As far as internet on the ship, it was fine 2 years ago.

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Love the posts. Thanks for doing this. We will taking this cruise in 1.5 months and I am so excited.

Spree75 - Are you on the September 1st sailing? We will be on that cruise.

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You do have wet and dry landings. Some days with more than one.

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Spree75 - Are you on the September 1st sailing? We will be on that cruise.

 

Hi Linda and Bill. Yes. My partner and I are on that trip. I'm trying to doing so legwork on what can be expected as this cruise is very different from our usual vacation plans. The Galapagos and then Peru afterwards was too tempting and has been on both our bucket lists.

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Off to a great start, Really looking forward to the details of this cruise. The Galapagos is on my list of visits and had been eyeing this 7/7 cruise (there were some great deals on the spring) but I had a very ill parent and couldn't risk being away. Considering going next summer.

 

Any details are appreciated!

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There are 70+ reviews of the Silver Galapagos on Cruise Critic. (Research - Reviews) Lots of information if you are interested in this cruise.

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Oh where, oh where

Has our World Tour Princess gone?

 

Oh where, oh where can she be?

 

With her posts came excitement

But her last was on July 7

 

Oh where, oh where can she be?

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Hi Linda and Bill. Yes. My partner and I are on that trip. I'm trying to doing so legwork on what can be expected as this cruise is very different from our usual vacation plans. The Galapagos and then Peru afterwards was too tempting and has been on both our bucket lists.

Spree75 - Peru too! I'm jealous. I'd be happy to "meet" and chat pre-cruise via email if you'd like. You can reach me at JAEGERLR at gmail dot com.

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There are 70+ reviews of the Silver Galapagos on Cruise Critic. (Research - Reviews) Lots of information if you are interested in this cruise.

 

I actually did plenty of research. Since we had wanted to be on this specific cruise (7/7) but couldn’t because of the care needed for an ill parent, I was very interested in this specific week. Close to a US holiday, possibly more families etc. I’m still looking forward to this review.

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WTP - Simply wonderful report. We will be doing this in either 2019 or 2020. Can you please tell me what influenced your decision to go there in July. We do not know which months would be better than others. Thank you.

 

I'm a teacher, so my options are limited. Between July and August, the water is calmer and warmer in July than August. We found the weather to be quite pleasant. Warm, but not too hot, and dry.

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So sorry everyone! The week was jam packed and the wifi, though free, was SUPER slow! I usually had to go to the lounge to get online since the connection in my room was so poor. Currently in an amazing suite at the Oro Verde Hotel in Guayquil waiting for my night flight home. Will do what I can to answer everyone's questions and continue to post my daily journals!

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Day 4

Sunday, July 8th

Bartolome and Caleta Bucanero, Santiago Island

 

So every night at 7:00 all the guests meet in the ExplorerLounge for the Briefing and Recap. Javier, the Expedition Leader, and some of the other guides would talkabout what we would be doing the next day. I was very impressed with level of detail that the briefingsprovided. They were very specificas to what to wear, what to bring with you, what to expect on the hike, howlong it would last, and the level of difficulty.

 

The morning activities for today included an easy zodiactour of the coastline (1 hour) and a very strenuous, 2 hour, volcano hike. I chose to do the hike. This hike focused more on geology andless on the animals, which there weren’t much of. Other than lava lizards and a couple of birds, that wasabout it. There were 382 steps, orthe equivalent of going 30 stories up. I’m in pretty good shape, but found myself winded on more than oneoccasion. The pace was fast. When our guide stopped to talk, hewould talk for a while, so I think he tried to make up for it by hikingquickly. He also had really longlegs, so that could have accounted for the pace as well. The hike was good, but strenuous. There was a beautiful view at the top,but it was a cloudy day, so probably not the best it could have been. We spotted a pod of dolphins way in thedistance on the way down, so our guide radioed it in so the groups on the watercould go check them out. This hikewas a dry landing. I wore sturdyhiking boots, long lightweight pants, a long sleeved safari-type shirt, andwide-brimmed hat. It ended upbeing perfect for the day.

 

Later that morning we had to option to go to a beach atBartolome and snorkel around Pinnacle rock. The beach was gorgeous, and there was a lot of marinelife! I spotted: Mexican Hogfish (these guys areEVERYWHERE in the Galapagos, a tiger snake eel, flounder, bluechin parrotfish,king angelfish, razor surgeonfish, porcupine fish, white tip reef shark, plaincardinalfish, giant hawkfish, giant damselfish, and ring taileddamselfish. The biggest rewardcame to those who snorkeled all the way around the rocks on the left: Galapagos Penguins! I had one swim by me and then two ofthem were just resting on a rock. They were so adorable and I was able to get fairly close to take somegreat pictures! The ship providedsnorkeling gear and 3mm shortie wetsuits. There were no full-length wetsuits as someone reported earlier. They also gave each guest a labeled meshbag to hold all your stuff in, which was very handy. However, I brought all my own gear, including my divewatch. Because of that I was ableto record the water temperature each day. At this site the water was between 77 and 78 degrees F. At the end of the excursion we justdunked all of our gear in fresh water tanks and hung it up to dry on the backof the boat. Nothing had to bebrought back to the cabins, thank heavens!

 

After lunch there was a lecture and they showed Part 1 of adocumentary called “The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden.” Ididn’t see it, but I heard it was good. I spent what little free time I had going through my underwater photosand video trying to ID all of the animals that I saw. Later that afternoon there was a zodiac tour along thecoastline which lasted one hour. We saw pelicans, sealions, and some really cool caves that pirates usedto use! We also came across anillegal fishing boat that had thrown a lot of trash in the water. We fished up what we could from thewater, and the guides took pictures of the boat and reported it to theauthorities.

 

The day ended with the 7:00 PM Briefing & Recap,followed by the Captain’s Toast. Dinner didn’t start each night until 7:30. My mom and I opted to try out The Grill for the first time. They had steak, lobster, and otherregional specialties. I thought that it was fun to try once, but I wouldn’trush back. I wasn’t a fan ofcooking my own food tableside. They bring out a mostly raw piece of meat on a 400 degree lava rock, andthen suggested that I cut of small strips of steak and cook each strip at atime. I didn’t like the idea ofeating from a knife and fork that had touched raw meat, so I grabbed a secondset of silverware. I also have araw shellfish allergy, so I asked them to cook my lobster for me just to besafe. The food was good, but itwas a very windy evening and a lot of napkins and wineglasses went flying!

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I love this question!

 

I wonder, are there any difference in the seas between summer/fall and winter/spring?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I found this guide from Celebrity really helpful:

http://creative.rccl.com/Sales/Celebrity/Galapagos/18060688_CEL_Galapagos_Wildlife_Calendar.pdf

 

The version I have has air and sea temps, and rainfall. I tried attaching a picture but CC didn't like the file size.

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As we haven't heard from the OP for some days I assume the internet on the ship isn't great . . .

 

Yes, sorry! I had to visit public areas to get a decent signal and then it was still a struggle at times. I decided I didn't want to spend my whole trip waiting for stuff to load. Trying to catch up now! : )

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