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Celebrity Xpedition refit

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The Xpedition is going in for a refit in 2019, apparently sometime before November when we are schedule to sail on a Galapagos cruise.  Just wondering if anyone knows what the refit will entail.  We do know they are required to reduce the number of passengers on the Xpedition from 100 to about 65 with the arrival of the Flora.  We're curious if the refit will involve making some cabins larger, increasing the number of suites.  Or is it just a refurbishing of the furnishings?

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That is interesting. Xpedition did have a brief refurb this fall, I was not aware there is another scheduled for next year. With the Flora coming into service in May, I wonder why they would wait until fall.

We are onboard presently, and it seems that those on deck 4 are reporting upgraded beds. I am wondering if they have  “other plans” for the current deck 3 cabin space. Eliminating those cabins would pretty much account for the decrease in passenger capacity. There is little evidence of other improvements onboard, other than better internet. Parts of the ship are definitely looking tired.

It has been stated that pretty much the entire crew is moving to the Flora.

Edited by sippican

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On 11/21/2018 at 1:51 PM, sippican said:

That is interesting. Xpedition did have a brief refurb this fall, I was not aware there is another scheduled for next year. With the Flora coming into service in May, I wonder why they would wait until fall.

We are onboard presently, and it seems that those on deck 4 are reporting upgraded beds. I am wondering if they have  “other plans” for the current deck 3 cabin space. Eliminating those cabins would pretty much account for the decrease in passenger capacity. There is little evidence of other improvements onboard, other than better internet. Parts of the ship are definitely looking tired.

It has been stated that pretty much the entire crew is moving to the Flora.

 

 

The agent at Future Cruise told us about the refit and the requirement to reduce capacity.  We liked the idea of being on a fresh ship but didn't think to ask when it would be taking place.  We did a little snooping on the Celebrity site and it seems that there's only about a week where the ship is out of service I think around the end of summer (northern hemisphere summer).  Not sure how much can be done in a week.  It might just be moving the crew up from the bowels of the ship and giving them the lowest deck of ocean view rooms.  However, we're booked into cabin 602.  It's a verandah cabin on Deck 6.  There's only 3 cabins up there and the two other than ours are suites with forward facing balconies (the larger, which is across the hall from us, also has a side balcony.)  Our concern is that the small suite which is right next to us, might be expanded by taking over our cabin 602 so it would also be large with both a front and side balcony to match the suite across the hall.   If I were Celebrity joining those two cabins (602 and 604) into one big suite to match the one across the hall, is what I would do. Not to give Celebrity and ideas, because we don't want our reserved cabin to be swept out from under us but that's why I'm wondering what this refit/refurbishment is about.  :)

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 10.23.01 AM.png

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We just booked for October and the website has two fact sheets on the Xpedition. One is for before June and one for after June, so I expect any changes to take place in late May.

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On 12/31/2018 at 3:36 PM, paulekrause said:

We just booked for October and the website has two fact sheets on the Xpedition. One is for before June and one for after June, so I expect any changes to take place in late May.

 

I'm also curious about this. I wasn't able to find the 2nd fact sheet (or new deck plans). I wonder if they'll just get rid of the cabins on deck 3. They list 4 XO Ocean View cabins which are only 145 square feet. Those are definitely gone since I haven't seen them listed when booking. And if they also get rid of the 14 Deluxe XD cabins, that would make a total of 36 passengers, which gets you to 64. Maybe they'd use those cabins for crew and give them something nicer than they have now? Of course, I currently have an XD guarantee booked for next year, so maybe I'm wrong.

 

And I did read that someone actually liked being on deck 3 because of mobility issues, and that would not be an option anymore.

Edited by MisterBill99

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For what's it's worth we just finished booking 5 XP cabins for family cruise in July 2021 and all of the XO and XD cabins on the 3rd deck are still available. So I'm with you all. It wil be interesting to see how the floor plan will evolve over this coming year. 

 

It will also be interesting to see what Silversea does when they supposedly replace the Silver Galapagos with the Silver Origin around March 2020. Since RCI now owns 60+% of Silversea, it will be interesting to see at what price point her cabins will be offered at. Right now they are nearly compatible with the 10/11 day Xpedition OV cabins where 3 days in Quito and airfare are also included in the trip.

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1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

For what's it's worth we just finished booking 5 XP cabins for family cruise in July 2021 and all of the XO and XD cabins on the 3rd deck are still available. So I'm with you all. It will be interesting to see how the floor plan will evolve over this coming year. 

 

Well, so much for that theory :).

 

BTW I just checked a 2021 sailing and I see XO cabins available but at the same price as XD.  Why would anyone want the smaller 145 square foot cabin if it's the same price as the 160 square foot?

 

Oddly the price is a couple of hundred dollars more than my 2020 sailing, same weeks.

Edited by MisterBill99

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8 hours ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

Well, so much for that theory :).

 

BTW I just checked a 2021 sailing and I see XO cabins available but at the same price as XD.  Why would anyone want the smaller 145 square foot cabin if it's the same price as the 160 square foot?

 

Oddly the price is a couple of hundred dollars more than my 2020 sailing, same weeks.

My DW thinks X will book until they reach their 65 passenger max and then stop. Since we have 2 children in our group, we tried booking two cabins with 3 people each and they said no; hence the reason for 5 cabins instead of 4. This is also a driving factor for us looking at Silversea when their July 2021 itineraries come out as they, right now, allow 3 people in a cabin with a discount for the 3rd.

 

Who knows, maybe RCI will determine the Xpedition is too old and won't be a money-maker anymore and sell it, leaving the Flora and Origin to handle the future Galapagos cruises and give us a great deal to move our cabins. I doubt it, but that's, of course, all part of the adventure of booking cruises early. The last time we sailed on the Xpedition in Dec 2015, we were upgraded at the last minute from an OV to the RS for a whopping $650 total and also got 180 CC points! You just never know what's going to happen when you book an X cruise until embarkation day finally gets here.

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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12 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

My DW thinks X will book until they reach their 65 passenger max and then stop. Since we have 2 children in our group, we tried booking two cabins with 3 people each and they said no; hence the reason for 5 cabins instead of 4. This is also a driving factor for us looking at Silversea when their July 2021 itineraries come out as they, right now, allow 3 people in a cabin with a discount for the 3rd.

 

Who knows, maybe RCI will determine the Xpedition is too old and won't be a money-maker anymore and sell it, leaving the Flora and Origin to handle the future Galapagos cruises and give us a great deal to move our cabins. I doubt it, but that's, of course, all part of the adventure of booking cruises early. The last time we sailed on the Xpedition in Dec 2015, we were upgraded at the last minute from an OV to the RS for a whopping $650 total and also got 180 CC points! You just never know what's going to happen when you book an X cruise until embarkation day finally gets here.

 

I guess the "stop at 65 passengers" theory is possible. I should have asked the Future Cruise person who we booked with on Edge. I can't see them dropping the ship as those cruises are very popular. And with the price point of Flora, many people (like me) aren't going to be booking it.

 

I'm certainly curious to see what cabin I get assigned for my XD GTY. I expect they won't do it until after final payment when they figure out how many people with assigned cabins cancel.

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A true overhaul of the Xpedition requires sailing the ship to a drydock in Panama.  That would, depending upon the efficiency of the drydock, take the ship out of circulation for 3 weeks to months.  The ship was launched in 2001 in Germany, and my recollection is that it was originally designed for the shallow draft ports in the Baltic.  It came to the Galapagos around 2004, when it was re-registered in Ecuador.  As it cruises solely in Ecuadorian waters, it cannot be registered to a flag of convenience like most other cruise ships.

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Posted (edited)
On 2/18/2019 at 10:38 AM, MisterBill99 said:

 

I guess the "stop at 65 passengers" theory is possible. I should have asked the Future Cruise person who we booked with on Edge. I can't see them dropping the ship as those cruises are very popular. And with the price point of Flora, many people (like me) aren't going to be booking it.

 

 

It is not a decision that X management can make. The licensing on the number of passengers per ship is regulated by the Galapagos National Park. The license numbers are fixed, and cannot be increased per Ecuadorian law (unless X acquires another ship with licenses - as they did with Xperience and Xploration).  As of now, Celebrity has 164 licences  - 100 for Flora and 64 for Xpedition. It will be interesting if they complete a second build.

 

I do agree regarding the price point of the Flora, it is too high IMHO. They have run some incdredible promotions to increase bookings - 2nd passenger 50% off and free air up to $1000, making it more reasonable to sail in a Flora suite than Xpedition.  I will continue to monitor closely; we have Xpedition booked for 2021. (We loved it and I have no problem sailing her again.)

Edited by sippican

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9 minutes ago, sippican said:

 

It is not a decision that X management can make. The licensing on the number of passengers per ship is regulated by the Galapagos National Park. The license numbers are fixed, and cannot be increased per Ecuadorian law (unless X acquires another ship with licenses - as they did with Xperience and Xploration).  As of now, Celebrity has 164 licences  - 100 for Flora and 64 for Xpedition. It will be interesting if they complete a second build.

 

I do agree regarding the price point of the Flora, it is too high IMHO. They have run some incdredible promotions to increase bookings - 2nd passenger 50% off and free air up to $1000, making it more reasonable to sail in a Flora suite than Xpedition.  I will continue to monitor closely; we have Xpedition booked for 2021. (We loved it and I have no problem sailing her again.)

 

 

I understand they can only book a limited number of passengers on Xpedition now. The question was how do they accomplish it. Has anyone figured it out? Are specific cabins being left unbooked?

 

The $1000 discount for booking airfare was available on Xpedition, I have it on my 2020 reservation.

 

I actually found a cheap Flora cruise for this August a few months ago, considered switching from 2020 but decided against it. Would have been nice. As you say, it pays to keep checking prices, maybe Flora will get more affordable.

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15 hours ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

 

I understand they can only book a limited number of passengers on Xpedition now. The question was how do they accomplish it. Has anyone figured it out? Are specific cabins being left unbooked?

 

The $1000 discount for booking airfare was available on Xpedition, I have it on my 2020 reservation.

 

I actually found a cheap Flora cruise for this August a few months ago, considered switching from 2020 but decided against it. Would have been nice. As you say, it pays to keep checking prices, maybe Flora will get more affordable.

 

Oh, I understand. When I recently went into the X website to check cabins, I noticed that there are indeed cabins on both decks 3 and 4 that are marked as unavailable. Since they are all the most forward cabins, I assume those are blocked out for crew (as mentioned previously). 

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