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We went in March, 2006. On the plane home we were discussing when we would be able to go back. There was a lady on the cruise who had been there 21 times.

 

We were on the Celebrity Xpedition. There were 84 passengers on board. The service was good, but not quite what I expected on a Celebrity cruise. Of course, it was more laid back than a more formal cruise.

 

The Galapagos were everything we dreamed about. We are wildlife fanatics and had always been disappointed before. Even in Alaska ... twice. The sea lions were so tame you would have to step over the pups laying in the paths. The birds would look at you and you'd swear they were checking YOU out. No touching of course, but you sure could have. The iguanas were numerous and varied.

 

On the Xpedition there were three levels of tours. We chose the most physical ones the first few days, then I came down with Norovirus. :( It took two days to be well enough to leave the ship. I was pretty weak so we stuck with the least physical the rest of the trip. Those were mostly just Zodiac (inflatable boat) rides around whatever stop we were at. It wasn't as bad as it sounds. We still got to see a lot of wildlife, just not as up close and personal.

 

Regarding the Norovirus, I'd say at least 75% of the passengers came down with it. The ship's doctor was great. She came to my cabin to treat me, and that night she came back and found me gone. That lady tracked me down on the ship to see how I was doing. They served me bland meals. Others were being treated the same way. Should we have been confined to our cabin? Perhaps. Maybe that is why so many got sick.

 

We are planning to go back in 2008.

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  • 6 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Jsipes,

On two of the islands there were no toilet facilities. ONly on Santa Cruz which is well populated were there facilities.

We loved our trip this Nov. We spent 4 nights on the Galapagos Explorer II. We visited the islands of San Cristobal, Espanola, Santa Cruz, & Chinese Hat. It was a marvelous trip- loved the wildlife which greatly exceeded my expectations which were quite high.

And the Galapagos Explorer II had 100 passengers & was a small cruise ship. We stayed in the lowest price cabin which was a small suite, and the food was terrific. Not what we expected. And the guides/naturalists were super throughout!

My wife is not the greatest hiker/explorer, but she was able to do every hike and was thrilled by the wildlife. She can't swim. So, the rides on the Zodiacs to & from the islands was somewhat stressful, but she perservered.

You should love it! TT

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We went with Lindblad on the Polaris in 2002 - probably the best trip of our lives (rivaled only by Antarctica, which we did in 2005). Lindblad has been doing this for many years and has excellent guides. The Polaris is a bit shabby, but fine for our needs. The food was good. There were about 100 passengers for the one week cruise. We had 1 or 2 landings a day and each person was given a wet suit. The snorkling was great and every landing different and interesting. I would love to go again.

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Benita, I'm interested in the snorkeling and the wet suit. Was it long or short? Were you comfortable? We'll be going in Nov 09 and will have the short ones. I chill easily and want to prepare ahead in any way possible. If you have snorkeled in the Caribbean/Hawaii/Great Barrier Reef how did it compare, both in temperature and what you saw?

 

We are so excited by the possibilities this trip provides!!!

 

Thanks for your help.

:):):) ninkb

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Tomorrow were are departing for a 10 night trip, 2 days in Quito, Ecuador, 7 night cruise in the Galapagos onboard Celebrity's Xpedition, then another night in Quito on the return home. We booked all of this through Celebrity Cruise Line, and we are really excited to be leaving tomorrow!

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We went in May. We had short wetsuits. The Galapagos is pretty near the equator, so there is not much fluctuation in water temperatures. After the initial chill, it was quite comfortable to snorkel with the wetsuit.

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Guess I'll try the wetsuit and be prepared for an initial chill. If it's too bad, I can always select another excursion for future days. I believe I heard that Xpedition has some long suits on board also. Maybe that will work.

 

I really do appreciate your feedback!

:):):) ninkb

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While on the Celebrity Century last week, we booked the Xpedition plus the Machu Pichu post tour. We're going in Sept of 09. I've got more than a year to do research so will be checking here often. We're so excited !!!

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Celebrity has a small ship called the Xpedition that sails for 7 nights in the islands. They also offer 10 day trips with before/after cruising in Quito, as well as 11 day trips that add Macho Pichu at the end. There's a LONG thread on the Celebrity board that talks all about it.

 

 

Other ships that go are not "major" carriers and are usually shorter itineraries from what I've read.

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Quasar Expeditions http://www.galapagosexpeditions.com has a number of ships to choose from. If you like diving, go with the Lammer Law trimaran, one of the largest in the world. I went on the M/V Evolution and the cabins were huge (as far as cabins go) and the food was awesome! The even surprised one of the passengers with a birthday cake. There were two naturalists on board and they were very knowledgeable about where to find the birds I was interested in seeing. The snorkeling, as you can image, was out of this world! The sea lions are right there with you as though they were saying "Hi. Whatcha doing? Can I come along? Wanna play?"

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I am very seriously considering a National Geographic ship; has anyone done the Galapagos on NG?

 

DH and I were on the National Geographic Islander in February. It was by far the best trip we have ever taken. We definitely felt that Lindblad did an excellent job. Although a tad expensive, it was a good value.

 

I'll try to answer any questions as best as I can.

 

Linda

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I cannot seem to find any pictures od the Lindblad Islander suites. We are looking at the Category 4 range,but I still find it odd that there are no web pix.

 

Any insight on suite selection would be much appreciated.

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I cannot seem to find any pictures od the Lindblad Islander suites. We are looking at the Category 4 range,but I still find it odd that there are no web pix.

 

Any insight on suite selection would be much appreciated.

 

We sailed on the Islander in June, 2009. I have traveled the Galapagos with A&K as well as Lindblad and I enjoyed the recent trip on the Islander immensely. I will look when I get home for pictures of the suite. We were in the middle on the port side. When you walk into the room you are looking at two beds with storage above the head of the bead and a small window between the beds looking over the balcony. There is a small desk to the left of the beds and a large bank of mirrored closet space. The bath is very small and to the left--head and shower. You walk through the room between the closet and the desk and down one step to the balcony. It has a table and two chairs as well as a chaise. It is tight. It is also sealed shut with glass--not open to air. I chose this room as I was traveling with my teenage son so I thought it would afford us both a little space for dressing, showering, etc.

 

The trip is absolutely fabulous. Pricey but completely worth it. I am traveling again with Lindblad in March to Sea of Cortez---my son and I enjoyed the trip to Galapagos so much we immediately another trip with Lindblad. I will see if I have pictures--I took thousands of them and have yet to get them all sorted!

 

If you have other questions let me know.:)

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Thanks for your reply. And, for looking for those pictures. I take it you felt that the room was big enough. We're port side room 408.

What shoes worked best for you?

 

I hope I can get these picks to download. I have not done this before.

I love Merrel shoes--hope I can mention a brand. I have their hiking shoes as well as a pair of their water hiking shoes. Your shoes, hat, and camera are the most important things. Lindblad is great about sending a list of things to bring. The ship is very casual, the food is wonderful, the naturalists are absolutely the best, and the room is rarely occupied. Can you tell we loved it?

I guess the pic files are to large--I keep getting an error code. If you know how to send me your email privately I can try that or I will ask the teenager tonight and he will know how to send them.

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