November 2015 - Celebrity Xpedition to Galapagos
Outstanding adventure. It is not cliche in this instance to be considered a trip of a lifetime. As experienced travelers, the two of us tend to expect the promotion to far exceed the experience. In this case the Galapagos Islands, as seen from the Xpedition, is a correct use of "awesome." I would have enjoyed a second week back-to-back for the outer loop but my sweetheart was satisfied with the one week. We also are satisfied with the cooler temps and wildlife options during November.
We tend to avoid the herd and travel independently. But we are glad we opted for the 11 day package beginning and ending in the airport in Quito. The Galapagos restrictions and requirements are extensive and cumbersome. It was worth the cost to avoid navigating all of those contingencies.
We likewise enjoyed the morning tour of Quito, lunch, and afternoon at the Equator. The Marriott is truly 5 star as well.
Each day on the Xpedition includes two or three excursion options. A 1-3 mile hike, a Zodiac (Panga) ride, beach/swim snorkel or deep water snorkel. You need to do all of them to experience the full beauty and diversity of the Islands and wildlife. Bring a prescription dive mask if needed and a "dry top" snorkel. Celebrity provides gear including short wet suits. In November we found the water cool but did not need the wetsuits. With the 44 pound weight limit for the one suitcase, use their fins. Bring sunscreen and bug wipes. I am glad I brought hiking boots, water shoes and another pair of loafers.
We could have worn shorts and short sleeves but opted for added sun/bug protection of long sleeves on the Islands. You may need a light rain jacket.
Laundry came back same day even if you did not check the one day option. It is relatively inexpensive as hotels/cruises go but we chose to wash items ourselves. They dried rapidly on the deck or in front of the fan. The newly added room 500 suite is reviewed below.
The usual Elite priviledges do not apply. We chose to eat in the suite each evening, ordering from the dining room menu. Food overall was excellent. Our Southern Sweet tooth would have preferred different desert options but the chocolate souffle was delicious.
We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and recommend it without hesitation.