Celebrity Xpedition Cruise Review to Galapagos

Third Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

5 out of 5

Do not hesitate to book this cruise

Sail Date: November 22, 2015

Reviewed: 10 months ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Suite

Cabin: 500

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. 

Cruise Photos

Embarkation and Disembarkation
This was the only area of disappointment. about 15 of us arrived Quito at 11:00 p.m. and waited for over 90 minutes for a single individual. We got to the room at 2 a.m. and had an excursion at 9. Departure likewise is long and cumbersome. Two hours in the discovery lounge after leaving the room but before leaving the ship. Then two more hours in a crowded , hot room at Baltra Airport.
Ship Quality
The Xpedition was clearly the largest and most luxurious of anything else we saw in the Islands. Even after dry dock the AC did not seem adequate for a full lounge or dining hall. We requested a fan for our room and were comfortable through the night. Had to close the curtains (bummer since the view is the purpose) in the afternoons between excursions. It is meticulously clean and well-designed for the purpose.
Destinations and Excursions
The two or three daily excursions are incredible. Walking and snorkeling among the wildlife is outstanding.
Onboard Activities
Same as above, the focus of the cruise is getting off the ship and on the Islands. The regulations imposed on them for size of ship, crew and number of people limits activties on board.
Children's Programs
There were children on board but this is not an adventure for young children. The ship is designed to get people to the Islands for the daily excursions. There are very few activities on board.
Each day is very full so most are very tired in the evening. There are some movies, crew talent and discussions that are all fine.
Service and Staff
Outstanding naturalists and crew.
Food and Dining
Had read that food, particularly beef, were not good. The food was great. Service is attentive and not intrusive.


Practice snorkeling and walking before you come. Each day is rigorous and exhilerating. Prepare 1-3 miles over sometimes difficult terrain.
Do not expect to use the Internet for anything but slowly getting email.
Do not try to meet them in Baltra. Take the whole roundtrip package from Quito

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