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Will be setting off to Galapagos/MachuPicchu with Lindblad soon. Booked a long time ago the lower deck (least expensive) cabin. Am wondering if they're going to be too noisy. If anyone has been on the Polaris and can give info regarding the cabins, it'll be greatly appreciated. My husband and I are going to be fine no matter what since we're nature lovers,
but we have some friends coming along who are used to more "upscale" accomodations and I'm worried since I did the bookings. Depending on your replies, I might be tempted to suggest they "upgrade".... or not.
Hi, there - just returned yesterday from the same trip you are taking. I was in cabin 105 and it was not noisy at all. I did hear some complaints from a couple about noise in a cabin on the second deck though - the problem was with the generator when the ship was not moving. I am sorry I cannot give you more information. Did peek in a third deck cabin which was huge. My cabin was quite small but satisfactory. I didn't care at all as the only time I was there was to sleep - there are great indoor and outdoor lounge areas. Be prepared to be thoroughly spoiled on the trip extension to Machu Picchu - the accomodations and food were wonderful. Quite a few of our group did suffer some from the altitude - lightheadedness and some stomach upsets which were cured with a little oxygen which is always available. It was a very active trip so depending on your condition you might not want to attempt everything. In the Galapagos I did use a walking stick which are available on the boat. Never thought it would be so useful - the walking is quite difficult. Snorkeling was much better than I expected. Any other questions, please ask.
Louise22, thanks so much for your reply. Funny, but 105 is the same cabin my husband and I have. Our friends are in 104 - from the start I was told by one of the Lindblad reps that the size of these cabins was decent so I chanced it - I imagined that we will be out and about most of the days and use the cabin for showering and sleeping. I am glad that you didn't experience any noise and feel better about my choice of cabins.
I would love to hear from you about what shoes/clothing to pack to be able to cover both the Galapagos and Machu Picchu. I imagine more "wintry" clothing is called for in Machu Picchu. Also, is there a weight restriction on the flight from the mainland to Galapagos and if so, how much? Would also love to hear your opinion/take on the quality of the naturalists/crew. We are very much looking forward to this trip. It has been our dream vacation for sometime. Have worked our way up in the last few years by first doing a few cruises
We are scheduled on the Sept. 28 trip and are quite excited, obviously. The only curve ball at this time is that my husband ended up in the hospital this w/end and has been diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia. Hopefully the medicines will keep it under control (for years the poor man thought the awful chest pain he would get was acid reflux). Now it's up to the cardiologist whether Machu Picchu is in the cards or not. We are optimistic though that with extra dosification, he'll be okay. Other than that, we are both still active and healthy.
Your additional input is greatly appreciated.
Susana - that is really funny that you will have the same cabin - 104 is directly across. I do hope everything will be all right with your hubby. I will try and answer some of your questions. As to clothing, I think the weather will be similar when you are there. I would take light clothing and just in case a pair of jeans, sweater or sweatshirt and a light fleece jacket. I was only chilly one morning. Never needed any rain gear but then you never know. Also, be sure and take a sturdy pair of shoes for hiking. The Guayaquil to Baltra flight limits you to one 44# suitcase and a carryon. I do remember the carryon was very light but can't remember the exact weight - 12# maybe. Lindblad will let you know. I thought the naturalists were great and the crew of course was wonderful. Sol y Luna (Sun and Moon) is a fantastic resort and when you are there you will have a barbeque one night and free choice dining another. The desert menu is terrific. Be sure and ask the waiter about the "piano" desert. It was unbelievable. It was a chocolate mousse which is shaped like a grand piano. I am so sorry I didn't have my camera to take a picture of it. Everyone was amazed. You will fall in love with the place. I took a pair of white capris and white slacks and some dressier type blouses for some evenings. Just a shirt and slacks for men but most nights everyone was quite casual. If you think of anything more just ask. Louise
I was on the second floor - with the guest shop on one side and the ice maker right outside our door. We didn't realize the ice maker was near us, and were concerned it would restrict our privacy and be noisy - but this was not the case. Times when people were filling water bottles, we were either out of the cabin, or didn't hear them. The Captain told some fellow passengers that he had been asked to turn the engines off because they were noisy, while the ship was en route, and supposedly the passenger was serious with their request. Obviously engines are not optional, and perhaps the passenger was joking to make a point? In any case, clearly there was at least one passenger who was upset about the noise.
WE had a great time. The cabins aren't great, but the trip was FANTASTIC. See my review on this forum if you'd like more feedback.
Hi again Louise and thanks so much for taking the time to answer. It's great to get reassurance that I made the right choice for this trip. I actually chose Lindblad over Celebrity (who we always used before) because they seem to be more focused on nature - as well on the Machu Picchu add on, they work you up to Cusco slowly. Other operators seem to take you to Cusco first making the adaptation to the altitude a bit harder.... Sounds like I'll be able to pack much lighter than usual.... thank goodness! And I'll be sure to keep my camera on me at all times.
Seas the Day I read your review. Makes me wish we were there already, but with the way time is flying this year, we'll hopefully be there before we know it.... I feel more confident now making plans for our next Lindblad adventure. Actually looking at the Columbia River with the Montana add on for 2008 - just waiting for them to publish the 08 dates on this one.
Again, thank you both for your input. I hope I can reciprocate some day.
Hi Susana, Happened to be browsing the boards and made it back to Ecocruising. When we were on the Polaris, we had booked a catagory 2 guarantee and were upgraded to a catagory 4, which is still tiny (albeit less so than a 2) A 4 is a bit wider than a 2 and slightly longer, but probably not worth the extra money. No cabin on the ship is particularly nice, by cruise ship standards, but thay have ample storage and comfortable beds.
The easiest way to pack is to have two separate suitcases - I packed the Peru garments in a suitcase, and the Galapagos in a duffle that I got from Kiplinger. THe climates are different and the clothing type as well. For the Galapagos, pick up a pair of Teva sandals - we can wear them on the wet landings. Bring along a pair of sneakers or hiking boots which you will change into once you reach shore (make sure to bring socks that will dry quickly once you wash them out). Other than that, shorts, tee shirts, and a couple of bathing suits, with jeans to wear at night is all you need. Also, a hat that ties under your chin, so the wind does not blow it away.
For the Peru part, jeans during the day with golf shirts should be fine - I bought along a Gortex jacket with a zip in lining to wear over this. They sell great Alpaca sweaters all over Peru, so we picked up a couple for the evenings. One nicer outfit for the hotel in Cuzco and the last dinner in Lima, and a few pairs of chino pants and you are set. Bring along a pair of walking shoes and one slightly nicer for the evening.
You will leave the Peru suitcase in Equador, before flying to the Galapagos. You will be reunited with the suitcase at the airport in mainland equador before connecting to the flight to Lima. At the hotel in Lima, you will leave your Galapagos duffel, smelly clothes and all, and get it back when you return to the hotel in Lima before you fly home.
thank you for the info re the packing. Now it all makes better sense as I was having a hard time picturing how to put everything into the cases and still stay within the Galapagos weight restrictions. Great tip about the socks too - I usually end up with 16 pairs of socks for me and another 16 for dh and this too takes up a lot of room! He's pickier, but I don't mind washing mine at night and letting them air dry. We're good as far as the Teva sandals (I buy/use them like other women use high heels) and Teva sneakers (trail runners). Sounds like a very nice laid back real vacation (in terms of the clothing - not the activities!)
I'll probably forego my large suitcases and use two small and two duffel bags (one each). Again, thanks for the tip.
Got together with our traveling companions again and HE asked about the ship's cabins!!! Diverted conversation to how great hotels/service is on the Machu Picchu leg of the trip