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jamacka

Members
  • Content Count

    206
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About jamacka

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Interests
    Family, health, hot sand, water ocean & striving to be what the world expects a good Canadian to be
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Barbados

Recent Profile Visitors

231 profile views
  1. That was part of the path. That particular excursion was the "long walk" at Urbina Bay. The actual landing was on a sandy beach and was wet because of the water washing over the sand. I actually managed to land with dry feet because I timed it right with the surf. :) The description on the itinerary said this "Long fast-paced walk, climbing over boulders, swim/snorkel" The swim/Snorkel was optional... nobody did it. The walk was following the coastline for a bit. At time it was beach and other times it was rocks we had to climb over or around. How wet you get depends on the tide. Truth is, these people too a more direct route at getting past this place. Had they gone a little further they could have gone around a shallower area and only got wet feet. One lady deliberately went into deeper water because she had to pee. LOL! Other half of this walk was on dry land. Nice pathways but with very prickly shrubs on either side. We saw land tortoises on this excursion. One thing we found that wearing light wool sock (Smartwool makes nice little socks) inside your water sandals makes them much more comfortable in wet landings. You will get sand in your sandals and it doesn't shake out very easily because it wet. Socks in your sandals just protect your feet a little more. The excursions are short. No more than 2 hours. So getting wet really isn't too much of a hardship. Most of the time when they say "long walk" they mean in durations, not so much in distance. The more there is to see, the slower the walk because there's a lot of standing and looking at stuff, talking and asking questions. We did get vaccines. We got typhoid vaccine which is an oral vaccine. (is that Dukoral??) A couple of pills is what we got. Twinrix was recommended. We already had that. We were told we didn't need yellow fever because Quito altitude means they don't have problem with yellow fever and Galapagos also doesn't have yellow fever. We took advantage of visiting the travel vaccine clinic to get boosters for tetanus (advisable for the trip) and we also got MMR whooping cough and diphtheria and our first of 2 shingles vaccines. Celebrity took care of the permit you need to enter the Galapagos. No visa needed. At least we didn't need a visa. http://ecuador-travel-guide.org/general/VISASs.htm I'm sure you wont need a visa. I have to say, Celebrity has this system working like a well oiled machine. You'll have a wonderful time
  2. Wow... look at that rain. We were there on the cusp of changing seasons. Our water temp was low 70s.. the second day I would guess it wasn't even as high as 70 as even with the shorty wetsuit it took my breath away when I jumped in. I'm from Atlantic Canada and I'm a bit used to colder sea water. I was very grateful for the wetsuit. I couldn't stay in the total 45 minutes we were allotted for the swim. My husband stayed in till the end and was cold the rest of the day. We had another snorkel opportunity in the afternoon which we decided not to go on.
  3. Hi Colleen, I can only speak for how it is on the Flora. We had 3 snorkelling opportunities. The first one was off the beach so everyone who wanted to give it a try could participate. There were life jackets for those who wanted them. On that trip we saw sea lions and sting rays and various fish. The other two snorkelling excursions were what they called deep water ones where we jumped directly off the zodiac and into water too deep to touch. As far as I know, there were no sharks on any snorkel trip but we did see one from the zodiac once.They provide shorty wetsuits, mask and snorkels and flippers. I recommend you get yourself a good rash guard shirt specifically for swimming to wear under the the wet suit for added warmth and sun protection. Celebrity should include a packing list. I'm going to recommend it when they send me the post cruise survey. We brought too many clothes because we weren't aware that on the Flora they include 2 laundry days. We could send in 20 items (socks count as one item). On top I wore a tank top and a light-weight fast drying Columbia long sleeved shirt. It was cool and kept the sun off my skin. On the bottom I wore similar light-weight fast drying pants. I had one pair of long pants and two pairs of shorts. The naturalists all wore lightweight gloves, like gardening gloves that fit well, with the finger tips cut off. If I wear to go again I would bring along a pair go gloves like that with me. The rocks are very rough and sometimes you have to brush past some prickly bushes. I would have appreciated having something on my hands. There are dry landings and wet landings. You should have a pair of shoes for each. Sneakers will be fine for dry landings but make sure they have good grip because even dry landings can be on wet rocks which might be slippery. The wet landings are definitely wet. You want good sandals that have good grip and stay on your feet. I have Keens with toe protection and was very happy with them. Flip-flops and such are not okay on excursions but are fine for around the ship. I brought one dress. Wore it once. All other nights I wore dark jeans and a nice top, usually with a sweater because it got chillier after dark. Bring a light raincoat. You can see me in one of the pictures I posted earlier planting trees with the red raincoat. Celebrity does provide ponchos which you can also see in that picture. Not too stylish. We technically did 2 days before the cruise but it's really only one. We got in at 10:30PM and were met at the airport by an army of Celebrity representatives and buses. It was amazingly well run. The next day they took all of us... three big bus-loads on a tour to the old part of Quito, then to a place for lunch and then to the equator. In the evening they took us to a restaurant for dinner. We always had one guide and one guard with us wherever we went. Stay with the group, keep your purse in front of you and you'll be fine. After the cruise we only spent one night in Quito. Our plane left at 5:30am so we had to be back on the Celebrity bus at 3:00am.. again with a Celebrity guide who made sure we made it through security at the airport in one piece. The people who were staying 2 nights had a couple of choices of things they could do. I think one was to take a gondola or bus to the top of the volcano to see what's going on in the crater and another was to see the rose gardens... Ecuador has a huge rose industry. I do believe Celebrity was organizing those trips. The guide handed out information sheets to those who had 2 nights in Quito. By the way, not much happens on the day you get back from Galapagos. There was a shopping trip for those who wanted it. We were so tired we just stayed in our room. Dinner was down in the hacienda restaurant in the hotel. Here are a few pictures to show you the various types of terrain we were on and what people generally wore. There are "long walks" which are about 2k tops and short walks which are shorter and easier. We only took the long walks but you can tell from the pictures that sometimes the terrain can be rugged. Also a picture of a dry landing, on the rocks. And what it looks like when we board the tenders on the Flora.
  4. We just got back from a week on the Flora Monday. We booked our flights and hotel accommodations through Celebrity which I believe is the way to go. They are experts at logistics. Their expertise in moving people is second to none. Generally it would start out sort of cloudy in the morning and it would fully clear by noonish. The temperature never felt higher than 80F but I think more likely in the 70s. The water was chilly and in one location is was down right breathtakingly cold but you'll have a shirty wetsuit to wear that helps. We had one rainyish day... our last day which we spent on Santa Cruz at the Darwin Research Station and planting trees in the highlands. There was no shortage of wildlife. If anything, the vast numbers of iguanas started to become redundant. LOL. Here's a few videos I put on youtube This one only wants to show up as a link but it's a close encounter with a sea lion and then a turtle passes by https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOtSsmzujTY&t=3s
  5. OMG.. i hope they offered you an amazing deal for your loss of the Galapagos cruise because one day on a Caribbean cruise is definitely NOT equivalent to one day in Galapagos. The two are not interchangeable. My motto in life is "You gotta fight for your right to party" (aka. make sure get what you're happy with what they give you)
  6. My understanding is that the ships use GPS to stay put and not anchors as anchors damage the seabed. Most of Celebrity's ship do this when at tender. They set the coordinates and the engines maintain it automatically. Or maybe in the case of the Xpedition, the bridge crew had to hold position manually. But I do believe that the use of anchors in the Galapagos is not strongly recommended practice. Certainly the Flora does it that way. So a complete loss of power would easily account for it drifting toward the rocks.
  7. You were to be on the Saturday sailing, right? We were also booked on that sailing but we gt a call from Celebrity a couple of months ago for a free upgrade to Flora which sails on Sunday.. which we took. I hope you get duly compensated. Maybe we'll see you on Flora on Sunday?
  8. What a shame. Its been a bad year for the Xpedition. I can't imagine how it could happen. I'm sure heads will roll. I hope the passengers will be duly compensated and that the ship and environment were not too severely damaged.
  9. Glad to hear you're safe and on the move!! And good on Celebrity for covering expenses that were beyond their control. Did you miss a day of your cruise? Do you get a credit for a lost day?
  10. I have no idea why spellcheck wrote "drop" but that is most definitely a typo. I think I was trying to type "group"
  11. Didn't know about that drop. I'll check it out
  12. Let's hope peace is restored quickly and people in Ecuador can get back to normal.
  13. How horrific!! I'm also interested in hearing from people who are about to leave for Quito? I don't care the cruise line. I just want to know what tour operators are saying. Our trip is still 4 weeks away and I'm sure Celebrity is going to wait until the very last minute before notifying us, hoping that this will suddenly all go away. I started a thread here hoping that people recently back or about to head out could give some updates on how tour operators are handling this. It surprises me that there are so few people talking about it here.. unless I'm missing a thread that is active elsewhere on this site (very possible because I have a terrible time navigating the forums on this site). Still... we know there are people on the Flora right now who have (or should under normal circumstances) internet access. Surely those people are talking about their experience somewhere? Where are they?
  14. I'm blown away. This sounds terrifying for you. 24 hour curfew? The essentially means the city is under siege and the government is waiting for the food and supplies to run out. Keep your head down!! If you need to call the Canadian Embassy in Quito this is their contact info:
  15. Oh Thanks!! I was on that page earlier but didn't notice it. But then I also didn't notice there were 5 pages 🤭😏 I wonder whats going to happen. It's not been an easy trip to get excited for. Booked it a year ago so it really didn't feel real until we made our final payment around the time the Xpedition, which we were originally booked on, lost its license. That was a worry. Then it's license was renewed but for 16 less passengers than what we were expecting when we booked so we didn't know the status of our room. Then we were given a free upgrade to Flora but leaving a day later which was cool. But now this. Because of the curfew, we don't even know if the Celebrity reps will be able to pick us up at the airport. Like National Lampoon's Galapagos Vacation. Captain of the ship will probably turn out to be Clark Griswold.😉
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