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  1. We had an update from our TA this week and it’s better than we initially thought, all we have to contribute is £200 for the whole thing. The only other expense we have is the flights to Quito - these were separate and were never booked through Celebrity so this is expected. The reviews I have read for the Xploration cruise all say it’s a fantastic experience and we are so pleased we can get to the Galapagos next year using this most generous credit instead of having to save up for a few years to do it. In answer to your question - the full refund was used for an extended stay in Costa Rica, if it wasn’t used for that I don’t think it would have covered rebooking the same again on the Xpedition as it looks like the prices have increased.
  2. We altered our plans and spent two nights at the Marriott in Ecuador and then moved on to spend two weeks in Costa Rica instead of the five nights we had already booked for after the cruise. Costa Rica was fantastic. We were lucky in a way as the cruise and everything we planned and booked was a bespoke package through Trailfinders in the UK. This meant that as soon as the cruise was cancelled a full refund for everything we had paid for was instantly available. We decided to use what we had already paid to cover the extended stay in Costa Rica and as this was cheaper than what we had already paid for our original itinerary we received a substantial refund for the difference. Again, this was all handled super efficiently by Trailfinders. This refund is paying for trip to Hawaii in February 😀. This week we received the cruise credit certificate by email from Celebrity. I think this is great customer service from Celebrity and is very much appreciated. The cruise credit (not sure if this applies to all credits issued) is very specific in that it is purely redeemable against the price of the sailing itself. It does not cover the pre & post Marriott stays or the transfers & Baltra return flights. Our cruise credit was around £11k - this is not enough to rebook the original package on the Xpedition without having to add another few thousand into the equation. We have now booked The Xploration northern loop sailing for October 2020 - our cruise credit covers this sailing comfortably. The Marriott, Baltra flights etc.we had to pay extra for along with our own flight arrangements to get to Quito. Saying that, we are more than happy to do this as it will get us to cruise The Galapagos at a massively reduced cost. Overall, after the initial disappointment of he cancelled cruise things have worked out well for us.
  3. Who would have thought that after the license fiasco that there would be another major problem with the potential to wreck our holiday plans. The latest news is such a relief - I was starting to think that this holiday was not meant to be! I hope that normality resumes as soon as possible for everyone - tourists and residents of Ecuador. Thanks for posting that link Paulekrause - it has certainly made me feel a lot better - I even spoke to my holiday insurance company earlier today to find out how it works if the holiday is no go. The UK government foreign travel website currently shows Ecuador as "Essential travel only" - I'll be so pleased to see that go back to normal.
  4. I find this all rather worrying. I have read that the president has declared a state of emergency for 60 days - will travel insurance still be valid if we knowingly travel to a country that is in a state of emergency? Still going though as long as the cruise is still happening (9th Nov sailing). Hopefully things will have settled down by then - not overly bothered about the Quito tour - can just chill at the hotel instead.
  5. Thanks for posting, glad you enjoyed it - such a relief that the Xpedition is sailing again. We are on the Nov 9th trip so not too long to go now😀
  6. The last two and a half months have been frustrating and worrying but it looks like things might have finally been sorted. Will be eager to see comments and reviews from people who are hopefully on the Xpedition having a fantastic time this week.
  7. This does look promising! All the time this problem has been going on it has never showed a location like this. It has been permanently anchored at Salinas apart from the other week when it went to Manta and back. Will be keeping an eye on this for sure.
  8. Out of interest, do Celebrity contact you directly regarding any changes or is it through your travel agent if you booked through one? Thanks.
  9. I had not even considered the enhanced suite amenities. I remember reading about this happening from August but got so wrapped up in this current situation I had not given it any thought. We have a suite booked and was looking forward to those benefits. Part of me thinks now that one of the other vessels with 50% refund is preferable. This whole thing is starting to do my head in!
  10. I had got to the point of thinking that this situation would still be ongoing for our November cruise, let’s hope that the Xpedition is back to normal for then. I like the idea of the reduced numbers but will it be 48 or 64? Will some passengers have to go for the alternative offered?
  11. Apologies MountainEER74, I was going to reply to your post regarding picking up supplies in Manta (a comment about frozen lobster) but thought better of it. I couldn’t find a way of deleting the quote/reply when trying to reply to jamacka’s posting regarding altitude.
  12. Altitude is a strange one, it can affect some people and not others regardless of how fit you are. A few years ago I went to Bryce Canyon in Utah which is around 9000ft above sea level and noticed no difference at all. I didn’t even know that we were at at higher altitude whilst we were there.
  13. If I am made the same offer I think I might go with the Xploration or Xperience if that ends up in the mix. I like the idea of the Flora and it being a new luxury vessel but it would slightly mess with our existing booking of the two days in Quito pre and post cruise. We would gain a day pre and lose a day post as our flights to and out of Quito are already booked, paid for and non refundable. This would mean leaving Celebrity to sort things out with the Marriott and I’m not confident it would happen smoothly. I think I would like to keep everything as it is for peace of mind and start the cruise on the same day as originally planned. I wasn’t sure about the Xploration or Xperience at first but after doing a bit of research they do appeal especially with a 50% refund. This holiday is more about the location than the vessel, Xploration & Xperience look fine to me. With only 16 or 48 passengers it might turn out to be a better overall experience.
  14. I had given up looking at Cruisemapper, let's hope this is a good sign! They've probably taken the tracking device out and put it on another boat just to shut us up .
  15. Just found this - nothing we didn't really know but worth reading - https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/news-headlines/celebrity-xpedition-on-standby-awaiting-galapagos-permit/
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