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lawgirl

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About lawgirl

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    North Carolina
  • Interests
    Travel, dogs
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Galápagos

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  1. Thanks Debbie! A fellow North Carolinian! I went to UNC Law! We were in the Galapagos in 2011. Cannot wait to return! It was our best trip ever, which is saying a lot since we have traveled extensively, including Africa, much of Europe, Baltic’s, Russia, Alaska, all of South America and I think most Caribbean islands...loved the Galapagos best! We decided to do Peru and MP with a private tour company. For a similar price to X, we were able to do 8 nights in luxury hotels with private tours. It doesn’t include as many meals. But we get more unusual activities/tours and 2 days in MP. The main reason we did it was to get two MP days. I have no doubt X does things in a top notch way. There were a couple of cool things I wanted to do... trek with llamas, coca leaf reading, private cooking class. So hopefully it will be as nice as your trip! thank you again for the excellent information! Happy travels!
  2. Thank you. I imagine much has changed in 25 years as so many more people travel and, of course, there are many more regulations in MP. I also imagine that prices have changed. It’s great you got to see it when perhaps it wasn’t as crowded. I wish we could have afforded it 10 years ago when we did Galapagos. I have traveled all over Europe, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, etc. Africa is the only place I have used a travel agency to plan the itinerary and it was well worth it. I usually plan my own tours and trips without a problem. Likely, i am going to use an agency or Celebrity again in MP, and I think it will be worth it, although I was hoping it wouldn’t be so crazy expensive! There are plane trips, car service to Sacred Valley, train and buses to MP, hotels in 4 places, someone to handle luggage (since you can’t take it on the MP train), private guides in 4 different places, and all the experiences/lunches/ events. I am fairly certain it would take me hours and hours to research and book tour guides, hotels, travel, etc. i know i could do it on my own if we just wanted to go places and walk around ourselves. But, we want to do unique things and private tours. Of course i can plan that too, but I work 60 hours a week and it might be time consuming. Thanks for your thoughts on MP. Sounds like you didn’t love it. Hopefully it will be worth the expense!
  3. Thank you so much for responding! It sounds very nice!
  4. Yes. Actually none are in the US. Two are worldwide “luxury” companies. The other four were all based just tour operators in Peru or South America. They were ones recommended on TripAdvisor in forums. I guess maybe because there are only two of us? And we are asking for nice hotels, the nice train, private guides, all flights. The suggested itineraries do contain a lot of activities and some meals. But It is still hard to believe they want basically $2000 a day for two of us! I am kind of at a loss....
  5. I do appreciate everyone’s opinions. But I contacted six separate tour operators. I guess I am just a terrible trip planner. All six are $6500 to $7000 per person for a private 2 person tour for 6 or 7 nights. Every single one. I am just stupid I guess... the only prices any less are group tours. I guess I could contact 6 more tour operators, but it’s getting exhausting.
  6. I know it seems so expensive! I totally agree! The $6000 pp is just for the land part.... for the flights from Quito to Peru, then 7 nights in Peru, including all hotels, Tours, internal flights, trains, most meals. Covers Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley and MP. This whole trip is soooo expensive. I know one can do a shortened version of Peru and Galapagos maybe 10 or 11 days total, on a less expensive cruise (only in Galapagos 3 or 4 nights), in basic hotels, with basic tours (no flights, food, etc) for $7000 or $8000 pp. I have seen that on websites. The Celebrity trip is way more money, but it includes everything, kind of top notch, and is 16 nights/17 days. Given that this trip is so costly, I just wanted feedback on whether the land part is worth it the cost or was it “packaged” or crowded. I have done the cruise part on Celebrity and despite the high price tag, we thought it was worth it.
  7. I have contacted a number of tour operators, but the prices are much, much higher. Around $7000 per person with flights, luxury hotels, private tours for the two of us, lunches, train to and from MP, two days in MP, etc. I haven’t found any operators to do a private tour with nice hotels, guides, flights etc in that range unfortunately.... all are significantly more.
  8. Thanks for all the insights. It sounds like everyone had positive experiences with Celebrity! I am collecting info on private tours for just us, and then will compare. You do certainly get a ton of meals and experiences with Celebrity. It may be hard to beat!
  9. No, it doesn’t include the cruise. The Galapagos cruises with Celebrity, Seabourn or Nat. geographic are very expensive. Even for the lowest level room, it’s about $6500 or more per person for just the 7 day cruise part. That doesn’t include air or hotels before and after. We are booked on an 11 day, with hotels before and after, plus tours and dinners before and after. That’s $8500 pp. If someone can find a 7 day cruise to Galapagos on a nice ship, three days in Quito, travel to Peru, and 7 days in MP and Sacred Valley for $6000 pp I would be absolutely shocked. That would be 17 days of hotels, guides, food and pretty much one of the most expensive cruises you can take for $6000.... I can’t imagine that exists unless it’s on a small ship, with budget hotels and large group tours....
  10. Thank you! Excellent info. Yes, I think prices have gone up a lot! I appreciate your thoughts!
  11. Hello. I posted this on the Celebrity board, but thought i would post here too. We are booked on Xpedition with the Machu Picchu land tour after. (It is not this year, so i hope they figure out the Xpedition issues). We are debating whether to do the MP/Sacred Valley with Celebrity or book a private tour. For those who did it with Celebrity, can you answer some questions please? 1. How many people were in the tour group? 2. Did you feel other passengers were prepared for and able to do the itinerary in MP and the Sacred Valley? We aren’t super fit, but we can do the stairs, hiking, city tours etc. I have heard on some cruiselines (not X) that some passengers sign up for things outside their level of comfort, which affects the entire group and how much can be done. 3. did you feel that a 1/2 day in MP was enough? I was thinking of a private tour because I thought it would be nice to stay in a hotel near there to get 2 days or parts of 2 days. 4. Overall, were the included tours, lunches, lunch at art collectors house, lunch at Wayra ranch, the equestrian show etc enjoyable? I guess I was wondering if, for $6000 pp, you felt it was worth it? I like the ease of Celebrity doing everything, and I know a private 6 or 7 night tour will be priced similarly or more. I also know some people do everything on their own, but it’s alot of flights, buses, trains, tickets, etc, plus hiring guides, booking fun events, etc. so i would likely use a tour operator, or Celebrity. Just wanted thoughts from those who have been, before I decide which way to go. Thanks!
  12. Hello. We are booked on Xpedition with the Machu Picchu land tour after. (It is not this year, so i hope they figure out the Xpedition issues). We are debating whether to do the MP/Sacred Valley with Celebrity or book a private tour. For those who did it with Celebrity, can you answer some questions please? 1. How many people were in the tour group? 2. Did you feel other passengers were prepared for and able to do the itinerary in MP and the Sacred Valley? We aren’t super fit, but we can do the stairs, hiking, city tours etc. I have heard on some cruiselines (not X) that some passengers sign up for things outside their level of comfort, which affects the entire group and how much can be done. 3. did you feel that a 1/2 day in MP was enough? I was thinking of a private tour because I thought it would be nice to stay in a hotel near there to get 2 days or parts of 2 days. 4. Overall, were the included tours, lunches, lunch at art collectors house, lunch at Wayra ranch, the equestrian show etc enjoyable? I guess I was wondering if, for $6000 pp, you felt it was worth it? I like the ease of Celebrity doing everything, and I know a private 6 or 7 night tour will be priced similarly or more. I also know some people do everything on their own, but it’s alot of flights, buses, trains, tickets, etc, plus hiring guides, booking fun events, etc. so i would likely use a tour operator, or Celebrity. Just wanted thoughts from those who have been, before I decide which way to go. Thanks!
  13. Thank you for the advice! We have actually booked May. It’s a good time for Galapagos (as we were there before in May ) and I have spoken with a number of tour operators from Peru. They suggested May was good as well for MP, mainly because it is after the rainy season, but before the crowds. I assume that the weather may be ideal as you noted, in summer, for Peru. But given the cost of air, we wanted to combine them. It is my one regret from my prior Galapagos trip that we did not do MP. Thank you again for the excellent advice!
  14. Yes. Right now we are thinking May, but wondering about Sept/Oct? If we book Celebrity, I think it’s only one day in MP, so I guess weather there is of paramount import. Thanks!
  15. Hello all. I posted this on the South America forum, but that forum doesn’t have a lot of traffic, so I am posting here. First, when to go? We have been to Galapagos in May and loved it. But I am wondering if we should try to cool/dry season. I was thinking October? FYI, the sea lions, tortoises and penguins are my favorite and we definitely want to snorkel with sea lions again. It was the highlight of my life! We are not birders.. of course frigates and boobies are cool. Iguanas are cool, but we saw a ton last trip. Thoughts on when to go to both Galapagos and Michu Picchu? Second, for the above itineraries, assuming we want the Xpedition, Northern or Southern? I have done research and I think it’s Southern. But I am not sure. I know no one is necessarily better... for Flora I think we would like outer. I realize Xpedition is in turmoil with licensing, but I assume a year from now it will be worked out. And it’s thousands cheaper. I looked at Nat. Geographic too. And Silver Seas. Thank you!
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