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Live from Silversea Galapagos! (July 7, 2018)

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Hi everyone! I thought some of you might be interested to hear about my experience onboard the Silver Galapagos! I've been planning this trip for over a year and a half and I'm so excited to finally be here! I know I was hungry for any little bit of information that I could find about Silversea and the Galapagos. I'll try to keep you posted the best I can!

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Day 1

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

My mom and I flew American Airlines from Boston to Miami andthen Miami to Quito. The flight toMiami was about 3 ¼ hours, and the flight to Quito was about 4 ¼ hours. The plane did not have televisionscreens in the seats, but you could watch movies and TV for free either fromyour laptop or via the American Airlines App on a personal device. Make sure to download the app ahead oftime on your home wifi. I didn’t,so I had to use my laptop. It wasa little tricky to find the In-flight Entertainment portal. I ended up going toAmericanAirlines.com and then searched for In-flight Entertainment on theirsearch portal. Once I found it, Ihad access to all the usual things that you find on an airplane. Only beverages and a cookie were servedon our first flight. MIA had a fewoptions for dining. My mom and I bothordered hamburgers at Friday’s and they were really good. The MIA to Quito flight served a boxlunch that wasn’t very impressive. Still partly frozen turkey and brie on a roll, and a very yummy chocolatebrownie. By the time we arrived inQuito it was quite late. Theairport is small, but new and modern. It was a pretty simple process to go through Passport Control,Immigration, and Baggage Claim. Representatives from Silversea were waiting on the other side with ournames on a board. Once everyonearrived, we boarded a small bus and headed to the hotel. A guide was onboard the bus to providecommentary and give us information regarding the schedule for the next twodays. One thing that I didn’trealize was that the Quito airport it quite a ways outside of the city. It was a 50 minute drive to the JWMarriott. We arrived around 11 PM(12 our time) and were given a warm welcome at the hotel. They had hot facecloths, a local hotbeverage (kind of like pineapple juice) which was very good, and our room keyswaiting. All we had to do wasgiven them our name and that was it. My mom and I then headed up to our room. Silversea books guests in Deluxe rooms at the JW Marriottand they were wonderful! Large,clean, and beautifully appointed. Our room had two queen sized beds with firm (but not hard) mattresses,feather pillows, desk and chair, armchair, mini-fridge, wall safe, 2 bathrobes,and an incredible bathroom. Therewas a separate toilet room, a stand up shower, and a tub that was more like aindoor swimming pool. Amenitiesincluded soaps, shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, lotion, mouthwash, shaving kit,emery board, comb, cotton balls and Q-tips, and shoe shine cloth. There was also a hairdryer.

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Sounds like you are off to a great start, WorldTourPrincess. Looking forward to following your adventures! Galapagos is on my someday list :-)

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Hi everyone! I thought some of you might be interested to hear about my experience onboard the Silver Galapagos! I've been planning this trip for over a year and a half and I'm so excited to finally be here! I know I was hungry for any little bit of information that I could find about Silversea and the Galapagos. I'll try to keep you posted the best I can!

 

Appreciate your nice postings and follow-ups. We are hoping to do the Galápagos in the next couple of years. Your sharing is very interesting and helpful. Keep up the great "work". Fun!! AND, informative for us doing future planning.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean adventure that started in Barbados, here is the link for that live/blog. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.):

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 57,411 views for these postings.

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Looking forward to your reports WTP . . . I'm doing this next January. Interested to hear about the altitude in Quito and all about the landings in the islands. There's a volcano in a bad mood over there at the moment.

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Day 2

Friday, July 6th

Breakfast at the hotel was included in our stay and was veryimpressive. They had a hugeassortment of hot and cold items, breads, pastries, meats, cheeses, fruit, etc… There was an omelet station aswell as a smoothie bar. Probablyone of the best breakfast buffets I’ve come across. Luckily nothing was planned until 5:00 PM, so we had thewhole day to do as we pleased. Silversea offered several tours in partnership with Akorn. Prices varied depending upon how manypeople were going, but overall seemed rather high.

-Antisana Ecologial Reserve

-Cloud Forest, Hummingbirds & Orchids

-Otavalo Market

-Yanacocha Highland Reserve

-Quito and its Marvels

We ended up meeting another passenger at breakfast whorecommended a tour that she had done the day before through the hotel and itwas FANTASTIC! The concierge justcalled over a driver and this lovely older man was our guide for the day. The price was supposed to be $75 total,but we were told we could probably get it for $60 which we did. (Keep in mind this was for BOTH ofus!) He first took us to ReservaGeobotanica Pululahua to observe the crater. It was very pretty, and there were clean bathrooms there,though toilet paper was for sale in a vending machine outside the stalls for$0.25/meter! There were also some little gift shops as well. My mom and I just observed the craterfrom the top, though you could walk down if you wanted to. I was still feeling the affects of thealtitude, and had no desire to walk down anything I would then have to come up! We then went on to the outdoor equatormuseum (Museo de Sitio Inti-Nan), which was fabulous. For $4 a guide escorted us around the museum and explainedall the exhibits. We toured some traditionalhomes, learned about the people and culture, and even some of the traditions,including the practice of shrunken heads! They even had a real example in a glass case! As a science teacher, I found all the science demos the mostinteresting. There is a lot ofcool things to do at the equator, including attempting to balance an egg on anail which I did! I’ve tried itbefore at home and it’s nearly impossible! Overall we had a great time and I highly recommend thismuseum. And unlike the more famousMitad Del Mundo, this museum is actually on the true equator and you can posefor pictures with the sign. Our driverdid bring us there, but we were tired and felt we had seen enough. After the hour drive back to the hotel,we then took a little rest in our room, but not for long, because Silversea hadincluded at 5:00 PM sightseeing tour of the Old City. It took about two hours, and brought you to the oldersection of the town and a huge church. It reminded me of Notre Dame in style, but with La Sagrada Familiainfluences. I wasn’t impressedwith the tour, and was happy when it was over. One of the tour guides recommended a restaurant calledSpaghetti which was less than a block away from the hotel. We had an excellent meal for a veryreasonable price.

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Day 3

Saturday, July 7th

All guests are woken up at 4:30 AM. Luggage has to be outside your door,properly tagged, at 4:35, and they were prompt in picking them up. A light breakfast was availabledownstairs in the Bistro. None ofthe hot items were there, but there was still fruit, meats, cheeses, breads,pastries, and cereals. We boardedbusses at 5:30 AM and headed off to Quito, an hour’s drive away. From Quito we flew to Guayaquil, about30 minutes away. From the air youcan see their highest volcano, Cotopaxi, with it’s snow capped peak. After landing in Guayaquil, the planerefueled. Some passengers got offand some new passengers boarded. Those heading to the islands stayed onboard. Overall, we were on the ground for about 40 minutes. Then back in the air for a 1 ½ hourflight to San Cristobal. The planewas a normal jet, with three seats on each side, for a total of 6 seats perrow. Upon landing you had to walkoff the plane, down the stairs onto the tarmac, and then across into theterminal. We had to go throughPassport Control and hand in some paperwork, and then hand baggage had to bescreened. Luggage arrived on theonly carousel in the room. If youhadn’t guessed, the airport is teeny tiny. Once we had our bags and crossed that magic line into theoutside world, a myriad of Silversea guides were waiting to escort us to theship. We were boarded onto smallbusses and drove about 5 minutes to the pier. We had about 15 minutes to walk around, use the restrooms,and star viewing the wildlife! There were sally lightfooted crabs, sea lions, and marine iguanas rightthere! We then hopped into thezodiacs with our carry on bags and were taken to the ship about 10 minutesaway. Onboard we were welcomedwith hot towels and cold drinks. We waited in the Explorer Lounge and then were called by groups to thefront desk to check in. All we hadto do was give them our names and suite number and that was it! Easiest check-in ever! Our suite was on deck 3, just down thehall from reception. Afterdropping off our bags we headed to The Restaurant for a buffet lunch. Later than day we had a VERY thoroughMuster Drill, and a Mandatory Welcome. They introduced us to the Naturalists and talked a little about the weekahead. We also had to select ourwetsuits and snorkeling gear for the week. Around 5:15 they had a Kicker Rock Sunset Sail Away whichwas nice. The guides mingled withguests and explained what we were seeing. Later that night we were still docked, and I realized that the sea lionswere attracted to the lights of the ship and were playing alongside theship! Very cool! I even saw a few of them playing withpoor fish that they had brought up!

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Thank you for sharing your robust and delightful Galapagos posts Laurie.

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WTP - Simply wonderful report. We will be doing this in either 2019 or 2020. Can you please tell me what influenced your decision to go there in July. We do not know which months would be better than others. Thank you.

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Can you please tell me what influenced your decision to go there in July. We do not know which months would be better than others.
I love this question!

 

I wonder, are there any difference in the seas between summer/fall and winter/spring?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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We have been to the Galapagos in June and in November. No difference that I could detect at all.

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We have been to the Galapagos in June and in November. No difference that I could detect at all.
Cool! I think we’d prefer to go in the dead of our winter as it can get quite long at altitude.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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We did the trip on the first 2 weeks of April 2018 and weather was superb not a drop of rain the whole time.

 

`Princess if Melissa is still on board please say the Joy & John send our best wishes to her

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My question about time of year was really not about the weather (although I probably don't want to go in the peak of rainy season) but more was a question about flora and fauna. I believe different times of the year have different things to see. We plan on being there for a B2B cruise.

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My question about time of year was really not about the weather (although I probably don't want to go in the peak of rainy season) but more was a question about flora and fauna. I believe different times of the year have different things to see. We plan on being there for a B2B cruise.

When we were there in June, the boobies and frigate birds were mating, so we got to see a bunch of the boys strutting their stuff and showing off. We still got to see plenty of the same birds in November, just not the mating dance, etc.

Sea lions and tortoises--same both times. Saw penguins in June, but I don't recall in November. Lots of birds either time.

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When we were there in June, the boobies and frigate birds were mating, so we got to see a bunch of the boys strutting their stuff and showing off. We still got to see plenty of the same birds in November, just not the mating dance, etc.

Sea lions and tortoises--same both times. Saw penguins in June, but I don't recall in November. Lots of birds either time.

Great information. Thanks Rachel. Any comment on the flora?

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Thank you for taking us along, Princess! I look forward to more.

 

For those of us who do not have the greatest eyes, do you think you could break your longer posts into a couple more paragraphs instead of having one long one? It would help me with eye strain a bit to read small chunks at a time rather than en masse, if it is not too much trouble.

 

I have considered and rejected a trip to Galapagos several times, am on the fence with worries about comfort levels, so descriptions of beds, altitude, temperature, time you have to get up, and all other details that affect creature comfort you are giving is helpful to me, thanks!

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As we haven't heard from the OP for some days I assume the internet on the ship isn't great . . .

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Thank you for taking us along, Princess! I look forward to more.

 

For those of us who do not have the greatest eyes, do you think you could break your longer posts into a couple more paragraphs instead of having one long one? It would help me with eye strain a bit to read small chunks at a time rather than en masse, if it is not too much trouble.

 

I have considered and rejected a trip to Galapagos several times, am on the fence with worries about comfort levels, so descriptions of beds, altitude, temperature, time you have to get up, and all other details that affect creature comfort you are giving is helpful to me, thanks!

 

 

 

Don't even hesitate it was one of the best we have ever had and the wildlife is so trusting.

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Love the posts. Thanks for doing this. We will taking this cruise in 1.5 months and I am so excited. One thing I was wondering about was the zodiacs and transferring from the zodiac to shore. Are these wet landings? We've had a bad experience in Hawaii when we weren't informed about a wet landing and had to run through surf in jeans and then set out whale watching in wet clothes that wouldn't dry quickly... So I'm wondering if you should wear shorts/swim suits and sandals for the trip between the ship and land?

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We did this cruise in January 2017, so maybe I can help since the OP seems to be off line currently. The zodiac trip for the trip to the ship after you arrive at the airport in Baltra is a dry landing, unless a little water splashes up. From the dock to the ship. Some landings during the week were wet and others were dry. It all depended on the activity. The crew is great and there will be plenty of notice on what to wear and wet verse dry landings.

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Great information. Thanks Rachel. Any comment on the flora?

The flora was same.

 

As far as wet vs dry landings, only 2 are dry. When you embark and disembark you are at a dock, and when you visit the town, but otherwise, all are wet.

 

As far as internet on the ship, it was fine 2 years ago.

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Love the posts. Thanks for doing this. We will taking this cruise in 1.5 months and I am so excited.

Spree75 - Are you on the September 1st sailing? We will be on that cruise.

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