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islandwoman

Celebrity Xperience just back

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I've just returned from a northern loop and southern loop B2B Galapagos cruise on the Celebrity Xperience, plus 2 nights in each Guayaquil and Quito.  Because the Xperience is going out of service in a few weeks, I won't be writing a review.  But if anyone has a question, please post it here and I'll do my best to answer.  (That is if I get a notification email from cruisecritic)

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We are on the Xperience sailing 5/4 room 410. Anything I need to know?

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I wrote some packing ideas in the topic "Packing for both Galapagos and Machu Picchu" in the South America board.  I wasn't able to create a link, so here's my post again:

 

It's hot in the Galapagos, but the sun is strong enough that most walkers will want to cover up. There are also mosquitoes and wasps on some islands. Here's what I wish I'd packed:  Three long sleeved, tropic weight, quick drying neutral color shirts;  three quick dry, neutral color shorts (It's easier for me to hike in shorts than long pants, but if you are very sun sensitive, you might want to take long pants instead of shorts); three fast-drying pairs of hiking socks; and easy-on/easy-off shoes.  Let me explain about my shoe recommendation - We were advised to take water shoes for wet landings.  I never needed to get them wet.  All of the wet landings could be done barefoot.  But once on land, we had to quickly put our shoes back on for any hiking.  Also, we were required to wear shoes when getting on and off the ship from the zodiac.  For wet landings followed by easy hikes, the naturalists wore Crocks or other slip-on shoes. 

Here are some items that I did take and would highly recommend: sturdy hiking boots or shoes, my own snorkeling mask and snorkel (Celebrity provides these, but it might be difficult to get a mask that fits properly), a clothes line, clothes pins, and strong suction cups to hang the line in the cabin, unless you have a large budget for laundry.  The clothes line in our bathroom was short and located so that wet clothing would drip on the floor, not into the shower (There are 2 - 4 excursions each day.  That's a lot of clothes in an equatorial climate!) Maybe the clothes lines on the Flora are more convenient and you won't need to hang your own  Also, don't forget reef friendly sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat. 

 

Do you have any specific questions?  Those would be easier for me to answer. 

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Can you tell me which sunscreens & insect repellents are lagoon friendly?

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Sunscreens containing  oxybenzone or octinoxate have been shown to be harmful to aquatic life.  Those containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are thought to be safer.  The brand I use is Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Mineral Lotion.  I don't know whether any insect repellents are lagoon friendly.  

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do you have to choose which excursions you want to do in advance or can you do them all at each island? and did you feel as though you had ample time to explore each island?

 

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9 hours ago, flgajaja said:

do you have to choose which excursions you want to do in advance or can you do them all at each island? and did you feel as though you had ample time to explore each island?

 

Sometimes you have to choose because there might be more than one excursion going at the same time.  There might be a long hike and a short hike or snorkeling and a zodiac ride, for example.  The National Park controls where you can go on each island. You cannot explore on your own, you have to stay with the naturalist on the designated trails.  The time allotted for each excursion is enough to do what is allowed.

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On 4/30/2019 at 3:40 PM, lwmson said:

We are on the Xperience sailing 5/4 room 410. Anything I need to know?

We were just moved from the Xpedition to the Xperience and we leave in 3 days.  This was not by choice but by Celebrity since there is a problem with the Ecuadorian gov't.  Did you like the Xperience?  Do you have any information on the Xpedition vs the Xperience?

 

Carol

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Carol, I haven't been on the Xpedition, so I'm sorry that I can't do a comparison.  We enjoyed the Xperience very much.  It's a small ship, only 48 passengers and the crew knew us by the second day.  There was never a problem getting onto the shore excursions we wanted.  There were fewer food choices than on bigger ships, and only one dining venue and time, but I thought the food was delicious.  I especially appreciated the crew's attentiveness to those of us who had restrictive diets. 

The only downside, from my point of view, was our cabin, XD-Deluxe Ocean view 210.  The AC dripped from the ceiling to the carpet in our entry hallway.  The clothesline was not over the shower, but over the bathroom floor - creating a wet bathroom if we ever hung laundry there.  The pipes were small and so we were advised not to put TP into the toilet, but instead into the wastebasket.  Fortunately the cabin steward emptied it twice a day.

The rest of the cruise outweighed the small problems in our cabin by a mile.  I would go sail the Galapagos on the Xperience in a minute, if only this ship were not going out of service.  

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Carol, Our Galapagos trip was wonderful! The Xperience is an old ship & is ready to be retired, but you have 4 naturalist on Xperience. The entire staff & naturalist are wonderful. We had 42 passengers & 40 staff. It is an adventure cruise, not a relaxing or elegant cruise.  Enjoy!

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We are on the maiden cruise of the Flora next week. We are super excited. Thanks for the info on what to pack. It was pretty much inline with what I was thinking about packing. I do have a question about attire at night. It says for men, pants and a comfortable shirt. What were most men wearing? Is it cool at night? I know we are going at the beginning of the drier cooler season, but can't really tell what to bring for the evenings. Thanks for your advice.

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cruiserj12, I hope that you're having a wonderful time on the Flora.  I'm sorry that I wasn't able to answer your question before you started your cruise.  Whatever you decided to wear in the evenings, I'm sure it's fine. 

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cruiserj12  I can't wait to hear about your experience on the Flora. Made my final payment today and I am anxious to know all about it. Thank you. 

 

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Please reply back with impressions of Celebrity Flora!

 

and we're torn about going either: (2020)

end of May (last week)

or middle/end of July 

 

has anyone been to Galapagos either of those times?

 

thanks!

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