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sippican

Galapagos Problems

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Hi, LUVSCUBA (and everyone else).  Thanks so much for your updates.

 

Is there anything you wish you had brought but didn't? Or brought and didn't need? How are people dressing at night for dinner? Finally,  any comments on the different snorkling outings?

 

We depart 8/27 for the 9/1 Costco departure. I have resigned myself to a ship substitution but still have not heard anything. I was one the phone with Costco and X for an hour the other day and no new info. I told them I want to know before we leave the US if there is a ship substitution.Every time I open my email I am expecting to find the notice. Oh well.

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26 minutes ago, racjax said:

Hi, LUVSCUBA (and everyone else).  Thanks so much for your updates.

 

Is there anything you wish you had brought but didn't? Or brought and didn't need? How are people dressing at night for dinner? Finally,  any comments on the different snorkling outings?

 

We depart 8/27 for the 9/1 Costco departure. I have resigned myself to a ship substitution but still have not heard anything. I was one the phone with Costco and X for an hour the other day and no new info. I told them I want to know before we leave the US if there is a ship substitution.Every time I open my email I am expecting to find the notice. Oh well.

First, we always find we brought stuff we did not need.  When we went in 2015 I don't think there was anything we had missed brining, and we were under the South American weight limit.

 

Second, we are scheduled to go again this November.  While I read these threads, this is clearly a problem over which we have no control.  Celebrity will do whatever it is going to do, and will do it close to departure time.  Thus, I try not to be concerned, because my fretting about whether the ship will sail is simply designed to annoy me, so I struggle not to give Celebrity that power over me.

 

And we've been through this before.  When we went in 2015, the volcano erupted, and there was concern about the direction the wind would carry the ash, which could shut down the airport in Baltra and, in extreme circumstances, affect air travel to Quito.  In the end, things settled down.

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2 hours ago, racjax said:

Hi, LUVSCUBA (and everyone else).  Thanks so much for your updates.

 

Is there anything you wish you had brought but didn't? Or brought and didn't need? How are people dressing at night for dinner? Finally,  any comments on the different snorkling outings?

 

We depart 8/27 for the 9/1 Costco departure. I have resigned myself to a ship substitution but still have not heard anything. I was one the phone with Costco and X for an hour the other day and no new info. I told them I want to know before we leave the US if there is a ship substitution.Every time I open my email I am expecting to find the notice. Oh well.

Hello! I wish I had brought fewer “dressy” clothes. The atmosphere is very very casual and people are wearing whatever they want : shorts, leggings, t-shirts, hats, etc (even to dinner). Don’t overpack.

If you have a good camera with a long lens, I would definitely bring that also. I read comments that you get so close to the animals that you don’t need a long lens. I would disagree with this. If you have an underwater camera, definitely bring it. I used a GoPro Hero7 black and it took wonderful videos - esp the sea lions as they swam directly up to it. 

Lastly, I would pack a sweatshirt to put on after snorkeling because you will be cold

The snorkeling is amazing and I would do them all if you are able to. I preferred the “deep water” snorkel because you just got right off of the panga into the water. The only problem that some people had was getting back up into the panga. Some of the ladders are short and it can be a bit tricky to get up. The water is very very cold even with a wetsuit so be prepared for that. There are only a few full wetsuits - most people wear shorties. 

 

One more thing I wanted to add. The walks are not always better than the panga rides (usually given 2 choices for morning activity). Definitely consult with the naturalist before choosing your activity. Today was a walk on Genovesa and it was my favorite walk so far. Sooo many birds, short eared owls, etc. Tomorrow is our last day and I am so sad. We have gotten to know everyone on the boat - we are actually going to make a “Dropbox” so that we can all share our pictures. 

 

It has been an absolute blast. You will have a wonderful time regardless of the boat you sail on.  

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, jakeller said:

There are a few more details about this whole mess on the CC news page:

https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/4347/

 

Thanks for the link. Perhaps the posts on the LLP thread sparked some interest in commenting on the issue.

 

Edited by sippican

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We sailed Xpedition in November of 2017.  We loved it; however, we honestly wanted to sail one of the smaller ships.  But at the time we booked, we were told that we could be "bumped" if a group wanted to charter one of the smaller ships.  Knowing that a lot of time and money went into a trip to the Galapagos, we went the safe route and settled on Xpedition.  Given a choice to sail on one of the smaller ships, we would have been happy to do so.  

 

Whatever folks decide to do, know you will have a marvelous time.  We will definitely go back!!!!

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We are scheduled to go on the Xpedition in May 2020.  For those who have booked the Xpedition for cruises prior to the next refurbishment, how is Celebrity getting the Xpedition down from 96 to 48 passengers?  How are they deciding who gets bumped, and are they notifying passengers now vice waiting until one week prior to the cruise?  I have not read anything on CC about this, but perhaps I missed the discussion.

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30 minutes ago, Mj17ak said:

We are scheduled to go on the Xpedition in May 2020.  For those who have booked the Xpedition for cruises prior to the next refurbishment, how is Celebrity getting the Xpedition down from 96 to 48 passengers?  How are they deciding who gets bumped, and are they notifying passengers now vice waiting until one week prior to the cruise?  I have not read anything on CC about this, but perhaps I missed the discussion.

 

That's my concern too. Are they going to bump the people in the lower categories?  Those who booked last?  One week before sailing is absurd.

 

What cruise are you on in May? I'm on the 16th.

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For those whao are currently dealing with a cancellation of their Xpedition cruise. I just want to put it out there that there are currently "displaced" passengers on the Flora who were given that upgrade for free. This is reported on Celebrity's Captains Club FB page by a passneger on the current Flora sailing.  The CC article linked aboved states that the Flora is offered at a cost increase. Seems like the compensation for the inconvenience is not consistent.

 

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Mj17ak said:

We are scheduled to go on the Xpedition in May 2020.  For those who have booked the Xpedition for cruises prior to the next refurbishment, how is Celebrity getting the Xpedition down from 96 to 48 passengers?  How are they deciding who gets bumped, and are they notifying passengers now vice waiting until one week prior to the cruise?  I have not read anything on CC about this, but perhaps I missed the discussion.

They don't need to get from 96 to 48, it's more like from 64 to 48. When the Flora took the 100 passenger license from the Xpedition, it left Celebrity with a 48 passenger license and a 16 passenger license. They thought they could combine the and have Xpedition running with 64 passengers, but that doesn't seem to be happening. And it looks like they are now marketing the Xpedition as a 48 passenger ship, at least for now. So unless they have sold more than 48, they are fine. And considering there are always those who change their minds before the final payment date, they may just hold tight on working any overbooking situations until they are sure they will happen. 

Edited by SaltwaterLee

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Mj17ak said:

We are scheduled to go on the Xpedition in May 2020.  For those who have booked the Xpedition for cruises prior to the next refurbishment, how is Celebrity getting the Xpedition down from 96 to 48 passengers?  How are they deciding who gets bumped, and are they notifying passengers now vice waiting until one week prior to the cruise?  I have not read anything on CC about this, but perhaps I missed the discussion.

 

Bookings made on Xpedition after Flora's debut were being held at 64 (not the previous 96) as that was the number of licenses that were expected to transfer to Xpedition after Xperience and Xploration were taken out of service. 

So they can accommodate 64 passengers on Xperience and Xploration combined until the issue is resolved. My understanding is that Xploration has been put back into service with Xperience.

 

Edited by sippican

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Just now, sippican said:

For those whao are currently dealing with a cancellation of their Xpedition cruise. I just want to put it out there that there are currently "displaced" passengers on the Flora who were given that upgrade for free. This is reported on Celebrity's Captains Club FB page by a passneger on the current Flora sailing.  The CC article linked aboved states that the Flora is offered at a cost increase. Seems like the compensation for the inconvenience is not consistent.

 

My guess, and it's only a guess, is that it may have something to do with how much you originally paid for the Xpedition, and when you rebooked what the going cost was for the Flora. For a while Flora was going for really low prices, so if you had a higher priced cabin on the Xpedition it would have been easy to offer you the Flora at pretty much the same cost. And even today they are selling Xpedition for higher on some weeks than Flora for next year, since the cost of each ship seems to be based more on how many cabins have been sold than anything else you can quickly get an overlap in pricing between the two ships. And if you look at it from a revenue perspective or them, I'm sure they are more than happy to switch you if you already paid nearly as much as Flora, it's better than offering a 50% refund and having to provide a cruise anyway.

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2 minutes ago, sippican said:

 

Bookings made on Xpedition after Flora's debut were being held at 64 (not the previous 96) as that was the number of licenses that were expected to transfer to Xpedition after Xperience and Xploration were taken out of service. 

So they can accommodate 64 passengers on Xpereince and Xploration combined until the issue is resolved. My understanding is that Xploration has been put back ointo service with Xperience.

 

Based on that they are now showing the Xpedition as a 48 passenger ship, my guess is they are pushing for transferring the 48 passenger license as soon as possible. Then they can work over time to get the additional 16 moved over if they can. If they can't they will have to decide if they want to keep running a ship with 16, or just sell that off and move on with 148 total. My guess would be if they can't get the 16 moved over they will sell it off. They want to move their offerings to the top end of the market, and having the 16 passenger ship is distracting to that goal. There is a lot of competition at that size, and they would probably be better off just raising the average cost of the 148 slots they do have, as it could easily result in more overall profit than trying to keep the 16 passenger ship around if they will never be able to add it to the Xpedition.

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2 minutes ago, SaltwaterLee said:

Based on that they are now showing the Xpedition as a 48 passenger ship, my guess is they are pushing for transferring the 48 passenger license as soon as possible. Then they can work over time to get the additional 16 moved over if they can. If they can't they will have to decide if they want to keep running a ship with 16, or just sell that off and move on with 148 total. My guess would be if they can't get the 16 moved over they will sell it off. They want to move their offerings to the top end of the market, and having the 16 passenger ship is distracting to that goal. There is a lot of competition at that size, and they would probably be better off just raising the average cost of the 148 slots they do have, as it could easily result in more overall profit than trying to keep the 16 passenger ship around if they will never be able to add it to the Xpedition.

 

I agree that they are probably currently in process to get the 48 licenses transferred or reinstated to Xpedition. But I am doubtful it will make sense in the long run to continue running Xpedition, at half capacity and sell off the Xperience.

The acquisition of Silver Sea might come into play in the Galapagos also, as they have a brand new ship coming out next year.

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1 minute ago, sippican said:

 

I agree that they are probably currently in process to get the 48 licenses transferred or reinstated to Xpedition. But I am doubtful it will make sense in the long run to continue running Xpedition, at half capacity and sell off the Xperience.

The acquisition of Silver Sea might come into play in the Galapagos also, as they have a brand new ship coming out next year.

If you look at the Silversea Origin that is slated to start service next summer, it's a virtual clone of the Flora. Some minor differences, but overall the same design, same number of decks, same overall layout, even has "infinite balcony" rooms on deck 6, and regular balcony rooms on deck 5. They even talk about many of the same features, eco friendly, dynamic positioning, etc. so it's essentially another Flora with different exterior colors and design, but the Flora in all other aspects. It's being build at De Hoop shipyards in the Netherlands, where Flora was built. Which makes sense with RCCL owning Celebrity and having a 2/3 ownership of Silversea they own the design of the Flora and can easily use it for Silversea. So yes, there will be another top end ship running next summer, with premium pricing along with the Flora.

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Well, I just got our call today cancelling our sailing.  I guess they're doing a little better, because this is two weeks notice.  We did not get the 50% off offer, but instead were switched to Flora sailing the next day. Luckily our flights don't need to change, because I wouldn't be able to get off work for the extra day.

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4 minutes ago, Djesca said:

Well, I just got our call today cancelling our sailing.  I guess they're doing a little better, because this is two weeks notice.  We did not get the 50% off offer, but instead were switched to Flora sailing the next day. Luckily our flights don't need to change, because I wouldn't be able to get off work for the extra day.

Djesca - were you suppose to be in a suite on the Xpedition?  We're in a Royal Suite coming up on the Xpedition and I'm trying to figure out if they will offer us the 50% off or just switch us to the Flora...it might have to do with how much you paid for your original booking.

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13 minutes ago, Djesca said:

Well, I just got our call today cancelling our sailing.  I guess they're doing a little better, because this is two weeks notice.  We did not get the 50% off offer, but instead were switched to Flora sailing the next day. Luckily our flights don't need to change, because I wouldn't be able to get off work for the extra day.

 

Hi, did you have a suite booked on the Xpedition? Just trying to work out what we might be offered. We have a XS suite booked for sailing on 9th Nov.

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21 minutes ago, Djesca said:

Well, I just got our call today cancelling our sailing.  I guess they're doing a little better, because this is two weeks notice.  We did not get the 50% off offer, but instead were switched to Flora sailing the next day. Luckily our flights don't need to change, because I wouldn't be able to get off work for the extra day.

 

Djesca, apologies - didn’t realise that Beachlover1989 had asked the same question.

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I did not book a suite (well, actually I did originally, but I downgraded us right before final payment).

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Djesca said:

I did not book a suite (well, actually I did originally, but I downgraded us right before final payment).

hhhmmm - that really makes me wonder what the criteria could be for how they're handling the cancellations.  My Celebrity Vacation Planner keeps telling me not to worry, we will be well taken care of if we can't go on the Xpedition.  I really trust him too - he knows the people in charge of the Galapagos division, and although I don't exactly know his status, I keep hoping I don't lose him to a promotion!  😊

Edited by Beachlover1989

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It may also depend on how full the Flora is. I think the Flora was pretty full at first, it entered service about 6 weeks late, so anyone booked on those dates had to be re booked which may have helped fill up the first couple months of the Flora. Now it seems that looking at the future bookings for the Flora it's not sold out so they may have the space to do this. And it could be where if they have more than 48 scheduled for the what was the Xpedition, they have to get a few to move over to Flora since they can't take that many any more.

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47 minutes ago, SaltwaterLee said:

If you look at the Silversea Origin that is slated to start service next summer, it's a virtual clone of the Flora. Some minor differences, but overall the same design, same number of decks, same overall layout, even has "infinite balcony" rooms on deck 6, and regular balcony rooms on deck 5. They even talk about many of the same features, eco friendly, dynamic positioning, etc. so it's essentially another Flora with different exterior colors and design, but the Flora in all other aspects. It's being build at De Hoop shipyards in the Netherlands, where Flora was built. Which makes sense with RCCL owning Celebrity and having a 2/3 ownership of Silversea they own the design of the Flora and can easily use it for Silversea. So yes, there will be another top end ship running next summer, with premium pricing along with the Flora.

 

The origin was originally slated as a Celebrity ship I believe when it was announced.  It was then moved over to silversea.  I wonder if it is because of license issues.  Silversea has a current token for 100 pax ship, so maybe that was only way for origin to sail.  I think I remember reading they wanted to consider a 3rd one, but at this point maybe Ecuador is less than enthused about these mega-yachts.

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I think the fact that my sailing was a chartered cruise affected the options, possibly because we were supposed to sail with hired photographers, so we couldn't be split up between different ships.  I'd love to hear if different passengers were given different offers.  I didn't ask if there were other options, but when I first got the call, I asked, "are you calling to move me to the Xploration" and she ( the TA, not a Celebrity rep) replied that that was not available.

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