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sippican

Galapagos Problems

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I have not seen any posts by anyone who was bumped and did not get an offer to be re-booked on another ship.

 

On our prior trip on the Xpedition we found the food  and service to be very good.  We never had a language issue with the staff.  Oh, to be sure, we met Peruvians in the Sacred Valley with whom my high school Spanish was woefully inadequate.  We had some other issues on that cruise, which we resolved with Celebrity.

 

There are complaints to be made, for sure.  In 2015 we had to sweat out the volcano.  Celebrity did not create this mess deliberately.  They could communicate better, but they don't.  By the time of our November cruise, Celebrity will have solved the problem or not.  If not, they will either offer us another ship or a refund.  I've got no control over anything having to do with the situation.

 

 

 

 

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Folkfan13, Can you clarify what your point is? It seems as if you are saying your current nightmare is similar to one you had in the past with RCCL. Yet you dismiss my comment that Silversea is now owned by RCCL so the Galapagos experiences may be comparable.

To be completely fair, you only used part of my statement, the other factor is that the ships are virtually the same.

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Just because the parent company is the same, the individual lines each have their target markets, and can have quite different services, decor and layouts. I am always interested to hear from my cruising friends which is their favorite and why. We have found after several trips on the big ships that we like the smaller ones and their ports better. But the first cruise is always memorable.  

Im so excited to see the Galapagos, the ship is very secondary to me. Not knowing is unnerving, but it’s not keeping me up at night. It will be fabulous regardless. 

I also know the cruise companies monitor CC and you can bet they’re looking at this thread. They won’t bump us unless it is absolutely unavoidable. 

I still am looking forward to everyone’s reviews and “just back” comments about each of the ships. So nice to hear the enthusiasm! 

 

 

 

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Sippican,   sorry if I wasn't clear.    My main point was in line with first sentence in Ijshome's post above that "Just because the parent company is the same, the individual lines each have their target markets, and can have quite different services, decor and layouts".    The Flora and the new Silversea are practically identical ships, so I don't expect any difference in the actual ship.    The new Silversea should have the crew/naturalists off the old Silversea (top notch so I understand), so I think Silversea gets a slight edge here.    As an organization, Silversea is considered more high end and I give points for this too.   So if I was offered the choice at the same price between the two new ships (Silversea vs Flora), I'd go with Silversea.   Still, I think Celebrity Xpedition was the best value and did book it for the upcoming Galapagos cruise.   I do think though (as you have posted a few times) that Celebrity has not handled the communication well on this.   But, to reference SoCalTraveler above,  Celebrity does seem to be making reasonable offers to those people that have to be switched.    However since it was mentioned that RCCL owns both lines, I was just reminiscing on how IF I believed that cruise line in the RCCL corporation is an RCCL cruise, I couldn't be on any of them.   The circumstances on my one and only RC cruise was different then the current Galapagos license snafu, but on that one we should have received at least 1/2 price credit and were truly offered no refunds, but a "one category upgrade" on our next RCCL cruise - offer valid for 1 year only.

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Per Folkfan13, " I do think though (as you have posted a few times) that Celebrity has not handled the communication well on this." All I can say is, YA THINK!!

If I had not read the CC News article this past weekend on the Xpedition problems, I would know nothing about it. Neither I nor our TA had been contacted! Really poor on Celebrity's part!

We're booked on the 9/12 cruisetour, but probably NOT on the Xpedition (cruisemapper.com has her just offshore near Guayaquil - nowhere near the Galapagos). We're still planning on leaving for Ecuador on 9/5, as we have the Tren Crucero luxury train booked for Guayaquil up the Andes to Quito. I and our TA have been told by Celebrity reps that we'll hear what the story is for our cruise "the week of" our cruise tour. Great advance notice - we'll already be in Ecuador! We should be put on the Flora (we're booked in the Royal Suite on the Xpedition and I was told we wouldn't be downgraded to a window cabin - read: Xperience). So, we'll see.

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Folkfan13, Thanks! All valid points and I agree!

FWIW, the crew and naturalists on. Xpedition were exceptional. I hope you get to experience the same level of service. 

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15 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Jumping in with a quick question.  Has anybody considered Silversea to the Galapagos?  Now owned by RCCL like Celebrity.

 

It looks like their itineraries are pretty different.  Last I looked the prices seemed pretty similar on both.  If people have been on both those itineraries I would like to know the difference too.

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13 hours ago, sippican said:

Folkfan13, Thanks! All valid points and I agree!

FWIW, the crew and naturalists on. Xpedition were exceptional. I hope you get to experience the same level of service. 

It seems more than a few of the crew from the Xpedition are now on the Flora. I've seen a number of them posting on Instagram since the beginning of July from the Flora and if you look back they had photos from when they were on the Xpedition earlier in the year. But I'm sure they do their best to hire top notch people for all their ships, since it's a key part of the overall experience.

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Thanks to those of you who commented on my question about Silversea.  I am considering it vs Flora so thanks for the opinions.

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On 8/24/2019 at 10:47 AM, TeeRick said:

Jumping in with a quick question.  Has anybody considered Silversea to the Galapagos?  Now owned by RCCL like Celebrity.

 

We're working toward that illusive free bag of laundry with our Captain's Club points. I can't believe we haven't got it yet.   Are the RCCL points transferable?  I think Azamara are now. 

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We are booked on the Xpedition November 28 with the Quito extension. I just searched on the Celebrity website and those cruises are not even listed on there anymore. Just wondering if it’s too late to add the Machu Picchu extension? Not even sure we’re still going, depending on Celebrity, , but having second thoughts about the Machu Picchu part ??

 

We were worried about the altitude due to health issues.. but we will be so close ?? 

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54 minutes ago, hillslife said:

We are booked on the Xpedition November 28 with the Quito extension. I just searched on the Celebrity website and those cruises are not even listed on there anymore. Just wondering if it’s too late to add the Machu Picchu extension? Not even sure we’re still going, depending on Celebrity, , but having second thoughts about the Machu Picchu part ??

 

We were worried about the altitude due to health issues.. but we will be so close ?? 

Give the Galapagos Desk a call about adding it. (866) 973-8466. We are so glad we added the extension, it is one of our most memorable travel experiences. 

FWIW- we were concerned about the altitude and even asked for Diamox from our doctor (which we never took). Very few complained about the effects. 

 

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1 hour ago, jamacka said:

 

We're working toward that illusive free bag of laundry with our Captain's Club points. I can't believe we haven't got it yet.   Are the RCCL points transferable?  I think Azamara are now. 

RCCL points are not transferable.

Azamara points have always been transferable and combined since it started out as a Celebrity subsidiary.

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hillslife, if you have the time and $$, do go to Peru for Machu Picchu. We were there ~6 years ago after a Papeete-Lima cruise. Once in a lifetime experience. But note Cusco is at 11,000', much higher than Quito's 9350'. Altitude sickness may be a problem in both cities (I was affected, but not my wife).

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, sippican said:

Give the Galapagos Desk a call about adding it. (866) 973-8466. We are so glad we added the extension, it is one of our most memorable travel experiences. 

FWIW- we were concerned about the altitude and even asked for Diamox from our doctor (which we never took). Very few complained about the effects. 

 

 

Agree with the above and everyone else saying go for it since you'll already be there.  One warning about Diamox:  if you are allergic to Sulfa-based meds (as I am), you can't take it.  It does seem to work wonders for those who can use it.  Instead I drank coca tea while there, which staved off the altitude sickness for me.  (Just make sure you aren't taking a drug test right after that, as it can show as a false positive for cocaine!)

Edited by JMB27

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On 8/18/2019 at 6:42 PM, rjochum11 said:

I am really trying not to be a debbie downer. I just  want to clarify what you are saying and I want to make sure that I am not over reacting to the situation (and others please chime in because I want to make sure that I am trying to be reasonable). This is what is happening and I putting in amounts to add perspective - there are people who paid for suites - for example they paid $17000 for the trip in the suite - and people who paid for ocean view rooms paid $10,000 or less. Now, both people have the same suite room for the original price that they paid. The people who paid $17,000 are not getting any sort of refund/discount and they should not be upset about that?  As I said above, if we had bought an ocean view room we would be over the moon to be upgraded all the way to a suite for free. The reason why they were splitting it up was that the Flora only has suites and is almost sold out every week. The Xperience only has ocean view so they were giving discounts because people not in suites were going down a level in the room and they were being compensated for it. 

 

On 8/18/2019 at 7:27 PM, hillslife said:

I agree you shouldn’t be penalized and should be reimbursed to the OV price.    We have only booked OV, so it can only get better for us, I hope 🤞.  But very frustrating to not know what is happening... we are on Deck 3.. the eliminated deck.. soooo ???

 

guess we will all be waiting to see what happens🤔

 

You are as well off as you were on Xpedition, if not better (newer ship, nicer accommodations, better food from what I’ve read). It’s sad to me that somebody else’s good fortune of being upgraded from an OV to a suite is viewed as a penalty to somebody who booked a suite and is being moved to another suite.

 

Sometimes I pay for a BC or FC ticket and my seatmate shows up from the back of the plane just before we leave the gate, having been upgraded, most likely for free as a FF (and sometimes I’m that person being upgraded). It never bothers me that I paid for the seat and s/he didn’t.

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2 hours ago, hillslife said:

We are booked on the Xpedition November 28 with the Quito extension. I just searched on the Celebrity website and those cruises are not even listed on there anymore. Just wondering if it’s too late to add the Machu Picchu extension? Not even sure we’re still going, depending on Celebrity, , but having second thoughts about the Machu Picchu part ??

 

We were worried about the altitude due to health issues.. but we will be so close ?? 

 

It’s not a matter of adding the extension - they will rebook you at the prevailing rate for the cruisetour option. We did that for our September 2020 cruise - booked the cruise only and then decided to do the full trip. Fortunately the price hadn’t gone up.

 

Many have said that it’s easy to DIY the extension for less money than X charge, but I think there’s a lot to be said for having somebody else put it all together and be my border collie. 🙂

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On 8/18/2019 at 2:42 PM, rjochum11 said:

I am really trying not to be a debbie downer. I just  want to clarify what you are saying and I want to make sure that I am not over reacting to the situation (and others please chime in because I want to make sure that I am trying to be reasonable). This is what is happening and I putting in amounts to add perspective - there are people who paid for suites - for example they paid $17000 for the trip in the suite - and people who paid for ocean view rooms paid $10,000 or less. Now, both people have the same suite room for the original price that they paid. The people who paid $17,000 are not getting any sort of refund/discount and they should not be upset about that?  As I said above, if we had bought an ocean view room we would be over the moon to be upgraded all the way to a suite for free. The reason why they were splitting it up was that the Flora only has suites and is almost sold out every week. The Xperience only has ocean view so they were giving discounts because people not in suites were going down a level in the room and they were being compensated for it. 

You’re right; if you paid far and above what others did for a special suite experience, and the new ship can’t offer that experience, Celebrity should compensate you in addition to switching you to another sailing. I still think all pax should receive a complimentary switch to the other ship, though, because it’s not their fault this happened. They shouldn’t have to pay more all of a sudden. 

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4 hours ago, critterchick said:

 

It’s not a matter of adding the extension - they will rebook you at the prevailing rate for the cruisetour option. We did that for our September 2020 cruise - booked the cruise only and then decided to do the full trip. Fortunately the price hadn’t gone up.

 

Many have said that it’s easy to DIY the extension for less money than X charge, but I think there’s a lot to be said for having somebody else put it all together and be my border collie. 🙂

 

We booked the cruise first, then added the SV, MP extension later. Celebrity did not adjust the entire cruise tour price, they just added the prevaiing rate for the land extension only, to our cruise price.

 

(Love the image of the boarder collie!)

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A big thank you to all who have posted and researched so that those of us who were 'bumped' have some good info.

We were to take Expedition with the MP extension on June 9th....were all packed and ready to fly out June 5, got the call

May 31.

Opted to cancel and move to Flora for July 2020, have 6 in our group (now 5, one was unable to rebook) and we're very

excited about being able to experience Flora, although (since we booked 2 years in advance) it's still a long wait!

 

Now that I have more detailed info on what actually happened (or what we THINK actually happened)….I can understand that even though Celebrity might've communicated better, they keep working under the premise that things will work out and possibly that's why they're not cancelling too far out?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, J18ktleo said:

A big thank you to all who have posted and researched so that those of us who were 'bumped' have some good info.

We were to take Expedition with the MP extension on June 9th....were all packed and ready to fly out June 5, got the call

May 31.

So it sounds like you were notified 9-10 days out. We are booked on the 9/7 Xpedition departure, so I guess if we're going to hear something, it's in the next day or two. 

 

Personally, I don't care what ship we're on. I just can't wait for this adventure!

Quote

 

 

 

Edited by bpmba
typo

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18 hours ago, ECCruise said:

RCCL points are not transferable.

Azamara points have always been transferable and combined since it started out as a Celebrity subsidiary.

Silversea is still a privately owned company with RCCL as the majority shareholder.  I asked the Silversea customer service staff just last week if they had any joint loyalty benefits with other RCCL companies and the answer was No.

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Thanks for the tips for adding on MP to our November adventure.. I’ll give the Galapagos desk a call and see what they say 😎

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4 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Silversea is still a privately owned company with RCCL as the majority shareholder.  I asked the Silversea customer service staff just last week if they had any joint loyalty benefits with other RCCL companies and the answer was No.

I believe that no company offers points for sailing on their other ships, other than Azamara to RCCL. 

Sailing on Royal doesn't add points to Celebrity and vice versa...it's an interesting one way benefit!

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5 hours ago, bpmba said:

So it sounds like you were notified 9-10 days out. We are booked on the 9/7 Xpedition departure, so I guess if we're going to hear something, it's in the next day or two. 

 

Personally, I don't care what ship we're on. I just can't wait for this adventure!

 

5 hours ago, bpmba said:

 

It was 6 days out!

Actually, one of my friends/going with us had read about the week before (I think that's the first week) was cancelled so when they called me, as the agent for everyone, I was not surprised but at that time there was absolutely NO information or reason why....and even though I spoke with the Galapagos desk numerous times over the next couple weeks (trying to get the refunds going at that time was mind-numbingly frustrating!) there was no info as well.

Hoping that now, after all this time, they have it down to a science?

 

Very excited to go on Flora.  PLUS after we booked, prices came done (for a short time) and we were able to score the $1000 flight credit as well...really turned out great as long as we were willing to rework our schedule and luckily we have the ability to do so!

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