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Live blog of first voyage of Flora in the Galapagos, post pandemic


DrKoob
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23 hours ago, nstigliano said:

So happy to be reading your blog Jim. Had my doubts you and Kathleen would actually be sailing. 😜 Mark and I are thrilled that you are finally on Flora. Mark especially is loving all your photos. Looking forward to enjoying this trip through your words and pictures. Safe travels!

Nancy, you two should do this. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Actually, if I could, I would consider doing it twice...just to do the inner loop.

 

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Thank you so much for your Live From notes.  I'll be sailing on the Flora this coming February on a back-to-back to get both inner and outer loop.  Looking at the  menu you posted, I do hope that they repeat the menus each week as there were multiple choices that I'd love to try.  Ceviche, yeah!  Plus the other local specialties.

 

What cabin are you in?  Our cabin is towards the front of the ship so I am concerned about motion.

 

Enjoy what remains of your cruise. 

 

Jackie

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Jim - I found your blog (googled like you suggested) - It's funny - I was just looking at the photos - and I said that's Chris' Taverna  (I'm in Boynton Beach) - Then I read your description - 🙂

 

I'm enjoying reading your adventures

 

 

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3 hours ago, DrKoob said:

Actually, if I could, I would consider doing it twice...just to do the inner loop.

 

 

3 hours ago, jsiegel said:

 I'll be sailing on the Flora this coming February on a back-to-back to get both inner and outer loop

 

Doing a back-to-back is THE way to do it.... I cruised right after they splitted itineraries into A and B [and now into inner and outer...].

 

There are places which I'd have preferred to skip, like the lave tunnels and lava places, and, even the turtles sanctuaries, which, IMHO, can be seen in other places of the world, without so much expense... Preferred to focus on animals and birds.

 

North Seymour isn't to be missed.

 

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On 7/4/2021 at 12:32 PM, DrKoob said:

Hi Cathy. I got warned the other day not to post it but if you Google my name (Jim Bellomo) it should the first thing that pops up. 

Thank you so much!!

 

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23 minutes ago, CTKath said:

Jim, is the top picture on your website in Iceland?

This is Jim’s wife Kathleen - hes’ processing this morning’s pics so he can take more this afternoon. The picture changes every time you go to the website but yes, he does have a couple of pictures from Iceland at the top. He’s added a couple from Galapagos also.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, BellKat said:

This is Jim’s wife Kathleen - hes’ processing this morning’s pics so he can take more this afternoon. The picture changes every time you go to the website but yes, he does have a couple of pictures from Iceland at the top. He’s added a couple from Galapagos also.

Thanks Kathleen, I really appreciate it.  The picture I saw was very flat with waterfalls.  Iceland was our last trip in November 2019.  We went to the Galapagos about 13 years ago and I would love to go back on a Celebrity ship.

 

I plan on reading the blog from your website later.  Happy travels!!

Edited by CTKath
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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, CTKath said:

Thanks Kathleen, I really appreciate it.  The picture I saw was very flat with waterfalls.  Iceland was our last trip in November 2019.  We went to the Galapagos about 13 years ago and I would love to go back on a Celebrity ship.

 

I plan on reading the blog from your website later.  Happy travels!!

Ah - we went in July 2019. Sun never really set then We were touring until midnight! I highly recommend the Flora for your next trip to the Galapagos. We are seriously considering coming back to do the inner loop (we are on the outer loop now). We were told the outer loop is more about the animals and the inner loop more about the landscape. We only have 57 guests onboard so it’s a small intimate group. Most of the staff knows our names (1st and last!). We also have 3 corporate people on board since it’s the 1st cruise since the pandemic.

Edited by BellKat
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BellKat said:

We are seriously considering coming back to do the inner loop (we are on the outer loop now). We were told the outer loop is more about the animals and the inner loop more about the landscape. 

 What is the difference between Northern and Southern loops?

Edited by Kylie
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Kylie said:

 What is the difference between Northern and Southern loops?

It looks like the Southern Route is also called the Outer Loop which is the one we are on. It’s more about the animals. If you go to Celebrity’s website and check dates, they will say Southern or Northern. You can then click on View Ports and Maps. You will notice one week is Northern, the next is Southern and they keep switching every week.

Edited by BellKat
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2 hours ago, Kylie said:

 What is the difference between Northern and Southern loops?

They were told  the outer loop is more about the animals and the inner loop is more about the landscape. I hope this helps!

 

I can tell you that this topic is discussed heavily on other threads particular to Galapagos. If you want to dive deeper into learning the differences I suggest reading that thread. 

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1 minute ago, Sdory28 said:

They were told  the outer loop is more about the animals and the inner loop is more about the landscape. I hope this helps!

 

I can tell you that this topic is discussed heavily on other threads particular to Galapagos. If you want to dive deeper into learning the differences I suggest reading that thread. 

I heartily agree. We learned so much from a tagged thread in the Galapagos boards - especially about clothing & what you should bring & what you don’t need to bring.

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1 minute ago, BellKat said:

It looks like the Southern Route is also called the Outer Loop which is the one we are on. It’s more about the animals. If you go to Celebrity’s website and check dates, they will say Southern or Northern. You can then click on View Ports and Maps. 

We will be on the Flora 7/25 for the inner loop. It’s definitely the northern route 🤪

302EB7A4-D94B-4196-AC54-47A604B0D5BB.jpeg

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1 minute ago, BellKat said:

I heartily agree. We learned so much from a tagged thread in the Galapagos boards - especially about clothing & what you should bring & what you don’t need to bring.

Indeed! I’m still trying to decide if we should get skins to prepare for snorkeling. When we did the Great Barrier Reef we were only provided shorty suits (from what I’ve read Flora does the same) and all I can remember is how cold I was! 
 

I’ll probably buy them right before we leave and keep the tags on for return in case we are okay without. 

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Just now, Sdory28 said:

Indeed! I’m still trying to decide if we should get skins to prepare for snorkeling. When we did the Great Barrier Reef we were only provided shorty suits (from what I’ve read Flora does the same) and all I can remember is how cold I was! 
 

I’ll probably buy them right before we leave and keep the tags on for return in case we are okay without. 

I did not snorkel but my husband tried it once. Most people wore the short suits but I think I did see a couple of long ones but they looked like people who snorkel a lot so brought their own. Right now is one of the coldest times in the water. It seemed to me from doing water landings that some areas the water was cooler than others (at least at the shore). Just so you know, you have to wear some kind of footwear every time you get on & off a tender (Zodiac) and a life vest.

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18 minutes ago, Sdory28 said:

I can tell you that this topic is discussed heavily on other threads particular to Galapagos. If you want to dive deeper into learning the differences I suggest reading that thread. 

 

15 minutes ago, BellKat said:

I heartily agree. We learned so much from a tagged thread in the Galapagos boards - especially about clothing & what you should bring & what you don’t need to bring.

 

@Kylie

 

I used "Part 2" for my cruise. It was an enormous help. Since then -- 2 more parts were added.

 

Worth reading them.

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8 minutes ago, BellKat said:

I did not snorkel but my husband tried it once. Most people wore the short suits but I think I did see a couple of long ones but they looked like people who snorkel a lot so brought their own. Right now is one of the coldest times in the water. It seemed to me from doing water landings that some areas the water was cooler than others (at least at the shore). Just so you know, you have to wear some kind of footwear every time you get on & off a tender (Zodiac) and a life vest.

I’ve got my Teva’s ready for the wet landings. I will bother you with a quick question though. Your husband has mentioned his hiking boots- Are they sneaker height or high-top height? We have both and would prefer to only bring one pair 😉

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8 minutes ago, Sdory28 said:

I’ve got my Teva’s ready for the wet landings. I will bother you with a quick question though. Your husband has mentioned his hiking boots- Are they sneaker height or high-top height? We have both and would prefer to only bring one pair 😉

I have low ones & he has high ones. He did the most intensive excursions & I did the easiest ones. Hiking on lava rocks is not easy. He said he was glad for the ankle support. 

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3 hours ago, dani negreanu said:

 

Iceland and Ireland was an amazing cruise (June 2019). It was a pleasure meeting you and Jim 🥰

Yup! June 3 on the Reflection was a great cruise! All the work Jim put in ahead of time creating meet and greets and the Lawn Club dinner made it extra special. 

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Posted (edited)

Stopping at the Post Office....Barrel.

 

This one will be short just to bring you up to date on the afternoon of Day 3. This was a short, wet landing stop to see the Post Office Barrel.

In the olden days (17 and 1800s) whalers would be away from families for months on end, sometimes years. And they would stop on this part of Floreana Island. On the island someone had installed a giant barrel (in the pics below) and the sailors and whalers would leave a letter for their families and if they were headed home, they would pick up letters for others families, promising to deliver them, in person, when they returned to their European country of origin.

That tradition exists today. So after a wet landing we took a short walk off the beach to the barrel. Inside were hundreds (maybe thousands) of postcards that we could take and hand deliver if we lived or were going to that area of the world. We spent about 20 minutes going through the ones that were in there at this time and a few people took ones to deliver. There was on headed to Seattle but it had just been put there three days before and we didn't want to be delivering it before they got back home 😜.

After we finished with the post office barrel we jumped back on the Zodiac and went for a slow ride. We saw more blue footed boobys, sea lions and a few other birds. It was awesome.

Here's the pics. Sorry there are no captions. Those are on my blog but they don't hold when I move them over here.

 283582137_Floreana-Postoffice231.thumb.jpg.63294add318677ea9ead7d1adc614f32.jpg978528425_Floreana-Postoffice232.thumb.jpg.76a724d4034234b51928f721a8b0d396.jpg1325084722_Floreana-Postoffice233.thumb.jpg.4534dc93339996141eecebd5e1c94dcd.jpg1696524355_Floreana-Postoffice234.thumb.jpg.dee2cf65d95091d63f8f320281712962.jpg262382320_Floreana-Postoffice235.thumb.jpg.74a8de9cd980460e1edb11a17b007bda.jpg195526752_Floreana-Postoffice238.thumb.jpg.2e6aa5722590de4745d6a2c179d19a87.jpg260889448_Floreana-Postoffice239.thumb.jpg.646736e566515cebb8611686de018f59.jpg133613775_Floreana-Postoffice240.thumb.jpg.8614c920c663ac3bd36262dba839c7e8.jpg2147100460_Floreana-Postoffice242.thumb.jpg.964d656857ee9312288e414c9e8a3098.jpg

Floreana-Post office241.jpg

This is my partner and the love of my life Kathleen enjoying the beach before we haded to the Post Office Barrel.

 

Edited by DrKoob
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