Jump to content

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


DrKoob
 Share

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, sippican said:


Regarding water, we purchased small hydration back packs (Camel and Osprey make them). We never had to fiddle with taking a water bottle in and out, and there was plenty of room for incidentals. 

That's exactly what I have (Gregory brand).  I'll have to test it to make sure I can fill up the water bladder and still have room for my camera stuff.  I actually don't want to bring that much camera stuff - Jim's photos are amazing but I just don't want to lug stuff. We'll see...

 

One other question - I'm planning to bring water shoe/sandals (merrells and my bf has Keen) and hiking boots.  I saw that one some of the hikes (especially over the lava rocks), the boots were really key.  Was there ever a case where you did a wet landing and needed a water shoe but needed to transition to a proper hiking boot for the terrain?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, VioletView said:

 

One other question - I'm planning to bring water shoe/sandals (merrells and my bf has Keen) and hiking boots.  I saw that one some of the hikes (especially over the lava rocks), the boots were really key.  Was there ever a case where you did a wet landing and needed a water shoe but needed to transition to a proper hiking boot for the terrain?

 

There was at least one occasion when we wore water shoes on the zodiac, then switched to shoes/boots. We used to cheap thin water shoes that are virtually flat when packed. I'm sure it depends on your itinerary. I never used my Keens at all, preferring my Merrell low hikers for virtually every walk/hike (I absolutely can't tolerate a speck of sand between my foot and the shoe/sandal, lol!)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/21/2021 at 8:20 AM, sippican said:


Regarding water, we purchased small hydration back packs (Camel and Osprey make them). We never had to fiddle with taking a water bottle in and out, and there was plenty of room for incidentals. 

 

There was a young lady who was quite the hiker that I followed around for three days because she always seemed to know where to step on the rocks and lava and she had one of those. Worked really well for her. 

 

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/21/2021 at 11:00 AM, VioletView said:

That's exactly what I have (Gregory brand).  I'll have to test it to make sure I can fill up the water bladder and still have room for my camera stuff.  I actually don't want to bring that much camera stuff - Jim's photos are amazing but I just don't want to lug stuff. We'll see...

 

One other question - I'm planning to bring water shoe/sandals (merrells and my bf has Keen) and hiking boots.  I saw that one some of the hikes (especially over the lava rocks), the boots were really key.  Was there ever a case where you did a wet landing and needed a water shoe but needed to transition to a proper hiking boot for the terrain?

Nope. Not once. The water landing walks were really easy ones. The dry landing walks were the hard ones on rocks or lava.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, sippican said:

 

There was at least one occasion when we wore water shoes on the zodiac, then switched to shoes/boots. We used to cheap thin water shoes that are virtually flat when packed. I'm sure it depends on your itinerary. I never used my Keens at all, preferring my Merrell low hikers for virtually every walk/hike (I absolutely can't tolerate a speck of sand between my foot and the shoe/sandal, lol!)

OK, so if you hate sand or dirt in between your sandals, then you will want to change shoes. I had Tevas and had to put up with it because carrying a 5lb camera and lens as well as a GoPro I have size 13 feet so there is no way to fit my boots in the dry bag and I am not carrying two backpacks around not to speak of putting my wet Tevas in a dry bag with my SLR. So I had some hikes in Tevas with sand between my feet and the sandals. 😜

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/15/2021 at 7:19 PM, kathynorth said:

Since questions about diabetes popped up several times I thought I'd mention that we were on the Xpedition in July 2016. My DH has diabetes and was permitted to carry a small snack that was a closed packaged item, double bagged in a ziplock onto the islands during excursions. I'm pretty sure he also carried closed packaged snacks with him through the airport for all flights. 

Thanks for sharing this info. My DH also has diabetes and I was really worried after reading the blog. There's no way he would have lasted through the flight and ride to the ship on just a ham and cheese sandwich. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, CruiserN1 said:

Thanks for sharing this info. My DH also has diabetes and I was really worried after reading the blog. There's no way he would have lasted through the flight and ride to the ship on just a ham and cheese sandwich. 

 

I think you will be fine. I wanted to add that there was food at the airport in Baltra once we landed. When you get there you are escorted to the VIP Lounge where there was plenty of free snacks. Our complaint about it taking so long to get to the ship should not happen for your cruise as it had to do with it being the first cruise after the pandemic and they wanted to welcome each Zodiac individually and we were on the LAST ONE! So we had to sail around looking at birds while they got all the other Zodiacs on and did a big welcome for them. I thought the idea was awesome but just not carried out well. Leaving us on the Zodiac, in the hot sun, without sunscreen or hats was not a good idea. We are pretty sure it contributed to my bride's migraine the next day. 

 

Jim

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/24/2021 at 11:34 PM, DrKoob said:

 

First, is it really that much? The difference between our cruise and the 11 day was less than $2000. Worth every penny. I can't imagine it has gone up that much. You also must be booking fairly far out into the future as they are not doing 10 or 11 day trips right now. And I realize that you may be going post pandemic. Celebrity is currently estimating they are going back to 10 and 11 night trips in August but Ecuador has taken a turn and that may not happen. But at any rate:

 

The 10 days (post-pandemic) will include

  • Your transfer from the airport
  • Your hotel for two nights 
  • Your breakfast for both days
  • A guided tour of Quito on the first full day
  • Dinner on both nights 
  • Your transfer to the Quito airport
  • Your flight to Baltra 
  • Your transfer from the Baltra airport to the dock where the Zodiacs will pick you up.
  • Post cruise transfer back to the airport at Baltra
  • The flight back to Quito
  • The transfer back to the hotel,
  • A night at the hotel
  • Dinner
  • Breakfast
  • Your transfer to the Quito airport.

And if you are sailing while testing is still required, they will take care of both your pre-Galapagos test and your post-Galapagos test. 

 

For us the biggest thing that made it worth it was not having to worry about ANYTHING.  So many things that could go wrong. First, depending on when you are going, if the pandemic situation still is happening, you will have to do everything that we had taken care of us by Celebrity yourself—all the testing and good luck finding doctors that can give you results in less than an hour because you need them to get a boarding pass out of Ecuador. They walked us through everything. We never had to worry a second. 

 

Think about some of the possibilities. Let's say your flight from Quito to Baltra is late and the ship sails without you (which they will, because they never wait). There is no way to get on Flora (or Exploration) after they sail until they are six days in and come back to Santa Cruz. Or if like us, your flight from the states to Quito was cancelled three days before the cruise? You get in really late, who meets you at the airport? There were a number of people on our cruise who were on a flight that arrived at 11:45 pm due to delays. It's really hard to find transport at the airport at 11:45. But Celebrity met them, got them dinner and had their rooms ready for them. 

 

My bride and I both think that there is NO WAY that we would ever do this trip without doing the flights/hotels/transfers/meals that were all taken care of for us. It made our vacation stress free. 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

.....Really appreciate all the good info on this blog.  My wife and I are flying to Quito on Thanksgiving Day which we hope is not as busy as the before & after days.  Our free day on return from the inner loop is December 6th which is Quito's equivalent of the 4th of July, so we'll see if there are any festivities going on.  Everything depends on the covid situation.  The inner loop doesn't get the waved albatross, but it does offer the iconic view of Pinnicle Rock, the zillions of critters on North Seymour, and the red footed boobie at Punta Pitt.  There is also snorkeling with seal pups at that time of year.  We are hiring a private car and driver for the two days we are on our own in Quito..........again, covid permitting.....there's 4 months to figure it out.................Rick

Edited by Cubbivan
add 'Quito'
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Cubbivan said:

.....Really appreciate all the good info on this blog.  My wife and I are flying to Quito on Thanksgiving Day which we hope is not as busy as the before & after days.  Our free day on return from the inner loop is December 6th which is Quito's equivalent of the 4th of July, so we'll see if there are any festivities going on.  Everything depends on the covid situation.  The inner loop doesn't get the waved albatross, but it does offer the iconic view of Pinnicle Rock, the zillions of critters on North Seymour, and the red footed boobie at Punta Pitt.  There is also snorkeling with seal pups at that time of year.  We are hiring a private car and driver for the two days we are on our own in Quito..........again, covid permitting.....there's 4 months to figure it out.................Rick

 

You are really welcome Rick. I want a complete report on that Inner Loop as we are planning on going back in 2024. Hope the COVID situation is better than today. Funny you will be there on Ecuadorian Independence Day as we sailed on the Fourth of July.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, DrKoob said:

 

You are really welcome Rick. I want a complete report on that Inner Loop as we are planning on going back in 2024. Hope the COVID situation is better than today. Funny you will be there on Ecuadorian Independence Day as we sailed on the Fourth of July.

Hey Dr. Koob...........Foundation Day in Quito, December 6, is kind of a weird holiday because it is celebrated only in Quito, and for 10 full days leading up to the 6th.  It is the founding of Quito as a city on top of a former Inca city about 487 years ago.

 

I'm afraid that the only place I will see a waved albatross is at Puerto Ayora where they have a 10 foot long statue of one guarding the harber.   Puerto Bazerio has another 'cute' statue of life size Darwin whom you can pose with in front of a small replica of his ship, the 'Beagle'  (not the Snoopy).

 

Do you know how passengers put on their wet suits?  Are there changing rooms anywhere or does everyone just change skinny-dip style?  Thanks again..........Rick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Cubbivan said:

Do you know how passengers put on their wet suits?  Are there changing rooms anywhere or does everyone just change skinny-dip style?  Thanks again..........Rick

 

Yes I do. Wet suits (and all snorkeling gear) are kept hanging in bags on Deck 3 right where you board the Zodiacs. You get them on the first day, put them in a bag with your stateroom number on it and then it stays there. You grab them as you get on your Zodiac (but the crew loads them on the Zodiac for you). You wear whatever you are going to wear under your wetsuit when you leave the ship (at least that's what everyone on our cruise did). I wore my swimming trunks for the short walk before the snorkel on Day 2. Then when you get to the beach, you grab your bag and put on your snorkel stuff. No skinny-dipping involved. Women had bathing suits under their clothes. The wetsuits are only shorties so they are pretty easy to just pull on and off. When you get back to the ship, you wash them and hang them up to dry on hangers with your stateroom number on the hanger. Hope this helps.

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, DrKoob said:

 

Yes I do. Wet suits (and all snorkeling gear) are kept hanging in bags on Deck 3 right where you board the Zodiacs. You get them on the first day, put them in a bag with your stateroom number on it and then it stays there. You grab them as you get on your Zodiac (but the crew loads them on the Zodiac for you). You wear whatever you are going to wear under your wetsuit when you leave the ship (at least that's what everyone on our cruise did). I wore my swimming trunks for the short walk before the snorkel on Day 2. Then when you get to the beach, you grab your bag and put on your snorkel stuff. No skinny-dipping involved. Women had bathing suits under their clothes. The wetsuits are only shorties so they are pretty easy to just pull on and off. When you get back to the ship, you wash them and hang them up to dry on hangers with your stateroom number on the hanger. Hope this helps.

Jim

Yes it does, thanks.............. On another note, American Airlines changed one of our flight numbers and times without telling us.  Surprisingly, Celebrity already had the new flight number on their screen for us.  Your advisement to check flights often is a good one.........Rick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Cubbivan said:

Yes it does, thanks.............. On another note, American Airlines changed one of our flight numbers and times without telling us.  Surprisingly, Celebrity already had the new flight number on their screen for us.  Your advisement to check flights often is a good one.........Rick

Yes our flight from Miami was changed but we were not notified. We had two choices with AA and picked one  arriving Quito at 12;30 am. 
my concern since our cruise booklet has us with both flights listed which one will Celebrity rep meet. I hear getting transportation at this time is difficult. Also we paid for being met at the airport. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Pilgrim70 said:

Yes our flight from Miami was changed but we were not notified. We had two choices with AA and picked one  arriving Quito at 12;30 am. 
my concern since our cruise booklet has us with both flights listed which one will Celebrity rep meet. I hear getting transportation at this time is difficult. Also we paid for being met at the airport. 

 

 

 

We also had a flight change. We now depart at 1:30 am. Based on our last trip to the Galapagos, X will make sure you are transported to and from the airport no matter what time your flights are.

You should call the Galapagos Desk to ensure they have the updated times noted for you.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Pilgrim70 said:

Yes our flight from Miami was changed but we were not notified. We had two choices with AA and picked one  arriving Quito at 12;30 am. 
my concern since our cruise booklet has us with both flights listed which one will Celebrity rep meet. I hear getting transportation at this time is difficult. Also we paid for being met at the airport. 

 

 

No worries. Everyone was met no matter what time. You actually are picked up by the hotel van. It's a really nice van. Just get your bags after passport control and look around for either a guy with a Celebrity sign or EB Hotel sign. Our guy had both. Worst case scenario, call the EB Hotel. They are about 10 minutes away and can come get you really quick. They have someone at the desk overnight. 

 

In actuality, the airport is pretty busy then. They have a lot of redeye flights in and out. It is least busy in the middle of the day. When we got there around 12:30 pm it was a ghost town. When we went to the airport at 3:30 AM to leave the place was a madhouse. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/8/2021 at 2:44 PM, jogruffy said:

Same as everyone else on here - Thanks for taking the time to write about your trip. Really helpful to know what to expect when others take the same trip later. We are booked for the end of November and hopefully they have worked out the kinks by then. We were part of the group that got cancelled in Nov. 2019 when the Xpedition ran aground and then last year well you know what happened. So we hope to finally get to take this trip! Despite the issues at the beginning it sounds amazing. I would think that the lack of paper menus and schedules is mainly an environmental thing - less garbage. Glad you mentioned it. Now I will take my cell phone.

Hi, Jo..............are you booked for the November 28, 2021 sailing?   That's what we're on..........Rick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/2/2021 at 1:04 PM, DrKoob said:

No worries. Everyone was met no matter what time. You actually are picked up by the hotel van. It's a really nice van. Just get your bags after passport control and look around for either a guy with a Celebrity sign or EB Hotel sign. Our guy had both. Worst case scenario, call the EB Hotel. They are about 10 minutes away and can come get you really quick. They have someone at the desk overnight. 

 

In actuality, the airport is pretty busy then. They have a lot of redeye flights in and out. It is least busy in the middle of the day. When we got there around 12:30 pm it was a ghost town. When we went to the airport at 3:30 AM to leave the place was a madhouse. 

Called Celebrity Air desk. They confirmed that we will be met. Flying out tonight. Schedule is to arrive 12:30 am. Plane has been about 30 to 60 mins late. I’ll just be happy to get there. Having to adjust to the altitude I will be ready for bed. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Pilgrim70 said:

Called Celebrity Air desk. They confirmed that we will be met. Flying out tonight. Schedule is to arrive 12:30 am. Plane has been about 30 to 60 mins late. I’ll just be happy to get there. Having to adjust to the altitude I will be ready for bed. 

 

Outstanding! You are going to have the most amazing time. Give my best to Craig, Giovanni and Nathalia in the dining room. Everyone on that ship is amazing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for writing this blog.  I've learned so much about the Outer loop cruise.  We're doing back to back (Outer followed by Inner Loop) cruises in January.  I'm hoping that someone will post a thorough blog about the Inner Loop as well.  I loved seeing the itinerary for each of the islands.  I did have a couple of questions about toiletries.  What is provided on the ship?  I assume, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, but is there anything else?  Is sunscreen also provided?  I don't want to add weight to my luggage for things that are already provided.

 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, WeLuv2CTheWorld said:

Thank you so much for writing this blog.  I've learned so much about the Outer loop cruise.  We're doing back to back (Outer followed by Inner Loop) cruises in January.  I'm hoping that someone will post a thorough blog about the Inner Loop as well.  I loved seeing the itinerary for each of the islands.  I did have a couple of questions about toiletries.  What is provided on the ship?  I assume, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, but is there anything else?  Is sunscreen also provided?  I don't want to add weight to my luggage for things that are already provided.

 

Thanks!

 

You are right about all the toiletries. And yes, there was a big bottle of sunscreen. Used it every day and never ran out. You can leave yours home. 

 

If no one blogs out an inner loop voyage before you go, make sure and do it for us who are planning on going to do that eventually. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for this very informative blog.  Are the Park Entry fees and permits included in the cruise price?  If not, I'm assuming they can be paid by credit card or cash?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Suwannee said:

Thank you for this very informative blog.  Are the Park Entry fees and permits included in the cruise price?  If not, I'm assuming they can be paid by credit card or cash?

Yes, the Celebrity Flora cruise includes all park fees and all charges and tips for the guides.  My wife and I are doing the inner loop on 11/26/21.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: PONANT Cruises & Expeditions
      • Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Q&A with American Queen Voyages
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...