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


DrKoob
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21 hours 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?

 

Cubbivan is exactly correct. I will just add that once you arrive in Quito, pretty much every single thing is paid for. When we got home, I checked my credit card and the only thing that we spent money on in the 10 days we were in Ecuador was some postcards and a magnet we bought on Flora. That was it. Never done a trip like that where we spent so little when we go there. 

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9 hours ago, DrKoob said:

 

Cubbivan is exactly correct. I will just add that once you arrive in Quito, pretty much every single thing is paid for. When we got home, I checked my credit card and the only thing that we spent money on in the 10 days we were in Ecuador was some postcards and a magnet we bought on Flora. That was it. Never done a trip like that where we spent so little when we go there. 

We are now in our last day in Quito   We actually had an 11 day trip. Something to do with air changes. 
our last day here only includes breakfast but on our own for rest of the day. Breakfast tomorrow before leaving for airport. We have eaten so much on this trip we are going lite today. 
i might add that when dining off the ship that beer, wine, cocktails are not included. You are charged. No big deal IMHO. 

ON Flora all was covered. Great bar service just like everywhere on the ship. 

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12 hours ago, Pilgrim70 said:

We are now in our last day in Quito   We actually had an 11 day trip. Something to do with air changes. 
our last day here only includes breakfast but on our own for rest of the day. Breakfast tomorrow before leaving for airport. We have eaten so much on this trip we are going lite today. 
i might add that when dining off the ship that beer, wine, cocktails are not included. You are charged. No big deal IMHO. 

ON Flora all was covered. Great bar service just like everywhere on the ship. 

Do you know if the Xpedition is also sailing again, we are on the 11-18 trip, Marriott open? Thx

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48 minutes ago, miltonplane88 said:

Do you know if the Xpedition is also sailing again, we are on the 11-18 trip, Marriott open? Thx

 

48 minutes ago, miltonplane88 said:

Do you know if the Xpedition is also sailing again, we are on the 11-18 trip, Marriott open? Thx

Marriott is open. We’re staying there now. Saw the Xpedition sailing by when we were on the Flora last week. 

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5 minutes ago, Pilgrim70 said:

 

Marriott is open. We’re staying there now. Saw the Xpedition sailing by when we were on the Flora last week. 

I see you live in South Florida were you able to get the direct AA flight MIA-UIO or Jet Blue FLL-UIO flight? (we are in Jupiter)

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Just now, miltonplane88 said:

I see you live in South Florida were you able to get the direct AA flight MIA-UIO or Jet Blue FLL-UIO flight? (we are in Jupiter)

We flew AA nonstop to Quito. Left MIA about 45 min late. 10:00 pm. Arrived Quito about 1am Quito time. Reached the Marriot about 2:30 am. EXHAUSTED. 

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Dr. Koob's suggestions have been invaluable to our planning, anything you can add would be appreciated. If you are still in Quito can you see if the Train to the Volcanoes is back running, and their contact information.

Thank you!!!!

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Those of you who have or plan on arriving to Quito earlier than the Friday before the cruise I have a question for you.  Did you book the entire 10 day package and if so, did it include the transportation from the airport on arrival the day or more early?  I have friends that will be joining me on the inner loop in February (my husband and I are doing a back-to-back) and they are trying to decide if and how many days earlier to arrive to explore Quito and the environs.  What Celebrity includes might help in their decision.  Obviously additional hotel nights would not be covered but would the transfer from the airport be covered?   Thanks.

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Just now, jsiegel said:

Those of you who have or plan on arriving to Quito earlier than the Friday before the cruise I have a question for you.  Did you book the entire 10 day package and if so, did it include the transportation from the airport on arrival the day or more early?  

 

Speaking only from our experience (2012) --

 

10 days package. We opted to arrive a day early (Thursday, from Israel, via NY, Miami --> Quito).

 

X was adamant -- if we arrive a day early, we are not "eligible". Also JW Marriott were not too nice, wouldn't give us a special price for the night before, and then 268$ was too steep for us.

 

We booked another suite hotel (Lugano), which supplied a free ride. In the morning, we took another taxi to JW, a few dollars, and at least we were allowed to check in early.

 

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7 hours ago, jsiegel said:

Those of you who have or plan on arriving to Quito earlier than the Friday before the cruise I have a question for you.  Did you book the entire 10 day package and if so, did it include the transportation from the airport on arrival the day or more early?  I have friends that will be joining me on the inner loop in February (my husband and I are doing a back-to-back) and they are trying to decide if and how many days earlier to arrive to explore Quito and the environs.  What Celebrity includes might help in their decision.  Obviously additional hotel nights would not be covered but would the transfer from the airport be covered?   Thanks.

 

Wish I could answer this one but we were prevented due to COVID. I am kind of sorry that the Marriott is open again because the EB was awesome. If you come in early, that's where I would stay. Are they doing the  10 or 11 night again where you get a day in Quito? I am surprised if they are but great for you if that's what they are doing.

 

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16 hours ago, DrKoob said:

 

Wish I could answer this one but we were prevented due to COVID. I am kind of sorry that the Marriott is open again because the EB was awesome. If you come in early, that's where I would stay. Are they doing the  10 or 11 night again where you get a day in Quito? I am surprised if they are but great for you if that's what they are doing.

 

 

For future cruisers,  the JW Marriott was fantastic! 

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6 minutes ago, sippican said:

 

For future cruisers,  the JW Marriott was fantastic! 

Sippican- Did you guys finally get to go? I remember your posts from the Galapagos Problems forum (Xpedition issues), we are set for 11-18 on the Xpedition

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3 minutes ago, miltonplane88 said:

Sippican- Did you guys finally get to go? I remember your posts from the Galapagos Problems forum (Xpedition issues), we are set for 11-18 on the Xpedition

 

We are scheduled for the October 23rd sailing on Xpedition. (We previously sailed Xpedition in 2018.) Looking forward to it. 

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On 8/17/2021 at 10:43 AM, jsiegel said:

Those of you who have or plan on arriving to Quito earlier than the Friday before the cruise I have a question for you.  Did you book the entire 10 day package and if so, did it include the transportation from the airport on arrival the day or more early?  I have friends that will be joining me on the inner loop in February (my husband and I are doing a back-to-back) and they are trying to decide if and how many days earlier to arrive to explore Quito and the environs.  What Celebrity includes might help in their decision.  Obviously additional hotel nights would not be covered but would the transfer from the airport be covered?   Thanks.

We're signed up for the 11 day on 11/26/21 and flying into Quito one day early (on Thursday) Celebrity told me yes, they would pick us up at the airport on Thursday at our scheduled arrival time.  Our price for the JW Marriott that night is $193 total.  If they do the Saturday bus tour, they take us to the old city and the Intinan Museum...........Rick

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  • 2 weeks later...

Now that we are required to get our own pcr test before we leave the states, could someone tell me what time you were taken to the airport to board the plane to Balta? The test has to be within 72 hrs of arrival in Balta. 

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4 hours ago, shipster60 said:

Now that we are required to get our own pcr test before we leave the states, could someone tell me what time you were taken to the airport to board the plane to Balta? The test has to be within 72 hrs of arrival in Balta. 

 

You may consider getting a PCR test in Quito. It is not needed to enter Ecuador. just the Galapagos.

 

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Yes, that was the situation, but Celebrity has changed the requirements beginning September 1. They say you need to get your pcr test the day before you leave the states. They are no longer providing it at the hotel. It’s taking 48 to 72 hrs to get results here. I’d be afraid to chance waiting until Quito since we arrive late on the 24th and board the Flora on the 26th. I talked to them 3 times today, but the last person said it doesn’t have to be exactly 72hrs and I can get the test anytime on the 23rd. Fingers crossed the results get emailed by the 26th. 

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I would be devastated…this trip is way too expensive not to get better customer service.One more thought…if you are into social media. You might want to “tweet your displeasure”. I’m quite certain they monitor their Twitter feed.if you don’t have an account I’m sure you can find someone to do it for you.

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14 hours ago, shipster60 said:

Yes, that was the situation, but Celebrity has changed the requirements beginning September 1. They say you need to get your pcr test the day before you leave the states. They are no longer providing it at the hotel. It’s taking 48 to 72 hrs to get results here. I’d be afraid to chance waiting until Quito since we arrive late on the 24th and board the Flora on the 26th. I talked to them 3 times today, but the last person said it doesn’t have to be exactly 72hrs and I can get the test anytime on the 23rd. Fingers crossed the results get emailed by the 26th. 

We are leaving on Friday... less than 3 days. Celebrity dropped the ball on this for those of us sailing this week. Left us hanging at the last minute to get our own tests when they clearly assured us that ALL required testing would be included if we bought the package.

 

I've been scrambling to find a place in Miami for Thursday. I was successful and hope it goes well. The problem is yes, Celebrity ordered us to get it before we leave the States, but did not specify a time. When I called Celebrity on Sat., I was told to get it anytime Thurs., Fri. or even Sat. Someone else there told me 72 hours before embarkation. Really? So when exactly should we get it?

 

Well, since I now have to do Celebrity's job, I read specifically on the U.S. Embassy website that the test needs to be done 72 hours (Not 3 calendar days) before travel. Travel from the Quito airport? They won't tell me what time the flight departs. I have appts. scheduled for 3 PM on Thursday, but if we embark at 2:30 PM, Galapagos, that will be too early. 

 

I would think Celebrity wants to get customers back and treating people this way will surely get some negative comments. I know I"m done with them after this. My useless Celebrity travel planner won't even email or call me. I won't bother with contacting him again.

This is what he e-mailed me on Friday: 

"At Celebrity, we work to provide you unforgettable experience and as seamless as possible. As previously stated,  We are assisting our guests with the testing requirement for Galapagos. This includes changing from the Antigen test to this new requirement of the PCR test.  A formal communication will be coming shortly."

 

To me, this says that Celebrity would be taking care of us for any required testing as they assured us when we booked the package. But, the formal communication left us hanging to get this done ourselves. The responses from my phone calls and e-mails to the "executive" address on Sat. were all rude and firm in the fact that they are not doing anything.

 

On Friday, I emailed mt useless Celebrity travel planner and  as of today (Tues.), I have had no response from him (he is off on Sat. and Sun.). On Saturday, I spoke to 3 people from the Galapagos desk and one person at some service position (escalation dept.?) and I also sent an e-mail to the executive address. I won't try calling again and we'll hope for the best. Celebrity should be ashamed of themselves.

 

I'm not on twitter and I don't know anyone who is, but it's a good idea.

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My suggestion: E-mail Celebrity CEO Lisa Luthoff-Purlo at 

lLutoff-Perlo@celebritycruises.com 

 

Completely explain the problem. Tell her how things were changed at the last minute and go from there. My bet is you will hear from her executive assistant—we did when they told us at Celebrity Air to go book our own flights. 

 

BTW: Hope you get his quickly because CC sometimes pulls it off. 

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15 minutes ago, DrKoob said:

My suggestion: E-mail Celebrity CEO Lisa Luthoff-Purlo at 

lLutoff-Perlo@celebritycruises.com 

 

Completely explain the problem. Tell her how things were changed at the last minute and go from there. My bet is you will hear from her executive assistant—we did when they told us at Celebrity Air to go book our own flights. 

 

BTW: Hope you get his quickly because CC sometimes pulls it off. 

Thank you. Got it!

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