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Flora…vacation begins!


kent4489
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11 hours ago, NoWhiners said:

 

Thanks for your thoughts. I read on other posts it's only about a foot of water to walk up onto dry beach. Is the underwater floor very rocky or slippery? I am just trying to understand why a sturdier sole is an advantage for a beach landing, but I may not understand the underwater surface very well.

Easy beach landings, but the longs walks are sometimes rough. We didn’t want to change shoes on the beach so we needed the sturdier soles for the walks. Especially the last hike which was very rocky and a few steep spots. A lot of people did change shoes, so not a problem to just have water shoes or even flip flops, but then you have to change before the walk.

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11 hours ago, calsnoozie said:

Kent4489 - would you recommend bringing trekking poles?

 

-Sue From California

A couple of people brought their own. They do provide walking sticks. Personally, we have never used them and didn’t feel the need.

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8 hours ago, shipster60 said:

Now that I’m actually pulling things out to pack I have questions. What kind of hat is best for ladies?  I have a straw hat that stays put in the wind well and I also have a dry fit type ball cap like runners wear. Or do I need something else?

I brought 2 hats. One with a wide brim and chin strap. The other was a regular baseball cap. Either is ok. I alternated. Some of the excursions were VERY windy.

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7 hours ago, sanger727 said:

Couple other questions. I know u said you could have used the longer socks and rain jacket. Is there anything you brought that you didn’t need? Also, would a dry bag come in handy or is it not really necessary.

I pretty much used everything I brought. I didn’t wear my regular sneakers. I packed them to use in the gym…. That never happened! I did have a lot of extra underwear, but only because I sent laundry out 3 times. Oh, and I never wore my leggings or hoodie. Thought I might want them to go out on deck at night, but it wasn’t that cool. I wore the hoodie tonight in Quito. It was chilly when we got here.

I didn’t have a need for a dry bag.

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Sunday… pretty uneventful travel day. Of course, the morning was spent saying our goodbyes to the fantastic crew. We all agreed that we are spoiled for any future cruises. Not one complaint to be heard. 
So, we boarded tenders at around 11:15 to the dock where we were met for the transfer to Baltra airport. We and one other couple were randomly called for a security check of our luggage. We had to go outside the airport and the baggage handlers/security went through our checked bag. No problem.

Once we passed through passport check, we went to the VIP lounge. (It was a Priority Pass Lounge, but no complimentary alcoholic beverages.) They had some snacks and juices and alcohol could be purchased. It was a long wait, 3 or 4 hours, I think. There were lots of little shops too.

After landing in Quito, we were separated into groups. People leaving tonight or early tomorrow, were taken to the EB Hotel (I think 5 couples). The rest of us came to the JW Marriott and arrived around 6:30 this evening. Upon arrival, we were assigned our rooms and given the time for our Covid test. Our time was 7:00. Everyone was told to come back at 9:00 pm for results. In between, we were free to go to dinner. No specific time, but we all pretty much were there at the same time. They had a private room set up for us and it was nice with a pianist playing the entire time. 
Everyone tested negative, so that was good news, although expected.

Time to sleep….
 

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16 hours ago, kent4489 said:

Sunday… pretty uneventful travel day. Of course, the morning was spent saying our goodbyes to the fantastic crew. We all agreed that we are spoiled for any future cruises. Not one complaint to be heard. 
So, we boarded tenders at around 11:15 to the dock where we were met for the transfer to Baltra airport. We and one other couple were randomly called for a security check of our luggage. We had to go outside the airport and the baggage handlers/security went through our checked bag. No problem.

Once we passed through passport check, we went to the VIP lounge. (It was a Priority Pass Lounge, but no complimentary alcoholic beverages.) They had some snacks and juices and alcohol could be purchased. It was a long wait, 3 or 4 hours, I think. There were lots of little shops too.

After landing in Quito, we were separated into groups. People leaving tonight or early tomorrow, were taken to the EB Hotel (I think 5 couples). The rest of us came to the JW Marriott and arrived around 6:30 this evening. Upon arrival, we were assigned our rooms and given the time for our Covid test. Our time was 7:00. Everyone was told to come back at 9:00 pm for results. In between, we were free to go to dinner. No specific time, but we all pretty much were there at the same time. They had a private room set up for us and it was nice with a pianist playing the entire time. 
Everyone tested negative, so that was good news, although expected.

Time to sleep….
 

 

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Thank you for the wonderful updates of your travels. I am going in Nov. and leaving late at night on the day we returned. What is EB hotel?  Also which test did they give you? I need a PCR test to get back into Canada.

Thank

Frank

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16 hours ago, kent4489 said:

Sunday… pretty uneventful travel day. Of course, the morning was spent saying our goodbyes to the fantastic crew. We all agreed that we are spoiled for any future cruises. Not one complaint to be heard. 
So, we boarded tenders at around 11:15 to the dock where we were met for the transfer to Baltra airport. We and one other couple were randomly called for a security check of our luggage. We had to go outside the airport and the baggage handlers/security went through our checked bag. No problem.

Once we passed through passport check, we went to the VIP lounge. (It was a Priority Pass Lounge, but no complimentary alcoholic beverages.) They had some snacks and juices and alcohol could be purchased. It was a long wait, 3 or 4 hours, I think. There were lots of little shops too.

After landing in Quito, we were separated into groups. People leaving tonight or early tomorrow, were taken to the EB Hotel (I think 5 couples). The rest of us came to the JW Marriott and arrived around 6:30 this evening. Upon arrival, we were assigned our rooms and given the time for our Covid test. Our time was 7:00. Everyone was told to come back at 9:00 pm for results. In between, we were free to go to dinner. No specific time, but we all pretty much were there at the same time. They had a private room set up for us and it was nice with a pianist playing the entire time. 
Everyone tested negative, so that was good news, although expected.

Time to sleep….
 

Thank you for the wonderful updates of your travels. I am going in Nov. and leaving late at night on the day we returned. What is EB hotel?  Also which test did they give you? I need a PCR test to get back into Canada.

Thank

Frank

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21 minutes ago, californiagirl said:

Thank you for all the wonderful information.  I have a question about snorkel gear.  I have a very nice dive mask and dry snorkel.  I realize these items are provided but could I use my own?  I would use the ship’s fins.

I've never known any organization to refuse people to use their own gear, and it's even less likely that any would do so in the days of COVID. In my case, my dive/snorkel mask has prescription lenses and I've never had an issue. DW and I always cruise with our snorkel, mask fins and, as some organizations make wearing them mandatory, snorkel vest.

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6 hours ago, frankh1969 said:

Thank you for the wonderful updates of your travels. I am going in Nov. and leaving late at night on the day we returned. What is EB hotel?  Also which test did they give you? I need a PCR test to get back into Canada.

Thank

Frank

The EB Hotel is near the airport. I was not there, but we stayed in the EB Hotel in Miami the night before we flew to Quito. It was VERY nice. We only need the antigen, so I can only answer to that. We did have one couple from Canada, but they went to the EB Hotel yesterday, so I do not know what happened for them.

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5 hours ago, californiagirl said:

Thank you for all the wonderful information.  I have a question about snorkel gear.  I have a very nice dive mask and dry snorkel.  I realize these items are provided but could I use my own?  I would use the ship’s fins.

I’m sorry, we aren’t snorkelers, so I’m not positive. 

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Monday… the icing on the cake day! I can HIGHLY recommend our guide Vivian with Tours by Locals. 
She picked us u at 8:00 am sharp. (It is a customized private tour and she would have picked us up at 7, but too early for me)

I was very specific that I wanted to see hummingbirds, butterflies, orchids and a chocolate tour in Mindo Cloud Forest. Well, I can’t even have imagined that this day would be as spectacular as it was! If those things interest you and you have the opportunity, do it! We could have also added a hike near Mindo, but we were really tired, so Vivian did what we chose. Still filled the day and she dropped us at the hotel around 5:30 pm.

 

I forgot to mention that I had issues with the altitude again. Last night was really bad. I didn’t get much sleep and really concentrated on deep breathing all night. Mindo is much lower altitude, so today was ok. After we got back, we went to dinner in the hotel dining room. By the time we finished, I was having difficulty breathing. I ended up getting oxygen. Apparently, it is common enough that they had an oxygen machine and knew exactly what to do. I’m feeling much better, so hopefully will sleep ok tonight. Our pick up is at 10:30 in the morning. The airport is lower altitude and I didn’t have a problem there, so although this has been a fabulous trip, I am ready to go home now. 

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23 hours ago, kent4489 said:

Easy beach landings, but the longs walks are sometimes rough. We didn’t want to change shoes on the beach so we needed the sturdier soles for the walks. Especially the last hike which was very rocky and a few steep spots. A lot of people did change shoes, so not a problem to just have water shoes or even flip flops, but then you have to change before the walk.

Thanks so much for the informative and enjoyable report.  We are looking at this cruise for a year from now.  Can you estimate the length of the ‘long’ hike?  Are we talking 5+ miles or in the 2-3 mile range?  Is the difficult part the uneven and/or rocky terrain?  Or is extremely steep?

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1 hour ago, Harley57 said:

Thanks so much for the informative and enjoyable report.  We are looking at this cruise for a year from now.  Can you estimate the length of the ‘long’ hike?  Are we talking 5+ miles or in the 2-3 mile range?  Is the difficult part the uneven and/or rocky terrain?  Or is extremely steep?

I would say some were about 2 miles. (Not what I consider a long walk.) One of the walks had about 350 steps and was steep, but not really rugged. Another had 150 steps, that was the one listed as a fitness walk. The last hike was rugged with some climbing, but really not difficult. We are only lightweight hikers and did not find any of the walks too difficult for our ability.

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7 hours ago, californiagirl said:

Thank you Fouremco for your input about bringing my snorkeling equipment.  If it were anywhere but the Galápagos Islands I wouldn’t even ask.  I wondered because there are so many restrictions in the Galapagos.  

 

In 2018 we brought our own masks and snorkels, and plan to do so again next month.

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Tuesday night…. My last update. We are home!

 

Easy and uneventful travel day. Celebrity was there to pick us up for our transfer to Quito airport. 10:30 am pick up for 2:00 pm flight. We were the only ones going for this particular flight. They brought a small van. The Celebrity rep walked us in right to the ticket counter. Absolutely no line! We had our luggage checked and were through security in a matter of minutes. 
We had plenty of time in the Sala VIP lounge. (We have Priority Pass.) It was a nice lounge. Just a few minutes to our gate and we even departed a few minutes early.

 

Again, it was an amazing trip and the Celebrity service in Quito and the ship couldn’t be beat.

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8 minutes ago, kent4489 said:

Tuesday night…. My last update. We are home!

 

Easy and uneventful travel day. Celebrity was there to pick us up for our transfer to Quito airport. 10:30 am pick up for 2:00 pm flight. We were the only ones going for this particular flight. They brought a small van. The Celebrity rep walked us in right to the ticket counter. Absolutely no line! We had our luggage checked and were through security in a matter of minutes. 
We had plenty of time in the Sala VIP lounge. (We have Priority Pass.) It was a nice lounge. Just a few minutes to our gate and we even departed a few minutes early.

 

Again, it was an amazing trip and the Celebrity service in Quito and the ship couldn’t be beat.

Kent4489 - Welcome back home and thank you again for sharing your trip with us.

 

Much appreciated.

 

-Sue from California

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9 minutes ago, kent4489 said:

Tuesday night…. My last update. We are home!

 

Easy and uneventful travel day. Celebrity was there to pick us up for our transfer to Quito airport. 10:30 am pick up for 2:00 pm flight. We were the only ones going for this particular flight. They brought a small van. The Celebrity rep walked us in right to the ticket counter. Absolutely no line! We had our luggage checked and were through security in a matter of minutes. 
We had plenty of time in the Sala VIP lounge. (We have Priority Pass.) It was a nice lounge. Just a few minutes to our gate and we even departed a few minutes early.

 

Again, it was an amazing trip and the Celebrity service in Quito and the ship couldn’t be beat.

Thanks for the thread, and I'm glad you had a great trip.

 

Just out of curiosity (feel free to not answer) - before the trip, you said that you would never give Celebrity any more of your money.  Do you still feel that way, or would you sail them if there was a good reason to?

 

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1 hour ago, abbydancer said:

Thanks for the thread, and I'm glad you had a great trip.

 

Just out of curiosity (feel free to not answer) - before the trip, you said that you would never give Celebrity any more of your money.  Do you still feel that way, or would you sail them if there was a good reason to?

 

Good question. Probably not because we don’t sail big ships. Would I go on the Flora again? Yes, absolutely, but at our ages, we have other destinations we want to hit before considering  a repeat. I still stand by my opinion that the customer service before the cruise was terrible, but the actual cruise and package service were outstanding!

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16 hours ago, abbydancer said:

Thanks for the thread, and I'm glad you had a great trip.

 

Just out of curiosity (feel free to not answer) - before the trip, you said that you would never give Celebrity any more of your money.  Do you still feel that way, or would you sail them if there was a good reason to?

 

We are in the same boat. We are Elite Plus with X and other than Flora or to use up FCC we are done with Celebrity after 20+ cruises. They have turned into a total caste system. If you aren't in a suite, you may as well be in steerage. On the E-class ships there is no place to have a forward view off the ship unless you are in a suite. They have closed off everything at the front of the ship for those in a suite. And if I am going to pay the money they want for a suite, I will go to a cruise line that has other things we like better. 

We are moving to Viking Ocean. They have no one on board under 18, no casino, no smoking on the entire ship, no art auctions, no ship photographers, no upselling, all specialty are free to all, one free shore excursion in every port and a lot more. And I can get a verandah stateroom for the same as I can get a suite on X. 

Plus, when Celebrity went to everything included for all, they basically took all the benefits I used to have for being Elite Plus except the free laundry. Why bother having any loyalty to them. We do plan on sailing Celebrity again, but only Flora when we do the inner loop in 2024. 

 

Jim

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3 hours ago, DrKoob said:

We are in the same boat. We are Elite Plus with X and other than Flora or to use up FCC we are done with Celebrity after 20+ cruises. They have turned into a total caste system. If you aren't in a suite, you may as well be in steerage. On the E-class ships there is no place to have a forward view off the ship unless you are in a suite. They have closed off everything at the front of the ship for those in a suite. And if I am going to pay the money they want for a suite, I will go to a cruise line that has other things we like better. 

We are moving to Viking Ocean. They have no one on board under 18, no casino, no smoking on the entire ship, no art auctions, no ship photographers, no upselling, all specialty are free to all, one free shore excursion in every port and a lot more. And I can get a verandah stateroom for the same as I can get a suite on X. 

Plus, when Celebrity went to everything included for all, they basically took all the benefits I used to have for being Elite Plus except the free laundry. Why bother having any loyalty to them. We do plan on sailing Celebrity again, but only Flora when we do the inner loop in 2024. 

 

Jim

Good points. We are also looking at Viking Ocean. We already found 3 or 4 itineraries that look very interesting to us.

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4 hours ago, DrKoob said:

We are in the same boat. We are Elite Plus with X and other than Flora or to use up FCC we are done with Celebrity after 20+ cruises. They have turned into a total caste system. If you aren't in a suite, you may as well be in steerage. On the E-class ships there is no place to have a forward view off the ship unless you are in a suite. They have closed off everything at the front of the ship for those in a suite. And if I am going to pay the money they want for a suite, I will go to a cruise line that has other things we like better. 

We are moving to Viking Ocean. They have no one on board under 18, no casino, no smoking on the entire ship, no art auctions, no ship photographers, no upselling, all specialty are free to all, one free shore excursion in every port and a lot more. And I can get a verandah stateroom for the same as I can get a suite on X. 

Plus, when Celebrity went to everything included for all, they basically took all the benefits I used to have for being Elite Plus except the free laundry. Why bother having any loyalty to them. We do plan on sailing Celebrity again, but only Flora when we do the inner loop in 2024. 

 

Jim

Good points all and this from a person who as only been on 6 cruises.  Started looking into Oceania and while not totally all inclusive, still pretty darn close.  For late 2022 we got their second highest suite and we did it for a true forward facing suite 1200 SF with an amazing wrap around balcony.  Thousands less for the Celebrity Suite we canceled on Beyond.  We shall see but feel good about the decision.

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18 hours ago, LGW59 said:

Good points all and this from a person who as only been on 6 cruises.  Started looking into Oceania and while not totally all inclusive, still pretty darn close.  For late 2022 we got their second highest suite and we did it for a true forward facing suite 1200 SF with an amazing wrap around balcony.  Thousands less for the Celebrity Suite we canceled on Beyond.  We shall see but feel good about the decision.

 

Well if you look at my signature you can see we just finished our 30th cruise (not 6) and 20 of those with Celebrity. But I too believe you made the right decision moving to Oceania. You will be much happier than on an E-class ship. 

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