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Flora…vacation begins!


kent4489
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20 hours ago, kent4489 said:

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

 

Where are you thinking about going? Come join us on a Mediterranean cruise. 21 nights from Athens to Barcelona with not a single sea day. Three days in Venice, two in Florence, two in Barcelona, two in Athens and lots of other amazing small ports in the Adriatic. 

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On 9/12/2021 at 8:21 PM, kent4489 said:

I didn’t have a need for a dry bag.

Good point. I would not have needed one if I hadn't of had my Nikon with me. If you do have a big, expensive camera you should have one. My camera would have been ruined if I hadn't had it in a dry bag on a Zodiac one day when we caught a good size wave that flooded the bottom of the Zodiac and got a lot of people and their gear pretty wet.

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On 9/13/2021 at 1:34 PM, 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.

We had a lot of people on our July 4 cruise who brought their own. You will have no problems. 

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On 9/13/2021 at 12:53 PM, 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 where Celebrity was housing all guests on the first four cruises after they reopened in July. We stayed there and were VERY impressed. We had a huge suite. The restaurant is one of the best I have eaten in anywhere. Order any of the Ecuadorian dishes. They rock. We got a PCR test. 

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On 9/13/2021 at 8:02 PM, 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?

Keep in mind that the length is based on which cruise you take, the Inner (as Kent4489 did) or the outer like we did in July. I have an app called Map My Walk that tracks me via GPS. I made sure I had it turned on during all the walks. The longest was around 2.5 miles (I did all the long ones) but it took two-three hours. I can usually walk that in 45-50 minutes but with the rocky ground and stopping for naturalist discussions, that adds to the times. And it really (on some islands) not as much a walk as a HIKE! Really rocky or lava terrain. 

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On 9/14/2021 at 7:56 PM, 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.

You did GREAT on your report. We can't wait to go back and do this loop. Thanks so much and you have well paid me back for any assistance I gave you. 

 

Jim

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On 9/15/2021 at 3:51 PM, DrKoob said:

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

 

Were there any loyalty benefits on Flora? Seems like in the past some mentioned a massage. Was your laundry free? Did upper level categories get different rooms at the EB? In Quito, we were placed on the Executive Floor.

Did you feel you got good value for the price on Flora?

Have you considered the Machu Picchu extension? 

 

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Kent4489 and DrKoob - thanks for the helpful info on the hikes and good to know it could differ between itineraries.  Another question - do you sign up for the excursions prior to the cruise?  Or is it a matter of choosing which hike to take once you board?  I presume my husband and I can take different excursions if he prefers the long hike and I prefer the short hike?  Thanks again for the info.  

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24 minutes ago, Harley57 said:

Kent4489 and DrKoob - thanks for the helpful info on the hikes and good to know it could differ between itineraries.  Another question - do you sign up for the excursions prior to the cruise?  Or is it a matter of choosing which hike to take once you board?  I presume my husband and I can take different excursions if he prefers the long hike and I prefer the short hike?  Thanks again for the info.  

Hi. Each evening before dinner, there is a excursion briefing. You then sign up for the excursion you want. Yes, you can take different excursions.

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19 hours ago, DrKoob said:

I have an app called Map My Walk that tracks me via GPS. I made sure I had it turned on during all the walks. The longest was around 2.5 miles (I did all the long ones) but it took two-three hours. I can usually walk that in 45-50 minutes but with the rocky ground and stopping for naturalist discussions, that adds to the times. And it really (on some islands) not as much a walk as a HIKE! Really rocky or lava terrain. 

I have that app, too…..without thinking about it, I used it on a sea day when we were walking on the ship, trying to get our steps in. I checked at what I thought was our 3 mile mark, and much to my surprise, the app registered 19 miles! Then it dawned on me that the ships movement racked up the miles for me ☹️.

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On 9/16/2021 at 3:32 PM, DrKoob said:

Keep in mind that the length is based on which cruise you take, the Inner (as Kent4489 did) or the outer like we did in July. I have an app called Map My Walk that tracks me via GPS. I made sure I had it turned on during all the walks. The longest was around 2.5 miles (I did all the long ones) but it took two-three hours. I can usually walk that in 45-50 minutes but with the rocky ground and stopping for naturalist discussions, that adds to the times. And it really (on some islands) not as much a walk as a HIKE! Really rocky or lava terrain. 

Dr. Koob, you had it together more than I did… I totally forgot my walking app each day except one. Then I forgot about it until the ship sailed. Obviously, it was not accurate! Yes, walks around 2 miles and maybe about 2.5, but. With so many stops, we thought they were pretty easy.

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On 9/16/2021 at 3:28 PM, DrKoob said:

 

The EB Hotel is where Celebrity was housing all guests on the first four cruises after they reopened in July. We stayed there and were VERY impressed. We had a huge suite. The restaurant is one of the best I have eaten in anywhere. Order any of the Ecuadorian dishes. They rock. We got a PCR test. 

How long did it take to receive your PCR results? We have a flight that leaves at midnight  on disembarkation day. Thanks

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13 hours ago, frankh1969 said:

How long did it take to receive your PCR results? We have a flight that leaves at midnight  on disembarkation day. Thanks

There were people leaving the night of disembark. We were at JW Marriott, but I am sure they had the same set up for the passengers that went to the EB. (Although we only had an antigen, just insist that you are given the test that is required for your travel needs.) We had our tests at 7:00 pm and received printed test results within 2 hours. People going to EB arrived to hotel earlier so probably got tests earlier. Since we stayed 2 days, I think our tests were scheduled later than people leaving before us, but we all got results at 9:00 pm.

 

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5 hours ago, kent4489 said:

There were people leaving the night of disembark. We were at JW Marriott, but I am sure they had the same set up for the passengers that went to the EB. (Although we only had an antigen, just insist that you are given the test that is required for your travel needs.) We had our tests at 7:00 pm and received printed test results within 2 hours. People going to EB arrived to hotel earlier so probably got tests earlier. Since we stayed 2 days, I think our tests were scheduled later than people leaving before us, but we all got results at 9:00 pm.

 

Thank you! That is very helpful.

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We are flying down to Ecuador on Monday for our Galapagos cruise (not celebrity). We had plans to test this morning at a public testing site (free) and that was cancelled at the last minute. We ended up just driving down to the airport and getting a rapid pcr test there. Cost was $200, but we were so excited to get our negative results! Our trip is on!

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13 hours ago, sanger727 said:

We are flying down to Ecuador on Monday for our Galapagos cruise (not celebrity). We had plans to test this morning at a public testing site (free) and that was cancelled at the last minute. We ended up just driving down to the airport and getting a rapid pcr test there. Cost was $200, but we were so excited to get our negative results! Our trip is on!

 

We are using the airport testing site for our trip to Canada on Tuesday. (Not a cruise, but Canada requires the PCR as well.)  We were afraid that the turn around time for the local free PCR testing would not fall within the 72 hour requirement.  Fingers crossed that it goes as well for us.

 

We are relieved that Celebrity offers the testing both ways for our Galapagos trip. 

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7 hours ago, sippican said:

 

We are using the airport testing site for our trip to Canada on Tuesday. (Not a cruise, but Canada requires the PCR as well.)  We were afraid that the turn around time for the local free PCR testing would not fall within the 72 hour requirement.  Fingers crossed that it goes as well for us.

 

We are relieved that Celebrity offers the testing both ways for our Galapagos trip. 


A month before the trip, getting the free test that takes 24-72 hours sounded fine. But as the trip approached we just started to get really concerned about an asymptomatic case or false positive. We literally just drove to the airport 2 days ahead to get the rapid test and go home (airport was the ONLY place locally that did rapid pcr). We just couldn’t imagined packing our bags and boarding a plane without having our negative test in hand.

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16 hours ago, sanger727 said:


A month before the trip, getting the free test that takes 24-72 hours sounded fine. But as the trip approached we just started to get really concerned about an asymptomatic case or false positive. We literally just drove to the airport 2 days ahead to get the rapid test and go home (airport was the ONLY place locally that did rapid pcr). We just couldn’t imagined packing our bags and boarding a plane without having our negative test in hand.

 

We will make an appointment at the airport for the rapid PCR the night before our departure to Quito (we are staying at an airport hotel, as is our routine before travel).  I'll sleep much better with the test in hand!

 

We also purchased the Abbott Binax Now monitored test kit (NOT a PCR test) for return to the US from Canada next week (and as a back-up to return from Quito). 

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On 9/16/2021 at 4:25 PM, sippican said:

 

Were there any loyalty benefits on Flora? Seems like in the past some mentioned a massage. Was your laundry free? Did upper level categories get different rooms at the EB? In Quito, we were placed on the Executive Floor.

Did you feel you got good value for the price on Flora?

Have you considered the Machu Picchu extension? 

 

We had free message as Elites. Two free laundries which was for everyone 

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We are just beginning our journey. Even though it’s my understanding that you still only need vaccine cards to enter Ecuador, when we checked in at the airport, the agent looked up requirements and said he needed to see our negative Covid test. For our own peace of mind we paid to get a rapid pcr test yesterday, so we had it. He didn’t even look at our vaccine cards. I never did call Celebrity to find out if we were included in the 72 hr test required starting September 13 because I knew we were getting one anyway. 

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9 hours ago, shipster60 said:

We are just beginning our journey. Even though it’s my understanding that you still only need vaccine cards to enter Ecuador, when we checked in at the airport, the agent looked up requirements and said he needed to see our negative Covid test. For our own peace of mind we paid to get a rapid pcr test yesterday, so we had it. He didn’t even look at our vaccine cards. I never did call Celebrity to find out if we were included in the 72 hr test required starting September 13 because I knew we were getting one anyway. 

Enjoy your adventure. I’m not sure, but I do think the requirements changed once again. From what I read, NOW, you only need the negative PCR, not a vaccine. I could be. Totally wrong. Too many changes and I’m already checking requirements for our next trip. Anyway, I’m really glad you posted as I would love to hear about your trip. Have a wonderful time!

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3 hours ago, Kimboriffic said:

I have a question for Kent4489 or anyone. Did you buy your travel insurance through Celebrity? I am thinking of using another company..

We did buy it through Celebrity. Since we booked last minute, I didn’t have time to research other options. However, we probably had coverage through our credit card as pointed out by Dr. Koob. 

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We have booked the Inner Loop on the Flora for next May.  Wife has been reading a lot and says she read that the Outer Loop is better to see animals and the inner loop has more plants.  Wondering if this opinion has any merit?  Also, wife has Celiac Disease and has to eat Gluten Free.  We saw a menu that had some Gluten Free options, but wondering if anyone else can comment on those options? 

 

Thanks for all the amazing tips!

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