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7 Night South America Cruise from Galapagos

7 Night South America Cruise from Galapagos

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Celebrity Flora
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Galapagos
  • Day 1
    Galapagos Islands
  • Day 2
    Galapagos
  • Day 2
    Galapagos
  • Day 3
    Galapagos
  • Day 3
    Galapagos
  • Day 4
    Galapagos
  • Day 4
    Isla Bartolome
  • Day 5
    Las Bachas
  • Day 5
    Galapagos
  • Day 6
    Peurto Baquerizo (San Cristobal)
  • Day 6
    Punta Pitt
  • Day 7
    Galapagos
  • Day 8
    Galapagos

Celebrity Flora

Celebrity Flora - Celebrity Cruises

Pros

All-suite, roomy and luxe interiors with wonderful marina and friendly service.

Cons

Can see into showers from bedroom area of suites.

Bottom Line

An exceedingly comfortable and modern ship is the perfect home base for a Galapagos adventure.


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: August 2019
Pros- The Naturalist are great and that is a main reason for going to the Galápagos. They are informative and dedicated to the area. The ship is new and beautiful. The staff is all Ecuadorian and try very hard. Cabin- See below ... Read More
Pros- The Naturalist are great and that is a main reason for going to the Galápagos. They are informative and dedicated to the area. The ship is new and beautiful. The staff is all Ecuadorian and try very hard. Cabin- See below Food- Good not great. Daily Ceviche is very good. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style. Drinks- Limited top shelf selection of alcoholic beverages. Cons- Restaurants and bars are understaffed. There are no snacks in the bars other than chips and nuts. There is a baby grand piano that should be used by a musician, there is zero entertainment. Room service is very sketchy, takes a long time and once never came. In conclusion I would definitely recommend this cruise and the ship. Celebrity does an excellent job of picking you up no matter what time you land and they transfer you when yo u leave. The land excursions were good and so were the included meals at a restaurant and in the hotel in Quito. We had an issue with what smelled and probably was carbon monoxide in the halls the last 2 nights at the JW Marriott, we insisted on being transferred to a sister Sheraton. The hotel did not want to admit there was a problem. We asked for an accommodation for the cheaper hotel and smaller rooms. The agent was supposed to take care of this and we never found her again before departing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
The Galapagos cruise aboard the Flora is Celebrity's attempt to break into the all-inclusive luxury market. As of the August 4th sailing, Celebrity is failing in epic fashion. The Flora is an incredible ship to be sure. However, ... Read More
The Galapagos cruise aboard the Flora is Celebrity's attempt to break into the all-inclusive luxury market. As of the August 4th sailing, Celebrity is failing in epic fashion. The Flora is an incredible ship to be sure. However, the service aboard the Flora is well below the service I have received as a suite class passenger on other Celebrity ships, and it is far below the service one expects from a luxury vacation. For the price, you can find far better service aboard an actual luxury vessel. And if you're willing to accept the poor service you'll receive onboard the Flora, you can take a much cheaper vacation. I have a lot to say about this "once-in-a-lifetime" trip, so I'll try to be concise: Booking: Proof that Celebrity is not ready to enter this market is the fact that the Flora is treated as an afterthought or an entirely different ship while booking. For example, the Guest Ticket Booklet (which you are expected to print off yourself because Celebrity can't be bothered to mail you a copy of this 42 page document) doesn't even list the Flora among Celebrity's ships. I had to wait for 45 minutes on a phone call to Celebrity to find out what number family members should call in case of emergency because the Guest Ticket Booklet didn't even list the Flora. This is just one of many examples of Celebrity and its Galapagos desk not being ready to debut this ship. Arrival: Arrival in Quito was one of the few good examples of Celebrity service. Someone met us right outside customs and took us to the JW Marriott where we had the King size room we had requested. (We are currently on the land extension of our trip and none of our rooms have been booked correctly and Celebrity has yet to address the issue.) Quito: Our one day in Quito was filling with amazing food and adventure. Celebrity has a really good group of people running the ground operations here and it was probably one of the top three parts of this trip. We always had bottled water, access to restrooms, and were given an lovely introduction to and education about Quito. Galapagos arrival: We flew on a chartered flight from Quito to Baltra and were served a nice breakfast on the plane. We had to wait in a lengthy customs line, but I don't think Celebrity could have done anything about that. However, they could have provided us WiFi access while waiting, in addition to bottled water because it was quite hot. Celebrity's "VIP lounge" is a terribly small room with a soda fountain. This was the beginning of the realization that there was nothing luxury about this trip. Ship check in: You would think that on a luxury cruise of only 98 passengers, the crew would know everyone's names. However, the crew never even learned our names (or standing drink orders) by the end of the trip. We were not offered any kind of unpacking service. Key cards didn't work for half of the ship upon arrival and we had to trouble the attendants to gain access to our own rooms. (For the inconvenience, which lasted nearly half a day, we were provided a chocolate bar.) Ship and rooms: Outstanding. The Flora is a beautiful ship, meticulously appointed and breathtaking. We went with the standard balcony and weren't disappointed. The beds were comfortable; the rain shower was awesome, as was the constant ocean view; and we always had hot water. The dining room and Discovery Lounge are beautiful and it never felt like there wasn't enough room for the 98 passengers onboard. I could say more, but a ship like this is only worth it if the quality of the food and service matches the quality of the ship itself, and it does not. No ship is nice enough to justify a poor service experience. Food Service: The food is mediocre. Not terrible, but certainly not great. There's one wonky toaster, the eggs are always cold at breakfast, and some of the desserts were the most stale and bland items I've ever eaten. For being in a country that prides itself on its chocolate (and for being on a ship that only uses local foods), we had surprisingly few chocolate desserts. More importantly, food is not always available! There is a gap between breakfast and the beginning of room service where you can't find anything to eat unless you manage to catch a bartender and ask him for chips or peanuts. If you appreciate that one of the hallmarks of cruising is the free-flowing food and drink, don't book this trip! It's quite easy for Celebrity to call this an "all-inclusive" experience when very little is actually available. For the better part of our cruise, there was only one working soda machine on the ship. And no one ever took my drink order in under five minutes, so getting a Diet Coke was a 15 minute experience. After a particularly long hunt for a bartender one day, we took to fixing our own drinks. None of this may not seem like too much of a problem to you now, but when you realize that you have to start every single day early to make the excursions, you'll wish you could get into and out of the dining room in a reasonable amount of time. Instead, we found ourselves having to wake up an additional half hour earlier (WARNING: You will NOT sleep in on this vacation unless you want to miss an excursion. So don't think of it as a vacation--think of it as an adventure.) to compensate for the slow food and beverage service. Laundry: Celebrity provides laundry twice, but only for four days of a seven night cruise. Thursday is the last day for laundry even though you don't leave the ship until Sunday. For folks like us that had a land extension, this was particularly inconvenient, and Celebrity doesn't offer laundry once on the land extension. Otherwise, the laundry service was great. Excursions: Once you understand how the Galapagos works, you'll realize that Celebrity has very little input on this part of the cruise, so it seems unfair to comment. However, I'll note for anyone considering a Galapagos cruise that you should realize how little freedom you have to explore the Galapagos. You'll always be accompanied by a naturalist. You'll never be able to stray off on your own. You won't be able to interact with wildlife (outside of blowing bubbles at sea lions while snorkeling). Ships have to go to particular places at set times so that there are never too many people in one place. It's the most heavily regulated "adventure" you'll ever take. The fact that excursions are so rigid--and the fact that the first ones of the day are so early--are what make it SO important that your time aboard the ship be particularly enjoyable. That's where Celebrity is falling short here. There's really nothing to do on board the ship between excursions--you can't even eat. Sure, you can order some incredibly mediocre room service. But what you'd really like to do is go up top to the Ocean Bar and sit outside with a drink and a snack. But the crew is unable to handle that, so you have to wait until lunch. It also doesn't help that no matter how many times your husband orders coffee and you order Diet Coke, no one will remember. You can't even get WATER in a timely fashion. I took to sneaking behind the crew section in the dining room to get my own. I'll admit that my review is somewhat biased by the fact that we are still on our "vacation" with Celebrity doing a land extension. This portion of the trip has been equally marred by incompetence and indifference on Celebrity's part. Today they left me on hold for 30 minutes only to tell me to call back tomorrow because the person who could help me had gone home. Keep in mind that they know I'm in a foreign country on a vacation WITH CELEBRITY. I'll update my review later when my rage subsides to see if I want to up the ratings at all. But I don't think that'll be the case... Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We all have our priorities. Before you take this Flora adventure – your experience for a life time, make a decision, which is more important to you: working internet or flushing toilets, because you may not get both at the same time. ... Read More
We all have our priorities. Before you take this Flora adventure – your experience for a life time, make a decision, which is more important to you: working internet or flushing toilets, because you may not get both at the same time. Am I joking? Yes – just a little, but I got your attention, right? Gorgeous new boat aside, we felt like we were on a “shake-down cruise” because we were the forth group (of 100) to sail the Flora. In a smart move by the Ecuadorian government, they contracted with Celebrity to have a large percentage of Ecuadorian citizens working the Flora. But, in a rush to get the Flora in service, the lack of training and preparation for these employees was evident. The Flora experience/service is nowhere the same as with all other Celebrity ships. Points: • Check-in/Embarkation. The two women who “run” the Quito operations (Paula and Liz) are remarkable. They speak clear English and know what they are doing. Can you imagine working with 100 weary-anxious passengers every weekend? At all hours of the day/night? They do it all. Our only “glitch” was plastic bags. In packing, I use clean plastic bags from a supermarket’s produce section to keep our shoes separate from everything else. You CAN NOT have any flimsy plastic in your luggage. I didn’t know this. I had to use the ice bucket liners (thank you Marriott housekeeping) and Marriott laundry bags to change out all our shoes and repack. You can only use “Zip-lock” type bags or bags of sturdy plastic thickness. • In an effort to cut out any and all environmental waste, the ship produces very little paper for informational purposes. No daily updates; only one for the entire week (and on the on-board TV station). We found out things from talking to our cruise-mates. (What? There’s an ice machine on your deck? To find out how to work all the buttons in your cabin, you just play with them until you get it right. Your cabin steward (as with other Celebrity ships) most likely will not speak enough English to show you how things work.) • Brush up on your Spanish or be prepared to use “Google” to translate. See note above about how things work in your cabin or ask questions in Spanish. • This is a SMALL ship. Got that? Do NOT ask for a wine list because there is none. I was told that the one person working the bar service had to make a physical list of what was on board—by hand. (Unfortunately for me, I only like non-dry wines. The Hotel Director suggested a Rose and I was happy from that point on.) • The Dining. The food was very good and prepared/platted beautifully. Service, however, was noticeably lacking. Again, small ship, small number of experienced staff. This problem was very prevalent in both dining areas. You may be used to wait staff working in teams; waiter to take order and ensure it come to you as you requested. The second half of the team is a “bus” person who ensures water glasses are filled, used plates are removed, utensils are replenished, and table is ready for next course. Not so on the Flora. In both the Restaurant and the Ocean Grill & Bar there was usually only TWO people working the tables. If you chose a table that was cleared from previous buffet user, you get to pick up clean settings from another table not yet used. If you want your glass of water refilled, you need to get up and ask for it. Once food comes to the table, you will not see that person again, until you are ready for dessert. o Dining—Breakfast. Buffett in the Restaurant. Which makes a lot of sense for that many people. However, we noticed that no matter what time you get there, they run out of foods (e.g. no more bacon?) One brilliant note: the dispensers for the two juices have long spoons for you to stir the concentrate before you dispense your juice. The DIY toaster does not toast. It warms the bread. o Dining—Restaurant. Always lovely. Food always great. Service… well, on the first night, I saw the hotel director actually bringing food plates out to the waiters’ station—they are that short on dining staff. o Dining—the Ocean Grill & Bar. Open for lunch on Deck 7 and sometimes special dinners. You will LOVE having your meal in the sun/shade, enjoying the views of the water and islands. You may even love watching the frigate birds, gliding expanded, full-winged over the Deck 7. Just incredible. Warning: one day a table of four next to us screamed, jumped up and ran to another table. I asked why. I was informed that one of those large birds pooped and it all came down on them, one iPhone and the table. So, if you’re enjoying the view and the birds, do it with your mouth closed! Also, one day the Ocean Grill & Bar had an invasion of wasps. I think the staff sprayed for them. Like I said, only 2 waiters and they didn’t clean up from the dead and dying wasps. Kind of kills the appetite. (We did not have an infinite veranda, but I was wondering of how many staying in IV Cabins left their windows wide open and received flying visitors.) The 2 waiters are very nice and accommodating, but with limited language skills, you may or may not, get what you ordered; so be prepared to send your meal back until it comes correctly. o If you heard there will be lobster, “forgetaboutit.” No such venue on the menu. • Packing. We read in many, many places that we are allowed 44 pounds per large suit case. We left so many items home (or chose light weight items) to cut the baggage weight. Did you know that at the Equator, everything weights less? Oh, how I wish I knew that! See point above on plastic bags. • Activities. The Ship’s Activity Director was a gal named Martha (she was fantastic!). Every night at 7:15, you are asked to join her and her fellow Naturalists in the Discovery Lounge to get a really good review of tomorrow’s excursions. There are morning and afternoon excursions; two to three different type each (long and short walks). You have to make a decision after that presentation and sign up for your plan. Martha was very clear about how rough the excursion can be if you are going over boulders and uneven lava terrain in order to get to the “trail” for each walk. o Most morning excursions start about 8am. (Therefore, if you like to sleep in, this is not the ship for you!) o We were look forward to snorkeling. We even bought full-face snorkel masks with vision correction! But we did NOT do any snorkel. The snorkel event was too confusing as you need to wear your swim suits under your walking clothes (as most of the snorkel happens after a walk), then don your wetsuit (everyone gets a wet suit, masks, fins, etc.). Snorkel is off a beach or off a tender for deep water snorkel and swimmers must be very good. No changing rooms on these Islands—you are in the wild, remember! o The activities are so packed into the day, that you will never be bored, and you may come home needing a vacation. We had to skip the last day’s last excursion because we needed to pack! • The Naturalists. We are so delighted with all the Naturalist that have made this trip of a life time a real experience like no other! We have all been very impressed with the many, many talents of each and every one, from Martha to the tender “captains.” • The Laundry. So happy that this in included. We used them daily (what a very nice gift to me to come home with clean clothes!). Unfortunately, they do not use the same tried and tested laundry systems used on all large cruise lines. o My note to Hotel Director: “Your laundry system is a disaster. We lost clothes on our first try. We were told by Guest Relations that our cabin steward was responsible for ensuring every piece should go back to the guest. That’s not a good system. Guest Relations should not have been quick to place blame on another staff member. Her response should have been, ‘Allow me to get all the information down and research this problem immediately and get back with you right away.’ If you ever worked/traveled on any other Celebrity ship, you would experience that all pieces of laundry are stamped with the stateroom number and tracked with the laundry ticket number. Your system needs to be changed to meet that Celebrity system standard.” • What to wear? Boy, did I miss on this point! I figured: “July, at the Equator… it’s going to be hot.” I was cold all the time. Should have taken my transformable pants (to make into shorts). Thankful we had windbreaker/rain jackets because the rides on the tenders are cool and get you wet! However, only you can be the judge of your climate comfort. Read Less
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