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Old 03-24-2011, 08:01 AM   #1
tammymacb
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Non ABD - Galapagos?- Update Booked!

I'm getting ready to book a 10 day Galapagos trip. But not with ABD. I'm narrowed down to either the Celebrity Xpedition or Lindblad. I'd really like to find some comparison or Lindblad trip reports ( Xpedition reports can be found on Cruise Critic ) Anyone know where to find these? Celebrity is cheaper, but I keep feeling like Lindblad is the way to go. Any info is appreciated.

Last edited by tammymacb; 03-31-2011 at 01:23 PM. Reason: update
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:23 AM   #2
czycropper
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I went with Lindblad/NatGeo last year at this time (March 26-April 4, 2010) and loved it! You are actually in the Galapagos for 8 days not 10 since they consider the first day your flight into Quito or Guayaquil and the 10th day your flight out of Ecuador. We had checked out ABD but didn't like that you're only in the Galapagos for such a short time and that was the reason for the trip to be in the Galapagos. Also, this is not a "vacation" but an expedition - you are on the go exploring the islands or snorkeling the whole time begining early in the morning with a break during the middle of the day because of the heat/sun and then back out mid-afternoon till early evening. Dinner was served at 7-7:30 pm. Oh, every night or afternoon, one of the naturalists had talks about the Galapagos

This was our schedule, sorry if it gets long

Friday, March 26th - Flight from JFK to Guayaquil - met about 8 other families on the plane that were with NatGeo/Lindblad
-spend the night at the Guayaquil Hilton

Saturday, March 27th - 8am flight to Baltra, Galapagos arrived at 10 am boarded the ship by 11:30 am, had lunch, the kids had a Young Explorer's meeting while the adults had a meet/greet, then had a safety drill, an hour rest then we were at North Seymour seeing the frigate birds & blue-footed ****ies in one of their mating sites.

Sunday, March 28th - we were on Espanola in the morning - FANTASTIC doesn't even begin to tell you how this was; in the afternoon we were at Gardner Bay for snorkeling or staying on the beach with the sea lions.

Monday, March 29th - Floreana - started at 6 am going to Post Office Bay, then Champion Islet for snorkeling or just riding around on the panga; afternoon at Punta Cormorant

Tuesday, March 30th - Isabela & Fernandina - we crossed the Equator overnight and then again later in the morning...I got up early to see Roca Redonda and saw whales; then we to Punta Vicente Roca for panga explorations and snorkeling; they had a ceremony for the kids with King Neptune (really cute); spend the afternoon at Punta Espinosa

Wednesday, March 31st -Santa Cruz and the Darwin Research Station & Park Headquarters, saw the galapagos which the islands were named after; had lunch at Hacienda Altair; afternoon went to see the tortoises in the wild and see Los Gemelos; that evening the Director of the Darwin Research came on Board and spoke to us about all they're doing as well as answer questions, we also had a Galapagos Folkloric Group come perform.

Thursday, April 1st - Cerro Dragon, Sombrero Chino, Bainbridge Islets & Guy Fawkes Islets - yep more snorkeling - this is the day that we had some very curious sea lions and sea turtles playing with us, one was swimming between my youngest DD and I-I thought that she was going to explode from happiness, oh, this is also the day that we swam with sharks

Friday, April 2nd - Bartolome & Santiago - started the day before breakfast going to the top of Bartolome, the naturalist we went with was also the naturalist that had been the escort for when they filmed "Master & Commander" so it was great to listen to him - he was also my DDs favorite so they just hung to his every word ; spent the rest of the morning at Bartolome Beach; afternoon we went to explore Puerto Egas in Santiago.

Saturday, April 3rd - our last morning there and then off to Guayaquil; that afternoon we did an excursion to see Guayaquil which was great; two of the naturalists actually came with us since they were going off to their break so they joined us and it was a great time. Some of the passengers went onto Quito but since my DD suffer from altitude sickness we didn't want to risk it.

Please remember that since they've been doing it for so long they are allowed to certain islands that others are not since the government changed the "rules" in the last year. It is my understand that an expedition company is to alternate certain islands from week to week - I have to ask DH about that since he spoke at length about the new rules with the Director of the Darwin Research Center in Galapagos (yep, the Director comes on Board with NatGeo/Lindblad when we're at Punto Ayora)

We went on the Endeavour - wonderful ship, cabins were very nice, the naturalists were fantastic, my DDs loved every minute of it.
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1972 - 1975 - Offsite; 1976 - Contemporary; 1977-1988 - Off site; 1992 - POR/Swan; 2004 - Poly Concierge; 2005 - off site; 2008 - 6/22-6/26 @CBR for dance with Disney Magical Music Days
2009 - 5/22-27 - quick trip to Discovery Cove & Busch Gardens
2011 - WWoHP

Non-Orlando trips
2006 - Colorado
2007 - Caribbean
2010 - Galapagos
2012 - Cedar Point/Holiday World/Hershey Park/Great Adventure/Dorney Park - aka "The Great Roller Coaster Vacation"
2013 - England & France
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:07 AM   #3
Bobo912
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Just got back from the Linblad/Nat Geo trip on the Endeavor this past Sunday night. I haven't had time to post yet (but I will) or download any of our photos from our cameras. It was a fantastic trip. We took the group flight from Miami which was included in the price of the trip. There were 70 members of our group on the flight, so we were able to get aquainted with several people before we left the Miami airport. Within the past few weeks the park service has instituted new guidelines so the intinerary has changed. Groups are only allowed to visit certain areas every other week, so Lindblad has alternating itineraries, visiting some sites one week and different sites the next. We visitied North Seymour, Rabida, Fernandina, Isabela (Punta Vincente Roca, Urbina Bay, and Tagus Cove), Santiago, Santa Cruz, and San Cristobal. We didn't go to Espanola or Floreana, but the group traveling this week will go to those islands and different areas of Isabela than we visited. They will not visit some of the islands we visited, but I'm not sure which ones. So if there are any specific areas you are especially interested in, make sure you choose a date when they are going there. The naturalists and ship crew were wonderful, the food was great, there were always several activities to choose from so, for instance, if you didn't want to snorkel, you could go for a ride the glassbottom boat, or kayak, or go for a Zodiac ride. Everything about the trip was just wonderful and I can't think of a single thing that is even slightly negative. I'll post some more info later on my Galapagos thread and a few photos maybe, but if you have any specific questions I would be glad to try to answer them.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:37 PM   #4
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Ann - can't wait to see your photos and hear how your son liked it. We're getting together with some of the NYC area people that were in our trip last year to eat and re-live the trip
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me 40ish, DD16, DD14, , & (DH-40ish)


1972 - 1975 - Offsite; 1976 - Contemporary; 1977-1988 - Off site; 1992 - POR/Swan; 2004 - Poly Concierge; 2005 - off site; 2008 - 6/22-6/26 @CBR for dance with Disney Magical Music Days
2009 - 5/22-27 - quick trip to Discovery Cove & Busch Gardens
2011 - WWoHP

Non-Orlando trips
2006 - Colorado
2007 - Caribbean
2010 - Galapagos
2012 - Cedar Point/Holiday World/Hershey Park/Great Adventure/Dorney Park - aka "The Great Roller Coaster Vacation"
2013 - England & France
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bobo912 View Post
Just got back from the Linblad/Nat Geo trip on the Endeavor this past Sunday night. I haven't had time to post yet (but I will) or download any of our photos from our cameras. It was a fantastic trip. We took the group flight from Miami which was included in the price of the trip. There were 70 members of our group on the flight, so we were able to get aquainted with several people before we left the Miami airport. Within the past few weeks the park service has instituted new guidelines so the intinerary has changed. Groups are only allowed to visit certain areas every other week, so Lindblad has alternating itineraries, visiting some sites one week and different sites the next. We visitied North Seymour, Rabida, Fernandina, Isabela (Punta Vincente Roca, Urbina Bay, and Tagus Cove), Santiago, Santa Cruz, and San Cristobal. We didn't go to Espanola or Floreana, but the group traveling this week will go to those islands and different areas of Isabela than we visited. They will not visit some of the islands we visited, but I'm not sure which ones. So if there are any specific areas you are especially interested in, make sure you choose a date when they are going there. The naturalists and ship crew were wonderful, the food was great, there were always several activities to choose from so, for instance, if you didn't want to snorkel, you could go for a ride the glassbottom boat, or kayak, or go for a Zodiac ride. Everything about the trip was just wonderful and I can't think of a single thing that is even slightly negative. I'll post some more info later on my Galapagos thread and a few photos maybe, but if you have any specific questions I would be glad to try to answer them.

Good to hear that you had a fantastic time. Did you experience any rough seas? Does the ship anchor somewhere overnight? Did you feel any motion when you slept? I suffer from motion sickness, so I'm wondering if this trip is something that I would enjoy...
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:47 PM   #6
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Welcome back, Bobo912! I can't wait to hear more about your trip. This journey is sounding really tempting!

Sayhello
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Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:26 PM   #7
BasilofBakerstreet
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We went on Celebrity Xpedition and loved it. We told friends about it and they loved it. They met and exceeded their high expectations since we had told them about our trip they were expecting a lot and were not disappointed.

There are a few days before in Quito with a tour that goes to a metal Virgin Mary on a hilltop and the chessy tourist attraction of standing on the equator. There is a monument with N S E W indicated and a orange line painted on the pavement. You also visit a market and we stayed at the JW Mariott which was a great hotel.

When we went a few years ago everything was included even alcohol on the ship. There were typically 2 tours a day one in the morning one in the afternoon to different islands with 3 different levels strenous, moderate, and low. Strenous was a hike or snorkeling, moderate was a boat ride and a shorter hike and low was a boat ride and stop at the beach lead by a nature guide. When you returned from the tour they were waiting for you with a glass of fruit juice and a hot towel.

We went to the island where there is a post office which was used in the whaling days and is still in use by the cruise lines. You address a post card and put it in the barrel. If you see a post card addressed near you take it and deliver it in person to the addressee. My postcard was delivered quicker than regular mail

There is a slide presentation at the end similar to ABD and you get a DVD with all the pictures taken by the Guides and a copy of the presentation.

After the cruise there is one more night at Quito.

I highly recommend the Xpedition. We had a great time!
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:35 PM   #8
Bobo912
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Good to hear that you had a fantastic time. Did you experience any rough seas? Does the ship anchor somewhere overnight? Did you feel any motion when you slept? I suffer from motion sickness, so I'm wondering if this trip is something that I would enjoy...
I would suggest wearing a patch or taking Dramamine. I think I would have been seasick without medication. We usually set sail in the evening and anchored during the day. There were a few times that we also changed location during the day. Sometimes the seas were calm, but other times it was windy and the seas were fairly rough. The ship was rocking a bit even when we were anchored. A couple of times I woke up during the night and all the drawers on the nightstand had come open and one night we left the bathroom door unlatched and it was swinging back and forth. It was not nearly as bad as last year when we were on the Wonder though.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:40 PM   #9
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DisFan10 - when we went we really didn't have any rough seas (late March into early April) but I think it depends on the time of year you go and also which ship you choice. The ship we were on is one of the largest. Most of the time our ship, NatGeo/Lindblad Endeavour, travelled at night and we never had a problem.

I can't believe that it's been a year since we went and I would go back in a NY minute but our next big trip is 3-weeks travelling to England, Scandinavia, Spain & Italy.
__________________
me 40ish, DD16, DD14, , & (DH-40ish)


1972 - 1975 - Offsite; 1976 - Contemporary; 1977-1988 - Off site; 1992 - POR/Swan; 2004 - Poly Concierge; 2005 - off site; 2008 - 6/22-6/26 @CBR for dance with Disney Magical Music Days
2009 - 5/22-27 - quick trip to Discovery Cove & Busch Gardens
2011 - WWoHP

Non-Orlando trips
2006 - Colorado
2007 - Caribbean
2010 - Galapagos
2012 - Cedar Point/Holiday World/Hershey Park/Great Adventure/Dorney Park - aka "The Great Roller Coaster Vacation"
2013 - England & France
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:58 PM   #10
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Welcome back, Bobo912! I can't wait to hear more about your trip. This journey is sounding really tempting!

Sayhello
Thanks! More info to come eventually. I have 2 USB cables for my Canon cameras and I can't find either one of them!
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:27 PM   #11
tammymacb
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Well, I'm booked. Not exactly what I'd originally planned, but what I could afford and will work for everyone's schedules...

I ended up going with Celebrity Xpedition. That was my biggest compromise. I really wanted to go with Lindblad, but I got 11 nights for about $3000 less. It will make the saving easier to stomach and I've also heard good things about Celebrity.

We're going in October now. My original plan was for June, but my heart was set on taking our first Grandson to WDW in June for his birthday. Just couldn't walk away from that. It was also going to be a PIA because my teen daughter would just be getting out of school. Second option was August - and quite frankly I was worried about the weather. So, late October it is! The weather should be wonderful and there should be lots of babies around.

It's a loooooong time to go but I imagine the planning is right around the corner.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tammymacb View Post
Well, I'm booked. Not exactly what I'd originally planned, but what I could afford and will work for everyone's schedules...

I ended up going with Celebrity Xpedition. That was my biggest compromise. I really wanted to go with Lindblad, but I got 11 nights for about $3000 less. It will make the saving easier to stomach and I've also heard good things about Celebrity.

We're going in October now. My original plan was for June, but my heart was set on taking our first Grandson to WDW in June for his birthday. Just couldn't walk away from that. It was also going to be a PIA because my teen daughter would just be getting out of school. Second option was August - and quite frankly I was worried about the weather. So, late October it is! The weather should be wonderful and there should be lots of babies around.

It's a loooooong time to go but I imagine the planning is right around the corner.
Congrats! I look forward to your report on what you think about Celebrity Xpedition!

Sayhello
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Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:19 PM   #13
brazilgirl
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I am booked on the Xpedition too- we will be going with our family on July 3rd (we will spend a week in Ecuador pre-cruise).

Can´t wait!Also planning a WDW vacation together with Caribbean cruise for January , so lots of fun preparing during the next months. The prep is almost as fun as the trip!

Kim
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