A Travellerspoint blog

Day 14 – March 25: Galapagos #5 –Bartolome/N Seymour Islands

BARTOLOME:

Bartolome Island has two volcanic humps with a sand spit in the middle. It has a boardwalk path that goes to the top of the volcanic cone. Not much wildlife – I saw 1 sea lion, 1 crab, and 1 lava lizard – but it has great geology with all the different lavas. It also has a great view from the top.

After the hike, we took a panga to the sand spit for beach time and snorkeling. Very close to the beach were 4 black tip reef sharks! They were only about 2-3 feet long and didn’t pay any attention at all to the swirling snorkelers.

A couple of people did the “deep water” snorkel, which started around the corner of the island and came around into the swimming bay. There were many sea lions playing with the snorkelers there.

The other highlight of the morning was that we saw 2 baby sea turtles (and I mean babies) coming out of their nest and make their way to the ocean. Our guide discovered them because of the flock of frigate birds that suddenly appeared.

Everyone was very excited and really wanted them to make it, even though we aren’t supposed to “interfere with nature”. Well, the group hovered over the tiny sea turtle as it worked its way to water. When the waves came in and carried it off, the group cheered! Then a frigate bird swooped down and ate it. Just like that.

To make matters worse, a second baby sea turtle came out and made the same journey with a hovering group of tourists, only to suffer the same fate.

ANIMALS:
• Black tipped reef shark
• King angelfish
• Barberfish
• Rainbow runner
• Damsel fish
• Sea lions

NORTH SEYMOUR:

Once we were all back on board, the boat drove around to North Seymour Island, which took about 3 hours.

The afternoon excursion started with snorkeling off the panga. This was very exciting because we got to swim with sea lions, which I really wanted to do in the Galapagos. There were also sharks, rays, and lots of fish. The sun was out, so we got some great photos and also a great sunburn.

We went on a hike this afternoon, which was our one chance at seeing land iguanas. The hike was so hot, I am not sure it was worth the land iguanas, but I guess I’m glad I went. There were also a lot of frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, and babies of both. All of the kids chose to stay behind, which I think was a great idea as they would have been hot and bored.

EVENING:

Everyone gathered in the lounge area, and we watched a movie on the nice TV while the kids played games.

CLOTHING:

Since we were going snorkeling right after hiking in the morning, we all wore our swimsuits under shorts and short-sleeved shirts with sandals and hats. No wetsuits, but a reef shirt or skin would have been nice just for sun protection.

For the afternoon, it was a snorkel from the boat, so just swimsuits (no other clothes or shoes necessary).

For the hike, it was brutal hot, so we all wore shorts and short-sleeved shirts with walking shoes and hats (dry landing and hot). Some people wore lightweight long-sleeved shirts, which I thought was a good idea for the powerful sun.

FOOD:

Breakfast was French toast, sausage, bacon, toast, cereal, fruit, yogurt, kiwi juice, and coffee/tea.

After the morning excursion, we had blackberry juice and fried shrimp – both excellent!!

For lunch, we had tortillas with taco meat, calamari, eggplant parmesan, beans, carrot salad, shredded cheese, guacamole, and fresh fruit.

After the afternoon excursion, we had guava juice, cheese empanadas, and vegetable empanadas.

The kids had hamburgers for dinner. The adults had a choice of shrimp curry or pork, which came with potatoes and vegetables plus a starter of salad. Dessert tonight was my favorite of the cruise – apple strudel with strawberry ice cream.

Posted by bolderwork 11:06 Archived in Ecuador Tagged cruises Comments (0)

Day 13 – March 24: Galapagos #4 – James Island, Chinese Hat

James Island, Chinese Hat, Egas Port, Bainbridge

JAMES ISLAND:

We did a “wet” landing to a black sand beach on James Island. There is a dilapidated building that used to belong to the salt operation, but otherwise the island is deserted.

All of our beach things were left high on the beach, and then we hiked up on top of the island. It was partly on sand and partly on lava. The temperature was pleasant at first, but it got hot quickly.

Most of the animals were the same as before with the exception of the fur sea lion, and lots of big spiders in the trees. We also saw “Darwin’s Toilet” where the water “flushes” through the lava tubes into a circular pool.

When we got back to the beach, we could hear the crew members from the 3 boats playing soccer on the one flat area on the island near the salt building. It sounded exciting!

We all went snorkeling off the beach. It felt good after the hot hike. The highlights of the snorkel were the sting rays. The reef was pretty shallow and the sun was out, so everything looked colorful under the water.

Animals:
• Lava Heron
• Marine Iguana
• Flightless Cormorant
• Sally Lightfoot Crabs
• Ruddy Turnstone (migratory)
• Oyster Catcher (migratory)
• Galapagos Mockingbird
• Fur Sea Lion
• Plever
• Lava Lizards (gray)
• Black Anis birds (introduced)

CHINESE HAT/EGAS PORT:

Chinese Hat is an island next to James Island that looks only slightly like a pointy Chinese hat.

In the afternoon, we went snorkeling in the channel between James Island and Chinese Hat. Most of us wore wetsuits, but we didn’t really need them, and it was hard to swim underwater with them on.

On these snorkels, the panga follows closely, so if anyone wants to get out or take a rest, they can get in the boat, and then jump back in the water if they want.

Animals:
• White tipped reef shark
• Galapagos reef shark
• Penguins
• Marine iguanas swimming underwater
• Sea cucumber
• Sea stars
• Diamond sting ray

BAINBRIDGE:

Bainbridge Island is another collapsed volcano, but this one forms a donut filled with brackish water. On one side, the wall is low enough that you can see inside. And inside are flamingos! Our boat drove amazingly close to wall of the island, and on the far side were a whopping 9 flamingos. They were pretty small that far away, but the color was brilliant pink, so they were easy to see.

EVENING:

The boat continued to drive to our next stop, Bartolome Island. The harbor at Bartolome was quite busy with 6 boats spending the night there. It was nice to not be moving during the night – there was less noise and less rocking.

Tonight was a special surprise! One of the young girls had her 10th birthday! The dining room and lounge area were decorated with balloons and streamers. The birthday girl got to steer the boat in the bridge. After dinner, the entire crew came out with a birthday cake with candles, singing happy birthday. Then they sang a number of other Ecuadorian songs accompanied by guitar. One song was for dancing, so everyone got up to dance, including the limbo. The captain of the ship danced with the birthday girl. It was quite the party!

CLOTHING:

Everyone wore shorts and short-sleeved shirts over their swimsuits. Some people wore sandals for the hike, and some wore shoes, but it was a wet landing, so the shoes had to be carried to be kept dry. Some people had troubles keeping the sand out of their shoes.

No wetsuits were needed for snorkeling.

FOOD:

Breakfast was a buffet of pancakes, sausage, bacon, toast, cereal, fruit, sandwich meat, cheese, and yogurt.

After our morning excursion, we had pear juice and crackers with caramel and powdered sugar.

Lunch started with a bean ceviche soup, and then there was a buffet of avocado/lettuce/bean sprout salad, mashed potato balls with sauce, rice, fried plantains with cheese, chicken with sauce, pork with sauce, and mixed fruit salad. The meat was a little dry, but everything else was quite tasty.

After our afternoon excursion, we had juice and something that resembled undercooked biscuits (tasty though).

For the kids’ dinner, they had chicken nuggets and fried potatoes.

The adult dinner was a buffet of albacore tuna with sauce, fettuccini in a light tomato sauce, asparagus, salad, zucchini, and rice. Dessert was birthday cake!

Posted by bolderwork 20:25 Archived in Ecuador Tagged cruises Comments (0)

Day 12 – March 23: Galapagos #3 – Fernandina/Isabela Islands

Fernandina Island (Punta Espinosa) and Isabela Island (Tagus Cove)

MORNING:

Same routine today:
• Wake up at 7:00am
• Breakfast 7:30-8:30am
• Morning excursion 8:30-10:00am
• Lunch at 12:00pm
• Afternoon excursion 2:30-4:00pm
• Kids Dinner 6:00pm
• Briefing 6:30pm
• Dinner 7:00pm

We woke up to a pretty heavy rainfall  Luckily by breakfast, it was a light drizzle. The guides prepared plastic bag raincoats for people who did not have raincoats.

FERNANDINA ISLAND (PUNTA ESPINOSA):

In the end, there was no rain on the hike. However in retrospect, I should have worn my rain jacket around my waist on the panga ride to the island – the seats were wet, which got my butt all wet.

On the ride over, the water was so clear that we could see some sea turtles. There were even two of them mating on top of the water. How do they do that?!

There was a dock built into the lava rock surrounded by mangrove trees, so this was a dry landing. It was cloudy the whole time. This kept the temperatures down and was gentle of everyone’s sunburned shoulders, but not great for photographs.

Right off the dock was a large group of marine iguanas lying all over each other. They are pretty smelly. I couldn’t tell you how many marine iguanas were on the island – I don’t think I can count that high. They were all over on our hike mostly clumped in groups. Sometimes it was hard not to step on them because they blend in so well with the rocks and their tails are so long.

There were also countless Sally Lightfoot Crabs. When they are young and small, they are as black as the lava, but the adults are a brilliant orange and quite striking against the black. Some were beginning to shed their shell, and some were eating other crabs.

This was our first sighting of the Flightless Cormorants. Sometimes they would spread their wings out so that we could see how small they were.

We also saw some bleached white whale bones all laid out nicely on the lava rock. The kids loved checking that out.

Animals:
• Sea Turtles
• Sea Lions
• Marine Iguanas
• Flightless Cormorant
• Lava Lizards
• Yellow Finch
• Galapagos Hawk
• Sally Lightfoot Crabs
• Rudy Turnstone birds (migratory)
• Yellow Warbler (singing)

ON BOARD:

Right before and after lunch, we had our second and last opportunity to go kayaking. My husband went (while my son and I read Calvin and Hobbes on the sundeck), and he came back all excited about penguins!

After lunch (and all the kids did their homework), the boat moved across the channel to a cove on Isabela Island. We had a choice of a hike or going snorkeling. It started pouring rain, so only one person chose the hike. The water in this cove is much colder than other areas, so we all put on wetsuits.

ISABELA ISLAND (TAGUS COVE) - SNORKEL:

For this snorkel, we took the panga and jumped over the side. Boy was I happy for the wetsuit – it was chilly!

The highlight of the snorkeling was when the penguins swam by. They are so fast and cool to watch!

There were lots of other great fish – bright colors, large schools of different kinds of fish, sea stars. A lot of people got back in the panga halfway through because it was so cold. Once everyone was on the boat, we drove to the other side of the cove for another snorkel. Ironically, the water was much warmer over there.

The highlights on the second snorkel were sea turtles and flightless cormorants. As you look down into the green water, the sea turtles appear as blurs as they rise up and then come into view as they move slowly around you. If you don’t move too quickly, they get within feet of you.

The flightless cormorants were swimming close to us, and then they would dive down and swim underwater. Very interesting!

There weren’t as many smaller fish on this side, but the sea turtles alone were worth the stop.

ANIMALS: (some may be from earlier dives)
• Butterfly fish
• Yellow-tailed surgeonfish
• Gold-rimmed surgeonfish
• Moorish idol
• Something like a Barracuda
• Golden-eye grunt
• Black-striped Salema
• Blue-striped snapper
• Sergeant major
• Leather bass
• Bumphead parrotfish
• Blue-chin parrotfish
• Rainbow wrasse
• Sunset wrasse
• Streamer hogfish
• Soldier fish
• Cardinal fish
• Large banded blemmy
• Lizard fish
• Hawk fish
• Galapagos puffer
• Bullseye buffer
• Reef cornetfish

ISABELA ISLAND (TAGUS COVE) - PANGA:

After snorkeling, we went back on board the ship, changed into dry clothes, and then we all went back out on the panga to look at animals in the cliffs and along the waterline. We saw marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and sea lions all swimming in the water. Along the cliffs, we saw blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and everything that we saw in the water. We also saw some Frigate birds diving into the water to catch fish, and there were tuna jumping trying to get smaller fish.

Animals:
• Marine Iguanas
• Flightless Cormorants
• Blue-footed Boobies
• Brown Pelicans
• Sally Lightfoot Crabs

EVENING:

After the panga ride, we relaxed on the boat until the briefing. We are watching the movie “Creation” in segments, which is the “true” story of Charles Darwin. It seemed like a good thing to watch in the Galapagos, but there’s nothing about the Galapagos in the movie, and it is quite depressing and hard to follow when not watched all at once.

Every night, a different group of people are invited to sit at the “captain’s table,” and tonight was our turn. There were 5 five of us with Marlon, the captain, and we got to ask him questions about his life, the boat, and the Galapagos. After dinner, he took us up to the bridge, which was really great because we were able to watch the GPS as we crossed the equator!

The clouds were clearing a bit, so we went up to the sundeck and looked at the stars. The moon was half full, but we could still see Orion’s Belt and the Southern Cross.

CLOTHING:

For the morning dry landing, everyone wore shorts and short-sleeved shirts with walking shoes and hats.

For snorkeling off the panga, everyone wore swimsuits and wetsuits. No shoes or hats.

For the panga ride, everyone wore shorts and short-sleeved shirts with sandals and hats. It started to drizzle a bit, so I wished I had brought my rain jacket and a plastic bag for my camera, but luckily it didn’t rain too much or too hard.

FOOD:

Breakfast was a buffet of scrambled eggs, salmon, toast, cereal, ham, fruit, and cereal.

After the morning excursion, we had orange juice and a spicy donut hole.

Lunch was a buffet of chicken in white sauce, beef in brown gravy, rice, potatoes, salad, corn bread (not sweet), and fruit. This was my favorite lunch so far.

After the afternoon excursion, we had juice and tuna fish sandwiches.

Dinner for the kids was spaghetti with ham and parmesan cheese. Dinner for the adults was the spaghetti or fried sea bass with green beans and rice. Dessert was Tiramisu.

Posted by bolderwork 20:16 Archived in Ecuador Tagged cruises Comments (0)

Day 11 – March 22: Galapagos #2: Genovesa Island

Darwin Bay and Prince Phillips Steps

MORNING:

The wakeup call was at 7:00am. I am sure I was already awake because I had a hard time sleeping. We were moving most of the night to the next island, and the noise from the engines seemed incredibly loud to me. The people in higher cabins didn’t complain about noise, but they did seem to notice the rocking a lot more (one man felt almost rolled out of bed, and one woman said she couldn’t sleep on her side because of the rolling). I am going try ear plugs tonight….

DARWIN BAY:

After breakfast, we prepared for another wet landing. Our morning excursion was basically a walk around the beach and cove followed by beach and snorkeling time (about 2 hours total).

Genovesa Island is a volcano that collapsed into a crater, so now it is C-shaped, and we were parked in the middle of the “C”. Hundreds of birds were gliding on the air over the cliffs of the island.

There were lots and lots of frigate birds with their red chests all puffed out. We saw some of them doing their wing-flapping bird-calling mating dance, and even one couple making a match.

The guides do a great job talking about the animals, how the live, and how they interact. The paths are well marked, so it is easy to walk around afterwards for more pictures.

The snorkeling was pretty good. The water was warm enough, so I don’t think I will be using a wetsuit on this trip.

Animals:
• Red-footed boobies
• Frigate birds
• Nazca boobies
• Swallow Tail Gulls
• Brown Pelicans
• Yellow Crown Night Heron
• Galapagos Dove
• Sea Lions
• Needle Fish

ON BOARD:

Back on the boat, we took one of the glass-bottom kayaks over to the cliff area of the island. It’s a 2-person kayak, but they let my son go in the middle. He plastered his face down on the glass bottom with a lot of “whoa!” coming from his mouth.

The cliffs were very dark black lava, and once in a while, we could see small black crabs skittering across the wall with incredible camouflage.

After lunch, my husband took my son one other boy snorkeling over by the same cliffs. Normally, you can’t go snorkeling over there, but the waves were calm enough to allow it. It was the highlight of the trip for my son so far! There was a 3 ½ foot manta ray that followed them for quite a ways (was it the blue snorkel fins?!), a school of seemingly a hundred large fish, angel fish mom/dad/babies, fighting giant lobsters, and fish of incredible color. Lesson: always take your camera!

Animals:
• Red Spiny Lobster
• Moorish Idol (angelfish)

Today is one day after the Spring Equinox. At noon on the equator on the Spring and Fall Equinoxes, the sun is exactly straight overhead. Of course, we had to test this theory on the sun deck and prove that our bodies, in fact, did not cast a shadow.

PRINCE PHILLIP’S STEPS

Our afternoon excursion would have been a pretty interesting hike, but it was just so incredibly hot….

We did a “dry” landing, so our panga (Zodiac) drove up to a spot in the lava cliff that is invisible until you are almost right on top of it. There were steps carved into the stone and a wooden handrail.

The hike is up on top of the island and filled with birds at every step. Very up close and personal plus countless birds flying around like crazy.

The trail is all on lava, and it’s hard to believe anything grows or lives here.

We were there for about 1 ½ hours, and we were all melted from the heat. We were able to see a few cute fur sea lions on our way back to the boat. Just about everyone jumped in the water off the back of the boat to cool off.

Animals:
• Tropicbird
• Galapagos Mockingbird
• Red-footed Boobies
• Nazca Boobies
• Frigate Birds

EVENING:

The boat had a long way to travel that night, so as soon as everyone was on board, we started our journey.

The kids got an early dinner, and then we had a briefing to discuss what we would be doing the next day. In the middle of the briefing, one of our guides announced that there were dolphins off the bow!

They were pretty far off, but we could see a few groups of 10-20 of them jumping and leaping into the air in front of the setting sun. It was very fun to watch!

After the rest of the briefing, we were served the adult dinner. The kids got to watch a movie in the lounge. Then it was off to bed.

Although everyone in their family or friend groups, people mingled amongst each other quite nicely, and every meal seems to be a different combination of people.

CLOTHING:

For the wet landing, we all wore our swimsuits underneath shorts and short-sleeved shirts.

For the dry landing, we all wore walking shoes, shorts, and short-sleeved shirts. It was hot, hot, hot, so a hat was a blessing and light colored clothing.

FOOD:

Breakfast was a buffet of eggs with spinach, cinnamon pancakes, fruit, yogurt, cereal, bread, cheese, juice, and coffee.

After snorkeling, there were mango juice and cheese sandwiches.

Lunch was a buffet of skewered lobster, beef strips, egg and potato triangles, salad, rice, and fresh fruit.

After the afternoon hike, there were pear juice and empanadas.

At the briefing, we got potato chips. The adults ate about 2 chips each, but the kids weren’t so polite 

The kids got an early dinner of pizza. The adult dinner started with a salad of avocado, cucumber, and tomato followed by a choice of sea bass or pork with potatoes, fried cabbage with ham. The pork was actually ham with pineapple sauce. The sea bass was rather bland. Dessert was a raspberry mousse.

Posted by bolderwork 20:04 Archived in Ecuador Tagged cruises Comments (0)

Day 10 – March 21: Quito-Galapagos – San Cristobal

Ochoa Beach and Kicker Rock

QUITO AIRPORT:

Our flight to the Galapagos was to depart at 9:15am, so we were supposed to be at the airport at 7:30am. We left the hotel at 7:00am, but there was no traffic, so it only took about 10 minutes to get there ($5 for the taxi).

Make sure you tell the taxi driver “nacional” or “Galapagos”, so they don’t take you to the international terminal. Once inside, there are people to point you in the right direction.

The first stop is the INGALA counter on the far side. If you have already paid for your $10 tourist card, they just check your passport. If not, you pay $10 cash (they do not accept $100 bills!) and fill out a form. Everyone then puts their luggage through an x-ray machine next to the INGALA counter and picks it up on the other side.

Next, you go to the airline counter that you were told to go to. There are people around that can help if you don’t know. We went to Aerogal counter #3, and the Galapagos cruise people were there to check our bags and give us 1) baggage tags, 2) airline boarding passes, 3) tourist cards, 4) boarding passes for the boat, and 5) name tags.

Next, you go through security. They do not worry about liquids, shoes, or computers. You do have to show your passport and boarding pass.

Inside, there is a small coffee shop that serves coffee, juice, fruit, yogurt, and sandwiches.

Listen carefully for your flight as there are many flights, and they board quickly.

FLIGHT TO GALAPAGOS:

It’s a 45 minute flight from Quito to Guayaquil, you have 45 minutes on the ground in Guayaquil (stay on the plane), and then it is 1 hour and 40 minutes to the Galapagos. On the Aerogal flight, they served drinks and a muffin on the first flight, and drinks and a breakfast (eggs, ham, potatoes, roll, fruit) on the second flight. It was a 737 airplane, but there was no video or music service.

We started the process of reading everyone’s name tags, which would tell us who was on our boat. My son found a new friend immediately, and they sat together the whole flight playing on their various electronic devices.

A couple of odd things on the airplane…. In Guayaquil, they refueled the airplane. During this time, they opened all the overhead compartments, they made everyone take OFF their seat belts, and no one could use the bathrooms until they were done fueling. Also, right before landing in the Galapagos, they opened all the overhead compartments and sprayed everything with an insecticide aerosol.

ARRIVAL IN GALAPAGOS:

Once we arrived in the Galapagos, we got in a long line at the airport. There are officials all in a row to deal with. The first is passports. We were given a form to fill out for each person. They gave us the bottom part of that form, which has to be turned in when we leave the islands. The second is the national park fee, which we already had, so not much to do there. Otherwise, you pay $100. Lastly, they inspected our bags for animals, seeds, and produce. Our apples were okay, but they took the oranges.

Once in the airport, we were met by our 2 naturalist guides and waited a few minutes for our bus. We did not have to collect our checked luggage because the staff picked that up for us and took it to the boat.

We took the bus to the harbor and walked to the pier. All over the pier were sea lions, so everyone was very excited and taking pictures.

We got into our 2 zodiac boats (10 guests each + 1 naturalist guide + 1 driver) and rode through the harbor to our boat. There were lots of boats in the harbor: private sailing boats, fishing boats (some with sea lions taking a nap), and some yachts.

ON THE BOAT:

Our first order of business on the boat was to sit in the lounge area for our first briefing. They talked about all the rules in the Galapagos that keep the islands clean and the animals safe as well as life on the boat and our schedule for the afternoon. After the briefing, they brought in our luggage and showed everyone to their cabins.

I unpacked the things that we would need most, and we put the rest of our luggage overhead. There were 2 outlets, so I started charging batteries.

After about 15 minutes for unpacking, we had our life jacket drill. Everyone grabbed the life jackets from the cabins and went up to the sun deck to review the procedures if we had to abandon ship. Then they distributed masks, snorkels, and fins.

We had some free time before our first excursion, so most people chose to relax in the shade on the sundeck and enjoy the view.

OCHOA BEACH:

Our first stop was Ochoa Beach right around the corner from the San Cristobal harbor. We made a “wet” landing at the beach for snorkeling. It was a beautiful, white sand beach with some sea lions, and we saw one marine iguana.

Animals:
• Sea lions
• Marine iguanas

The surf on shore was actually pretty rough for us. The boats had a tough time beaching properly with the surf, and the snorkeling was a little tough, but we tried for a while, and actually just watching the sea lions was very entertaining.

A “wet” landing is where the zodiac boat just drives up to the beach, and you get out in the water. A “dry” landing is where the zodiac takes you to a small pier. For the wet landing, you wear sandals because your feet get wet, but in a dry landing, you can wear walking shoes.

KICKER ROCK:

After the beach, our boat drove over to “Kicker Rock”. This is one of the most photographed rock structures in the Galapagos. The clouds opened up just enough for the setting sun the shine perfectly on the rocks for us.

There are lots of different kinds of birds nesting and flying around Kicker Rock. While we were taking pictures, one of our guides noticed a blow spout. There were whales right off our port! Our boat drove closer to the whales, and we could see that there were several of them including one mother and baby. Because of the blow spouts and small back fin, we determined that they were minke whales. This is the first time I have been so close to whales, so it was very exciting!

Animals:
• Blue footed boobies
• Frigate birds
• Swallow tail gulls
• Minke whales (unusual)

EVENING:

Before dinner, we had a briefing in the lounge about activities for the next day.

Then the captain of the ship came down and introduced the entire crew, and we all had a welcome cocktail. I am not sure what it was, but it was layered red, green, and orange and very tasty.

After dinner, everyone seemed to just head to bed, although one woman the next day told me how beautiful the stars were up on the sundeck.

LODGING:

We booked the Eric/Flamingo/Letty, which are 3 identical boats. We picked this boat company because they have family departures, so we knew that we would have other kids on the boat, and they have special guides and kid-friendly meals. They are 20 passenger boats and only have 8-day itineraries (no stopping to pick up/drop off passengers halfway through, which is nice).

On our boat, the Flamingo, there are 4 decks. Our cabin was on the bottom deck (Iguana), the dining area, lounge, kitchen, and a couple of cabins were on the next deck (Boobie), the nicest rooms and the bridge were on the higher deck (Dolphin), and then there was a sun deck up top.

Our cabin was a triple, so it had 2 lower bunks and 1 upper bunk. There were only 2 small windows in the cabin (by the upper bunk, so my son immediately chose his bunk!), and 1 small window in the bathroom. There was a closet, 3 drawers under the lower bunks, and an overhead storage area. I felt like there was quite a bit of room for everything considering the tight quarters.

The cabins on the upper decks had large picture windows, but otherwise didn’t seem much bigger. The cabins on the Boobie deck only had 1 bed for 2 people, but it was not even a double bed size.

The bathroom was not a bad size for on a boat. The showers had a shampoo/conditioner/soap dispenser as well as a mirror and a clothes line. The bathroom also had a hair dryer. They gave us 3 bathroom towels (white) and 3 beach towels (green). On the boat, no paper products get flushed down the toilet – yes, that means toilet paper, which goes into a special trash can next to the toilet.

The lounge has a library of Galapagos books, reading books, games, TV, and DVD’s.

There was a full bar, which also had drinking water and a selection of candies. Our margarita tasted a little strange, so we stuck to Chilean wine after that.

There was cell coverage in certain areas of the islands. The crew can tell you where. There was Internet coverage in the bay at San Cristobal and Santa Cruz.

CLOTHING:

It was chilly in the morning in Quito, but I knew that it would be hot in the Galapagos, so I wore my zip-off pants, a tank top, and a warm long-sleeve shirt to the airport. Once we arrived in the Galapagos, I was down to my tank top and zipped off my pant legs.

It was still warm in the evening, so people wore shorts, crop pants, or long pants with short sleeved shirts. No jacket or cover-up was needed.

FOOD:

We didn’t have time for breakfast at the hotel, so we ate at the coffee shop in the airport. I thought the fruit/yogurt/granola was great. My husband thought the egg sandwich was fine, but my son passed on his ham and cheese sandwich. The coffee was strangely sweet.

There is actually enough food on the airplane rides for breakfast, they just come so late that it is hard to wait….

Dinner on the boat was a choice of shrimp, or chicken with white sauce, with vegetables and rice. Both were excellent. Dessert was strawberries with a yogurt crème sauce. My son ate his and half of mine.

Posted by bolderwork 19:50 Archived in Ecuador Tagged cruises Comments (0)

(Entries 11 - 15 of 26) « Page 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 »