Xpedition: Around the Ship

Sunday, 8 July (Part II)

In my last post, I forgot to mention that one of the things Mui did while he was wandering around the shops at the Baltra airport was to get a souvenir passport stamp for the Galápagos Islands.  It’s available from some of the shops — no purchase required.

(We got the Mitad del Mundo stamp at the Celebrity Xpedition desk at the JW Marriott after we returned to the hotel from our city tour.)

So, back to the story at hand.

A shuttle bus to the Quito airport; a flight to Baltra; another shuttle bus to the dock; and a panga (zodiac) ride to the ship.  That’s how we arrived at the Celebrity Xpedition (post here).  Once aboard, our panga group was escorted by Fatima to the Discovery Lounge for a short briefing.

As we sipped our welcome aboard drinks, the purser collected our passports and the stub from our Galapagos entry forms.  (The passports were returned later in the day and the stub was returned to us at the end of the trip, stapled to our boarding passes for the return flight to Quito.)

Next, a crew member escorted us to Cabin 407, located just down the hall from the Discovery Lounge.  It didn’t take us long to get acquainted with the cabin.  Smaller than other cabins we’ve stayed in, it still afforded plenty of storage for our belongings.

I’m going to post pictures I took in places I spent time around the ship, as well as a video Mui put together.  With footage included from the zodiac operations as well as Mui’s visit to the bridge, the video is more extensive; definitely a better way of getting acquainted with the ship.  At almost six minutes, however, it might be too long for those with limited data packages.  Take your pick, and come along for the tour.

Here’s the six-minute video …

… Or you can continue with the photo essay below.

407 is an XP category cabin mid-ship on Deck 4.

Hidden in the corner behind the bed is a small sofa; the drawer in the desk has a
hairdryer, and the cabinet below has a variety of glasses and an ice bucket to use
for the drinks in the complimentary bar set up (behind the chair).

Our drying center!
Although we used the ship’s laundry service,
on occasion we did some hand laundry or had
swimsuits to dry.  The heavy-duty suction cups
and hangers worked better than a clothes line.

As Founders Select members of Celebrity's
Captain's Club loyalty program, we received
a complimentary bottle of champagne and
chocolate-dipped strawberries.

** The “founders” portion of our membership level simply means that we joined the first year the program was offered.  The treats were great, but on this all-inclusive sailing, we could have ordered them ourselves!  The strawberries didn’t last long; we shared the champagne with tablemates who reciprocated on subsequent nights.

The breakfast buffet in the Darwin Restaurant (deck 3 mid-ship).
for breakfast and lunch, we mostly made our selections from the buffet, and ate our meals
on deck; Victor never let us carry our plates ourselves, always rushing to do it for us.

The Discovery Lounge (deck 4) — the gathering spot for briefings, socializing, and entertainment.

Beagle Grill (Deck 4 aft) is a good place to enjoy early-bird coffee and tea, and watch the sunrise.
we had this area mostly to ourselves for our carried-from-the buffet breakfast.

The Blue Finch Bar (Deck 5 mid-ship) was never open during the sailing, but we
enjoyed many CARRIED-from-the-buffet lunches here.

The deck 6 mid-ship loungers make a great spot to relax as the ship repositions to the next site.
The hot tub is on this deck (not our thing), as well as the open-air gym equipment, and the spa.

Deck 6 bow — no shade, but this is a great spot for stargazing at night, enjoying
the sunrise in the morning (always around 7:00a), and photographing birds in flight.

By the time we finished a quick look-see around the ship, it was 1:00p and time for lunch.  Once our tummies were sated, we returned to the cabin to unpack the bags that the crew had placed outside the door.  By the time the emergency signal was sounded for the 3:45p mandatory muster drill, we were settled in and ready to get the exciting stuff underway.  That comes up next!

P.S. A note about the time.  The islands are an hour ahead of mainland time.  However, the ship stays on mainland time for the duration of the cruise.


  1. SO ENJOYABLE! I’m grinning ear to ear.
    The old girl looks just the same,
    (“X” not Erin ;) and the Blue Finch was never open?!
    Boy, you sure had a different crowd. Our group kept it hopping in the afternoon.
    “Danny! Bring us another pitcher of Sangria please!”
    Oh my… Sangria. The creation of an urgent need. Now look what you've gone and done...

    1. Blue Finch being closed seems to be the norm; servers came around, but whatever was ordered would be brought from downstairs.

  2. [re-posted from Fodor's]
    Wow great blog. Thanks for the report. We are seriously looking at booking this trip - so look forward to the next portions of your trip report. How did you choose the timing of your trip? Is there a best time for weather?

    1. This link has weather info for the GI ... we wanted cool-ish -- already had commitments for Aug/Sep; hence July.

  3. [reposted fm CC]
    Wow. Thanks for posting. Your photos & videos are great. We can't wait to get there!

  4. [reposted fm Fodor's]
    Waiting with held breath for the Galapagos cruise - once you're on the water. Although, part of me doesn't want to read all - I want some surprises when we do this.