Ship Review – Celebrity Flora

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a boat on the water
Aft View of Marina, Sunset Lounge, and Penthouse Suiets

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Introduction: Sailing Celebrity Cruises’ Flora in the Galapagos

What to Pack for a Galapagos Cruise

Getting to Quito, Ecuador in Delta First Class

JW Marriott Hotel Quito Review

Exploring Quito, Ecuador on a Celebrity Cruises Excursion

Quito to the Galapagos and Back by Avianca Charter

Ship Review – Celebrity Flora

Cabin Review – Penthouse Suite 5125 on Celebrity Flora 2024

Celebrity Flora – Dining Review

Exciting and Unique Activities on a Galapagos Cruise

Revolting Copa Airlines Business Class – Delayed, Dirty Windows and Mold!

The Santa Maria, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Golf Resort, Panama City Review

Who Should Take a Galapagos Cruise?

Introduction

The next post in this series is the Ship Review – Celebrity Flora.  Let me begin by saying Celebrity Flora is nothing like the other ships in the Celebrity Cruises fleet.  This ship was purpose built for Galapagos cruising meaning it has certain features that make it the perfect vessel for island hopping in this unique part of the world with no port infrastructure outside of Baltra.  In fact the ship never docks during its two Galapagos itineraries including embarkation and debarkation.

Celebrity Flora is an all-suite expedition ship accommodating just 100 passengers in 50 suites and 85, predominantly Ecuadorian, crew members.  For comparison purposes, at 5,922 gross tons it’s just over 4% of the tonnage of Celebrity’s newest Edge Class ships. The suites are all located on Decks 5 and 6 and range from 300 to over 1,200 square feet of space and have clean modern finishes. Most suites have either a “real” veranda or one of the controversial “infinite verandas.” There are also two Royal and two Penthouse Suites which offer the most spacious accommodations, with separate living areas and large bathrooms and terraces.  We were successful in making a MoveUp bid into the Penthouse Suite from an Infinite Veranda suite and will share a detailed review in a later post.

Given the small size and limited number of restaurants, bars, and public spaces on board Celebrity Flora I thought that we would try something new and review the ship one deck at a time.

Deck 3

The décor throughout the ship is understated luxury while the dress on board is expedition casual.  There are some unique features on Celebrity Flora such as the Zodiac marina at the back of the ship on Deck 3.

a boat on the water
Aft View of Marina, Sunset Lounge, and Penthouse Suites

There are gear storage areas to hold each passengers provided wetsuits as well as their bags of snorkel gear including masks, snorkels, and swim fins.  There are also outdoor showers and facilities for washing gear each time you return to the ship from an excursion.

a person wearing flippers on a boat
Flipper fitting

The purpose-built Zodiacs are also unique as they have hydraulically operated ramps at the back making for easier wet and dry landings as well as transitioning on and off the ship with an integrated stair and railing.  These zodiacs are parked in garages visible through windows from the combination reception area, future cruise booking nook, and gift shop.  This collective area is referred to as Darwin’s Cove where the majority of guest-facing services are provided.  Additionally, this is where the naturalists’ office and lab are located where you are able to study different sands from various islands and more.

a hallway with a large area of furniture
Darwin’s Cove, Gift Shop, Naturalist Lab, Reception, and More

Deck 3 also houses the medical facilities on board.  While we (fortunately) never visited here, the two doctors on board were visible throughout the cruise and actually accompany all of the snorkel excursions in a Zodiac should the need arise for urgent medical attention away from this ship.

Deck 4

Light fills the interior of the ship as it is only 56 feet (17m) wide meaning you’re never far from a window.

a staircase with glass railings and wood slats
Light Filled Stair Received Heavy Use as Most Passengers Only Went Up or Down a Couple Flights at a Time

That includes the full-width Discovery Lounge at the back of the ship that’s really the heart of the cruise as it’s where daily briefings take place, where you gather before your excursions, and where you can enjoy an included cocktail at any point during the day.

a group of people in white uniforms
Discovery Lounge Meeting our Naturalists
a bar with many glasses and bottles on shelves
Discovery Lounge Bar Open All-Day Starting With Coffee in the Morning Through After Dinner Cocktails in the Evening

What limited on-board “entertainment” that takes place also happens here with happy hours, live piano music after returning to the ship from an excursion, trivia, and once per voyage a Silent Disco.  I share the below picture also to demonstrate that this is evening/dinner attire on board.

a group of people dancing in a room
Silent Disco

The open air Sunset Lounge located just off of the Discovery Lounge was a multi-purpose outdoor space providing snacks and drinks to returning guests, queueing space for those headed out on excursions, as well as ample seating for those looking to relax and watch the activities at the back.  This is also where the hot tub is located.  While we saw a number of people dip their toes in, there was an issue with the heater making the water too hot for anyone to take the plunge.

a hot tub on a deck with a body of water in the background
The Too Hot Hot Tub

The ship has two dining venues headlined by the Seaside Restaurant on Deck 3 open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We ate most of our meals in this space and really enjoyed the layout and service.  During breakfast and lunch an area in the back is used for a buffet and closed off in the evenings providing for a more elevated environment.  I’ll cover more on dining in a dedicated post.

a room with tables and chairs
Seaside Restaurant

Deck 5

Deck 5 is primarily filled with guest accommodations; however, two additional onboard amenities are also located on Deck 5 including a small but well equipped gym.  On our cruise this was seldom visited as every day was filled with physical activities.  Next to the gym is a small spa that could accommodate one client at a time.  Treatments could be booked on Deck 3.  In speaking with our fellow passengers, the most popular treatment was the one-hour massage, again due to physicality of every day of the cruise.

a door with a sign on it

a gym with exercise equipment
The Fitness – Strength Equipment
a treadmills in a room
The Fitness – Cardio

As mentioned Deck 5 is primarily a guest suite deck with “actual” veranda suites, the two Royal Suites at the front, and one Penthouse Suite at the aft.  This is the suite we stayed in during this cruise.  Given the size of the ship there is just one central corridor on each guest floor including an ice machine near the stairwell.

a hallway with lights on the walls

a machine with a black surface
One of Two Ice Machines Located on Decks 5 and 6

Deck 7

You’ll note that I’ve skipped Deck 6 and that’s because it is dedicated entirely to guest suites with infinite verandas as well as the second of two Penthouse Suites at the aft.

At the front of Deck 7 is an almost unused space – the Observatory.  This lounge has a variety of seating options, a library of board games, and great views.  However, with no organized activities or food or beverage service in this area it was largely ignored by most passengers.  I can imagine if there was inclement weather this might have gotten more use or if a large group was travelling together this might be a desirable place to gather.

a room with a table and chairs and a view of the ocean
Observatory

Celebrity Flora’s second restaurant is the outdoor Ocean Grill located on Deck 7.  Open for lunch daily with light, casual fare and in the evenings as a reservation-only dining under the stars when the weather permits.  This space is also open all day for sitting outdoors either in the sun or under cover.

a restaurant with tables and chairs on a deck
Ocean Grill Covered Seating Set for Lunch

At the back of Deck 7 is The Vista an open uncovered area for lounging and sunbathing.  This is where the two “glamping” cabanas are located to sleep under the stars.  These spaces are available to everyone during the day, but at night can be reserved for private dining and sleeping al fresco.  We did not see anyone using these in the evenings.

a large patio with white chairs and tables
The Vista and Cabanas
a white tent with chairs and a table on a deck with a body of water
One of two cabanas set for dining while the other two are set for sleeping

Deck 8

Deck 8 is a small deck at the front of the ship used as an observatory with the ability to stargaze in the evenings away from urban light pollution.

a boat on a deck
Stargazing Area on Deck 8

Final Thoughts

This was our first expedition cruise and to be honest we might have ruined ourselves for future expedition cruising.  Celebrity Flora has amazing facilities, a wonderful and knowledgeable crew, and mind-blowing excursions.  I understand that this review contained little in the way of criticism and that’s because there was very little with which to take issue.  But we do have a few nits to pick in our future Penthouse and Dining reviews.  That concludes our Ship Review – Celebrity Flora.

As promised please enjoy this bonus wildlife photo.

turtles swimming in the water
Snorkeling With Sea Turtles on an Excursion
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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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