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Celebrity Flora – Dining Review
Celebrity Flora – Activities Review
Flight/Lounge Review – Copa Airlines Business Class Review
The Santa Maria, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Golf Resort, Panama City Review
Galapagos Expedition Cruise Final Thoughts
What to pack for a Galapagos Cruise??? It seemed fairly simple until I started doing a bit of research. Their are a few things to consider – weight limits, laundry facilities, activities, shipboard dress code, and of course cabin storage.
For our “normal” cruises we typically bring two very large hard sided suitcases, standard size rollaboards, and back packs. This allows for touring clothes, leisure clothes, evening clothes, and all the other bits and bobs that go along with 2-3 wardrobe changes per day. For our Celebrity Cruises expedition aboard Celebrity Flora, we were limited by the airline Celebrity Cruises chartered to transport us from Quito, Ecuador to Baltra Island in the Galapagos. Here’s the guidance from Celebrity “The air carriers flying between Quito and Baltra typically limit the amount of luggage per guest to one checked bag not to exceed 44 pounds and a small carry-on bag not to exceed 15 pounds. For the comfort and convenience of yourself and fellow guests, we recommend you limit the number of items you take.” In our experience this wasn’t strictly enforced; however, I would try and stay as close to guidance, particularly for your checked bag, as possible as they are in fact weighed both at the beginning and end of your cruise.
Your checked bag is collected the night before your cruise at the cruise hotel where it is subject to inspection prior to departure. A representative from the Ecuadorian government comes to the hotel prior to departure to inspect luggage for banned items that include: seeds, fruit, unprocessed nuts, meat, animals, insects, and more. We decided to limit our “food” to Tic Tacs leaving everything else behind; though our guides said that processed foods like pretzels, chips, granola bars, etc. would have been fine. Your bags are subject to a second inspection in Baltra prior to leaving the airport based on your answers to a three-question form completed on the flight and submitted upon arrival.
For your carry-on you are expected to be able to carry it on and off of the Zodiac when embarking and debarking the ship. Backpacks work best, but a rollaboard can work in a pinch.
On Celebrity Flora there are no self-service laundry facilities; however, everyone is able to send away laundry for wash and fold at no cost. The quantities were limited based on level of suite from the balcony suites with laundry twice per cruise while our Penthouse suite allowed unlimited laundry. For us we sent in laundry three times, prioritizing swimsuits, rash guards, etc.
Galapagos cruises are very active and you will be in the elements a good part of the day. This means being in and out of Zodiacs (inflatable landing crafts), doing both wet (in the water) and dry landings, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, hiking, and more. This obviously means prioritizing sun protection, clothes and footwear that can get wet and dries quickly, etc.
Galapagos cruises are very informal with no formal nights. Do not pack formal/dressy/evening clothes, the space in your suitcase would be better used for activewear.
Celebrity Flora is fairly spacious so this is not a major concern; however, if you are considering one of the smaller catamaran offerings in the Galapagos, quarters can be quite snug.
Non-Clothing – Waterproof Camera for snorkeling (if you wan to snorkel), Waterproof Sunblock, Insect Repellent, Dry Sack
Shoes – Casual Shoes for Travel and Aboard Ship, Water Shoes for Wet Landings, Trail Shoes for Dry Landings and Hiking
Shirts – Quick Dry T-Shirts (4-5), Polo Shirts (2), Button-up Sun Shirts (2-3), Rash Guards (2)
Pants – Lightweight Quick Drying (2-3), Khaki/slacks (2-3), Hiking Shorts (1)
Other Clothing – Swimsuits (2-3), Underwear (1/day or less if laundering), Socks (1/day or less if laundering), Light Jacket, Sun Hat with Chin Strap, Baseball Cap
Celebrity Flora Provided Items – Insulated Water Bottle, Day Backpack, Rain Poncho, Binoculars (for use during the trip), Towels
While we had a lot of the aforementioned items already, there were some items that we needed and were able to source through Amazon.
We found these Celebrity Cruises Luggage Tag Holders very useful and of high quality. For sun protection our go-to for a long time has been Coola, this kit provided a nice assortment of products to compliment the included SPF 50 sunblock provided by Celebrity Flora. While we didn’t purchase this Pelican wet sack/waterproof phone pouch several others had them on the ship and they looked quite handy. For taking pictures in shallow water, from the Zodiac in the spray, or from a kayak it’s hard to beat the Hiearcool Waterproof Phone Pouch, Waterproof Phone Case. We were able to use existing sunglasses, but found that these sunglasses straps by Pilotfish were helpful when getting in and out of the wetsuits, taking pictures, and if our sunglasses had fallen in the water the fact that they float is a great feature. Speaking of floating, I would have hated to have watched my GoPro sink to the bottom so this GoPro Handler was a must.
TIP – A number of people on our ship had the exact same GoPro and Handler as we did. I would suggest marking yours in some way with a zip-tie, nail-polish dot, rubber band, etc.
Melanie found these items to be real heroes on the trip, starting with the Smartwool Women’s Merino Wool Active Muscle Tank Shirt (Relaxed Fit) which she purchased in multiple colors. This worked as both a swimsuit cover-up as well as a useful layer when hiking and dried fast. THE NORTH FACE Women’s Never Stop Laptop Utility Pack was Melanie’s carry-on and worked well as both a tote and a backpack. The pouch at the bottom worked great for shoes. The biggest bargain on the list was this sun hat with a hole for a ponytail. Melanie received many positive comments on this Muryobao sun hat throughout the cruise.
For my very pale self it’s all about sun protection and these short-sleeved and long-sleeved rash guards from Quicksilver have long been a staple of any trip involving swimming. These also worked great under the Celebrity Flora provided wet suit helping to seal the short-sleeve openings and making getting in/out of the suits easier. I found this Little Donkey Andy sun-shirt to be multi-purpose suitable for hiking, dinner on board, and even over a rash-guard while on a Zodiac ride out to a snorkel site. And saving the strangest item for last – this Trident Pure Silicone Grease worked great to help seal my mask over my facial hair under my nose. A little bit applied before putting on the mask stopped the annoying leak I’ve experienced before.
Those are our thoughts on what to pack for a Galapagos cruise. Hopefully you find them helpful!
As promised here is the bonus wildlife photo for this post. Getting to swim with sea turtles was an unforgettable experience. They happily moved from rock to rock munching away on the algae not caring at all that we were only feet away from them. – Michael
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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.