National Geographic Islander Cruise Review
Itinerary: Islander Galapagos - January 2011
Just returned from our trip of a lifetime. We planed and planed and worked with Linda, and every inch exceeded our expectations.
Due to storms we didn't want to have any issues with missing flights so we flew into Miami a night early and stayed at the hotel right in the airport. We were first in line for our flights out to Guayaquil the next day.
We arrived in Guayaquil late at night and were picked up and taken to the Hilton along with many others who would be our sailing. Hilton was a a nice hotel and seemed to be the best in the area. A good night's sleep, an early breakfast and off we were on our charter flight to the Islands.
And then our dream trip started. We saw amazing wildlife day after day. Just as you thought today was the best tomorrow exceeded it. We visited Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Santiago, Isabela, Fernandina, North Seymour among other landings with our zodiacs. Our guides were professional, knowledgeable and most of all personal and fun, they made everything a good time. I was a little worried about the "stuffiness" of a National Geographic guide, but was totally in error of my perception. All guides have to be licensed by the country and are rated by levels. National Geo and Lindblad have only the top rated guides. I speak a touch of Spanish and it was fun to use it on our guides. Our guides were more than such, they sailed on the ship with us, they gave evening lectures, they ate dinner with us.
Our experience on and off the ship was nothing less than perfection. We made use of the ships snorkeling gear and wetsuits which we were given to us at the start and we kept for the week. We kayaked for the first time, we went out in Zodiacs, we snorkeled, we took short hikes. We learned from the certified photo instructor on board how to improve our pictures. We ate delicious food, we met interesting fellow passengers.
We were in Cabin 304 which is Category 4. It was lovely with about 120 sq ft. On the Bridge Deck with two beds that were put together for a queen. We had a picture window and were very well placed on the ship. We enjoyed visiting the Bridge which was a few steps from our Cabin. We discovered that it absolutely makes no difference what side of the ship you are on. We liked the small size of 48 guests. The Islander seems like a huge yacht with lots of teakwood, brass and glass. Everything was spotless and service was top notch. Dress was extremely casual but service was anything but casual. The staff was outstanding.
Linda pass our names onto anyone who wants more information on this wonderful trip. We would be glad to give our recommendations.
—Lorinda Myers, Philadelphia