Looks like the situation has been resolved, and a judge has signed an injunction which allows our ship to sail the islands and access the park on Monday. After several frustrating meetings leading up to this resolution, Celebrity has offered a few compensation options, and my family has elected to embark tomorrow with $125/person, 1 day pro-rated cruise refund, and equivalent credit from what we paid toward a future Xpedition trip in the next 2 years. As it turns out, there are a few oddities in the future credit offer: the next 2 years are nearly booked, the Xpedition only runs 2 very similar Galapagos routes, and most people want to check another destination off their bucket list once they’ve come here. There’s more to be resolved, but I’m just excited to see the boobies.
So much for a stress-free vacation. Onward!
As I write this, I am at a loss for words and in disbelief. My family was previously scheduled to leave our hotel in Quito and depart on the Celebrity Xpedition tomorrow morning (5/26). After receiving the news from a representative and reading this letter, it’s clear that’s not happening. We’ll find out on Monday if we can even head out on Tuesday (at the earliest), if at all this week. Apparently a political struggle between the cruise line and the Galapagos National Park has escalated into permit witholding, and all 90+ passengers are going to suffer the consequences of their poor judgment and poor risk management.
I’m infuriated not only because my plans have been spoiled or altered; I’m infuriated because of what this means for everyone that eagerly anticipated this trip of a lifetime and in return may not have the chance to take it at all. We’ve all looked forward to explore this rarely traveled part of the world together, and it’s beyond disappointing to have to accept any lesser alternative.