1 GENERAL INFORMATION GALAPAGOS ISLANDS & QUITO - APRIL 1-12, 2011 I. FLIGHT INFORMATION: Our flights from Atlanta to Quito, Ecuador and return are with Delta Airlines. Our included flights from Quito to Galapagos and return to Quito are arranged by Celebrity. April 1, 2011 (Friday): Delta Flt # 673 departs Atlanta at 5:30 PM. Arrives Quito at 9:50 PM April 11, 2011 (Monday): Delta Flt # 680 departs Quito at 11:30 PM Arrives Atlanta at 6:03 AM ** April 12, 2011 (Tuesday): The Delta flight that we departed on in Quito arrives in Atlanta A. Meeting at the Airport: Please plan to meet Leland and Gherry in front of the Delta International Check-in Counter between 2:30 and 3:00 PM. You will have an electronic ticket and may check in earlier if you wish. You ma wish to check in at the counter rather than the kiosk because sometimes the kiosk does not work properly for a group booking. Leland and Gherry will wait at the check-in counter until 3:00 PM. If we have not seen you or heard from you, we will assume that you have already checked in and are enjoying a leisurely late lunch or early dinner. Our cell phone numbers are (Leland , Gherry ). When you check in, be sure and ask the desk clerk if you are registered to get frequent flyer miles. It is always easier to have this information settled before you fly than wait until you return home and discover a problem. Be sure you have a sturdy luggage tag on each piece of your luggage, including your carry on. Please add Delta luggage tags to your bags with your name, JW Marriott, Quito, Ecuador, Celebrity Cruises. B. Frequent Flyer Numbers: If you do not have a frequent flyer number, we highly recommend that you get one. A ff number is free and takes only a few minutes to obtain. Frequent Flyer Miles can be used for a flight on Delta or its sister companies anywhere you choose, or can be used to upgrade regular coach tickets. You can register by going to or by calling Tell them that you wish to register for Sky Miles. You will give them your name, address, phone number and they will give you a number immediately. Please call and give us your number and we will see that you get registered to receive Sky Miles for our flights, or you may contact Delta yourself and ask for credit for your flights. C. Parking Your Car: It is easier if you have someone bring you to the airport and pick you up. Our flights on this trip are very conducive to having someone do that for you. The hours of departure and return are very civilized. If you park, there are several options around the airport, but we usually use Pre-Flight. They are so efficient with picking you up at the parking lot and at the airport. The cost is $7.65 per day (uncovered parking) and $12.15 per day (covered parking), with a coupon Page 2
2 available on the Internet. The web site is Click on Georgia. Click on Pre-Flight or any other parking location for discount coupons. D. Baggage: Delta likes for your baggare to be unlocked or if locked, use a TSA approved lock which they can readily open with their security device. These are available at Walmart, Target, Home Depot, or any travel specialty shop. The guidelines for our luggage allowance is determined by our short flight from Quito to the Galapagos. Therefore, whether you fly Business or Coach, you need to follow the same guidelines as listed below. 1. Checked Baggage: (Coach and Business) You may take one checked bag weighing 44 pounds or less. 2. Carry-On Bags: (Coach and Business) You may take one carry-on bag weighing 14 pounds or less. This 14 pounds includes cameras. 3. Security Guidelines You ll go smoothly through the security checkpoints in most countries if you follow these guidelines for you carry-on baggage. * Do not pack or carry any empty containers * Limit all liquids, gels, aerosols, and pastes to a maximum container size of 3oz/100 ml. * Place all such items in a quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag. Only one bag is permitted per passenger. * Remove your quart-size bag from your carry-on and place in the provided bin as you approach the checkpoint. They also wish for any jackets, scarves, etc. to also be placed in bin. * Special provisions are usually made for necessary items such as medications. * Shoes will need to be placed in bin. It is much easier if you wear slip-on slip-off shoes. 4. Duty-free Items If you buy a duty free item it either needs to be put in your checked baggage or sealed by the vendor. Sometimes, the vendor will take it to the plane and let you pick it up as you board the plane. When you purchase anything in duty-free, be sure and review the guidelines with the vendor. It may save you a lot of hassle. 5. Additional Suggestions * Leave lighters at home * Leave your pocket-knives, files, scissors and any sharp objects at home or put them in your checked bag. F. Passports and Visas: Be sure you have your passport with you when you come to the airport. Make a couple of copies of the information page of your passport and put them in separate locations just in case you lose the original. You may wish to put a copy in each piece of your luggage. Check the expiration Page 3
3 date of your passport to be sure it is in date at least 6 months after your return date home. You need to have 4 blank pages in the back of your passport or somewhere within in order to have room for the international stamps. You do not need any visa for this trip. G. Travel Socks to Prevent DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis): If you are concerned about developing DVT, you may be interested in travel socks. Travel Smith, an on-line company, sells TravelSox to be worn on the plane to help prevent DVT. Several people have said that they thought these even helped with jet lag. Jet lag should not be a problem on this trip. Quito is only one hour earlier than our time. We have used Travel Smith for many years for travel needs and they are a very reliable company. Of course, you are welcome to check other companies and compare prices. Travel Smith s web site is II, VACCINATIONS: No specific shots or vaccines are necessary for travelers to Ecuador, although vaccinations against Hepatitis A are always a good idea. Concerning Yellow Fever Vaccination: Here is the quoted information from the CDC concerning Yellow Fever Vaccine: Yellow fever vaccination requirement for travelers to Ecuador: Required for travelers greater than 1 year of age coming from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. Nationals and residents of Ecuador are required to possess certificates of vaccination on their departure to an area with risk of yellow fever transmission. CDC Recommendation: For all travelers greater than 9 months of age who are traveling to the following provinces in the Amazon Basin: Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Sucumbios and Zamora-Chinchipe, and all other areas in the eastern part of the Andes Mountain, NOT including the cities of Quito and Guayaquil or the Galapagos Islands. Theoretically, if an outbreak of Yellow Fever happened in Quito or the Galapagos, then you would not be able to return to the USA without your Yellow Fever vaccine. A fact is, there are not mosquitos in Quito due to the altitude. There are mosquitos in the Galapagos, but not the ones that carry Yellow Fever. Of course, it is always important to be up to date with your tetanus-diphtheria, typhoid, and MMR immunizations. III. MEDICATIONS: Please take your regular medications with you in your carry-on. The altitude of Quito is close to 10,000 feet, therefore, you may wish to consider a prophylactic medication to help head off altitude sickness. There is no profile of a typical person who will get altitude sickness. It can affect anyone, no matter their age or health condition. The drug of choice seems to be Diamox. Please check with your personal physician to see if you should take this drug. It does have some side effects, but we have taken it in the past and tolerated it very well. You just need to check with your doctor who knows you. You may wish to carry Tylenol, Advil and Immodium in case you need a quick-fix for some reason. Please know that we will have a 24-hour doctor on board our ship as well as an infirmary if needed. The seas should be gentle this time of year, but just in case they are not, you may wish to take Dramamine or some other motion sickness remedy with you. Please remember that there is a medical doctor on board our ship 24/7 if we need one. Page 4
4 IV. VALUABLES: Do not take anything with you that will create an emotional or financial hardship if lost or stolen. There will be a safe in your room to store your passport while snorkeling, etc. In Quito, keep your passport on you at all times. Security wallets are vital investments. Please have some plan for keeping your money and passport safe. Be sure and have a copy of your passport somewhere in your belongings in case your original gets lost. It is much easier to get a replacement if you have a copy. Ladies with purses, be sure you have a strap long enough to go over your head so that its strap is diagonally across you and your purse can remain in front of you. Be sure it has a zipper and is not open in any way to allow pickpockets to take advantage of you. Avoid excessive displays of jewelry or cash. We are telling you these precautions just to make you more aware. In the islands you should have little worry, but in Quito you need to be more diligent. V. DRINKING WATER: Do not drink the tap water in Ecuador, even in the cities, as disease causing organisms are endemic. Ask for bottled drinking water at your hotel, and whenever you can, pick up a bottle of spring or purified water (available in most markets) to have handy. Avoid ice. It may be made from tap water. You also would do well to brush your teeth with purified water. The Marriott may have a purification system for their water. We will know that when we arrive. Also, our ship may have a purification system - we will ask. VI. COMMUNICATION WITH HOME: A. Telephones: The Marriott has international direct-dial and long-distance service, but the cost will be very expensive. Your best bet for making international calls is to head to any Internet café with an international calling option. These cafes have connections to Skype, Net2Phone, or some other VoIP service. International calls made this way can range anywhere for 5cents to $1 per minute. If you have your own Skype or similar account, you just need to find an Internet café that provides a computer with a headset. To call the USA from Ecuador, Dial: area code + 7 digit phone number B. Cell Phones: Please check with your personal supplier about access and costs for calls using your quad phone. C. Internet: By far, the cheapest way to keep contact with home is through the internet. You are welcome to take your laptop, but that is extra weight when you are already limited. If you wish to take laptop, there is Wi-Fi availability in most hotels, cafes and retailers. Ecuador uses standard US style two and three-prong electric outlets with 110 volt, AC current, and standard US-style phone jacks. Wherever you go, bring a connection kit of the right power and phone adapters, a spare phone cord, and a spare Ethernet network cable. Internet Access on the Xpedition costs: $.69 per minute if you buy the time per minute $29.95 for a 49 minute package $49.95 for a 90 minute package $79.95 for a 150 minute package Page 5
5 Ecuador has a prevalence of cyber cafes throughout their towns and cities, even on the Galapagos Islands. Therefore, if you have the time, you will have access to internet cafes on land. D. Emergency Contact Phone Numbers: In Quito - We will be at the JW Marriott Hotel. Phone # On the Xpedition This is a 24 hour emergency contact. When you dial this number, there will be many prompts, but they will lead you eventually to the ship directly and then to the person s cabin you are trying to get. If the person is not there, then you can leave a message with the desk for the person. Please be aware that the charge for your family or friends calling this number is $7.95 per minute. But, if you need to be contacted immediately, it is worth the cost. VII. Money Matters: A. Local Currency: Since 2000, the official unit of currency in Ecuador has been the U.S. dollar. You can use American or Ecuadorean coins, both of which come in denominations of 1, 5,10,25, and 50 cents. Otherwise, all the currency is in the paper form of American dollars in denominations of 1,5,10,20,50,and 100. It s very hard to make change, especially for any bill over $5, and especially in taxis. If you are retrieving money from an ATM, be sure to request a denomination ending in 1 or 5 so that you won t have to worry about breaking a large bill. B. ATM s: The easiest and best way to get cash away from home is from an ATM. There are ATM s all over Ecuador and the Galapagos. The Cirrus and PLUS networks span the globe: look at the back of your bank card to see which network you re on. Be sure you know your PIN and daily withdrawal limit before you depart. Also make sure your PIN number will work in Ecuador. C. CASH: Noting what has been stated about needing small bills to operate more easily in Ecuador, we are recommending that you take $240 per person in the denominations of ( 50 - $1 and 30 - $5 and 2 - $20 ). You can always bring remaining money home. Try to get as new of bills as possible. Please remember that you need the 2-$20 = $40 to pay for our exit fee upon departure in Quito to the USA. D. CREDIT CARDS: All major credit cards are accepted in Ecuador, although MasterCard and Visa will give you the greatest coverage, while American Express and Diners Club are slightly less widely used and accepted. Page 6 Make sure you retain any receipts to check later against your statements.
6 It is most important that you call your credit card companies before you leave the USA and tell them that you are going to be visiting Ecuador. Otherwise, they may put a freeze on your card while you are there thinking that it has been stolen. E. CUSTOMS: It is illegal to bring out any pre-columbian artifact from Ecuador, whether you bought it, you discovered it, or it was given to you. Returning U.S. citizens are granted a tax exemption on articles totaling US $800 in retail value if they accompany you, are for your own use, and are declared. VIII. PHOTOGRAPHY: The Ecuadorean indigenous people are very uneasy about having their picture taken. Many, in the more touristy areas, have parlayed this into a means of earning a few dollars, bu charging to have their picture taken. In the more remote and rural areas, a rude or disrespectful foreign shutterbug can earn the strong and sometimes vocal disdain of the local population. Always ask permission before taking photographs of people. IX. RESTROOMS: These are known as sanitarios or servicios sanitarios. You might also hear them called banos. They are marked damas (women) and hombres or caballeros (men). Public restrooms are rare to nonexistent, but most big hotels and public restaurants will let you use their restrooms. Sometimes you may find restrooms without tissue. Therefore, you may wish to take a small camp roll of tissue with you. You can purchase these in the sporting goods department at Walmart. X. ELECTRICITY: The majority of outlets in Ecuador are standard U.S.-style two-and three-prong electric outlets with V AC (60 Hz) current. Our ship is also has the same current. Therefore, your American apparatus will be just fine. XI. TIPPING: Tips are already included for our tour. Of course, they may suggest if you wish to add an additional tip, they would appreciate that. We will see. Restaurants add a 10% service charge to all checks. It s common to add 5% to 10% on top of this, especially ifyou feel the service merits it. Taxi drivers do not expect tips. Hotel porters are typically tipped 50 cents to $1 per bag. You should not have to worry about this unless you have your luggage stored for some reason on our last day in Quito. Otherwise, Celebrity has porterage covered. It is up to you if you wish to leave a small tip for your room attendants at the Marriott. A dollar or two will be sufficient per day. You may leave it each morning which is usually best so that the person who is cleaning your room will actually receive the tip. You will see that service is elevated a notch or two. :-) This gesture is one we have incorporated and encouraged as Page 7 goodwill and appreciation. Again, this is optional.
7 XII. WEATHER: The temperature for the Galapagos should range from an average low of 76 degrees to an average high of 87 degrees. The water temperature average is 77 degrees and the average rainfall for the month is 2.8 inches. April is nearing the end of the rainy season which means possible light drizzles during the day. The temperature for Quito should range from an average low of 50 degrees to an average high of 65 degrees. The month of April is the wettest month with 9 days out of the month with rain. The average rainfall for April is 6.8 inches. Therefore, you will definitely need an umbrella. XIII. IMPORTANT TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: * Passport - Remember your passport * Cruise Documents - You ll need these to board your ship. You will receive these documents days before sailing. * Guest Embarkation Forms - These can be filled out online at We will be happy to complete this for you, using the information on your Personal Information Sheet. XIV. INCLUDED AND NOT INCLUDED: A. What is included on our Celebrity Trip: 1. Meet and greet services at the Quito airport 2. 2-night pre-cruise and 1-night port-cruise hotel accommodations at the JW Marriott 3. VIP check-in and check-out at the hotel 4. Full-day guided tour of historical Quito, including a visit to the Equator Line at the Middle of the World Park and Museum 5. Meals and beverages while on tour and at the hotel, including a welcome dinner at the famous Resturante del Theatrum 6. Luggage service, including compliance with mandatory Galapagos agricultural inspection of all luggage at the hotel before departure and flight check-in with distribution of boarding passes at the hotel. Luggage is delivered directly toyour stateroom from the hotel in Quito. 7. Round-trip airfare Quito Baltra Quito 8. Park entrance fee 9. Airport meet and greet service by Celebrity Xpedition Naturalists 10. Transfers to and from pier to board Celebrity Xpedition Zodiacs night all inclusive Celebrity Xpedition Cruise including all meals and complimentary beverages aboard the vessel 12. Upon return to Quito on Sunday, shopping tour to local craft market and farewell dinner at the JW Marriott 13. All gratuities Page All beverages including bottled water, wine, beer and spirits, as well as coffee and tea service including espresso and cappuccino on the ship 15. On the ship - Room Service and in-stateroom dining during meal hours. 16. All snorkeling dquipment, including masks, snorkels, fins, wet-suits, and flotation
8 devices 17. On the ship - All onboard briefings and lectures led by expert naturalists B. Additional Items and Services Available for Purchase onboard our ship 1. Massage services 2. Scuba Diving (where available) 3. Internet Access 4. Select high-end liquors, aperitifs, and wines 5. Laundry Services C. What is not included on our trip: 1. Any food, beverages before our arrival to Quito 2. Travel Insurance 3. Food and beverages obtained ashore while on our cruise XV. INFORMATION ABOUT THE XPEDITION SHIP: A. Points and Locations of Interest: 1. Sunrise Deck - Has hot tub, sauna and sunning area 2. The Blue Finch Bar - Affords a deck-side view of your surroundings, making it a great spot to order a favorite cocktail and watch the equatorial sun sink into the vast blue of the Pacific 3. Darwin s Restaurant - Where we will discover the culinary wonders that are sure to dazzle the palate as well as please the eye 4. Discovery Lounge - This is where we will get prepped on the creatures we will encounter with our naturalis-led nightly lectures or simply relax over a drink at the picturesque bar 5. Beagle Grill - Where you can enjoy casual fare in an equally casual, relaxed setting. The delightful view ensure your meal will not only be delectable, but memorable as well B. Ship Cabin Amenities: Please note on page 103 in your book, a listing of the wonderful amenities in your stateroom. Note that binoculars are provided and voltage is 110 and 220. C. Ship s Clothing Attire: 1. Daytime and Shore Excursions: * The weather in these ports of call can be unpredictable, so layers are recommended Page 9 * Lightweight shorts and pants as well as both long and short-sleeve shirts * A jacket or sweatshirt will come in handy for cooler days and evenings * Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes or lightweight hiking boots, thick socks, swimsuit, and waterproof sandals or wet/dry water shoes for the beach
9 2. Evening: * There is no need for formal attire * For women, pants and skirts, or even casual dresses, with evening gowns and heels best left at home. Remember to bring along a sweater or jacket. * For men, comfortable shirts and pants, along with a sweater or jacket. Ties and sport coats are not necessary. XVI. PACKING CHECKLIST: Do not take anything with you that will create an emotional or financial hardship if lost or stolen. Carry all documents, money, passport, cash and credit cards on you personally, but not all in the same place to limit the inconvenience in case of loss. Do not carry the important items in your suitcase or hand luggage. When we are on the ship, there will be safe to keep important items. A. Checked Baggage: 1. Alarm Clock for a backup 2. Pre-packaged snacks - just a few for those in-between times in Quito 3. Walking Sticks if you have some. I think the ship furnishes walking sticks, but if you already have your own, that is great. 4. Weather will be unpredictable - Bring items that can be layered. Lightweight shorts and pants as well as both long and short-sleeve shirts. 5. A jacket or sweatshirt will come in handy for cooler days and evenings in the Galapagos Note - You can carry your jacket on the plane. 6. Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes or lightweight hiking boots or sneakers with good traction (2 pairs) 7. Underwear and thick socks 8. Swimsuit 9. Waterproof sandals or wet/dry water shoes for the beach 10. For Evenings - Women: Pants and skirts, or even casual dresses (no dress-ups or heels). Remember to bring a sweater or jacket. Men: Comfortable shirts and pants, along with a sweater or jacket. No ties or dress coats! 11. Resealable plastic bags and garbage bags to prevent water damage to cameras and they are also great to store dirty clothes. 12. Warm sweater to layer under jacket while in Quito 13. Hair dryer if you are concerned that the hair dryer on the ship or in hotel is not strong enough. Remember that current is 110 just like USA. 14. Antibacterial wipes or solution - Always a good idea! 15. Sunscreen - We are on the equator and the sun is intense 16. Insect Repellent - 30% - 50% is recommended. If you have any insect repellent clothing, be sure and bring that to wear. There are no mosquitos in Quito, but on a couple of islands there are mosquitos. We are not worried at all about Malaria, but there have been sporadic outbreaks of Dengue Fever on San Cristobal Island. Page Any toiletries that you are not carrying in your carry-on bag. 18. Pillow from home, if you like. :-) B. Carry-On Bag: 1. Passport, Cruise Documents, Guest Embarkation Forms (You will get these 1 month from
10 sailing. 2. Sun Hat 3. Extra Memory Chips for your digital camera 4. Extra pair of glasses in case you damage or lose your original ones 5. Binoculars if you wish to use your own. The ship has a pair in your cabin for you to use with the option to purchase at the end of the cruise. 6. Personal items that meet the security guidelines mentioned under Baggage in this printout. (The 3 oz Rule) 7. Medications kept in their original prescription bottles. Bring any other medications that you think you may need as aspirin, Tylenol, etc. 8. Reading material for your flight 9. Change of clothes/underwear, in the event your luggage gets delayed or if you wish to freshen up before your luggage gets to your cabin. Since we will be arriving late to Quito, you may wish to put your sleepwear in your carry-on to have ready as soon as you get to your room. 10. Light sweater or jacket - Airlines can be cold at times. 11. Neck rest and eye shades for the plane if you like. We will be flying in the daytime when going to Quito, but we will be flying in the middle of the night on our return home..