Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Celebrity Xpedition - Day 1

Friday, August 29th seemed like any other morning as we got out of bed, took our showers, and got dressed. We went downstairs for some breakfast as usual. Sounds pretty normal - right?

You are probably starting to wonder why I'm telling you about what appears to be a normal day.
Did I mention it was my husband's birthday? Ok, but that still doesn't explain why I'm telling you this. I suppose you want some more hints, so I'll oblidge.

If you were at our house, you would have noticed duffel type suitcases and backpacks lined up by the door. (I can't give you a bigger hint than that.) Now it's making sense, this must have been the departure day for a cruise. You guessed it!

Since the end of July 2007 we had been waiting for this day to arrive. While aboard Celebrity Century on our North Cape cruise, we booked the Celebrity Xpedition 10 night Galapagos cruise. It seemed like an enternity since we made our reservation.

Celebrity Xpedition has a capacity of 92 passengers, so it is necessary to plan far in advance. There were several dates we could have gone but we selected the August 29th departure to take advantage of the Labor Day holiday. It would mean my husband could take one less vacation day. Also, we would be able to celebrate his birthday in Quito, Ecuador.

We had an early morning flight to Miami, Florida where we would change planes for Qutio, Ecuador. There was a slight delay in Miami, but for the most part, it was an uneventful travel day.

Arriving in Quito, we deplaned and walked down a long corridor to baggage claim. The first thing we noticed was a sign that said slow down you are at an altitude of 2,850 m (about 9,350 ft). Since we were pulling a carry-on bag, we did take their advice.

Celebrity Xpeditions staff greeted us as we arrived in the baggage hall. We completed the customs and imigration process and took our luggage to the waiting buses. Our guide gave us bottled water and explained that we had a short ride (about 15 minutes) to the JW Marriott Hotel, Quito.

We arrived at the hotel and went inside to register. There were tables set up in the lobby to accomodate us. After checking in, we took the elevator to our room. The luggage was brought to our room shortly after that.

Our hotel room was located on the eighth floor. We had a beautiful room with a view of the pool area and Quito. Click on the picture above or for a closer look, view my J W Marriott Quito album.

The rest of the night we were on our own. We stayed in the hotel room, unpacked a few things, and watched some television. The next morning we'd have breakfast and embark on a city tour.

August 29th wasn't a normal day for us afterall. We woke up in one continent, North America, and went to sleep in another, South America. This was just Day 1 of an amazing journey that I will share with you.

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