Well, unfortunately I'm back from Ecuador. 2 weeks was not long enough. I have to say it was a trip of a lifetime and everyone I met was great.
Tour company: I booked through Happy Gringo. They were terrific. Eva was very helpful and returned messages right away.
Arriving: I flew into Baltra from Guayaquil. I couldn't go to Quito. Too chilly for me. Everyone in my group, besides me, booked through Peregrine. They all met in Quito at a hotel. In the airport it took sometime for my guide and I to find each other. I didn't worry though. Tip: Don't panic or stress on trip.
Boat: I did a 8 day trip on the M/V San Jose. I don't have any complaints. The boat was clean, the crew was friendly and knowlegdeable. I was solo, so I met my roommate the day of the cruise. I was lucky. Kat was a great girl. We had a blast. We had windows on either side of our room. They were good for nice views or a cool breeze. Boy did that cool breeze help in drying our clothes;)
Food: I'm not picky, so to me the food was delicious. The kitchen crew was very accommodating to my vegetarian and non red-meat eating friends. At breakfast there was always cereal, yogurt, fruit and some protein. I loved the fish on the boat. One night we even had spaghetti. Yum. The only thing about the food was some of us really wanted something chocolatey.
Guide: Roberto was wonderful. He knew so much and was always one with jokes. He wasn't real strict with us and I think everyone liked him.
Islands: I'm not going to go into detail. I think everyone needs to see the islands themselves. Every island was unique. The views were amazing. The beaches were heaven and the animals were sometimes more curious about us than we of them. I did make it to Isabela island, but I did that on my own. On the last day of the cruise I decided I'm going to Isabela. Let me just say, what a boat ride!
Activites: I snorkeled almost everyday. The day I didn't was not by choice. My favorite spot was Devil's Crown. I saw sea lions up-close and personal, penguins, sharks, turtles, fish, rays and more. I didn't have a wetsuit and I could have stayed in the water for hours. However, I'm from the Northeast US and the water is cool up here. I'm also part fish according to my cruisemates. If you're sensitive to cold, than a wetsuit is a good idea. The boat provided snorkel gear. I didn't bring my own b/c I wouldn't have room. The snorkel leader was also the guide. He was a divemaster and made sure everyone was safe. Even an older man who went snorkeling for his first time in the deep waters. Hikes were great. Just be careful not to step on any animals. I was scared by lava lizards many times. A couple marine iguanas almost became intimate with my Tevas. Went out for drinks in Pto.Ayora and San Cristobal. It was nice to be off the boat at night. I felt very safe walking around.
Misc: I took along a journal to write down everything. There was no way I could remember half of what I saw or learned. I also brought music with me and some reading. I must admit I did fall once in the dinghy. I was ok and the crew was very helpful. It wouldn't have been a trip if I didn't fall;)
To everyone just enjoy yourself and go with the flow. Bring your sense of humor and you'll be sure to have a terrific time! I plan to go back to volunteer and do some diving. One more thing, I saw the book "My Father's Island" on the boat. I ended up buying it in San Cristobal. Finished it in 2 days. Good read to get to know Galapagos.
I could write so much more, but if you have questions just ask.