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About kentchris

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Overlooking the Straights of Dover
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Cunard, Saga

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  1. They appear to be fine with conditions declared when taking out the policy, but my wife had a GP appointment to discuss some scans on the Friday before we sailed. She couldn’t reach Saga that afternoon so on Monday she called to tell them amongst other things that her scans had shown a probably benign condition unrelated to the reason for the scans, and that her GP was going to refer that to a specialist in the unlikely event that it needed a followup. Even though her GP had not advised against travel (and was aware of our cruise), Saga’s insurance cancelled all cover for my wife on the basis of the undiagnosed condition. They were unable to explain this over the phone in any detail, even when escalated to a manager, so we’re expecting to find a written response when we get home. Fortunately we had alternative cover in place, but we were shocked by Saga’s inability to alter their policy to work around a condition declared after the cover started, eg by excluding any condition related to that particular organ, or by charging extra for cover, either of which are what one would normally expect from a travel policy.
  2. I didn’t see tonight’s MDR menu but our lunchtime dining companions said it involved lobster and steak as tonight was a formal night. We had lunch in The Grill: our wine waiter was the same person who’d touted East to West on our first night. She asked if we’d got anything special arranged and when we said ‘no’ offered us a shared table at East to West this evening so that sorted another evening, so on our fourth night we’ve eaten dinner once in the MDR (which last night was as good as the best MDR meal we’ve had elsewhere). The earliest Coast to Coast could offer us a table for two was Friday which we booked, but flexibility about table size seems to ensure one or other or the alternative restaurants available on the day. We’ve now dined with a couple of people who have declared dietary restrictions to Saga: as one would expect they are able to plan their eating in advance, which includes multiple alternative restaurant bookings. As far as I can tell they’re the only people who are able to make multiple alternative restaurant bookings as they need to be certain what will be on their plates.
  3. We’ve only eaten in the MDR once so far and didn’t photo the menu, although I belatedly remembered when we passed the Grill. The same food is served in The Grill in the evenings, plus or minus one or two items ie steak, chicken and salmon are always available in the MDR. All MDR dishes are available in smaller portions, prepared more simply, or with more potatoes and/or veg. The Stockholm Style Liver was excellent, I don’t remember ever eating such tender liver, and the menu demonstrates Saga’s tendency to tailor menus to where the ship is, rather than work through a rigid weekly rotation which is all we’ve experienced on other lines.
  4. I’m not sure it’ll be necessary: on re-reading the onboard information pack it appears that non essential announcements should only be heard in cabin if the TV is set to the ship’s map channel (which ours was yesterday when we were in receipt of unnecessary updates). I haven’t been able to confirm this as we haven’t been in our cabin at the right times today to confirm either way, but we’ll keep an eye on it.
  5. After a busy port call to Gothenburg yesterday, and a surprisingly busy sea day today, here are the latest couple of dailys:
  6. No sign of that being possible. Given the way people are reacting to the current system there’d be uproar if online booking prior to the cruise was possible - it’s cause of some grief on the Viking Ocean forum because they operate a priority system for pre cruise bookings based on cabin grade.
  7. What the letter from Saga doesn’t mention is that phone bookings are accepted on embarkation day, as made clear in the welcome aboard edition of ‘Today’. I rang the booking number just after 3.30 and got through immediately to The Club to make my reservation. After the first day you can book in person or by phone between 17.30 and 18.30. Last night we saw people making bookings as they left The Club while there was someone on the front desk.
  8. In cabin announcements from both Captain Julian and Cruise Director Michelle Dunne just after 8 this morning. Fair enough as half the shorex departures are before 9am. We’re docked at Arendal next to the Volvo Museum, there’s a very modest little cruise terminal here. There’s a half hourly shuttle to the Stora Teatern just off the city centre for independent travellers.
  9. Hair dryers which are provided by the cruise line will have been safety tested as part of the procurement process: there isn’t the resource on board a river ship to test random appliances which passengers may want to use.
  10. We had an excellent tomahawk steak in The Club tonight, but weren’t finished in time for Peter Donegan’s show so enjoyed some cool jazz while we finished our meal. Then up to the Britannia Lounge to hear Abbie Chambers do a solo set - well worth hearing but frustrating that the levels could set OK in the lounge but not in the Playhouse last night when we could hardly hear her. The Silver Show Band took over and a few people got up on the floor with the Gentlemen Hosts. Conclusion: the ents are good when you can hear them properly. Tomorrow’s daily:
  11. That’s correct, every cabin grade can eat from the GDR menu during opening hours. My previous post was based on the cabin amenity information on doing a dummy booking, the only source of dining information I could find, so Saga need to clear that up. The coffee table in the twin rooms doesn’t really lend itself to a sit down type meal, I’ll try to remember to ask our steward if they provide a higher table when the GDR food is served.
  12. Agreed, each line makes its own trade offs which some passengers enjoy and others endure. One of Saga’s that newcomers are finding irksome is that passengers using Saga transport may not leave the ship until quite late. Dover only has limited capacity for cabs to pick up and drop off compared with Southampton so that might not be such an issue for Soton arrivals. Our driver said yesterday that the queue to drop off his passengers from Scarborough was slow because cabs were still picking up, and he must have been there no earlier than 1pm - he was due to collect us at 3pm but called at about 1.45 to ask if we’d like go earlier so we were off at 2pm and on board just after 3pm.
  13. We chanced lunch at the Lido as the sun is out and it’s not too blowy. I forgot to photo the fish goujonettes until it was too late, but the menu is below.
  14. One thing I don’t remember seeing being mentioned elsewhere is the escort to one’s cabin on embarkation which we experienced on Sapphire on our first ever cruise. For some reason I wasn’t expecting it this time but there it was, with a relay of crew taking us from the Living Room where we boarded the ship to the correct lift, someone in the lift to take us to the correct deck, and from the lift to our cabin. Useful enough for anyone unfamiliar with the ship, and essential for the easily disorientated. Having last cruised in Cunard’s QG, and not had a bell boy escort us to our suite because we weren’t in a high enough grade, it was nice to see Saga continuing to give passengers in the cheap seats at least one little frill.
  15. No intrusive in-cabin announcement from Captain Burgess this morning. Perhaps last cruise’s experience was a blip.
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