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nosapphire

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  1. I have always thought that the food on Saga varies from good to excellent - but two areas where they always excel are soups and the cheeseboard. I am not usually a soup lover but that changes whenever on Saga. Others have already commented on the variety and quality of cheeses offered at lunch and dinner. They usually only put small amounts of hot food out on the buffet at any one time, but is it continually replenished, so the hot food is always hot. And when we were on last (pre-Covid) the breakfast toast was hot as well. Only thing that I was very sad about is when I read an interview (2019 or 2020, can't remember which) with Saga food&beverages manager who emphasised that ALL their steaks came from the USA because the quality was so high. Now while I have always enjoyed steaks when in America, I feel that our Scotch beef is second to none, so it made me sad to discover that Saga were not using home produced meat whenever possible. Ironically, a lot of the USA meat is Aberdeen Angus....
  2. The age limit is part of their booking terms and conditions, it is not just that the holidays are targeted at the 50 plus, you have to the right age to make a booking. So if you are under 50, something to look forward to.
  3. I would think that they are hanging on to the last possible moment to try and be sure that whatever changes they have to make do not have to be changed again. I really cannot see you getting to St.Petersburg, Saga will have alternatives left, right and centre - but the situation is so fluid that they cannot reliably tell anyone what is going to happen over a month ahead. These are not normal times, and no cruise line is able to give out information in the manner they usually do. Currently, cruise lines and passengers alike are taking a gamble on any cruise running as planned. At least, in the event of a change that does not suit you, Saga have a very good reputation for prompt and easy rebooking or refunding.
  4. Ship will feel very spacious with only 50%. https://travel.saga.co.uk/travel-updates/coronavirus-cruise-passengers.aspx
  5. Seems simple to me. Cruise lines (like all holiday businesses) are struggling. The more bookings they get, the better the balance sheet. Just like all of us, they knew that "freedom" day was not set in stone, but decided to act as it was in order to get more revenue. Saga have just (today) announced on their website that they will be reducing the number of guests in order to comply with legislation, and they too are contacting passengers on a "last booked, first bumped" (my phrasing) order. All the lines must hope that at least 50% of the new bookings, now being bounced, will elect to accept the credit and not take a refund. Somebody else has already pointed out that anyone who made a new booking must have been aware that things were still very uncertain, so seems unreasonable to start blaming the cruise line for accepting the booking without reminding the customer how uncertain things still are - it has not exactly been a secret.
  6. In view of the delay in step 4 of the roadmap, I hope they sold the first three Discovery cruises on the basis of max 500 passengers, not the 800 they said in the publicity - be an awkward situation (for Saga) otherwise.
  7. Actually, I can understand the "it has not been tested on enough people" fear. All the results are short term results - there is still the potential for as yet unknown long term side effects. At the beginning of 2020 I was one of those saying, "I won't rush to have a vaccine until it has been in general use for a few years". At the beginning of 2021 I was one of those anxiously reading to see whether my age group had been reached. By then, I realised that the real risk of Covid far outweighed the possible risk of unknown long term effects. Happy to say I am now fully vaccinated - but I can still understand (even if not agree) why some people, especially the younger generation, are nervous.
  8. Latest update 10th May - link attached https://visitgreenland.com/corona-faq/#cruisetrip see section 5 of the FAQ. This may well change before the cruise. I still feel so sorry for those desperately trying to organise a cruise itinerary and playing "guess the changes".
  9. As far as I am aware, you can make the advance registration regardless of whether you have cruised with Saga or not. That is one of the nicest things about Saga - Britannia Club members get perks with membership, but things such as bookings, excursions, speciality restaurant reservations etc. are equal to all - there is no priority list or "pecking order", everybody is given equal importance. Pre-reg is £90 per person, comes off the deposit if you book, or is fully refundable if you do not book. It guarantees that you get the option to book before the brochures go out to the general public, you will be called by Saga in order of advance registration, so if a lot of people made a registration before you did and they pick the cruise you are interested in, the discount may be less that the full 35%. The deposit (if you do book) is 15% capped at a maximum of £1,000 per person, I really recommend that if you book you take out the included insurance, as that gives extra cancellation rights prior to the cruise. If you have your own insurance, you can still take theirs and then cancel theirs before sailing with a refund of the insurance cost - obviously, provided you have not made a cancellation claim. If you simply change your mind, Saga are usually flexible about rolling the deposit over to another cruise. I also think that Saga are still doing the "love it first time" arrangement, if you have never cruised on a Saga ship before and you dislike the Saga cruise, then they'll fly you home (their expense) and refund the cost of the cruise - there are terms and conditions, think you have to make a decision within the first 48 hours, you can check this on their online brochure.
  10. Phone them. £90 per person, will be taken off the deposit if you book, fully refundable if you do not book or change your mind (and Saga are usually very quick on refunds). Possible to pre-register even 2 years ahead. Not quite - you are guaranteed to get the chance to book before they go on general sale, but there is no guarantee about how much the discount will be. If a lot of people pre-registered before you did, and want the same cruise, it is not unusual to find that the discount has dropped substantially by the time you are contacted.
  11. While I know this is not the RC forum, interesting article about their planned Israel sailings - which, if the article is correct, may not be going quite as planned for either cruises or crew vaccinations. https://www.cruiselawnews.com/2021/04/articles/disease/odyssey-of-the-seas-arrives-in-israel-israels-minstry-of-health-still-has-not-approved-royal-caribbeans-health-protocols/ Methinks the lines that did NOT declare that all crew would be vaccinated played the sensible card.
  12. I've just checked the NHS App, and while I cannot see vaccination records online via the GP practice, I can see it via the NHS App, which I could not do last month. But it is in the middle of "consultations and events "- 176 records to date, including repeat prescriptions and flu vaccinations listed in reverse date order. It will take a long time to scroll through to find and prove each vaccination dose; it does not separate vaccinations from everything else, let alone show the Covid vaccination separately. Needs a lot of work before it can be used - especially to stop it logging you out before you have finished - but it has made progress since last month, so there is hope. (I only have a cheap smartphone on Asda payg for this sort of thing. I use the non-smart Doro (also on Asda payg) for actual calls).
  13. Not Saga. They were the first to state that all passengers must be vaccinated, but the crew will be vaccinated "when possible". See the FAQ link attached. https://travel.saga.co.uk/travel-updates/cruise-coronavirus-vaccine.aspx
  14. Looks as if it is - link attached with information. https://www.amsterdamtips.com/amsterdam-cruise-ship and scroll down this one for the word "handeslskade" which suggests that this will be the terminal used. https://www.nedcruise.info/cruise terminals.htm
  15. I have a Doro for phone calls, and a small basic Samsung smartphone. Both on Asda payg sim cards - just either use or top-up every 6 months to keep live, no contract, no minimum, no tie-in. £10 each lasts a year.
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