How about a thread for Saga Cruises


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#1
Hertfordshire UK
738 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Saga cruises have 2 new ships on order and should have their own thread!
Spirit of Discovery first advertised cruise on 23 July 2020, followed by Spirit of Adventure
1000 passengers, all balcony, their sales people rate it as 6 star, included tips, wine with meals
We are booked on Norway's Night Skies sailing 16 Feb 2020 - looks a beautiful ship

Alan
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Up Coming
October 17 2018 Douro Queen 8 days River Douro Cruise
December 19 2018 Caribbean Princess Circle Caribbean
Feb 27 2019 P&O Aurora Northern Lights Norway from Southampton
June 17 2019 Scenic River Cruise Romantic Rhine and Moselle on Scenic Pearl
Dec 21 2019 Celebrity Eclipse Buenos Aires to Santiago
Feb 16 2020 Saga Spirit of Discovery Northern lights from Southampton

Past cruises
From 2004 to date on Thomson, Regent, Silversea, Princess, Cunard, P&O, Celebrity and others

Dec 17 2017 Panama Canal - Miami to LA,
Feb 25 2018 Oriana Northern Lights Norway from Southampton
June 23 2018 Crown Princess Western Med & Adriatic (Barcelona to Athens)
#2
Overlooking the Straights of Dover
277 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
A thread works best when it's a reasonably focussed discussion about a specific topic, so a general one about all things Saga isn't going to take off.

If you're thinking in terms of a thread about a particular cruise it would live in the All Other Cruise Lines Roll Calls forum, https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/fo...=72&order=desc, where there are plenty of Saga roll calls. The only one so far about a Spirit of Discovery cruise is one I created last year so there doesn't seem to be a great deal of interest - if you create a roll call for your cruise it might spark things a bit.
#3
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
2,038 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
I believe Alan meant a separate Sub-forum for Saga. I would also like to see one as Saga has not only ocean going ships but river cruises as well.
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Tamara

Upcoming: Holland America-East Indies and Coral Seas Jan 2019

PAST CRUISES: Azamara: QUEST-Eastern Mediterranean Oct/Nov 2008 & Southeast Asia Dec 2009/Jan 2010; Celebrity: CONSTELLATION-Caribbean Dec 2004; Cruise and Maritime ASTORIA-Spring Time Seine River Mar 2018; Fred Olsen BLACK WATCH-Arctic Explorer July/Aug 2016, BOUDICCA-Canary Islands & Cape Verde Nov/Dec 2016; Holland America: VOLENDAM-Japan, S Korea and No Pacific Crossing Apr/May 2017, ZAANDAM-South America/Antarctica Jan/Feb 2014, OOSTERDAM-South Pacific Nov/Dec 2013, VOLENDAM-Australia Mar/Apr 2010, PRINSENDAM-West Africa Oct/Nov 2006, & STATENDAM-Mexican Riviera Dec 2003; Hurtigruten: NORDKAPP-Norway Apr/May 2006; Norwegian: GEM-New England/Canada Sep 2018; JADE-Western Caribbean Jan 2016, STAR-Alaska Aug 2008 & WIND-Alaska June 2004; Oceania: REGATTA Amazon-Nov/Dec 2010 & NAUTICA Black Sea-Aug/Sep 2011; Princess: RUBY- Wine Country Coastal Oct 2017, DIAMOND-Grand Japan/Taiwan May-June 2015, GRAND-Pacific Coastal March 2015, SAPPHIRE-Pacific Coast Sept 2005, DAWN-Hawaii/South Pacific Oct 2002, & SUN-Panama Canal/Caribbean Mar 2001; Royal Caribbean: MONARCH OF THE SEAS-Baja/Calif. June 2006; Saga: REGINA RHENI-Contrasts of the Danube May 2018; Swan Hellenic: MINERVA-Italy May 2011 & Grand Trade Winds Feb/Mar 2013; Uniworld RIVER QUEEN-Rhine & Moselle Sept/Oct 2009; Viking: SEA-Grand Mediterranean Feb/Mar 2017; Victoria: STAR-Yangtze, China Oct 2007; Voyages of Discovery: VOYAGER-Indian Ocean and East Africa Dec 2014/Jan 2015.
#4
Charlotte NC
102 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by kentchris
A thread works best when it's a reasonably focussed discussion about a specific topic, so a general one about all things Saga isn't going to take off.

And why not? Threads such as "All Things Vantage," "All Things Avalon," etc. are doing just fine!
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Sailed:
- S/V Mandalay, Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, Windward Islands & Panama
- M/V Grande Mariner, Blount, Great Lakes & Erie Canal
- M/V Safari Endeavor, UnCruise, Alaska
- M/V Legacy, UnCruise, Colombia & Snake Rivers
- M/V Infante Henrique, CrossiEurope, Portugal
- M/V Glory, American Cruise Lines, Florida

- M/V Safari Voyager, UnCruise, Costa Rica & Panama
- M/V Variety Voyager, Vantage, British Isles

- M/V America, American Cruise Lines, Mississippi River
- M/V American Duchess, American Steamboat Co., Nashville
Planned:
-M/V Constitution, American Cruise Lines, New England
-M/V River Voyager, Vantage, Frankfurt-Budapest
#5
Charlotte NC
102 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by comcox
I believe Alan meant a separate Sub-forum for Saga. I would also like to see one as Saga has not only ocean going ships but river cruises as well.

I agree, OP was probably requesting a separate Sub-forum, as have many for their favorite cruise line. Problem is, CruiseCritic appears to have not honored these requests, regardless of the popularity of the cruise line, and has not divulged the actual criteria that a cruise line must meet to be granted their own sub-forum. Inquiries to CruiseCritic about the criteria (by myself and others) have remained unanswered.
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Sailed:
- S/V Mandalay, Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, Windward Islands & Panama
- M/V Grande Mariner, Blount, Great Lakes & Erie Canal
- M/V Safari Endeavor, UnCruise, Alaska
- M/V Legacy, UnCruise, Colombia & Snake Rivers
- M/V Infante Henrique, CrossiEurope, Portugal
- M/V Glory, American Cruise Lines, Florida

- M/V Safari Voyager, UnCruise, Costa Rica & Panama
- M/V Variety Voyager, Vantage, British Isles

- M/V America, American Cruise Lines, Mississippi River
- M/V American Duchess, American Steamboat Co., Nashville
Planned:
-M/V Constitution, American Cruise Lines, New England
-M/V River Voyager, Vantage, Frankfurt-Budapest
#6
11 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Hi there

Has anyone seen the brocure for the new Saga ship Discovery?
It looks very nice but there only seem to be balcony rooms and no drinks package which all seems a bit odd.
We cruise regularly with Fred Olsen and spend little time in our cabin preferring to be out and about on the ship so for one cruise on this new ship we would get us three on "Fred" including our drinks.
As this ship will operate from Dover I cannot see there will be many takers from local people at the prices offered
#7
Hertfordshire UK
738 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
I take it you mean the new Spirit of Discovery, we are booked on it - Norway's Night Skies cruise 16 Feb 2020. from Southampton.
The first few cruises from August 2019 seem to go from Dover but the 17 October cruise sails from Dover but return to Southampton, then the remaining cruises use Southampton.
The Spirit of Discovery looks to be a magnificent ship and in my opinion with 1000 passengers fills the niche between the new mega ships and the luxury ones such as Silversea and Regent. Though Saga sales called their new ship 6 star I have never sailed with Fred so I cant compare (but I have sailed with Regent and Silverseas)
There are a number of perks with this ship, included transport service from home to ship and return (or parking), drinks with lunch and dinner, Specialty dining at no extra cost, all tips included, travel insurance, free wifi, free afternoon tea.
Alan
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Up Coming
October 17 2018 Douro Queen 8 days River Douro Cruise
December 19 2018 Caribbean Princess Circle Caribbean
Feb 27 2019 P&O Aurora Northern Lights Norway from Southampton
June 17 2019 Scenic River Cruise Romantic Rhine and Moselle on Scenic Pearl
Dec 21 2019 Celebrity Eclipse Buenos Aires to Santiago
Feb 16 2020 Saga Spirit of Discovery Northern lights from Southampton

Past cruises
From 2004 to date on Thomson, Regent, Silversea, Princess, Cunard, P&O, Celebrity and others

Dec 17 2017 Panama Canal - Miami to LA,
Feb 25 2018 Oriana Northern Lights Norway from Southampton
June 23 2018 Crown Princess Western Med & Adriatic (Barcelona to Athens)
#8
Dover, Kent
31 Posts
Joined May 2017
Hi, Having found some Saga customers - please is anyone able to offer me some insight into how their cabin grades work? I've looked into it as best I can but am learning very little. I know I could ring them and ask but they are a little bit pushy once they find someone who's got half an interest and I'm not really up for being hassled just yet.
Sorry if I've hijacked a thread about something else but (as stated) there s little to find on here re: Saga cruises.
#9
11 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Thaks Alan
Not really much of a perk when most of what you mention is either included or optional on Fred, or something we would not use.
We would only travel from Dover (fifteen miles up the road) and would expect a fully inclusive drinks package either included or provided at mimimal cost.
For us their is little to gain from a state room style cabin as we prefer to be out and about on the ship and would not do a " formal night" under any circumstances, God forbid.!
That is why I say this new ship seems to be top heavy as you might say with nothing to attract ordinary cruise travellers.
There is definately a gap in the market for a middle of the road cruise ship operating from Dover but this is clearly not it.
Shame.
#10
Hertfordshire UK
738 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Its Horses for courses as they say
Its a good job we all want different things isnt it otherwise some ships would be very overcrowded.

We won't go on a ship if there are no formal nights - for us that's part of cruising, drinks with meals is different to a drinks package. Usually if a drinks package is included in the basic fare we negotiate a lower price without it.

The new Saga ship is I think not in competition with Fred as such as its more comparable with Regent / Silverseas (done both).

We are on the new Spirit of Discovery for a Northern lights cruise in 2020, that is a destination (temperature was minus 25 degrees this year) where we have found a bigger cabin is desirable, having done it twice with a mini suite and once with an inside cabin (never again). Other than Northern lights we have never had a mini suite - a balcony cabin is adequate.

If you live very close to Dover then cruises from there must be very attractive.
Expand Signature
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Up Coming
October 17 2018 Douro Queen 8 days River Douro Cruise
December 19 2018 Caribbean Princess Circle Caribbean
Feb 27 2019 P&O Aurora Northern Lights Norway from Southampton
June 17 2019 Scenic River Cruise Romantic Rhine and Moselle on Scenic Pearl
Dec 21 2019 Celebrity Eclipse Buenos Aires to Santiago
Feb 16 2020 Saga Spirit of Discovery Northern lights from Southampton

Past cruises
From 2004 to date on Thomson, Regent, Silversea, Princess, Cunard, P&O, Celebrity and others

Dec 17 2017 Panama Canal - Miami to LA,
Feb 25 2018 Oriana Northern Lights Norway from Southampton
June 23 2018 Crown Princess Western Med & Adriatic (Barcelona to Athens)
#11
UK
914 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by retiredbrit
Its Horses for courses as they say
Its a good job we all want different things isnt it otherwise some ships would be very overcrowded. We won't go on a ship if there are no formal nights . .
and one reason why I would not go on another Saga trip is the archaic dress code. So you're right. If we all wanted the same thing it would be rather crowded.
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2004 - Sun Boat III (The Nile)
2005 - Andrea (The Baltic)
2006 - Pandaw (Burma/The Irrawaddy)
2007 - Island Sky (Seychelles-Mozambique-Zanzibar)
2009 - Orion (NZ-Norfolk Is-New Cal-Vanuatu-Solomons-PNG)
2009 - Clipper Odyssey (Tahiti-Pitcairn-Easter Island)
2010 - Clipper Odyssey
(Tahiti-Cook Is-Niue-Samoa-American Samoa-Wallis&Futuna-Fiji)
2010 - Clipper Odyssey (Bali-Celebes-Brunei-Sabah-Sarawak)
2011 - Pandaw (Cambodia-Vietnam-The Mekong)
2011 - Island Sky (Cape Verde-Ascension-St Helena-Tristan da Cunha-Falklands)
2013 - Saga Sapphire (Madeira-Canaries-Caribbean-Azores)
2013 - Corinthian II (The Med)
2013 - Caledonian Sky
(NZ-New Cal-Vanuatu-Solomons-PNG-West Papua-Malaku-Bali)
2014 - Seabourn Legend (Caribbean)
2014 - Royal Crown (The Danube)
2015 - Silver Cloud
(Ghana-Togo-Benin-Sao Tome-Angola-Namibia-SouthAfrica)
2016 - Seabourn Quest (Caribbean)
2016 - Serenissima (Caribbean)
2017 - RSS Navigator (Canada-St Pierre&Miquelon-Greenland-Iceland)
2017 - Seabourn Quest (Antarctica & South Georgia)
2018 - Seabourn Ovation (Norway)
2019 - Silver Galapagos (Galapagos Islands)












#12
Lincolnshire England
2,915 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Although there has been a very recent increase in posts about Saga I am not sure that we are quite ready for a special Saga sub-forum, as the line has essentially 100% British Isles residents as passengers. I know the same probably applies to P and O and Fred Olsen, but they have more ships and obviously far more passengers.

Comparing Saga with Fred, we have cruised Fred quite a lot but admittedly not for a fair few years, and cruised on I think all the ships except Balmoral over the years. My feeling is that anyone who really loves the Fred style would probably not care for Saga, and vice-versa. Obviously one of the things which appeals to many of us who live at a distance from the ports is being looked after right from your front door to the ship and back, included in the cost. Regarding drinks, Saga always includes a choice of wines and beers and all soft drinks with meals, with no need to show a card or sign a chitty. All inclusive cruises also include a choice of cocktails and drinks like a Bloody Mary or rum punch at any time of day, from about 10 a.m. onwards! Drinks otherwise are at a reasonable price, with no tip added, and of course no tipping necessary at the end of the cruise, although many do give their very efficient room steward and room service person who brings your morning tea every day a tip at the end of the cruise. So on an all inclusive cruise you will have no bill at the end unless you have done excursions or spent money in the shop.
#13
Lincolnshire England
2,915 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Forgot to mention no set times for dinner, and if you prefer you can ask before the cruise for a set table every night, if you like dining just as a twosome or with friends or family you are travelling with. And arrive for dinner at any time between 6.45 and 9 (though preferably not just before 9, IMO, to be fair to the hard working waiters).

I tend to agree about formal nights, wish they would not expect men to wear either a dj or suit, but like many other lines just perhaps ask for a jacket to be worn on some evenings.
#14
Lincolnshire England
2,915 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Just a thought - to whoever at CC is in charge of this board. I see we are getting more posts about Saga, but it is now a bit confusing as we have two rather similar ones going. Is it possible to somehow 'merge' them into one thread for anything Saga, until such time as Saga needing its own sub-forum?
#16
11 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
H there
I need a little reassurance please as I think I have made a terrible mistake booking a mini cruise on the Saga Pearl this December.
We are experienced cruisers but have only traveled on Fred Olsen but Saga offered us a mini cruise as a "taster" and we decided to give it a try.
What I had not appreciated when we booked was that the Saga Pearly has no self service option in the evenings.
My husband is an ordinary working man, he worked on building sites all his life and the thought of having to wear a suit , be served by a presumable critical waiter, (as we have seen on "Fred") and not being sure what cutlery to use or what to do with his napkin will cause him so much stress he will not enjoy the break at all.
Saga have told us the only way out of this is to take all our eveing meals as room service in our cabin but obviously we dont want to do that either.
I suppose what I am asking is how "informal" is the informal one of the two restaurants, would the waiting staff understand about a passenger who is genuinely worried about eating formally in public with people he doesnt know and is there any possibility of us being given a quiet table for two in a corner somewhere.
Your reassurances would be most appreciated.
#17
Lincolnshire England
2,915 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
I'm sorry to read that you re worried about your Saga cruise. You can ask for a table for two, the same one each night, in the main dining room - I recommend you phone them soon as they could 'run out' of assigned tables. If there is no formal night on board, your husband does not need to take a jacket for dinner in either restaurant. If there is a formal night and he does not want to take a suit and tie, or maybe a light beige jacket and black trousers, which some men do who do not have a suit, then I suppose you would have to have room service. I can assure you that the waiters, who are Filippino, are friendly and helpful, and never appear to be at all critical of passengers - and most of the passengers are similar. We are a very mixed bunch on board, but generally people get on well with everyone, sometimes making friends onboard or at least passing the time of day in a pleasant manner.
#18
Lincolnshire England
2,915 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Jmyrtle - I should also have said that wine or beer is included at lunch and dinner in both restaurants, and you can arrive at any time during opening hours - usually 6.45 to 9 in the evening; no set dining times as at Fred. There is a choice of wines, usually 2 or 3 reds and whites and a rose, and several beers. Quite a few people - mainly men - have beer with their meals. And the wine waiters come round to top up quite frequently!
#19
Bermuda
2,600 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Little Saga Pearl 2 is THE real gem! Lovely ship. From what I have heard about Fred Olsen, Saga is a few notches above. On of my good friend went on the Pearl. They have sailed with Olsen and many other cruise lines, including high end. One comment he said, "The crew are some of the best that I have seen on many ships and the food on Saga is much better too!" I agree. If you are doing a short 'taster', please talk so Saga and ask them about dress code. For a four or five day cruise you are unlikely to have a formal and might not have any informal, or perhaps on. For these, don't worry about the dress code. Simple blazer and slacks is fine. Tie if you prefer. Again... this is a sampler cruise. Beware the times for the mina dining room, yes the dining room opens at 6.35 and it closes at 9 but please, do not come back at five to nine. If 99% in the dining room are dining early and the other 1% expect to walk, well, honest, it is completely out of line. No need to be at starting time either, take your time but honestly, most passengers are at table by say, 7.15 to 7.30, that is fine. A few will come in between 7.30 and 7.45, that is fine. If you want you food well prepared, come as I point out here. After 8 is not good.

Two restaurants, Main Restaurant and the Lido. The food is the same. Dress code is the same. Every is the same! The rooms look different but when they are set, BOTH look great. Perhaps the Lido might feel a touch casual. I have enjoyed BOTH restaurants. You might dine with friend in one for tonight and with others in the other on the other night. It is all your choice. Some people will eat only in the Main, a lot of others prefer the Lido.

Mainly main have beer with their meals? I have seen women drinking beer too! Don't sweat. Drink what you want. No one is going to say anything one way or the other. Likewise drink in the bars before dinner or lunch. Drink what you want... even fruit juice!!!!! No packages for alcohol because there is no need for it. The drink at lunch and dinner are free. If you want ten or if you want none, that is your choice. No, you will not get a discount if you choose not to drink. That would be no difference if you want two drink every even or you want twenty.....you pay the same price for you ticket.

Oh, if you want room service, great service. You can choose from a simple service menu OR, call room service and they will bring the restaurant menu to you. No problem. Will drinks too, but not if free.

Enjoy the PEARL, I would take PEARL over Queen Mary!!!!

Stephen
#20
Lincolnshire England
2,915 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Just to clarify - not all Saga cruises are all inclusive, but all do include wine, beer etc. at lunch and dinner. If you are not on an AI, bar drinks are not included.

Jmyrtle - have you read any of this advice? And if so, was it helpful?