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Anyone prepared to admit they're old enough to have sailed with Saga and if so, what was it like?

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I did a Saga cruise on the Sapphire, sailing from Southampton to the Caribbean and back again. I think it was about 30 nights on the ship.

 

I'd say there were very few people under the age of 60, perhaps no one, and many were in their 80s and above. Many had walking sticks, about a dozen had zimmer frames and one man had his personal breathing apparatus. When we docked in Antigua we were alongside a big American ship full of fairly young people. One man came up to me and asked, 'What sort of ship is that?' pointing to the Sapphire. I said it was a cruise ship, just like his. He seemed a bit puzzled and said, 'Oh, I thought it was a hospital ship.'

 

Joking aside, we had a great time on the Sapphire. We were some of the youngest and were very active, renting cars on lots of the islands, swimming, snorkelling, walking on our own, that sort of thing. Most Saga people needed to be led and guided everywhere. However, they were all a rather cheerful lot and we had a social time.

 

The ship is quite old yet inside it has been refitted in a surprisingly contemporary style. Our cabin was excellent. The library/lounge area was outstanding. There is lots of deck space. We thought the food was inconsistent - veering from the inedible to the excellent. We hated the dress code which we thought was desperately old-fashioned, though we were in a minority. All these oldsters just love dressing up!

 

Somewhere on this Forum you can search and find my blog from the trip.

 

I think many people choose Saga because of the insurance policy they offer and because of the pick-up service from your home. Also the UK port means no flying which a lot of older people prefer, though the limited itineraries has counted us out from taking any other Saga cruise, though we are doing a Saga trip to Kazakhstan in September.

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My Father sailed on Saga in late 2008, sorry I can't remember which ship. He was booked on a B2B, the second part was the Christmas and New Year cruise. I had a phone call on changeover day saying he'd got off and was coming home !

His main complaint was the food and the age of his fellow passengers (he was 67 at the time).

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I had a call this morning from Saga, as we pre-registered (paid £90 each), for their new ship Spirit of Discovery, due to be launched July 2019. The itineraries have now been published and are available to book for people who have pre-registered. They are all no-fly cruises. We have never sailed with Saga before, but have sailed several times with Fred. Olsen. We are wondering whether to go ahead and book a short cruise to try out the ship. We are in our mid-sixties. Has anyone else taken the plunge?! :confused:

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I had a call this morning from Saga, as we pre-registered (paid £90 each), for their new ship Spirit of Discovery, due to be launched July 2019. The itineraries have now been published and are available to book for people who have pre-registered. They are all no-fly cruises. We have never sailed with Saga before, but have sailed several times with Fred. Olsen. We are wondering whether to go ahead and book a short cruise to try out the ship. We are in our mid-sixties. Has anyone else taken the plunge?! :confused:

 

We've also paid the £90 and are waiting for "the" phone call from Saga.

 

We did a 5 night Christmas Markets cruise on Saga Sapphire last December and found the ship to be one of the liveliest we've been on. The dancefloor was full, and a "Diana Ross" show was in full swing in another lounge well after the time my other half had given up and gone to bed. It may all have been down to the all-inclusive drinks that applied to that particular cruise. On top of it all, the door-to-door service was fantastic. It was great not having to worry about parking, traffic, the weather, etc. One aspect I enjoyed on Saga Sapphire was the indoor pool, sauna, steam room and spa tub down in the bowels of the ship. It was almost deserted. (It does look as though the equivalent pool on the new ship won't be large enough for swimming though, sadly.)

 

We also found that many Saga passengers have Saga running through their veins. Several told us how great the service was but, when quizzed, none had ever been on any other cruise line! We've been on 20+ cruises on lines ranging from Ocean Village, P&O, Cunard, Azamara, Thomson, Fred Olsen, Star Clippers, so have much to compare against. We found the onboard service variable, but sometimes unexpectedly excellent.

 

One surprise to us, considering the age of the passengers, was that parts of the ship were very cold.

 

We're on another Saga Sapphire cruise later this year, once again, all inclusive, so hopefully it'll be fun.

 

By the way, we're 63 and 64. Some passengers were very old ... one man had been de-mobbed from the army before we were born, and 2 couples were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversaries. There were, however, far fewer walkers and wheelchairs than we'd encountered on P&O Ventura, and we never got rammed by a wheelchair once!

 

Go for it ... but it's very hard to choose without full itineraries, isn't it.

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Thanks for this Wacktle. We have gone ahead and booked for September 2019! Seems a long way off, but it will be interesting to follow build progress on the new ship. By the way, when you get the call they will email a PDF of the brochure (which has the itineraries from July 2019 to February 2020), and deck plan. There are no prices in the brochure, but when you have decided which cruise you are interested in, they will give you a quote for your preferred cabin.. I must say we were impressed with the price quoted, given what is included. :)

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Thanks for this Wacktle. We have gone ahead and booked for September 2019! Seems a long way off, but it will be interesting to follow build progress on the new ship. By the way, when you get the call they will email a PDF of the brochure (which has the itineraries from July 2019 to February 2020), and deck plan. There are no prices in the brochure, but when you have decided which cruise you are interested in, they will give you a quote for your preferred cabin.. I must say we were impressed with the price quoted, given what is included. :)

 

Thanks, that's really helpful. I was wondering what happens when they call. I'm hoping they don't expect me to browse a PDF brochure while they wait on the phone for an answer?

 

I've had another set of brochures from Saga today, with yet another for the new ship. They've now given the itineraries more interesting names, I see.

 

Can I be cheeky and ask what you're paying, and for how many nights? I'll then be more prepared. We're looking at the two 7 night cruises in Sept, the 4-night in Oct, and the 10 night in Oct. What we go for, if any, will depend on the actual itineraries, the prices and what's included. I suspect none will be all-inclusive.

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You can have as long as you want to peruse the itineraries. They will offfer to phone back, or you can phone them when you have decided. We have booked the 7 night Fjords cruise departing 5 September 2019 from Dover. We have opted for a standard cabin and got a 35%discount. The price includes the usual door to door transfers, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, gratuities and free wifi. We didn't need the optional travel insurance. One thing we forgot to ask was whether any of the cabins will have views restricted by lifeboats etc. None are shown on the deck plans. We're not too worried though, as it's a long way off and we may decide to upgrade! I hope you manage to get the cruise you want at a good price. ;)

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Thanks LandC ..... we'll await their call. Looking at the deckplan, I don't think any cabins have obstructed views, but it's something I'll have to remember to ask. I don't think we'll be on the same cruise as you, but it's possible. I'll let you know.

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We've had the call from Saga and have made a booking for the 10 nighter in October. A long time to wait !!

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Excellent news Wacktle! :D We have friends who have recently pre-registered, and are waiting for a call. I wonder if the discount reduces as cabins are filled?

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Excellent news Wacktle! :D We have friends who have recently pre-registered, and are waiting for a call. I wonder if the discount reduces as cabins are filled?

 

The discount does reduce as a cruise, or a grade of cabin, gets booked up. We got the phone call in the morning and the sales lady seemed to want a decision there and then. She started to describe our chosen itineraries, and it was difficult to take it all in. I asked for the pdf doc and she emailed it to me, but seemed a bit puzzled that I hadn't already had it. If you hadn't told me about it, we'd not have known and would have had to make a decision based on her description. So, thank you! Of course the pdf brochure showed sea days and port timings, information that's important to us. So, I asked if we could mull it over. She said the discounts would change as bookings come in. Certainly the discount was higher on the October cruise than the September ones we looked at. When I rang back to book a couple of hours later, there was a bigger discount on the next grade up of cabin (35% instead of 25%), resulting in it costing only £6pp more. Also, when I was given initial prices, they missed off the extra 5% discount, so the final price was actually better than I'd been quoted to start with. :)

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We are trying our first Saga cruise on the Spirit of Discovery in 2020. Hopefully seeing the Northern Lights. We have been let down by P&O we are looking to try something new.

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I'd appreciate it if someone could give me an idea of what passes for "Formal" wear for men on Saga cruises. We have been on a good number of Cunard cruises in the last 20 years, and more recently on Celebrity.

 

 

I know what it says in the Saga brochure, but going off what Cunard would like to see vs what they get "formal" isn't even smart casual for many folks.

 

The dress code on Cunard has slipped noticeably over the years, dramatically in the last few years, no problem with that other than we often feel over dressed even on the formal nights so I'd appreciate some insights as to what to expect.

 

Thanks.

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Well my curiousity got the best of me.....concerning the new Saga Discovery. My travel agent has requested a cabin for me on the Sept 5, 2019 cruise. Travelering as a single I was happy to see the wide choice of single cabins...

Hopefully I will here back tomorrow as North American bookings have to go through the home office in the UK.

The renderings of the ship look stunning. Hope the food on this new ship and bar service are of high caliber. As I am old school in my cruising style, this could be right up my alley

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we are booked on Saga Spirit of Discovery on Feb 16 2020. - Norways night Skies

We have seen the Northern lights several times with P&O (and are booked on Aurora in 2019)- although Discovery is more expensive they offer a better itinerary of 15 nights against P&O 12 nights - but Discovery will be far superior to Oriana or Aurora currently "doing" the lights

Alan

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New to cruising and have done two cruises on SagaSapphire. Norway and the canary isle. Both great we are now hooked and look forward to our next cruise to the Baltic with Cruise Maritime in May

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Future cruise bookings on board.

 

We are cruising on the Saga Pearl II next month, but are looking to try out the Spirit of Discovery next year. Is there any benefit in waiting to book once on board, or are we better off booking it now?

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As its a new ship I am expecting it sell out very quickly, like many we book as early as possible to ensure we get the cabin we want.

 

Saga have a variable discount starting high when first released and dropping as the ship fills.

 

Alan

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Prompted by jgw321 question re booking on board - just for fun I did a current price check on one of our future cruises. In Feb 2019 we are doing a Northern lights cruise from Southampton on P&O Aurora.

 

We booked a Mini Suite on deck B in September 2017, we didn't book on board while on an earlier cruise but via our agent

 

I checked today and all Mini Suites are sold out so I priced a deluxe balcony on B Deck - the deluxe balcony is £2400 total more expensive than the booked mini suite.

 

That's why we book as early as possible

 

Alan

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Please is anyone able to offer me some insight into how Saga's 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, it's the Discovery I've seen an interesting itinerary on.

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The Spirit of Discovery is being built so there are no "real" photos

 

Go to Saga's web https://travel.saga.co.uk/cruises/ocean/our-ships/spirit-of-discovery/cabin-grades.aspx which shows cabin descriptions, and deck plans. The pictures shown are obviously sales mock ups at this early stage but were good enough for us to book a Deluxe Balcony cabin on the Northern lights cruise in Feb 2020.

Hope this helps Alan

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Posted (edited)

Thank you Alan. With that, and the deck plan, this makes much more sense now.

Edited by NeedPeace

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The pictures shown are obviously sales mock ups at this early stage but were good enough for us to book

 

You are right, those pictures made the Spirit of Discovery look very enticing. I hope they paid the graphic design company well. They certainly seem to have found the best people for the job.

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We have booked a cruise on Saga’s new ship Spirit of Discovery, due to launch summer 2019.

We have also pre-registered for cruises on Saga’s second new ship Spirit of Adventure, due to launch in 2020.

We are wondering when the cruises will go on sale. :rolleyes:

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Is there any benefit in waiting to book once on board, or are we better off booking it now?

 

The advice was book as early as possible if you want the best price. Saga offer a discount which reduces as the sail date gets nearer.

 

To clear up any doubt of the benefit of on board booking we asked the future sales consultant when on board and there is no financial advantage like other lines (reduced deposit, on board credit, extra price discount etc.) . What we found was that he was able to take all the information from your current booking across so that you didn't have to do all the form filling you normally do when you book online yourself. He also confirmed the advice given here, book as early as possible for the best price,

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Four of us booked on Norwegian Legends in August 2019. It is our first time with Saga.

We have just been told it will be all inclusive with "selected wines" at lunch & dinner. Does this mean we can only drink wine at meal times or, can you have glass instead of, say, a G & T in an evening?

Does All inclusive mean exactly that or, are there restrictions as to the time of day you can drink alcohol?

Any advice on this or, anything else about this cruise would be very welcome.

Thanks

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Does All inclusive mean exactly that or, are there restrictions as to the time of day you can drink alcohol?

 

I have only had one cruise so far with Saga and therefore am no expert. My understanding is that Saga always included free wines with lunch and dinner so the all inclusive upgrade doesn't add those but in the past if you had extra drinks during the day you would pay for these, now they will be included in the cruise price. It also includes soft drinks and standard beers and I think standard cocktails, premium drinks would be extra probably.

 

No restrictions on when and what you drink, you can even bring your own alcohol (wine or spirits) aboard which some lines forbid. The only restriction would be if you got drunk. I don't know how they would deal with it but I am sure they would. I have never seen drunken behaviour on any cruise, but it must happen occasionally.

 

Our last cruise was our first with Saga and we found it excellent and have booked again, so I hope you enjoy the cruise. I did a review of my cruise at http://click.email.cruisecritic.com/?qs=7de10af49767e61c18de8f6f3ec958544fa62a9866f47b0390f0ad67bda6d5e3deaf5b20ad11635f630628824bae29bf6cf98428be2f5fbb

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We have done several now on Saga Pearl - essentially at first because of no flying and a limo. from home to ship and back. However, we have been pleasantly surprised by how much we have enjoyed her. Admittedly, we are quite old, and there are few under 60 on her cruises.

 

All inclusive means that as well as the always included wine with lunch and dinner (always a choice, usually of two reds and two whites, and some rose) which is poured generously, you can have fairly generic drinks at any time the bars are open, which will be from at the latest 10.30 a.m. They include g and t, whisky, bloody marys, vodka and orange juice if you like it, and some beers. The spirits are basic brands, but OK for most people. If you want something exotic, like my favourite Negroni, you will pay probably £5 for a generous one. The brandy on its own is horrible, but might be all right with ginger ale! Anyone who likes a drink before lunch and a couple before before dinner will save about £200 on their bar bill for two.

 

The new ship should be really lovely, though for us rather too many passengers at almost 1,000.

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The new ship should be really lovely, though for us rather too many passengers at almost 1,000.

 

That was a useful post, thanks. We found on CMV Columbus with 1200 passengers it didn't seem any more crowded as there was more room to spread out. The big thing with the new ships is that they have been designed for the Saga clientel. I am looking forward to them. Mind you we are used to the 800 range whereas Saga Pearl is only 500. (We have yet to experience the Sapphire).

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Just heard directly from Saga that "all Inclusive" means that you can have any of the listed drinks, including wine, any time the bars are open.

Also confirmed that decaffeinated coffee was available at all times.

Hope this helps other people too.

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Hope this helps other people too.

 

Yes, it should do, thanks. That puts it very clearly. I hadn't thought about wine other than at meal times, as that is only time I drink it apart from watching films at home, but some people take a glass of wine rather than a beer or a spirit in a bar.

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Just heard directly from Saga that "all Inclusive" means that you can have any of the listed drinks, including wine, any time the bars are open.

Also confirmed that decaffeinated coffee was available at all times.

Hope this helps other people too.

Thank you for posting this, just discovered that our Northern Lights trip in February is also now all-inclusive.

Our TA had apparently been informed in June but had not bothered to pass this information on to us.

As to pre-registering for Spirit of Adventure - does anyone have a link?

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hi - I take it that you are sailing Feb 2019, we are booked on Spirit of Discovery Northern lights sailing 16 Feb 2020, I dont think they will make that all inclusive yet - if ever

We are sailing on a slightly shorter cruise in Feb 2019 on P&O.

We have done this cruise several times and always seen the lights from the deck - people who did an excursion to see them came back very cold

Alan

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