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Changed my mind about cruising with Saga


kentlady
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Really glad that I looked at the topics on this forum before actually booking as we saw a cruise on Discovery next year that really appealed to us, we have never sailed with Saga before and liked the sound of the itinerary with the added bonus that it went from Dover. Prior to contacting our travel agent I was scrolling through the various comments when I came across the “ no polo shirts” policy for men in the dining room at night and must admit I had to read it twice to make sure that it wasn’t a joke. We are frequent cruisers predominantly sailing with Celebrity or Azamara and with the exception of formal or so called chic nights where we dress accordingly my Husband always wears a nice polo shirt along with a pair of smart trousers in the evening. I’m sure that Saga is a very nice cruise line but this particular rule is so outdated it’s ridiculous, so I’m sorry but it is a deal breaker for us and we won’t be be trying Saga until they join the modern world.

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I really don't see the point of your post 🤷‍♂️

We all make decisions on a myriad of things, but I've certainly never felt the urge to broadcast to all and sundry.

Enjoy the cruise lines that you travel with and well done for making your decision 👏

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I agree with you. I only mentioned this because we have had some wonderful cruises with Saga in the past, especially on the old Spirit of Adventure, but were really disappointed with the outdated dress code on the new ships, namely no polo shirts in the dining areas in the evenings and no option but formal wear on formal nights in the buffet. Having experienced Oceania and Viking cruises, where dining is arguably even more upmarket than Saga, I cannot understand what Saga has against smart polo shirts, especially when scruffy, stained bobbly cardigans are ok!

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It's no different to certain  restaurants having dress codes. As long as you know in advance what the dress code is, I see no problem in adhering to it. I'm certainly not going to boycott a cruuse line or restaurant over a minor dress code issue - it's the last thing I would worry about when selecting a cruise holiday.

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I’m not sure that the polo shirt issue is mentioned in the brochure, so the usefulness of this forum is that people can find out these and other things before they book. The whole point of a forum is to express opinions to “all and sundry” so that people can then decide what is important to them, whether or not others may disagree.

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 Think the no Polo shirts is in the brochure. 

 

I don't know why people describe no Polo shirts as old fashioned. It is just more formal and smarter than a polo shirt. Being smart is not old fashioned 

 

You wouldn't describe sleeveless T shirts as more modern than a polo shirt, just clearly not appropriate for any decent restaurants 

 

I actually think  a polo shirt  is very much day time wear, whilst a shirt is a more appropriate evening wear for any decent restaurant.

 

I know many  people argue that a £50+ branded polo shirt is somehow smarter then a cheap shirt. Firstly who looks at brand label (except for  Hyacinth ) , secondly you would expect that most people (99.9% ) would not wear a cheap old shirt to dinner, so its a spurious arguement. 

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Nobody is talking about sleeveless t shirts as I don’t think they are usually favoured by 70 to 90 year olds anyway. It’s interesting that many top, smart restaurants we have visited in London, many of which may be called decent) don’t seem to share Saga’s horror of polo shirts. 

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21 minutes ago, Kohima said:

Nobody is talking about sleeveless t shirts as I don’t think they are usually favoured by 70 to 90 year olds anyway. It’s interesting that many top, smart restaurants we have visited in London, many of which may be called decent) don’t seem to share Saga’s horror of polo shirts. 

 

I was just using this to argue that old fashioned or modern is not the way to think about it.  I think shirts are more stylish, but don't think my choice of holiday would be based on a shirt vs polo shirt.

 

We've been looking at where to go this summer ( fingers crossed ). Looking at Italy, as I love Italian food and wine. It's interesting that many of the top hotels (especially those of Michelin star level) whether on the lakes or coast in what is the the most stylish countries  have a shirt and long trousers  dress code. 

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This board is begining to remind me of Cunard and P&O! 🙂

 

I am personally very much in favour of an all smart casual evening dress code. But if I want to go on a cruise with a more restrictive one and the benefits of the cruise outweigh the restrictions I will go and comply. Most things in life entail some compromise or other, and cruise holidays are no exception.

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I have always interpreted the shirt and long trousers code as no t shirts and shorts, which is reasonable. Never have I seen any dress code specifying no polo shirts. My husband got round the problem on our 18 day SOD cruise by topping his polo shirt with a crew necked sweater(cashmere of course!).....job done. 

 

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By the way, I have checked and there is no mention of polo or any other kind of shirts in the main brochure which shows the usefulness of this forum for potential new customers to discover these things before booking. Given that several cruise lines have similar ships with similar itineraries at similar prices, small details can be important to some people and their choices are all equally valid.

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36 minutes ago, Kohima said:

By the way, I have checked and there is no mention of polo or any other kind of shirts in the main brochure which shows the usefulness of this forum for potential new customers to discover these things before booking. Given that several cruise lines have similar ships with similar itineraries at similar prices, small details can be important to some people and their choices are all equally valid.

So the OP was misinformed by something she read on here?

Of course her choice is valid to her, but I felt her post was deliberately inflammatory and not  based on personal experience. JMHO

Whenever you need accurate information often the most reliable place to go is to the cruise line. Even if the staff do not have the information at their fingertips they will endeavour to find out for you.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Glenndale said:

So the OP was misinformed by something she read on here?

Of course her choice is valid to her, but I felt her post was deliberately inflammatory and not  based on personal experience. JMHO

Whenever you need accurate information often the most reliable place to go is to the cruise line. Even if the staff do not have the information at their fingertips they will endeavour to find out for you.

 

 

 

The OP was not misinformed by this forum.

It is correct that neither the brochures or the websites mentions polo shirts.

It is also correct that people who have cruised on the new Saga ship have been commenting on the surprise to be told only when the final paperwork was sent out (and again on board) that polo shirts are not acceptable for smart-casual anywhere in the public rooms after 6pm.The surprise was that previously, polo-shirts (smart casual) were always acceptable on Saga ships.

And our dinner companions were even more upset that they had queried it with the cruise line, been told that it would be OK - ten got on board and were firmly told that it would not be OK.

 

10 hours ago, wowzz said:

Excellent reply. Boycotting a cruise line because of the policy on polo shirts  is unbelievable. 

If a potential customer is still wondering who to book with, then trivial matters like this can tip the balance one way or another.

Edited by nosapphire
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6 minutes ago, nosapphire said:

And our dinner companions were even more upset that they had queried it with the cruise line, been told that it would be OK - ten got on board and were firmly told that it would not be OK

To be fair, I would be upset as well if that wass the case, and would take it up with the Maitre'D.

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To be fair, I think that the point of Kentlady’s post was that she had only discovered this petty polo shirt information from this very forum. This is mentioned nowhere in the brochure or website that I can easily see. It is something so unusual to people who travel on quality cruises or frequent upmarket restaurants both here and abroad that it would never occur to a potential customer to ask about such a thing when booking. Also it is worth mentioning that, as gold Britannia club members, we have completed many Saga cruises in the past with no issues with polo shirts. This is a extremely small print change with the new ships. However this ruling is easily circumvented by wearing a sweater. Not sure about what will happen in hot weather.
We several times on SOD shared a table, a delicious meal and excellent conversation with a lovely, quite elderly guy wearing a frayed collar shirt and a scruffy, stained, bobbly cardigan. Was he offended by my husband’s dress? No!

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1 hour ago, wowzz said:

To be fair, I would be upset as well if that wass the case, and would take it up with the Maitre'D.

It was the Maitre'D who told them...

I really believe that much of this originated from one of the Captains, who seemed much keener on formality than anyone else. And I also believe that by the time things start to move again, this may have quietly changed - there were quite a few complaints about it.

Having cruised with Saga ever since the dress code was formal, informal, casual, the change to 2 versions was a great improvement, but at times it seemed as if certain parties wanted it to go back to the 3-type code, with the emphasis on formal and informal.

Informal started off as jacket and tie, then jacket OR tie, and the tie obviously meant no polo-shirts.

We don't really care that much, as long as people have washed we'll just go along with whatever.

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5 minutes ago, nosapphire said:

It was the Maitre'D who told them...

I really believe that much of this originated from one of the Captains, who seemed much keener on formality than anyone else. And I also believe that by the time things start to move again, this may have quietly changed - there were quite a few complaints about it.

Having cruised with Saga ever since the dress code was formal, informal, casual, the change to 2 versions was a great improvement, but at times it seemed as if certain parties wanted it to go back to the 3-type code, with the emphasis on formal and informal.

Informal started off as jacket and tie, then jacket OR tie, and the tie obviously meant no polo-shirts.

We don't really care that much, as long as people have washed we'll just go along with whatever.

Thanks for the clarification.  I still don't think it right that a ship can declare independence from head office!

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It will be interesting to see what happens and which staff are retained when cruising restarts. Trevor Walford, maitre d’ and some of the captains have lost their jobs so there may be changes if those people were making shipboard policies.

Let’s hope things will be kept clear, simple and logical, giving everyone choice while respecting the choice of others.

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I'm  sure I read the no polos somewhere on the website but just can't find it. Which is annoying. 

 

Polo or shirt is trivial  and it wouldn't effect my choice of cruise .

 

Whatever the dress code is it should be clearly stated up front in the website and the brochure.  It should be easy to see at time of booking , and not changed on the ship.

 

All I can find for non formal nights is "Smart casual like any other restaurant back home" nothing to expand on that , do they mean Macdonald's or the Savoy. Joking apart to many that would include polos. We can argue till the cows come home if polos are SMART casual, but that's irrelevant, if after spending a lot of time searching the website, if you can see no mention of no polo shirts before you book , Saga shoudn't  add that rule later.

 

 

 

 

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On 3/10/2021 at 7:27 PM, Kohima said:

Nobody is talking about sleeveless t shirts as I don’t think they are usually favoured by 70 to 90 year olds anyway. It’s interesting that many top, smart restaurants we have visited in London, many of which may be called decent) don’t seem to share Saga’s horror of polo shirts. 

Where do you get 70-90 years olds. Saga takes 50+ and the cruises I have been on favoured the lower age range. 

 

Also I will never understand the logic that because something cost more it it is 'smarter' than cheaper clothing. This crops up all the time on other cruise UK cruise lines in relation to 'designer' jeans in the MDR.

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We have clearly not been on the same cruises. 
Re polo shirts, cost of clothing and designer clothes are not the issues here. If you read the posts you will see that the issue started with someone only discovering that only this particular item of clothing is not allowed under smart casual by reading this forum. Nowhere else is it mentioned before booking.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Windsurfboy said:

I'm  sure I read the no polos somewhere on the website but just can't find it. Which is annoying. 

 

Polo or shirt is trivial  and it wouldn't effect my choice of cruise .

 

Whatever the dress code is it should be clearly stated up front in the website and the brochure.  It should be easy to see at time of booking , and not changed on the ship.

 

All I can find for non formal nights is "Smart casual like any other restaurant back home" nothing to expand on that , do they mean Macdonald's or the Savoy. Joking apart to many that would include polos. We can argue till the cows come home if polos are SMART casual, but that's irrelevant, if after spending a lot of time searching the website, if you can see no mention of no polo shirts before you book , Saga shoudn't  add that rule later

 

As Alice might have said, curiouser and curiouser.

I find mysellf in agreement with everything you say.

"Like any other restaurant back home" would to most people include not only polo shirts but smart jeans and probably tee shirts as well. If there are restrictions on this, they should be spelled out prior to booking, in the brochure and on the website. P&O, which has more restictions than most, does this, why cannot Saga? Then no one could complain that they were sold a pig in a poke.

However, the fact that you can find no mention of this on the website despite having been sure that you had seen something previously is itself curious. Could it be that someone with strong personal views has slipped it in under the radar (so to speak) without more senior management noticing.  Until that is, a backlash brought it to their attention. And that the decision has quietly been reversed. Maybe someone who is concerned should ask Saga directly, and copy their response to this forum.

Edited by Denarius
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To be fair, when you received the cruise booklet for the new ships prior to sailing,  polo shirts were singled out as the disallowed garments. Having cruised with Saga many times before with polo shirts being commonly worn, we were somewhat surprised to spot this in the small print. Being an obliging sort of person, my husband put a sweater over the top of his preferred type of shirt. Everyone was happy.

This whole affair is very petty, singling out one commonly worn garment as unacceptable, but I’m glad if it’s come to light so no one  gets unexpected news when combing through the pre cruise booklet.

That is of course if the rules haven’t changed again when cruising restarts!!

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3 hours ago, Kohima said:

To be fair, when you received the cruise booklet for the new ships prior to sailing,  polo shirts were singled out as the disallowed garments. Having cruised with Saga many times before with polo shirts being commonly worn, we were somewhat surprised to spot this in the small print. Being an obliging sort of person, my husband put a sweater over the top of his preferred type of shirt. Everyone was happy.

This whole affair is very petty, singling out one commonly worn garment as unacceptable, but I’m glad if it’s come to light so no one  gets unexpected news when combing through the pre cruise booklet.

That is of course if the rules haven’t changed again when cruising restarts!!

Very petty indeed and quite unfathomable. To ban a garment previously regarded as acceptable makes no sense at all at a time when most (all?) other cruise lines have been relaxing their dress codes, even Cunard and P&O.

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