Saga Cruises

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#1
UK
1,913 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Anyone prepared to admit they're old enough to have sailed with Saga and if so, what was it like?
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Past Cruises:
2017Eastbound T/A - Cunard. 2016 Westbound T/A - Cunard: Bahamas & Florida - NCL: 2015 Eastbound T/A - Cunard: 2014 Westbound T/A - Cunard: Norway/Iceland - P&O: 2013 Canary Islands - NCL: 2011 Eastbound T/A - Cunard: 2011 Southern T/A - Celebrity: 2011 Australasia - Princess: 2009 Australia/New Zealand - Royal Caribbean: 2005 Norway - Louis Line: 2004 Alaska - Celebrity: 2000 Eastern Caribbean - Royal Caribbean
#4
UK
706 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
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.
#6
Vale of Glamorgan
3,457 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
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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#7
Devon, UK
102 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
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?!
#8
Lincolnshire, UK
540 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Originally posted by LandC
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?!
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.
#9
Devon, UK
102 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
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.
#10
Lincolnshire, UK
540 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Originally posted by LandC
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.
#11
Devon, UK
102 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
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.
#12
Lincolnshire, UK
540 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
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.
#14
Devon, UK
102 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Excellent news Wacktle! We have friends who have recently pre-registered, and are waiting for a call. I wonder if the discount reduces as cabins are filled?
#15
Lincolnshire, UK
540 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Originally posted by LandC
Excellent news Wacktle! 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.
#16
London, UK via Florida and Vancouver.
1,344 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Does anyone know the itinerary of the the maiden of Spirit of Discovery on July 10, 2019?
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80+ cruises so far

Celebrity: ~20
RCI: ~35
Princess: ~15
Carnival: 7
NCL: only 1
HAL: only 1
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Emerald Seas : 1; the start of the addiction 1988.
#17
456 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
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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Oriana 04/18
Adonia 04/18 - cancelled by P&O
Aurora 05/17
Arcadia 05/16
Arcadia 08/15
Britannia 05/15
Adonia 05/14
Oriana 08/13
Aurora 09/12 - America & Canada
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Azura 08/2011
Ventura 04/2011
Azura 06/2010
Aurora 06/2008