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lincslady

Food on Saga

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The Club’s bar has a lot more

drinks on display than the other bars where I’ve taken notice of the shelves, possibly because it’s more of a cocktail bar than the others - although the drinks menu is identical in all bars the drinks on offer aren’t necessarily the same eg the Living Room doesn’t have draught beer. 

 

The waiter I spoke to said that they’d make any cocktail on request for which they have the necessaries on board, and charge per shot which seems reasonable. He said the best selection of single malts is in the South Cape Bar as that’s where scotch drinkers tend to congregate.

 

Photo of the Club’s bar shelves

showing a lot of bottles not

mentioned on the menu. 

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Thanks again. Hopefully my OH can have his Manhatten and I can enjoy my vodka martinis !

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We’re sailing on the SoD on Thursday, our first Saga cruise.  Does Saga offer a room service breakfast, and if so is it just continental or do they offer cooked items too, please?  We sometimes enjoy having a quiet, leisurely breakfast in our cabin.

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I’m not sure whether cinnamon posted this in her Live From thread, so for completeness in this one here’s the Room Service breakfast. It’s available from 07.00 in 15 minute time slots until 09.30-09.45: from our experience it arrives at the beginning of the slot, and at SPB our 07.00-07.15 breakfast arrived at about 06.55 local time (ouch!).

 

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Edited by kentchris

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29 minutes ago, kentchris said:

I’m not sure whether cinnamon posted this in her Live From thread, so for completeness in this one here’s the Room Service breakfast. It’s available from 07.00 in 15 minute time slots until 09.30-09.45: from our experience it arrives at the beginning of the slot, and at SPB our 07.00-07.15 breakfast arrived at about 06.55 local time (ouch!).

 

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Thank you so much!

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Yes, I was surprised that the room service breakfast ends quite early, like the Grill and MDR. No lying in........not that you could have done so in SPB. Always an early start there for Russian Immigration. 

 

Also, no hot food, other than boiled eggs. 

To be fair, we very seldom have room service, unless we’re taken ill. 

Edited by cinnamon

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14 minutes ago, cinnamon said:

Yes, I was surprised that the room service breakfast ends quite early, like the Grill and MDR. No lying in........not that you could have done so in SPB. Always an early start there for Russian Immigration. 

 

Also, no hot food, other than boiled eggs. 

To be fair, we very seldom have room service, unless we’re taken ill. 

 

I’m also a little surprised that they don’t offer hot food apart from a soft boiled egg (I’m assuming the hard boiled one is served cold!).  We’ve sometimes enjoyed breakfast in our cabin or on our balcony when we’ve had a scenic sail-in to a port.  Breakfast (scrambled eggs & bacon, as I recall) on our balcony on the Celebrity Eclipse as we sailed through the archipelago to Stockholm was one of the best cruise experiences ever.

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Has anyone taken any pictures of the Grill on Spirit of Discovery? I’m still trying to get my head round how it differs from the buffets I am used to on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, P and O and Princess.

I’m getting an impression of limited choice in the evenings, if I don’t fancy what is on the MDR menu, I won’t fare much better in The Grill? Is this an accurate picture, or have I got it wrong?

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On room service breakfast - I would guess that in St. P.  there would be many passengers wanting room service pretty early, with such busy days, and I for one would not object if it came 5 minutes before time; the staff probably have a lot to do on those mornings.  I might find cause for complaint if it was late, however.  I had not noticed that there was no real cooked food on room service; always had breakfast in a restaurant.

 

As we always have morning tea and what they call fresh orange juice ( don't know if it is, but it is pretty good) delivered each day at 7 to 7.15, it almost always arrives just before 7 - I thought this was excellent service.  Also, one card at the beginning of the cruise means no need to put the card out at night.  However.  If we were on SOD, would probably make our own tea at just the right moment.

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15 hours ago, Ergates The Ant said:

Has anyone taken any pictures of the Grill on Spirit of Discovery? I’m still trying to get my head round how it differs from the buffets I am used to on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, P and O and Princess.

I’m getting an impression of limited choice in the evenings, if I don’t fancy what is on the MDR menu, I won’t fare much better in The Grill? Is this an accurate picture, or have I got it wrong?

The Grill serves basically the same menu as the GDR at every meal, with the addition of a roast at dinner. It also has enough salad selections to construct a reasonable light meal in the evenings if the cooked options don’t appeal. In addition to the main menu desserts there are some more on self service, mainly in the no added sugar section. 

 

One feature I’ve only ever previously been aware of on Viking ships (but which may exist elsewhere) is hand wash basins for passengers near each main entrance to The Grill. I’ve hardly seen them used as most pax probably don’t register they’re for us to use, not crew, but they’re very handy for washing sticky hands on the way out. There’s also a wash basin next to the ice cream machine which I have seen used by passengers. 

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Here’s a tour of The Grill (or the grill as it’s styled) going

forwards the aft entrance which leads to the verandah. This was during afternoon tea so the setup was different from normal meals. 

 

Bearing in mind it’s symmetrical, there’s a corridor separating the serveries from the seating areas. 

 

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The hot servery. 

 

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Looking from the hot servery into the seating area. 

 

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The cold servery which is in the centre so provides for both sides. Around the corner to the right, facing the cold servery but closed at tea time there is the kitchen where there is a porridge and omelette station at breakfast, and soup station at other meals. You can also watch the chefs at work. 

 

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The ambient (for want of a better term) servery facing the cold stuff. There are hot savouries in the bain mairies on the left at tea time. 

 

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Drinks station with bean to cup coffee machines and juice dispensers in the spine corridor facing the back of the ambient servery. Fresh orange juice is served from the cold servery at breakfast. Partly visible in the previous photo. 

 

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Wash basins. 

 

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The main entrance. 

 

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Edited by kentchris

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Thanks for that. The pictures are useful to get a feel for the layout. Certainly seems quite restricted compared to the multiple serving areas on the bigger ships. Did big queues build up for the self service area?

I have bad memories of the buffets on a couple of P and O ships, where a single line got very congested, with vegetables getting cold on plates before you got to the meat section! Plus some passengers ducking back to get something they’d forgotten. Probably one of the reasons many guests prefer the MDR, but I do enjoy the relative informality of a buffet. Plus the relative ease of putting together a single main course, as I’m not one for starters, soups or appetisers.

 

Thanks for all the helpful information and feedback. Hope tomorrow’s journey home goes very smoothly.

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Basically no queues of any length at any serving station, at most a couple of people waiting for plates at any of the times I’ve visited unlike the long queues for ghastly shrivelled up cold “hot” food I’ve experienced on P&O. Nothing much is cooked to order apart from some breakfast items such as omelettes and poached eggs, but at dinner things like steaks are cooked in small batches and replenished frequently so they’re effectively freshly cooked. 

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Shortly going on SOD.Does the Main Dining Room serve a full English choice breakfast cooked to order?

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Yes, the same breakfast options are also available in the grill (the grill's menu is basically the same as the GDR for all meals), along with a few cooked to order items (see above) which can be delivered to your table if you don't want to wait for them.

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Yes, there is any combination of English breakfast you could wish for, plus eggs cooked any way, omelettes, Eggs Benedict, pancakes, French toast etc. There is often a special on as well.

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Thanks for your helpful replies kentchris and ibizalover,much appreciated.Lets hope the wide choice compensates for the lack of choice in the MDR for dinner.

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On 9/22/2019 at 3:22 PM, Wacktle said:

Kentchris ... Thanks for the drinks menus. Really helpful. Do you know whether the bar staff are happy to make other off-menu cocktails? My partner loves a Manhatten. He was successful on getting it made on Sapphire, so I'm hoping that SoD bar staff are as amenable (and accomplished).

I had a Long Island Iced Tea and was charged for each individual spirit at £1.80 a pour plus the mixer £1 so £8.20, it was very good.

They also made a White Russian - I can’t remember how much, probably £3.60

My OH always ordered doubles, but they were not expensive compared to other lines.

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Two points - when we have had paid for drinks on Saga, I must admit I always thought they looked like doubles anyway.

 

Now that a few have been on Discovery - it seems that the specialist restaurants are not as heavily booked as many people thought.  No doubt there are some who do not wish to dine at some or any of them.  I think someone said that you could phone up at certain times to book while on board? Is this so,  does it work, please - and does everyone know about it if so.  I am hoping that the booking arrangements have been/are being improved.

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6 minutes ago, lincslady said:

Two points - when we have had paid for drinks on Saga, I must admit I always thought they looked like doubles anyway.

 

Now that a few have been on Discovery - it seems that the specialist restaurants are not as heavily booked as many people thought.  No doubt there are some who do not wish to dine at some or any of them.  I think someone said that you could phone up at certain times to book while on board? Is this so,  does it work, please - and does everyone know about it if so.  I am hoping that the booking arrangements have been/are being improved.

We were allowed to book one speciality restaurant on the first night. We chose to book Coast to Coast for the following night.

We then proceeded to the East to West dining room and managed to get a reservation for the first night. Apparently it is easier to book restaurants on the first and final nights, which proved to be the case with East to West.

We booked The Club by just chancing our arm and turning up.

When we were having cocktails in The Club lounge on the final night we saw couples turn up and just ask about availability and many were seated.

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1 hour ago, Glenndale said:

We were allowed to book one speciality restaurant on the first night. We chose to book Coast to Coast for the following night.

We then proceeded to the East to West dining room and managed to get a reservation for the first night. Apparently it is easier to book restaurants on the first and final nights, which proved to be the case with East to West.

We booked The Club by just chancing our arm and turning up.

When we were having cocktails in The Club lounge on the final night we saw couples turn up and just ask about availability and many were seated.

 

For us, the system of booking these restaurants still leaves much to be desired.  We were on Norway Rocks and were able to book only one restaurant at a time.  After queuing, we managed to book Coast to Coast for the first night but were told we couldn't book another until we'd eaten in the first one.  Therefore after eating in Coast to Coast we went and asked to book for the Club on the last night and we were told that we couldn't book, only be wait-listed.  We were added to the list and heard no more until we asked at reception and they assured us we would get a table on the last night, which we did get eventually.  We twice tried to get a table on the night at East to West but again were told it was full (fair enough) and we'd have to be wait-listed. It was all a bit frustrating.

 

I read a post on another site that people on the current 4 night cruise were able to book any, or all, of the three restaurants when they arrived at Dover, before embarking.  This also doesn't seem a good way of doing it as it favours the early arrivers and penalises those who arrive later only to find all the restaurants fully booked.  I don't have a solution, but I do think that Saga needs to have a good think about how the system should operate to be both fair and simple.

 

As an aside to this issue, which I'm sure is just another of the ship's minor teething problems, this was our first Saga cruise and we loved it.  We thought the food in the MDR and particularly in the Grill and Coast to Coast was very, very good as was the service in all three of these restaurants.

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On our 4 night cruise,the 2nd voyage, we too booked all restaurants on embarkation.We went straight to the restaurants to join queues before going to cabin! 

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