Jump to content

Spirit of Discovery - Comprehensive Cruise Review


Recommended Posts

17 hours ago, JMyrtle said:

meals I can not eat and excursions I don't want to go on. 

 

There aren't any food offerings (earlier you mentioned coffee, cakes, ice cream, sweets) on the new ships which aren't available on Sapphire, although there more alternative restaurants to choose from. The grill on the new ships is fully self service at all meals for those who like that sort of thing, and half is self service on formal nights (I'm guessing that Richard was on fixed dining or at least didn't visit the grill on formal nights so missed that detail in his review). 

 

On our September cruise we sat with a number of experienced Saga cruisers, including Diamond level, and all of them seemed at the very least happy with the new ship and some were already on their second voyage with more booked. Some Pearl II devotees confessed to having been a bit apprehensive about such a jump in size but once they'd found their way around they were enjoying the space and facilities. Perhaps some people will stop sailing with Saga once Sapphire retires, but the ones who we met who'd made the jump were going to continue.

 

I'm interested in the included excursions which are putting you off: are there any cruises currently on sale with them, or are they something which Saga haven't got around to announcing and selling yet?

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, kentchris said:

......I'm interested in the included excursions which are putting you off: are there any cruises currently on sale with them, or are they something which Saga haven't got around to announcing and selling yet?

I don’t think included excursions are the ‘norm’ but on our Northern Lights cruise Saga did provide one included excursion.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Wacktle said:

2 quick comments. For Gatwick flights, we always stay the night before at the Premier Inn Gatwick North. The restaurant food is quite good and it's a 2 minute walk to the terminal, and a quick train shuttle to the other terminal. Secondly Saga does door to door transfers for other cruise lines booked via them, eg Fred, CMV and Azamara.

 

We usually stay the night before wherever we fly from unless we have a very late flight.

We have booked Azamara through Sagas sister company with home transfers.

The are usually part of a package including land tours which increases the price but can still be good value

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks for your review the ship looks impressive.

Any one on this board going on the 16 Feb 2020 Norway's Night Skies cruise on Spirit of Discovery from Southampton?

Joyce and I are booked and looking forward to seeing the Northern lights.  We have done similar other years in February  with P&O Aurora and Oriana each time we have seen the lights from on board in Tromso and Alta.

If you are going don't underestimate the cold, it was minus 20C last year on the deck in Alta - lots of layers is the answer. Apart from our usual cases and suit carrier We have two separate large holdalls for our heavy shoes and cold weather gear, including hats gloves and scarves. 

I believe Saga are "giving" us a parka at some time - I hope it is up to the job!

It was even colder for those brave souls who did the sleigh rides or went out on excursions to see the lights, or who spent the night in a Ice Hotel!!

That said - we stay on board and admire the wonderful snow covered scenery and watch others slip and slide going to their excursion coaches.

regards Alan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there, 

We came back from the Christmas Markets cruise on Sapphire a couple of weeks ago and there was an included tour each day although the first one to Dortricht was cancelled and replaced by a second day in The Hague which we declined as we were already booked onto that tour the following day. 

There was also an included tour to Ruen which we also declined because we had been there a couple of months ago with "Fred" and we understood we didn't miss much. 

Are you saying there is a self service option on Sapphire in the evening because being diabetic that would suit me much better and save me from living on steak or chicken with salad as a main course every evening because the waiter served main is rairly " diabetic friendly" 

Everyone assumes that diabetic friendly just means no sugar but that hasn't been the case for many years now, most type 2 insulin resistant diabetics follow a zero carbohydrate diet because that keeps them off medication. 

Easily managed on a self service buffet but not so much on waiter service. 

Edited by JMyrtle
Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks for your very extensive review.  Despite being Belgian , I do consider a cruise on Saga once - i am in my early 60s.

Solent Richard, you are very right about the huge choice of cheeses  on display; I think such a display is only found on the 2 Europa's sisters by Hapag Lloyd as well , not on other" luxury" level companies.

If it is not too much of a  trouble , can you eventually give me an idea of special wines and Champagne to purchase ? 

I am afraid real Champagne and wines are rather important for me during a cruise .  

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the review Richard. Northern Lights in a few days will be my first with Saga. It will be nice to be on a smaller ship - my current favourites are the two smaller Queens and Arcadia. As a solo traveller, the price seems to be competitive when you look at what is included and are able to book early to take advantage of the early booking discount. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, cruiser1955 said:

Thanks for the review Richard. Northern Lights in a few days will be my first with Saga. It will be nice to be on a smaller ship - my current favourites are the two smaller Queens and Arcadia. As a solo traveller, the price seems to be competitive when you look at what is included and are able to book early to take advantage of the early booking discount. 

Maybe you could find out about taking your own wine on board to drink in the restaurants and what the limits and charges are?

It would be helpful 😀

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Milton Keynes "Cruiser 1955".

Joyce and I are on the 16 Feb sailing, maybe even travelling there from Berkhamsted in the same transport as you as MK is not that far from us.

We have done this itinerary (more or less) with P&O, so know how cold it can be, we are taking lots of warm clothing in layers.  

The ship looks very good - we are looking forward to it

Alan

Link to post
Share on other sites

The request was for vistaman who has been trying to discover.

On 1/6/2020 at 7:20 PM, vistaman said:

..........

If it is not too much of a  trouble , can you eventually give me an idea of special wines and Champagne to purchase ? 

I am afraid real Champagne and wines are rather important for me during a cruise .  

 

For myself a glass of fizz will usually suffice, I don't have such a discerning palate.

Whatever, the information will add to our store of knowledge re Saga rules.

As you are on board maybe you could ask?

Link to post
Share on other sites

retiredbrit -  unless you are a real connoisseur of wine I feel sure you would be fairly happy with the choices on offer on Saga.  The staff at lunch and dinner will offer the 'wine of the day', but are always more than happy to give you one of the alternatives - these are usually wines like - for reds - a shiraz, a cab. sauv. possibly a pinotage and a tempranillo, of the order of a £6 or so a supermarket bottle.   Ditto whites - a sauv. blanc, a chardonnay,   a pinot grigio.  I think there is something sparkling included also.  If you are a sherry aficionado, you might enjoy what we were pleasantly surprised to be offered included - Tio Pepe, Crofts Pale Cream or Harveys Bristol Cream.  Reasonably good cocktails also, and beer (don't know which).  There is a list of wines to purchase, which vistaman might want to use, but for most of us the included stuff is adequate.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, retiredbrit said:

Hi Milton Keynes "Cruiser 1955".

Joyce and I are on the 16 Feb sailing, maybe even travelling there from Berkhamsted in the same transport as you as MK is not that far from us.

We have done this itinerary (more or less) with P&O, so know how cold it can be, we are taking lots of warm clothing in layers.  

The ship looks very good - we are looking forward to it

Alan

Hi Alan and Joyce

I booked over 2 years ago and at long last the time has come. I did say I wouldn't book any more cruises until I had tried Saga but they are so slow in bringing out their brochures that I soon broke that idea.

I've only been to the Artic in the summer months, but have taken the precaution of getting plenty of layers - hope there will be enough space in the transport 🙂 Have you had a pick-up time yet - nothing for me so far. See that Narvik has been cancelled and replaced with a call to Harstad.but no notification from Saga about it as yet.

 

Jon

Edited by cruiser1955
Link to post
Share on other sites

I booked via my TA, today they contacted Saga for me and gave a pick up time of 12.55. 

I told them a long time ago how much luggage we were taking and received confirmation that the vehicle could easily cope with it.

Saga told my TA they will or have posted pick up times to us - they aim to give 2 or 3 days notice.  

Last time we were in Alta it was minus 20C

Not heard of the Narvic cancellation will check it out

Alan.

Link to post
Share on other sites

reported today Spirit of Discovery,   good job its doing a short cruise before we get on on Feb 16th, hopefully they can get it sorted by then

February 11, 2020

(12:15 p.m. GMT) -- Gibraltar has barred Saga Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery from entering port due to a gastrointestinal outbreak on-board, which the line has confirmed as norovirus.

Saga has confirmed 117 cases of norovirus out of a total number of 868 passengers – 13.5 percent of the total number of passengers. There are also 513 crew on-board.

The ship is

. Due to the possibility that this could be caused by the Winter Vomiting Bug [aka norovirus], the second most frequently reported illness after the common cold, the Port of Gibraltar took the decision not to allow passengers to leave the ship. As a result she continued with her journey back to Southampton which was our next port of call concluding this cruise.

"Our high hygiene standards and well-practiced procedures mean that the illness has remained contained. The health of our customers is of currently on its way to Southampton, where it is due to dock on Wednesday.

The line issued the following statement:

"We have a number of individuals suffering from a gastrointestinal illness on-board Spirit of Discovery, following her recent cruise to Italy paramount importance to us and we shall continue to take all appropriate steps to ensure their well-being."

The line emphasised that the outbreak is not coronavirus. The same fate has befallen Crown Princess, which has been turned away from a number of Caribbean ports

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/31/2019 at 10:17 PM, JMyrtle said:

You misunderstand, we were quite happy on Sapphire other than the dress code but when we go to Denmark in March we don't intend to comply😊

We are also more than happy with "Fred" but we have sailed with them so often we have been everywhere they sail from Dover in 2020 except one cruise to Seville in April which we have already booked thru Saga and going all the way to So'ton is a bit of a route march. 

I have a firm rule that I will not pay more than £1000.00 each for a week or £1500.00 for a fortnight and for that price I would expect all inclusive or at the very least a drinks package. 

As far as I am aware Sapphire is still in service until I think September but we already have four cruises booked on various lines for next year so as I have already said once both new ships are in service I have no desire to spend several thousand pounds more  in 2021to achieve the same number of weeks away so I guess it will be "Fred"  C&M or maybe even three weeks somewhere on land in the Med for one of the four. 

My pensions took many years to achieve and I'm not about to waste the money on outside cabins and balconies I will never use, meals I can not eat and excursions I don't want to go on. 

Saga needs to re-think as I know I am not alone in this thought. 

 

As the OP here I would say each to their own of course and we are all entitled to an opinion.

 

However, booking on a cruise line when you know there will be 'formality' and then refusing to comply  is surely cocking a snoop to your fellow passengers.

 

As for the 'stated' budget, from recent observations I'd say even Fred has priced you out of the market  which leaves CMV. 

 

Good luck with them.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/10/2020 at 12:20 PM, cruiser1955 said:

Thanks for the review Richard. Northern Lights in a few days will be my first with Saga. It will be nice to be on a smaller ship - my current favourites are the two smaller Queens and Arcadia. As a solo traveller, the price seems to be competitive when you look at what is included and are able to book early to take advantage of the early booking discount. 

 

Spot on Sir and thank you for your kind remarks.

 

We too have cruised Queen Victoria and Arcadia in the last 10 months and each was enjoyable yet different.

 

So often it is all about going with an open mind and a determination to enjoy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/6/2020 at 1:39 PM, retiredbrit said:

Many thanks for your review the ship looks impressive.

Any one on this board going on the 16 Feb 2020 Norway's Night Skies cruise on Spirit of Discovery from Southampton?Joyce and I are booked and looking forward to seeing the Northern lights.  

regards Alan


 

We are with you on this one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have today officially received our pick up time on Sunday, we are in a shared van and being picked up first, then on to the second pick up somewhere in Bucks and on to Southampton.

Looking at the forecast of strong winds the first few days may be a bit bumpy

Spirit looks as if she is still in Southampton undergoing deep cleaning after the Norovirus episode, hopefully by the time we embark on the 16th they will  have got rid of any remnants of it.

Alan

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, retiredbrit said:

I have today officially received our pick up time on Sunday, we are in a shared van and being picked up first, then on to the second pick up somewhere in Bucks and on to Southampton.

Looking at the forecast of strong winds the first few days may be a bit bumpy

Spirit looks as if she is still in Southampton undergoing deep cleaning after the Norovirus episode, hopefully by the time we embark on the 16th they will  have got rid of any remnants of it.

Alan

You won't be picking me up unless the Stig from Top Gear is the driver 🙂 . My pick up time is 13:00. It's been a long wait since booking and can't wait to get on board. Just trying to remind myself as to how to take timelapse photos with my cameras.

Link to post
Share on other sites

we have done this itinerary (more or less) with P&O usually some one from the photography team had a seminar to remind us of how to do it.

I see Spirit only sailed this morning not yesterday as scheduled - at the  moment she is approaching Ryde on the I o W

Alan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our original pickup time was 2.20 pm, today we got a letter saying they are delaying boarding and a revised pickup time 4.20 pm.

 

They said it was due to the anticipated weather.

 

Not sure why they would delay boarding because of forecast bad weather? 

 

Wonder whether its to do with cleaning the ship?

Link to post
Share on other sites

They were late leaving for the current 4 day (now 3?) cruise to Rouen possibly due to extended cleaning.

Hopefully by the time we get on it will be ok, I believe there will be staff serving us in the buffet which is standard practice during a Noro episode. I am sure the later departure is more to do with cleaning than weather.

I see the letter says guests arriving between 1600 and 1830 and a provisional sailing time 20.00, that will I expect be after lifeboat drill.

Alan 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: American Queen Steamboat Company
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com - June 2021
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...