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Spirit of Discovery - any current onboard reports re Norovirus?


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29 minutes ago, Littlewh said:

I have cancelled my cruise departing10 April, France and Spain . Footsteps of St James. Due to the ongoing problems of both the current onboard Norivirus, plus the concerns of Coronovius.

No refund,but allowed to postpone into 2021.

 

As we have underlying health problems and are due to travel 15 March we are trying to collect as much information as possible so that we can make a judgement as to whether to cancel !!!!!

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There must be some legal way fo bringing SAGA to book for their clear disregard for our health and holiday expectations. They knew full well they would have to close facilities but we were never made aware to give us the option of changing our cruise! They let us sail to Norway on a sick ship with no library, limited public  toilets, and no formal parties! Then on the ship they took away our spa facilities, bridge, coffee facilities, jacuzzis, swimming pool, decks, entertainment (due to sickness of entertainers) , dining options, ports of call  and the freedom for 48  hours! They crawled back after missing our last port at 4 to 6 knots (cruise trackers are great) just to kill time! What a firm! Nothing at all like their PR and glossy adverts suggest! Just out to fleece the over 50’s

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After the weekend I will contact Saga to see if they are going to respond properly to my complaint wHich was lodged on board. They did respond with the usual ‘sorry to hear you are not happy’ standard letter. 
As I paid for this holiday by credit card I have been advised that this could be the way to go so once I have received a further response from Saga (won’t hold my breath for that one) I will be looking to the CC company for advice or failing that it will be the small claims court for breach of contract.   Claims up to £10,000 can be made.

Thank you to everyone who is putting comments on this website and especially the photos as this shows it is not just one person complaining.

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we sent SAGA an email whilst on the Northern lights cruise complaining about what was going on and sent them another email listing all our points of complaint on Tuesday. We have yet to receive a response to our request for compensation. I think they are going to ignore us for as long as possible hoping we will go away . It might be legal action is the only way forward along with contacting the travel and national press to name and shame . I really did not expect to be treated like this by a company like SAGA!

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I would cancel if I possibly could.  I will never ever use Saga again 


Yes I have been thinking along these lines too. Must give Saga a chance to respond then if nothing from them it can only strengthen our case,

I would expect Saga to be monitoring these posts so I give them warning now - we will take this as far as we need to

 

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Likewise. Registered complaint on ship where person who took it was totally in agreement and sympathetic. They emailed it off. Then sent full details of appalling cruise to Saga Monday morning and got an automated reply saying they would get beck in a few days. Heard Nothing! They are going to tough this one out and see us a collateral damage to their business model of fleecing the over 50’s with travel insurance, comfortable seats to go to sleep in, lots of cake and second rate entertainment! Guess they think it’s a feeling sector of the population with plenty to take our place. Just ride it out until we go away! 

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You can try asking Trading Standards or Citizens Advice whether removing all the promised facilities and not giving you the opportunity to cancel is a breach of contract. You booked and paid for the cruise on the basis of the ship, itinerary and facilities.

Unforseen and unavoidable circumstances (weather, or port issues such as disease, riots,political unrest, etc) can force changes of itinerary, loss of facilities (stage acts, swimming pools, outside decks etc.) and port calls which would not be claimable, but I would think that three consecutive cruises with norovirus and the fact that you started the cruise with many of the facilities still shut because of the outbreak would be evidence that these were not unforseen or unavoidable.

Maybe some bad publicity in the mainsteam news and some compensation claims are needed  so that head office can get their act together.

WARNING: f considering legal action, take some legal advice about what you can or cannot post on forums to make sure you do not jeopardise your own case. Your home insurance may have a legal advice line, or even legal cover.

 

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Littlewh

 

Can I ask if you had to name a specific cruise in 2021 and book it or are you given a specific amount of time to rebook a cruise?  As you may know we with you are on the Roll Call for this cruise and I think we will probably have to cancel as my husband is on medication which suppresses his immune system.   This would be our first cruise with Saga and we still want to cruise on Spirit of Discovery inspite of all the Norovirus news.  We have been cruising long enough to know that any cruise ship can get the virus and even when a ship has undergone a deep clean it still only takes one person who is infected to board on the next cruise and it's back to square one.

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I think that you are able to decide which cruise you want to do and then come back to book it - not make an instant decision. As you have specific and very valid circumstances, worth your while asking Saga to clarify this for you.

 

As far as your last comment - we all know that all ships can get infected by all sorts of things.

The difference here is the extent of the infection - reports are that many of the facilities have been closed to try and contain the spread, so if the infection is this severe, why are they carrying on with the cruise?

I have cruised extensively with Saga, and we know that there were cases of norovirus or similar on previous cruises. But the only reason we knew was because we saw the "hazmat" squad entering cabins. Nothing was closed, services continued as normal, and the infection was isolated cases, always very well managed and contained. This good management was one of the reasons that we used Saga more than anyone else.

So what has happened now that 4 consecutive cruises have such a high percentage of sick passengers? Have they managed to fill 4 consecutive cruises up with passengers who never wash their hands?

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I agree Norovirus happens on many cruise ships (we have only been affected only once in nearly 50 cruises) but I believe that four outbreaks of NV, with at least 3 Deep cleans,  make this a rather special occurrence - not at all usual !!

On the last Norway cruise  there was a notice on our door that our cabin was due to be "Fogged"  It included a cleaning list with I think 39 Items showing what to do with everything in the cabin.

Then under "Fogging" it said Notify GPA leave cabin for  15 minutes. Then sanitise 200 ppm on hard surfaces and 1000 ppm for bathroom.  I don't know exactly what this means.

 

With the current concerns about Corona virus, and on Saga's inability to  control Norovirus I am not confident  they could handle the much more serious event. How does the saying go "once is an accident, twice is coincidence" - I cant remember the third - but what could the forth be?

 

Kent on Line (dated 6 March) says Saga is suffering a spate of cancellations, It says it has seen a "higher level of cancellations for departures in the near-term and more generally a lower level of bookings for departures further out".

Tour operations have also seen a rise in cancellations and people not booking - a trend which is being seen across the travel industry.

It says forward passenger bookings for 2020/21 were down around 20% versus the prior year, with a more significant impact in recent weeks.

 

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3 hours ago, saintgeorge said:

 

Does anyone have information regarding NOROVIRUS aboard Spirit of Discovery on this present cruise to the Canaries please.

 

We are concerned about our cruise next Sunday.

 

Email Saga and ask them to reply by email what the current situation is?. If they really have it under control, then they should be able and willing to confirm that in writing.

If the answer does not reassure you, and if you have underlying health conditions, you may be able to claim against insurance if your GP advises you not to travel.

 

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I am also keen to hear what the situation is currently on board, it all seems to have  gone very very quiet, which seems quite strange. Can anyone provide an update?

Edited by JessM66
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Annieuk.

Hello, Saga have given us the opportunity to rebook a cruise in 2021. Must be chosen, and booked prior to 31st October 2020. We to, would like either of the Spirit ships. Thought offer fair enough. However if they had said full refund, would have accepted, due to these exceptional circumstances.

Good luck!

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I believe you have to have saga insurance - their annual travel insurance doesn't cover this offer

Saga say

We would like to offer reassurance to all our existing and new guests cruising on our ships over the coming months, so we’ve introduced a Cruise Cancellation Promise. This means you can book in March, and you’ll be free to cancel your cruise up to 14 days before the departure date, with no cancellation fees or charges. The promise applies to all cruises sailing from June to December 2020, on both existing and new bookings where you’ve taken Saga’s included insurance policy. 

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2 hours ago, JessM66 said:

I am also keen to hear what the situation is currently on board, it all seems to have  gone very very quiet, which seems quite strange. Can anyone provide an update?

 

Maybe they've disabled the wi-fi... (only joking)  (I think).

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Back to the original question, people due on the next cruise or so were asking what the situation is.

My recommendation (I HAVE NO LEGAL TRAINING AT ALL, THIS IS JUST WHAT I WOULD DO) would be to ask Saga directly, whether the ship is now clear of a ship-wide gastric ailment, whether facilities are open and will be open for your specific cruise, and if it changes between now and your cruise, will you be told by Saga so that you can make an informed decision?.

If you can only get the answer verbally, send them an email along the lines of "this is what you have told me, and yI am basing my decision to cruise on this information".

That is, if you want to go ahead. If you do NOT want to go ahead, then you would need to vary the email and say that based on the information you have been given, you think that you should be allowed to cancel the cruise without penalty (or maybe roll the booking over to a later cruise?).

As said, I have no legal training at all, but it could be worth while asking head office for a direct answer. If they have got on top of the problem, they will be only too happy to start spreading the word. I have a feeling that they may have started getting it under control. If the facilities on board are all open again, that would be a good sign.

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There may also be a problem on the Saga Sapphire as well! 

A chum who came off the Saga Sapphire cruise to see the Northern Lights on Sunday reported that there was a mild tummy bug on board and public toilets were closed. 

However he also said that unless their symptoms were severe most passengers, himself included, were just taking Imodium and keeping quiet as they didn't want to be confined to their cabin or loose their booked trips because no trip refunds were on offer. 

Just goes to prove what every you ask people to do they will do what they consider to be best for them and hang the rest of us. 

We are due to join Sapphire on Sunday to visit Scandinavia so I hope everything will sorted out by then. 

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