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Ancient Wonders Of The Black Sea. May 2022


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The time is fast approaching when we have to pay the balance for this cruise. However, the FCO is currently advising against travel to Ukraine. I wondered if anybody has yet received an update from Saga as to a possible change in the itinerary.

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The time is fast approaching when we must pay the balance for this cruise. However, I note that the FCO is currently advising against all but essential travel to Ukraine. Has anybody heard anything regarding the possibility of cancellation or a change in the itinerary?  

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On 1/30/2022 at 11:07 AM, Truro001 said:

The time is fast approaching when we must pay the balance for this cruise. However, I note that the FCO is currently advising against all but essential travel to Ukraine. Has anybody heard anything regarding the possibility of cancellation or a change in the itinerary?  

Your cruise will not call at any port or country against FCDO advice, so unless the advice changes there will be a change of ports. (Unless this country/port was the only one on the cruise, a change is not considered as a "material" change).

It probably has not been announced simply because they are waiting nearer the time to make sure that any change does not itself have to be changed - but they will have the options ready lined up.

(They must be constantly monitoring/in contact with the FCDO - I have been on cruises with ports/countries abandoned during the cruise because of revised advice).

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We are on same cruise, I expect there will be port changes.  We will be happy with a month anywhere in Mediterranean,  eastern Mediterranean and safe ports in black sea. Just hope they don't  call it off.

 

 

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Balance paid - All fingers crossed!

 

Having sailed on over 30 cruises we have come to expect the unexpected and accept the fact that itineraries can change due to weather and health restrictions in place at the time. We are also confident that no cruise company would take a cruise ship into a port/country against the advice of the FCDO. However, with regard to this particular cruise I suppose that like many others we are looking at the “bigger picture”.  Our last planned cruise to the Black Sea was some eight years ago but it was was cancelled due to the Ukraine/Russia political situation at that time (Russia invaded and subsequently annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.) It was my understanding that ALL cruises to the Black Sea were cancelled and subsequently no cruise ships sailed beyond Istanbul for several years. We note that the Azamara Onward is due to sail into the Black Sea a week before the Spirit of Adventure is due to leave from Southampton so we will be keeping an eye on her progress. Obviously a Black Sea cruise that doesn’t actually go into the Black Sea would constitute a “material” change so we should still have the option to cancel if necessary.

Anyway, as I say “Fingers crossed”!

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I hope if necessary  they organise an alternative intinerary,  even if it is more based on eastern med. Would be disappointed. If cancelled and replaced by shorter cruises, especially as for some strange logic not allowing  back to back cruises.

Edited by Windsurfboy
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This cruise on Spirit of Adventure to the Black Sea in May is our first cruise with Saga. We did a month long land tour with Saga around Australia and the organisation was superb.

The FCDO advice may change before the sailing date but it will of course all depend on Russia.

 

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19 hours ago, Windsurfboy said:

We won't be back in UK till April so if Saga announces anything about this cruise, please post it in this thread

Hi neighbour. We could well end up sharing a ride to Southampton if Saga resume their shared ride operations before the end of May. In view of the developing situation I am keeping an eye on the “Roll Call” postings from fellow cruisers on the Azamara, Windstar and  Regent Seven Seas ships which are currently due to cruise in the Black Sea before we depart from Southampton. I am not one for over reacting, or hyping up a situation for the sake of it, so I will only post anything that I feel is valid and might genuinely be of interest to others.

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On 2/8/2022 at 9:15 AM, Windsurfboy said:

I hope if necessary  they organise an alternative intinerary,  even if it is more based on eastern med. Would be disappointed. If cancelled and replaced by shorter cruises, especially as for some strange logic not allowing  back to back cruises.

There are currently 37 back-to-backers on SoA in Norway who were on the previous Canary Islands cruise. 

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On 2/11/2022 at 5:36 PM, Windsurfboy said:

We won't be back in UK till April so if Saga announces anything about this cruise, please post it in this thread

Saga are still planning on cruising around the Black Sea but, not surprisingly, Odessa is dropped. Replaced by another Turkish port and a change of day to the call into, I think, Romania.

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Phone call this morning to say Odessa replaced by Canakkale but all other ports remain for now. Also given complimentary premium drinks package. Fingers crossed.

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1 minute ago, Host Sharon said:

Phone call this morning to say Odessa replaced by Canakkale but all other ports remain for now. Also given complimentary premium drinks package. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for the info on the Turkish port.

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Thanks , had the email last night from Saga. Let's wait and see, . I expect next move will either be to drop Black sea ports altogether,  or restrict it to southern black sea , stay in Turkish waters. But in the big picture  having our cruise changed is a minor inconvenience. 

 

I expect  St Petersburg cruises will all be off limits as well.

Edited by Windsurfboy
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12 hours ago, Host Sharon said:

Phone call this morning to say Odessa replaced by Canakkale but all other ports remain for now. Also given complimentary premium drinks package. Fingers crossed.

 

Missed reading about premium drinks in email 😁😁😁

Edited by Windsurfboy
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14 hours ago, Host Sharon said:

Phone call this morning to say Odessa replaced by Canakkale but all other ports remain for now. Also given complimentary premium drinks package. Fingers crossed.

That would make me extremely uneasy.

Saga have never previously offered drinks (or anything else)"packages" - things are either included in the price, or purchased ad-hoc (excursions, shop, special drinks etc.) and added to your on-board account - by far the best way, just pay for what you want.

This "complimentary premium drinks package" suggests to me a trial to see if it will be worth adding on as a paid-for extra to future cruises. Which, of course, also suggests that the included drinks will reduce, either or both in quality and quantity.

It could also give the accountants an incentive to see what else they can turn into a "package".

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3 minutes ago, nosapphire said:

That would make me extremely uneasy.

Saga have never previously offered drinks (or anything else)"packages" - things are either included in the price, or purchased ad-hoc (excursions, shop, special drinks etc.) and added to your on-board account - by far the best way, just pay for what you want.

This "complimentary premium drinks package" suggests to me a trial to see if it will be worth adding on as a paid-for extra to future cruises. Which, of course, also suggests that the included drinks will reduce, either or both in quality and quantity.

It could also give the accountants an incentive to see what else they can turn into a "package".

I see the change in the drinks package being purely  a form of compensation for the change in itinerary,  nothing more sinister than that.

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6 minutes ago, wowzz said:

I see the change in the drinks package being purely  a form of compensation for the change in itinerary,  nothing more sinister than that.

I agree. Perhaps I used the wrong word in 'package'. They are offering all inclusive drinks including premium spirits and wines.

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1 hour ago, wowzz said:

I see the change in the drinks package being purely  a form of compensation for the change in itinerary,  nothing more sinister than that.

I agree with you, and they have done similar things in the past, albeit in a more modest way. On one Saga cruise we had to curtail our visit to a port because of impending bad weather, and waiters came round after dinner with trays of drinks which would normally attract an extra charge, giving them out free. I had a Grouse (the whisky, not a whinge!).

 

When cruise lines are offering more and more for the basic cost, it would be very strange for Saga to take a retrograde step, so I'm hopeful that nosapphire's fears will not be realised. Saga might actually be experimenting with the inclusion of branded spirits to see what the uptake would be, and hence what additional costs they will incur, with a view to including them in future cruises. Perhaps someone at Saga actually reads these pages and has noted what people think of the house-branded spirits (not a lot, to be polite).

 

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3 hours ago, Host Sharon said:

I agree. Perhaps I used the wrong word in 'package'. They are offering all inclusive drinks including premium spirits and wines.

Saga did this on the Anniversary cruise in October too.

 

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Well, that's a relief to know - thanks all (and yes, in the days when wine was not included, a missed port and/or bad weather resulted in free drinks that evening or next day).

We also found that if they ran out of included spirits, you got given premium brands as substitutes (no cost) - not sure if head office have allowed that to continue.

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To be honest I think the more important issue here is whether this cruise is going to go ahead at all in light of what is happening in the Black Sea.

So far, Odessa is the only port that has been changed but if things escalate then there could very well be more changes. 
At present the FCDO is only advising against travel to Ukraine but this could change at any time.

I assume that if this were to happen then it would no longer be a Black Sea cruise and therefore classed as a major change.

 

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