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Ancient Wonders Of The Black Sea. May 2022


woodcritic
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We have just been phoned by Saga with the changes. Very defensive when it comes to the reasons for not reducing the price. We didn't have to make a decision immediately, but we have cancelled. We are not interested in loads of extra Turkey and Greece visits. We did mention we might have still gone if they had included some Adriatic countries, like Croatia, Montenegro etc. Or even if they had still gone to Istanbul, and maybe even stayed there for 2 or 3 nights. They reckon they can't go to some other more interesting places instead, as they are already fully booked up by other cruises - which is no doubt true at this late stage! We were also annoyed that they hadn't managed to let us know before we had all the recommended vaccinations done last week, at the last possible moment!
This is the second cruise Saga have cancelled on us in the last 7 months with minimal notice making it pretty much impossible to arrange alternatives. So much for their claims of exceptional customer care. I can't see we will ever trust them with a booking again.
On the plus  side, we will now be in the UK for the Queen's Jubilee - although we would hope they will be having a really good party on the ship that day!

 

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It will have been a difficult time for SAGA making up their minds about this cruise, but we feel very let down by the poor, almost deceitful lack of information. Information has certainly been tardy and it is very difficult to understand why it should have taken them this long to make their mind up when alternative ports were booked a month ago. They also do not seem to have cared too much for we customers with whom they could have communicated their thoughts and problems some time ago. We share the view of Smokey 57, the revised destinations are not at all interesting and the Adriatic would surely have offered something better; how about Alexandria? Three years ago, on a Fred Olsen cruise, when bad weather put paid to a port call a great alternative was arranged overnight. Not good enough SAGA! We are yet to make our mind up about cancellation.

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After great deliberations we have cancelled and booked on the Discovery out of Dover. The main ports of call are in Sardinia and Corsica. We have been to both islands (long time ago) and feel they look more appealing than Limassol and Paphos. That said most places are more appealing than the latter.

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Haven’t had a call yet,  but can someone tell me if I am dreaming or did somebody post a screen shot of the price reduction on standard cabins a short while ago as I can’t find it now? (Just so as I can quote it when they ring me) Thanks.

 

 

 

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The lady we spoke too said they'd made the decision to cancel black sea a month ago, but it took them this long to finalise all the other ports.

 

Clearly they could have said a month ago , we are not going to black sea,  it's going to be an Eastern Mediterranean with intinerary to be confirmed. 

 

That would have helped a bit those who it was black sea or nothing to find alternative. 

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But that may have meant more refunds for people who could not see a suitable alternative...leaving it as late as possible may have caused more people to either roll the cruise over to a different one, or to cancel and lose the deposit.

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2 hours ago, Summer Song said:

It will have been a difficult time for SAGA making up their minds about this cruise, but we feel very let down by the poor, almost deceitful lack of information. Information has certainly been tardy and it is very difficult to understand why it should have taken them this long to make their mind up when alternative ports were booked a month ago. They also do not seem to have cared too much for we customers with whom they could have communicated their thoughts and problems some time ago. We share the view of Smokey 57, the revised destinations are not at all interesting and the Adriatic would surely have offered something better; how about Alexandria? Three years ago, on a Fred Olsen cruise, when bad weather put paid to a port call a great alternative was arranged overnight. Not good enough SAGA! We are yet to make our mind up about cancellation.

We are now looking at alternatives. There's not much at a convenient time.

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4 hours ago, nosapphire said:

But that may have meant more refunds for people who could not see a suitable alternative...leaving it as late as possible may have caused more people to either roll the cruise over to a different one, or to cancel and lose the deposit.

 

If you cancel now 100% refund,  the Ukraine war did not start till day after everyone had paid in full. Saga had nothing to do with timing.  I don't think anyone cancelled and lost 100%. But they could have got money back 3 0r 4 weeks earlier to book something else for May June vacation 

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On 4/21/2022 at 12:20 PM, david05 said:

Going by previous experience, I would expect Saga to offer some form of compensation for such a major change, such as a 5% refund on the cruise cost but we shall see.

Sadly not. Despite repeated requests, all I got was a private car transfer, which is offered to everyone on this cruise. From May they are returning to shared cars over a certain mileage.

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39 minutes ago, Host Sharon said:

Sadly not. Despite repeated requests, all I got was a private car transfer, which is offered to everyone on this cruise. From May they are returning to shared cars over a certain mileage.

 

Can I  confirm  you were offered private car for Black sea replacement  eastern Mediterranean cruise. I'm not sure if we are shared or private. 

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1 hour ago, Windsurfboy said:

 

Can I  confirm  you were offered private car for Black sea replacement  eastern Mediterranean cruise. I'm not sure if we are shared or private. 

Have you looked in MySaga under UK Travel? I think it should show if it is a private car or a shared car.

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4 hours ago, david05 said:

Have you looked in MySaga under UK Travel? I think it should show if it is a private car or a shared car.

 

Says shared travel on my saga , but lady on phone assured me it was private.

 

Number of available cabins on sale rising,  now 162 twin , 25 single. Prices haven't changed.

 

Should be plenty of room on board to space us out . No trouble getting restaurant bookings

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18 hours ago, Windsurfboy said:

 

If you cancel now 100% refund,  the Ukraine war did not start till day after everyone had paid in full. Saga had nothing to do with timing.  I don't think anyone cancelled and lost 100%. But they could have got money back 3 0r 4 weeks earlier to book something else for May June vacation 

Others had posted that if they cancelled (rather than changing to another cruise) while Saga were still listing this as a cruise, they would have to pay the cancellation fee.

Which is what I meant in my post - cancel it yourself, and there is a penalty, Wait for Saga to effectively cancel it and you can get 100% if you do not want a replacement cruise (in fairness, Saga are very good with refunds).

Anyway - just think of the poor port lecturers, all that research and paperwork in the bin 😭while starting again with the revised itinerary.

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Nosapphire I  think we agree everyone sensibly waited for  Saga to cancel. 

 

Saga only held onto money for say extra  3 weeks, for this slight short term positive cash flow , lost a hell of a lot of future good will and perhaps future business. 

 

Looking at csbin availability,  about 70 people have cancelled  or moved to 2023.

 

 

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On 4/24/2022 at 10:48 PM, WeLuv2Holiday said:

I mentioned during my phone call that logging into my booking site shows the updated cruise as Eastern Mediterranean Odyssey but that the black sea itinerary still displays - apparently the website won't be updated until everyone has been informed of the change!

Well, they got that wrong as well. The website was updated and I still haven’t anything from Saga about the changes or the options available to me. In fact our travel agent has been advertising the new itinerary since yesterday morning. I can’t help but think that Saga’s agents know considerably less than their customers with regard to what is happening with this cruise. 

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Finally spoke to Saga this morning after a 45 minute wait on the phone. We had been following all  the postings on the forum so we knew about the changes. The customer services agent that we spoke to told us that the new itinerary would be on the website in the next few days. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it was already there. As you quite rightly say Truro they seem to know a lot less than the customers.

When I asked how long we had to make a decision she said “There is no time limit, as long as you let us know before the ship sails”!!!

And if we decide to cancel we will receive a full refund of all monies paid even if we left it till the very last minute which seemed extraordinary.

We are still thinking about it but currently leaning towards cancellation because it’s not the Black Sea anymore.

We are disappointed that we probably won’t be meeting all you nice people, but for all of you that have decided to accept the changes we hope you have a wonderful cruise.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Truro001 said:

Well, they got that wrong as well. The website was updated and I still haven’t anything from Saga about the changes or the options available to me. In fact our travel agent has been advertising the new itinerary since yesterday morning. I can’t help but think that Saga’s agents know considerably less than their customers with regard to what is happening with this cruise. 

Did you book through your travel agent? If so, I would have thought that they should have been in touch with you to let you know your options. However, as Windsurfboy suggested why not ring Saga (often you get the option of a call back if you are likely to have to wait for sometime to speak to someone).

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2 hours ago, Truro001 said:

Well, they got that wrong as well. The website was updated and I still haven’t anything from Saga about the changes or the options available to me. In fact our travel agent has been advertising the new itinerary since yesterday morning. I can’t help but think that Saga’s agents know considerably less than their customers with regard to what is happening with this cruise. 

 

 

David05 is absolutely  right. If you booked through a travel agent  Saga will NOT contact you or deal with you.  That they believe is job of the travel agent. Saga deal with the travel agent, and the travel agent deals with you. Ring your travel agent.

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1 hour ago, Banjo an said:

Finally spoke to Saga this morning after a 45 minute wait on the phone. We had been following all  the postings on the forum so we knew about the changes. The customer services agent that we spoke to told us that the new itinerary would be on the website in the next few days. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it was already there. As you quite rightly say Truro they seem to know a lot less than the customers.

When I asked how long we had to make a decision she said “There is no time limit, as long as you let us know before the ship sails”!!!

And if we decide to cancel we will receive a full refund of all monies paid even if we left it till the very last minute which seemed extraordinary.

We are still thinking about it but currently leaning towards cancellation because it’s not the Black Sea anymore.

We are disappointed that we probably won’t be meeting all you nice people, but for all of you that have decided to accept the changes we hope you have a wonderful cruise.

 

 

 

Contractually once you say yes and you recieve a confirmation invoice,

It says on the confirmation invoice you have 14 days to cancel before the contract starts. But on other hand if agent said you can lesve it as long as you like that is a verbal binding agreement,  which will be recorded as a matter of routine

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5 minutes ago, Windsurfboy said:

 

 

David05 is absolutely  right. If you booked through a travel agent  Saga will NOT contact you or deal with you.  That they believe is job of the travel agent. Saga deal with the travel agent, and the travel agent deals with you. Ring your travel agent.

Absolutely correct. Our Travel Agent was the one who emailed us the revised itinerary and information last Friday.  We would advise you to get on to your Agent and ask why they haven’t been in touch with you, Saga will not be ringing you as they will only deal with your Travel Agent.  Good luck.

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29 minutes ago, david05 said:

Did you book through your travel agent? If so, I would have thought that they should have been in touch with you to let you know your options. However, as Windsurfboy suggested why not ring Saga (often you get the option of a call back if you are likely to have to wait for sometime to speak to someone).

I suppose that I must be rather old fashioned in that when I pay good money for a service I expect to receive that service. I am afraid that do not agree with the idea that I should be chasing Saga to do the job I have paid them to do.  I am a follower of the old adage that if the service is not forthcoming I will take my custom elsewhere - and I will.

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48 minutes ago, Truro001 said:

I suppose that I must be rather old fashioned in that when I pay good money for a service I expect to receive that service. I am afraid that do not agree with the idea that I should be chasing Saga to do the job I have paid them to do.  I am a follower of the old adage that if the service is not forthcoming I will take my custom elsewhere - and I will.

Well if you didn't book via an agent then yes Saga should be or by now should have been in touch. However, sometimes mistakes can be made and it seems a shame not to try and sort it out by ringing Saga yourself but that's your choice. However, if nothing happens what will you do given that they have your money?

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