My wife and I(we)selected the Saga shared chauffeur I don't really want to drive for 4-5 hours when there is an option. We were originally due to be picked up at 10.10 on the Friday. A phone call from a Saga employee the day before informed me the ship had been delayed in Ireland due to bad weather and to prevent me being in Dover too early the pick up would be 12.10.
On the Friday at 12.25 with the non arrival of the transport we rang Saga, a short delay and we were informed he would arrive at our address within 5-10 minutes . 5 minutes later it arrived. Drivers will note leaving the East Midlands area, heading to Dover, on a Friday is not the ideal time (even without the accidents) as the delay at the Thames crossing and the M20 proved, but we arrived at the Dover Cruise Terminal at 18.30.
As most passengers (705 maximum)had already boarded our embarkation was extremely swift. Our cases arrived in our cabin (shortly after we practiced our sinkinh ship procedure before we left port)the last time I had handled them was putting them outside the door as the shared transport arrived.
Our cabin was spacious, compared to our previous ones and this time we had a balcony - small, but serviceable, as long as you only want to sit in a chair and read. Free water and fruit and as previously mentioned (Diane) no kettle but FREE room service.
This is a Saga cruise 50+. There were some older than us (57 and 61)but we met two older couples and due to the size of the ship encountered them often. They made our holiday. Not everyone has a stick or wheelchair.
One of the benefits of the Sapphire is evening dining is between, 18.45 and 21.00. No sittings, arrive at the restaurant (Pole to Pole or The Verandah)and, seating available, eat. Should you want the East to West restaurant it has to be booked, asap is my advice (See the daily newspaper for times when you can do so) The food is excellent.
On the excursions you are well looked after. No danger at all of beingf left behind in Norway. No they aren't cheap but excursions never are and you learn a lot more by going on them.
Disembarkation was a dream. Your number was called (provided in a newsletter the night before) you went to the exit, pointed to your luggage, a porter placed it on a trolley and took it to your transport home, brilliant.
We have cruised before on other Cruise lines(not them all certainly) This was our best yet. Did I mention the free "Mr Whippy" type ice cream cones on the pool deck where they also served fish, chips and mushy peas? Probably not, it was a memory of a marvellous holiday along with many more Saga provide this year.