I have travelled with Saga on many holidays and almost 100 nights of cruising. We wanted to see the Northern Lights so we booked a cruise that started on 26th February 2013. Because of previous experiences we had confidence that this would be a great holiday. How wrong we were!
The newly refurbished Saga Sapphire has very little to show for all the work. The public rooms are too small for the number of passengers and the strangely decorated Drawing room looked like an airport lounge when all the flights were delayed. People walking around trying to find somewhere to sit . The dining room (Pole to Pole) was divided up in to smaller areas making the noise levels and temperature levels too high for comfort. Because the main restaurant did not have enough seats for everybody, on some nights, usually the formal nights people were being turned away to eat in the smaller cafeteria type eatery called The Grill.
Gone is the Silver Service when a waiter would bring the vegetables to you , different every night, and you could make a choice. Now the meal is put in front of you complete with vegetables, every day the same, carrots and broccoli, it became very boring. The quality of the food has dropped and cut backs are too obvious. Saga cruises were never cheap, but the prices remain the same and standards have dropped. Even the cocktail of the day is missing, there was always two and on a cold cruise one would be hot. Afternoon tea has become very predictable with only one special Viennese Tea that really seemed like the standard. The old practice of specials has gone. The special buffet lunches are also a thing of the past, more cut backs.
We stayed in a suite that looked like it still had the original decor, maybe new furniture. What happened? I thought all the cabins were to be refurbished.
The destinations and trips were of a very high standard, but apart from one, were also very expensive extras.
To top this experience off, on the last day of the cruise I felt unwell and on returning home I was suffering severe gastric problems. My doctor arranged for tests and I was diagnosed with Campylobacter (food poisoning). As this has an incubation period of 2 to 11 days I could have only got this whilst on the cruise. Having not eaten ashore there are not many conclusions I could come to as of the cause.
Sorry Saga you have lost us as customers.