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22 Saga Cruises Spirit Of Discovery Cruise Reviews

First cruise with Saga after two excellent Saga touring holidays (US national parks and Borneo)previously. Chose this cruise because we had never been to the Canaries and that this ship has balconies for all, not available on older Saga ... Read More
First cruise with Saga after two excellent Saga touring holidays (US national parks and Borneo)previously. Chose this cruise because we had never been to the Canaries and that this ship has balconies for all, not available on older Saga ships. We thought it was more expensive than others but then we were getting taxi to and from Southampton and all inclusive once on board not to mention the claim of being a more of a luxury cruise than the others! Cruise delayed at start, extra cleaning was needed because of nova virus on the previous cruise As soon as we boarded we were told that most things ( pool, library, sauna, card games, shop, public toilets etc) were closed but being reviewed daily. Daily public address told us that n v was still on board with new cases daily. We put up do not disturb on our cabin to reduce chance of cross infection but the cleaner still came and cleaned while we were out!! Facilities failed to open all cruise except for shop which did open for last two days! We guess the crew weren’t bothered by n v then as passengers would be off the ship before they showed symptoms. It is a lovely ship no doubt but bearing in mind we had seven of the twelve days at sea the ship had little else to offer, the Britannia lounge, a lovely room to sit and read for a few hours, but who chose the chairs and seats? most were not suitable for the type of customer on this ship most of whom are 70+. We went to watch a film one afternoon after being advertised in their daily letter, It was it in the chart room, a dozen or so chairs placed around the room they must have been the hardest chairs they could find on the ship. Lectures and shows were fine as was the food on board but one could not enjoy meals with all the fear of n v and there were no condiments unless you asked, and by the time staff got them to the table we had finished. A firework display to cheer us up on departing our last port of call was at 7.30pm and where was everyone? In the restaurants having their evening meal!! Totally disappointed, especially after getting all the regular advertising material through the post. Back to Princess or Hurtigruten for next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We were disappointed that our embarkation was delayed, the transport was great and we got straight on the ship as they made such a mess of our start, lifeboat drill was put back to 10 pm, so we basically lost our first day on board We ... Read More
We were disappointed that our embarkation was delayed, the transport was great and we got straight on the ship as they made such a mess of our start, lifeboat drill was put back to 10 pm, so we basically lost our first day on board We were then told we would not be doing an overnight in Madeira and the whole cruise cut short by a day as the ship needed yet another deep clean they not seem to control noravirus We were sent na letter offering us 10% of our next cruise which I think is no good, we have basically lost two days of our cruise and I think we deserve cash I am very impressed with the ship it is beautiful but there is something lacking I’m not sure what, but this was our first Saga cruise , as is many of our fellow travelers, we have been on over 42 cruses with other lines, mostly princess and have never come across this situation, I am upset we were not informed that the shop, library, pool and sauna were out of us It would have been so simple to just send an email before we sailed I. Am not sure if I will sail Saga again, the wine certainly flowed Will see if I get any meaningful response from Saga, but once again it is a beautiful shipd Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We wanted to try a smaller ship, and in that regard things were good: it's much easier to get around. We'd never been with Saga before and we weren't expecting such a high average age: a senior member of the crew told me the ... Read More
We wanted to try a smaller ship, and in that regard things were good: it's much easier to get around. We'd never been with Saga before and we weren't expecting such a high average age: a senior member of the crew told me the average age in this cruise was 76. The public areas are nice but the ceilings seem a little low. Great outside verandas at the stern of each deck. The theatre seats are rather cramped. The lounge seating is mostly too deep if you're under 6'. The ship had had norovirus on the three previous cruises and despite another "deep clean" it was still prevalent. Around 8% of passengers caught it. The resulting infection control measures, which applied throughout the cruise, were tiresome and resulted in many on-board activities, including the bridge sessions, craft sessions, all pools, the shops, the library and the self-service laundry, being cancelled/closed (the shop did open right at the end). They say that repeatedly doing the same thing (quick deep cleaning) and expecting a different result (eradication) is a sign of madness. I'll let you be the judge of that, but in my opinion Saga took a gamble with the health and well-being of passengers and crew by operating this cruise, a gamble which didn't pay off. At least now they have plenty of time to clean properly. The crew were great, although the captain needs to be told that the passengers are merely elderly, not children or senile. The food was mostly excellent. I particularly recommend the afternoon tea. The musical entertainment was mostly very good, although I was sad that there wasn't any jazz. There was no music in the Club that bears Jools Holland's name, and I was told this is because of complaints about the noise filtering down into the main dining room. See below for the cabin review. We had no significant delays on embarkation or disembarkation, and the taxi service worked fine. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We had saved for 2 years for this cruise to celebrate our 35th wedding .Two days before Saga wrote to us to advise the ship had the virus on board so they were doing a deep clean and therefore the cruise was to be delayed by 6 hours.When ... Read More
We had saved for 2 years for this cruise to celebrate our 35th wedding .Two days before Saga wrote to us to advise the ship had the virus on board so they were doing a deep clean and therefore the cruise was to be delayed by 6 hours.When we got on board they appeared to be taking things very seriously over cleanlious but this was acceptable.We then found that there were no books in the library.no hydro pool ,no deck pool ,no crafts, and the entertainment disrupted.Guest speakers were cancelled at the last minute and virtually every public toilet was closed.We found that this was the fourth cruise in a row that the virus had been on.Virtually straight away the virus appeared again which meant the restrictions became even tighter.Washing hands before eating in the Grill being supervised by staff and hand sanitisation being done time and time again between courses.As the numbers increased the fear of getting the virus increased so 80 percent of the cruise was spent in the cabin.We regularly saw crew members in gowns and masks.During the cruise it was announced that the cruise would be cut short by 1 day and the overnight stay in Madeira where there was no Corona Virus .Instead they still went into Spain where the Coronavirus had taken off and still sent coach trips out.When we got back they only agreed to compensate for ! day lost and nothing else.They also cancelled every further cruise until May with full refunds.The staff were incredible keeping their good humour at all time.However we never saw any officers until the last day at sea.There was no captains cocktails.On the face of it the boat looked impressive but with co much plastic in the construction creaked and groaned all night.The saving grace was that all the cabins had balconies.Nearly all the seating in the public areas were for show not comfort, far too long in the seat and no back.Not enough cushions.We feel that the cruise was total disaster from start to finish.Saga should have canceled the cruise.They gave us insufficient warning which gave vunerarable elderly passengers no chance to check with their doctors that travel in these circumstances was ok.We will never go with Saga again and as my car insurance was due I have refused to renew that again.Having set off Saga should now be compensating passengers for the lack of amenities Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This cruise was advertised as a 'boutique cruise' with all facilities included. It started badly with our (included) taxi being delayed twice - on enquiry we were told 'the ship had a bug and was being deep cleaned' ... Read More
This cruise was advertised as a 'boutique cruise' with all facilities included. It started badly with our (included) taxi being delayed twice - on enquiry we were told 'the ship had a bug and was being deep cleaned' We were NOT told this was Norovirus, nor that the previous two cruises had been contaminated. So we finally got to board the ship after 8.30pm and had to rush our first meal as the safety drill was to be held shortly. Had to unpack cases in small hours of morning - hardly a restful start. From the beginning it was evident that Norovirus was present - tannoy announcements reminding everyone to wash their hands and use the sprays scattered all over the ship. Most of the public toilets closed and those that were open had staff sitting outside in shifts (presumably to check everyone washed their hands). Staff in decontamination suits cleaning various places. More announcements to say if you are sick or have any gastric problems whatsoever, call the medical team and stay in your cabin. It is obvious that you cannot properly decontaminate a ship of this size in a few hours between cruises. Most of the services that we had paid for were not available - a library with 3,500 books advertised - no books. Laundry facilities advertised - closed. Various activities such as bridge - not available. Room service included - suspended (unless you were confined to your cabin). The adverts say you have a choice of various gourmet restaurants - yes we did, if we could actually get a booking. That problem was not in their brochure which says 'you can eat when and where you like'. Yes, we did have rough weather - but was that really the reason the Captain said we would not be making our last port of call at Kalvag? He denied he had been refused entry at the port, but this was what had happened on a previous trip at Gibraltar. So we had our last four days totally at sea, with very limited activities available (nothing extra offered to make up for the loss of a port). It even got to the point where we could not have butter, jam, sugar or condiments on the table but had to ask the staff for them while our meals got cold. We consider it very unethical of Saga to bring older people onto this cruise without at least warning us beforehand of the limited facilities and the likelihood of catching this virus. We should have been offered the chance to delay - but of course that would cost them money! However, they will be the losers in the long run because many people said they would never use Saga again - including us. At a cost of around £4,000 each (plus extra for trips out) this was definitely not good value for money - especially for the elderly couple who had come to celebrate an 80th birthday and found themselves confined to their cabin for 8 days out of 15. Yes, this is a beautiful ship and the cabin was fabulous - although some of the seating in the lounges was uncomfortable - designed for looks rather than comfort. Willl I use Saga again? NO Would I recommend to anyone else? NO A couple of positives - the staff were really great, always polite and helpful, especially considering the pressure they must have been under. The shows in the theatre were basically very good, and the onboard lectures were interesting and could be watched on the cabin TV if preferred or missed. However, this still did not make up for all the other problems. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Being a solo traveller I normally holiday with companies who specifically target this market and I had been wary of cruising since I split up with my ex about 8 years ago. We had done about 20 cruises but I know that solo travellers ... Read More
Being a solo traveller I normally holiday with companies who specifically target this market and I had been wary of cruising since I split up with my ex about 8 years ago. We had done about 20 cruises but I know that solo travellers weren't catered for on any of the cruise companies I had been with previously. However the Cruise Director on the Spirit of Discovery arranged for a pre-dinner Solo Traveller Cocktail Hour in the Britannia Lounge every night. This was marvellous, there were about 30 to 40 ladies who turned up every evening and half a dozen gentlemen. We could then all go to the the various restaurants together and then on to the theatre etc. We also arranged to meet for lunch on the sea days and to do the various activities together. Although it was lovely talking to all the passengers who were travelling as a couple I always find it quite nerve racking going into dinner alone and I definitely don't want to sit in a bar on my own. Even though there was Norovirus on the ship and a lot of activities were cancelled a lot of us agreed that being part of a group and having such a laugh together made this one of the best cruises we had every done. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We wanted to celebrate our 70 th birthdays this year and to see the Northern lights if possible. The Norovirus situation ruined the cruise. For it to happen is unfortunate. To happen on two consecutive cruises is worrying but for the ... Read More
We wanted to celebrate our 70 th birthdays this year and to see the Northern lights if possible. The Norovirus situation ruined the cruise. For it to happen is unfortunate. To happen on two consecutive cruises is worrying but for the problem to still not be resolved on a third trip is irresponsible. We were told that the ship would be delayed for a deep clean due to one or two cases of Norovirus. There was no mention of the true scale of the problem. By day two people were going down with the bug in droves. We were made to feel that it was entirely the fault of passengers not being hygienic. I suspect that the transportation of sick passengers from the previous cruise infecting the vehicles which were then used to transport new passengers to the ship for the next cruise might have been one source of the Norovirus. There could not have been enough deep cleaning in the turn around time. The ship infected us, not the other way round. So many activities were curtailed as attempts were made to bring the virus under control. We were fortunate in that we got to do some of the trips before my husband succumbed to the bug and we were confined to our cabin for 4 days. Also people in several cabins on either side of ours all became victims at the same time . How do you explain that, Captain Julian? We had washed our hands very very carefully and avoided the public areas as much as possible yet we both went down with it. It is hard to think of any positives for this cruise. The ship was very stylish and the crew cheerful. It was so difficult for them. There were some very entertaining and knowledgeable speakers and it was possible to see recordings of their talks on the tv in the cabin. The whole two weeks became an endurance. We were so glad to get home. It was our first cruise with saga but have been on several other cruises. This was a total waste of money and an experience we would never wish to repeat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Brand new ship and wanted to see Northern lights, plus all inclusive. Trouble started when a stop at Narvik was cancelled and then our pickup was deferred twice, On arrival we waited an hour and 20 minutes before we were allowed on board ... Read More
Brand new ship and wanted to see Northern lights, plus all inclusive. Trouble started when a stop at Narvik was cancelled and then our pickup was deferred twice, On arrival we waited an hour and 20 minutes before we were allowed on board and shown by a guide to the cabin we had booked to find it already occupied. Over the next few hours/days we discovered that the delays were caused by norovirus rife on the two previous cruises causing deep cleaning to be done prior to boarding at two turnarounds . It was obviously not the right thing or not done well enough because people started dropping like flies almost immediately. One poor person vomited in the centre of the dining room during dinner. It was absolutely not acceptable that we were not prewarned with an option to defer or cancel as their contract says. All told we missed 2 planned stops, one important, and another nondescript stop substituted. The Captain was on the PA every day telling us how to wash our hands and to use sanitisers available everywhere. At one time he said the crew was clean and that it was the passengers fault. I think the ship was not fit to take on new passengers at the beginning of the cruise. The highlight was the helicopter evacuation on the last day. The entertainment we saw was good to excellent, but a bit sparse around the ship during the day, quizes good but no prizes??? mean! Production shows excellent, lots of lovely costumes, some of the singing a bit stretched. visiting turns also good. Lecturers also usually good, but one very boring. Library emptied of books, most public toilets locked, with guards on the few that were open. Freedom dining very good and food good but a little pretentious. spoilt a bit with the episode described above. Service a bit variable. I fell sick about 40 hours before arrival at Southampton, the immediate response from the nurse was good, but there was absolutely no follow up, we were only contacted by the medical team when I phoned for instructions. We were then sent off the ship before the 2 day quarantine period was up and given to a taxi driver who had no idea what was going on. I'm afraid they had their chance and blew it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We wanted to try the new Saga ship Spirit of Discovery, having been sent numerous mailings about its design, facilities and the pleasures of 'boutique cruising'. So we decided to book a four-night cruise to Rouen and chose a de ... Read More
We wanted to try the new Saga ship Spirit of Discovery, having been sent numerous mailings about its design, facilities and the pleasures of 'boutique cruising'. So we decided to book a four-night cruise to Rouen and chose a de luxe balcony cabin. Our break did not start well. We were informed that the previous cruise had norovirus on board and that the ship would be 'deep-cleaned' on its return to Southampton which would entail a delayed embarkation and departure. Having been on a cruise some years ago which had the virus on board we knew that the cleaning would not be 100% successful, so our initial reaction was to cancel, but we were told that no refunds would be made. So we decided to go, but with some trepidation. As others have said this is a lovely ship, the décor is elegant in an understated style, the public rooms are spacious and quiet. The service is exceptional and the cuisine is some of the best we have ever had on any ship. We prefer to have a table for two which was no problem in the Grand Dining Room, but we could not get a table for two in any of the speciality restaurants which was disappointing. The evening entertainment was low key but pleasant. There was little to do during the day however. Owing to the norovirus the Library had no books available, the hydrotherapy pool was closed, there was no captain's cocktail party and we could not relax as we were constantly worried about becoming ill. In the event by taking all the necessary precautions, including wearing white cotton gloves to avoid touching the handrails, lift buttons etc. thankfully we were not ill. The main disappointment was that the itinerary had to be changed because of bad weather and we berthed at Honfleur after a much delayed departure. We love Honfleur, which we had visited on previous occasions, but we really wanted to visit the city of Rouen. We did get there on a afternoon coach excursion - which we had to pay for - surely as Rouen was the advertised destination, this trip should have been free? Although we enjoyed Rouen, two hours was not long enough to appreciate all that this medieval city has to offer. Captain Julian dealt with the difficult weather conditions admirably and Honfleur was a good choice of port in the circumstances. Taking in consideration both the norovirus and the bad weather forecast, in our opinion, this cruise should have been delayed or even cancelled to allow more time for thorough cleaning of the ship. We disembarked after a long boring wait in the lounge because the large number of chauffeurs and cars had to be organised in batches in order to avoid congestion. The car service otherwise was excellent. Would we go on another Saga cruise? Probably not. Other itineraries would probably be more enjoyable, but compared with other cruise lines, the cost is much more, even taking into account all the included extras. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Having cruised quite extensively with Cunard, Royal Caribbean, P&O and MSC etc my wife and I were drawn to the idea of a smaller all-inclusive ship and thought we’d try a taster cruise with Saga and grin and bear the jokey remarks ... Read More
Having cruised quite extensively with Cunard, Royal Caribbean, P&O and MSC etc my wife and I were drawn to the idea of a smaller all-inclusive ship and thought we’d try a taster cruise with Saga and grin and bear the jokey remarks from our younger friends. (I am 75 btw) We booked a four night cruise from Southampton to Rouen but due to weather conditions we were diverted to Honfleur (which we found delightful) I’m not going to rehearse the multitude of benefits and facilities that the spirit of discovery offers, we thought it was all brilliant. What was also amazing was that nobody tried to sell me anything during the whole trip, no drinks packages, no Wi-fi, no lengths of gold chain, no art pictures, no handbag sales nights etc !! Oh and if you want an English pub (maybe you haven’t got one at home) or a casino then choose another ship. Naturally all reviews are influenced by your cabin choice we were exceptionally lucky to be upgraded from a deluxe cabin to a midships suite - we took full advantage of its amenities. Now this is the first time I’ve ever written a review about a holiday we’ve taken and the principal reason for doing so this time is to highlight the disappointing disembarkation procedures which are clearly a knock-on effect from virtually everybody opting to take chauffeur driven transport to and from the port. Saga schedule 4 1/2 hours for the max 999 passengers to get off, you are split into 20 groups from say 8 am to 12:30 pm!! The reason for this soon becomes apparent when your group finally emerges from the cruise terminal the chauffeurs are waiting with placards bearing your name. Clearly managing 4-500 chauffeurs is going to present a challenge and this is the cause of slower than normal debarkation. I am unaware of any way of getting priority when leaving the ship other than by dispensing with the chauffeur service and driving yourself in which case you could walk straight off. If anybody knows any different I’d love to hear it. We were assigned group 19 out of 20 so you can understand why I’ve taken to my keyboard. A couple of final observations:- 1. A fair number of change averse saga passengers like whingeing about almost anything but chiefly how they preferred the older ships. I am reminded of an Australian observation that they can always tell when the plane lands in Sydney from London because the whining continues after the engines have been switched off !! 2. if you put nearly 900 old people together for a few days in the winter it’s obvious quite a number going to get ill 3. Lastly the captain and crew reacted swiftly and effectively to changes necessitated by ‘Storm David’ Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The Spirit of Discovery is a very stylish ship, the staff friendly, helpful and in the main always smiling, the food excellent. However though the cabins are nicely decorated as you would expect from a brand new ship. We had a standard ... Read More
The Spirit of Discovery is a very stylish ship, the staff friendly, helpful and in the main always smiling, the food excellent. However though the cabins are nicely decorated as you would expect from a brand new ship. We had a standard cabin and there is just not enough storage room, especially for shoes. Plenty of wardrobe space for hanging dresses, coats, shirts etc.,and plenty of hangers, but the drawer space was sadly lacking, we were only on a 4 night cruise, might be difficult on anything over 7 days to find room for. The bathroom was just right, walk in shower though not sure the plughole was working probably , as quite often found ourselves standing in an inch of water. The TV was large and a good picture unfortunately the quality of programmes not very varies, you can only watch so many rehashed shows!!! No radio channels. The dining rooms were fine though the Grand Central Dining room got a bit busy, and you can find yourself sitting with people who do not want to be sociable. We preferred The Grill on deck 12 much nicer. Unfortunately we found there was not enough to do during the day unless you played Bridge or enters the quizzes. The evening entertainment was much better, the standard of the entertainers on board are amongst the best we have seen, sadly because of the rough weather dancing in The Britannia Lounge was practically impossible but that made no difference as the musicians were so good it was a pleasure to sit and listen to them. Though embarkation was ok, Disembarkation is at the opposite end of the scale, unless you are one of the privileged few, it can take up to three hours to leave the ship, we would say it is organised chaos, we have never experienced the length of time it took for us to leave on any other cruise ship we have sailed with before. Would we recommend this ship, if you want to relax during the day and do nothing until the evening, if you don’t mind being seated at meal times with other passengers, don’t mind the disembarkation chaos, then this is for you. Would we choose Saga again no Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
A beautiful ship but cruise was ruined by catching norovirus and being confined to cabin. The previous cruise had norovirus and I was assured the ship would be deep cleaned. Obviously not well enough as a lot of people went down with ... Read More
A beautiful ship but cruise was ruined by catching norovirus and being confined to cabin. The previous cruise had norovirus and I was assured the ship would be deep cleaned. Obviously not well enough as a lot of people went down with it. Evening entertainment was not to my taste. There were no shows as on other cruises featuring dancers etc. Mainly classically. The staff were very good. The destination turned out to be a mystery because of the bad weather and French strikes. The food I tasted was very good but the service on the first night was very slow. I could only try a couple of meals because after the second day I could not eat because of being sick. The cabin steward was very attentive and could not have been better. I could not use the facilities for the same reason. The spa pool was closed due to the previous cruise having norovirus. It is difficult for me to say what the whole experience would have been if the ship had not sailed with norovirus being present. I had expected better from Saga. Many passengers said they would not sail with Saga again. It would be interesting to know if passengers on the next cruise got ill. The only response from Saga was that they follow industry standards. The disemberkment was a shambles. Delayed by bad weather and it talk over 2 hours to disembark after customs procedures completed. We where not offered any food even though it was 3.00 and breakfast finished at 9.30. The taxi procedure left a lot to be desired. My taxi went to the wrong cruise terminal. I heard a lot of seasoned cruise passengers say they would not go on another Saga cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We always try to take a break at this time of the year to avoid some of the UK winter. We chose this trip as it included 4 ports we'd never been to to while also visiting ports that would be likely to be overcrowded later in the year. ... Read More
We always try to take a break at this time of the year to avoid some of the UK winter. We chose this trip as it included 4 ports we'd never been to to while also visiting ports that would be likely to be overcrowded later in the year. We chose Saga Spirit of Discovery because the ship was new and the size seemed a good compromise between passenger numbers / port access and variety of on board facilities. Embarkation didn't go well as they had no cruise cards for us and from the running to & fro and the whispering we overheard, we formed the opinion that they'd given our cards to two other passengers! Sure enough, after we'd been escorted aboard and new cards issued to us, we found two passengers in our cabin (although our luggage was waiting outside!). The Saga crew supervisor who went into the cabin to sort it out appeared not to understand / or be understood and after 10 mins we pushed our way in and straight away identified who the other passengers were and thus where their cabin was. We very much liked the layout of the ship, we thought the food in all the restaurants was great and the service was superb, however the cruise was very much spoilt for us because piped music was played constantly in virtually all the public areas. As is usual, when we asked for quiet so we could concentrate on reading, chatting to other passengers (almost all hard of hearing), or just watching the sea and daydreaming, we were told that other passengers wanted the music. When asked how the crew / staff knew this, as no-one had ever asked us in 50+ cruises, they were unable to say. We could say however, that no passenger (in our age group) we've ever spoken to, has said they liked someone else's choice of half-heard, distorted music played everywhere at a volume decided by a young crew member. As a result of the inescapable row, we could only sit in the library or on deck on the warmer days. As we paid £10,000+ to have this row forced on us we have complained and await Saga's response. Although we have been in the North Atlantic in hurricanes and the Bay of Biscay in winter storms, we have never experienced such an uncomfortable ride as there was at times on this cruise - was it particularly bad sea or is the ship a poor storm rider? It didn't help in the last week that a significant proportion of passengers had norovirus (not us luckily!) resulting in the entertainment being abandoned and the library (the only music free area!) being closed. The last week was the worst week (of 200+) we've ever spent at sea. To be fair to Saga & the S.o.D, we ought to give it another chance, but we won't be doing that unless Saga stopped polluting our on board personal environment with inescapable piped music. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I usually cruise with P&O or Cunard but thought I would give Saga a try on this beautiful new ship. Although Saga is advertised as for the over 50's, I would say it is more suitable for the over 75's (I'm 68). The ... Read More
I usually cruise with P&O or Cunard but thought I would give Saga a try on this beautiful new ship. Although Saga is advertised as for the over 50's, I would say it is more suitable for the over 75's (I'm 68). The ship is spacious with quality furnishings and fittings and plenty of seating. However, it does roll a bit, even in calmer waters and we were unlucky enough to suffer extremely rough seas on our return from the Canaries, which meant we could not get to Lisbon and spent 4 days at sea. Food is of a good standard, especially in the speciality restaurants, but these get fully booked within a couple of days, so book early! We particularly enjoyed the Club, excellent steaks. Entertainment and activities were aimed at the older age group: the Sid Lawrence Orchestra was very popular but there were no other well known entertainers. There was a Motown show which is more my era, but there were no afternoon concerts (I usually enjoy a classical guitarist or pianist). There were only 2 speakers for the whole 2 weeks, so not enough variety there either. Service was generally good, if slow a times. The staff are mainly Philipino or Indian but some seemed a little inexperienced. My cabin steward, Joel, was excellent. We visited 5 ports, and the weather there was very good, 28 degrees in Las Palmas! I went on 4 excursions, the one on Lanzarote to Teguise and wine and cheese at the Peoples Monument was very good, but the one on Tenerife to Taganana was very poor and we were refunded 25% of the cost due to complaints. Overall I enjoyed the time in the Canaries, but was a little bored on the sea days (thank goodness for the quizzes!). Embarkation: very slow, I had to wait one and a quarter hours. Disembarkation was even worse, I had to wait two and three quarter hours. This alone would put me off cruising with Saga again, apart from the lack of entertainment and activities. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Having cruised with Saga before (on Saga Pearl 2) we were keen to try Spirit of Discovery. We chose a Canaries cruise for some winter sun and weren’t disappointed. Warm and sunny from Madeira to all 4 stops in the Canaries. The cabins, ... Read More
Having cruised with Saga before (on Saga Pearl 2) we were keen to try Spirit of Discovery. We chose a Canaries cruise for some winter sun and weren’t disappointed. Warm and sunny from Madeira to all 4 stops in the Canaries. The cabins, all with a balcony, are of good size, minor issues regarding room for shoes and draw space but no real problem for two people for two weeks. All the restaurants are superb. We tried both speciality restaurants and the Club as well as the two main restaurants, all provide excellent food and service. Evening entertainment in the theatre was West End standard the raked seating ensures a perfect view. Afternoon classical concerts (4 piece string quartet) provided a pleasant relaxing contrast. With afternoon and late night films plus knowledge guest speakers there was plenty to do on sea days when you add deck games, quizzes, craft classes, dance classes, keep fit, choir etc etc. All staff from the Captain to your cabin staff were friendly, helpful and polite. Due to rough weather we were unable to visit Lisbon and so had 4 sea days at the end of the cruise, however this was the North Atlantic in January so might be expected. The crew reacted very quickly to provide additional facilities to occupy us and there was always the well stocked library. I do not share the dissatisfaction with dis/embarking mentioned by some. Saga cater for the elderly and the included chauffeur service is a major attraction so the more lengthy process for getting on and off the ship is a small price to pay. Minor complaint: the seating in general (not the restaurants) was too deep in the seat, suited really to those 6 foot plus, and with too little back height. Given the age profile of guests, this seems to owe more to style than comfort. In summary, a lovely, well appointed ship with superb staff, we would definitely cruise with Saga again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Initially my husband and I were very impressed with the interior of this modern ship. Cabins are a good size with fruit, carton of milk, water etc in cabin. Room service excellent. Service round the ship also excellent. Dining was ... Read More
Initially my husband and I were very impressed with the interior of this modern ship. Cabins are a good size with fruit, carton of milk, water etc in cabin. Room service excellent. Service round the ship also excellent. Dining was somewhat chaotic at times. We were given wrong meals on more than one occasion, two soups one night. Long queues at times for the buffet at breakfast and lunch. Pre-ordering veggie meal confusing and inconsistent. Food was the best I have had at sea. Buffet food was hot. Book speciality restaurants ASAP because they get booked up quickly. Chairs/settees in public areas are badly designed and uncomfortable - little or no back support . Lift buttons are also badly designed - they re very dark and difficult to read. Library is confusing - badly set out - like a maize. Labels indicating book categories are in very small print and difficult to read. No librarian in residence. Good coffee machine in library + tea etc. Unfortunately library is adjacent to open plan craft area and can get very noisy. Craft area is used as a cut through for people wishing to gain access to their cabins. Hand rails on one side only on interior decks. problem In rough seas. Shower door also a problem in rough seas as it swings inwards and outwards. The ship is like a mini block of flats- a lot on top but little underneath the water - shallow draft and prone to motion and judder in moderate seas. I can only suggest you try it as there are lots of positives as well as negatives. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
People here are wondering why nobody has yet reviewed the Christmas/New Year Spirit of Discovery cruise. It is probably because a high percentage of us found it disappointing. The ship made every port it was scheduled for, mainly on ... Read More
People here are wondering why nobody has yet reviewed the Christmas/New Year Spirit of Discovery cruise. It is probably because a high percentage of us found it disappointing. The ship made every port it was scheduled for, mainly on time, and the crew on board were as good as ever, but the overall experience was not up to the standards we expect from Saga. This is a shame, as Saga were always our first choice for cruises - not any more. Embarkation was a shambles, got on the ship and then big bottleneck of passengers just inside - Saga may need to rethink their system of escorting everybody to their cabin and just do people who want or need help, the rest of us can get there faster on our own. Can't talk about disembarkation, as we had our own car so could get off as soon as the ship clears. TIP - if you are doing this, sit by the gangway and watch as the ship will NOT announce when it has been cleared and you'll wait forever otherwise. Ignoring the nasty chest infection that was going around the ship (still going around on the following cruises, too, apparently) one thing that was evident was the heavy hand of head office and the failure of head office, on-board tours teams or local agents to check anything. The pre-cruise information given by Saga was a joke, (very little of it was correct). Tours - the on board tours team relayed information without checking (how can the timing of a 2 hour tour be from 10:00 to 16:00?) A change of port in Dominica, yet nobody bothered to check if tour times were still accurate. Tours sold as 45 minutes each way to the destination turned into 90 minutes each way because of the change of port so 4 hour tours became 6 hours. Others had it much,much worse but as they are not my stories I will not mention on an open forum. The tours personnel themselves were lovely, they laid on a free orientation walk from the ship to Barbados town centre, which was very nice. Would have been even better if the leader did not have to keep stopping to ask people for directions..... The last cruise port was Bermuda to see the New Year fireworks. Unfortunately, the only person on Bermuda with a licence to set off fireworks had retired earlier in the year, so no fireworks (Bermuda was still very much worth the visit, though). The ship did not lay on anything in particular to replace, so we went to bed early - like many others. Saga are still struggling with learning how the new ship AND the extra passengers work, and there was a distinct impression of costcutting in some areas. We have 2 cruises on the Adventure (all were booked before either ship was built) so maybe that will be better, although Saga head office really need to get their act together and start checking information before they send it out. Others have commented the lack of comfort in the public seating areas (sofas and chairs evidently all chosen for looks, not comfort). There was also a plumbing situation going on, as not only were various public toilets getting blocked up, there was also a rather strange smell of stale standing water in the forward lower deck corridors. The cleaners were using deodorisers, but when the scent wore off the stale smell returned. Some like the ship, others do not like the ship - but we have not yet met anyone who thinks this is a wonderful ship. The really rave reviews seem to be written by (a) critics who have walked around the ship and then recycled whatever Saga have told them, (b) critics who had a free cruise and want another on the new ship, (c) people with shares who are bumping Saga cruises big time, and (d) loyal Saganauts who regard Saga as their own personal cruise line and get very angry if anyone dares to criticise Saga. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I looked forward to the Spirit of Discovery, after cruising on the Saga Sapphire, I was interested in a cabin with a proper balcony. The Discovery has by desgn a positive tick, being all balcony. Also having on all decks a large stern ... Read More
I looked forward to the Spirit of Discovery, after cruising on the Saga Sapphire, I was interested in a cabin with a proper balcony. The Discovery has by desgn a positive tick, being all balcony. Also having on all decks a large stern verandah. I chose the October 18 day cruise to the Med. My review summarises the good and not so good. The good, plenty of space, both in public areas and corridors. Dining choices, at no extra charge. Of special mention breakfast and lunch in the Grill, especially Sunday roasts. Evening meals above average in the Club, rack of lamb, the best. Interested to have on board working wifi at no extra charge. I also liked the arts and crafts sessions. For the first time on a cruise no long waits for lifts. Now for the not so good. The hardest bed I have slept on, even 2 overlays did not help , so 18 nights without proper sleep. Very poor embarkation over 2.30 hours wating time, and disembarkation, a shambles 3 hour wait and then they could not find the driver. Entertainment unsatisfactory. Theatre not designed to cater for 6ft plus passengers. Quality of entertainments, not good except for the quartet. Missed the after diner drinks with soft music, such as guiter, piano or the quartet. The Brittania lounge after dinner was deserted with no atmosphere. Finally October sailing we met gales going and coming back in the Bay, so would I go again on Saga? No, I think the negatives outway the positives when one considers the cost. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Saga Cruises have been on my radar for a while now. I have visited Saga Sapphire and overnighted on Saga Pearl II but my friend and I both felt we weren’t ready for the Saga experience at the time. However, the launch of the first of ... Read More
Saga Cruises have been on my radar for a while now. I have visited Saga Sapphire and overnighted on Saga Pearl II but my friend and I both felt we weren’t ready for the Saga experience at the time. However, the launch of the first of their two brand new ships, coupled with some health issues that forced the cancellation of a very long cruise earlier in the year, saw me booking a 10 night cruise on Spirit of Discovery around the Bay of Biscay Ports – yes, I know – a risky venture in October. Embarkation: One of the best things about Saga Cruises is the included transport to the port and return home. My shared car arrived 10 minutes early (the driver would have waited but I was ready). It was a smart leather-seated Mercedes people-carrier. Once I was settled and my luggage loaded, the driver checked I had my passport, gave me a bottle of water and explained we could stop anywhere for any reason should I request it. We set off to pick up another couple since I was outside the 75 mile limit in which you get a private driver/car. After a brief stop at Fleet Service (where the driver bought us coffee and cake) we arrived at Dover just over 4 hours later. I had booked a guarantee cabin so hadn’t received a cabin number but a lady with a clipboard was issuing these and marked up my luggage labels while I went into the small, charming cruise terminal. I had booked assisted embarkation so was shown where to sit and a lady came over to check me in. I got given my cruise card and deck plan as with other cruise lines, and after a very short wait, a man came with a wheelchair to talk me on board via a long zig-zag airbridge. Once on the ship I abandoned the chair and waited in a short line for a steward to take my hand luggage and show me to the cabin – just like my early Cunard cruises. So far so very good. It was around 2pm. Cabin: I had booked a standard single cabin on guarantee and ended up with a standard twin on E Deck. This is an all-balcony ship and I was impressed, with a few minor niggles. The beds were set up as a kingsize – it was huge! Bedside tables were good with two drawers, a middle shelf and the top surface. There was a bedside light plus a directable reading light plus a USB port for charging phone set. Being in this position meant you could still use your phone or table while it was charging. The wardrobe was reasonable with full length hanging on one side, with a slated shoe rack at the bottom, and half-length on the other side with two large drawers and the safe. The safe had a light and was huge – easily large enough for a laptop. In the wardrobe were the lifejackets, a lap blanket for use on the balcony, a golf umbrella and a basket with long-handled shoe horn, clothes brush, hair dryer, laundry bags for him and her and a pair of Olympus binoculars. The other furniture consisted of two comfy chairs, a coffee table, standard lamp and dressing table with illuminated mirror, kettle, teas and coffees, two shallow drawers and two deep drawers. A huge TV was at the food of the bed and offered Freeview channels, some films on demand, port lectures and, best of all, the shows in the theatre were broadcast live to your cabin. The bathroom was a good size with glass-doored shower, good-height toilet and basin. Under the basin were two large cupboards with shelves. The light around the mirror stays alight at a low level to provide a nightlight should you need the bathroom at night. There was also a very narrow fridge with a carton of UHT milk. The balcony had two rattan chairs and a small table. One minor niggle – no washing line in the shower but I understand this is being rectified. The cabin steward introduced himself and asked which fresh fruit I would like in the cabin. The apples and red grapes that arrived later were perfect and just ripe enough. Food: I usually ate breakfast in The Grill (buffet). You were shown to a table, each of which had number on. This was in case you ordered a hot dish cooked to order or for those few passengers who got lost! The tables were fully laid with milk and preserves. There was waiter service for teas, coffees and toast and, if asked they were happy to get you anything else too. The choice was very good with fresh and tinned fruits, meats, smoked salmon, cereals etc. As well as tea and coffee, fruit juice was available all day as was ice cream (either self-serve on Lido Deck or from The Living Room). In the main dining room breakfast was a mixture of buffet and menu items as was lunch. I had opted for the equivalent of Freedom/anytime dining but, as a solo, I could have had a dedicated table. Waiters offered you an arm as you were escorted to the table. Sizes varied from 2 to 10. Wine and beer at lunch and dinner was included (the ships will be all inclusive from Nov 2019) and was reasonable quality – mostly new world Sauvignon Blanc or Merlot. Good for me as I prefer Chilean or South African wines. There was red, white or rose. There is also a wine list if you want to pay for something else and again prices were very reasonable from around £12 a bottle. Spirits in the bars were £2.90, cocktails around £3.70. I found the food excellent quality and always very hot. One gala meal offered caviar on blini and roast venison that melted in the mouth. I gather the chefs are given full rein to develop dishes and fresh local food is brought on board – crates of fresh strawberries and peaches were waiting by the gangway in Bordeaux. As well as the main restaurant, there were three alternative restaurants – The Club (a steakhouse), Coast to Coast (seafood) and East to west (Asian fusion). All are included in the cruise price, but need to be booked. Plus the buffet. All except The Club and MDR have outdoor terraces should the weather be kind. Room service is free and in the evening you can choose from the MDR menu. Other passengers: I feel Saga has an image problem! Before I went I got the usual jokes about what SAGA stands for, don’t want to sail on a ship full of elderly people etc. However, I found fewer people with wheelchairs, scooters and mobility aids than on P&O (I should add I use a walker so am not discriminating here). Yes you need to be aged over 50 to travel (unless accompanying an older person as a carer) but tours generally catered for active and curious people. One tour was led by a celebrity chef (Daniel Galmiche) to a French market to choose foods to cook on board, others included hiking and cycling. Most were well-travelled, interesting to converse with and passionate advocates for Saga Cruises! Hand gel was well-used and well-policed! Entertainment: This was probably less than on other lines I have sailed with but since we only had two sea days may not have been typical of a longer voyage. Spirit of Discovery has a large theatre plus a show lounge. Shows were usually at 9.30pm and another performance – singer, magician etc – in the Britannia Lounge about 9.45. What I didn’t like was that the theatre doors are shut as soon as the show starts and you are not allowed in. As well as not disturbing the audience, this is also due ti health and safety as they don’t want people falling down the steps. This is where the live broadcast to the cabin comes in handy sometimes. There were port talks, free craft lessons, bridge, putting, table tennis, golf, quoits, shuffleboard, ring toss, darts, free bridge visits, cookery demos and quizzes. I attended four parties (with canapes and plentiful alcohol) – a welcome aboard, farewell, newcomers (to Saga) and a midday day one for solo travellers. A nice touch at the latter was waiters going round taking bookings for the other restaurants and making up solo tables – a nice way to meet others. Decks: There was plenty of open deck space with lots of sunbeds and garden style rattan chairs and sofas. Deck towels and blankets were available from lockers. All decks can be accessed by lift and automatic doors. A row of jars near the Grill offered free boiled sweets all day. Tours: I only did two tours. These were much as any other company except that as we returned on the coach, the Saga tour escort came round offering Werthers butterscotch sweets and hot or cold flannels sprayed with eucalyptus. The escorts also stayed at the back of groups to check no-one got left behind or lost. Disembarkation: Again I had booked assisted disembarkation so went to my allocated area to wait. Sensibly (and unlike P&O) people were taken off in tag order, not the order in which we arrived in the venue. We had all be allocated a number between 2 and 16) which went on luggage. Luggage had to be out from 9pm till retiring the last night). Crates were filled with luggage with the same numbered tags and stayed in this crates until shortly before that number was called to disembark. As well as a man with a wheelchair to take me off, I was given a crew member to carry all my hand luggage until we arrived in the baggage hall and a porter took over. Because some luggage was still in crates when I arrived, it was quick and easy to locate my case. My driver was waiting outside and soon I was on my way home. Would I travel with Saga again – absolutely. The new ships are a perfect size for me and offer all you need. The décor is subtle but classy. There is none of the hard sell other lines practise. For example, I had a manicure but that was it – no selling of products and no gratuity added either. I love the forward observation deck, unobstructed by tinted glass. Minor niggle – the decks are composite, not teak. The service was exemplary but subtle. You stood to pull a chair in and a waiter would appear behind you to help. Yes, the upfront cost appears on the high side, but it is a quality product with a lots of undefinable extras thrown in that would be charged for on other lines.I am now looking forward my cruise on her sister ship next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My wife and I have frequently sailed with Saga and much enjoyed the charm of her smaller ships, Pearl and Sapphire so it was, with some uncertainty, that we sailed on her new Ship Spirit of Discovery. As we approached her berth I wasn’t ... Read More
My wife and I have frequently sailed with Saga and much enjoyed the charm of her smaller ships, Pearl and Sapphire so it was, with some uncertainty, that we sailed on her new Ship Spirit of Discovery. As we approached her berth I wasn’t initially enthused by her look, but gradually, throughout our back to back cruise, she grew in stature and even majesty. With a bigger ship one wondered whether Saga would retain the warm community feel of her earlier vessels. They had. Immediately one boarded one saw the smiles of the staff and to be frequently greeted by name was astonishing. Cabins (ours was a Standard Cabin) are very comfortable with a pleasing balcony and pleasant sitting area. The one limitation is the gap between the end of the bed and the cabin wall/television which is fairly narrow. But you make it work. The bathroom is neat and compact with a very fine shower. Dining has always been a great delight aboard Saga ships. The new Grand Dining Room though large is separated into sections which, though part of a grand whole, appear as individual restaurant areas. The food is as always a delight. On the ship there are three speciality restaurants. Coast to Coast, a fish restaurant, produces outstanding dishes and the The Club Restaurant, a steak house, provides succulent and large steaks. There is an East to West restaurant, but my wife has some dietary difficulties thus we declined that experience, though told it is very good. My wife’s dietary limitations were always well catered for: she receives the dinner menu a day early to assist. Even the wine offered at lunch and dinner has slightly improved..... still some way to go. Public areas are a joy. The Living Room is at the centre of the ship, busy and a great place to have the free coffee. The Library is a delight but crowded, too crowded. It is close to the Craft rooms which are good to see, but enthusiastic Passengers mean that classes are still too big for the amenities. On Saga Ships the Britannia Lounge has always been very important. It is a splendid space but, during the day, it is hardly used and we found it quieter than the Library, just how we like it. All these public rooms have coffee facilities linked and bars. In addition there is the South Cape Bar, stylish and very busy before dinner. At the rear of the Ship that are terraces on every deck encouraging passengers to relax and be lazy, while the Lido area is a magnet for many with a reasonable size pool. A first for Saga is the Playhouse, seating approximately 450. Watched a film there with 11 other people! It does allow performers greater opportunity but seats can sometimes be at a premium. Entertainment quality is mixed. The permanent Company are more mature performers than on previous ships and it shows. The guest performers vary in quality: haven’t yet seen a successful Comedian/Magician. There seems to be a penchant for flashing lights and excessive noise. Some like it, but not my cup of tea. Give me the Classical Quartet which provides talent and pleasure. They were challenging and very musical. Activity on board seems less than on the older ships and some passengers missed the variety of competitions. The Excursion team do a great job, though the value for money aspect of some of the excursions needs consideration. We had an evening excursion in Copenhagen, same as an afternoon trip, but we did have some peanuts and a glass of “bubbly, but it cost £20 extra. A poor excursion. The great joy of travelling with Saga are the Staff and Officers, all of whom seem truly interested in your well being. It is a superb ship, but even so there is a list of oddities. No washing line in Cabin Bathrooms. I think this is being addressed. The Fridge in the Cabin is ridiculous and noisy. A delightful television but on a 19 day cruise we had programmes for only about 7 days (and we were sailing relatively close to U.K.). Post the Captain’s Cocktail Parties the Grand Dining Room is overwhelmed and has problems coping with seating. Throughout the ship there are wonderful and many varied chairs and settees, but I do wonder whether anyone sat on them before purchase. One needs to be 6ft 3 ins to be comfortable in most. The disembarkation process was more chaotic than usual. Too many people were herded into the Britannia Lounge to await disembarkation....... with not enough seating. For many regular Saga passengers some comment that now they have to walk further. True, the Ship seems larger but the additional distances are not great. I love the Ship and the experiences. Counting the days to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband and I are both in our seventies and we have never considered a cruise with Saga before. The last five cruises we have have taken have been with Azamara or Oceania, but we were attracted by the idea of sailing on the Spirit of ... Read More
My husband and I are both in our seventies and we have never considered a cruise with Saga before. The last five cruises we have have taken have been with Azamara or Oceania, but we were attracted by the idea of sailing on the Spirit of Discovery as she seemed to incorporate all that we like about a cruise ship. We were absolutely delighted with the 14 day cruise around the Iberian peninsular. The weather was wonderful and everything about the ship lived up to expectations. We were collected from our home and driven to Dover, where embarkation was swift and we were shown to our standard twin cabin, which was very near the stern of C deck. I was a bit concerned that being so far aft might not be ideal, but the ship is so quiet and smooth it was not a problem at all. The balcony was a good size and was furnished with two upright chairs with cushions and a small low table. We wondered if there would be enough drawer space in the cabin, but there is so much room in the wardrobe we just hung most things up, as there were fifty hangers. Anything we didn’t have room for in the drawers stayed in our suitcases as there was lots of room under the bed for those. The bed was extremely comfortable with good quality sheets etc. It was nice to have a USB port next to each side of the bed and also a good reading light. After the safety drill, which for us took place in the Club, we went to make our bookings at the speciality restaurants. (It is also possible to book these by telephone at certain times during the cruise). There seemed to be no problem getting a table for two at each of the three restaurants. We enjoyed all three dinners very much, but perhaps we liked Coast to Coast, the seafood restaurant, the most. All the other evenings we ate in the Grand Dining Room on Deck 5, where the food was also excellent. We were able to have a table for two every night except one, when we sat at a table of 10. Breakfasts was either in the Grand Dining Room or, when we were in more of a hurry, in the Grill or the Verandah. The food was the same in both locations, and was very good. When the weather became very hot we tended to have lunch in the grill, where there was a delicious choice of salads as well as all the hot food which was also available in the dining room. We managed to resist afternoon tea except on a couple of occasions, but it was delightfully served every day in the dining room with a choice of teas and a glass of sparkling wine, as well as sandwiches, cakes and scones. It was also available in the Grill. We didn’t see all the entertainment, but we did see all three shows performed by the Spirit of Discovery Show Company; we thought they were very good indeed, with superb sets. We also saw two different shows done by the Opera Boys, and one evening when Jools Holland performed - all marvellous. The Playhouse is a beautiful theatre with room for over 400 people; the only thing that worried me was that there were a lot of people on board who had walking difficulties and they struggled with the steps in the theatre; perhaps space should be reserved for them in the back few rows. We did attend the very good destination talks by Alistair Guthrie, wine tasting with Oz Clarke, talks by cookery writer Jennifer Deeprose and talks by coroner Dr Peter Dean. The ORCA team gave a presentation about the whales and dolphins we might see and then they were on the observation deck during the days we were at sea. We had three sea days at the start of the cruise which gave us a good chance to explore the ship. The spa is beautiful; although we didn’t have any treatments we did use the lovely hydrotherapy pool. One of our favourite places to sit and read was the Terrace, which is at the stern on the Promenade deck. You can chose to be in the sun or shade there, and there are machines to help yourself to coffee or fruit juice. The identical coffee machine is also to be found in the Grill and in the Library. I have never had such good coffee from a machine before! The Library is a nice place to sit, and so are the Living Room and the Britannia Lounge. In fact, there is a huge amount of space, both inside and out, with masses of chairs and loungers on deck, in both the sun and shade. Our ports of call were Gibraltar, Cartagena, Sete, Barcelona, Alicante and Lisbon. We did not join any of the ship's shore excursions, but walked and made use of hop-on hop-off buses. All very enjoyable, but hot! We were interested to hear that the vast majority of passengers on board were all long time Saga enthusiasts and I now understand why. The crew are fantastic and look after everyone superbly. We very much hope to sail on this ship again in the near future; it really is lovely. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We managed to get the last accessible cabin on this sailing. Even if you use a small foldable wheelchair, as I do, Saga insist that you have an accessible cabin (elf and safety), and there aren’t many. Chauffeured car to Dover was ... Read More
We managed to get the last accessible cabin on this sailing. Even if you use a small foldable wheelchair, as I do, Saga insist that you have an accessible cabin (elf and safety), and there aren’t many. Chauffeured car to Dover was easy, with a short comfort stop on the way. Our cabin was lovely and comfortable, but with limited storage space. We could have done with a larger dressing table and more drawers; more space for toiletries in the wet room and a grab rail by the basin, but these were minor niggles. We were impressed with the technology in the cabin. Automatic entrance door to the cabin, small reading light and usb plugs by the bed, push button for ‘make up room’ and ‘do not disturb’ and lots of three pin plugs, best of all was the dimmed light around the bathroom mirror, very useful for trips to the bathroom in the night. The huge bed was one of the most comfortable that I have slept in, the pillows were soft and squishy and the towels huge. Lots of extras such as tea and coffee making with a carton of milk in the fridge; two large glass carafes of water, renewed daily, about fifty proper hangars in the wardrobe, not those silly things you have to unhook before using, large glass quality toiletries in bathroom, shampoo, shower gel, conditioner and hand wash, bathrobes, slippers, a rug which many people used on deck when it was chilly. There was also a shoe horn and pair of binoculars in the wardrobe. A safe was in our cupboard along with the fridge. We mostly ate in the Grand dining room, where the food was very good and excellent quality. We had difficulty booking the speciality restaurants, but managed to eat in the Club one evening. Steak was beautifully tender. Don’t know why, but we were invited to dine one evening with the Hotel Manager, Jan, sorry don’t know his surname. Had a very pleasant evening with three other guests. Had lunch one day on veranda, tasty fish in tempura batter and chips. Wine was available at lunch and dinner (we weren’t all inclusive), a limited selection, but very acceptable and constant top ups. The drinks were reasonably priced, cheaper than our local pub. There was plenty of entertainment, both during the day and in the evening, not all to our taste, but we did enjoy the Egyptian sisters and their musical prowess and a song and dance show. Our favourite however was Stuart Anderson, who played the guitar and keyboard. He seemed to cover most genres of popular music and had a unique sense of humour. The staff in general were friendly and helpful. A mention for the lovely young Carlo in the South Cape Bar who always brought me a cup of milk at the end of our evening and Hilary, think she was the Guest Relations officer was always friendly and had time to chat to most passengers. The Captain held a couple of relaxed question and answer sessions, he was seen regularly around the ship and the pastor was also readily available for those who needed him. The ship was always clean and tidy with classy decor and artwork. Lifts were fast and rarely crowded. Our fellow passengers were, in the main, friendly and polite. You always get one or two moaners. No pushing, shoving, seat hogging or drunkenness on this ship. We had three stops, Bergen, where we used a ship’s tour encompassing the main sights and a trip on the fununcular where the views were fantastic at the top. Geiranger, which was an easy tender port, even with my wheelchair. We took another ship’s tour driving up into the mountains, again spectacular views then on to a little wooden church for a music recital. The Captain paused the ship for about an hour in Geiranger fjord and turned it slowly 360 degrees so everyone had a chance to take photos of the seven sisters waterfall (there were only two because of the time of year, but it was still very impressive). In Stavanger we just wandered round on our own, looking at the pretty wooden houses and a lake with water birds and a fountain in the middle. We couldn’t go to the old town as the streets were too steep and cobbled for my wheelchair. In the afternoon I had a nap while my partner went back into town and found the Oil Museum, which he said was interesting. To sum up this was a ship that oozed quality with staff to match. So much so that we have booked the new Spirit of Adventure fo 2021 to the Canaries. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Spirit Of Discovery Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.5 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 3.8
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family N/A 3.3
Shore Excursions 5.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.5
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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