A Gem with just a few flaws: Saga Sapphire Cruise Review by johnep

Saga Sapphire 5
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

A Gem with just a few flaws

Sail Date: October 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Southampton
Like the Spirit, Sapphire was built as a dedicated cruise ship. The big advantage over Spirit and Ruby are the size of the cabins, At last a decent table and small sofa in all cabins except the smallest on deck 4.

Very pleasant watching the sea go by sitting in an armchair with a pot of tea and the sun just above the horizon.
On the Spirit and Ruby, the public rooms tended to be on the same deck which made for quick transfers between rooms except when side doors closed when show in progress. The Sapphire has public rooms and restaurants on separate decks which can cause congestion with the lifts. These need integrating so that one is going up as the other descends. As it was, they both tended to arrive at once.

As always, the crew could not be faulted. Perfect service at all times.
However, the ship still prone to problems. We were stranded in Cadiz for an extra day awaiting a spare computer part to arrive from Norway. We did not mind as Cadiz worth an extra More day.

We had noticed the engine noise and we were delayed in departure from Cartagena while an engine bearing was replaced. This meant less time in Gibraltar and because of strict scheduling at Rome, we had to miss Crete.

We had previously enjoyed rapid buffet service, but the Grill/Verandah restaurant was waiter service only. This caused long delays at breakfast and lunch when everyone tended to arrive at the same time. We were told that choice of buffet or waiter will be introduced.

I had enjoyed the awning on the Spirit which extended as far as the pool. That on the Ruby was useless as only a metre deep. On the Sapphire, they have used strips of netting which are as much use as a chocolate teapot at shielding from strong sun or rain. A shame, as the horseshoe shaped area would have made a splendid sheltered area.

The East to West restaurant was exquisite. On the first night, the queue for the dining room was long so we thought to try the Grill. We lost our way and found an empty restaurant with several waiters to attend to us. We found that often a table is vacant and enjoyed the East to West four times during the voyage.

Another problem is lack of a launderette. That on the Ruby was perfect. Most ladies like to wash their 'smalls' themselves and a launderette really essential on a long voyage,

Summing up, The Sapphire just needs minor niggles to be ironed out and then it will be ideal. We intend to enjoy cruising on her again.
johnep Less

Published 01/02/13
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: m5076

5076. First cabin at base of Atrium. None of that cramped corridor feeling.Spacious with large windows. Large shower compartment but floor wrong in that water did not run away easily. After your shower, you were paddling. There was a shelf beside the bed which could have a chest of drawers underneath as we felt more drawer space needed. The wardrobes were adequate. We like this cabin, so don't you book it when we want it!

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