Colours of the Canaries: Saga Sapphire Cruise Review by khkate

Saga Sapphire 4
Member Since 2013
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Colours of the Canaries

Sail Date: January 2013
Destination: Canary Islands
Embarkation: Southampton
My husband and I have sailed several times on Saga Ruby and this was our first cruise on Sapphire. The layout of Sapphire is easy to learn as all the cabins are in the front half of the ship and the public rooms are in the rear, apart from the Drawing Room which is at the front. The cabins was enormous with plenty of hanging space, a good-sized table and sofa, plus armchair. The bathroom was a reasonable size and the layout including the shower was good - with pleasant toiletries. The cabin was well insulated so you couldn't hear your neighbours. However, we did not like the main dining room - too noisy and too rushed. We preferred to eat in the Grill Restaurant which was more relaxed, but as it had doors to the outer decks, could be chilly. Access to the outer decks was limited - Deck 8 was only down the sides of the ships and at the rear (not linked, then deck 11 (Beach Club) and the only place you could walk right round was Deck 12. The location of the Crazy Golf was wasted - right More at the front of the ship on Deck 12, so as it was the windiest place, could only be used when in port. If the weather is poor, the amount of seating space is severely restricted as the Ballroom was often in sue for lectures. The pools could not be used unless the sea was dead calm, as the water was prone to throwing itself across the decks. The ship does NOT travel well in rough seas - we had a force 11/12 gale after leaving Lisbon and the ship suffered extensive damage, having to seek shelter in Vigo overnight. However, all the staff on board provided excellent care and service all the time and as a smallish ship, you do get to be known by the crew, cruise staff and officers. When we encountered the rough weather, all meals were provided as room service only for safety and the crew all checked passengers to ensure that they were OK and happy to sit down and talk to any who were worried or distressed. The Beach Club is enjoyable, especially the fish and chip bar and the ice cream, but hardly anyone used the sweet shop. There was a good selection of onboard activities and certainly all the deck games sessions were always well attended.

All in all a good cruise, and the Sapphire is a nice ship, but some of the quirky features take away from the ambience of the ship. Less

Published 02/23/13

Cabin review: S6075

Very large cabin with plenty of room for hanging clothes. Good seating - settee and armchair. Large mirror by door and in bathroom. Switches for lights was a bit obscure. Bathroom had good layout and plenty of storage. Shower cubicle was good size but had to request shower mat. Lovely toiletries. Cabins well insulated so no noise from adjoining cabins. There was sometimes a strong smell of fuel in corridors after refueling.

Port and Shore Excursions

Tabruiente Tour was excellent with a very good guide. As usual there was 1 person who hadn't read tour description of there being winding roads and great heights and they cried off as feeling unwell, so arrangements had to be made for them to be left somewhere. Seeing the vast expanses of the calderas (volcanic craters) and the difference sin the scenery due to trade winds and the amount of rain was magnificent. Again, the refreshment stop, a bodega used by locals for wine, water, fruit juices and snacks was excellent

This was a tour around the home of Cesar Manrique's home in lava caves and then onto a cactus garden in a quarry all designed by him. Despite very strong winds, it was all fantastic and I am not a fan of modern arty, so didn't think I would enjoy but it was excellent. We finished up in a fort overlooking the waterfront for refreshments. A very enjoyable tour.

Not quite as interesting as previous shore excursions. The volcanic craters weren't as scenic. The visit to the market town of Teror was very good but far too short as it was market day and a Sunday so traffic was horrendous. There was a visit to a hacienda for refreshments which was very good. but again no time to look around, due to the number of coaches.

City Tour

A very good guide and we visited the Christ the Redeemer statue first (as 6 other coaches from ship doing tour). Extermely windy but a good place to see the city from. Given a drive around the city which was interesting but as it was drizzly, it restricted views a bit. also stopped at Belem Tower, just for photos and we also had a stop for refreshments at a old bakery/coffee house. The local pastries we hhad were excellent and more-ish.

Jeep Tour

This was a very enjoyable tour and a splendid way to see the island as although it was a group of jeep (6 in all), each jeep was effectively separate. The climbs up the tarmacked roads were thrilling - just wide enough for the jeep and it was usually a 2-way road. The off road bits were equally spectacular and the refreshment stop was also excellent. The only drawback was the seating layout in the jeeps. It was fine if you were in the normal forward facing seats (3 people) but there was sideways facing bench seats at rear for 4. This was cramped and not easy to get in / out of vehicle and restricted views too. Seat belts were provided for all and due to terrain were essential.

Pyramids of Guimar

This tour was combined with a trip to Esperanza which provided a viewpoint over Mount Teide and the National Park which was spectacular. The trip to the Pyramids was very disappointing. The guide was petite and her voice did not carry, so the commentary was almost impossible to follow. The pyramids were quite interesting but there was no time to actually explore them and the various exhibits seemed to bear no relation to the pyramids - all something to do with Thor Heyerdahl. There was an AV show which was interesting - once one worked out how to get the right language through the headphones.
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