We joined Saga Sapphire for her Volcanic Isles cruise in November. We have cruised many times but this was our first on a Saga ship. Saga Sapphire is shortly leaving their fleet which we feel is a great shame as she is a lovely ship with comfortable public rooms and an intimate feel. For the first time in many years we booked an inside cabin and this turned out to be large with a separate seating area and table. It was also very quiet and comfortable and kept spotlessly clean by our steward. The staff were universally friendly and helpful, the food was very good and the included drinks were of a decent quality. The entertainment was very acceptable with the lively Show Company in good form and there were some interesting lectures. On sea days we also enjoyed energetic, seated, work-outs with Derrick Evans aka Mr Motivator who was great fun. Saga Sapphire was late into Southampton on embarkation day as the Port had kept her waiting off the Isle of White for several hours. As a consequence the ship was late departing and with bad weather through the Bay of Biscay arrival in Funchal was also delayed. So the cruise was slightly rescheduled with an overnight stay there rather than in Santa Cruz, La Palma. We had been to all ports previously apart from Agadir and Casablanca in Morocco which we found of interest. Our return was overshadowed by the first named storm of the winter forecast to arrive at the same time as the ship in the English Channel. Captain Kim Tanner decided the best course of action was to sail at full speed back through the Bay of Biscay and then to hug the English coastline before entering the Solent via the Needles Channel some twelve hours early. As a result we just missed the storm and had a comfortable last night docked in the Port of Southampton. The weather could have been warmer in all ports of call. Nevertheless we enjoyed the cruise and the little extras that Saga offer and also met some very nice folks along the way.
Excellent spacious cabin
We like Funchal
Always a pleasant stop, we visited the Naval Museum which was worth doing
Took a city tour
Took a city tour