Saga cruise to Norway and Svalbard, July 2022:
Covid testing and security was efficient at Southampton.
SOA is a beautiful ship, decent sized cabins and bathrooms, with everything you could possibly need and if there is something you need just ask for it. Most of the staff are friendly and helpful, but the service in the Main Dining Room can be slow at times. You are asked on entry to MDR if you want a table to yourselves or a sharing table of 4, 6 or 8 people. Menus aren’t particularly exciting in the MDR but are better on Formal nights and there are more options in the speciality restaurants, which are included in the price and you need to book them in advance once on board. Menus are on the TV. The dress code in the evening is smart casual except on Formal Nights (on average one a week), when men are expected to wear a jacket and tie, women a nice dress, skirt or trousers and an elegant blouse.
All cabins have balconies. They are delightful, new, clean with two singles which are pushed together to make a huge double. Good quality linens. Plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. 2 USB ports each side of the bed. Large modern flat screen TV with access to menus at all the dining rooms, info on the ship and crew, webcam, lectures in the Playhouse are also available after the event, in case you don’t or can’t go to the live event. The evening show is screened live on the TV. Plenty of space and cupboards in bathroom for toiletries. Large pump bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion provided. Decent size shower cubicle but larger people may find it a bit tight! Washing line over shower. Plenty of towels and also towels for swimming pool. Good lighting in bathroom and over dressing table. Kettle, instant coffee and breakfast tea provided. If you want de-caffeinated or herbal teas your room steward will provide them. Binoculars, shoe horn and umbrella provided. A small table and two chairs for in-room dining. Ditto for balcony (smaller table). Room stewards are excellent and provide anything you need. Bottled water is provided and is also given out at gangway when going on excursions.