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48 Saga Cruises Cruise Reviews

From arriving at Dover to the train back home, Saga service was excellent. Once on board we had a pleasant surprise of a newcomers cabin credit of £100 which paid for most of our purchases on board includind wine at dinner. We had ... Read More
From arriving at Dover to the train back home, Saga service was excellent. Once on board we had a pleasant surprise of a newcomers cabin credit of £100 which paid for most of our purchases on board includind wine at dinner. We had an L grade outside double cabin with shower and a picture window on Deck B. Space was adequate and there was more than enough storage space. Additionally there was a fridge, safe and Freeview TV. The cabin was clean and well serviced. We used the main Restaurant for breakfast on sea days and all dinners We could not fault our usual waiter who addressed us by name. We used the Verandah indoor/outdoor buffet restaurant for breakfast on port days as well as for all of our lunches. The food here was the same as in the main dining room. Service was excellent too and waiters would bring your food to the table if you wanted. There were 4 excursions included in the cruise which ranged from poor (Finland) to good (Denmark and Sweden). One optional excursion was cancelled when the ship could not call at Visby or Ronne due to windy weather. This was refunded and a free excursion in Warnemunde substituted. There was always plenty to do on board with lectures, concerts, deck games and the best book/DVD library I have seen on board a cruise ship for its size. The Discovery lounge where entertainment (and afternoon tea) took place was unfortunately rather large, low ceilinged and had no raised stage. This, in addition to placement of pillar meant that many passengers had to watch shows on TV monitors towards the back of the room. Entertainment was heavily weighted to classics as promoted in the cruise literature. We also enjoyed daily quizzes in Shackleton's bar where a very talented pianist (Clive Carrington) played daily. Drink prices on board reflected English pub prices and the cocktail of the day was £2. As with the rest of the ship the bar was tip free. There is no embargo on bringing your own drinks on board and no corkage charge in the restaurant. You can have your fridge stocked up by the ship if you want though. At most ports of call we did our own thing using the free shuttle uses into town. These were really necessary in the smaller industrial ports situated outside town centres. Bearing in mind the age range of Saga passengers, we saw only 2 (collapsible) wheelchairs and no electric buggies on board. There were virtually no smokers either. Although Saga costs a bit more it is worth the extra and you don't need to spend another penny once on board if you don't want to. We will certainly use Saga again if going to the right destination. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
This was our first cruise and it surpassed our expectations. Enjoyed it immensly, even though the majority of the passengers were in their 60's and 70's, with a few in their 80's. There were not as many wheelchairs and ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it surpassed our expectations. Enjoyed it immensly, even though the majority of the passengers were in their 60's and 70's, with a few in their 80's. There were not as many wheelchairs and walking sticks as I expected. The cabin was larger than expected and contained everything we needed, free water and fruit, plenty of wardrobe space, bathroom with large shower, plenty of space under the kingsize bed for suitcases. Lots of nooks and crannies and nice dressing table area with adjacent british socket for hairdryer. Bathrobes (but no slippers) and TV with integral DVD player. No tea and coffee facilities in room but this was not a problem as there was free room service. Good Sound insulation. Food was very good, excellent choice at breakfast. Look out for barbeque on Verandah if weather is good, as sometimes it is not advertised. The Grill is good for specialty breakfasts and light lunches, salads etc. East to West Restaurant is excellent (I am surprised they did not charge a supplement), this needs to be booked early on in the cruise as there are limited places. Times to book are advertised in the 'Today' newsletter. Excursions expensive but you are really looked after, with a driver, saga rep and also local guide. There are several grades of excursions from easy to strenuous and we heard of some people doing 6 mile hikes! Shows were excellent and the staff are fantastic, very friendly and cannot do enough for you. We met lots of friendly people and as it is a small ship you bump into the same people quite often and we struck up several friendships. Pick up chauffeur service was also excellent, we never touched the suitcases from leaving the house until they appeared outside our cabin. The driver was very courteous and friendly. Norwegian fjords are beautiful, we saw so many waterfalls. Be aware though that Norway is expensive and weather is not great. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
My wife and I(we)selected the Saga shared chauffeur I don't really want to drive for 4-5 hours when there is an option. We were originally due to be picked up at 10.10 on the Friday. A phone call from a Saga employee the day before ... Read More
My wife and I(we)selected the Saga shared chauffeur I don't really want to drive for 4-5 hours when there is an option. We were originally due to be picked up at 10.10 on the Friday. A phone call from a Saga employee the day before informed me the ship had been delayed in Ireland due to bad weather and to prevent me being in Dover too early the pick up would be 12.10. On the Friday at 12.25 with the non arrival of the transport we rang Saga, a short delay and we were informed he would arrive at our address within 5-10 minutes . 5 minutes later it arrived. Drivers will note leaving the East Midlands area, heading to Dover, on a Friday is not the ideal time (even without the accidents) as the delay at the Thames crossing and the M20 proved, but we arrived at the Dover Cruise Terminal at 18.30. As most passengers (705 maximum)had already boarded our embarkation was extremely swift. Our cases arrived in our cabin (shortly after we practiced our sinkinh ship procedure before we left port)the last time I had handled them was putting them outside the door as the shared transport arrived. Our cabin was spacious, compared to our previous ones and this time we had a balcony - small, but serviceable, as long as you only want to sit in a chair and read. Free water and fruit and as previously mentioned (Diane) no kettle but FREE room service. This is a Saga cruise 50+. There were some older than us (57 and 61)but we met two older couples and due to the size of the ship encountered them often. They made our holiday. Not everyone has a stick or wheelchair. One of the benefits of the Sapphire is evening dining is between, 18.45 and 21.00. No sittings, arrive at the restaurant (Pole to Pole or The Verandah)and, seating available, eat. Should you want the East to West restaurant it has to be booked, asap is my advice (See the daily newspaper for times when you can do so) The food is excellent.On the excursions you are well looked after. No danger at all of beingf left behind in Norway. No they aren't cheap but excursions never are and you learn a lot more by going on them. Disembarkation was a dream. Your number was called (provided in a newsletter the night before) you went to the exit, pointed to your luggage, a porter placed it on a trolley and took it to your transport home, brilliant. We have cruised before on other Cruise lines(not them all certainly) This was our best yet. Did I mention the free "Mr Whippy" type ice cream cones on the pool deck where they also served fish, chips and mushy peas? Probably not, it was a memory of a marvellous holiday along with many more Saga provide this year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Although we are regular SAGA Cruisers this was our first on Sapphire. Our review takes into account how sapphire compares with the other Saga Ships we have sailed on (Ruby Rose and Pearl 2) The ship rides better than the other ships ... Read More
Although we are regular SAGA Cruisers this was our first on Sapphire. Our review takes into account how sapphire compares with the other Saga Ships we have sailed on (Ruby Rose and Pearl 2) The ship rides better than the other ships Certain things are better We very much liked the Drawing Room although the passage ways leading to it through the excellent library are narrow. The East to West restaurant was superb unfortunately you are only officially allowed one visit per cruise (we managed 2 as one night they had a cancellation). The waiting staff are very good and attentive many of them recognising us from previous cruises. The standard of some was not up to the required SAGA standard. There were occasions when then reached across in front of the diners, Coffee and tea were sometimes slow, and toast was very difficult to obtain in the morning. We didn't like the system in the Verandah /grill. We would have preferred Self Service for Breakfast and Lunch , as on Ruby and Pearl 2. I tried one day in the grill for a traditional English but was told i could only have one of the two items which were on the menu that Morning. After this we had all our breakfasts in Pole to Pole. The Beach Club on Deck 11 was also excellent. They severed Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas or a Steak Burger, from 12 till 3 also the self service Ice Cream was there. In addition a large selection of Boiled Sweets were available to help your self. The entertainment was mixed, We thought the Explosive Productions team very poor. The singers shouted and the Girls did the same routine each show, only the costumes changed. The Classical Flanagan Trio were very good as was the Pianist You Chiang Lin ,(when she stopped talking and played the Piano). The lectures were varied. Keith Pritchard , the destinations lecturer was good as was the Art Lecturer Rosemary. The Classical Music lectures were not up to standard, He was to technical at times and is voice sent the audience to sleep. We were very impressed with the Cabins and although ours was an inside one on deck 6 it was the same size as all the others (Suites excepted). There was a hint of Sewage smell on most of the ship which we understand SAGA are trying to cure. Fortunately not in our Cabin. Most of the problems seemed to have been with the Cabins on deck 10 Captain McLundie was again very good as was the Cruise Director John Parton. Some of his back up staff were notable by their absence, Resty , Fernando, Carol and Ed excepted Embarkation was very smooth and simple as was the shared Car Service to and from Dover. The disembarkation was very long winded at Dover on our return. The ship managed to Dock at 9:30 and it was 2:50 before we got of the ship. There were some problems with the wind and baggage unloading, which had to be done manually by the Filipino Crew.One contribution to the Delay appeared to be the lack of Porters at the Dock. All together a very enjoyable cruise , but alas not one of the best Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
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 ... Read More
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 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 Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
I got an email from SAGA CRUISES for a 2nt cruise on QUEST FOR ADVENTURE. As saga are a bit expensive in my opinion i decided to try it as not done this ship before. PRE CRUISE I forgot my debit card and had to go back for it so i ... Read More
I got an email from SAGA CRUISES for a 2nt cruise on QUEST FOR ADVENTURE. As saga are a bit expensive in my opinion i decided to try it as not done this ship before. PRE CRUISE I forgot my debit card and had to go back for it so i called SAGA to tell them i would miss the train but they said they would pick me up from WEYMOUTH STATION. I managed to pick theb train up going a different way and called saga to tell them. I got to WEYMOUTH to find no REP or indeed a TRANSFER BUS to take me to PORTLAND. Another couple who did not have a free rail ticket got into a taxi. I called SAGA and waited an hour fpor it to get there! I went through xray and even though no sound was madfe i was still searched!! EMBARKATION I was shown to my cabin 461 on b deck. CABIN It was an ourtside cabin with 2 windows it was quite hard to open the curtains to see out. I had a good bathroom and shower with lots of oils. A fidge with nothing in it and no ice in the bucket this was never filled as i never really saw my steward. FOOD I webnt to the DINING ROOm for lunch the food was good and sat with the SINGER at the show. I was the only one who had got on at the table. As the lifeboat drill was soon it was a real rush having lunch i was not offered and wine that was supposed to be free! The other meals Lunch was ok but only 1 choice of dessert. ENTERTAINMENT Strange for a 2 night cruise both nights were the same singer though she was good. EXCURSIONS only had one and the 2 excursions was onlty 1 and was in MILFORD HAVEN of PEMBROKESHIRE COAST PATH at Â(EURO)44 was not bad but we never saw FIGHGUARD and only saw a bit of the coast, We went to ST DAVIDS managed to do the CATHEDRAL but it was quite a walk there and they were asling to pay Â(EURO)2 for a permit to take pictures there. After that it was a bit of a rush looking at the shops before we left. THINGS TO DO I didnt really think there was enough activities to do on this ship. SPECIAL DINNER I was invited tlo dine with the DIRECTOR OF SAGA SHIPPING in the WARD ROOM it was the highlight of the cruise conversation was really good. DISEMBARKATION As i was getting a car to the HILTON for 2 nights i could leave my luggage inside the cabin rather than put it out the night before. I was going with the DIRECTOR'S wife in the car but there was no sign of it so we had to pay Â(EURO)50 for the taxi i know we got it back but i would'nt have done it if i was on my own. FINAL THOUGHTS It was nice to try this ship out but i don't really think it was worth the money i could have done a transatlantic for the same price. SAGA is ok but io could'nt do a longer cruise because of the price and the transfers never happened!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Having enjoyed more than 350 days at sea on various SAGA vessels and thus being a long standing and very satisfied customer it is sad to report the gradual and irritating continuing reduction in standards (not reflected in the continuing ... Read More
Having enjoyed more than 350 days at sea on various SAGA vessels and thus being a long standing and very satisfied customer it is sad to report the gradual and irritating continuing reduction in standards (not reflected in the continuing high prices). Without exception the crew are magnificent and the cleanliness and appointment of the public rooms and my cabin could not be faulted. However:- Although we enjoy priority embarkation it was over 5 hours before our baggage was delivered to our cabin - almost 2 hour after sailing. A formal complaint on board and later to the Chief Executive produced the same lame excuse - such a lot of passengers!!! Presumably the vessel has been loaded before! After 7 days our chosen wine ran out, 7 days later our second and third choices also ran out. (Same experience on Quest for Adventure in June). Also, unbelievably, ran our of cheese biscuits after 14 days. Table steward unable to bring the cheese trolley to our table "because of the step/ramp" but this did not prevent the Sommelier wheeling his drinks trolley around the tables. Apart from the classical quartet the professional entertainment was very second rate. Port visits were too short on most occasions and excursions expensive for what they were. Chauffeur car arrangements excellent but an untraceable and seemingly unnecessary Answerphone message 24 hours before departure advising an unacceptable timing change did cause concern and necessitate several telephone calls to confirm the original agreement. The inclusive Travel Insurance is ridiculously restrictive and inflexible with no exclusions allowed. Judging by the age and physical/medical state of many of the passengers there must be a lot of undisclosed pre-exisiting conditions. Why oh why must we endure the same mixture of vegetables and almost every meal. Despite these criticisms we have two cruises booked for 2014 and two advanced reservations for 2015 so SAGA must be doing something right!!!!! We love the convenience of UK departures and the friendliness of the crew, many of whom we have known for several years Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My Husband and I decided to have Christmas away this year and choose a cruise. From the minute we arrived at Southampton docks we were looked after by the Saga reps who are on hand to help you. We were early and one of the first passengers ... Read More
My Husband and I decided to have Christmas away this year and choose a cruise. From the minute we arrived at Southampton docks we were looked after by the Saga reps who are on hand to help you. We were early and one of the first passengers to board. We were shown to Reception and very helpful staff there took us to our cabin. The cabin was nice and plenty of room for all our clothes and things we had bought with us (two large suitcases, two large holdalls) The steward, Willy was a great help and took our empty cases to his store room. You could not fault Willy he had the cabin looking great every time we went for breakfast. Fresh fruit every day and a smile on his face when ever we saw him. The girls on Reception were outstanding and nothing to much trouble. Their names were Sarah, Demelza and Cana. We went on a couple of trips, one to Rome, which the young lady photographer came with us as we went off on our own to see the sites. The other was to Pisa and the receptionist Sarah was also tour guide. She was so helpful and kind to one of the passengers who was having trouble keeping up as he couldn't walk very fast she walked with him and didn't once try to hurry him up. We loved the food such a choice. The waiters were very quick with your food. We were never waiting long between courses in the Dining Room at night. During the day we used the Verandah for breakfast and lunch. I think we both gained weight. You couldn't fault the food. The entertainment was very good. John the compere was very funny. The only bad thing was a comic that did one night only, thank god for that as he was so bad. They replaced him with better entertainment. The crew show was one of the best. We had two extra nights in Lisbon as the Captain had heard that the weather was going to be really bad so we stayed the extra nights till the storm had passed. One old passenger said she was going to complain about the extra days but I pointed out to her that there would be a lot of people suffering sea sickness or worse fall over and break limbs. She said, you are right but she was still going to complain. Well we had a really good time and would recommend this lovely little cruise ship to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
On April 11th 2014 I boarded Saga Pearl II with some trepidation: it was not only my first cruise with Saga but my first cruise alone. I needed not to worry from the embarkation onwards every thing was fine. The staff were incredible, so ... Read More
On April 11th 2014 I boarded Saga Pearl II with some trepidation: it was not only my first cruise with Saga but my first cruise alone. I needed not to worry from the embarkation onwards every thing was fine. The staff were incredible, so efficient and friendly, the cabins and public rooms spotlessly clean and the food was indeed some of the best I have had. This was Captain Dunlop's Mystery Cruise, and soon the Captain was referred to as Captain 'Devious' Duncan as he had most of us puzzled as to where he was going to, for one thing he changed direction in the early hours of the morning so we may have gone to bed thinking North but waking up to find he had gone South! There were 10 ports of call, 5 I had been to on other cruises and 5 new ones to me. As this was an all inclusive as well as being a mystery cruise, a half day tour was included in the price paid. One or two people complained about the choice of ports/tours but the majority of people were very happy. On the basis of this one trip I have now booked three other cruise with Saga, as I now travel alone I find this is by far the best cruise line for me Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Where can I start! A truly magical holiday, made even more so by the (mostly) fabulous weather, magnificent scenery, beautiful ship and very attentive staff and the food, oh the food - wonderful! Our cabin (5072) was very well appointed ... Read More
Where can I start! A truly magical holiday, made even more so by the (mostly) fabulous weather, magnificent scenery, beautiful ship and very attentive staff and the food, oh the food - wonderful! Our cabin (5072) was very well appointed and much bigger than we had imagined it would be. Plenty of room to move around easily, even in the bathroom. Lots of storage space in the triple wardrobe and chest of drawers. The in cabin fridge is an excellent feature if you want to keep your mini bar gin cold! A point to note about the cabin is there was only one three pin plug socket so if you need to plug in more than one electrical item you'll need to bring an adapter or borrow one from reception. Norway is not a destination we had really considered cruising to but are so glad we did. The stunning scenery and being able to berth in the heart of some lovely cities and Fjordland villages was a pleasure. Not an industrial dock in sight! I know Saga can't lay claim to providing great weather and calm waters (though I'd like to think they can!) but it was a wonderful added bonus to the cruise. Who'd have thought we'd be sitting out on the Verandah deck in the sunshine in early May with just a cardigan on - not us! A particular favourite destination was Flåm. We had a fantastic trip on the Flåm Railway and took some fabulous photographs of the Fjords that were perfectly mirrored in the flat calm water of Aurlandsfjord on our departure. The Saga Sapphire is a lovely ship with very good, well thought out public areas. The decor is very tasteful with some beautiful features and quirky art work. The fish sculpture at reception on deck 7 descending to deck 5 is unusual and delightful and a great focal point. We only just qualify by age to cruise with Saga and though we didn't need any assistance at all, the staff bend over backwards to help. We witnessed several passengers being helped whether it was with a mobility problem, a query or even carrying a plate of food or a drink. Saga should be very proud that their staff treat these elderly customers with dignity and respect. Our cabin stewardess was a delight, always smiling whenever we saw her. And now for the food! Absolutely superb. Every meal was delicious and it was a pleasure to ask for a medium and medium rare steak and get just that! It was very difficult to choose from the delicious starters, salads, soups, main courses and deserts. The petit fours at the end of dinner every night are a must and a lovely touch - just remember to leave a little room for them! The only improvement to the Sapphire would be a passenger laundry room. Not a problem on a short cruise but from experience it would be an asset on a longer one. All in all a brilliant cruise and now looking forward to saving for the next one. Well done Saga!   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This was my first cruise with Saga, a 2 week voyage around the Baltic. I had read earlier postings about this ship, both positive and negative, but approached the journey with an open mind about what to expect. The review is from a ... Read More
This was my first cruise with Saga, a 2 week voyage around the Baltic. I had read earlier postings about this ship, both positive and negative, but approached the journey with an open mind about what to expect. The review is from a fit-and-able 69 year old travelling with his wife, and with a first career as a merchant navy deck officer. We did not use the door to door chauffeur service, but drove to Dover arriving a few minutes after the 1.00 pm earliest check-in time. After dropping off the luggage with a porter, and parking the car 50 metres from the check-in area, we took the escalator to the first floor of the terminal building, were photographed and issued with our cruise card, and waited about 10 minutes to be called forward for boarding. This process was leisurely, smooth and hassle free……..quite unlike our experience 3 weeks earlier with P&O at Southampton on a seventeen-night Med cruise, when the process was like a cattle market! On boarding we were met and welcomed by one of the housekeeping staff who showed us to our cabin and settled us in. We had an outside cabin on Deck 5 – well equipped and spacious. There were no tea-making facilities (which we wouldn’t normally use anyway) but with room-service available there was no need for this, and of course it removes a health and safety hazard. I was conscious of earlier reviews about smells and, yes, the atmosphere has a taint to it…….but the Sapphire does not qualify for the title of “Auld Reekie”! The ship is over 30 years old, a little bit worn, but is well-looked after (a bit like me I guess) but the deck and housekeeping staff work hard to keep the premises in very good condition. Some days you won’t notice the smell. The public rooms are fine. Deck 11 has the Drawing Room which is very popular as you can easily make yourself a cuppa and have a piece of cake or a biscuit throughout the day. Because it is popular you may not always be able to find a seat if you are in a group. Quizzes and entertainment take place there too, both on sea and port days. Deck 8 has the Britannia Lounge, used for lectures, port talks, shows, and afternoon tea at 4.15. Unlike the monster cruise ships there is no space for a purpose-built theatre with all the bells and whistles that you’ll find on Cunard ships and the larger P&O vessels. The Britannia is multi-purpose so compromises have to be expected. The entertainment on this voyage was fine. I saw the Rossina Quartet, the resident Duo, and the Stars on Strings (marionettes) show. All were very good. There were other shows (dance and vocalist team, a violinist, magician) and I heard positive feedback about them. The theme for this cruise was Art and Antiques – my daughter suggested that I might be the antique – and on board were three of the experts from the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, with their wives. Passengers had been invited to bring along a family treasure for evaluation, and a couple of clinics were set up in the Drawing Room. These clinics were well-subscribed, with the more interesting of the items being used for a presentation by the team on the homeward leg of the voyage. It was a successful formula and it worked well. My only criticism was that the 3 couples stuck together like limpets when on board, eating together at all mealtimes rather than circulating and talking with passengers informally. Others in the entertainment team did that, and it was much appreciated. The dining experience and environment was excellent. George Streeter, the Executive Chef, put on great menus with excellently prepared food. He was noticeable by his visibility around the restaurants, ensuring that all was well. Towards the end of the cruise there were mixed comments that I heard about the itinerary, which had one variation to the advertised programme, due to a problem with an electrical generator that resulted in a delay in being given permission to enter the Kiel Canal on the outward journey. From my perspective, this was serendipity at work. Instead of a night-time transit we actually went through the canal during daylight hours, far, far more interesting, especially as the weather was hot and sunny. OK, it meant that the time in Stockholm was curtailed and we had just an afternoon in Stockholm. But that was just fine, too, because we did the Archipelago pilotage into Stockholm on a clear hot morning. Absolutely beautiful. Because of the unforeseen changes to the itinerary, Saga made arrangements for passengers to have some free ‘benefits in kind’ as compensation for any disappointment caused. I thought the whole situation was handled very well indeed. Excursion options were plentiful. We generally do excursions under our steam, but for St Petersburg this was not practicable – a Russian visa is required to tour independently. We did two half day trips at £49 per head and thought that we had good value for money. The tour guides on both trips were knowledgeable, solicitous, and were clearly understandable…..although a cruise companion had the opposite experience on the Hermitage evening tour. The tour escorts (members of the entertainments team) also did a good job in rounding up stragglers and ensuring that nobody got lost or left behind! Finally, our experience with the staff in the restaurants, bars and housekeeping was very positive. The barkeeper at the Aviators Bar put it like this: “My job is to give you joy; if you have no enjoyment then you won’t come with us again and then I may have no job”. I don’t know how other crew members saw their roles, but I have to say that the Filipino staff were the embodiment of customer service……attentive, caring, friendly, cheerful….there was nothing that was too much trouble. Maybe it helped that I knew (and used) a few words and phrases of Tagalog, but I don’t feel that we were singled out for any extra attention. I am now an Ambassador for Saga Cruises.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
I didn't want to go abroad, what's wrong with the mainland. I didn't want to cruise, I'd been seasick on the Coronia floating around Scarborough 50 years ago, and I certainly didn't want to have a dinner jacket on, ... Read More
I didn't want to go abroad, what's wrong with the mainland. I didn't want to cruise, I'd been seasick on the Coronia floating around Scarborough 50 years ago, and I certainly didn't want to have a dinner jacket on, ever. I was on holiday after all, and had to wear a suit and tie to the office for 38 years. All I can say is that I became entranced, mesmerised, converted and absolutely over whelmed by the experience from the moment of booking, just listening to my wife completing the booking was enough. (I'm not idle, just very deaf) Everything was absolutely superb, from being picked up at home, the food, the cabin, the staff, the price, the captain's comments as we watched him park the boat at the docks, and most of all the attitude of the staff to passengers who were not as agile as they used to be, who had wheelchairs, zimmer frames, dementia, very bad eyesight or a need just to be quiet and have a rest with no question of getting off the boat at all. Needless to say we've booked another cruise next Spring, a fly cruise on a Saga holiday using other boats as it is Canada and Alaska, and are looking at other Sapphire cruises, who cares where they are going to, just let's get cruising whilst we are still able to, there are no catering for you when you've departed this earth! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was our second Saga cruise and easily met our expectations. I should say that my wife and I were looking for relaxation and not necessarily with the need to go ashore at each port visited. The trip itself was not without problems but ... Read More
This was our second Saga cruise and easily met our expectations. I should say that my wife and I were looking for relaxation and not necessarily with the need to go ashore at each port visited. The trip itself was not without problems but this made no difference to our personal enjoyment of the holiday. Saga offer an inclusive taxi collect from home and this helps make the embarkation experience so, so much easier. The Dover operation was pretty slick and we were quickly in our cabin ready for the off. Day 2 of the voyage was a sailing day (Dover - Mantoir (for St. Nazaire)) and this is where the only problem of the voyage arose. One of the engines was found to have water in the sump and required to be shut down hence an extended voyage time which affected the whole itinerary. Day 3 in Mantoir. We, as planned, stayed on board which was just as well. The temperature was around the 32 centigrade mark and most unpleasant and other passengers told is that it was extremely unpleasant on the excursion buses. I had looked at Mantoir on Wikipedia and a one line description informed it to be a port handling liquid methane - nothing else in the description. Confirmed as a pretty depressing place. Day 4 should have been a visit to La Pallice for La Rochelle but the engine problem caused a delay so this visit dropped off the itinerary and the ship sailed direct to Bordeaux. In fairness to Saga, as compensation to their passengers, free wine (plus beer and soft drinks) was given at lunch and dinner. I do not think that you can be fairer than that! Day 5 in Bordeaux. There was the small issue here of insufficient draft for the Sapphire due to unusually low water levels in the river. Shuttle bus service to Bordeaux town was efficient but unfortunately only went to the commercial area and not to the historic area of the city. This was the nearest Saturday to the Bastille Day celebrations so the parades could only be seen from the bus. Bordeaux itself on a Saturday afternoon is, sadly, not a lot different to any large town in the UK. The shops are pretty much the same (chain shops prevalent) and the area full of teenagers. Day 6 sailing Bordeaux to Guernsey. Day 7 spent in St Peter Port, Guernsey. This was our first experience of transfer to shore by tender which I have to say was run extremely well with passenger safety paramount. It was only the passengers that made it difficult. Day 8 arrival at Dover. Again, a slick operation for disembarkation with breakfast to taxi in about 2.5 hours.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We boarded the Saga Pearl 11-with a little trepidation as we are Silversea and Seabourn regular cruises but my wife no longer can fly with her medication so of to Dover we went. First let me say the dining was very good indeed,and the ... Read More
We boarded the Saga Pearl 11-with a little trepidation as we are Silversea and Seabourn regular cruises but my wife no longer can fly with her medication so of to Dover we went. First let me say the dining was very good indeed,and the small but perfectly formed library we spent many lazy days in there! The service overall was good too.We especially enjoyed the interesting port lectures . However for us (and as it turned out for a great many other passengers too!) the entire highlight of the cruise was the star comedy impressionist ! Normally we avoid. This type of entertainment but we missed his first show and everyone was talking about how clever and accurate his mimics of the great comedy icons were So we went along with the ENTIRE ship to see his 2nd show of the cruise, We were so very,glad we did it truly made our cruise ,my wife hasn't been in the best of health but to see her Really laugh out loud and enjoy herself was just priceless to me, especially when he did a superb Eric Morecambe and all our favourite stars WOW! this guy must be a big star on Cruiselines Because he was genuinely funny WITHOUT it being at the expense of mocking the guests as we have witnessed on other cruises! He was CLEAN and non offensive ,it was no exaggeration to say when he ended his show he received a well deserved standing ovation and the morning after (Debarkation day ) EVERYONE was asking for comment cards to say how excellent his show was, There were other entertainers onboard too a musical duo and a pleasant classical ensemble.we are now going to try the other ship Saga Sapphire and find out if Christopher Gee will be performing again -fingers crossed! We will be booking our next 3 cruises with Saga - just proves it can be done no smut and FUNNY Comedy I know it's an old fashioned word but we really had such. FUN- WELL DONE SAGA! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our second cruise aboard Saga Sapphire, and our 16th cruise in all. I have to say that this one was the best ever! My family has no direct connection with the Gallipoli campaign of 1915, but I do have an interest in WW1 ... Read More
This was our second cruise aboard Saga Sapphire, and our 16th cruise in all. I have to say that this one was the best ever! My family has no direct connection with the Gallipoli campaign of 1915, but I do have an interest in WW1 history, hence embarking on this trip. Embarkation was slick, and we had an outside cabin on deck 6, close to the bow, which was a bit noisy during the few roughshod days that we experienced, slamming into waves, but nothing about that was in any way concerning. My impressions from the May 2014 cruise to the Baltic were repeated - excellent dining, friendly and courteous staff, very comfortable and of course plenty of entertainment options so that difficult choices had to be made. As this was the ANZAC Centenary, you'll not be surprised that many Australians and New Zealanders had flown 12,000 miles to join this special cruise for this special day on 25 April. We had 71 aboard, amongst the 604 passengers who embarked. A bigger bunch of extroverts one couldn't have asked for, and they were great fun to socialise with. SAGA had organised 3 Aussie military historians, as well as a UK diplomat and an army brigadier/historian who gave a series of lectures setting out the context for the political history of the Great Powers and the wide range of events leading up to the declaration of war in 2015, and then about the concept and execution of the Gallipoli campaign itself from a number of perspectives. Very thought provoking. Prior to ANZAC Day we spent two days in Chanakkule, with battlefield tours organised to take us to the different landing beaches and battlegrounds. The lectures put everything into context. On the centenary morning we were supposed to have anchored in ANZAC Cove, where the Australian and NZ forces landed along with some British regiments. The dawn centenary commemoration service was to start at 5, attended by many heads of state, plus Prince Charles. Unfortunately, someone (possibly in the Turkish security service) decided that 604 pensioners posed a threat so we were ordered to anchor off Helles Point, the site of the British contingents landing grounds, until 1300 hours, after which we could go to ANZAC Cove. We watched the very special Dawn Sevice on a broadcast by the Autralian Broadcasting Service, about 300 of decamping to the main Britannia Lounge. It was very moving. This was followed by rum & milk, with ANZAC biscuits, and an early breakfast. After breakfast an onboard memorial service was held, led by the SAGA chaplain. The names of all the relatives of the passengers who taken part in the campaign were read out, and wreaths laid. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa led the singing of National Anthems before the service ended. After lunch, we weighed anchor and cruised up the Gallipoli peninsula from S Beach at Helles as far as Sulva Bay, the most northerly landing ground, with the military historians and the UK brigadier providing informed commentary all the way. In keeping with Aussie ANZAC day tradition, post-lunch they played Two-Up, a gambling game that is illegal in Australia except on ANZAC Day. Even though it was just paper Monopoly notes being used, it all got rather raucous for an hour or so.....much drinking and lots of laughter. After Suvla we turned south, heading for Crete, and then finished the day with a fantastic Gallipoli Centenary Dinner. Head Chef Thierry pulled out all the stops for this. I would also mention that SAGA does listen to passenger feedback: 1. A request for a passenger laundry resulted in a new laundry being installed on Deck 6. Swish machines, and detergent provided. 2. The funny odour problem has been completed resolved. 3. A Tasmanian guest asked for Limoncello one evening. This wasn't on the drinks menu. Two days later, after calling into Cagliari, Limoncello was on the menu (gratis). I was impressed, as was John, the Tasmanian! This was a very special cruise and has provided lots of wonderful memories for my wife and I. Thank you again SAGA! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
First time cruisers, our trip to the Baltic capitals was the most wonderful experience and excelled our expectations. The staff were wonderful and they made us feel comfortable at all times, welcoming us back on board after each trip on ... Read More
First time cruisers, our trip to the Baltic capitals was the most wonderful experience and excelled our expectations. The staff were wonderful and they made us feel comfortable at all times, welcoming us back on board after each trip on land and entertaining us when we were at sea. The food was wonderful and so were the nightly shows and the lectures on the places to visit very informative. If you are reasonably active and confident, most of the cities visited can be explored with a good travel book as there are shuttle buses that run frequently to the city centres and you can explore at leisure. You do need to go ashore as an organised group in Russia because of visa requirements. Although expensive, we thought the Exclusive Hermitage excursion at night one of the highlights of our trip; a magical experience! The 40 piece St Peterburg orchestra were fantastic and the glass of champagne an added bonus. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our very first cruise and we loved every aspect of it! Saga really look after their passengers. The pick up and journey to Dover was excellent, as was the embarkation organisation and process. Our cabin was lovely, kept ... Read More
This was our very first cruise and we loved every aspect of it! Saga really look after their passengers. The pick up and journey to Dover was excellent, as was the embarkation organisation and process. Our cabin was lovely, kept beautifully clean by Willy, our cabin steward. The food was excellent and so was the service. The All Inclusive package was very very good. I would although have liked fizzy wine included too. The entertainment was really fabulous and actually our favourite part. We would pay to see those shows! They all are extremely talented and give 100% on and off stage. The live band are fantastic too. We particularly enjoyed participating in the passenger choir with the professional vocalists, Hannah, Michelle and Kurt. We loved the atmosphere and friendliness onboard the ship. Disembarkation and our journey home was also very efficient. We would definitely recommend and will be booking again. Happy customers! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Our first Saga cruise but this mini was on the date we wanted and our beloved Christmas markets were covered. We have been on 35+ cruises and this was really enjoyable. The smallest ship we have been on and she did bounce about it in the ... Read More
Our first Saga cruise but this mini was on the date we wanted and our beloved Christmas markets were covered. We have been on 35+ cruises and this was really enjoyable. The smallest ship we have been on and she did bounce about it in the high seas last night but hey - horses for courses. The staff, food, service and ship were great and there was absolutely nothing to complain about. Most of the passengers were friendly and were young at heart wrinklies with just a few of the usual moaners. Would we go back on ? Yes we would, we were very impressed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
72 days away. 23 ports, with two missed out because of bad weather - Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Punta del Este, Uruguay. 23,500 miles travelled. Fantastic experience, although for some guests the first week was not a good one because of ... Read More
72 days away. 23 ports, with two missed out because of bad weather - Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Punta del Este, Uruguay. 23,500 miles travelled. Fantastic experience, although for some guests the first week was not a good one because of an unseasonably early storm after departing Madeira. Saga Pearl II is smallish so it got tossed around a bit The quality of staff (Filipino) is excellent, and lots of long service crew which says a lot about Saga employment practices. Staff and management aboard worked hard to ensure that the cruise was a memorable experience for guests - for all the right reasons - and they succeeded. The entertainment was generally of good quality and high standard, something for everyone, really. The highlights for me and the missus were: - the Panama Canal transit (one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World - meeting up with an ex-colleague in Guayaquil, Ecuador - Lima, Peru - the Chilean fjords, "glacier alley" and the Garibaldi Glacier - a lap of honour around Cape Horn on a calm and sunny morning - Buenos Aires, with a return evening performance by the Morgado Esteban Cuarteto and tango dancing, aboard. The quartet had done 3 performances on the Colombia - Peru leg. - Rio de Janeiro, the trip to Christ the Redeemer (in clear weather), and an evening performance aboard by Samba Rio. (I heard that the ship's doctor was on standby with the defibrillator.....but maybe that was a tongue-in-cheek comment from one of the female passengers because the Samba dancer outfits were somewhat skimpy!) And that's just to name some of the highlights.....there was much, much more. The only downside.......stepping on the scales yesterday. The dining was excellent with really good complimentary wines at lunch and dinner. We did our own excursions as we are fit and able, and confident about doing our own thing. One memorable excursion we organised via the internet was the 'Grafreetti' in Valparaiso, conducted by a street artist. Amazing creative art! I can highly recommend Saga cruises. Of the 23 cruises we've done, this has to be the best cruise ever! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We chose this cruise because it sailed round the u.k. without stopping which suited our purpose because my wife has severe walking problems. The embarkation was superbly handled, the cabin was large, comfortable and clean, the food on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it sailed round the u.k. without stopping which suited our purpose because my wife has severe walking problems. The embarkation was superbly handled, the cabin was large, comfortable and clean, the food on board was superb and the staff and crew could not have been more helpful. Unfortunately, our cabin was on the wrong side of the vessel for sightseeing so had to go on deck for all viewing which, due to the somewhat misty weather at some ports was not the greatest for viewing. This, of course, was nothing to Saga's detriment. We had early morning tea delivered to the cabin, and were invited to the captain's table on the second night. The only drawback was disembarkation at Dover which resulted in us having to wait 3-1/2 hours before a chair could be found for my wife, this was all ordered at the time of booking but, unlike embarkation when people arrived in dribs and drabs, everyone was disembarking at the same time in Dover. Having said this we are booking another cruise next year and have asked for the same cabin. must say one final word which is about a crew member named Jemma who could not have been more helpful and was always cheerful and ready to assist when required. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Trying a cruise on my own for the first time. Embarkation and disembarkation always goes so smoothly and I found no difficulty being on my own. There are Saga staff to help if needed. It was a great success. From the first moments ... Read More
Trying a cruise on my own for the first time. Embarkation and disembarkation always goes so smoothly and I found no difficulty being on my own. There are Saga staff to help if needed. It was a great success. From the first moments before sailing the entertainment crew- Abby -a dancer and Richard a gentleman host came and chatted as I was sitting on my own. I was seated at meals with other single passengers and made many friends. The food was fantastic as usual. My cabin was very comfortable. I would advise any ladies to take their own hairdryer if needed as I found it quite difficult with arthritic hands to keep my finger constantly on the button to use it. The showtime group were very professional. This was my third cruise on Sapphire and I would not hesitate to travel on my own again. The included chauffeur service from home was perfect. It is so nice to not see your luggage until it is in your cabin! I am ready to book on Sapphire next year once again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We wanted to treat our family group of 12 to a mini cruise which would involve no expense whatsoever to them, and stumbled across Saga with whom we had never considered cruising before, despite having enjoyed over 25 cruises with 9 lines. ... Read More
We wanted to treat our family group of 12 to a mini cruise which would involve no expense whatsoever to them, and stumbled across Saga with whom we had never considered cruising before, despite having enjoyed over 25 cruises with 9 lines. A dedicated group travel consultant at Saga dealt with every aspect of our booking. Cabins were reserved without deposit until bookings were confirmed, and there was a group booking discount of one free place. He was also the point of contact for any queries we had before sailing. Much more than usual was included in the price of this cruise- free travel insurance for us all including several of our party with medical conditions which normally attract a considerable premium, chauffeur service to and from Dover or free parking for those who choose to drive themselves, all on board gratuities, free 24 hour room service, bottled water and packed lunches for those on excursions, free shuttle buses in all ports, free Wi-Fi, and generous helpings from a choice of over 10 wines or soft drinks at lunch and dinner. The published cost of the cruise may appear to be higher than on some lines, but is offset by the included extras, and several of our group disembarked with a "nil" on board account. We sailed from Dover in warm sunshine, sipping complimentary champagne and were treated to a surprise flying display by a WW2 Spitfire, and Vera Lynn singing The White Cliffs of Dover. Cabins were clean and comfortable with adequate storage, fridge, T.V and DVD player, and even pillow chocolates. Bathrobes, good showers and full sized bottles of toiletries were provided. Saga Pearl caters to the over 50's and carries a maximum of 450 passengers and 250 officers and crew who were unfailingly helpful and friendly. The atmosphere is relaxed and sociable but even on this 4 night cruise there was one formal night, giving the opportunity to dress up if one wished. Entertainment was low-key, as there is no theatre and the on board singers performed in the Discovery Lounge. On the final evening we were treated to a performance by Beyond the Barricade. The library carries a huge array of books and magazines to which you are trusted to help yourself, and there is a small cinema, gym, and beauty salon. One of the most impressive features of the cruise was the fabulous food which was outstanding in both variety and quality. Seating is mainly open, but as a group, we were allocated two tables for six, and a very good selection of gluten free was offered in addition to a diabetic menu. Having experienced Cunard Queen’s Grill and Silversea we felt that Saga ’s food was undoubtedly equal, if not superior. We are wondering why it has taken us so long to “discover” Saga, will have no hesitation in recommending them to our friends, and will definitely sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We wanted to visit the fjords and see the Midnight Sun and wanted to cruise on Sapphire again, so of course opted for this cruise. It was excellent from start to finish. Booking was easy over the phone. The door to door transport was ... Read More
We wanted to visit the fjords and see the Midnight Sun and wanted to cruise on Sapphire again, so of course opted for this cruise. It was excellent from start to finish. Booking was easy over the phone. The door to door transport was really good and embarkation simple and quick. In no time at all we were on board and shown to our cabin which was as expected. We felt at home straightaway and headed on up to our favourite bar where we were greeted by the same smiling bar staff from our previous cruise. It was the same for the rest of the cruise. We chose to eat mainly in the waited-on restaurant, Pole to Pole, and as we prefer to eat alone in the evening were given a fixed table for two. However the table was not to our liking, but, no problem, the Maitre d' Kirsten changed it for us to one we were completely happy with. We had lovely food, not a bad meal all the way through, ,and a good choice of courses. The waiting staff were excellent, nothing was too much trouble, and we were greeted by the same friendly faces as last year. Show entertainment is not our thing so we preferred to go up to the drawing room after dinner for quiet drinks, laid back music and quizzing! Service all through the ship was excellent, we wanted for nothing, from the early tea-tray brought by the steward to the turned down bed at night with the chocolate on our pillows. The ports we visited were interesting, although we feel some of the excursions were too expensive for what they were. It was good to have the free shuttle bus service at the ports where we had not booked a trip. Unlike a previous reviewer we felt we had enough information about the itinerary and we did get to see the fjords and the Midnight Sun. In fact it seemed as though the previous reviewers had been on a different cruise to us! We have already put our names down for another cruise on Sapphire in 2018 and eagerly await the new brochure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Recently returned from Baltic Capitals cruise on board Saga Sapphire which was our first experience with Saga. Everything from being collected at the door to returning home was extremely well organised and went smoothly. The cabin on deck ... Read More
Recently returned from Baltic Capitals cruise on board Saga Sapphire which was our first experience with Saga. Everything from being collected at the door to returning home was extremely well organised and went smoothly. The cabin on deck 10 which was adapted as I am a wheelchair user was a good size with a large wet room and balcony, ideal! The food, and there is plenty of variation, was excellent and always served with a smile. Entertainment was in the main of a high standard and there were plenty of activities on board. Shore excursions are not cheap but are well organised, but there are shuttle buses in the ports that are for the passengers who wish to adventure on their own.Saga Sapphire is a lovely ship with a very happy helpful crew who make sure your cruise is a happy one. All in all a wonderful experience and looking forward to our next cruise on Sapphire. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Our first ever cruise and couldn't fault it. So good we've booked another cruise on Saga Sapphire for May next year whilst on board. Spotlessly clean cabin on arrival and our cabin steward kept is so for all the cruise. ... Read More
Our first ever cruise and couldn't fault it. So good we've booked another cruise on Saga Sapphire for May next year whilst on board. Spotlessly clean cabin on arrival and our cabin steward kept is so for all the cruise. Exemplary service. Food excellent and very varied menu. Opted for the 'open dining' option and found this the best way to meet people. Entertainment generally very good, with the 4 piece string quartet and pianist in the bars excellent. Organisation from collection from home to return first rate. Shore excursions were very well organised and advance informative talks given 1-2 days before arrival. Lots of lectures on various subjects to keep you occupied during at sea days. Very good on-board library. WiFi on board free through-out the ship, but can be a bit slow due to being on a satellite link. Best port of call was Arendal, only small but very interesting and easy to get to without need of shuttle bus. Except for St Petersburg (due to visa requirements) shuttle bus for port best option. Tallinn was crowded, but 3 other cruise ships docked at same time. Enjoyed the galley tour with George Streeter the chef - very informative. The weather was generally good, and the captain gave advance notice of some slightly choppy waters after Stockholm so everyone was prepared. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
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