Although the main Pole to Pole restaurant on Deck 7 is capable of accommodating 620 people, it's split into separate areas themed on six continents, and it successfully gives an intimate impression. There are windows down each side of the room, and the geographical variation is provided by the art, bric-a-brac and enlarged photographs.
Dinner is open-seating, served between 7 pm and 9 pm; passengers can choose to join a table of four or six others, or dine as couples. Traditionalists who prefer to eat at the same table at the same time each day with the same companions can be accommodated on request by speaking to the maitre d' on the first day of the cruise. They are then expected to use the allotted table throughout the voyage.
A continental buffet is set out in the restaurant each morning, with waiter service for coffee and tea, fresh toast and cooked items. Waiter-service lunch is also provided in Pole to Pole.
The ship's alternative main dining area is the Grill and its associated outdoor Verandah on Deck 9.
There is also full waiter service throughout the day, with a small self-service section for salads during lunch. Weather permitting, a barbecue grill is set up on the Verandah at lunchtime, and the speciality of the house is dishes au verre -- appetisers served in small, clip-topped Kilner jars.
At breakfast, the Grill stays open about 30 minutes later than Pole to Pole. There is a continental buffet and a daily cooked special like omelettes or eggs Benedict.
After assessing customer feedback, Saga has decided to increase the self-serve buffet offerings.
Reservations are required for speciality restaurant East to West, but there is no extra charge. Serving 64 covers, the restaurant offers an Asian-fusion menu of Chinese, Thai, Indian and Sri Lankan.
Lunchtime fish and chips, burgers and hot dogs are served poolside at the Beach Club, which also offers unlimited soft ice cream and a pick-and-mix selection of boiled sweets.
A Larder, occupying a corner of the Drawing Room, is the place to go for tea, coffee, homemade cakes and pastries, and biscuits (cookies). Disappointingly, it is open only from 10 am until 4 pm.
A limited room-service menu is available 24 hours a day at no extra charge. Cooked breakfast is available via room service until 8 am on turnaround days.