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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2013
This will be the second time we have used this ship as the food and the staff very good. It is for a maturer crowd but this time round it was like being on a hospital ship. Wheelchairs and walking sticks everywhere. We felt sorry for ... Read More
This will be the second time we have used this ship as the food and the staff very good. It is for a maturer crowd but this time round it was like being on a hospital ship. Wheelchairs and walking sticks everywhere. We felt sorry for the staff as they seemed to have to work as carers for a lot of the passengers. We are both retired ourselves but felt uncomfortable due to the disabled on the ship. We presume the infirm go on the ship because of being looked after. Not having a go at the disabled but the ship was not like this last time. The show lounge "Britannia" is where the shows are held is unsuitable for the amount of people. It is not laid out as a theatre due to the size of the ship so if you ate late as we did, you did not get a good view. Acts were so so but nothing to write home about and have seen a lot better. Most of the passengers seem to want to eat early so they could get to the show lounge early and grab the front seats which is so irrating. These would be the same people who hogged the sun loungers and left their personal belongings on the chairs whilst eating or going ashore. All in all not a quality ship. The cabin was fine. Do not bother paying extra for a balcony unless you are on Deck 10 as the balconies on Deck 8 are not worthing paying for. This time we had the extra space inside the cabin and a big window instead which was a lot better. Plenty of wardrobe space and hangers, toiletries. Steward attentive. Fresh fruit left in your room every couple of days. This time we noticed when having coffee after a meal in the Pole to Pole Restaurant, you got a cup and saucer, yet upstairs in the Veranda Restaurant you got mugs, even in the evening which was a bit tacky. Cannot comment on afternoon tea as there is only so much you can eat but looked plentiful and packed out with passengers who did not manage to eat enough at lunch! The same with midnight buffet. We |have tried to find out numerous times what percentage of the holiday cost is paid to the staff in tips but Saga will not answer that question. Every cruise company mentions the amount given except Saga, so they must be hiding something. We should know as the staff work very hard and go home once a year to their families. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
After some 40 cruises, from the sublime(Seabourn) to the gorblimy (Soviet Black Sea Fleet) I can only say that Saga now holds premier place in my estimation. We are a couple and this was a 25 day jaunt around the Mediterranean at a time ... Read More
After some 40 cruises, from the sublime(Seabourn) to the gorblimy (Soviet Black Sea Fleet) I can only say that Saga now holds premier place in my estimation. We are a couple and this was a 25 day jaunt around the Mediterranean at a time of year when things can get a bit hairy. It was the sort of itinerary that we like, sea days mixed with ports two of which, Venice and Valletta.and a third one, Gibraltar, which was not scheduled, were overnight. I have nothing but praise for their organisation both on boarding at Southampton and leaving there. Very different from the shambolic experience of some other Cruise Lines at that port. Saga Pearl 11 is now a bit of a museum piece compared with bigger competitors and will leave service next year but you would never guess that from her appearance. She is immaculate. She was fully booked but there were only 26 new boys on board. All the others were regulars. That says a lot. The crew would bear favourable comparison with any other outfit, The hotel staff are almost entirely from the Philipines and are always cheerful, welcoming and unbelievably efficient. An unusual touch was that the (very young) dance group socialised with the passengers at teatime. I have never seen that before. The Cruise Director, Joanne, is superb. The Captain was always around and a most efficient and engaging character he was. Altogether, a most impressive bunch. Entertainment was of a very high quality with some excellent enrichment lectures. The library - sorry Cunard - was the best I have ever seen. WiFi is free!!! I suppose I should really keep away from the computer on holiday but there you go. The passengers. Ah. Saga only sell to the over-50s but on that cruise add another couple of decades. Not a tattoo or a face piercing among them. We had 3 taken off by chopper that trip but the determination of some of those less-than-virile people is most impressive. The food was very good indeed, not too "cheffy" but of a high standard and an excellent list of choices. The pastry chef needs special mention - I have never seen anything that standard on other ships. All in all, an excellent ship . Azamara should be looking over their shoulders. Would I go with them again? I am already booked on their new ship Spirit Of Discovery. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This trip called on ports where larger ships would only attempted by tender. Other cruise companies would not be interested in calling to these places. The theme was Wine Tapas ans Walking in Western France and Northern Spain in the Bay of ... Read More
This trip called on ports where larger ships would only attempted by tender. Other cruise companies would not be interested in calling to these places. The theme was Wine Tapas ans Walking in Western France and Northern Spain in the Bay of Biscay area. Saga produce may be costly but in return they give you a 5 star service. We were picked from our home in Southampton to Dover, but it took double the time because of the traffic on the motorways, also the approach to Dover due the Channel Tunnel and Cross Chanel ferry problems which was due to industrial action in France. We got there in the end and sailing was delayed. The service on board was brilliant. The meals were of good meal choice and generous portions with free wine wine with your meals. The waiting staff made there extra mile for any extras or problems. If you want to compare with P&O they were miles ahead! I think the accountants are in charge and reducing the portions and using the quantity controlled to make more profit for the punters. Saga beats the others on all fronts. Saga give a very personal service. Most days the Captain came down most for a cup of coffee and cruises could ask question about the cruise. Wines with your meal are free so is coffee during the day and ice cream which you help you self. If you want to buy at the bar you have to pay. This particular them cruise was brilliant, we had excellent lectures about wine appreciation, Spanish tapas cooking demos and the cruise goer's were good compamy. We have book again. Read Less
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