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About lincslady

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  1. On Sapphire, anyway, it is an idea to be proactive with the maitre d' at the door to the dining room, and say I/we would prefer to be at a table for two, or four, rather than a large one, and if you are only two and do not wish to share it is always honoured, sometimes with a four for two. I can imagine that this may not work so well with the SOD, in the Grill restaurant as it sounds as if it is often crowded. I appreciate that for one on their own who does not wish to share this could be difficult. Many single passengers enjoy meeting others on a casual basis for breakfast and lunch, and I think the staff find this to be the norm, so tend to offer/suggest it. But certainly worth saying 'can I just have a table for one'. I don't know if you can book a set table for two or four each evening in the main dining room in advance by phone with Saga on SOD, as you can on Sapphire. The table is there for you each night, coming in when you wish in dining hours. When you dine in an alternative, obviously only manners to inform the maitre d' he can give your table to someone else that night. You have the same waiters each night, and they get to know your likes and dislikes. I am not at all certain that this is possible on SOD.
  2. An older Saganaut I know was on the ship early on, and did comment that the staff had not yet 'jelled' as they have on the older ships; some are from Sapphire, some from Pearl, but quite a lot of newbies. I am sure this accounts for quite a few of the complaints here; slow service - never seen on the older ships; not putting people on tables of the size the prefer (unless Discovery has less choice?), etc. She said that obviously this will improve with time, and the service will be smooth. I suppose you are acting a bit as guinea pigs - shouldn't be so, I know, and they certainly had crew on for quite a time for training. Other problems are more tricky, like the theatre not being big enough, nor the public rooms for the Captain to have his cocktail events in one venue; not good and impossible to solve. I had thought Saga would have changed the house style a bit more to accommodate younger cruisers, this sounds as if has not happened, with shorter dining hours and lack of snacks other than the home made cakes Saga are well known for. I hope that they will note the comments made and act accordingly. Normally single cruisers love Saga, so I am sorry and surprised to hear that Tigrou has not enjoyed it, though some of you certainly have. Some of you may think of trying her again when she has had time to bed in completely. I am looking forward to trying her in a few months, after about 6 cruises on the old ships which we have enjoyed.
  3. Brimary - have a look at the Saga forum; some good reports. Obviously mainly for those in the UK, but the minimum age is indeed 50 unless you are over 40 accompanying an over 50 (Usually elderly mums and daughters!) The ships will shortly be all-inclusive drinks wise, although the spirits etc. are not as top drawer as on Silversea, Seabourn etc. We have cruised Silversea, Regent, and our favourite, Seabourn, and no longer wish to fly, and have had several very good cruises on the older Saga ships. The new ones look very much on a par with the 'luxury' lines, in terms of space (all balcony cabins, though they are not as large as Seabourn etc.) Three attractive alternative restaurants, no extra charge, and of course door to door transport within 250 miles, max. two parties in each vehicle. Included insurance, and tips. The atmosphere is fairly 'British' and you will find Brit. things like an excellent cheese board on board. To an older Brit, like me, it is a no-brainer, especially for those sick of airports and flights and transfers.
  4. Regardless of generally being around the ship, I had always thought that the Captain, and other Officers, were actually supposed as part of their job to host tables on formal nights. This has always been the case on our many Seabourn cruises. I am sure some of them do not enjoy it, but I really thought it was expected of them. (And we always actually said 'no invitations please' when arriving at the ship, as being slightly deaf we do not enjoy them).
  5. I have just done a rough sum in my head - (correct me if wrong) - but I think that, assuming there are indeed 250 places for dinner in the 3 alternative restaurants, if each has two through-puts each evening, and there are 1,000 on board, everyone could have a go three times during a week's cruise. I suppose that you might not always get the day, time, restaurant choice, or table size you would prefer. However, to me that sounds better than I had feared.
  6. This sounds strange - did the Captain never host a table on a formal optional night, or indeed any night? Most unusual. Ditto for other Officers, and the Cruise Director?
  7. I can't help thinking that if everyone on board (and the ship is fully booked for this cruise) wants to try all the special restaurants it might be more than the ship can cope with, although I guess they have effectively two sittings per evening in each. And there are always a few who are perfectly happy to stay with the dining room and the grill. On Sapphire there is just the one special restaurant, East to West, and there are always some on board who simply do not like Asian cuisine, which makes it easier to get a table pretty well when you want (for the first time). Then, on a slightly longer cruise, you can usually get a second go.
  8. sweep - I believe you are on board at present, on a 15 night cruise. I am not too brilliant at the 'math' to work it out, but have a feeling that, although I understand there are 250 seats available over the 3 venues each night, anyone on a short cruise would find they would get booked up pretty quickly if there were 900 or more on board? The advance booking has some problems, as I have seen by looking on the Regent board. They open on a certain day at a specific time, and some have complained they are sitting at the computer at midnight, and still cannot get a booking! Of course, the good difference is that Regent are working on US time, whereas for Saga at least everyone would be in the same time zone! I suppose the other way is by phone as you book - again tricky if using an Agent - and would obviously give the early bookers first dibs. On short cruises, if people are willing to share tables, and/or eat at less popular times, it should work out.
  9. I think we have probably had enough discussion about this! My feeling is that for those who are prepared to go with the flow, they will almost certainly love so much about the ship and their trip that they will be perfectly prepared to go along with whatever regime is current. We would prefer not to have to go formal, but are willing to do so in view of all the other good things - not just the ship and the staff, but not needing to fly, having the fairly unstressed travel to the port, with as much luggage as you like and no need to handle it yourself, and the delightful helpful staff on board with pretty good food and no need to sign and pay for your drinks (shortly on Discovery, current on Sapphire). Not to mention included insurance and tips,and what looks like a really beautiful, tasteful ship interior, with no 'bling'. (Did anyone see the programme about Regent Explorer?)
  10. I feel sure that existing Saganauts will not be at all 'snobby' about dress on board. I personally hope that what I have predicted in my second paragraph will happen - those who want to dress formally may do so, but those of us who prefer something a bit more casual - including us - will prevail in the end. Seabourn a few years ago did require dj or suit for formals, and then changed the wording to formal optional for those evenings, and it has worked well. As someone has already suggested, putting it in writing in your post cruise questionnaire is the best way to persuade Saga to change the rule.
  11. It will be interesting to read how the different cruisers respond to Discovery - Cunarders, who obviously either enjoy dressing up, or at least don't mind, and the Oceania/Viking aficionados, who definitely prefer the casual approach. I have a feeling both groups will enjoy her, and be willing to alter their dress standards a bit as necessary! Nevertheless, I think in time the code will veer more towards that of, say, Seabourn, where formal optional requires a jacket to be worn by men on those evenings, and though some still appear in their dj or suit, more and more are tending towards a blazer or sports coat, often without a tie. As Seabourn is a pretty upmarket outfit, most people look fairly well dressed anyway. Your cruise, Bell Boy, is a lovely itinerary. Do come back here with a report afterwards, please.
  12. + 1, Fletcher, to your first sentence.
  13. I doubt it, Glenndale - no prizes on the older ships. A trivia quiz on Sapphire each evening, usually at 8.45 to finish before the show. Often hotly contested; sometimes themed. (Like 80s pop, Royalty etc. Not generally terribly intellectual, but rarely did any team gain maximum points. Also mostly one after lunch, not as well supported as most people were otherwise occupied.
  14. Thanks again; not a problem for us as DH has a dj (but no smart suit or good sports coat), and will with a bit of a grumble wear it. I did notice some men on Sapphire in what was actually a cream or beige sports coat, with bow tie, slightly masquerading as a tropical DJ, and they looked all right. Just trying to be helpful to those who really object to formal.
  15. Were there any men in sports coat, with tie? That is definitely allowed on Sapphire, though there were more in a dj or suit. I do think for women it is all a lot more flexible, and a nice silky shirt with smart trousers would do fine, especially if the OH is in sports jacket. I agree that in time Saga will go the way of Seabourn and Regent, who do not insist on anything dressier than a jacket for men on formal nights (and will even provide you with one to walk into the dining room!) But for now, bite the bullet in order to enjoy Discovery, or wait for maybe quite some time for the style to change.
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