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 We are currently on Queen Victoria in Iceland.

They have a step test for the tenders.

There are a large number of elderly cruisers, many using sticks and wheelchairs. Certainly at least as many relative to the number of passengers that I have observed on Saga.

I have only taken 2 Saga cruises one a port intensive 4 night cruise and the other a 15 night Notthern lights cruise. On neither did I witness confusion or deshabille in regards to my fellow passengers.

Many passengers whichever line you travel on, will generally be retired and therefore more elderly.

Fortunately reaching the grand old age of 50 doesn't signal an immediate decline in your faculties. 

 

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I have said before on this board that I was looking forward to our first Saga cruise with some trepidation and I have just caught up with this thread.  Very scary at first but the reassurance of other posters has been helpful.

We are certainly not spring chickens but hopefully we will find others onboard who are looking forward to some lively conversation,  good food, one or three drinks and a bit of dancing.  We are just off a Scenic river cruise and we spent a lot of time laughing !

i am sure that we will enjoy our September 5th cruise.  We will miss Lottie but look forward to meeting Cinnamon again.

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Mrs Miggins - we got off Scenic Pearl on 1st July -  Romantic Rhine Basle to Amsterdam.  We enjoyed it so much we have booked Scenic Diamond Beautiful Bordeaux sailing 03 September and next year on Scenic Opal.

We did a Saga River Cruise last year on the Douro and found fellow passengers very friendly.

Other than that we haven't cruised Saga for many years - but when we did I didn't see people as described.

With the new ships it seems they are taking advantage of the fact that not everyone wants 5 or 7000 passengers so the smaller ships similar to Regent are becoming more popular.

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3 hours ago, Glenndale said:

 Many passengers whichever line you travel on, will generally be retired and therefore more elderly.

Fortunately reaching the grand old age of 50 doesn't signal an immediate decline in your faculties. 

 

 

I am retired although not elderly, being at the low end of Saga's age requirement.  But many would say my faculties started to decline long before reaching 50!  

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Hi Retired Brit,

Yes we just did the Scenic 10 day Beautiful Bordeaux.  We enjoyed it very much and love Bordeaux.  My son went to uni there some 17 years ago and it was wonderful to revisit.

However some people onboard did not realise that there is actually very little river cruising involved, just short trips on 3 rivers so quite a lot of time in Bordeaux itself.  So not at all like cruising on the Rhine, Danube or even the shorter Douro.

Some others, who had obviously no idea what they had booked, were surprised that many of the excursions were wine related.

We were booked on the Basle to Amsterdam Scenic cruise last year but low water levels meant a ship change and missing Basle and Strasbourg, and going through the Rhine Gorge in a tourist boat.

 

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Tigrou - I think all of us well over 50 would admit that our faculties are not quite as sharp as they used to be!   We slightly  make up for it by a bit more worldly experience, I think.

 

However, it does seem to be the general opinion that having really demented people on board, on their own, is the exception rather than the rule, thank goodness.  

 

Looking forward to reading about cruises on Spirit of Discovery in the near future.

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7 minutes ago, Mrs Miggins said:

Hi Retired Brit,

Yes we just did the Scenic 10 day Beautiful Bordeaux.  We enjoyed it very much and love Bordeaux.  My son went to uni there some 17 years ago and it was wonderful to revisit.

However some people onboard did not realise that there is actually very little river cruising involved, just short trips on 3 rivers so quite a lot of time in Bordeaux itself.  So not at all like cruising on the Rhine, Danube or even the shorter Douro.

Some others, who had obviously no idea what they had booked, were surprised that many of the excursions were wine related.

We were booked on the Basle to Amsterdam Scenic cruise last year but low water levels meant a ship change and missing Basle and Strasbourg, and going through the Rhine Gorge in a tourist boat.

 

Pam, isn't it amazing that some people book cruises with so little idea of the itinerary or ports! 

Not like us! I have been doing some planning for next June already. 😄

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Think we were really affected by severity of the minority but serious issues of some passengers. Also agree there were several people who were shocked how cold it was in Norway in December! Hearing comments like ‘ gosh it’s icy and snowing here ‘ like it should have been 24 degrees! Even when clear safety advice was given not to go outside on deck people ignored it then complained it was slippery when they didn’t read or listen to anything they were told!  There were some lovely people but it had its moments which were unpleasant and unfortunately due to inconsiderate people who obviously wouldn’t have a clue how serious it could have been if their relatives needs hadn’t been met somehow by the staff who had to do far more than they should have done to ensure these people were safe and secure in the ship especially on port days plus obtaining food etc as they didn’t have a clue what to do or where to go ! As I said even on the last morning we were showing people where to go for breakfast and they were so thankful as they said they had no clue about where to obtain any food. We had seethem every day so they weren’t just from their cabin all week as some were ! There was a lady whose family member needed high level care who wanted to be ‘first ‘ to receive any services available to them - she needed respite not a holiday without any assistance whatsoever. She looked miserable and stressed but if you spoke with her she just shrugged and went away. There was a very lovely couple who had cruised for most their lives and the husband broke down in tears one day saying he couldn’t cope with his wife’s needs anymore and this would be their last holiday. If I was working I would have been extremely concerned about them being there as she could not stand safely and there was some problems with safety issues at sea on occasions slightly stormy etc even staff were struggling with their mobility too ! I will be so happy not to have half the issues next time and will do everything to avoid this level of concern about everything we witnessed [ & saga staff stated was not uncommon for them to be faced with actually!!] next time. Age is irrelevant. Age isn’t linked to all disabilities and I have 15 conditions myself and mobility impairment too ! I will remember that your experience seems to be more of the normal SAGA experience and hopefully yes this will all be ok next time. Thanks for possibly reassurance that you all think its never an issue. We definitely had one and I will repeat SAGA stated it’s not uncommon to experience such issues on their holidays nowadays sadly. 

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Does anyone know if decaffeinated coffee is readily available on the Saga Sapphire. 

We're on her in two weeks, our first Saga cruise and probably, our last.

Many thanks

I am sure the cruise will be great but, as we booked through a travel agent, we have been unable to access our booking online and therefore have had little, or no, information until today.  In fact, one of our party still has not received anything at all.

Any questions I have asked their helpdeskhave received an automated reply saying, "look at your booking online"  Very useful!  Our TA is also fed up with them as she has to contact them on our behalf about anything we need to know.

I presume we will be asked to complete API at the quay side instead of online.  What a very old fashioned way of doing things.

 

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It can be annoying but your TA shouldn't complain they have had the commission - maybe they shared this with you! (Saga dont like that - but they wont know)

I have a Saga cruise booked and my TA sorts out queries quickly - without complaining.

Alan

 

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It is a shame that people who book through Agents sometimes have problems; Saga have not been using so many Agents for long, and I have a feeling that staff don't like it much!  I have only booked direct, but obviously if there is a good saving to be made with an Agent it makes more sense; that has not happened to us yet.  We have therefore found the website and the staff on the end of the phone very helpful.

 

I hope that your cruise is so good that it will not put you off Saga cruising - lots of us love it.

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could it be that the sales staff at Saga get commission on sales!  and feel whoever gets the commission does the work.

I have no problem with that

Alan

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1 hour ago, readingfast said:

Does anyone know if decaffeinated coffee is readily available on the Saga Sapphire. 

We're on her in two weeks, our first Saga cruise and probably, our last.

Many thanks

I am sure the cruise will be great but, as we booked through a travel agent, we have been unable to access our booking online and therefore have had little, or no, information until today.  In fact, one of our party still has not received anything at all.

Any questions I have asked their helpdeskhave received an automated reply saying, "look at your booking online"  Very useful!  Our TA is also fed up with them as she has to contact them on our behalf about anything we need to know.

I presume we will be asked to complete API at the quay side instead of online.  What a very old fashioned way of doing things.

 

Yes there is decaffeinated coffee on board.

It seems to me that you need to give your TA the boot.

Even though we booked our last cruise through a TA any questions or requests through our TA were actioned  promptly.

It is no fault of Saga that your TA is not doing his job.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, readingfast said:

 

I presume we will be asked to complete API at the quay side instead of online.  What a very old fashioned way of doing things.

 

API isn't a time critical issue on ocean cruises, unlike airlines, and ferry or Eurotunnel crossings. Try getting onto any international transport without at least handing over your passport for inspection, or scanning which happens with Eurotunnel and ferries from Dover.

 

Your passport is the only document you need to embark a Saga cruise so I think you're imagining difficulties which aren't going to happen in practice. You don't get queuing problems caused by everyone turning up to board at the same time as on other lines: Saga have some influence over arrival times by staggering peoples' pickups.

Edited by kentchris

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Interesting. I hadn’t thought about the fact that we weren’t doing online check-in in advance. Does seem old-school but I suppose some Saga passengers wouldn’t have had the wherewithal to do computerised things in the past. 

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our last Saga cruise was on the Douro October 2018,  I couldn't complete the Cruise Personaliser on line as I booked via an agent

As we were flying to Portugal - Saga contacted my Travel Agent requesting the following and they completed it for me, on that basis.  Our next cruise in Feb 2020  Northern lights from Southampton may be different

TA to me
We will complete your Cruise Personaliser for you. If you could please send us the below information at your earliest convenience.

• Passport details including: Date of birth, Place of birth, Nationality, Passport number, Issue date, Expiry date and Country of issue

• Next of Kin details including: Name, Relationship to you and Telephone number.

• Insurance details including: Insurer, Policy Number and Emergency contact number.

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It is understandable that if Saga have farmed out - at less profit to themselves -a cruise to an Agent, the Agent is expected to do all the work thereafter.   This explains why the final documents (essentially your luggage labels) are late in arriving; they are posted to the Agent who then sends them on to you.

 

I had the experience quite recently of finding via an email from an Agent I had previously used that the cruise we had booked through Saga was, a few weeks before departure, available for much less from them.  I phoned Saga, and (politely) complained that we could have paid quite a bit less.  I was put on 'hold' on the phone for quite a while, and then was told that they would reimburse us £100 each, which happened.  Still paid more than we need have, so since I have checked prices with that Agent, who is known for good deals, and so far their prices match Saga's.  It is not a very satisfactory situation, but there you are.

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Thanks for all your help and comments regarding our first Saga cruise.

We have just received tickets etc. with parts missing and the assistance requested for one of our party missed off.  Our TA is chasing all this up.

I am sure everything will be fine, just not what we have been used to in the past. 

By the way, our TA says that Saga is looking into changing their system so everyone can view their bookings online.  Hooray!!

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Can I settle my onboard bill with a credit card without incurring extra charges?

The leaflet we received says there is a 2% charge but, I thought this was illegal now.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, readingfast said:

Can I settle my onboard bill with a credit card without incurring extra charges?

The leaflet we received says there is a 2% charge but, I thought this was illegal now.

The pre-cruise booklet says there's a £3 flat rate charge for settling your account or buying foreign currency by personal cheque, but there's no charge for credit cards.

 

The latest brochure also mentions the £3 per cheque charge when paying for the cruise, again there's no charge for plastic.

Edited by kentchris

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