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At last, a Saga forum

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I, along with many others, have been asking for a dedicated Saga forum for a long time. Interesting that the first post is from an Australian.

We are booked on the new ship to Norway in September.

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Posted (edited)

I am amazed that they have created this forum.

Next cruise on Saga I will spread the word about Cruise Critic and try and recruit some new members.

Hopefully they will join roll calls and private tours can be arranged.

On other cruise lines we generally take part in roll call organised tours.

We are on Spirit of Discovery at the end of September.

Edited by Glenndale

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I asked the mods to move any Saga threads from Other Cruise Lines to here: they've been helpful and moved the three most recently active threads, so perhaps I wasn't the only person to have asked. I'm not convinced there's really enough traffic to justify a Saga forum but here it is so people are very welcome to prove me wrong - perhaps now there's less chance of threads being lost in the general noise around other smaller lines we'll have fewer lengthy threads meandering over all sorts of Saga related topics and more threads focussed on one or two related topics. 

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Pleased to see this, and I hope that we can justify having a Saga forum.  It is not a lack of technological knowledge holding people back; almost everyone, regardless of age, on our last Saga cruise, had their iphone, Ipad, laptop, whatever.

 

It seems mainly to be that Brits. generally do not know about Cruise Critic,and it  behoves those of us  who do to tell others on board about it - as well as people having a moan now and again it is a very helpful tool to find out about the line and cruises.  Some small lines have long had their own forums  - Seabourn for instance, with up to 2,500 passengers, and Saga will have 2,000 in the not too distant.  The difference being, I think, that Seabourn is essentially American,  where CC is better known.

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So pleased to see that there's now a Saga forum.  I hope Saga cruisers will find out about it and start posting.  With my first Saga cruise coming up in September I'm desperate for information and have found it very strange how little there is online.  I know there can't be much about Spirit of Discovery yet - although saying that, with other cruise lines there's often plenty of online chat about new ships before they're launched.  Perhaps the new ship and this new forum will be catalysts to get people talking about Saga on Cruise Critic.

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Tigrou - if there are any questions you would like to ask about Saga, please do not hesitate - if I (or anyone else) can give advice we would be only too happy.  I now have about five Saga cruises under my belt, most recently a few on Sapphire, so  obviously do not much about the new ship as yet, but the general Saga style regarding staff, meals, drinks, on board happenings etc. will probably be much the same (only better!)

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Thank you lincslady, that is much appreciated.  I know that some time ago I picked up the answers to a couple of questions I had from one of your posts.

 

Given that I am at the lower end of the Saga age group, and fully able to move under my own steam, do you think I'm likely to feel out of place? 

 

Although I'd originally planned Saga to be my first solo cruise, recently I was tempted by a good deal and did a round trip transatlantic on QM2.  I loved the ship but on the first leg, whilst not wanting to be disrespectful to anyone, it was like being on a floating nursing home.  I'm not ageist - in fact mostly I can't tell what age anyone is between 18 and 80 - but it wasn't so much an age thing as an attitude/awareness thing.  The Grand Lobby constantly seemed full of people propped up on one side by their seat and the other by a walker, and I couldn't help but wonder whether a crew member was sent around regularly to check if they were still breathing!  A lady I got chatting to one day said it was the first time she and her husband had cruised, and the average age/inactivity/poor mobility of the passengers had put them off ever doing it again - and she was 74.  The demographic on the return leg was different, a wider mix of ages and more as I had expected.

 

Anyway, it got me wondering about Saga.  I take every person as they come, I genuinely do not care about age, gender, colour, creed or anything else, as long as people are polite, friendly and pleasant.  But being brutally honest, I don't want to spend my holidays feeling like I'm doing community service in a care home - and that is how the first week of my QM2 trip felt.

 

 

 

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As a regular cruiser on other lines and a very regular member of CC I too am pleased that Saga now have their own forum. 

We are booked on the new Discovery for a Norway cruise in early September, our first Saga cruise. Azamara has been our favourite line for a while but we really fancied trying out a new ship and booked the cruise with an agent as we normally do. We were given a small discount on the price available via Saga themselves. 

 

However, it has proved impossible to find out about Saga’s own shore excursions. I had an internet ‘chat’ with someone in the Saga Office because I’m not able to access any info in advance, due to not booking directly. Apparently our agent will be advised of Shorex 6-8 weeks ahead of sailing. 

Is this the norm with Saga?

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1 hour ago, cinnamon said:

As a regular cruiser on other lines and a very regular member of CC I too am pleased that Saga now have their own forum. 

We are booked on the new Discovery for a Norway cruise in early September, our first Saga cruise. Azamara has been our favourite line for a while but we really fancied trying out a new ship and booked the cruise with an agent as we normally do. We were given a small discount on the price available via Saga themselves. 

 

However, it has proved impossible to find out about Saga’s own shore excursions. I had an internet ‘chat’ with someone in the Saga Office because I’m not able to access any info in advance, due to not booking directly. Apparently our agent will be advised of Shorex 6-8 weeks ahead of sailing. 

Is this the norm with Saga?

Hi Cinnamon, I touched on the inability of being able to access the personaliser a while ago.

We had booked through our normal agent and everything, even booking excursions had to be done through our agent. I found it very frustrating.

He did intervene on our behalf and persuade Saga to send the excursions brochure direct to us rather than indirectly through the TA.

I even complained to ABTA but to no avail.

We received our excursion brochure just before Christmas for our February 12th cruise and had to relay our excursion choices through our TA.

Future cruises we have booked with Saga have been booked direct.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, cinnamon said:

Apparently our agent will be advised of Shorex 6-8 weeks ahead of sailing. 

Is this the norm with Saga?

They do appear to release shorex info later than most lines which was why they just didn't make top spot in the recent Which? review of cruise lines. To be fair the reason given in the review was that shorex prices aren't available at the time of booking which doesn't make much sense: I've never seen excursion prices at the time of booking any of the (comparatively few) ocean and river cruises we've been on. Saga does make it that bit more difficult to weigh up whether to book private excursions or not.

 

102 days out from Myths and Legends of the Baltic with no excursions listed, whereas with our July Viking River cruise we'd booked the excursions in late November i.e. months before final payment date. Which reminds me that I need to pay the balance to Saga PDQ.

Edited by kentchris

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2 hours ago, Tigrou said:

Thank you lincslady, that is much appreciated.  I know that some time ago I picked up the answers to a couple of questions I had from one of your posts.

 

Given that I am at the lower end of the Saga age group, and fully able to move under my own steam, do you think I'm likely to feel out of place? 

 

Although I'd originally planned Saga to be my first solo cruise, recently I was tempted by a good deal and did a round trip transatlantic on QM2.  I loved the ship but on the first leg, whilst not wanting to be disrespectful to anyone, it was like being on a floating nursing home.  I'm not ageist - in fact mostly I can't tell what age anyone is between 18 and 80 - but it wasn't so much an age thing as an attitude/awareness thing.  The Grand Lobby constantly seemed full of people propped up on one side by their seat and the other by a walker, and I couldn't help but wonder whether a crew member was sent around regularly to check if they were still breathing!  A lady I got chatting to one day said it was the first time she and her husband had cruised, and the average age/inactivity/poor mobility of the passengers had put them off ever doing it again - and she was 74.  The demographic on the return leg was different, a wider mix of ages and more as I had expected.

 

Anyway, it got me wondering about Saga.  I take every person as they come, I genuinely do not care about age, gender, colour, creed or anything else, as long as people are polite, friendly and pleasant.  But being brutally honest, I don't want to spend my holidays feeling like I'm doing community service in a care home - and that is how the first week of my QM2 trip felt.

 

 

 

I’ve cruised on various lines and there are always different levels of mobility, whichever cruise I have been on.

A cruise is an easy holiday for the elderly, they are well looked after and don’t even have to get off the ship to enjoy a restful break (not they could on a TA 😊), so I don’t think that will change. 

Obviously being a line catering for the over 50’s there will be an older demographic but that doesn’t stop people enjoying themselves. We had a very active and fun group on our Northern Lights cruise and of course there were some not so active.

I’m hoping that these beautiful new ships will encourage those who haven’t considered Saga before because of their ‘age’ perception to give them a try.

Whilst they are not cheap, they seem to offer good value because of their inclusions.

 

 

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Thanks for the replies ‘chris’ and ‘glenn’. 

In fact, we’ve been to all three of our ports before on other lines and know that trips in Norway are very expensive. We had just wondered if the Saga  mark up is as crazy as Azamara, our favourite line, where we only book with the ship if we have generous OBC. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Glenndale said:

Whilst they are not cheap, they seem to offer good value because of their inclusions.

 

I was about to make the same point. Our first cruise was on Saga and cost the proverbial arm and leg, but things like the included wifi, and bottles of water when going ashore, rather spoilt our experience on cheapskate lines like P&O and Cunard 🙂 where lots of little things cost extra. You've obviously paid for all the goodies several times over on the inclusive lines but you feel much more looked after.

Edited by kentchris

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Sadly I don’t have the excursion brochure for our Northern lights holiday but we booked 4 trips with Saga and I do have a record of how much they cost.

We visited Griegs house and attended a piano recital that cost £69 each

A visit to Sommaroy island from Tromso was also £69 each.

A hunt the lights evening trip was £54 each and a rail journey from Narvik into Sweden with a stop for refreshments at a ski lodge was £89 each.

I can remember when Azamara discounted tours by 50% if you booked ahead, then cut the discount to 25% before stopping it altogether.

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Thanks for that ‘Glenn’. 

Azamara trips when discounted we’re great. Now they’re priced stupidly high. However, last year we had a fabulous day out in Tuscany. There were only 8 of us, food and wine tasting plus a beautiful village visit. It was supposed to be 4 hours was actually 5.5 and a highlight of our trip. It cost about £100.00 each though!  We had OBC given us following a slight problem the previous year so it didn’t actually cost us anything. 

 

I think the prices you've quoted sound reasonable, providing the group’s are not too large. I dislike being on a coach of 50 people and waiting for them all at stops. 

Corinne

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I am pleased to see new posters here.  Regarding excursions -  Saga are a bit later than most lines to announce them.  Good points are that IMO, they are comparatively  reasonably priced, and in all case are classified as easy, moderate, or strenuous, with distances to walk and stairs, etc. quoted.  This is very helpful to all, and generally stops those who cannot walk well from going on unsuitable trips.  For the active people, there are always some involving a bit of adventure.

 

Regarding the demographics, a good point is that I have found that the Brits over 60, who are the vast majority of those on board, tend to have good manners and to be pleasant and helpful to others.  This does contrast with some other lines we have been on, including British ones.  Also, though there will be quite a few using walking sticks, and just a very few with walkers or wheelchairs,   the general atmosphere is of lively minds and interest in other people, and the ports being visited.  Having said that, if you are under 70, you will feel quite young!

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I'm so glad there is a forum just for Saga.

I go on my first Saga cruise next year and have been trying to pick up information. Now it will be easier to find.

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4 hours ago, Scorpio41 said:

Where have the Saga roll calls gone? 

 

They're where they've always been (unless I've misunderstood your question) in the All Other Cruise Lines Roll Calls forum. Glenndale has helpfully created an index thread here containing links to the roll calls themselves.

 

As for social media, you're on your own: discussing that in any detail isn't encouraged on CC.

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On ‎6‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 1:06 PM, lincslady said:

Tigrou - if there are any questions you would like to ask about Saga, please do not hesitate - if I (or anyone else) can give advice we would be only too happy.  I now have about five Saga cruises under my belt, most recently a few on Sapphire, so  obviously do not much about the new ship as yet, but the general Saga style regarding staff, meals, drinks, on board happenings etc. will probably be much the same (only better!)

Are guests - not having the British nationality welcome ?

Aside of my many cruises on HL, SS, SB and Crystal , I did P&O , Cunard on QE2  and Q V - so i am aware of the "formal style"  and other British items ( as long as i am not forced to eat haggis )

I did visit the S Rose and Ruby when they were  in my hometown  ( i did 20 on Vistafjord ) years ago.  

Is there a wine list with non complimentary wines ( and champagne ) available ?

 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, vistaman said:

Are guests - not having the British nationality welcome ?

Aside of my many cruises on HL, SS, SB and Crystal , I did P&O , Cunard on QE2  and Q V - so i am aware of the "formal style"  and other British items ( as long as i am not forced to eat haggis )

I did visit the S Rose and Ruby when they were  in my hometown  ( i did 20 on Vistafjord ) years ago.  

Is there a wine list with non complimentary wines ( and champagne ) available ?

Hi Vistaman

Of course all nationalities are welcome on board and no one is forced to eat Haggis 😁

I have only taken 2 cruises with Saga and generally most of the guests were British, but there were a couple of American couples on our cruise to the Northern Lights.

I suppose it depends on the marketing by Saga. 

Sorry I can’t help you with a wine list but maybe you could find an example on their website.

i sailed on Caronia (Vistafjord, Saga Ruby) many years ago and look back fondly on the experience.

 

 

 

 

 

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I seem to have destroyed the quote function in my previous post!

😊 

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Vistaman - like you, we have done many cruises on Seabourn.  One reason why Saga is popular with Brits. is that they include giving you a car and driver from your door to the ship, and back.    We no longer fly, for various reasons, so this is part of Saga's attraction.

 

I am not sure how this would work from your country - you would have to ask Saga.  You can telephone them, or ask questions on the website.  I am sure there is a paid for wine list, but we find the included wines pretty similar to those on Seabourn and other wine inclusive lines.    The new ships, all cabins outside and with balcony, look as though they will be not unlike the Seabourn big ships - they will hold almost 1,000 passengers, and have several extra restaurants.

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Many thanks to both of you.

Most of the time , I stay overnight in a hotel in the port of departure -  and in case of Southampton or Dover in London.

So eventually i can get a car from London to one of these ports.

 1000 guests is not much more as on the Crystal   - and the cabins on the new ships seem to be bigger as those on Crystal.

For various reasons I will not return to SB .

 

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I’m really pleased to see this Saga forum.  As some previous posters have already said, I don’t think many British people know about Cruise Critic and that’s a shame as it’s a wonderful place to get information about all sorts of cruise related topics, to arrange private tours and meet & mingles.

 

Having cruised 45+ times before, we’ve booked on our first ever Saga cruise on the Spirit of Discovery sailing on 26 September.  My sister and brother-in-law were lucky enough to be on the shakedown cruise and they said that it’s a beautiful ship.  We’re so looking forward to it.

 

However, I have a frustration with Saga.  We booked through a travel agent, which is how we usually book.  With all the other cruise lines we cruise with - Celebrity, Cunard, P&O - we can access our booking online and enter all our personal information (passport details, etc) and view and book excursions.  When I tried to do this for this cruise I couldn’t access our booking.  When I phoned Saga to ask why, I was told that online access was only for people who’d booked directly with Saga.  I had to provide all our personal information direct to our travel agent.  I find this to be a very odd way for them to operate.

 

As I can’t access our cruise online, I’m assuming that at some point we’ll be sent information about excursions prior to our cruise, or do we have to wait until we’re on board?  Experienced Saga cruisers, I’ll welcome the benefit of your experience.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Londoner51 said:

I’m really pleased to see this Saga forum.  As some previous posters have already said, I don’t think many British people know about Cruise Critic and that’s a shame as it’s a wonderful place to get information about all sorts of cruise related topics, to arrange private tours and meet & mingles.

 

Having cruised 45+ times before, we’ve booked on our first ever Saga cruise on the Spirit of Discovery sailing on 26 September.  My sister and brother-in-law were lucky enough to be on the shakedown cruise and they said that it’s a beautiful ship.  We’re so looking forward to it.

 

However, I have a frustration with Saga.  We booked through a travel agent, which is how we usually book.  With all the other cruise lines we cruise with - Celebrity, Cunard, P&O - we can access our booking online and enter all our personal information (passport details, etc) and view and book excursions.  When I tried to do this for this cruise I couldn’t access our booking.  When I phoned Saga to ask why, I was told that online access was only for people who’d booked directly with Saga.  I had to provide all our personal information direct to our travel agent.  I find this to be a very odd way for them to operate.

 

As I can’t access our cruise online, I’m assuming that at some point we’ll be sent information about excursions prior to our cruise, or do we have to wait until we’re on board?  Experienced Saga cruisers, I’ll welcome the benefit of your experience.

Hi, It seems you will be on the same cruise as ourselves, really booked as a try out of the new ship and a taster for my s-i-l.

I agree with all you say about booking thru an agent, it is a pain to have to go thru them. I notice that Saga are acting as agents for other lines, I wonder if it means that I would be denied access to other cruise lines personalisers? I doubt it.

My TA did try on my behalf to allow us access but was unsuccessful when we booked our Northern Lights cruise.

He did get a concession that Saga sent us the tours brochure direct rather than indirectly thru him.

Speak to your TA about this.

I anticipate we will get our excursion brochures in about a fortnight.

I have posted a screen shot, on the Spirit of Discovery thread, of the Concierge services you can pre-book thru your agent.

Join the roll call I created, it's a very sad looking roll call at the moment.😃

Edited by Glenndale

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