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At last, a Saga forum

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We are on the 5th September sailing, and received our excursions brochure last week (we booked direct). Can’t wait to get on board Spirit of Discovery! 

 

Can anyone advise when the brochure for cruises sailing in 2021 is likely to be published?

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39 minutes ago, LandC said:

We are on the 5th September sailing, and received our excursions brochure last week (we booked direct). Can’t wait to get on board Spirit of Discovery! 

 

Can anyone advise when the brochure for cruises sailing in 2021 is likely to be published?

Funnily enough I spoke to Saga this morning. We bought a FCC for 2021 when we were on board Sapphire in February, and we were told July.

Today I was told that release had been pushed back to September, so fingers crossed they will keep to their word.

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Thanks Glendale. Hopefully we will be able to book on board!

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1 hour ago, LandC said:

Thanks Glendale. Hopefully we will be able to book on board!

 

Is there any benefit to booking onboard?  % discount, OBC or other perks?

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We are on our second cruise with Saga on September 12th to the Baltic, on Spirit of Discovery. Having sailed with four different cruise lines, Saga is our favourite so far, with Fred Olsen a close second. People always think Saga is too expensive, but they include an awful lot, unlike the American ships who fleece you on board. Anyway, sometimes it’s worth paying a bit extra for quality, and the Spirit of Discovery looks fabulous.

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It’s great to find this thread.  However I fell across it accidentally while trying to get any info about Saga Cruises!  How can I find the Saga Forum, I still couldn’t find it listed earlier this morning!  I am going on a cruise onboard Discovery next May and I am really looking forward to it.  It’s my first Saga cruise.

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18 hours ago, IbizaLover said:

We are on our second cruise with Saga on September 12th to the Baltic, on Spirit of Discovery. Having sailed with four different cruise lines, Saga is our favourite so far, with Fred Olsen a close second. People always think Saga is too expensive, but they include an awful lot, unlike the American ships who fleece you on board. Anyway, sometimes it’s worth paying a bit extra for quality, and the Spirit of Discovery looks fabulous.

Totally agree. We look forward to the day when a cruise line 'pioneer' includes everything in one transparent price, so there are no additions, extra's or nasty surprises at the end of a cruise. Its just a shame (and a bit of a mystery) why Spirit of Discovery wasn't All-Inclusive from its launch.

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14 minutes ago, savage critic said:

Totally agree. We look forward to the day when a cruise line 'pioneer' includes everything in one transparent price, so there are no additions, extra's or nasty surprises at the end of a cruise. Its just a shame (and a bit of a mystery) why Spirit of Discovery wasn't All-Inclusive from its launch.

Whereas I wish it had stayed with just wine, beer and soft drinks with meals. To go all inclusive (and subsidise those who drink much more than us) the prices in the future have risen considerably. 

 

The same thing happened on Azamara. When we first sailed with them, it was wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner. The prices shot up when all day drinking plus many spirits were included. On our recent TA cruise, some started drinking at 9.30 am. However, as they must be accustomed to it, they didn’t seem affected. I would have been asleep all afternoon. 

 

On our Saga cruise I’ll be happy to pay for an occasional pre or post dinner drink but I doubt we’ll have much of a bill at the end. 

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2 minutes ago, cinnamon said:

Whereas I wish it had stayed with just wine, beer and soft drinks with meals. To go all inclusive (and subsidise those who drink much more than us) the prices in the future have risen considerably. 

 

The same thing happened on Azamara. When we first sailed with them, it was wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner. The prices shot up when all day drinking plus many spirits were included. On our recent TA cruise, some started drinking at 9.30 am. However, as they must be accustomed to it, they didn’t seem affected. I would have been asleep all afternoon. 

 

On our Saga cruise I’ll be happy to pay for an occasional pre or post dinner drink but I doubt we’ll have much of a bill at the end. 

Yes, we haven't cruised with Azamara since they started hiking their prices into the stratosphere.

I am happy to have the drinks with lunch and dinner, but during the day and evening are more than happy with a soft drink or a coffee.

That's not to say that I won't have a cocktail in the evening occasionally, but I almost feel compelled to have one just because they're included.

Saga's drinks prices are very reasonable anyway so no need for the all inclusive approach.

Like you I don't want to subsidise heavy drinkers.

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Cinnamon, Phil (EofH) was looking at an Azamara cruise that takes in Longyearben 18 nights, he was quoted £13000 for an OV, there is a Spirit of Discovery one 16 nights which he could book in a standard single for £6400 or £8000 for a single suite, so whilst Saga aren't cheap they are still a lot cheaper than Azamara.

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We do feel that Saga Cruises represent excellent value for money especially when compared to the two largest American cruise lines and all their respective subsidiaries. My comment about All-inclusive wasn't purely about the drinks package, (Saga are already including a complimentary drinks package in their price for cruises later this year and throughout 2020 on Spirit of Discovery), it was also for things such as basic excursions and laundry which for the majority of cruise lines are additional to the basic fare.  

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15 minutes ago, savage critic said:

We do feel that Saga Cruises represent excellent value for money especially when compared to the two largest American cruise lines and all their respective subsidiaries. My comment about All-inclusive wasn't purely about the drinks package, (Saga are already including a complimentary drinks package in their price for cruises later this year and throughout 2020 on Spirit of Discovery), it was also for things such as basic excursions and laundry which for the majority of cruise lines are additional to the basic fare.  

For people who prefer to take tours in smaller groups as we do, or organise our own tours which we can take at our own pace, adding tours to the base price is an unnecessary overhead.

Viking Ocean include excursions, but from what I can tell they are generally walking tours which I can easily do on my own.

As to laundry there are many delicate items I wouldn't entrust to the ship.

Many cruise lines have free self service laundries, and whilst I have used free / included laundry on Saga, Princess, Oceania and HAL I am very careful as to what I send.

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1 hour ago, Glenndale said:

Like you I don't want to subsidise heavy drinkers.

 

I'm in full agreement.  I don't drink any alcohol so for any all-inclusive cruise I'd inevitably be subsidising people who do. 

As a solo traveller I'm already paying for the invisible person in the cabin (even on Discovery because the single cabins are still considerably more than half the price of a double), I don't want to be paying for their drinks too! 

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1 hour ago, savage critic said:

We do feel that Saga Cruises represent excellent value for money especially when compared to the two largest American cruise lines and all their respective subsidiaries. My comment about All-inclusive wasn't purely about the drinks package, (Saga are already including a complimentary drinks package in their price for cruises later this year and throughout 2020 on Spirit of Discovery), it was also for things such as basic excursions and laundry which for the majority of cruise lines are additional to the basic fare.  

 

I was aware that from 2020 Saga cruises will be all-inclusive for drinks (in addition to what is already included such as wifi and transport) but I don't remember seeing that anything else new will be included, such as excursions and laundry. 

 

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22 hours ago, savage critic said:

Saga are already including a complimentary drinks package in their price for cruises later this year and throughout 2020 on Spirit of Discovery

Strictly speaking, Saga don't do drinks packages. All-inclusive is more of a sales incentive which at the moment looks like it's become a permanent part of the product.

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22 minutes ago, kentchris said:

Strictly speaking, Saga don't do drinks packages. All-inclusive is more of a sales incentive which at the moment looks like it's become a permanent part of the product.

You're quite right. We shall be sailing with Saga for the first time on Spirit of Discovery in September, and I fear the reference to a 'drinks package' is due to cruising with mainstream 'American' cruise lines for too long!!

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I am pretty sure Saga have never included excursions or laundry (there is of course a self-service laundry on board), nor done a 'drinks package' - paying an extra sum to have some/all drinks included.   Currently on both ships wine, beer and all soft drinks at mealtimes are included -lunch and dinner - and poured generously.  Usually about four red wines  four white and a couple of roses.  Sapphire is presently all inclusive of drinks, which means from 10 a.m.  until late at night 'house' spirits and mixers, and a few cocktails, are included.  It is nice not to have to sign for drinks, and of course to have a drink with others without anyone worrying about whose turn to pay it is!

 

I do understand that people who hardly drink are subsidising those who do. I have never seen anyone the worse for wear on a Saga ship, and although bars open early it is usually at least noon before anyone starts on anything alcoholic.  I think that people socialise more when drinks are included, and don't sit in their cabin with their own gin and tonics, which makes for a friendly atmosphere.

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We had included laundry on Saga in February, as due to the norovirus outbreak the free laundries were closed.

As to people being more sociable when alcoholic drinks are included I find that a little sad, especially as soft drinks are included. The cost for a G&T on Saga has been quoted as £2.90, hardly breaking the bank, when you consider the initial cost of the cruise.

If people need alcohol in order to be friendly then that is their problem, me, I'll talk to anyone and I don't need alcohol in order to socialise. 😀

 

 

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2 hours ago, Glenndale said:

We had included laundry on Saga in February, as due to the norovirus outbreak the free laundries were closed.

As to people being more sociable when alcoholic drinks are included I find that a little sad, especially as soft drinks are included. The cost for a G&T on Saga has been quoted as £2.90, hardly breaking the bank, when you consider the initial cost of the cruise.

If people need alcohol in order to be friendly then that is their problem, me, I'll talk to anyone and I don't need alcohol in order to socialise. 😀

 

 

 

We’re not big drinkers, usually a G&T before dinner, glass of wine with dinner and a drink after dinner.  We certainly don’t need alcohol to help us socialise and be friendly, however having seen that a G&T on Saga is just £2.90 we might push the boat out and have two G&Ts - amazing value.  We’ve just returned from a cruise on QM2 and two G&Ts cost us $26 including the 15% service charge levied on all drinks, including bottles of water.

 

We’re taking our first Saga cruise on 26 September on the Spirit of Discovery.  I suspect we’re going to become Saga converts.

 

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I don't think it is a case of anyone 'needing alcohol' in order to socialise, but it is just a lot smoother all round when no one has to  sign for drinks for a table full, which means others tend to feel they then have to reciprocate either then or on another  evening.

 

We have been on other cruise lines where the social atmosphere improved greatly when drinks were included - to me, it is just more civilised, more like being at someone's house or a party.  

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Ooops, I was misquoting the price of a G&T, lincslady had mentioned a figure of around £3.00 for a G&T and I magically converted it to £2.90, suffice to say drinks are not expensive, we will find out the exact cost in September. My OH and s-i-l are both partial to a G&T.

We'll be on QV from Sunday and know from experience how expensive the drinks are.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, lincslady said:

I don't think it is a case of anyone 'needing alcohol' in order to socialise, but it is just a lot smoother all round when no one has to  sign for drinks for a table full, which means others tend to feel they then have to reciprocate either then or on another  evening.

 

 

Unfortunately some people DO need alcohol to socialise, not that I am suggesting for one minute that you do. 

I do understand the point you are making with regards to reciprocating, especially as you might not see them on a future night.

I did enjoy my AI Sapphire cruise, but apart from my fizz with meals probably only had half a dozen cocktails throughout the cruise.

Cruise lines buy in the alcohol at very cheap prices and considering the mark up it is a very high profit cost centre.

It's interesting that Saga don't charge the high prices of other lines.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Glenndale

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Our cruise information booklet and luggage tags for our 26 September cruise arrived today.  Very impressed with the amount of information that Saga provides, especially the detail they go into for their excursions, plus confirmation that we book the specialty restaurants once on board.  It all bodes well for our first Saga cruise!

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We are going on the Northern lights cruise in February and they have included one trip, the huskie ride and providing warm clothing.

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3 hours ago, Scorpio41 said:

We are going on the Northern lights cruise in February and they have included one trip, the huskie ride and providing warm clothing.

They included a “Chasing the Lights” tour in February and a warm, bright red jacket too.

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