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Glenndale

Spirit of Discovery

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8 hours ago, cinnamon said:

Yes, thanks for the link. 

I had wondered about how we would be able to book the Specialty restaurants. That wasn’t good news. I just hope we arrive fairly early onboard, something over which we’ll have no control of course, as it will depend on the included transport. 

Corinne

Yes, it’s a bit of a drag but really no different from Azamara. When we had a suite we had to book the speciality restaurants on boarding and on Oceania although you can pre book thru a personaliser any changes you have to queue to see a concierge.

On Cunard in Britannia there is always a queue on boarding to see the maitre d’ to change sittings, tables etc.

As there will be 3 of us boarding in September we will treat it like a military operation and split up to book Coast to Coast, East to West and The Club 😂

I think we all need to make comments and suggestions on our end of cruise assessment and in person at reception, on their various processes.

It would also be helpful if people on here write in with comments. 

Maybe if enough people complain about lack of access to the personaliser things  will change, take it up with your TA too.

In spite of all these little niggles I hope we all have fantastic holidays.

 

I read the report and it seemed the only real gripe was the White Zinfandel, well some of us enjoy a glass of White Zinfandel - wine snobs really irritate me!😡

Good grief if we all liked the same things what a boring world it would be.

 

 

 

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It will be, logistically, pretty impossible to let all passengers on a very short cruise - like 4 nights - have a booking in each speciality restaurant; obviously they are smaller than the main restaurants.  Even if Saga arrange an on-line booking pre-cruise arrangement, this can lead to problems.  Regent seem to have a lot of arguments about being able to book from midnight on a certain date pre-cruise, with people saying they cannot get a booking although they were sitting with their fingers on the mouse before midnight!   I wonder if on the 4 nighters Saga might say just one speciality booking per cabin?

 

On Sapphire, on longer cruises, it has been more leisurely, and if you went once early on you could usually ask at a later date for another booking with success.

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Glenndale, do you think you’d need to go to each restaurant to book then?  I assumed by the write up from the person onboard that there was a queue to see The Maitre’D on the first afternoon and you’d be able to book everything then. We have just 7 nights and would dearly like to try all 3 once plus have 4 nights in the MDR. 

Corinne

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, cinnamon said:

Glenndale, do you think you’d need to go to each restaurant to book then?  I assumed by the write up from the person onboard that there was a queue to see The Maitre’D on the first afternoon and you’d be able to book everything then. We have just 7 nights and would dearly like to try all 3 once plus have 4 nights in the MDR. 

Corinne

That is the premise I'm working on but I could be wrong.

Certainly on Sapphire there was a separate queue for the MDR fixed dining and the East to West restaurant but until someone on these boards travels on the new ship it is just a best guess.

We are only on for 7 nights too and it would be lovely to give them all a try.

 

I think sweep will be one of the first on this forum to sail on her.

Edited by Glenndale

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Queue for MDR fixed dining?  If you want a fixed time you can pre-book that on a phone number given in the booklet. We will stick with Open Dining and choose each day what time to eat, depending on activities, shore trips and the entertainment times. I’m really looking forward to the ‘proper’ theatre shows as opposed to the cabaret style on Azamara. 

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2 minutes ago, cinnamon said:

Queue for MDR fixed dining?  If you want a fixed time you can pre-book that on a phone number given in the booklet. We will stick with Open Dining and choose each day what time to eat, depending on activities, shore trips and the entertainment times. I’m really looking forward to the ‘proper’ theatre shows as opposed to the cabaret style on Azamara. 

Yes, there was a queue for people wanting a fixed table on our Sapphire cruise, but we had booked thru our TA for that cruise so whether or not you could pre-book I'm not sure.

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Yes, the best thing if you would like the same table each night is to speak to the Saga people shortly after booking.  Once you have been on board, you can look at table numbers and actually ask for a specific table or area for the future!  It mostly works, certainly on Sapphire.

 

Fixed dining works well for deaf people , who find large tables difficult, or friends who cruise together and like to meet up each evening - plus the few who prefer their own company!   And of course it is not a set time, just go within opening hours.  There is no fixed time for dining for anyone.

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Some interesting information for those of us who’ve booked through an agent rather than direct with Saga.  There is a telephone number in the excursion booklet which I’ve just rung and found out you can book excursions direct with Saga but payment has to be made through your agent.  

Disappointingly the two excursions I wanted are fully booked and there’s still almost 4 weeks to go until our cruise. 

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19 hours ago, sweep said:

 

Disappointingly the two excursions I wanted are fully booked and there’s still almost 4 weeks to go until our cruise. 

Gosh, many people must have booked very quickly when their brochures were issued then. Our cruise is 6 weeks away, we had better get moving, although booking through Saga and paying through the agent?  How does that work I wonder. 

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10 hours ago, cinnamon said:

Gosh, many people must have booked very quickly when their brochures were issued then. Our cruise is 6 weeks away, we had better get moving, although booking through Saga and paying through the agent?  How does that work I wonder. 

Well you can book and pay direct with your TA I suppose but they will have to contact Saga to see if there’s availability. Our worry was if the excursion got cancelled for any reason when you’re on board you wouldn’t be able to simply transfer to a different excursion as you hadn’t paid direct to Saga.  

Will have a dilemma if we go on another Saga Cruise- book through a TA and save £400 or pay extra to book through Saga and have the facility to access your booking online.  

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As we’re going to only 3 ports, none of which are new for us, I expect now we’ll just wait to see if anything we can afford I’d available onboard. I’m not prepared to pay thecagent and then risk having the excursion cancelled and not being able to get a refund. 

 

It does seem to me that bucking the industry norm with needing to book direct to be able to do anything afterwards is going to put off some of their hoped for new market. Of which I count us, as exactly the sort of regular cruisers they must be hoping to attract. 

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2 hours ago, cinnamon said:

It does seem to me that bucking the industry norm with needing to book direct to be able to do anything afterwards is going to put off some of their hoped for new market. Of which I count us, as exactly the sort of regular cruisers they must be hoping to attract. 

Saga are a bit like Viking Ocean in that respect: they buck the industry norm and it works for them because they have a desirable product, so as long as they can more or less fill every sailing they're unlikely to change.

 

Viking's final payment date for US customers is a year before sailing, or earlier if they can get away with it: the comments on the Viking Ocean forum are quite interesting. Saga don't feel the need (at least at the moment) to play nice with pax booking through TAs. One similarity between the two lines is fiercely aggressive marketing - the Programme Director on my Viking River cruise last week apologised a couple of times for that.

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