Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Mrs Miggins

Saga transfers to and from Dover

Recommended Posts

I have read an earlier thread about the transfers but still need some advice.

We are being picked up from Greenwich for our transfer to Dover on September 5th.  In theory this will take around one and a half hours.  From previous replies, from those who live farther away,  it looks like the estimated arrival time is likely to be around 1 pm.  Based on that, and adding a little wriggle room, I assume we will be picked up at around 11 a.m.

Timings are important to us because we use the excellent Trusted Housesitters to look after our Miniature Schnauzer Ruby and we need to give our sitters an idea of when to arrive to take over.  

More importantly we also need to tell them when we will be back from Dover.  When does the return transfer happen.  On all our previous cruises on other lines the transfer has depended on the time of our flight, sometimes crack of dawn and other times late morning.  Is the leaving time from the ship staggered or do we all get off at the same time ?

I have asked Saga about this but they said timings will only be given just before our cruise.

Looking forward, with some trepidation, to our first Saga cruise.  Just back from excellent Scenic river cruise from Bordeaux.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The short answer is that you do not know for sure until quite near the time!  For the outward journey (and I guess you will have a car to yourselves as you should be within 75 miles)  you should find a time on the Manage my Booking website 4 weeks before, then probably the same one when your luggage labels arrive 2/3 weeks before.    However, this could change slightly, and (if the present Sapphire way of doing things continues) you will get a phone call two days before departure with a definite time and the name of your Driver.  Some who live very near the port - like 20 miles away - do not get picked up until after 1  -  less need for traffic allowances.  Usually embarkation starts at 1, or a bit before, and the buffet lunch is from 1 until about 3.

 

Disembarkation is organised entirely on the ship (on Sapphire).  You will get a number and time on your info., probably a couple of  days before getting off, which could be anywhere from 8.45  to about 11.  You would need to phone your Sitters, obviously, with the time.  Saga  take just a smallish number off, every 10 minutes, as you have to identify your luggage, and go forward to have your name called out for your driver to come forward, which can only be a certain number at a time.  The porters will bring your luggage to the car.  Saga do not seem to be very willing to change the time , on board, if you are not happy.  Sitting around after breakfast is a bit of a bore, but at least you will not be in a huge queue anywhere, and it is more civilised than some lines.

 

A bit long winded; don't know if it helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We live 2 hours away from Dover and have been told that we will not be collected from home until 13.45!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I presume your cruise is not scheduled to sail at 4p.m. ????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, lincslady said:

The short answer is that you do not know for sure until quite near the time!  For the outward journey (and I guess you will have a car to yourselves as you should be within 75 miles)  you should find a time on the Manage my Booking website 4 weeks before, then probably the same one when your luggage labels arrive 2/3 weeks before.    However, this could change slightly, and (if the present Sapphire way of doing things continues) you will get a phone call two days before departure with a definite time and the name of your Driver.  Some who live very near the port - like 20 miles away - do not get picked up until after 1  -  less need for traffic allowances.  Usually embarkation starts at 1, or a bit before, and the buffet lunch is from 1 until about 3.

This is very helpful information, thank you. 

We are on the same cruise as the OP,  Mrs Miggins. We’ve had our luggage labels for a few weeks, they were in the pack with the Shorex details. 

We live about 100 miles from Dover. Do you have any idea what sort of transport we should expect if the private transfers are only for shorter distances?

Having  booked with a TA (not knowing this was not the norm for Saga) we cannot ask questions directly and it’s not crucial enough to bother asking the agent, unless we haven’t heard as get close to sailing date in 5 weeks’ time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Cinnamon,

We always knew from when we booked that there is only a private transfer if you are within 75 miles and a shared transfer if further away. 

Like you its our first Saga cruise and we never cruise out of the UK so its all new to us.

Actually I did speak to Saga direct a few weeks ago, and whilst they could not answer my question about pick up times they were perfectly polite, and did not refer me to our TA.

Pam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Pam, I knew it said  was possibly a ‘shared’ transfer but was wondering what this meant in practice. Large taxi, Mini-bus, small coach?  How many collection points, largest number sharing etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I have no idea but I would think that it would be a reasonably small vehicle and not a coach.

Lincslady said we should know a more about 4 weeks before our cruise, so not long to wait.

I am sure someone else will know much more about their usual methods.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming all remains the same as it has been, shared transport is not more than two parties (one or two people each party ), sharing a 6 seater 'people carrier?',  if you live over 75 miles away.  You could be the first or second to be picked up, and Saga allow extra time for this, of course.  Ask the Saga person who phones you just before, and they should tell you where you will be picking up someone else, or if you are second.  Obviously important to have your cases in the hall, and be ready to go at the appointed time.  The driver will handle your cases, and hand  them over to porters at Dover.

 

We have found that embarkation is usually pretty well organised, with two parties who live more or less on the same route.  The vehicles are a bit like getting into a Range Rover, a fairly high step, which can be tricky if your legs are not too good, but otherwise fine, and then two seats in the back and two in front of them, with one by the driver, who occasionally asks if a passenger would like to sit with him.  So far, in about 6 cruises, we have found all drivers to be efficient and nearly all very pleasant company.  If it a longish journey he will suggest one stop en route, to stretch legs and spend a penny!

 

Never a coach or large group.

 

We have, however, found that for the return journey the onboard staff do not have such a good idea of where people live, and you may be taken a bit out of your way on the journey home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the FAQs on the Saga website:

 

How many people will there be in the vehicle?

You could be sharing the journey with up to three or (very occasionally) five other Saga passengers in one of our larger MPVs, so there'll always be room for you to stretch out and store your luggage.

 

If I book the shared car service, how far might I have to go to pick somebody else up?

If you have a shared car and your journey is under 100 miles, the maximum deviation we will make is 30 minutes. If the distance you are travelling is over 100 miles, this may be up to an hour.

 

What type of vehicle can I expect?

We use executive cars for up to two people and MPV's for more than two people to ensure a comfortable journey. The type of car arranged for you can be found in your final travel documents alongside your pick-up time.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info. We are 101 miles from the cruise port but it’s good to know the vehicles are not larger than an MPV.for up to 6 people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hermioneb - please come back to say what is happening with your transfer?   It would seem that you arrive at the ship at 3.45, for a 4 or 5 p.m. sail?  

 

Something wrong, surely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, lincslady said:

hermioneb - please come back to say what is happening with your transfer?   It would seem that you arrive at the ship at 3.45, for a 4 or 5 p.m. sail?  

 

Something wrong, surely.

I queried the time and was told that boarding is between 2 and 5.  They like to stagger the times that people arrive at the ship so that embarkation goes smoothly. Apparently we are due to sail between 6 and 8pm.  They did say they wouldn’t leave without us!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That makes more sense;  unusual times for Saga to sail.  Boat drill, mandatory, is usually 45 minutes before sailing, so normally at 3.15 or 4.15.

 

They do stagger arrival times; people tend to be scheduled to arrive for a 4 p.m.departure between 12.30 and 2 or even 2.30.  Normally those who live further away arrive first, as there is a lot of wriggle room written into the driving times!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I the only person who looks at people posting on CC and FB who are on the same cruise, sees where they live and wonders if they'll be on the same transport as me?!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luggage would be my concern. We have said 2 cases plus hand luggage each. Being a winter weather cruise we are not taking more it's just the items will be bulkier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if you are taking 4 cases plus hand luggage it would be best to let Saga know in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Glenndale said:

I think if you are taking 4 cases plus hand luggage it would be best to let Saga know in advance.

 

We mentioned it at the time of booking. Will remind them in the new year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My S-I-L who is 4 hours away from Dover assuming normal traffic and 5 hours away given heavy traffic has a 1pm pick up time. Around 220 miles away.

This seems incredibly late to me. This is not allowing for a 'comfort stop'.

Any example of pick up times and travel times with examples from folks on here please?

Edited by Glenndale

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you should contact Saga and question this. 

We are 102 miles away from Dover. Google reckons 1 hr 47 mins with no traffic delays (M25 😏). We are being picked up at 11.05 on Thursday. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. We live 240 miles away from Dover, and are being picked up at 8.25 am on Thursday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Incidental question. 

Whilst we know that basic gratuities are included in our cruise fare, are we expected to tip the taxi/transfer driver?  When using a taxi for a £25 of £50 airport run we tip but Dover is a lot further. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Glenndale said:

My S-I-L who is 4 hours away from Dover assuming normal traffic and 5 hours away given heavy traffic has a 1pm pick up time. Around 220 miles away.

This seems incredibly late to me. This is not allowing for a 'comfort stop'.

Any example of pick up times and travel times with examples from folks on here please?

Is that the time showing in the booking details online or is it in her final travel documents which arrive a week or so before sailing? Since about three weeks ago our pickup time has been showing as 1pm for an 8 or 9 mile journey, but until the final documents arrive in the next day or two I'm assuming that's a placeholder value while Saga do the detailed scheduling. Not that I mind getting on board reasonably early if it does turn out to be the actual time...

Edited by kentchris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, kentchris said:

Is that the time showing in the booking details online or is it in her final travel documents which arrive a week or so before sailing? Since about three weeks ago our pickup time has been showing as 1pm for an 8 or 9 mile journey, but until the final documents arrive in the next day or two I'm assuming that's a placeholder value while Saga do the detailed scheduling. Not that I mind getting on board reasonably early if it does turn out to be the actual time...

This is showing on her online details.

She will give them a call today and see what they say.

We don’t leave until the 26th so plenty of time for this to change.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...