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Just phoned Saga on unrelated matter and queried the opening time of 9.30 pm, shown in our cruise booklet.

This is a mistake. The opening hours are the same as the other speciality restaurants.

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Thank you.  I thought it must be a typo but it's good to have it confirmed.

 

Just hoping I'll be able to get a reservation.  Had the letter from Saga about needing to make speciality restaurant reservations on embarkation day.  Be interesting to see how it works out - the 'Saganauts' on FB are up in arms about it.  I don't understand why Saga don't let you book online as other cruise lines do.  You can book a cruise online, and shore excursions, why not restaurant reservations?  

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9 hours ago, Tigrou said:

Thank you.  I thought it must be a typo but it's good to have it confirmed.

 

Just hoping I'll be able to get a reservation.  Had the letter from Saga about needing to make speciality restaurant reservations on embarkation day.  Be interesting to see how it works out - the 'Saganauts' on FB are up in arms about it.  I don't understand why Saga don't let you book online as other cruise lines do.  You can book a cruise online, and shore excursions, why not restaurant reservations?  

We haven’t had any problems at all in booking the speciality restaurants.  We have been to The Club and East to West twice.  The food in the MDR is good too and we have been to the Grill a couple of times.  The latter is the perfect place to sit eating your evening meal and watching all the lovely islands we pass during sail away. 

All the hype is from people who haven’t even been on board yet.  If you use a bit of common sense and courtesy to other passengers there is space for everyone to have a chance. 

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sweep - I believe you are on board at present, on a 15 night cruise.  I am not too brilliant at the 'math' to work it out, but have a feeling that, although I understand there are 250 seats available over the 3 venues each night, anyone on a short cruise would find they would get booked up pretty quickly if there were 900 or more on board?  

 

The advance booking has some problems, as I have seen by looking on the Regent board.  They open on a certain day at a specific time, and some have complained they are sitting at the computer at midnight, and still cannot get a booking!  Of course, the good difference is that Regent are working on US time, whereas for Saga at least everyone would be in the same time zone!  I suppose the other way is by phone as you book - again tricky if using an Agent - and would obviously give the early bookers first dibs.  On short cruises, if people are willing to share tables, and/or eat at less popular times, it should work out.

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11 hours ago, Tigrou said:

Just hoping I'll be able to get a reservation.  Had the letter from Saga about needing to make speciality restaurant reservations on embarkation day.  Be interesting to see how it works out - the 'Saganauts' on FB are up in arms about it.  I don't understand why Saga don't let you book online as other cruise lines do.  

I agree with Sweep, they're not Saganauts otherwise they'd know that that's simply how Saga do things. Their customer facing IT has developed over the years but their core market has always been less techy people who like hard copy brochures and booking with someone who has a nice telephone manner.

 

It's interesting seeing how people attracted to Saga by the spiffy new ship assume that the onboard experience will be like their favourite small ship line, or the line the ship reminds them of, e.g. Viking in a lot of cases. Viking are an industry outlier in many of the ways they do things, but people seem very surprised when Saga turn out to be an outlier as well. 

 

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I think if it’s only a 4 night cruise they should restrict it to just one booking per cabin. It’s when people become greedy and selfish there’s a problem.  

Last night we ate in East to West for the second time and there were some empty tables.  As we’ve walked past the Club we’ve been asked if we want a table.  

So for a longer cruise there really is no problem. 

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We'll be on for 7 nights and we'd really like to try them all.

My s-i-l a newbie cruiser will be with us and want to let her sample all the delights of cruising.

I don't have a face book account and have only done 2 Saga cruises but know that this is how they do things.

I hope those new Saga cruisers enjoy their cruises even though they will find things in some part different from their favoured lines.

From reading their posts I think they will. 😀

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I can't help thinking that if everyone on board (and the ship is fully booked for this cruise) wants to try all the special restaurants it might be more than the ship can cope with, although I guess they have effectively two sittings per evening in each.  And there are always a few who are perfectly happy to stay with the dining room and the grill.

 

On Sapphire there is just the one special restaurant, East to West, and there are always some on board who simply do not like Asian cuisine, which makes it easier to get a table pretty well when you want (for the first time).  Then, on a slightly longer cruise, you can usually get a second go.

 

 

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We went twice to East to West on a two week cruise on Sapphire and it wasn’t difficult to secure two bookings. We’re really looking forward to trying all of the speciality restaurants on Discovery in September. In fact, we’re looking forward to everything about it.

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I have just done a rough sum in my head - (correct me if wrong) - but I think that, assuming there are indeed 250 places for dinner in the 3 alternative restaurants, if each has two through-puts each evening, and there are 1,000 on board, everyone could have a go three times during a week's cruise.   

 

I suppose that  you might not always get the day,  time, restaurant choice,  or table size you would prefer.  However, to me that sounds  better than I had feared.

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You are assuming that each table is used twice during an evening.  I am not sure that is the case.  On our 14 day cruise we had a booking for 7.30pm at two of the speciality restaurants and I am pretty sure that no-one was at our table either before or after us.  I assume that the booking are staggered so that the waiting staff and the kitchen are not overwhelmed by everyone arriving at the same time, which adds to the special atmosphere of these restaurants.  At the third restaurant we could only get a table for two at 6.45 and the room filled up very slowly after that.

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1 hour ago, lincslady said:

I have just done a rough sum in my head - (correct me if wrong) - but I think that, assuming there are indeed 250 places for dinner in the 3 alternative restaurants, if each has two through-puts each evening, and there are 1,000 on board, everyone could have a go three times during a week's cruise.   

 

I suppose that  you might not always get the day,  time, restaurant choice,  or table size you would prefer.  However, to me that sounds  better than I had feared.

If two sittings was a workable option they'd already be doing it in East to West on Sapphire. On a longer cruise there simply isn't the demand to justify it as evidenced by people getting second bookings.

 

If that means getting on for two thirds of the passengers don't get into all three on a short cruise that's a simple case of mathematics: it's not something that is going to happen however much you try to second guess Saga.

 

 

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In a 15 day cruise on SOD we did the Club twice and East to West twice.  There was absolutely no problem in booking them- you could either phone at a designated time or just ask when you walked past. Once or twice on passing to another venue we were stopped and offered a table.  

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We did 4 nights and got a table for 2 in each restaurant.But you must head to the restaurants straight away on embarkation.We went there before finding our cabin! 

All the specialist restaurants had empty tables.I think they have a limit on guests, regardless of need.All were good,food excellent.Seafood restaurant was very noisy.

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58 minutes ago, janecambridge said:

We did 4 nights and got a table for 2 in each restaurant.But you must head to the restaurants straight away on embarkation.We went there before finding our cabin! 

All the specialist restaurants had empty tables.I think they have a limit on guests, regardless of need.All were good,food excellent.Seafood restaurant was very noisy.

You can only have one restaurant booked now. Once you’ve eaten in one you can book another. In the meantime you can be waitlisted but We didn’t get a call, had to be proactive. Still don’t have a booking for the 3rd yet. 

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The speciality restaurnt booking system sounds like a lottery to me. Can you choose a particular restaurant when making your first booking?

You infer that you can go on a waitlist, do they contact you when your name comes out of the hat?

 

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I’ve eaten in The Club 3 times now. Once was my ‘one only’ booking. Another time I asked on the off-chance and was seated straight away. Today I popped down at 5.30pm to check if there was any availability and got a 7.15pm reservation. It probably helps that it’s just me, one person to fill a spare seat, but it shows that it doesn’t hurt to ask.

 

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We’ve eaten now in The Club and Coast to Coast. Then last night we nipped out of the Captain’s Cocktail party a little early, before the stampede. There were 4 of us walking towards the MDR and we were asked if we’d like Togo up to The Club straight away. Do we did. 

 

Still no no idea whether we’ll get into East to West.  

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