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kentchris

Not quite Live From SoD 12th - 26th September

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34 minutes ago, Lottie A said:

Hmmm. Not sure about queuing for an hour to book a speciality restaurant, especially if you can only do this one at a time. Perhaps something Saga need to revise . 🙁 

What the letter from Saga doesn’t mention is that phone bookings are accepted on embarkation day, as made clear in the welcome aboard edition of ‘Today’. I rang the booking number just after 3.30 and got through immediately to The Club to make my reservation.

 

After the first day you can book in person or by phone between 17.30 and 18.30. Last night we saw people making bookings as they left The Club while there was someone on the front desk. 

Edited by kentchris

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Kentchris

 

Is it possible to make restaurant bookings, on line, before you actually embark the ship?

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3 minutes ago, kentchris said:

What the letter from Saga doesn’t mention is that phone bookings are accepted on embarkation day, as made clear in the welcome aboard edition of ‘Today’. I rang the booking number just after 3.30 and got through immediately to The Club to make my reservation.

 

After the first day you can book in person or by phone between 17.30 and 18.30. Last night we saw people making bookings as they left The Club while there was someone on the front desk. 

Well that is better Chris but I still think you should be allowed to book more than one speciality at a time.

 

I like to plan my speciality dining times according to my schedule for the days in port...not just be offered them ad hoc if passing someone offering bookings because they are quiet on that night. 

Is the food much better in the speciality restaurants as opposed to the MDR?

 

Would be nice to see some menu’s if you could manage it. 

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20 minutes ago, beaujolais said:

Kentchris

 

Is it possible to make restaurant bookings, on line, before you actually embark the ship?

No sign of that being possible.  Given the way people are reacting to the current system there’d be uproar if online booking prior to the cruise was possible - it’s cause

of some grief on the Viking Ocean forum because they operate a priority system for pre cruise bookings based on cabin grade. 

 

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3 hours ago, Lottie A said:

Well that is better Chris but I still think you should be allowed to book more than one speciality at a time.

 

I like to plan my speciality dining times according to my schedule for the days in port...not just be offered them ad hoc if passing someone offering bookings because they are quiet on that night. 

Is the food much better in the speciality restaurants as opposed to the MDR?

 

Would be nice to see some menu’s if you could manage it. 

Some of the brochures have sample menus from the Specialty restaurants which were pretty accurate as the menus don’t change. We only ate 3 dinners in MDR and on the last evening the choices were disappointing. Fried Cod, Roast Turkey or (tough) Veal in mushroom sauce. Unfortunately we missed the best MDR menus which seemed to be the nights we ate in the specials. Unlike on Azamara, you cannot see the menus on the tv in your cabin and decide whether to try for somewhere else that night. 

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Google Fine dining on Spirit of Discovery and each restaurant has sample menu.  To my fussy taste menus are rather limited in choice compared to other cruise lines. I also find it odd that the buffet offers exactly the same menu as MDR.  Hours are very restrictive too but the room service menu looks better. The problem is that who wants to spend all that money and then eat in your room. We will find out next year when we have first Saga cruise booked

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MDR food much more British than we’re accustomed to. I cooked a chilli tonight, was missing strong flavours, other than in East to West. 

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Kentchris, I’m just reading through my Saga cruises brochure.

The Grill is described as an ‘alternative restaurant.....open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus snacks throughout the day.’

I’d be interested what is on offer, and what timings, between meals. I was certainly getting the impression that the only time the Grill was open was for virtually the same meal times as the MDR including afternoon tea.

hope you are having a great time so far

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I have a copy of ‘Today’ from Wednesday in front of me. The Grill times are :-

Early Risers’ Coffee.  7.00-7.30 am

Breakfast  7.30-10.00 am

Lunch  Noon-2.00 pm

Afternoon Tea  4.00-4.45 pm

Dinner  6.30-9.00 pm. 

 

In addition, The Verandah & The Lido Noon-3.00 pm (weather permitting). 

I can only think that snacks during the day refers to afternoon tea. 

As far as I’m aware it is not open outside of these times. In fact the breakfast food was cleared promptly at 9.30 on port days and 10.00 on sea days. 

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Thanks for the update, Cinnamon. Certainly wouldn’t be my understanding of ‘snacks throughout the day’!

it must sound as if I am a continual grazer, but it’s more that I like to be driven by my appetite, rather than be dictated to by a rigidly set meal pattern, especially when I’m on holiday.

I don’t usually partake of afternoon tea either, as I prefer to eat dinner from 5.30 onwards, not a fan of a full stomach too near bedtime. 

However, with SoD timings, looks like I’d be indulging in scones after all! And deafening everyone with a rumbling tummy if I come back on board having missed tea and with a wait for dinner.

All perfectly copeable with, but I suppose I’m surprised at the lack of flexibility I’ve come to associate with cruising.

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After a busy port call to Gothenburg yesterday, and a surprisingly busy sea day today, here are the latest couple of dailys:

6D0E24DE-92D2-42C5-AE54-5AAFED1470E2.thumb.jpeg.16aaf05acef645cadffdbfe19d2eb325.jpeg86544F26-0B17-484B-BDE4-46D25E5F0B73.thumb.jpeg.0a85926950d4694392d54755d07c3927.jpeg5A703953-408B-453F-9801-0F28CEE5F2E6.thumb.jpeg.911fc5c547b2268458501ae5a3a2aba4.jpeg1049F0A5-41CE-467D-9EAF-5A12C81E3EC5.thumb.jpeg.39fb44d979a3b120eb2589979845d7aa.jpeg

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On 9/14/2019 at 10:38 AM, Bell Boy said:

I'm going to have to discuss this nonsense with Captain Burgess  ( in October) as he is formerly from Cunard Line where no cabin announcements are ever made direct into the cabin, unless in emergency.

I'm taking this trip to completely chill out after a busy year and I don't want to be hearing unecessary announcements direct into the cabin from the bridge or the Cruise director first thing in the morning.   

I’m not sure it’ll be necessary: on re-reading the onboard information pack it appears that non essential announcements should only be heard in cabin if the TV is set to the ship’s map channel (which ours was yesterday when we were in receipt of unnecessary updates). I haven’t been able to confirm this as we haven’t been in our cabin at the right times today to confirm either way, but we’ll keep an eye on it.  

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On 9/14/2019 at 5:48 PM, Ergates The Ant said:

Would also like to see some MDR menus if at all possible.

Looking forward to another SoD cruise by proxy!

All information gratefully received!

We’ve only eaten in the MDR once so far and didn’t photo the menu, although I belatedly remembered when we passed the Grill. The same food is served in The Grill in the evenings, plus or minus one or two items ie steak, chicken and salmon are always available in the MDR. All MDR dishes are available in smaller portions, prepared more simply, or with more potatoes and/or veg. The Stockholm Style Liver was excellent, I don’t remember ever eating such tender liver, and the menu demonstrates Saga’s tendency to tailor menus to where the ship is, rather than work through a rigid weekly rotation which is all we’ve experienced on other lines. 

 

7BD81A1A-A2B8-4329-BA46-8AAA1CD7CE51.thumb.jpeg.b0ef412ceeeb84f475adee4e432e1213.jpeg

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I didn’t see tonight’s MDR menu but our lunchtime dining companions said it involved lobster and steak as tonight was a formal night. We had lunch in The Grill: our wine waiter was the same person who’d touted East to West on our first night. She asked if we’d got anything special arranged and when we said ‘no’ offered us a shared table at East to West this evening so that sorted another evening, so on our fourth night we’ve eaten dinner once in the MDR (which last night was as good as the best MDR meal we’ve had elsewhere). The earliest Coast to Coast could offer us a table for two was Friday which we booked, but flexibility about table size seems to ensure one or other or the alternative restaurants available on the day. 

 

We’ve now dined with a couple of people who have declared dietary restrictions to Saga: as one would expect they are able to plan their eating in advance, which includes multiple alternative restaurant bookings. As far as I can tell they’re the only people who are able to make multiple alternative restaurant bookings as they need to be certain what will be on their plates. 

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Thanks for posting the Grill menu. 

It seems that this is not a cruise line for vegetarians, so won’t be able to tempt my sister and her husband on board. Only one item actually noted as vegetarian, although it’s possible that the cauliflower soup and omelette parcels might also be, just not labelled as such.

I wonder if Saga expect vegetarians to declare themselves in advance as a dietary requirement, like the ‘old days’. The last Royal Caribbean cruise I went on had very reasonable sections in the buffet for both gluten free choices, and vegan food. 

Sounds like the always available chicken is only in the MDR?

 

The daily programme looks good and varied. I did despair on recent Celebrity cruises, where most of the activities seemed to centre on a sales opportunity for something of little interest.

 

looks like there is a lot to like, as long as I can compromise on the food! To be honest, we don’t cruise for a gourmet experience, as we eat so well locally at home, with easy access to fresh produce and ethically produced free range meat. Just tiresome that the ‘buffet’ does not actually provide an alternative menu, just an alternative venue!

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On 9/14/2019 at 4:48 PM, Ergates The Ant said:

Would also like to see some MDR menus if at all possible.

Looking forward to another SoD cruise by proxy!

All information gratefully received!

Here are some MDR menus from our cruise to Spain in August. First is for a formal night, then a normal evening, finally a lunch menu.  

0717E246-CB8D-40C8-BC2E-201C7658051B.jpeg

 

 

 

 

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24FB6950-88A6-423C-96D9-E0811A11984C.jpeg

3A50BE69-33E7-4CC8-ADE3-EDBEF4D63937.jpeg

8CBBD85D-E90F-42AC-9AC3-8BEDEA005C8F.jpeg

Edited by hermioneb
j

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One thing to note is that the Living Room, which is a lovely area to relax in, has free waiter service tea and coffee until 5.30pm and free cakes, biscuits and ice cream are included. Nice touch, especially as it’s proper coffee. Plenty of people are making use of the area, and you feel as if you are at the heart of the ship. I think this is the nicest ship we’ve been on, and can thoroughly recommend it. We’ve had lunch a couple of times in the MDR, and there’s a nice mix of help yourself and waiter service, with some good options on the menu. Love the cheese and biscuits.

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We booked two speciality restaurants on our embarkation afternoon. We didn’t have time to reserve Coast to Coast, but did this the following morning at 9.30am. All very easy.

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My wife has fallen in love with the woollen shawls/small blankets provided for warmth when sitting on the balcony. We asked at Reception if they were available to buy and were told ‘no’. When we returned to our cabin after lunch our steward explained again that they’re not available for sale, but that he could give us a used one which was very sweet.

 

On a different note, we were issued with interim questionnaires yesterday to be returned by tomorrow. We managed to fill the blank side with overflow comments so it’ll be interesting to see what if anything changes: this morning the TV service was upgraded to give a live feed from the Playhouse for shows and lectures. 

 

We we had lunch yesterday with a couple of long-standing Saganauts (nearly Diamond level BC members) who’d been on the maiden voyage. The main issues they mentioned, which have been resolved since, were waiters unable to read the small screens of the iPod sized tablets used for taking orders, and excursion stickers being issued in the Playhouse (a carry over from the system on Sapphire) which led to chaos with too many people trying to get in and out at the same time. There’s still been some congestion getting excursions off as excursion passengers are now being asked to arrive at the gangway at the exact time given in ‘Today’, rather than turning up early and getting in the way of people who need to get off. It sounds like that system is still a bit of a work in progress. 

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25 minutes ago, IbizaLover said:

We booked two speciality restaurants on our embarkation afternoon. We didn’t have time to reserve Coast to Coast, but did this the following morning at 9.30am. All very easy.

It feels a lot easier on board than it seemed from earlier descriptions. If you’re prepared to share you can get places more or less on spec as the alternative seats need to be used - the look of relief on the waitress’s face when we accepted the offered places in East to West yesterday was quite a picture. Perhaps too many people preferred lobster in the MDR on a formal night. 

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Thanks for posting pix of real menus. I'm almost a veggie and am a bit worried as I don't like curry, and that seems to feature in the veggie options. On previous Saga cruises I've not starved coz I love salad. Is there a self-service salad area in the buffet-type restaurant like on Sapphire? I remember a rather bemused waiter bringing me a baked potato and cheese on several evenings. Are staff open to serving just potato and veg?

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57 minutes ago, Wacktle said:

Thanks for posting pix of real menus. I'm almost a veggie and am a bit worried as I don't like curry, and that seems to feature in the veggie options. On previous Saga cruises I've not starved coz I love salad. Is there a self-service salad area in the buffet-type restaurant like on Sapphire? I remember a rather bemused waiter bringing me a baked potato and cheese on several evenings. Are staff open to serving just potato and veg?

From what kentchris has said it's maybe worth registering with Saga as a special diet?

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49 minutes ago, Wacktle said:

Thanks for posting pix of real menus. I'm almost a veggie and am a bit worried as I don't like curry, and that seems to feature in the veggie options. On previous Saga cruises I've not starved coz I love salad. Is there a self-service salad area in the buffet-type restaurant like on Sapphire? I remember a rather bemused waiter bringing me a baked potato and cheese on several evenings. Are staff open to serving just potato and veg?

Sapphire has (or had when we sailed on her four years ago) a whole vegetarian menu in addition to the regular menu. Did you not ask for it? It was mentioned on the ‘normal’ Sapphire menus. 

 

The online Concierge feature for existing bookings includes a text box to request special diets, and a dedicated radio button to tell Saga that one is a veggie. Even without having selected that I would always check with the maître d about extended options for veggies if the offer on the daily menu doesn’t suit. 

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HThanks for posting pix of real menus. I'm almost a veggie and am a bit worried as I don't like curry, and that seems to feature in the veggie options. On previous Saga cruises I've not starved coz I love salad. Is there a self-service salad area in the buffet-type restaurant like on Sapphire? I remember a rather bemused waiter bringing me a baked potato and cheese on several evenings. Are staff open to serving just potato and veg?

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