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Review: Saga River Cruise

Cruise - River Cruise

Saga never again

  • By SilverTraveller Sheila_68

    3 reviews

  • August 2015
  • Friend(s)
  • Regular holiday
  • Outside
  • Vienna

233 people found this review helpful

I was lucky enough to win £500 towards a SAGA holiday so I chose to go on a River Cruise from Vienna to Budapest, flying from London Heathrow to Vienna and returning from Budapest to LHR. I had never travelled with SAGA before so was looking forward to the trip. On arrival at the airport a SAGA rep just pointed at the check in desk – when checking in I found that my companion and I were not seated together but BA were very helpful and did change our seats. (I was unable to check-in online the day before because it was a BLOCK booking by SAGA and it also meant that I had to be at the airport 2 hours before !!). On arrival at Vienna the SAGA rep was nowhere to be seen, eventually after walking the length of the arrivals hall and 30 minutes later I found her standing with her board by her side and not in the air for us to see. We then waited for another 15 minutes until she located the passengers in wheelchairs. Then we had to walk back the length of the hall to get the coach to the hotel. A long walk with no assistance for those needing it and in 36c temperatures. On arrival at the hotel there was very little seating available and it took about 45 minutes to check in our rooms. We then had a 3 hour wait until the welcome dinner. As it was so hot some of us went to the park nearby but not for long. The dinner was a buffet and was supposed to be hot but was not. With elderly people I think a waiter service would have been better. Next morning there was an included 3 and 1/2 hour trip around Vienna leaving at 9am. We were told to buy water for the trip. The trip started off ok and we had a very nice tea break with chocolate cake. Then a phone call from the hotel about booking out came through at 11 am and we had to return early to the hotel so we did not get the full trip of Vienna and missed a lot. On returning to the hotel we then had another 4 hours wait until the coach to take us to the River Cruise Ship. Luckily once on board the ship the cruise side of the holiday was good. 4 days on the river was enough time to relax and enjoy the sights and the food was good. Unfortunately on the last day at 5pm I felt very unwell for about 5 hours. Next morning I asked the SAGA rep if anyone else had been unwell and they said no. When we got to our hotel in Budapest later that day I found that 4 other people had been unwell. So I do not know what that was. On the way to the hotel we had a very lovely trip round Budapest but unfortunately some of the people had to be left at a cafe as there was a lot of walking which surprised me as it was a SAGA holiday!!!. After the trip we went back to the hotel which was a very long way out of Budapest with nothing nearby, but we did have the use of the spa and swimming pools. Then another 4 hours until dinner – again buffet and marginally better than the one in Vienna. We were then told that breakfast next morning would not be until 8am !! So more use of the swimming pool in the morning. After breakfast we were taken to the airport at Budapest and arrived 30 minutes before the check in desks opened and we had no where to sit so some of the elderly passengers were suffering. The SAGA rep did ask some other waiting passengers if they would vacate their seats to allow some of the elderly to sit down, which they did. The SAGA rep then told us which check in desks we would be in and then left us!!!. When the desks opened I could see that there were 2 others we could use so I went to one of them and others followed me, making the queue not so long. On arrival at LHR there was no rep to help anyone who needed it. So all in all I will never travel with SAGA again and I am just thankful that I was not in need of any help.

233 people found this review helpful

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 6 Comment(s)

  • mogsey
    about 5 years ago
    Hopefully you wrote to Saga to let them know of your experience so they could look into it and do something about it.
  • Itchy-Feet
    over 5 years ago
    Definitely food for thought - don't think it is too much to expect an 'organised' trip to be organised and it doesn't sound as though there was much organisation in this one!
  • Jasper
    about 6 years ago
    I have always found Saga to be a very caring company and their reps usually are very efficient. I suppose there are sometimes occasions when plans have to be changed for whatever reason, but just because they cater for more mature people does not mean that all them need extra help. They usually ask whether you need assistance at the airport or on the holiday but lots of the travellers we have encountered are quite active and able to walk on the guided tours. Not a problem if you can't but just enjoy the surroundings and the chance to have a break at a cafe. Unless you have a door to door service I would assume that the holiday is over when you get back to LHR but there are always airport staff if you have any problems. I hope you get more out of your next trip.
  • Susie14
    about 6 years ago
    The treatment or should I say lack of treatment and care by the rep sound awful particularly considering their target audience. I would drop a line to Saga with your feedback.

  • Sheila_68
    about 6 years ago
    I think you will have a good time on a River Cruise especially if you book independently, which is what I usually do. There were River cruise ships from many companies and countries on the same route as we were and although I only did the Vienna to Budapest leg they go right from the start of the Danube to the end. Lovely views from the river and also some very lovely little places to visit when you dock. The only other problem I found was that when we were at "sea" overnight - which was not often, it was quite noisy going through the locks and also the engine noise - quite loud, not like an ocean going ship - as the river ships are quite small. Enjoy.
  • Ian.Waugh
    about 6 years ago
    An interesting review ...we're thinking of going on a river cruise ourselves next year and yes - there's a choice of cruise companies advertising the type of trip we have in mind.
    We are, however, likely to book direct with the cruise company rather than through an organisation like SAGA so hopefully the 'before and after' airport/hotel etc difficulties experienced by the recent reviewer will not be a feature of our own trip!
    I've been in hotels where coach parties have been 'hearded' to their buffet meal, and left standing around outside with their luggage waiting to board their coach - sounds like the SAGA 'cruise' was much like this