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Review: Saga Sapphire

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

A really good cruise

  • By SilverTraveller Andrewlgc

    11 reviews

    Ribbon

  • November 2018
  • Wife
  • Regular holiday
  • Inside
  • Southampton

73 people found this review helpful

We joined Saga Sapphire for her Volcanic Isles cruise in November 2019. We have cruised many times but this was our first on a Saga ship. Saga Sapphire is shortly leaving their fleet which we feel is a great shame as she is a lovely ship with comfortable public rooms and an intimate feel. For the first time in many years we booked an inside cabin and this turned out to be large with a separate seating area and table. It was also very quiet and comfortable and kept spotlessly clean by our steward. The staff were universally friendly and helpful, the food was very good and the included drinks were of a decent quality. The entertainment was very acceptable with the lively Show Company in good form and there were some interesting lectures. On sea days we also enjoyed energetic, seated, work-outs with Derrick Evans aka Mr Motivator who was great fun. Saga Sapphire was late into Southampton on embarkation day as the Port had kept her waiting off the Isle of White for several hours. As a consequence the ship was late departing and with bad weather through the Bay of Biscay arrival in Funchal was also delayed. So the cruise was slightly rescheduled with an overnight stay there rather than in Santa Cruz, La Palma. We had been to all ports previously apart from Agadir and Casablanca in Morocco which we found of interest. Our return was overshadowed by the first named storm of the winter forecast to arrive at the same time as the ship in the English Channel. Captain Kim Tanner decided the best course of action was to sail at full speed back through the Bay of Biscay and then to hug the English coastline before entering the Solent via the Needles Channel some twelve hours early. As a result we just missed the storm and had a comfortable last night docked in the Port of Southampton. The weather could have been warmer in all ports of call. Nevertheless we enjoyed the cruise and the little extras that Saga offer (including the transport to and from the port) and also met some very nice folks along the way.

73 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 - 5 Comment(s)

  • Andrewlgc
    6 months ago
    Our cruise on Saga Sapphire was our twenty- eigth sea cruise on a variety of different ships and cruise lines, some 'luxurious', some quite the opposite. We therefore have some experience of what is good and what is less so. As the ship stuck largely to its published itinerary, only making slight timing changes due to bad weather, we were happy with that aspect. We very much enjoyed Saga Sapphire and do wonder if Saga will find it difficult to fill it's two new larger ships at the much higher prices that they are asking, only time will tell. For our part we are going to try the Silver Seas ship Silver Whisper in the Caribbean later in the year, so watch this space for a review.
  • june21
    6 months ago
    Saga are splendid for older people. The crew from the lowest to the captains are the best. i travelled with them repeatedly for many years. On Rose Ruby they were old ships but Sapphire was newly acquired and in 2012 we had very many problems with the ship and they returned half the cost. So we had a second holiday in the autumn to the med. This was shortened due to an engine problem . Had extra day in portugal where we had an extra excursion free. Splendid too . But then the end of the holiday was spoilt by leaving the ship in portugal and returning home by coach or plane (your choice). They really do look after you well.
    But i do not share your opinion of the Sapphire. We used the Pearl . A beautiful ship smaller 500 pax , so could go smaller quieter ports. Cannot fault that ship, and the crew were as good as before. Always helpful and friendly. We had a crews show one night that was a gem . Full of talents. A singer who was as good as Adele and all the crew involved. Very enjoyable even for those of us who did not frequent the evening shows. Not my thing. Then we went on Sapphire after 14 years, the problems solved but we had a lower cabin in the Med for 4 weeks in the Autumn.. Had an enjoyable time until we put the heating on in the rain in Riecka where it was colder than london and came back to the cabin to a strong smell of burning dust, like a long disused electric fire. I have compromised lungs and succumbed to infection a day or two later. Visit to the doctor for antibiotics and spent the last week in bed with temperature, coughing madly to clear chest. Missed Cadiz which I really wanted to see, and never have. Couldnt eat either, so thoroughly miserable. Worse than the flu so had a real struggle when going home at the end of the holiday.
    Had already booked the next year hol and again it was on Sapphire. Big Problem . Could not risk that again., with further danage to my lungs. If i cancelled my travel companion would be left either sharing with a stranger, or paying full whack. Phoned Saga and they very nicely changed the booking to the Pearl . There was no lower cabin available but there was a cabin on the bridge deck available , so we were given that at no extra cost. Would have been twice the cost for us both otherwise. So saga really do the best for you when given the chance and i will go with them again when I am fitter and able but not on Sapphire although there are berths at reduced rates still available . They now have two new ships but larger with balconies to every cabin and geneally more expensive. They do pick you up from home with your luggage transported from your doorstep to the cabin . That is really worth it. You might have to share a car, or 4 by 4 but in NW we only had to share once in all the times we went with them. Food is good with plenty available. Dont know the new ships, but we had free coffee or whatever from the machine aiways and service t o your room whenever you want it. I couldnt face the feast at 10.45pm after eating the 3 courses , and not the 5 available at dinner , a special treat was the cheese trolley. Finally there was even a help yourself ice cream machine on the deck near the pool. It was all very easy to overeat.
  • Su
    8 months ago
    Yes, cruising is a great way to explore the world without having to keep unpacking your case!
  • Andrewlgc
    8 months ago
    Yes, we are very familiar with rough seas in the Bay of Biscay. We found a number of the clientele were quite old and frail. We put this down to their ability to obtain insurance through Saga when to do so elsewhere would have proved difficult. There were though many fit and able folks with great enthusiasm for life and we loved the whole ambience.
  • Su
    8 months ago
    Gosh! Stormy weather in the bay of Biscay! Glad you enjoyed the Saga cruise despite the horrid weather!
    We’ve never tried a Saga cruise yet. Do you find the clientele are quite old? We went with Saga to Sri Lanka last February and found our fellow travelers very young at heart and keen for adventure. Found Saga brilliant.