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Spirit of Discovery, Western Mediterranean and Atlantic


Saganauts rule OK!!! - (We even had a Captain Jason!!!)

I have converted to a Saganaut and that is official. Having cruised for many years and with many different lines SAGA cruises have topped them all. No more laughing about “Send A Granny Away” – their service and attention to detail is second to none. In fact none of the so called “white star service” can touch them for service, food and general high standard to detail.

A pre Christmas cruise sailing in early December with all the Covid problems surrounding us began when we were whisked from our home to Southampton in style in a chauffeured BMW. Our Driver drew into the Southampton terminal about 1.00 pm. where we were all tested with a lateral flow test and then on to take a PCR test – a matter of ten to fifteen minutes at most. On arrival at the terminal building our luggage was spirited away before we had emerged from the vehicle. A short queue to produce our proof of vaccinations before security and check in. Whether we were fortunate or not,I am unsure, but I have never approached check in for a cruise without standing in a long queue but most of the counters were vacant and after a speedy check in we walked aboard. We were greeted by staff and shown to our cabin where our luggage already had been placed inside – again unheard of on any line and this was by 2 pm.

The three speciality restaurants were impressive and we particularly enjoyed Coast to Coast a superb seafood restaurant where the Sharing Platter to start was of an extremely high standard and on a par with any of the Michelin Starred restaurants in the UK. The Club served beautifully tender steaks while East to West had some lovely twists on Asian food which were equally delicious. We dined in The Grill most evenings where the food was identical to the Grand Restaurant and waiter served. We were particularly impressed with the Wine choice as being all inclusive often the wine is of a rather poor quality but not in this case, great tasting Riojas, Merlots, Shiraz, Cabernet Savignons and Pinot Grigots to name but a few were offered at lunch, dinner and in the various bars.

Our standard cabin was kept superbly clean by Henry and was of a reasonable size. The bathroom was a really good size with a good jet of water in the shower which had a door and none of the tatty, smelly or mouldy curtains we have got to know and hate on some ships. Bathrobes and slippers were to hand in the large wardrobe. The bed was huge and extremely comfortable. A bowl of fruit was on our table on arrival and replenished regularly.

Excerpts from Musical Shows, an extremely amusing ventriloquist, a classical quartet, several singers who crossed over from opera to musicals and popular music were mostly first class entertainment. Spirit of Discovery's own resident orchestra was superb as were the spin offs from this with their jazz band and music for dancing. The singers and dancers also had some great shows and sometimes it was a difficult choice over where to go and what or who to see. The Cruise Director and her staff were also excellent with just the right amount of input on what was happening each day.

The Lido and Sun Decks were also extremely comfortable and had plenty of room between the sun loungers so that you were able to get on to them easily and without having to crawl up from the bottom and then feel that you were sitting on top of the person next to you.

The included tours did just what they said they would and we had chosen mainly “Snapshot” Tours or “Panoramic Tours” and all were excellent.

Nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff on board. They all greeted you with a smile and a “Good morning,” when walking round the ship. It felt a happy ship. Waiting staff were particularly observant for any passenger having a job walking, carrying a plate and were there to help before one realised it. Bar staff were delightful, fast and even during busy times quick to take orders and make certain you had everything you needed. Some of them remembered your name and what you drank which I found impressive. During quiet times it was interesting to chat to staff about their families and where they had come from.

SAGA also realised that some of the elderly passengers did not have Smart Phones or Computers and were worried about completing the passenger locator forms required for entry back into the UK and these were sorted by Guest Relations so that on the day we left the ship we all took the test in the privacy of our cabin, handed them to our steward and these were sent off by the Ship on arrival at Southampton. Super service. Masks were worn when moving about the ship, on tours and in the Theatre so one felt completely safe. We washed our hands or used the gel on entering the Dining Rooms and staff ensured that this was done. We had two lateral flow tests done during the trip taken by the Medical Staff and again both tests were completely negative for all passengers and crew – what an achievement.

Leaving the ship we were split into small groups and waited in the lounges until we were called. We collected our luggage gave our name and group number to a gentleman with a microphone who called our name and number so that our driver could step forward and identify himself to us. He then took our luggage where we were driven home in style and comfort in a Mercedes.

SAGA may seem to be more expensive than other lines but when you consider what is included and what you get in the inclusive price the value is outstanding – wi fi, gratuities, all beverages, speciality restaurants and some tours. I tried to find fault and couldn't.

I would thoroughly recommend SAGA who have gone to the top of my list of cruise lines – would I sail with them again? You bet, my next cruise is already booked for Christmas 2022 and I can't wait.

Judith Harper

Post Date: 20/05/2022
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Customer Reviews
Carolynn wrote a review in Sep, 2021
Organisation, food, drink, accommodation were all absolutely excellent. Shore excursions were absolute rubbish, not to mention dangerous as it appeared there were two coronavirus scares and several ...
Anne wrote a review in Sep, 2021
A wonderful cruise
Lynne wrote a review in Oct, 2021
Cruising the Baltic - lovely ship faultless service. COVID restrictions hampered the included excursions - no coffee stops/comfort breaks or shopping. Tallinn was excellent, the guides tried hard and...
janet wrote a review in Mar, 2022
Very poor cruise the entertainment was terrible and finished at 11.15 we were in the late bar and the staff were clearing up around us and this was 11.30 we also did not make it to the carrabean due t...

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