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Saga Sapphire Spellbinding Norway 11-18 July trip report

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Saga Sapphire Spellbinding Norway 11-18 July trip report

Hello all

I have not long returned from a week's cruise on the Saga Sapphire's Spellbinding Norway cruise from 11th - 18th July. Rather than write a long report here I have compiled it all as a blog with photos to hopefully make it more interesting. It may need a little bit of extra tweaking here and there, but I think it's basically finished.

Here's the link if anyone is interested in having a wee look.

http://mynorwayholiday.blogspot.co.uk/

Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: Saga Sapphire Spellbinding Norway 11-18 July trip report

I have now uploaded photos of the Saga Sapphire to my Webshots albums which you can view via this link

travel.webshots.com/album/583196574GnDEfZ

Please feel free to have a look (click on photos to make them bigger) and also feel free to look at my albums of other destinations.

Al.
Bristol UK
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2. Re: Saga Sapphire Spellbinding Norway 11-18 July trip report

Hi, I enjoyed your blog. Thank you. I would be grateful for some help if possible.

Can you tell me how formal nights are treated on the Saga Sapphire? We like to dress up but don't want to look OTT in long dress/dinner jacket.

How good are the hairdryers? (I have long thick hair!)

Also, can you take any alcohol on when you board?

We are in our 50s, so will be quite young on a Saga ship I guess.

Any information will be gratefully recieved.

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3. Re: Saga Sapphire Spellbinding Norway 11-18 July trip report

Hi Al

Glad you enjoyed the blog. This was our first Saga cruise and I wasn't sure on the dress code either, but took two long dresses with me, which were just fine. I also took a pair of evening trousers and a few nice tops to go with them. My husband doesn't have a dinner suit, but took a dark lounge suit with him, a dress shirt and bow tie. We certainly were not out of place - it's quite a 'traditional' cruise ship where the dress codes were more or less adhered to (although I expect you didn't have to if you didn't want to). We went to the Captain's cocktail party etc. and thoroughly enjoyed it all.

They had three dress codes - formal where ladies wore cocktail dresses/long dresses and men their suits with ties (or bow ties). Informal where ladies were smart and gents had to wear shirt and jacket but tie not required. Casual where everyone was smart casual and gents wore shirts but no ties or jackets. (Some men however wore ties on all nights).

I found the hairdryer was OK - it wasn't one of those 'wired in' ones which I sometimes find ineffective. It was a proper 'plug in to the socket' hairdryer.

Now, not at all sure about whether or not alcohol is allowed to be taken on board or not, but we did take our own tipples in our luggage (not hand luggage). The hand luggage goes through security scanners on embarkation. We used plastic bottles wrapped in clothes and they got through OK. (But perhaps that was a bit naughty of us!!). Having said that, the alcohol prices on board were pretty good. In fact for example, a bottle of Piesporter wine was £12, and we've paid more than that at a restaurant in the UK. Pint of beer/lager was £2.80. Long cocktails approx £3.90 (the photo I took of the price list is blurred!!). Spirits approx £2.60. The good thing is, unlike some other cruise ships, there are no extra charges or taxes.

I'm in my 50s and hubby in his 60s and we weren't out of place. There was a good range of ages, right up to folks that looked to be in their 80s or more, and I tell you what, some of them were never of the dance floor!!

The staff were brilliant and couldn't do enough for you - and all of them, including the entertainment people, joined in helping with shore excursions etc. Where they get their energy from I don't know, and goodness knows when they sleep as they seem to be on the go 24/7!!

If you are lucky and get Captain Philip Rentell, he is absolutely brilliant!! I could listen to his stories all day!!

Please don't hesitate to ask any further questions and I'll try to help if I can.

Al.
Bristol UK
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4. Re: Saga Sapphire Spellbinding Norway 11-18 July trip report

Hi Marlscat, thank you very much for your prompt and comprehensive response!

Sorry to be a nuisance, but I have a couple more questions for you...

Is there a laundrette on board or do you send laundry out? And, you mention East Meets West and I wondered if it's made clear that access is restricted to one visit per voyage? Is there a cover charge for dining here? (That's three questions, I know!)

Thanks again

Alison

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5. Re: Saga Sapphire Spellbinding Norway 11-18 July trip report

The laundry I'm afraid I can't tell you about as I never went looking to see if there was one. There is a laundry service on board though. I have a photo of the laundry prices - I'll pop that onto my blog so that you can see the prices.

It wasn't advertised that there should only be one visit to East Meets West during our cruise, but I think that was because our cruise was full to capacity and was only for one week. I would expect it to be different for a longer cruise, but you'd need to check that while on board. There is no cover charge for this or any other restaurant, which I thought was great as, on a previous cruise with the Princess line, there were cover charges and all sorts of taxes and service charges on drinks. There was none of that at all on the Saga cruise.

Hope that helps.

Edinburgh, United...
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6. Re: Saga Sapphire Spellbinding Norway 11-18 July trip report

Hello again

That's the laundry list onto my blog on the last page with the information on the cabins etc. As you've probably discovered, if you click on the photos in the blog, that makes the photos bigger so you can see the details better.

Al.
Bristol UK
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7. Re: Saga Sapphire Spellbinding Norway 11-18 July trip report

Thank you very much for the information. At those laundry prices I don't think we will be looking for a launderette! It all seems very reasonable. We are not going until next year so if I think of anything else, I will ask you if I may, as it has been very difficult to get information on this ship.

Edinburgh, United...
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8. Re: Saga Sapphire Spellbinding Norway 11-18 July trip report

By all means please ask me anything you want - you can PM as well if you don't want to post on the forum.

We had a hard time getting information as well because the ship was being refurbished when we booked our cruise, then I know there were quite substantial teething problems once she started sailing again.

This is a link to the Saga Sapphire page - if you let the page load in you'll see a section 'customer reviews' load up just under the deck plan of the ship. There are 19 at present so you may get more information there and also on the page itself. I'm waiting for my review to be published in that section.

…saga.co.uk/holidays/…saga-sapphire.aspx

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9. Re: Saga Sapphire Spellbinding Norway 11-18 July trip report

I found your blog very interesting and reassuring, thank you! We are due to have our first ever cruise on the Sapphire, to the fjords, in just under two weeks and I was a little uneasy because of reviews I'd seen complaining about a sewage-type smell, engine problems and trouble with air con (too cold, non-existent, or rooms like a sauna).

I had also read very positive things about the crew and the food, and finding your blog has really put my mind ar rest! Thank you again, Marlscat.

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10. Re: Saga Sapphire Spellbinding Norway 11-18 July trip report

Hi Lottie

Glad you found the blog useful - I can quite honestly say there were no horrible smells on board anywhere (I had read those reports too and was on the lookout!!). We had no engine problems whatsoever and the cabin was comfortable as far as temperature was concerned.

I hope you have a super time and if you have any questions please just ask and I will try to help.