As a couple of middle aged “Cruise Virgins,” my wife and I wondered if going on a cruise with Saga Cruises would be a wise decision. After experiencing the Baltic Myths and Legends cruise on Saga’s of Discovery, we are hooked on cruising, and are already looking at our next trip, which will be certainly be with Saga. Here’s why:
Over its 15 days the Myths and Legends of the Baltic Cruise took in Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia and Denmark,. The route is pretty much par for the course in the Baltic – Spirit of Discovery, however, is anything but ordinary.
Saga’s new of Discovery, is aimed at 50-somethings (with partners aged 40 years old upwards). Solo travellers are well catered for, with more than 100 cabins designed for single occupancy and priced not to take advantage of the solo traveller. All cruisers can have as much company, or as little, as they want.
Your stateroom or suite
Rooms are akin to a classy, upmarket, smart and luxurious, without being flashy. Everything, from the furnishings through the bed linen to the bathroom towels and toiletries has a feel of real quality.
We had booked a Mid Ship Suite – which offers a separate lounge, walk-in closet, bathroom with bath and separate shower, and a free mini bar, with Butler service.
Single cabins have more than enough room for two people, and the Deluxe Cabin has a walk-in wardrobe, spacious living section and 50 per cent bigger balcony than the Standard Cabin. The feeling of space there eclipses even the Mid Ship Suite because of its open plan design.
On the Spirit of Discovery, every cabin has a balcony with large French windows. We had thought that in the Baltic, in September, these would be little used, but they turned out to be real suntraps and the temperature on the balcony allowed us to be outside in our swimming gear, relaxing in our rattan chairs with a chilled glass of something, even though the actual temperature outside had barely reached double digit degrees C.
Food and drink
I had often heard that cruises were the ultimate food grazer’s paradise and, while it is certainly true Saga has thought its food and drink through carefully to avoid the all-you-can-guzzle mentality.
Dining at the Speciality, unusually, included in the price with Saga and these offer a breadth of choice – Coast to Coast offers seafood menus; East to West, Pan Asian; The Club is a surf ‘n turf and music lover’s hangout, while the Grill Room and Main Dining room both offer the traditional set menu and buffet options). The quality of food is unswervingly excellent in every (we sampled them all) and is well chosen.
It is worth noting that if you are a cheese lover you will be in heaven. Almost it offers a sensational cheese trolley with at least a dozen constantly changing choices (on one night the Main Dining Room had two trolleys side by side with a completely different selection on each).
The lounges offer “out of hours” dining with cakes, open sandwiches, ice creams and fruit available, in addition to drinks and beverages. You can also have room service in your cabin – which is inclusive – so you are never likely to go hungry.