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Review: Saga Pearl II

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

Christmas and New Year to the Canary Islands

  • By SilverTraveller Paul-Gray

    5 reviews

  • 2010
  • On your own
  • Regular holiday
  • Outside

139 people found this review helpful

A cruise over Christmas and New Year to the Canary Isles via Spain, and North Africa; and return via Madeira, on board Saga Pearl II.

Saga Pearl II is completing its first cruising season with Saga. The style and life on board is much the same as that on Saga Rose and (I assume, since I have not cruised on her) Saga Ruby. The only significant difference is that there is no set seating for dinner, much the same as on Spirit of Adventure (also Saga’s) and Swan Hellenic cruise ships.The ship is comforable with two dining rooms, and good food, about 3 or 4 star. This being a Christmas cruise the passengers were that much older than Saga average, probably early 80s.

We were lucky with the seas: mostly a reasonably easy swell; and our one night of storm force 10 was when we were all safely in bed; although I was woken up several times, and most things on shelves in my cabin , including my water jug, ended up on the floor.

Saga passengers like after dinner floor shows (I don’t). We were however lucky to have a very talented and attractive group of young dancers and singers, who worked hard to give us several good evening shows.

On the way out we called in to Villagarcia (NW Spain) for Santiago de Compostela; Cadiz for Seville; Ceuta; Casablanca for Rabat, and Humphrey Bogart; and Agadir for the German gunboat Panther and the crisis of 1911. Then one day at sea for Christmas Day and the usual celebrations; including Christmas LUNCH in Dinner Jackets!

Around the Canary Isles we called in to Las Palmas, Arricife, Santa Cruz and San Sebastian; one day for each place. On our way back to Southampton we called in to Funchal, Madeira, for the midnight (New Year) firework display, which although I had seen three times before, was still a magnificant sight. The best place to view the display is several hundred metres off shore ,and our Captain manoevered the ship to keep the quarter deck always facing the shore, so we all had a grand view, including a barge with fireworks less than 100 metres away! There was a piper, dancing, and even more food in the form of a midnight buffet.

This was my 7th cruise with Saga, four on Saga Rose, and two on Spirit of Adventure. (and 19 with Swan Hellenic). I have always had an enjoyable time. Many Saga passengers are not one’s choice of travelling companions,— when you are just thinking of cocktails, they are queuing up to get into evening meal at 1830. However there are some very nice and interesting people on board and you will find them fairly soon on your journey.

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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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