15th May, 2020
It’s a wonderful feeling – that first sight of a gleaming boutique cruise ship with a bright yellow funnel waiting in the port to take you on a new holiday adventure.
Whether you are sailing to the Med, going on a jaunt around the British Isles or crossing the Atlantic to see autumn colours in the US and Canada, your cruise on Saga’s new ships Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure starts as soon as you leave your front door.
A chauffeur-driven car journey from home to the port removes all the usual hassle of carrying luggage, making parking arrangements and worrying about traffic, so you all you have to do is make a last check that you have your up-to-date passport, keys and essential items, lock up and go.
Better still, no-fly cruises remove all anxiety about flights being delayed or cancelled, especially now, with no much uncertainty about how airlines and airports will adapt to new procedures. Just go straight to the ship!
At the cruise terminal cases are taken straight from the car to the cabin. It’s as easy as that.
Friendly and thorough check-in and security teams ensure everyone gets on board quickly and safely. Collect your cruise card at check-in, this opens your cabin door and is swiped every time you get on and off your ship so the captain always knows when everyone is ‘All Aboard’!
The cruise card is kept with a pocket map of the ship so you can easily navigate your way around if you are a first-time guest. Everything is set up to make your cruise stress-free.
Feel the excitement as you walk up the ship’s gangway to be greeted by the crew before stepping into the welcoming atrium. There’s a real wow factor; a unique combination of glamour and homeliness –with sofas and a coffee bar so you can stop for a quick chat and drink or snack. Guests enjoy an all-inclusive experience from the moment they step on board.
Next, simply follow one of the attentive crew who will take you to your pristine balcony cabin or suite.
Sailing from the UK is therefore a completely different experience to fly-cruising because, immediately, there is such a relaxed start to the holiday.
On a ship there are no luggage restrictions; the size of your cabin is about your only limitation, so you can pack for all eventualities and indulge in bringing a few extra heavier items such as cameras, shoes or a choice of evening wear if you like to dress up in the evenings. You can also put in a few extra bags to bring home souvenirs or presents.
It is also a such a satisfying experience to unpack just once but, as if like magic, wake up in a different port almost every day.
On a fly-cruise it is often necessary to stay in a hotel on the night before a sailing to ensure there are no flight delays or cancellations that could mean a rush, or missing, the ship. The flight and hotel can add to the price, as well adding another layer of waiting for cases at the airport carousel, transfers and check-ins – and more unpacking and packing. Likewise, on the return journey there can be lots of ‘hanging around’ time.
Sailing straight from a UK port is therefore simpler and less stressful, it feels like a step back in time to a more leisurely and elegant style of travel.
Arrive in your cabin relaxed and refreshed, with time to sit out on your balcony for a while to savour the moment before unpacking. From Dover, there’s the thrill of seeing the White Cliffs and Dover Castle and from Southampton, watch the sailing yachts in the harbour before passing the Isle of Wight and entering the English Channel.
Then it’s time to explore the ship!
Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure are twin luxury boutique vessels, both carrying a maximum of 999 guests, but they are not identical – the interior design and décor are distinctively different – although the friendly welcome, first-class service and fine dining are very much the same standard.
So, relax and enjoy your cruise in the knowledge that when you sail back to your home port there will be a chauffeur waiting to meet you at the cruise terminal. Pack your cases the night before disembarkation, leave them outside your cabin and in the morning they will be carried to the car. You don’t need to lift a finger, apart from getting your front door key ready.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.
The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.
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