Saga Cruises Spirit of Discovery Cruise Review

Read our first-look review of this elegant new cruise ship

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Saga Cruises Spirit of Discovery Cruise Review

Guest reviewer Claudine Young, Managing Director of Nexus Design & Print Ltd, was invited on a "shakedown" cruise on the new Spirit of Discovery luxury ship from Saga Cruises. Read her first impressions of this new ship...

I was lucky enough to be invited onboard the shakedown cruise the for the Spirit of Discovery. At first glance, she is a big ship – much bigger than her predecessor, Saga Sapphire, but still small enough to offer an intimate experience, carrying fewer than 1,000 passengers.

Having been involved in various on board printing projects for the ship, I was really excited to see completion of the first Saga new build and I wasn’t disappointed. It is jam-packed with stunning art, with many pieces specially commissioned by local artists, with all pieces chosen, to perfectly complement the style of each given space.

The Atrium on Spirit of Discovery

The Atrium on Spirit of Discovery

The Spirit of Discovery is their first boutique cruise ship, which according to the directors, came about after asking their regular cruisers what they would want in an ideal ship. The result is nothing short of staggering! It gives the impression that you are staying in a high-class boutique hotel and is sure to attract the younger 50’s age group whilst still delighting the many frequent Saga cruisers.

The whole experience is one of decadent , elegant luxury, with all furnishings and dressings chosen to co-ordinate with the amazing artwork.

The ship has a light, airy feel, with high ceilings and open plan spaces, making her look larger than she is. One of the selling points is that every cabin has a sea view with its own balcony. That in itself is very impressive but coupled with numerous outdoor sitting and lounging areas, you will never be stuck for somewhere to take in the sun whilst onboard.

The Grand Dining Room on Spirit of Discovery

The Grand Dining Room on Spirit of Discovery

There are five restaurants, including a specialist fish and oriental restaurant, each serving top quality food and numerous bars. The added benefit is that from 2020, all cruises will be all inclusive!

The entertainment is top quality with differing themes to suit all tastes at various venues onboard, so there will always be something to enjoy in the evenings. They have also secured Jools Holland too! They have pushed the boundaries in onboard entertainment with their very own theatre, with all seats having an unrestricted view of the stage. This also transforms into a cinema and a place to hold talks and workshops.

The library is an elegant affair, sporting a chaise-lounge to relax on whilst reading, and several computers are provided for the use of passengers. There is free wi-fi access, a card room and craft room!

The spa offers a huge range of treatments and been fitted with top of the range equipment, including a special hot mineral massage table, a hydrotherapy pool with thermal beds. There is an infrared and traditional Sauna and a steam room. There is also a dedicated Acupuncture room, and with a salon offering hair, nail treatments and waxing, there is certainly something there for everyone.

Pool area on Spirit of Discovery

Pool area on Spirit of Discovery

There is an outdoor swimming and sunbathing area, which has an ice cream bar and a stage which houses entertainment in the evenings. There are ample sunbeds available, with large, plush towels for your use.

There are the usual shops on board as you would expect but they have pushed the boundaries again here, keeping to the boutique theme, with clothing, bespoke jewellery and the services of a private jeweller if you are looking for a personalised piece. There are also fragrances and skincare from top named brands available, and a separate shop selling essentials and snacks.

All in all, I have nothing but praise for this amazing ship and staff who are a credit to Saga. Nothing is too much trouble. They are cheerful, attentive and polite and cannot do enough for you. Would I have gone on a cruise before this experience? Probably not. Would I go on a cruise aboard the Spirit of Discovery? Absolutely! I cannot wait to see their second new ship, Spirit of Adventure, due to be completed in 2020. If it’s anything like its sister ship, it will be a thing of stunning beauty!

Spirit of Discovery, Saga Cruises


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