QE2 Story Forum

Non-QE2 Area => Ships => Saga Ruby => Topic started by: pete cain on Oct 23, 2011, 07:45 PM

Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 23, 2011, 07:45 PM
Sailed on 'Wet nose 'Vikki, 12 months ago to the date, & have posted a few disparaging posts on the forum about Carnivor, & since said cruise have not had a single contact from CUNARD or whoever about, my 'World Club' status ; anybody got suggestions ,(please don't post cos I couldn't give a damm) Have since found SAGA ROSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Oct 23, 2011, 09:25 PM
Tell us more, Pete! I think you mean Saga Ruby, still sailing the ocean blue.

I loved her as Caronia; a beautiful ship like a mini-QE2, and great service on board.

How is she under Saga? I have seen some pictures and notede the changed decor, but the public spaces looked pretty much intact.

There was talk that the cabins would be made smaller by Saga (our reaction was, how could this be possible?). Looking forward to a review and some pictures if you have any. Very tempted to take the same route myself...
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 24, 2011, 05:36 PM
Dear Isabelle, Yes I did mean Saga Ruby, got all het up & ended up with a typo (nothing unususl there eh) .
          Anyway , it's unbelievable how you mention Ruby being a mini QE2,I took quite a few pictures whilst onboard, with that
           same intention of a comparison to QE2. Am currently working on said project with Bobso, he's so kind & doing all the techie
          stuff, it might take a bit of time liasing & etc, but we will get there!. 
         Ruby is quite magnificent to behold, I didn't think I'd be so taken with a ship as I was QE2, but there you have it,yes they are
           looking after her really well,yes the cabin we had was a wee bit small (say for a world cruise , if your lucky enough), but for a weeks sampler to the fijords, it was fine.  The food excellent, the clientele would not be out of place on QE2. The hotel staff were very attentive to the needs of elder passengers especially moreso crossing the North Sea in a force 8 .The acid test is would I return, the simple answer is yes absolutely,whilst she's still around to be enjoyed; whereas would I return  to Carnival, a resounding NO.Could go on  but we'll return to this topic soon . Pete...
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: Twynkle on Oct 24, 2011, 06:30 PM
Hi Pete!
Good to see you around these parts!

Here are a couple of sets of thumbnail pics to remind you of your time onboard the wonderful Saga Ruby
Hope you are able to see them - if not, then go to the search window of flickr.com
and put in Saga Ruby, and lots will appear!
All the very best to you :)
Rosie

Interiors
https://www.flickr.com/photos/watch_keeper/sets/72157620413494802/with/3654781897/
Exterior
https://www.flickr.com/photos/watch_keeper/sets/72157620278727957/
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 30, 2011, 12:52 PM
Ruby a study in teak
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 30, 2011, 01:09 PM
   Recently my wife & I had the priveledge of sailing with Saga Ruby, whilst on a taster cruise; I had my one & only 'Road to
   Damascus ' moment in life & deceided that I had discovered the great similarities between QE2 & Ruby, (should've remembered
   this string , in which I've posted in the past).Took a few snaps to prove my theory, enlisted the generous help of Bobso, who
   resized them for me to post.
   
   I've already posted my 1st as a test ,  A study in Teak, the first thing you notice upon boarding are the ample wooden decks,
   shiny wooden handrails, & wide open prommenade decks on which you can do a full uninterupted circuit , including her 'bit under
   the bridge'.


 
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 30, 2011, 01:38 PM
 Ruby has a very generous, Aft end, with an abundance of tables & etc spread over 2 decks, just the thing when looking aft,
 doing about 20Knts, feeling the pulsating props under you feet, & remembering doing the same on QE2. Upon turning round &
 looking forward, you cannot help but notice the tiered flights of stairs so reminescent of QE2's layout.

 As has been said, by previous people Ruby strikes you as Mini sized QE2 , actually by about a 1/3 apparently, this  could leave the
 viewer a certain 'cluttered appearance' impression, in my opinion she's the real meaning of 'Bijou'.

 As on QE2 , & I suppose because it is a failsafe deck arrangement, & has been adopted on many ships , you come straight out of
 the cosy Lido onto the open after deck.
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 30, 2011, 02:19 PM
  Possibly, the last, or at least one of the few remaining viewable working areas at sea today, it's an absolute pleasure to stand,
  leaning on the rail & watch the deck party strut their stuff, when entering or leaving port, (just got to be there even in the rain ,
  because this sort of thing isn't going to be around to see for that much longer    Fact). You cannot get more of a comparrison
 with QE2 than this ,in my opinion.
 
  One final & very important similarity here is Ruby's voice, she has a two tone horn ,but most she has the most sound alike baritone
  to QE2, & it took me by complete surprise , whilst leaning on the rail looking forward, leaving port, she sounded that horn, the
  unexpected reverbrations through your ribs & that sound, were quite unnerving, I never ever thought I'd experience that again.

   Once again in comparrison to QE2 her deck area could be viewed as cramped, but it all works beautifully,she also has a working
   thruster system, so although we sometimes had Tug pressence, none was required , untill arriving back in Dover.
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 30, 2011, 02:24 PM
  Ruby can lay claim to a few beauty spots just like QE2,although nowhere near as many because she has a steel upper deck, as 
  opposed to the Aluminium on QE2, she wears them well .
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 30, 2011, 02:38 PM
  Ruby, has an abundance of 'golf ball' type lighting fittings around the open deck, a distinct similarity to those fitted onboard QE2,
  alright just about every cruise ship has these sort of fittings but,  QE2 & Ruby are contempories these  might even have been
  supplied by the same manufacturer?. Anyway walking those Teak decks at night, after dinner & with those lights  all around you
  then, well you know the rest..............

   A comparrison shot with QE2's lights, was trying to be all arty farty here with the moon.
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 30, 2011, 02:50 PM
  Nobody but nobody can dispute the absolute , & beautifull lines that Ruby posses, a gracefull sheer, the almost central positioning
  of the funnel, the beautifully rounded stern,  all of these can be compared directly  with QE2, (only as said previously on a much
  smaller scale).
   
  On both ships  it's a known fact that these things were designed for sea keeping qualities & etc, but they are a feast to the eye.
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 30, 2011, 03:02 PM
  The last of external shots hoping to prove the well documented theory.
 
 
   Ruby alonside in Flamm,

  light reflected on QE2's stbd side in Lisbon 2008,
 
  the same (fluke shot) of Ruby in Flamm, how alike is that? a wee bit tenuous to promote an argument, but worth a try.
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 30, 2011, 04:20 PM
  Ruby like the QE2 posses light & airy public spaces, with picture windows, & being full ship width, these rooms give splendid ocean views. These modern cruise ships don't seem so well bestowed . However Ruby doesn't possess the beautiful indoor prommenades
as does QE2, bit of a shame because she's wide enough to've taken them.

   The Ball Room could pass for the Queens Room on QE2, both rooms serve the same functions,  with dancing, afternoon teas, assembly points for equally well organised tours & etc. Without of course on Ruby those fibreglass pillars!.   On Ruby the Ballroom spills naturally into the Lido behind , & at busy times
of breakfast & lunch (when many people don't seem to want to eat in the formal Dining Room) the rearmost tables are set for the inevetable overspill, a good use of space & most certainly a quieter experience than sitting in the Lido.

  The Dining Room, situated below the Ball room & more or less the same size, has the same fantastic open sea views giving it a lovely feel & on light evenings certainly enhances the dining experience,the room however is a little stretched when all passengers are seated  for dinner at more or less the same time. However service to the table is enhanced by the use of 2 escalators sited in the centre of the room , these go directly to the kitchens &are discreetly hidden by panneling, didn't see it untill 3 days in & walking past.

 Only got a small point & shoot camera so am sorry 1 sided view only but gives you the feel of it I hope.
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 30, 2011, 04:43 PM
 Ruby has a small intimate bar on port side, named The South Cape Bar somewhat forward of the Ballroom, the feel if not the decor of this space mirrors the Chart Room onboard QE2, situated behind the bar on the lefthand side is a well anchored baby grand, it was lovely going in there before dinner listening to the music , eating a few provided nibbles, & having  a nice glass of something.

   Directly forward of The South Cape bar is Rubys ace card, a full 180 degree lounge with of course splendid ocean views,
  something QE2 did have, but unfortunately taken from her.These two rooms naturally spill into each other , so if the South
  Cape Bar is Full you can still enjoy the music filtering through if seated in the Lounge, the Lounge has a small dance floor
  & sometimes a trio would perform in there as an alternative.

  Directly behind the Lounge is the cinema, another Bijou feature on Ruby, brilliant,no noise in the lounge from the cinema
  so obviously really well soundproofed, to the right (stbd)of the cinema & directly opposite the South Cape bar , is the Library
  all previously mentioned rooms with lovely big windows & beautifully decorated.
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 30, 2011, 04:54 PM
  One final piece of comparrison,is the wooden veneers used on both ships,very similar, & once again giving you that familiar feel,
  when walking about.
    Stair case on Ruby
    Staircase on QE2
    Ruby when Caronia, alright she's had her middle age 'Blue rinse', but that blue hull is really quite fetching,
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 30, 2011, 05:20 PM
So to summarise,Ruby is most definately not QE2, she was built for a different purpose,but fulfilling it magnificently as we speak,
  but if you want more than a little of the atmosphere of QE2 then this is the  one for me at least,Ruby is her own person (
 so as to speak ) so it does her injustice to go for a direct comparrison, other than the 'feel' of it, & the reawakening of pleasures one thought would never experience again.

  Don't get me wrong here Ruby is an ageing ship, she creaks in a force 8, (just like QE2), we were awakened at 4-30 am one morning with the announcement '' Victoria'' in the galley, I believe for a flood on QE2 they used Niagra, to muster the crew so even more similarities there.

   Solas might take her away from us just like her sister Rose, talking to a member of the crew it was sub divisions of fireproofing that did for her, perhaps retro regulations  will do for Ruby, talk of 2015 was the end game for her anyway, I earnestly hope not mr SAGA

  Our 1st cruise was on board DISCOVERY (ex Island Princess  aka Love Boat ), we still get flyers from her owners , &  at the end of 2012 she's having a major  refit , so I hope if it's good enough for All Leisure Holidays to invest, I hope Saga get the calculators out, her (ruby) loyal customers deserve it.

 We plan another visit on Ruby for 2013  'just one more time to experience it before it's gone' perhaps.


              In closing , could I thank Bobso , without whose help in re-sizing these images & his most valuable info, to Isabelle, & Lynda for the crutches  provided to do this ( for a spanner man I was well out'o'me depth) Thankyou all Pete....
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Oct 30, 2011, 07:46 PM
Pete, thank you for this excellent report and comparison! You confirm what I have always thought about the ship that I still think of as the Caronia (and when we were on board, many of the passengers still thought of her as the Vistafjord...).

It looks like the public spaces have all remained unchanged in layout if not in decor since her Caronia days. I have very fond memories of the Garden Lounge with its forward facing views and immediate access to the open decks -- that was a splendid room which QE2 in her later years could not match with anything of her own. I also liked that large restaurant with its single seating meal service for the whole ship -- all grades of cabins combined being offered the same menu and the same service.

You have not shown any cabins -- I believe these may be the only features altered since she changed hands.

And yes... I am coming round to the view that I shall -- nay must -- give her a try in her new capacity as a Saga ship.

Thank you for all your efforts, Pete -- you set yourself an ambitious target and achieved it so easily!
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: Twynkle on Oct 30, 2011, 09:49 PM
Thank you from me too, Pete
It's a great report - you've really shown us Saga Ruby at her best.
Can just imagine you leaning against her railings - and sea watching.
Exactly as we could on QE2.
What you wrote sounds as if she's left you with very happy memories - Hope so!
Lots of good wishes to you and Mrs Pete.
Rosie


Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: Rod on Oct 30, 2011, 10:25 PM
I was lucky enough to travel on the Sagafjiord with my wife and her parents for a 3 day cruise to nowhere. Had a great time. Well run, great staff great food.
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: bobso on Oct 31, 2011, 04:19 AM
That is a great story Pete--well done!! As isabelle said--if you have any pictures of cabins--it would be nice to see them.
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Oct 31, 2011, 08:04 AM
Do you all think she deserves a dedicated section here like we have already for Waverley and Rotterdam?
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Oct 31, 2011, 08:13 AM
Yes please, Rob! Pete's excellent pictures and review could then have their own thread.

It is quite possible that those of us who enjoy being over 50 will more and more look to Saga Ruby to bring back the fond memories of QE2. And I for one will be happy if those of us over 40 join us! We don't have many occasions in life any more when we can act as chaperones   ;D .
Title: Re: Saga Ruby (ex Caronia & Vistafjord)
Post by: Twynkle on Oct 31, 2011, 09:04 AM
Hi Pete and Isabelle,

Hope it's alright with you for me to post this here
This was the inside cabin and shower etc and the Lounge ready for Tea!
I fortunately was able to pay the single person's rate for a double cabin.

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3624/3654547361_8e56c1514e_m.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/watch_keeper/3654547361/)


(http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6116/6299096192_14dce4761d_m.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/watch_keeper/6299096192/)

(http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6107/6299096176_d7218e63c3_m.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/watch_keeper/6299096176/)

(http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6036/6299096216_656066eda9_m.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/watch_keeper/6299096216/)

(http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6057/6299096242_608298e130_m.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/watch_keeper/6299096242/)
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Oct 31, 2011, 09:08 AM
Fantastic report of the Saga Ruby Pete.  I enjoyed reading about the comparisons to QE2 which were supported by the photos you posted.  I have never sailed on this ship but after reading your report I should consider a cruise. 
Title: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 31, 2011, 02:36 PM
Dear Isabelle, & bob, I didn't take any pictures of cabin(s), unfortunately we & our immediate neighbours had problems with a very VERY noisy hydraulic pump which was situated directly beneath our cabins, apparently this pump controlled the water tight doors in that area of the ship.
   Both ourselves & neighbours had formed the opinion quite independantly , that this might quieten down after leaving port(s).
Unfortunately it didn't,we went to the pursers desk & at the very same time our 'unknown to us' neighbours were there with the same complaint.

   Can I say here, we regarded this as a taster trip so,didn't mind booking an inside (well appointed & spacious cabin for the weeks duration).However this noise was something else & I'm sorry to say we were prepared to get off at Bergen & fly home, however this
didn't happen, because although the ship was full to capacity, the hotel staff found both our neighbour & ourselves  alternative accomodation.
 
  Before dinner we had re packed our cases & etc & left them in the cabin, after dinner we reported to the pursers desk & were shown  to an alternative cabin, where our cases had been delivered , this not normally for passenger use (for entertainers on Ruby), hovever the shower was unusable (we were warned beforehand & agreed to this arrangement)
because there had been a leak & the maintenance team were going to be re-tiling, therefore we slept in that cabin vacating it during the day , so they could work & we showered in the previously allocated cabin for 3 days untill work was completed.

 Ruby's staff could nt've been more helpful, we arrived back one evening to a very nice complementary bottle of wine & letter with £100 each credit, (we didn't claim this because we are not serial complainers, & felt a bit embarrased, because we should have done our homework more thoroughly).

  Somewhere on the web, we found on our return home a site maybe even somewhere on Sagas own, a list of noises to be expected in cabins around the ship, e/g stabaliser noises , anchor machine noises & so on, havn't been able to find it since .

 This didn' t spoil our experience one jot!, after all QE2 wasn't without her problems was she the older she got, (there you are another simillarity).I firmly believe that all these boats are worked to the limits of capacity nowadays , to earn their keep, the costs of keeping them employed with all the hidden  extras must be eye watering.

 In the meantime we looked at this site before our trip & can confirm this is how it is & there are som cabinshots


     http://www.shipparade.com/cruise_ship_reviews/Saga_Cruises/Saga_Ruby/Saga_Ruby.htm, clicl on image for bigger view, as ever sorry if this has been posted before, it it worth a second look.

  Plese don't let our little inconvenience change your mind about Ruby, it hasn't ours, we're going back in 2013 (one more time)
 just a case of really doing your homework. Rob, it would be nice for her to have her own place, she is the last & long may she sail.....
Title: Re: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: pete cain on Oct 31, 2011, 04:19 PM
Just been told by venerable wife , that cabinnoises & etc are/ were available if one is booking on-line, we missed that one, like we all know information is everything, Rosie nice pics .. pete..........
Title: Re: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Oct 31, 2011, 05:19 PM

http://www.shipparade.com/cruise_ship_reviews/Saga_Cruises/Saga_Ruby/Saga_Ruby.htm,


That is an excellent site, Pete. Very good all-round pictures of the ship, and copious explanations too.

Yes, more and more I am looking forward to re-acquainting myself with her.

I am glad that you had such good experiences with the helpfulness of the crew too. My own memories of noise were of a bit of engine noise, particularly when she slowed down to pick up the pilot or drop him off again. I enjoyed dozing on my bed and yet having an idea of what the ship was doing :)
Title: Re: Pete Cain's review and comparison of Saga Ruby with QE2
Post by: Mauretania1907 on Feb 19, 2012, 01:19 AM
Ah, Saga Ruby is even now approaching Auckland as I type (Thanks for link to her Captain's blog too, it's really interesting) O, if I only had some spare shekels. I knew her as Vistafjord, she came here quite often on her world voyages. I saw Saga Rose last year when she came to Auckland and will definitely go to blow a kiss at Ruby this Tuesday. She looks so lovely from your pics, so thanks for them. I think she should definitely be suggested as a possible cruise - and if you're under fifty, try to get an older friend to be your 'chaperone' -0 and you might try telling Saga that we are all ship lovers and more likely to enjoy the ship, rather than be an annoyance.
Note: I have just received a copy of Berlitz cruise guide for 2012 and his description of the mega-ships don't enthrall me at all, all booze, gambling and noise - roll on the ships like Ruby. Long might they last - and if someone has the good idea of building new ships on the premise that smaller might be better, I might give them a try. Meanwhile I see some mega ships have a (pay extra) adults only quiet area.