Hello everybody, it’s me again, returned from a very enjoyable leave and Christmas with my wife Jenny and son Scott.
I flew out to Barbados yesterday and the airline lost my bags!!. However the journey was a little less stressful from when I got off Saga pearl II in Casablanca on 23rd December. The time when we had all the bad snow in the UK. Flew to Charles De Gaulle airport, my plane was delayed so missed the connection in CDG, all flights were then subsequently cancelled so had to spend the night in the airport.
To be fair, Saga did wonders and made arrangements to put me in a Hotel but as my Airline had arranged a flight a few hours later, I took the option, to “Camp” out in the terminal. It was like being a kid again. They gave us Foam mattresses, Blankets, food, water and toiletries so I have to say it was quite exciting. Luckily I had company as Sam, one of our entertainers, was travelling home as well.
The snow really was bad and one of the roofs of the terminal collapsed with the weight of it but luckily not ours.
Anyway Ginette, our Britannia Club executive, happened to be our duty officer that night and I had to call her at 3:00am to rearrange my plans as everything was closed. And she did a superb job. And like the miracle of Christmas, she managed to get us home on the 24th, despite all the odds, and I am eternally grateful as I was able to share my sons first Christmas.
So this was a nice contrast, flying into 29 degrees, and I eventually found my bags!
I was on the quayside as the ship was docking and it is always enjoyable coming back onboard seeing all your colleagues again. David Warden and I handed over, as we both know the ship, it is straight forward and soon I had my feet under the table.
Today our shore excursions team organised two tours for our full day stop in Bridgetown, Barbados. The first being Harrison’s Cave. This fantastic 2 ½ hour excursion took our passengers to this magnificent natural phenomenon, which is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking and spectacular natural attractions in the entire Caribbean.
Created over hundreds of thousands of years, the cave has only been accessible to the public for 15 years. After descending onto the valley floor our passengers were then shown a short video on the formation of Barbados. On boarding the electric tram the tour then continues further into the cave whilst the guide is giving a running commentary of the history.
Viewing the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, bubbling streams, tumbling cascades, plunging waterfalls and the emerald pools through this mile long cave, this excursion was simply a treat for the eyes!
Our second excursion today was a Sugar Trail tour. Beginning with a scenic drive to the North of the island, the tour took a visit St Nicolas Abbey, a 1660 historical landmark which was never actually an Abbey, but a sugar plantation.
After a guided tour and a film show in the stables to show exactly how the plantation was run in the 1930’s, the tour then continued on to Cherry Tree Hill to reveal some of the original machinery. En route to the ship the excursion headed to the fishing village of Bathsheba. Again this 3 ¾ hour tour gave a great insight into more of what this beautiful island offers.
This evening we were thrilled to be able to arrange for a local Steel Band to come onboard and play for our passengers. Starting at 8:30pm we set up the Band outside on our Boat Deck and had the pleasure of listening to their fantastic talents for just over an hour.
After we said goodbye to the Steel Band, we slipped away in the dark, quiet night of Barbados, the silence only broken by our resident cricket ,who joined us somewhere in the Amazon, sounding off somewhere on the starboard bridge wing.
The humidity and the sound of a cricket really sets the scene to make you feel that you are in the tropics. Our resident New Final Duo continued playing on the outside deck for our passengers to dance the night away as we set sail for our next port of call, St George’s, Grenada.