Buon Giorno a tutti,
This week the exterior of the Saga Sapphire has been given her traditional and familiar Saga colours of deep sea blue on the hull. The rest of the ship has been spray painted white, including the windows, which gives the impression from the inside that we are deep in snow. I trust they will be cleaned at some point. The funnel is next in line and, as something new, will have the newly designed Saga logo painted on it. I will include some pictures in the future blogs once she is finished.
By now the restaurant is in pieces to allow for the total refurbishment but this does bring some little problems of where to feed everyone in the meantime. We now have 400 contractors and crew living onboard, plus 250 day workers and this number is due to increase in the coming weeks. Everyone has to adhere to strict mealtime shift hours and the areas we can use have to be cleaned and reset many times throughout the day.
The galley is in full swing with cooking for Filipinos, British and Italians as each nationality needs their own cuisine. The other day we had Mexican Fajitas for a change and chef Marius and his team told me over a thousand went out from the kitchen in just over an hour. They were a little too popular so I don’t think we’ll see those again for a while. Our Indian Chef, Francis, is proving very popular with the British contractors when he has a curry evening. He had a very good reputation with the previous owners so we asked him to join us. He will be our Chef in the East to West Restaurant as his forte is Asian and European cuisine, but he does produce a good ‘ruby’.
The Deck Crews are very busy refurbishing the lifeboats and our dog Sapphira has decided to stay with them, as it is a more relaxed environment than the Hotel Department. Only joking, they are all working very hard!
The Laundry Team of three crew members are amazingly managing to provide us all with clean towels every day and fresh linen twice a week. They also wash and press all our working clothes. In their spare (!) time, they dry clean all the materials which will be used in the passenger cabins.
Housekeeper, Anne Mette, and Ship’s Services Engineer, Richard, have done a great job improving the crew accommodation. Nothing goes to waste on a refurbishment project such as this. Everything that was in the passenger cabins, from the shower hoses, mixers, toilets, sinks, linen and TVs have been relocated to crew areas. The new beds and curtains are going in and we also have to provide new locks and keys for every crew member in their cabin as we have a huge pot of keys that don’t seem to fit anything.
It’s quite nice, actually, uncovering some of the old before the new. Now the Bleu De France signage has been taken down it has revealed some of the original Europa signs in crew and passenger areas. One of them is pointing the way to the ‘Funk Station’, which is German for Radio Room. This must have been a hub of activity during the 80’s and 90’s as this was an integral part of life at sea before the days of satellite communication. It brought back memories of having to run up and down to the Radio Room to place a telephone call or send or receive a fax. How quickly we forget!
We also uncovered a sign for ‘Harry’s Bar’ which will become the Aviators’ Bar with us and was called ‘Café Crème’ on the Bleu De France. We really are peeling back the layers and uncovering the ship’s history since her maiden voyage in 1982.
Today we had a lifeboat drill and when Staff Captain Dion handed me the script I had to start laughing when I saw who is in charge of the Rapid Response Team. It’s none other than Robert Payne! There is an oxymoron if I ever heard one; Uncle Albert and Rapid. By the time he finds the problem we shall be well underway with our Inaugural Cruise - no offence Unc.
Ok, I am off now to see what everyone is up to. Lyn is missing the Sunday papers but as I told her, it’s not my fault she can’t read Italian, it’s still a Sunday paper….
As I go, I find myself singing ‘I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay’. It must be all those checked shirts that Crew Purser, Paula is so fond of wearing. Dry Dock does inspire some interesting fashion ideas.
Alora, abbastanza da me fino al pressimo tempo.