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29th December, 2011

Our Christmas is underway...

Our new H20 bar

Hello from a very quiet ship yard as the Italian and English contractors are still enjoying their Christmas break.

Having less people onboard allowed us to enjoy our Christmas and be able to give some of the crew some well-deserved time off. Some of them chose to go into town to get last-minute gifts for a Secret Santa, while others just chose to have a rest before the evening’s festivities.

Keeping with tradition at sea, the officers served the crew and our chefs prepared a sumptuous feast, including the festive favourite of suckling pig. Afterwards we had a party in the crew bar – it was well attended and enjoyed by all.

The crew bar is now complete. It’s painted in a striking ‘Bavarian Blue’ and furnished with unwanted, but comfortable and functional, furniture from various public areas. Upon completion, it was named H2O and we believe it will become the envy of the fleet. Many thanks to Markus and his team for their hard work.

Officers served the crew

Sticking with tradition, we thought we’d celebrate Christmas Day on the December 25. There were several turkeys onboard; most were enjoying a pre-luncheon drink in the Captain’s quarters (Thanks to Rob Payne for that one). However, the one they chose to cook was the size of an Ostrich and our chefs did a superb job in managing to provide a very tasty plate of moist turkey with all the trimmings - and we even had crispy roast potatoes. Apologies to any of you who had to suffer under cooked potatoes and over cooked sprouts.

Although we were fed to bursting, some of us did manage to attend the mass we arranged with a local Catholic priest. Unfortunately he was a bit busy on Christmas Eve, but it didn’t seem to matter that the service was delayed until Christmas afternoon. He brought with him a 50-person choir, mainly Filipino, but some Mauritians, South American and Italians too. Their voices were quite beautiful. Afterwards they mingled with our crew, many of whom are new to Saga and indeed to sea life, so their company and giving of their time was much appreciated.

Our Christmas onboard

Whilst the contractors are away, we are doing our own ‘60-minute makeovers’. Nothing is thrown away in refit and unwanted tables and scraps of wallpaper are used again ‘back of house’. Today we demolished and transformed what will be the Chief Purser’s office, and our waiters can now add wallpapering skills and joinery to their CVs.

We also had a timely delivery of mattresses to the ship today. 142 mattresses were unloaded and brought up the gangway in 15 minutes. They were driven all the way from the UK by a Lithuainian driver in a German registered container, unloaded by Filipinos and brought onto a French ship in an Italian dockyard - that must be hard to beat.

Anyway, whilst the holidays continue we will go on with our own work in the spirit of ‘Quando il gatto non ć è, i topi ballano’ and do what we can, bearing in mind ‘Meglio un uovo oggi che una gallina domani’.


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.