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2nd December, 2012

Port of Spain, Trinidad

The cloudy and inclement condition we experienced yesterday had disappeared and we awoke to a brilliant sunrise as we headed on an easterly course towards the pilot boarding position. The time was a little after 7.00am when he boarded at the channel entrance leading us into Port of Spain. After passing the container berths I turned the ship around and approached our berth stern first and in ideal weather conditions all was fast by 8.15am.

The good news for those going ashore independently today was that it was only a short walk from the gangway to the passenger terminal. Accordingly there was no need for a shuttle, besides there were plenty of taxis for those wishing to explore the island independently. For some it was sufficient to take a leisurely stroll past the Parliament building or visit one of the number of international hotels nearby all decked out in colourful bunting celebrating Trinidad's 50 years of independence.

On the way out of the terminal, the local authorities put on a wonderful welcome featuring some traditional dances, stilt-walkers and of course the obligatory steel drum band. Also nearby, there was an extensive arts and crafts market to peruse and maybe pick up a souvenir to remember the cruise by.

The first tour to depart the ship, the ‘Asa Wright Nature Centre’ trip, and was ideal for the many environmental enthusiasts sailing with us. This tour took guests to a vast coffee and cocoa estate, which protects an extraordinary array of local wildlife, and is situated deep in the heart of rainforest.

Whilst the next shore excursion to depart from the Britannia lounge, was the more flamboyant ‘City and Culture Show’. This trip included a panoramic tour of the city. If you were after something a little bit more relaxing, we had you covered with a stress free excursion to the ‘Mount St Benedict Monastery’, which culminated with tea and cakes served on the building’s cool balcony.

Most of the crew remained at the passenger terminal where they logged on to the free Wi-Fi and contacted their loved ones back home. You can always tell where the best Wi-Fi is at every port. A few years ago it used to be the most economical telephone service. How times have changed in such a small space of time.

All aboard time was 4.30 pm and shortly afterwards we set sail for Barbados, 95 miles to the east.

With it being a Sunday I led an Interdenominational Evening Service in the Britannia Lounge with our popular Filipino choir singing a short medley of praise songs at the beginning. A full room of passengers very much appreciated the choirs contribution and show of unity, and the members came from every department in the ship.

Later after a another splendid formal dinner, Dana accompanied by her brother Gerry Brown, performed her very last show this cruise. The Irish songstress had the audience mesmerised as she sang a classic selection of the greatest hits from across the decades, whilst briefly re-visiting her chart topping number ones to close her show. We will be sorry to see this lovely Irish lady leave us in a couple of days.

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.