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22nd January, 2012

Our new gem is becoming one expensive lady...

One propeller taken off

Hello again from a windy Palermo,

Last week flew by quickly with lots of progress in all areas, including the Engine Room, which is a very important part of the ship. A hole was cut into the ship’s side to remove the old generator and to make way for the new one which has already arrived and is sitting on the quayside.

I was chatting to Chief Engineer Len and also Captain McLundie, who graced us with a speedy visit, (typical of the old peculiar, he saw what we are up against and left quickly). Joking aside, both of them helped me understand what’s involved in undertaking such a huge engineering task.

The process for the new generator began early last year when the engineers inspected the old generator and made the decision that it needed to be replaced. The new generator was built in Amsterdam and inspected by our Technical Director with the whole process monitored by Len. It was then shipped from Amsterdam to Naples and hauled by road to Palermo. During this process the old one was stripped and will now remain in the yard as a souvenir.

Len and Al

In the hotel area, the newly built balcony suites on Deck 10 are shaping up nicely and it is full steam ahead in many of the public areas. On Deck 11, foundations are being laid for the Drawing Room. This will be a very comfortable and multifunctional space. We’ll be installing a help yourself larder in here, stocked with home made treats to help sustain you whilst you enjoy a book or the ever changing views. Alternatively, you can use your own laptop in here or borrow an iPad to use the ship’s WiFi connection, which I know lots of you are looking forward to.

On Deck 9, the galley for the Grill and East to West Restaurant is being erected and although it’s only a shell of steel at the moment I can already see that the space will work really well for us with the food we intend to offer from there. I am really looking forward to seeing the show kitchen for the Grill come to life and I know our chefs are too.

On Deck 7, in the Pole to Pole Restaurant, work is in full swing with all chairs being re-upholstered, new lighting installed and much more. We are feeding the contractors at the same time as the work is going on in this area, which means that we have a bit of a logistical challenge in managing that. However, Mark, Solomon and their team are up for the task, no problem there and I encourage them with my occasional Austrian managerial style, no not yodeling, the other one.

The funnel ready for its new design

The ship really is being worked on from top to bottom. The funnel is encased in scaffolding, ready to receive its new Saga colours and down at the very bottom the propellers are being taken off for some intensive cleaning. This is becoming one very expensive lady, but will be worth every penny when she is up and running.

Finally, before I leave you and go back to work, I would like you all to know that one special passenger who allows me to call him Granddad has finally sent me some Christmas money after reading my previous blog. I don’t think the pesos would go down well here but it’s the thought that counts, so molti ringraziamenti to him.

The film team will be here again soon to capture some more of the transformations as they take shape, so I look forward to being able to bring those to you over the coming weeks.

In the meantime, thanks for reading.

Salute e Felicità,

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.