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6th May, 2012


Saga Sapphire and Saga Pearl II in Lisbon

We sailed into Southampton today and were at the pilot station on time, but they asked we stop and wait for 30 minutes as our pilot was late. So we held position off the Nab Tower, at the east end of the Isle of Wight. Once on board we headed up the Channel. Saga Pearl II was ahead of us, having sailed together north from our Lisbon celebrations. We allowed Saga Pearl II to get ahead as she had a full compliment of passengers to disembark.

I said farewell to Captain Philip Rentell, who had joined me for three days for the run up, to familiarise himself with the ship, as he and I will be in command of the 'Sapphire' for the foreseeable future, working back to back. Also I had the opportunity to meet for the first time his lovely wife Helen, who I had heard so many nice stories about. She was delightful.

From around 1pm we eagerly awaited passengers to embark upon the Best of Baltic cruise and bring our lovely ship to life after being so quiet for the sail home to Southampton. As we welcomed so many familiar faces on board there were also quite a few new guests to Saga travelling with us for the first time, many explored the new surroundings whilst others joined us in the Britannia Lounge for an embarkation buffet and afternoon tea. We carried out our obligatory Lifeboat drill before sailing and then made ready to sail.

At around 4pm our passengers could enjoy a glass of bucks fizz out on the Verandah deck with the cruise staff listening to the sounds of our resident duo Perfect Mood as we set sail on our Baltic adventure. For those who still wanted to explore our new ship they could join our cruise staff on a guided ship tour around the main public areas.

To begin this evening’s entertainment guests could join our cocktail pianist Andy Law in Cooper’s bar playing requests until 7pm, alternatively guests could enjoy the sounds of our resident duo Perfect Mood in the Drawing Room.

This evening guests could enjoy their first six course dinner of the cruise in our new Pole to Pole restaurant, compliments of our Executive Chef Thierry Cherronet.

For the first quiz of the cruise guests could join Assistant Cruise Director Kayls in the Drawing Room, as she put their grey matter to the test with this fun general knowledge quiz. Alternatively some could take their partners for a quickstep or foxtrot in the Britannia Lounge with The Sapphire Orchestra and our gentlemen hosts and enjoy some after dinner dancing.

Following dinner tonight in the Britannia Lounge guests could enjoy the Welcome Aboard Variety Showtime many guests joined Cruise Director Jo Boase as she introduced members of the ships staff and presented a brief orientation of the ship with performances by Perfect Mood, Andy Law and the Explosive Production cast as we the continued the evening with music for dancing from The Sapphire Orchestra and our gentlemen hosts.

After Showtime passengers could sample some delicious gourmet bites in the grill or join cocktail pianist Andy Law for a later night drink in Cooper’s to some good music. For those looking for a different flavour guests could enjoy some late night entertainment with the sounds of our resident duo Perfect Mood, as some retired for the evening to enjoy our first sea day tomorrow en route to Skagen, Denmark.

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.