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7th February, 2013

Castries, St Lucia

The AIDA Luna

We arrived as usual boarding the pilot at sunrise and proceeded to enter the natural harbour of Castries. Just before we reached the berth, Saga Sapphire turned to starboard to swing through 180 degrees using the bow thruster and engines to conduct the manoeuvre in the confined waters. Moving astern and using the bow thruster almost like a rudder the ship was brought alongside our allotted berth ready for another fine day in the Caribbean.

The AIDA Luna followed us inward to berth opposite on the other side of the harbour. The Captain of the AIDA Luna was Dirk Albrecht, whom I’d sailed with when he was Staff Captain a couple of years ago on Saga Ruby. Dirk was also technically Saga Rose’s last Captain, as he had had the sad task of taking her to the Far East to be decommissioned.

The Captain and cruise staff

I invited Dirk across for lunch and to have a tour around Saga Sapphire to see the latest addition to the Saga Fleet. After the tour around we chatted about the differences that our jobs entailed including the fact that AIDA Captains have minimum exposure to passengers, no tables or social events other than a welcome party and though the product is very different it was an area that he missed when he looked back on his time with Saga.

Saga Sapphire gave three long blasts on the ships whistle when the AIDA Luna set sail at 5pm, whilst we still had plenty of time alongside in port, not due to leave until 2300.
Meanwhile Members from St. Lucia’s Dunnotar School came on board to provide a musical accompaniment during afternoon tea to the delight of our passengers.

Alongside Saga Sapphire

Whilst the ship was being prepared to sail, the Cruise Department continued the entertainment out on deck with a “Pirates of the Caribbean” themed deck party that continued long after we’d let go our lines and headed out to sea once more.

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.