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18th October, 2013


After a fond farewell to our guests and resident Explosive Productions team who disembarked the vessel today after a 6 month contract, there was just enough time to prepare before welcoming a new cast and many new guests. Last night’s entertainment was with Duncan McManus a fantastic vocalist who was a part of Explosive Productions. Singing with the very talented Saga Sapphire orchestra it really was a good way to end the cruise. Up in the drawing room it was the last chance to dance with the Perfect Mood Duo who is much loved by all as they’re extremely versatile in the repertoire they play.

This next cruise is rather a long one being 28 nights, and with plenty of sea days in-between ports it gives everyone the chance to really relax and enjoy the fantastic service my crew and staff give Onboard the Saga Sapphire. With many Britannia club members on once this cruise it feels as though I’m really welcoming back old friends.

We carried out our obligatory Lifeboat drill for our guests then the bombshell was dropped by the port that we could not sail for another hour, as there was a snarl up in marine traffic.

We had to wait for a cruise ship to berth ahead of us and she was utilising the only free tug in the harbour and as the wind was very fresh, we were going to have to wait until it was released.

Things were going very slow and I could see our delay getting more and more, so I asked the pilot if I could try and leave without a tug, utilising a good old fashion piece of seamanship. So using the ropes aft, I pinned the stern against one of the big fenders so as not to scratch the paint, and thrust the bow out using the bowthruster, until there was a decent angle of the ship, then I drove the ship ahead and we cleared the pier nicely!! Always good when a plan works.

As we set sail from Southampton,  everyone in good spirits soon congregated out on the open decks enjoying a glass of bucks fizz or two with the delightful Cruise Team. Many familiar faces decided to join them this afternoon as they toasted to an enjoyable month at sea here on Saga Sapphire.

With many people still new to the Sapphire ship tours were busy as usual with everyone trying to get their baring’s. The first night of entertainment in the main show lounge was with our resident cocktail pianist Martin Orbidans, a witty and extremely talented entertainer it has to be said. Being able to really showcase the talent we have here on-board is absolutely fantastic, I always look forward to watching the shows although it has to be said its generally on the in cabin television. The Perfect Mood Duo serenaded the guests up in the drawing room this evening where a few enjoyed a late night drink.

Once we disembarked our pilot at the Nab tower, we set course to the South West into some very fresh winds.

But with many retiring to bed after a busy day of travelling once again the crew soon started preparing for another exciting cruise we have ahead of us.

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.