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3rd February, 2014

Bridgetown, Barbados

We had spent 5 days at sea sailing from the Cape Verde Islands towards Barbados. Everyone onboard had fed watered and entertained our passengers on the way across. Yesterday the weather was beautiful so the F&B team put on a wonderful Barbeque on the after deck 9 for our guests, and Jo Boase, Cruise Director and her team laid on the music and Jo did a little bit of singing as well. I was much impressed I have to say!!

Dawn, Hotel Director and Captain Alistair Mclundie
Also the Saga Sapphire Orchestra played so well and when they played some Rock and Roll, I asked Dawn, the Hotel Director, onto the Dance floor as she is a very good dancer. So we had a bit of a jig together and much fun was had by all.

The next morning we viewed the Island of Barbados as the sun rose at 6:30am this morning. For me it is always very satisfying seeing land after many days at sea and you can just imagine what the old seafarers used to feel after much longer to sail the Atlantic. Also it makes you feel as though you have arrived at the Caribbean. On the way across you seem to be in limbo but as we berth, the smell, the sights, the heat all tell you we have arrived!! So berthing was straight forward, it is a very wide open berth and we just sailed straight in and took the prime berth. Nobody else was in today which was amazing as it is such a popular port and with so many cruise ships in the area I was pleasantly surprised. I was also able to berth as near to the terminal as possible so our guests didn’t have far to walk.

We were all docked and made fast at 8:00am this morning  in Bridgetown. Barbados is the eastern most island of the West Indies and lies 100 miles east of the Windward Islands and is 166 square miles in size. The island is a former British colony and it’s capital, Bridgetown, is renowned for its colonial architecture and British style parliament buildings. Passengers were keen to set foot on ‘terra firma’ after five days at sea, crossing the Atlantic.

Harrison’s Cave Experience’
There were plenty of excursions to choose from today and many of our passengers had booked one. The first tour was a lovely ‘Catamaran Turtle Encounter’, taking passengers to a premier snorkelling site, with the opportunity to swim with some Hawksbill turtles. ‘Discover Barbados’ was a panoramic excursion giving a flavour of this beautiful island. Passengers were able to see the Statue of Lord Nelson and the Parliament buildings before heading to the more rural parts of the island past the sugar fields with spectacular views of the rugged East Coast Hills on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. The ‘Hunte’s Garden’ Tour was on offer to those keen horticulturalists. The garden was created by Anthony Hunte and is positioned deep in the centre of the Barbadian rainforest in a sinkhole-like gully. The garden offers a multi-dimensional experience growing vigorously on many levels, ranging from sunny, open spaces, to the mysterious, dark heart of the Caribbean jungle. The ‘Harrison’s Cave Experience’ took passengers to this magnificent natural phenomenon, formed from a particularly beautiful type of crystallized limestone. Passengers boarded an electric tram, which took them down into the cave to see the incredible stalactites and stalagmites, bubbling streams, tumbling cascades, plunging waterfalls and emerald pools.

Bridgetown, Barbados

For passengers who were not on tour, there was the option to wandering into the town to explore the shops, cafés and restaurants, or they could spend some time on one of the surrounding beaches, enjoying the sunshine and a dip in the sea. All aboard time was 5.30pm and shortly after, we set sail for our next port of call. The departure was straight forward as we had all the space in the world to turn. In days gone by if the port was busy, you had to squeeze by the other large ships, but as nothing was in, I just moved the ship astern and turned on the spot inside the harbour, rounded the Breakwater, dropped off the pilot and we sailed further east to Grenada. The perfect Mood Duo was out on deck entertaining passenger with musical accompaniment.

In the Britannia Lounge, this evening’s entertainment was ‘Production Showtime’ with the Explosive Singers and Dancers performing their Show entitled ‘All You Need Is Love’ – A tribute to the music of the legendary Beatles. After the show, the Sapphire Orchestra continued to play music for dancing for those who enjoy a Rumba or Cha Cha and in the Drawing Room, Lily and Zoltan entertained passengers with their late night cabaret set.

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.