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20th January, 2014

Southampton, England

MV Saga Sapphire spent the day alongside in Southampton today. Passengers embarking on this Islands of the Caribbean cruise were welcomed on board and shown to their cabins. Once settled, passengers enjoyed a mouth-watering Afternoon Tea – the perfect way to start the cruise.

I had rejoined the ship after having Christmas and New Year at home. I had also spent a very enjoyable few days on Saga Ruby on her final voyage, meeting up with old friends.

It was good to be back as I like this ship, her size and amenities onboard.

After carrying out the usual Legal formalities between Captain Rentel and myself, I was officially handed over the ships responsibility and Philip went off for a well earned leave.

We commenced our Passenger Safety Drill and briefing, which is a compulsory requirement for every voyage. Shortly after this, Saga Sapphire set sail for Funchal in Madeira a distance of 1324 nautical miles.

Passengers were able to spend a bit more time unpacking and settling in, however it wasn’t long before it was time for the next meal. The Food and Beverage Team welcomed passengers to either our Pole to Pole or Verandah Restaurants for dinner, prepared by our Executive Chef Thierry Cherronet and his team.

After dinner, there was a variety of entertainment for passengers to enjoy. At 9:00pm, Cruise Staff David was Quiz Master in tonight’s general knowledge quiz and at 9:30pm, Cruise Director Jo Boase presented a ‘Welcome Aboard Showtime’. Jo introduced members of the ship’s staff and gave a brief orientation of the ship for those passengers who are new to the Sapphire. There were also performances by The Perfect Mood Duo, Cocktail Pianist Martin Orbidans and The Explosive Production Singers and Dancers – giving a taster of their talents and what is in store for the cruise.

After Showtime many passengers retired to their cabins to get some rest after a very busy embarkation day. We will now spend three days at sea are due to arrive in Funchal on 24th January.

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.