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Dublin

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

11th June, 2014

Last cruise ended with a relaxing day and sunny calm afternoon at sea. After breakfast the sea day routine started with lecturers, instructors, cruise staff etc. organising and hosting presentations and activities to entertain and occupy those passengers who wished to participate. Other passengers just enjoyed a quiet time and did a bit of light packing and enjoyed the other things that were on offer like the wonderful meals, the afternoon tea, the cosy bars and the ever popular Drawing Room. This was a very special Sunday. As we were in port on 6th June, the date of the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings, we were only able to do an early communion service on that day. For this reason we had planned a Memorial service for this Sunday. It was a very moving experience with a big congregation, two reverends to help me with the readings, nice hymns and the ramrod presence of our two Master at Arms standing on each side of the Chaplet of poppies, which during the last post they marched to the aft deck to cast into the sea. The evening started the Farewell Cocktail Party in the Britannia Lounge, during which I was happy to hear that a lot of passengers had thoroughly enjoyed their cruise. This was followed by dinner. After dinner the Britannia Lounge hosted music for dancing followed by a performance of Explosive Productions presenting their show “Come On Over To My Place”, a tribute to the iconic music of the Drifters. This was followed by music for listening and dancing with The You and Me Duo in the Drawing Room and Late Night Musical melodies with Lloyd Hulme at the piano in the Cooper’s Bar.

The next day we arrived at the Dover pilot station at 8:00am and were moored at 9:00am after sailing along the magical white cliffs. Once alongside we went into the routine of preparing the cabins and ship in general for the next cruise, Charms of the Emerald Isle, bid the disembarking passengers a bon farewell, provisioned the ship with food, drink, dry provisions, fuel, water, welcomed the new passengers on board, took the new passengers through their safety instructions and were ready to depart at 4:00pm. During all these activities taking place the ship’s management was kept very busy with meetings and accompanying contractors and inspectors from different companies and authorities. Shortly after the passenger safety instruction, at 4:30pm, the pilot was on board, the tug boat was in position, the linesmen on the berth and the ship ready to sail. Bang on schedule the ship left the berth and the port. Outside the port we disembarked the pilot and set sail for our first port of call Dublin.

The day at sea gave the passengers a chance to rest from their embarkation day, to get to know their way around the ship and in general make themselves at home. After breakfast the sea day routine started with lecturers, instructors, cruise staff etc. organising and hosting presentations and activities to entertain and occupy those passengers who wished to participate.

The evening started with the Welcome Cocktail Party, during which I had the opportunity to meet a lot of our passengers and during my little speech the chance to introduce some of my senior staff. This was followed by a formal dinner. After dinner the Britannia Lounge hosted music for dancing followed by the amazing Harry The Piano, who has the spellbinding and uncanny ability to play any tune in any style. This was followed by music for listening and dancing with the Perfect Mood Duo and a performance by the Explosive vocalists Natalie Pilkington and Maxine Barton in the Drawing Room and Late Night Musical melodies with Lloyd Hulme at the piano in the Cooper’s Bar.

Dublin

This morning we arrived at 6.30 am at the Dublin pilot station. After sailing up river we were berthed at 8:00am, striking distance from the city centre. Dublin, Ireland’s most bustling city, has been transformed in recent history from a provincial capital to a cosmopolitan metropolis. With an abundance of Galleries, art house cinemas, elegant shops and restaurants.

Soon after arrival the ship was cleared for passengers to go ashore. Today’s tours were: The two town tours were Panoramic tour of Dublin and Dublin and the Liffey. These took one around this interesting town and offered a little taste of the towns life, history, sights and the black nectar. The other tours were Malahide castle and gardens and Countryside drive and Glendalough., which were all very well received.

For the passengers who wanted to discover the town independently could do this on foot or use the shuttle bus provided. On the same berth as us was the four masts Top Sail Schooner Juan Sebastian de Elcano, which could be visited during the morning and the afternoon.

For those passengers on board the cruise staff had organised and hosted different activities and the surroundings offered spectacular views.

All on board was at 6:30pm. Soon after this the ship was ready to sail and left her berth out of the port. Once outside the pilot disembarked and we were on our way to the next port of call Belfast.

The evening started with cocktail hour in the Cooper’s Bar and early evening music for listening and dancing in the drawing Room, followed by dinner. After dinner the Britannia Lounge hosted music for dancing followed by The Irish House Party, Dublin’s award winning music and dance show. This was followed by music for listening and dancing with the “You and Me Duo” in the Drawing Room and Late Night Musical melodies with Lloyd Hulme at the piano in the Cooper’s Bar.

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.

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