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11th November, 2014

Castries, St. Lucia

The approach into the sheltered harbour of Castries is a little narrow, but very scenic so a passing rain shower was not a welcome sight as I arrived on the bridge. It soon past of course and the ship was put alongside the down town dock. Within minutes there was feverish activity as crew started to hand carry an enormous amount of equipment and food ashore. Today was going to be a ‘Magic Moment’.

The passengers had been informed just a few days before that Saga had secured a private beach on Pigeon Island for the day, where a barbecue would be set up and anyone who wanted could have a very special day out at no extra cost. Needless to say we had plenty of takers. Three large catamarans were chartered along with numerous mini buses to ferry probably over four hundred folks the six miles along the coastline to Rodney Bay. A huge amount of organisation had gone into preparing this special event and I am happy to report it went off in spectacular fashion. By eleven o’clock everyone had arrived, the barbecue was in full ‘smoke’, marquees had been placed, table and chairs on the lawn, loungers on the beach or in the shade and well over fifty ships staff to cater for the passengers every need.

The ‘clowns and smiles’ department had the leisure activities in hand, meanwhile there was ‘Snuba’ and ‘Sea trek underwater adventure’ available for those of sterner stuff. A steel band added the right degree of Caribbean ‘atmosphere’ and I even had the chance to pass a cheque to Dunnottar School, a local school for handicapped children that Saga’s charitable function has supported since the Bel Jou hotel opened in Castries ten years ago.

Since we returned, passengers have not stopped coming up to me and saying that it was a magical day, great organisation and a dedicated crew who worked as a team to look after them. Praise indeed.

Captain Philip Rentell

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.