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3rd January, 2016

Christmas and New Year

The lead up to Christmas Day was both festive and fun filled. After the guests decorated our tree outside the Britannia Lounge to perfection we moved into the evening with our ShowTime, ‘Twas The Night before Christmas’ presented by our Cruise Director, Jo Boase and starring Rob Payne, Mandy Muden, Donny Ray Evins and me, The Pier String Quartet and our very own Passenger Choir. There was then just enough time for a mince pie and mulled wine before the Nativity Play and Midnight Mass led by Canon Ian Ainsworth Smith.

Christmas Day was just as festive, starting with a rousing performance by the Filipino Choir to open our Morning Worship, where Mary and Joseph, after travelling around the ship staying at a different ‘Inn’ every night, arrived safely to receive baby Jesus.

This continued with ‘A Festive Christmas Concert’ by our Pier String Quartet, quiz and an energetic game of charades! Then we were off to a special afternoon tea to top up from lunch.

After a glittering Cocktail Party, our Executive Chef, George Streeter created a sumptuous feast for us all to enjoy. The day ended with a performance from the smooth voice of Donny Ray Evins and a good old knees up in the Drawing Room. Visits to Grand Turk and Nassau, Bahamas followed. We left the Bahamas on a high after an amazing performance on deck from some local musicians, including the sounds of the steel drums and the taste of the rum punch…a real Caribbean ‘Magic Moment’.

On the open deck, we celebrated the arrival of New Year’s Eve with a Champagne breakfast sail into the Port of Bermuda. With the accompaniment of the Pier String Quartet, we sipped Champagne and ate fresh pancakes, smoked salmon and eggs.

The balloons were blown up and the Ice sculpture was carved, we were ready to welcome in the New Year. After the dramatic Address of the Haggis by fellow guest, Alexander Wedderburn during our Captain’s Cocktail Party, we then sat down to devour the Haggis and the rest of the menu. The Evening’s entertainment began with a Presentation dance from our officers and then we opened the floor and danced to the wee small hours.

As the clock struck midnight all the guests and the crew from all departments joined together in our Britannia Lounge to sing, dance and toast to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

You would think that would be the end of the celebrations…..oh no it wasn’t…oh yes it was…. Yes you guessed it, it was Pantomime time!!!

Since the Port of Madeira, our crew had been frantically rehearsing, under the expert eye of Jo for our Pantomime ‘Cinderella’. They had given up their lunch and rest times to reach perfection….Housekeeping, Pursers, Spa girls, photographers, Shop girls and even the Nurses… singing and dancing! It was an exciting cast line-up that included the Explosive Singers and Dancers, a sprinkle of fairy dust from Jacquie and me, motherly acting from our Security Rob Payne and even a cameo by Captain Philip. It was great evening, thoroughly enjoyed by all on board.

Social Hostess, Jemma Thomas

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.