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Decided on this cruise, aboard Saga Sapphire, because it coincided with our anniversary. Nothing too exciting (this was reflected in the fact that there were only 475 passengers on board a ship that takes over 700) but a couple of ports we had not visited before. The trip over the Bay (of Biscay - notorious) was pretty bad. We're always saying that we've crossed the Bay many times and have not had too many bad crossings - now we've had one more! Weather was, actually, not very good (except for one or two bright spots) but what the hey! We hadn't come aboard for the weather.

Ports visited were Cadiz, Ibiza, Barcelona, Tarragona, Alicante, Motril, Malaga, Leixoes

We did know that we were going to see on board Hilary Davie (the Social Hostess who we had first met on her first trip as hostess, Christmas 2016) and Stuart Anderson (her partner) and it was lovely to join them on sailaway. Later on we bought Stuart's CD and we've played it at home a couple of days ago (April 2018) and it is STUNNING. Have bought many CDs on cruises but this is the best because nearly every song is composed by Stuart (sorry all those other people that we have previously bought CDs from). Quality.

Many other highlights. We dined on the Captain's table (the third time in 17+ years of Saga Cruising) although we had dined with this Captain before. On his first Saga cruise he was invited to the Diamond dinner of Alf Smith (as were we).

The Captain's Table. Shame about the chandeliers, at least I'm bending down (2nd. from the left). The Captain took a shine to my waistcoat!

Nice chap but he confused me with Michael Caine! Alright, you can't see it, I can't see it, Edna can't see it and sister Ann can't see it BUT. When we were in Gibraltar in 2010 a couple joined us for lunch at Al Andalus (see the Gibraltar page) and after they'd finished the chap came back and said "You are Michael Caine aren't you?". I put him wise. When we were in Prague a Belgian couple at the next table (where we were having dinner) said "You sound like that chap...... The Italian Job". On another table were some "girls" from Yorkshire - "Michael Caine, and you look like him". I then had to say "You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" They loved it! Back home, later, in the Royal Windsor Farm Shop a lady in the queue asked me if anyone had ever said that I reminded them of Michael Caine! "Not in this country" I said. (Another "You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off"). We told our quiz partners (Denise and Owen) about this and Denise said to Owen "There you are, I told you who he reminded me of". A couple of days later, at breakfast, a lady said "I suppose you've been told this before, but you remind me of", "Michael Caine" said I. (Another "You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off"). Ho Ho.
Stuart (see above) was playing in Cooper's Bar when I walked in one night. "This is Terry, give us your Michael Caine". (Another "You were etc.etc."). Later, as I tried to sneak out, "Just one more before you go Terry", ("You were only...."). He was not at the Captain's Table so Hilary must have told him.

The greatest highlight, we had Royalty on board! Princess Michael of Kent. She gave a couple of talks and was excellent. Our wine waitress, (Lucelle) got very excited about having a Princess on board but wondered why she had a boy's name. We explained that she was the wife of a Prince Michael and took his name and that he was a cousin of the Queen. The Queen, she was now really excited.

The entertainment was fair to excellent. On the plus side there was Stuart (see above) and The Victory Piano Quartet from Ukraine (who we had seen before in July 2017, we thought they were above average then, we think they are excellent now!). Another star on board was Francisco Yglesia (Paraguayan Harpist). We'd seen him before and bought the CD, absolutely brilliant!

Copyright © 2004 - 2018 Terry Smith

Barcelona & the Western Med. 2018