Cruise P2221 on the Saga Pearl II to the Canaries, January 2019

(Please scroll down to see my photographs and report)

Date: Port: Flag: Tour escort: Comment:
- Aboard
just after
one o'clock
Walled Village
of Obidos
Santa Cruz
North Windows
& Canarian
Las Palmas
Gran Canaria
Puerto del Rosario
Caves &
Palm Valley &
the Green Caves
- Morning drizzle
Afternoon dry
- Home by

Embarkation Day, Portsmouth - Friday the 4th of January 2019

   I left home at 10:45 and was in PoMoH / Pompey by noon. I sat in the lounge with dance host Ray Smith, who I previously cruised with on cruise W1020. Aged 83, he had been 'retired' by Fred. Olsen, so had moved over to Saga. Boarding began at one o'clock and I was on board soon after. I lunched in the embarkation buffet, sat with Sylvia from Worthing and professional dancer Amel from Stoke Poges. Unfortunately Sylvia had had a fall whilst on the Saga Sapphire and so wouldn't be dancing much this cruise.

   I then slept for an hour, before being woken by the safety drill annoucement. Here I said 'hello' to CD Kayleigh, who was ticking our names off her list in the Verandah restaurant. I had one glass of bucks fizz at the sailaway, where I met up with MD Steve Thompson and the other dance host Chris Sprinks, who was chatting to keen dancer Gloria. I had previously cruised with Chris on cruise SA302. The wind was cold on the aft deck, so I went out on to the sheltered side deck to watch the departure through PoMoH harbour. We had a fine view of the new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, as the sun went down.

   I then touched base with Andy and Grazia in the tours office. At five o'clock I went to Professor Grenville Hancox's first lecture on singing, which included some interesting anthropology. However, I had to slip out at 5:30 for the Entertainers' cocktail party, where I chatted with Helen the chaplain's wife, the pianist Brad and the Bridge couple. The former reminded me that we had last sailed together on the Isle of Man cruise last summer.

   I then started work on this blog. At 6:50 I dined in the Verandah restaurant on the rib of beef, sat with Jo & Jill from Chichester, David from Stafford and Brian & Lorraine from Ashbourne in Derbyshire. Having drunk bucks fizz at both the sailaway and cocktail party, I stuck to just one glass of Merlot. At 8:45 we danced in the Discovery lounge both before and after the excellent ABBA production show. I retired at 10:45 and went to sleep just after 11 o'clock after a long day.

First Sea Day, Bay of Biscay - Saturday the 5th of January 2019

   I awoke at 7:50 just before my alarm ready for my cheese omelette with crispy bacon, sat with Sylvia from Worthing and Gloria from Bristol. At 9 o'clock three of the professional dancers taught Alley Cat, Mamma Maria, Electric Slide & Country Walkin' (aka Irish Stomp). At 9:45 Andy did his ten minute introduction to the shore excursions, before introducing me.

   I then gave my 45 minute talk on Lisbon. At 11:00 I went to Dr Tony Davis's historical talk on well being. I then worked on my Tenerife presentation and this blog, before lunching at 12:30. I had the roast lamb, sat with Chris, Gloria, Janice and a gent from North East London. At 1:30 I taught the Social Foxtrot to 21 passengers helped by Chris, Ray, Alex and Amel.

   I then slept for an hour, before putting on some washing. I did a dozen lengths of the pool, before having some afternoon tea, sat with Jill, Alex and a couple from Ayr. At 5 o'clock I touched base with Andy & Grazia, finishing with some talk about the new Saga ship.

   I then started to watch my Lisbon talk on the cabin TV, before going for dinner. I had the rib eye steak, sat with Bridgit, J from Exeter, Frances from Oxford, petite Pam & quiet Danny. We danced both before and after the bizarre juggling show, I can't imagine what he will do for his second show! The dancing finished at 10:30 and I continued to watch my Lisbon talk until just after 11 o'clock.

Second Sea Day, Galician & Portuguese coast - Sunday the 6th of January 2019

   I awoke at 7:30 ready to have my cheese omelette with crispy bacon, sat with J the dancing lady from Exeter. I told her about Marina of Western Spirit in nearby Honiton in Devon. I then did some ironing, before attending the line dancing class. Alex and Amel recapped Electric Slide & Irish Stomp and then taught Simply Mambo & Stroll Along, the latter as a two wall dance. At 11 o'clock I gave my 45 minute talk on Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

   At noon I listened to the band's jazz set in Shackleton's lounge, before lunching at 12:30. I had the lovely roast beef (it was Sunday!), sat with Chris, Janice and couples from Winchester and North Oxon. At 1:30 I taught the Waltz to 21 pax, again with help from Chris, Ray and two of the singers. I used a taxi/bus-stop configuration for the very first time, having seen Curtis do it on the Crystal Symphony before Christmas. It was a great success mixing up different partners! I taught the box, the figure of eight, the basic, the quarter box turn and the three quarter natural turn. I then slept for an hour, before doing five circuits (one kilometre) of the top deck in the bright sunshine and eight lengths of the pool.

   At 6:15 I went to the Captain's welcome cocktail party, where I danced with five different ladies. I dined on the excellent Prince of Wales beef, sat with Pat the Welsh craft lady and a couple from Norfolk. We danced both before and after the classical pianist's show. I only danced with the two single ladies, not the two married ones, after the show, so I could slip through to Shackleton's lounge for Steven's excellent cabaret. He began with some great swing songs, before moving on to pop for the disco bunnies. I danced on the side with Julie, one of the married ladies, whilst the other one was bopping on the dance floor. When Steven finished just after 11:30, I went to bed.

Lisbon, Portugal - Monday the 7th of January 2019

   I awoke at 7 o'clock ready for the special egg & bacon in a jacket potato at 7:30, sat with Audrey from Cheshire, who has done over 90 cruises on various lines! The waiters were ominously serving the buffet items to us. We had been noticing the cleaners in white overalls with face masks from the previous day. I then worked on this blog as we sailed up the Tagus (Tejo) estuary into Lisbon in the bright sunshine.

Bridge over the Tagus, Lisbon

Bridge over the Tagus, Lisbon

   We berthed early at 9 o'clock, but I couldn't go ashore as I was due to give my next port talk at 9:45. I whizzed through my lecture on Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 35 minutes to a tiny audience, in order to catch the 10:30 shuttle bus into town. We went on a roundabout 20 minute ride to the new drop off point at the Hotel Mundial. I had been here previously on a tram tour which had had a port wine and chocolate tasting here. I walked back through Fig Tree and Rossio squares to Rua Augusta. I climbed up the Chicado hill to the ruins of the Carmelite church and the new National Guard museum next door. I went in the new multi-level shopping centre, before heading down to Commercial Place for the tourist information office. Back along the front, I went in the diamond fronted house which curiously had remains of both the Roman and Medieval walls on the ground floor!

Tram in Lisbon

Tram in Lisbon

   Back at the ship just after noon, I lunched on the salmon and chips before escorting my second choice tour to Obidos (M). It was fortuitous that I didn't get my first choice Arrabida mountains tour as it suffered from various problems! We had a one hour drive north in a minibus with only a dozen pax. Obidos was even better than I had remembered it in the bright sunshine. Our guide led us along the main street, before letting us loose. I climbed up to the castle, now a Pousada national hotel. I doubled back alongside the west wall, before following the ramparts of the east wall. I finally came back along the back street via three lovely churches. I shelled out one euro for a tot of the local cherry liquor (ginja con fruta) served in a little edible chocolate cup. We drove back as a magnificient sunset turned the twilight sky red.

Lovely Obidos

Lovely Obidos

   I dined with the usual suspects on table number 6 together with pianist Brad Moodie, who has joint Canadian/Scottish nationality. He rents his house in Calgary out and lives with his parents in Dundee in between contracts. Petite Pam was missing, as she had been placed in quarantine. We danced both before and after the excellent musicals production show. Saxophonist Jack and one of the dancers were off with the lurgy, but fortunately the new cruise staffer Abi had just finished with Explosive productions and was able to step into the breach! Steve called the first Slosh of the cruise which I led off with Chris, Ray & three pax. Unfortunately the girls hadn't taught this line dance. When the band finished at 10:35 I went to my cabin, but I had to deal with a Crystal bid from one of my agents and various other computer items, so I didn't get to sleep until after 11:30.

Third Sea Day - Tuesday the 8th of January 2019

   I awoke to my alarm at 7:30 ready for the salmon fish cake with fried egg, sat at the large oval table in the Verandah restaurant. At 9:15 Amel and another dancer recapped Simply Mambo & Stroll Along and then taught the Box dance & Red Hot Salsa. At 10 o'clock I gave my new 40 minute talk on Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura.

  At 11 o'clock I listened to the interesting talk on Maggie Thatcher by a member of the No. 10 policy unit. I lunched on the smoked salmon salad with chips, sat at the large oval table as usual, with a Norwegian gent from Lillehammer and his wife. At 1:30 I taught the Social Rumba with the help of Chris & Ray to reduced numbers as the singles luncheon ran on. I then slept for an hour and a half.

   I had two cups of tea, two scampi, two strawberries and two marshmallows, the latter pair dipped in chocolate, sat with a lady from Worcester at the afternoon tea. Unfortunately the self service ice cream machine was closed for the rest of the cruise, so I never had one! At 5 o'clock I touched base with Andy & Grazia, as the Captain announced the code amber position. I did half a dozen circuits of the top deck as the bright sun went down, before finishing my laundry in case the launderette got closed.

   I dined on the lovely lamb shank, sat with Danny, Frances, Bridget, J and newcomer Fiona from Warley near Brentwood in Essex. I danced with a different lady for each dance before the show. When the juggler came on, I adjourned to my cabin to update this blog. There were only two dancing ladies left after the show, so I went to Shackleton's lounge for Natalie's lovely cabaret. When this finished, I had my first hot chocolate of the cruise and then went to bed at 11:30.

Fourth Sea Day - Wednesday the 9th of January 2019

   I awoke at 7:20 ready for the Egg Florentine special, sat with Audrey as the bright sun came up. At 9:15 Amel & Alex recapped the Electric Slide, Simply Mambo & Stroll Along and taught California Frieze & Lemon Tree to ten pax. Just before my 35 minute 10 o'clock lecture on Arrecife, Lanzarote. Kayleigh asked me if I had a port talk on Funchal ready, in case it was too windy to land at Lanzarote!

   I frittered away the morning, except for half a dozen circuits of the top deck, but it was a bit cloudy, compared with the blue skies of the previous days. I lunched on chicken, bacon, chips and green beans at 12:30, sat with J. At 1:30 I taught the Social Cha Cha to 18 pax with the help of Chris & Ray. I then slept for 75 minutes, before doing a dozen lengths of the pool.

   I frittered away the rest of the afternoon, watching my talks on the TV. At 6:45 I was initally placed on table number 6 again, but petite Pam had been released from quarantine, so the Maitre d' moved me to a table with three single ladies from Plymouth, Sheffield & Reading. I had the gammon and chips (yes, I know, chips twice in one day)! We danced both before and after the pianist's second show, which I ducked out of. Instead I worked on this blog and watched my talk on the TV. When the band finished at 10:35 I went to bed.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Thursday the 10th of January 2019

   I awoke at 6 o'clock and couldn't get back to sleep excited at the prospect of landing on Tenerife. I had my usual breakfast, sat with Audrey & Janice, before escorting my third choice tour entitled Northern Windows & Canarian Potatoes (E, R, SD). We had stops at three viewpoints on the North coast. At the second one I shelled out €2.80 on a freshly squeezed orange juice. At the famous Monastery restaurant above Puerto de la Cruz we had the Canarian new potatoes with both the red and green spicy sauces. I had a couple of glasses of the local red wine, before exploring the lovely botanical garden with the 12 stations of the cross.

Tenerife Auditorium

Tenerife Auditorium

   Back at the ship I lunched on the bean soup and the red cherry ice cream, but missed out the main course. I then had a deep sleep for an hour and a half. At 3.55 I caught the tram to San Cristobal de la Laguna for €2.70 return. I got to the tourist information office just before it closed at 4:30. I visited several churches, art galleries and museums, before catching the tram back to Santa Cruz.

Clock tower in San Cristobal de la Laguna, Tenerife

Clock tower in San Cristobal de la Laguna, Tenerife

   Back at the ship again, I dined on the rib eye steak again, sat with brother and sister farmers Andrew & Liz from Tendring in Essex. I then updated this blog, before dancing in the Discovery lounge. I enjoyed the "I got rhythm" production show and when the dancing ended I went to bed.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria - Friday the 11th of January 2019

   I breakfasted on the special poached egg on a corned beef hash cake with baked beans, before escorting my first choice hiking tour of the spectacular Bandama (not Bandana!) crater (LA, S). I only had 8 pax in tow, but we went out in a full size coach, although we did come back in a minibus. William the guide didn't speak for the first fifteen minutes going through the city and suburbs as he was an outdoor leader only! We descended into the crater, toured the bottom, visited some caves, before climbing back up in the hot noon day sun. We then drove to the Pico de Bandama viewpoint overlooking the enormous crater.

Sunrise in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Sunrise in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

   Back at the ship I lunched on the escalope of pork with chips and peas, sat with petite Pam. I then slept for an hour and a half, before venturing into the city. Unfortunately it had clouded over and was quite cool. The main tourist information office was having a late siesta (3 - 4 pm), but the little kiosk on the prom was open. I walked to the northern end of the lovely Quarries Beach (Playa de las Canteras), before doubling back along the main road trying to access the new aquarium. The tourist information office had now re-opened and I found the port road to the aquarium. Here they were selling lovely baseball caps for only one euro, later I wished I had bought more than just the one!

Poble Canario, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Poble Canario, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

   Back at the ship again I enjoyed the professional singers pre-dinner cabaret and was able to hand out the group picture from our morning's hike. I dined on the rib eye steak yet again with Ann & Peter from Chandlers Ford, Jo & Jill from Chichester and Olive from Reading. We danced both before and after the excellent flamenco and violin show. He played lots of lovely pieces including excerpts from the incomparable Carmen fantasy by Sarasate. When the dancing finished at 10:35 I went to bed and slept from 11 o'clock.

Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura - Saturday the 12th of January 2019

   I awoke at 6:45 to the bow thrusters, ready for my cheese omelette with crispy bacon, sat with J and Wendy. I then tried to put some washing on, but the washing machine failed again, this time with a different error message! I updated this blog and got ready for my third choice tour to the Ajuy Caves & Betancuria (M, N). We drove south to Caleta de Fuste before turning west across the island. At Ajuy (pronounced Ah'wee) we walked along the coast path to the famous pirate caves. In Betancuria I shelled out one euro to go in the church with our guide. During our free time she let me in to the exhibition centre saving me six euros, where I photographed the wind mill machinery and the weaving loom.

Betancuria, Fuerteventura

Betancuria, Fuerteventura

   Back at the ship, I lunched on the chicken, chips & peas, sat with Sylvia. I then slept for an hour, before catching the 3:15 port shuttle bus the half mile to the port gates. I walked along the prom, the main street and the second street to get to the huge shopping mall. I came back via the post office and the street overlooking the prom.

   Back at the ship again, I had a red bush tea out on the aft deck and Audrey told me about the Saturday morning market. Having gained a blister in the afternoon, I had a leisurely shower, before uploading my pictures and updating this blog. I dined on the Steak & Stilton pie with peas and chips (again!), sat with Lorraine & Brian, a lady from Pembrokeshire and a quiet couple whose gent was completely deaf. We danced both before and after Gary's excellent show. At 10:15 there was a deck party, but the band carried on downstairs. When they finished at 10:30 I went to bed.

Arrecife, Lanzarote - Sunday the 13th of January 2019

   I awoke just before my alarm at 7 o'clock ready to enjoy my favourite TWO egg royales! At 8 o'clock I disembarked ready to escort my second choice Trekking Palm Valley & the Green Caves tour (LA, S). I had seven pax in tow in a minibus with Mathias from Bavaria as the guide. We began at Penas del Chache, the highest point on the island, before descending to the valley of 1000 palms. I shelled out €2.20 on the freshly squeezed orange juice in Haria village square. The Cave of the Greens (Cueva de los Verdes), as it is actually called, was as dramatic as ever.

Arrecife, Lanzarote

Arrecife, Lanzarote

   Back at the ship I lunched on the roast beef (it was Sunday!), sat with petite Pam. I then slept for threequarters of an hour, before catching the three o'clock shuttle bus into town. Unfortunately all the shops, bar one pharmacy, were closed, but I did go in the lovely little church, so I caught the penultimate bus back to the ship at 4 o'clock. At 4:45 we had the sailaway in the bright sun where I danced with Janice and drank two rum punches! I ironed two shirts in case the self-service launderette got closed off for health reasons.

   At 6:15 I went to the Britannia Club cocktail party, but the string quartet were playing on the dance floor, so I sat and chatted to Sylvia & Gloria. When the Captain came on to say that the lurgy had indeed flared up again and more stringent measures were required, I slipped out. I dined on the lovely Tornedos Rossini fillet steak, sat with Florence the Nigerian lady from Mill Hill, another lady from Reading and the jeweller, originally from Grenada, but now living in Lima, Peru! We danced both before and after the new excellent Carnaby Beat sixties production show. When the band finished at 10:50 I went to bed.

Fifth Sea Day - Monday the 14th of January 2019

   I awoke at 7:30 having slept for 8 & 3/4 hours, ready for the egg & bacon in a baked potato special, sat with Sylvia, Gloria & Janice. The self service lauderette having been closed, I put two shirts into the now complimentary laundry. the two swimming pools were also closed off. I then worked on this blog, before touching base with Andy & Grazia. At 9 o'clock Alex & Lucy recapped Alley Cat, Mamma Maria, Simply Mambo & Stroll Along and taught Waltz Across Texas to nine pax.

   At 10:30 I went to Dean Edwards' cookery demonstration, until the Q&A session started when I slipped out. At noon we had Steven's excellent Magic of the Musicals session in Shackleton's Bar. His rendition of the prayer "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables had some ladies in tears! This was followed by the Spanish lunch, so I wore my red & yellow Spanish flag polo shirt, but the waiters weren't wearing theirs for some reason. I had the Spanish cold meat salad with chips, sat with Chris, Gloria, Janice & petite Pam.

   At 1:30 I taught the Quickstep to a dozen pax. One lady failed at the first fence of walking around the floor in time to the music! As usual I had a couple of new beginners who chose to come to try to learn the quickest dance, not having been to any of the easier sessions earlier in the cruise! So I began with a recap of the Social Foxtrot and gradually speeded things up.

   At 2:30 I gave my 40 minute talk on Ferrol, Galicia. Kayleigh introduced me by thanking me not only for my destination lectures, but also for hosting the dance classes. I ended my talk with thanks to Kayleigh, Andy, Grazia, Bernard & Nelson. I then slept for three quarters of an hour, before pigging out on fruit cake AND battenburg cake, sat with Audrey from Cheshire. I then spent time on the computer downloading details of Celebrity cruises this coming year from one of my agents. I did half a dozen circuits (one kilometre) of the top deck in the twilight.

   I dined on the roast strip loin of beef, sat with Pat, Julie & her husband (the Granville lookalike with Chris Packham's voice) and the ladies from Sheffield & Plymouth. We danced both before and after the second Flamenco & Violin show.

   Despite having been yawning at dinner and feeling tired for the first time this cruise, I managed to stay awake at the back of the Discovery Lounge. Karl Jenkins' Palladio was sublime on the violin, but the stomping and castanets were a bit repetitive. Not quite as good as their first show I felt. When the band finished at 10:35 I went to bed.

Sixth Sea Day - Tuesday the 15th of January 2019

   I awoke at 6:40, but it was now 7:40 on Spanish time. I then put two more shirts into the complimentary laundry. For breakfast, I enjoyed TWO eggs Benedict, sat with Sylvia & Gloria. We had champagne and caviar as compensation for the imposed restrictions. I actually had freshly squeezed orange juice in my bubbly, making it a Bucks Fizz followed by a raspberry & cranberry smoothie.

   At 9:15 Amel recapped California Frieze & Lemon Tree and taught her own dances Happy & Cupid's Shuffle. I then spent time composing my Celebrity bids in the Board Room. I listened to Dean's second cookery demonstration for a bit, but when he started plugging his book I slipped out. I then updated this blog.

   At 12:30 I lunched on the lasagna, sat with Janice and others on the oval table. At 1:30 I taught the Rock Jive to 17 people with the help of Chris & Ray. I began with the basic, moved on to the underarm turn and then made the mistake of trying to teach the stop and start. I ended with the change of place / change of hands.

   I then slept for an hour, before having two cups of tea, a smoked salmon roll and a nondescript tartlet, sat with J and Pam. I did half a dozen circuits (one kilometre) of the top deck, but it was cool and overcast. I then went to the classical concert of tango music.

   At 6:45 I dined on the rib eye steak for a fourth time, sat with a couple from Wales, a couple from Manchester and Jill, but not Jo, who was quarantined. We danced both before and after Gary's second show, which wasn't as good as his first and had a few bum notes. Steve called the second Slosh of the cruise, which I led off. When the band finished at 10:35, I went to bed, but faffed around until after 11 o'clock and then woke up in the middle of the night, and had trouble getting back to sleep.

Ferrol, Galicia, Spain - Wednesday the 16th of January 2019

   Come 7 o'clock I woke up again, but still felt sleepy. I breakfasted on my regular choice, sat with Audrey & Sylvia. When Tony arrived, I popped out on to the aft deck to see the passage through the narrow strait, but it was raining heavily. I was glad I had opted out of escorting that day! I caught the first shuttle into the city, before visiting all THREE tourist information offices to collect maps & leaflets. I went in the excellent, free Naval Museum, but gave the two euro Museum of Naval Construction a miss. The display and reconstruction of the Galeón de Manila was particularly interesting. I walked back to the ship via the high road, going in St. Francis's church en route.

   Back at the ship, I lunched on the Connor side salad, which is like a Caesar salad with anchovies, sat with Audrey again. I then slept for an hour and three quarters, before catching the 2:40 shuttle bus back into the centre. I went in the main market hall, before walking back towards the ship along the low road. I climbed back up to the high road at St. Francis's church, before exploring Queen Sofia's urban park.

   Back at the ship again, I downloaded my day's photographs, before having two cups of tea with NO snacks, sat with Sylvia & Chris. I watched the passage past St. Philip's castle with one figure waving a sword and another waving a Spanish flag, but with no cannon salute.

   At 6:15 I went to the Captain's farewell cocktail party, where I danced with three ladies. I dined on the sirloin steak for the first time in the Verandah restaurant, although they had been having it in the main dining room before. I gave the so-called Beef Wellington a miss, sat with Brian & Christine from Huddersfield and 99 year old Anne-Marie from the Netherlands. The latter is planning her 100th birthday party later this year with some of her great-grandchildren flying in from New Zealand!

   We started dancing before the show, but first Ray, then me, then Chris stopped, as it was getting too rough to dance. I watched the excellent Best of British show from the back of the Discovery lounge as usual. I realised for the first time at this showing that the William Tell Overture is written by an Italian (Rossini) about a Swiss man, not very British! After the show I just sat and chatted to Sylvia, not going to bed until 11 o'clock.

Seventh Sea Day - Thursday the 17th of January 2019

   I awoke at 8:10 ready for TWO poached egg royales, sat with Gloria, petite Pam and a single gent. At 9:15 kayleigh called off the line dancing as it had gotten even rougher in the night, so I worked on my photographs, my Ferrol presentation and this blog. At 11 o'clock I went to Professor Hancox's interesting music lecture. He spoke for 50 minutes and unfortunately had to fly through his last dozen slides. At 12:30 I lunched on the not so minute steak with chips, peas and tomatoes, sat with Gloria & Chris.

   At 1:30 I cancelled the revision ballroom dance class as it was to rocky. I then slept for two hours, before attending the afternoon tea, sat with Elsie. We had an interesting 50 minute performance by the pax choir, led by the eccentric Professor. When he called for Charleston dancers at the end, I stepped forward and did the Cowboy Charleston. Unfortunately the girls hadn't taught this line dance in their classes, so no one was able to join me! Back at the cabin I started packing.

   At 6:45 I dined on the Wiener Schnitzel sat with Doreen from Cheadle and her neice Chris from Bolton. We danced both before and after the final variety show. The Spanish violinist was again great with more from Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy and Massenet's Meditation from Thais. Gary made the mistake of doing a duet with Steven, who stole the show! Janice gave the three of us one Galician sausage each! Steve called the third Slosh of the cruise and I led off ten people. When the band finished at 10:35, I shook hands with Steve, George, Jack & Andy.

   Various group photos were taken and we said our goodbyes to Janice, Gloria & Julie. Kayleigh said she had had no negative comments on my lectures or dance classes, except for one person questionning why I, the port speaker, was doing the dance teaching rather than Chris the dance host! I went to sleep soon after 11:30.

Disembarkation Day, Portsmouth - Friday the 18th of January 2019

   I awoke at 7 o'clock, but it was now only 6:00 on GMT. Breakfast began at 7:00 when I had the full English sat with J & Gloria. I watched the hovercraft fly by and then we sailed past Old PoMoH, but it was very cold out on deck. I had luggage tag 'A' which was supposed to get off at 8:50, but we had to wait for a ferry to depart, so I didn't get ashore until 9:35 and home at 10:40.

   One lady wrote: "Thank you for teaching us so well! Hope your toes recover."

   Another lady said I was the best dance teacher she had had on any of her cruises!

   A third lady wrote: "Thank you for giving us all those lessons!! I am no longer frightened to jive!"

   She also said: "What a lovely 'memory bank' for your friends on the cruises. So much detail and great recall of all our names. When you read how many cruises you have enjoyed, it's no wonder you must record your activities daily otherwise it does become a blur. When I holidayed with my late husband he always had an afternoon nap so I did the same thing - downloaded the previous days photos and summarised where we had been, printing it out as a booklet of each holiday. This time, on the SAGA cruise I did not have a moment to spare, it was so friendly and inclusive, I have relied on my camera's video for my memories - including of course, your Charleston!

   A fourth lady said: "Many thanks for all those very informative and useful destination lectures. Following your Rock Jive Class, Chris is practising and feels confident he could do a basic jive now if required. I thank you again for all of my dances and hope to meet you on the dance floor again sometime."

   Her husband wrote: "Look what you have started now, me jiving in the kitchen. When I am old enough I must get your agents name and audition as a gentleman host!"

   I scored 1.63 in the pax questionnaire, where 1.00 is Excellent, 2.00 is Good, 3.00 is Poor and 4.00 is Very Poor!

Saga Pearl II

Saga Pearl II

Score card:

14 Dining tables hosted
7 Dance classes taught (SF, W, SR, SCC, QS, RJ & Revision)
6 Port talks given and updated
5 Tours escorted
4 Good dancers
3 Cocktail parties attended
2 Hikes enjoyed
2nd Visit to Obidos, Portugal
2nd Visit to Puerto del Rosario, Fuertventura
1st Visit to Ajuy, Fuerteventura

Good points were:

  1. Outside twin cabin on 'A' deck with picture window.
  2. Last time on the lovely little Saga Pearl II.
  3. Hosting tables in the Verandah restaurant.
  4. Complimentary wine at lunch & dinner.
  5. Giving six destination lectures.
  6. Teaching seven dance classes.
  7. Plenty of dancing ladies.
  8. Complimentary laundry.
  9. Escorting five tours.
  10. Tour escort uniform.
  11. No stomach aches.
  12. No head aches.
  13. Free parking.
  14. Free internet.
  15. Free wifi.

For the record ...

Shore Excursions Key: N New E Easy L Lunch M Moderate P Panoramic S Strenuous R Refreshments WT Wine Tasting SD Something Different LA Limited Availability
Current Statistics (as of January 2019):
 132 Cruises undertaken
  23 Cruise ships:

	Saga Rose
	Saga Ruby (Saggy Booby!)
	Saga Pearl II
	Saga Sapphire
	Spirit of Adventure (SofA)
	Quest for Adventure (Q4A)

	Black Prince
	Black Watch

	Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2)
	Queen Mary 2 (QM2)
	Queen Elizabeth
	Queen Victoria

	Seabourn Sojourn
	Seabourn Odyssey

	Crystal Symphony
	Crystal Serenity

	Sapphire Princess
	Celebrity Eclipse


9 Cruise lines:

	Saga Shipping Company
	Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
	Voyages of Discovery (VofD)
	Seabourn (Carnival)
	Princess (Carnival)
	Cunard (Carnival)
	P&O (Carnival)