Cruise RU462 on the Saga Ruby to the Black Sea

(Please scroll down to see my photographs and report)

Date: Port: Flag: Tour escort: Comment:
04/10/2011 Southampton, UK
06/10/2011 Vigo, Spain Sunny City
10/10/2011 Valletta, Malta Maritime & Military Vittoriosa Auberges and Maritime Museum
12/10/2011 Piraeus, Greece Gods of Ancient Greece Taxi back to ship with gastric 'flu!
14/10/2011 Varna, Bulgaria (Sights of Varna & Balchik) In isolation cabin!
15/10/2011 Constanza, Roumania (Bucharest) In isolation cabin!
16/10/2011 Odessa, Ukraine In isolation cabin!
18/10/2011 Sevastopol, Ukraine Wet morning, sunny afternoon
19/10/2011 Yalta, Ukraine Cold morning, sunny afternoon
21/10/2011 Istanbul, Turkey Panoramic Old and new city
23/10/2011 Heraklion, Crete Panoramic Delightful Aghios Nikolaos!
26/10/2011 Mahon, Menorca Glorious afternoon in town!
28/10/2011 Gibraltar Europa Point & Tapas Glorious morning!
29/10/2011 Lisbon, Portugal Sintra Town & Palace Glorious afternoon!
01/11/2011 Southampton, England Glorious morning!




Martin, Barry, Olive, Michael & Mike

Martin, Barry, Olive, Michael & Mike



Valletta, Malta

Valletta, Malta



The temple of the winds in Athens, Greece

The temple of the winds in Athens, Greece



The old harbour at Ciutadella, Menorca

The old harbour at Ciutadella, Menorca



The Convent, Gibraltar

The Convent, Gibraltar



Bridge over the Tagus, Lisbon, Portugal

Bridge over the Tagus, Lisbon, Portugal



Funicular, Lisbon

Funicular, Lisbon



Here is my cruise report...

This was my first cruise as a Senior Dance Host in a team of four. The first port of call was the lovely city of Vigo which I explored further than I had on my previous visit. The next stop was the marvellous city of Valletta on Malta. I hadn't realised that the original city founded by the Hospitaller Knights of St. John was actually Vittoriosa across the other side of the Grand Harbour. My tour included the auberges or hostels of the various western nationalities represented in the order. Afternoon tea in the Maritime Museum was certainly different.

The third destination was Piraeus, the port for Athens. My tour involved queuing for two hours to climb the Acropolis and standing in the hot sun precipitated gastric 'flu. I was taxied back to the ship and put in an isolation cabin for four days. When my temperature finally dropped I was allowed out again. The good news is that I lost over eight pounds in weight! In consequence I missed the first heat of the Strictly Come Dancing contest on board. I danced the jive with Joy through to second place and the cha cha with Eve to fifth place in the final.

On Monday the 17th we were unable to berth at Yalta and a new programme had to be produced at short notice so the Cruise Director asked me to give my lecture "The Story of the Mediterranean". In the next two ports, Sevastopol and Yalta, the morning's were poor but the afternoon's were fine. In Istanbul I escorted the panoramic tour in the morning and went into the marvellous old city on the shuttle bus in the afternoon. I also went on the panoramic tour from Heraklion on Crete. This took us to the delightful fishing village of Aghios Nikolaos.

No tour in Mahon on Menorca enabled me to photograph all the city sights for a future port talk. I escorted a tour to the Europa Point at the extreme southern end of Gibraltar. We also visited the Spanish border at the extreme northern end of Gib. The tour ended with two schooners of sherry and unlimited tapas at a marina side restaurant! In Lisbon I went on the Sintra Town & Palace tour again. Here he had a pastry with freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee. On the last sea day I was able to give my "Story of the English Channel" lecture.

Good points were:

  1. Triple aspect, forward facing observation lounge with circular dance floor.
  2. Excellent programme of up to four lectures per sea day.
  3. Side facing outside twin cabin with picture window.
  4. Hosting 4 tables in the main dining room.
  5. Good sized rectangular dance floor.
  6. All round teak promenade deck.
  7. Free fruit and water in cabin.
  8. Triple height oval staircase.
  9. Efficient cabin steward.
  10. Free launderette.

Usual sea day programme:

09:00 - 09:40 Line dance class in the Ballroom.
12:30 - 13:00 Lunch in the Lido.
13:00 - 14:00 Siesta
14:15 - 15:15 Ballroom / Latin American dance class in the Ballroom.

Usual evening programme:

06:30 - 07:15 Pre-dinner dancing in the Britannia Lounge.
07:15 - 08:45 Dinner in the main dining room.
08:45 - 09:30 Pre-show dancing in the Ballroom.
09:45 - 10:30 Showtime.
10:30 - 11:15 Post-show dancing in the Ballroom.

For the record ...