Well, we are in the Mediterranean and it is HOT! Since my last update we have had a sea day or two and a few port days, the first of which was Gibraltar.
I opted for the morning dolphin watching tour in Gibraltar and I am so glad that I did! It was absolutely fantastic – we were joined on the excursion by two of the ladies from ORCA, so that added to the whole experience. I thought we would see a few friendly dolphins but what we got was something else entirely. Within a few minutes of leaving the small marina we were greeted by a family of Common Dolphin, they were taking things slow, but they definitely let us know that they were there. They swam around the boat briefly before leaving us behind and heading out to sea. We sat bobbing in the water for a moment whilst the spotters scanned the bay, before moving out into the straits. In the distance we could see a massive pod of dolphins that were obviously feeding, so we made our way towards all the commotion and there were dolphins EVERYWHERE!!! I have never seen anything like it. They were so friendly and clearly wanted to play, so we made our way at speed across the water in the hope that they would give us a show and they certainly did. There were dozens of them bow riding and swimming upside down beneath us – it was such a nice thing to see and it will stay with me for the rest of my life. They were entirely wild, but they wanted to let us know that they were there and they wanted some attention. The company Saga used for the excursion was Dolphin Adventure and I would highly recommend them. They don’t chase the marine life, they let the marine life come to them and I liked that aspect. I have done dolphin watching before in another country and the differences between the two were quite substantial. I also found the tour very informative, the crew on the boat had an answer for every question – check them out the next time you are in Gibraltar. I managed to record a few videos, but I will have to share those with you another day as the ships satellite and YouTube uploading don’t really go together very well. Until then though enjoy these few pictures.
We have had a few BBQ’s on deck, the seafood one making an appearance – much to my delight – and the food in the restaurant has been wonderful. I said in my last round of Saga Sapphire blogs that the food onboard was superb and this cruise is proving to be no exception. On the evening we sailed from Gibraltar I ordered the “seafood duo” for my main course: tiger prawns and a cod fillet in white wine butter sauce served with leek and potato gratin. It was very tasty! Not a dish I would usually order, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I picked the fish over the chicken tikka, which also looked delicious.
As we sailed from Gibraltar we had a party up on deck and it was packed! I think half of the passengers on the ship must have been there and half of that half spent 2 hours dancing the night away. There is a lady onboard who is 94 years old and she got on the dance floor and showed everyone how it’s supposed to be done. She didn’t stop! Living proof that age ain’t nothing but a number. The complimentary glass of Planter’s Punch rounded the evening off perfectly.
We spent the next day at sea, it was windy but lovely and sunny and a lot of people were taking advantage of the open decks and the epic seafood BBQ. I decided to have the grilled chicken, shell-on-prawns, veggies and mashed potato. The mash was really good! I love mashed potato but it’s not something I usually opt for on any ship – this time I was glad that I did.
Our call to Palma was an incredibly hot one! By 9:30am it was 34 degrees Celsius. I was up early for my excursion and decided I would have a cooked breakfast to give me plenty of energy for the day. OK, OK, I just wanted a cooked breakfast 😉 I’m glad that I went with it because the scrambled egg was perfect, and I mean perfect! I could have eaten a lot more of it! After I finished the delight that was breakfast I went on the ‘Narrow Gauge Train to Soller’ excursion.
We stopped for a few photo opportunities here and there before heading to the railway station to catch our train. It was beautiful going through the Mallorca countryside. I have visited Palma many times, even before I started cruising, but it was nice to see a different side to the island and one that can really only be seen via the old wooden train. I would definitely recommend doing this. We had around 45-minutes of free time in Soller before we made the journey back to Saga Sapphire. Had it been a cooler day then I would have appreciated more time in the town, but I was ready to drop and couldn’t wait to get back on the coach and into the air conditioning. Once back onboard, I dropped my things in my cabin and went straight for lunch – I was desperate for a cold drink and it just so happened they served food in the same place, so I had a plate of spaghetti carbonara.
We are at sea today and it’s another hot one! They are busy setting up the BBQ on the deck again but I don’t know what to have for lunch! Fish and chips from the Beach Club? A sandwich from The Grill restaurant, or something from the BBQ? Decisions, decisions! I skipped breakfast today so i’m starting to feel pretty hungry.
Our next stop is Civitavecchia, which is then followed by Livorno. I adore Italy, I can’t wait to get back, but it looks like both days are going to be incredibly hot and my tour tomorrow is about 8 hours in length – I used to be able to handle this kind of heat…..not anymore!
I will catch up with you again very soon………….. 🙂