2016 has been full of adventure for me, but my final cruise of the year is just 6 days away and it is one that I have been anticipating for over a year: Saga Sapphire’s Mystery Cruise!
Usually, I would put a pre-cruise blog together like this one and offer you some insight into the ports that I would be visiting, but I can’t do that this time as I literally have no idea where I am going. All I do know is that the ship leaves Southampton on November 7 and arrives back into Southampton on December 1. I’d like to think that Captain Rentell will be sailing us to warmer climates, as it is his final Mystery Cruise after all, but who knows where we will end up! We do, however, sail from Southampton the day before Saga Pearl II, and she will be heading west across the Atlantic for the Caribbean – could we be following in her wake (or rather her ours) for a sisterly island hop? I certainly hope so, but we could be going anywhere!
The only people onboard that will know where we are going are the Captain, Chief Purser and the watch keepers, for everyone else, it will be a complete mystery. All electronic charts will be turned off, so there won’t even be a hint of which way we are going – maybe I need to befriend someone who is good at following the stars! 😉
I am a HUGE fan of Saga Cruises and when the opportunity came along to join Saga Sapphire on her 24-night Mystery Cruise this November I just couldn’t say no. This will be my third cruise aboard Sapphy and one of the things I am most looking forward to is the food. As far as I am concerned, Saga offer some of the best food at sea and my mouth is watering just thinking about the culinary delights that will be on offer in East to West – Saga Sapphire’s specialty restaurant that is offered completely FREE of charge – as well as her other dining venues. I’m also looking forward to the onboard atmosphere. I’ve never done a mystery cruise before, so I’m not entirely sure what to expect, but I am confident that the ship will be full of chatter and friendly debates. It is going to feel very odd though: not having any idea where we are going, packing for all seasons, not carrying any foreign currency, not having any nautical updates or info on our ports of call – what an adventure this is REALLY going to be!
One thing I am sure you are thinking is what on earth will I pack? Well, I am taking a little bit of everything, apart from thermals. I don’t think they would send us north into the Arctic, so I’m going for spring, summer and autumn temperatures and hoping for the best.
Being back onboard Saga Sapphire will be a special treat, I have a massive soft spot for the ship and I think Saga Cruises’ offerings are virtually a 10/10 – they really look after their passengers and nothing is ever too much trouble. They seem to have everything just right, even down to the finest detail. The accommodation options are very good indeed; the food is the best I have ever eaten at sea; the crew are wonderful; the onboard public areas are well-maintained and have always been spotless during my voyages; and the choice of destinations and excursions is fantastic. I especially like it when they offer tours that no other cruise line offers, or very rarely offers, such as my tour to Oreshek Fortress in Russia and my visit to Patarei Prison in Estonia. Speaking of shore excursions, I’m told that 1 mystery excursion will be offered in every port and there is enough allocation for every passenger onboard to join, should they wish to do so.
OK, I’ll stop rambling now, I must attempt to organise my luggage – if that is even possible! I’ll be posting live updates during the voyage to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so feel free to follow me and join in on the adventure…and guessing games! 🙂