Diary of a cruise virgin – Saga Pearl: Part 1

The planning and expectation

Welcome to my blog as I prepare for my first cruise, aboard Saga Pearl II to the majestic Norwegian Fjords in July. After 45 years in the travel industry it seems strange to be at last taking the plunge into cruising – although I sincerely hope not literally. And a combination of my ripe old age, together with ‘Saga’, makes me question the use of the word ‘virgin’. But hopefully my experiences will inspire others who, up to now, have shied away from the world of cruise ships.

Saga Pearl III chose Saga as their ships are smaller, somehow I don’t fancy the huge glittery liners with thousands of passengers and even more crew. Saga Pearl looks small and intimate and hopefully will be able to go where larger ships cannot, further into the Fjords and into smaller harbours.

Norway is a place I have never been to and I am drawn to the breathtaking scenery and a chance to experience the Midnight Sun.

With just a few weeks to go until we cast off from Dover I am perusing the shore excursion brochure with amazement – the perception of Saga holidays is that they are for ‘older people’ (but suddenly I am one of them) and the going is easy. Saga tripsWell, on some trips the going is certainly easy with leisurely coach tours around cities and countryside, but what interests me is the chance to hike down a mountain or take an exciting RIB Ride to see dolphin and seals, or a scenic train journey to an iconic waterfall. This is shaping up to be an active week!

My other preoccupation at this stage is my wardrobe. I have heard stories of having to dress to the nines in the evening, and as a fairly casual person have had to buy a couple of smart outfits. I shall stick with two dresses and hope to get by on other nights in smart trousers and tops. Sailing from Dover is a real bonus as there are no concerns about luggage allowances on planes.

As excitement mounts I ask myself if this trip might be the start of a love affair with cruising … I shall be sending frequent reports back to Silver Travel Towers throughout my trip so please follow.

Silver Travel Advisor recommends Saga Holidays

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Sally Dowling

Travel writer

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