On May 31st 2014 we had the opportunity to visit Saga Pearl II whilst the vessel was berthed alongside the Cruise Terminal at Harwich International Port.
The visit on board Saga Pearl II followed our visit on board Saga Ruby on October 25th 2013 in Southampton, where we officially presented our drawing to Captain Wesley Dunlop and Ross Furlong, Hotel Operations Director.
Whilst on board Saga Ruby we discussed the possibility of visiting Saga Pearl II. Ross Furlong and other members of Saga's management team stated that they would be happy to welcome us aboard Saga Pearl II.
Unlike the visit on board Saga Ruby, where Harry Cotterill, President & Managing Director, Dream Designs Colchester was joined by both Anthony Marshall and Christian Reay he was instead joined aboard by Gavin Pamment, Chief Photographer, Dream Designs Colchester.
Saga Pearl II was due to berth alongside the Cruise Terminal at Harwich International Port at approximately 13:00. Harry and Gavin arrived just before 13:00 in order to watch the ship arrive. Arriving with no or very few passengers on board a complete ship load of new passengers were due to embark the vessel along with a number of newly embarking crew members too, which can be seen watching the ship arrive in some of our photos.
Having watched Saga Pearl II arrive and berth alongside the Cruise Terminal, now docked Harry and Gavin both took the opportunity to have a photograph taken outside the Cruise Terminal with Saga Pearl II berthed behind.
Before entering the Cruise Terminal and collecting their passes from the Passes Office, as always Harry was keen to get a photograph unveiling his drawing outside the Cruise Terminal with the ship behind. As always it attracted a little bit of attention from onlookers on the quayside.
Having collected their passes from the Passes Office, Harry and Gavin made their way through the security checks in the Cruise Terminal, before making their way along the passenger boarding gangway. Before stepping aboard Saga Pearl II they were met by Terry Wiseman, Hotel Purchasing Manager who introduced himself to both Harry and Gavin and escorted them along the remainder of the gangway on to Saga Pearl II. Once on board Terry took Harry and Gavin to the navigation bridge.
A short whilst after entering the bridge the Master of Saga Pearl II, Captain Alistair McLundie came to meet Harry and Gavin and welcome them on board. Harry was then given the opportunity to officially present his drawing of Saga Pearl II which he had especially assigned for the visit on board.
Both Terry Wiseman and Captain Alistair McLundie seemed very impressed by the drawing and were keen to ask Harry lots of questions about the drawing and his passion for ships in general. Captain McLundie assured Harry that he would find a suitable place on board to display the drawing.
Following the drawing presentation on the bridge, Harry and Gavin were invited to tour the ship. Terry escorted Harry and Gavin back to the Reception on A Deck, where he asked them to wait whilst he found someone to guide them around the ship. Whilst they waited Terry also gave Harry one of the ship's plaque as a gift from Captain Alistair McLundie. A few moments later Kelly Conway, Cruise Staff came to meet Harry and Gavin and started their guided tour.
Starting from the Reception and the Tours Office on A Deck, they quickly moved up to Promenade Deck where they explored the Shackletons bar, the Library the The Dining Room.
Continuing the guided tour, next Harry and Gavin were taken to the The Verandah and buffet style restaurant on board Saga Pearl II which is also used for formal dining. On the Boat Deck they also saw the swimming pool at the aft, which is adjacent to The Verandah offering alfresco dining.
Moving all the way down to B Deck, Kelly showed Harry and Gavin the Cinema as well as the Hair and Beauty Salon, before moving down to C Deck to the gym and indoor Spa Pool.
Having toured most of the passenger amenities on board Saga Pearl II, Kelly ended the guided tour there but welcomed Harry and Gavin to explore the ship more by themselves and enjoy afternoon tea before disembarking.
Now guiding themselves around the ship, Harry and Gavin made their way back up to the Promenade Deck, where they took a quick look at the Briefing Room and the Ward Room before making their way up to the Bridge Deck to take a look at the Sundowner Bar which they had missed.
Continuing to the very top of the ship Harry and Gavin took a walk around the Sun Deck and had a look at the sports areas, including a short tennis court and traditional shuffle board.
Whilst at the top of the ship by the funnel, Harry took the chance to have a photograph taken holding the plaque which had been given to him in return for his drawing. Harry and Gavin made the most of the beautiful weather and they continued to stroll along the Sun Deck which offered wonderful views of the surrounding areas.
Moving back down to the Promenade Deck, Harry and Gavin took a moment to explore the outside promenade deck, before they headed for afternoon tea in the Discovery Lounge. The promenade deck could of course not be compared to the traditional teak promenade deck on board Saga Ruby.
Making their way into the Discovery Lounge at the bow of the ship on the Promenade Deck, Harry and Gavin were warmly welcomed and seated. Newly embarking passengers were treated to a wonderful selection of sandwiches, cakes and pastries.
After enjoying afternoon tea on board, Harry and Gavin disembarked Saga Pearl II heading back along the gangway into the Cruise Terminal and handed back their passes to collect their passports. Before leaving Harwich International Port, Harry took the chance to have another photograph taken holding the plaque which was kindly given to him, this time with the ship berthed behind.
Harry Cotterill, President & Managing Director, Dream Designs Colchester, said:
Harry Cotterill set up his blog when he was just 16-years old, making him one of the youngest cruise bloggers in the world. In later years he became known across the world for his amazing talent of drawing cruise ships!