Saga Ruby, Aurora & Mein Schiff Southampton Debut
An early start on the 19th May 2010.  The German cruise ship, Mein Schiff, was making her maiden call into Southampton for 7am but sailing at 8pm.  I'd seen her in Copenhagen and St. Petersburg in July 2009 while on a cruise on Jewel on the Seas but hadn't managed to get her sailing.  Saga Ruby was due for 6am with Aurora originally 6.30am then 7am before putting it back.  They also changed Mein Schiff to the same time but as she followed Aurora, it was back to 7am.  We had a taxi booked for 5.45am but managed to get Rubes passing in the mist at 5.25am.
The taxi was a little late and Aurora was nearing Hythe pier as we turned into the marina.  Meanwhile Mein Schiff was twenty minutes behind, hidden by the dense mist and Rubes was turning in the Upper Swinging Ground before docking in Mayflower Terminal.  It was a lovely mild morning and just a pity about the mist.  Three other people were down, including the old couple we spoke to as we waited for Eclipse to arrive a month before.
The mist was making it very difficult for photos and video, getting denser in some places, so we decided one more shot then home.  Only we ended up chatting to the other three people, the couple telling me they had a rotten cruise on Eclipse, being upgraded without being told, tickets arriving two days before the trip thanks to the ash cloud closing airports, food in Blu being lousy so they ended up in the Oceanview each night.  Meanwhile Mein Schiff was docking starboard, the couple wanting it to be better so they could go over for photos.
After popping into Martin's for something to eat, we got a taxi home.  My long-term side pain was killing me so I was glad to rest.  Aurora left at 4.45pm, zooming by we missed her.  Rubes was just under half an hour later.  Mein Schiff left at 8pm for Hamburg and I managed to get her, though would prefer to have been able to go but my pain had other ideas.
There are rumours Mein Schiff 2 (possibly a provisional name and currently Celebrity Mercury),will be calling in September 2011.  For photos of Mein Schiff in Copehagen and information about her click here.  To see a video of her arriving, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 19th May 2010
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