Radiance of the Seas, Vision of the Seas & Norwegian Pearl
This review is written by Amy Blume.

On September 28, 2007 Norwegian Pearl made her maiden visit to the City of Angels.  In dock with her was Radiance of the Seas and the usual suspect, her fleet mate, Monarch of the Seas. Pearl was parked in berth 91, almost blocking off access to the fire station, while Radiance was in berth 92 so she was kitty corner to her older sister Monarch.  We had wanted to take the harbor cruise once we saw they weren't moving (one was gassing up and the others were playing with lifeboats) but the harbor cruises had been canceled due to non-existent rain.  Around fifteen minutes till five we heard two ships give mustering bells.  At five suddenly Radiance slipped her hawsers and started sliding sideways out of dock.  As she pulled away there was blast manis with her sister Monarch.  Both the OTS have very satisfying whistles.  As Radiance passed Pearl, she was saluted by a pretty sad sounding horn for such a large ship, but I appreciated the gesture.

As she neared Ports O'Call, Radiance blasted us and we waved to all the people on her balconies.  She's a beautiful ship, and I've decided to put her on my 'To Sail' list.  Once she'd passed it was time to break and run to Land's End as she was already going a good clip!
We waited half an hour at Land's End thinking that Monarch must be on her way, but she did nothing for so long that we decided to go back to Ports O'Call.  When we got there she was already moving toward us.  To our disappointment she only blasted once as she pulled away and was silent passing Pearl.
When Pearl didn't look to be moving any time soon, we decided to get as close as we could and take a picture at least of the name on her bum.  Much to my surprise when I got down to the fire stationj she was starting to move!  These first pictures are a little awkward because the fire station isn't the best location for taking pictures due to all the stuff in the way, however you can see the fireboat follow her out to celebrate her maiden departure. When she was closing in on Ports O'Call, we jumped back in the car to beat her to Land's End.  The maiden was a little ruined by her backing down the channel, and the fact that it as getting dark.  We were disappointed by the fireboat stopping at Ports O'Call and not following her out.
I wasn't crazy about this new Norwegian ship, as I haven't been fond of the looks of any of them, but it was fun to be at a special event at the port regardless.  For photos of Norwegian Pearl arriving in Southampton in December 2006 click here.

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© Amy Blume 28th September 2007
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