Athena, Aurora & Costa Serena in Tenerife
After the excitement of so many ships in Madeira and a leisurely stroll towards Tenerife we arrived in the early morning on the 2nd January.  Athena was already there, having arrived the night before.  We had 3G so I checked our webcam and Costa Serena's and saw we were ahead and a white blob on Costa cam.  I went on deck as it was just getting light and saw she was really close.  As I went aft on the Sun Deck she was just coming in while we made out way towards our berth.  The 112,000grt Costa Serena is the newest of the Carnival ships for their Italian brand and made her maiden voyage on the 26th May 2007.  She is the sister of Costa Concordia.  Having never seen a Carnival ship in person I'm afraid I found them much uglier than in photos.  They're bulky, hideous and have no redeeming features.  I know some people like them but I'm not one of them.  Why, oh why, are Carnival ruining the uniqueness of all their brands by using the same ships across them?  Anyway, while we docked, the Costa turned and backed in to dock behind us.
Once Costa Serena was safely secure I made my way to the observation deck to see the beautiful Athena in front of us.  It's at times like this I wish Aurora's was glass-free like Oriana's.  It's very difficult getting decent photos between the glass panels.
Upon returning from the excursion I knew my mission - get close ups of the ships!  After getting off the coach I made my way forward but even being so close to the Costa didn't endear her to me.  Being docked beside us made it a real Beauty and the Beast moment.
Lots of painting going on on both ships with only Athena remaining untouched.  I slowly made my way to the other end of the dock to get Athena.  The weather had warmed up considerably to 21 degrees and I'd left my water in the cabin!  Funnily enough as I was walking back towards Aurora a taxi driver pulled up from the Costa asking if I wanted one.  Considering the length of the dock it would have been handy but I declined.  I must admit I do like their display to have your photo taken by.  Ours was just a quick shot on the gangway.  Even Aida's is better than P&O.
Costa Serena was due to sail at 5pm with us an hour later followed by Athena at 7pm.  At seemingly every five minutes before the hour the Costa would give one blast.  She cast some ropes but then had to stay while the Fred Olsen ferry left then a small vessel came in so left nearly twenty minutes late.  The captain had come on to say Costa were part of Carnival.  She blasted three times but we didn't respond. The Italians on board were shouting, whistling and one was waving an enormous towel or something as they pulled away and headed out.
We had been due to see Black Prince in Lisbon on the 4th but, due to the bad weather, neither of us made it there so that was the end of my holiday ships until we got into the English Channel.  To read the review of my cruise click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 2nd January 2008
Not to be reproduced without permission