Balmoral & Queen Mary 2 in Gran Canaria
I have no idea who arrived first into Las Palmas on the 4th November 2011 because I had an early start, but Balmoral was next to us, having left Tenerife several hours after we did.  At the end of my tour, we stopped at a vantage point overlooking the town before returning to the port.
Once we were back, I took photos outside and inside the port area.  This is one reason I choose cruises over transatlantics.  A transat is an expensive taxi ride taking you from A to B, so you only get pictures at either end.  Cruises give many photo opportunities of your transport.  Of course, some people don't care about photographing the ship but I love it and that's what this website's all about.  The people on the island were so pleased Mary graced them with her obese presence, there was a huge poster down the side of a building!  An elderly man asked a couple if they were from the Queen Mary, to which they replied they were on Balmoral.  I said I was on Mary and he asked what time we were sailing (6pm).  The Balmoral couple wanted us to go first so they could take better photos.  It was quite funny having the Queen and her residence in another port together but if this Queen wanted to holiday in Balmoral, she'd squash her!
By the time I got back on Aurora, we had no been joined by Black Watch who was anchored near her sister Albatros and what a magnificent sight it was seeing them together.  All we needed was having Boudicca then my joy would have been complete although I knew I would be seeing her on the 6th somewhere in the English Channel.
After lunch I went a-wandering to get some pictures of Balmoral from our great height.  The weather was glorious and a contrast to the previous days in Madeira and Tenerife.  It was a shame there was a big fat dock separating us so I couldn't look down and have a proper nose.
This is where we think the Captain was ill and his pre-departure spiel was pre-recorded.  He may not have had the norovirus which had been first reported two days earlier, but there was definitely something amiss.  For one thing, he said we would be leaving at 5pm - TWICE - when it was almost 6pm.  Nowhere in our itinerary were we sailing at 5pm so taken from a previous cruise?  He also said the "other ships" would be going first, even though there was just Balmoral.  Although Balmoral began to single up, our ropes were gone because we were first and he would have known that had be been on the bridge.  The Deputy Captain, Robert Camby, took us out "for practice" apparently.  We blasted as we went astern and, to my shock, Balmoral actually spoke!  Never does that at home, cheeky madam.  We then blasted more as the cars which had been on the dockside were honking their horns at us.  Balmoral slipped her moorings and followed us out.
To read the review of my Queen Mary 2 cruise click here.

Back to Stalking Index

© Patricia Dempsey 4th November 2011
Not to be reproduced without permission