Golden Princess (II), Thomson Celebration & Queen Mary 2
Well at least it didn't rain on the 22nd May 2005 despite the weather being better the day before.  But it was very windy and cold.  It really is amazing how many people know hardly anything.  Quite a few of the less than sixty at the marina thought the QM2 was going at 5pm when she was down for an hour later.  Though she did take everyone by surprise by blasting out eight times at 5pm.  She was in her usual berth with the 1984-built, 33,933grt Thomson Celebration (chartered from Carnival/Holland-America Line and was the previous Noordam (III) in 101 starboard and Golden Princess in 106, the second on the 109,000grt Grand class and debuted in Southampton in 2001.
Despite Golden Princess, on her first UK-based cruise of the season, and Thomson Celebration both listed to sail at 5pm, Golden Princess cast off first around 5.10pm.  She was silent and stayed that was as she was passing QM2.  It was only when QM2 blew her horn, Golden blew hers.
6pm came round and the general feeling was QM2 would be off while Thomson Celebration was turning around.  Wrong!  Much to everyone's surprise QM2 stayed put and set sail for the first cruise since she was repaired after a breakdown.  Even more of a surprise was that they greeted each other as Celebration passed.  As she got nearer us we could hear the distinct sound of Hi Ho Silver Lining from the stern disco.
Finally, the QM2.  She cast off as soon as Thomson Celebration was out the way.  At 6.40pm she gave three blasts as she started to move away from the dock then nothing.  She didn't move and nothing was passing.  There were a lot of bubbles around her hull but she didn't go forward a millimetre.  Finally she did after around a minute.

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© Patricia Dempsey 22nd May 2005 & 20th May 2006
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