Aurora, Legend of the Seas, Queen Elizabeth 2 & Thomson Celebration
Four ships for the price of three on the 21st May 2005 since Thompson Celebration was stuck in 102 berth after breaking down during her first post-refit cruise out of Southampton.  Aurora was in 106, Royal Caribbean's 1995-built, 70,000grt Legend of the Seas, on her first UK cruising season, was in 101 while QE2 was in her usual 38/9 and all three were listed for a 5pm sailing.
Aurora was the first to cast off around 5.10pm while the tugs were waiting around Legend.  She passed the QE2 about 5.35pm and greeted her but Lizzie didn't respond, probably as she was being filled with fuel.  As Aurora passed, the tanker followed.
Legend cast off around 5.40pm.  She passed Lizzie and greeted her.  This time there was a response which made us very happy.
No quick sailing for the Grande Dame though.  It was another twenty minutes before she finally cast off and the tugs pulled her out.
All in all a good day and the rain held off.  There were about 60-70 people down the marina.  Thomson Celebration stayed overnight to sail the next day.  Legend did one more Southampton season before being replaced by Navigator of the Seas.  She was the first western ship to sail out of China.  In 2017 she joined Thomson Cruises as TUI Discovery 2.

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© Patricia Dempsey 21st May 2005 & 20th May 2006
Not to be reproduced without permission
12th April 2017