Farewell Royal Princess (I)
On the 26th May 2005, Princess Cruises' 45,000grt Royal Princess (I) arrived in Southampton under that name for the last time.  She may have only been sailing to Bremerhaven for conversion to Artemis under the P&O banner, replacing Adonia (which was also in port after reverting to her former name of Sea Princess (II) awaiting her maiden voyage two days later), but it felt like a final goodbye.  When Royal Princess arrived in the middle of the night her funnel wasn't lit.  We went to the marina for her noon departure and she was berthed in 38/9 as Sea Princess was already using 106.
Noon came and went.  Despite cranes still loading her well after 1pm, she eventually gave several blasts at 1.23pm and moved off a minute later to the sounds of Billy Ocean's When The Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going).
So off she went on her final sailing under the Princess banner to return several weeks later as Artemis, which you can read about here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 26th May 2005 & 18th May 2006
Not to be reproduced without permission