Queen Mary 2, Navigator of the Seas & Grand Princess
This is why I love ships - they rarely cooperate so life's never dull with them around.  The massive monsters were in Southampton on the 28th July 2007.  Queen Mary 2 in 38/9, Navigator of the Seas in 101 and Grand Princess in 106.  Unlike the previous three calls, Mary was actually port - hooray!  However someone in their wisdom decided to annoy by having Grand Princess starboard.  Grrr!  Grand Princess didn't start the day off well, arriving for 7.45am instead of 4am.  I did ponder for a second or two going down for the arrival to guarantee getting her pass Mary but then opted to stay in bed instead.  Much warmer!  Navigator had her departure time changed to 4.45pm so that was at least hopeful even though we knew there was very little chance of anyone passing Mary now.
Navigator did lifeboat drill just before 4.35pm so there was no way she would go at her allotted time but thankfully Grand wasn't going anywhere either as she was still bunkering.  When we heard the eight bells coming from Navigator, someone behind asked where that noise had come from and was.  Not regular ship stalkers then!  The marina was packed yet again with over 300 people, some still turning up with chairs and picnics at 5pm which surprised us as the weather wasn't that great with cold and ominous dark clouds but at least was dry.  Well as we thought Mary was off first, her last ropes cast around 5.10pm and boy did she take her time!  She came out bow first incredibly slowly before straightening a bit, then bow again and straighten.  I was on the phone to Amy at the time who told me VTS still had the other two for 4.45 and 5pm.  Ha!  She heard Mary's strangled laryngitis horn and agreed there's something wrong with it.  It's definitely the worst I've heard so far this year.  She also took her time moving towards the pier and we wondered if something was wrong there too.  But finally at 5.20pm Navigator moved out of 101 towards the turning circle - hooray!
Right about now several people decided to leave.  That's nice.  Poor Navigator and Grand being ignored by the Mary fans!  Most stayed which helped keep the wind off us.
Disappointingly neither Navigator or Grand Princess blasted to each other - meanies!  In fact, Navigator was silent until she was near us which made Amy delighted before she had to go.
Grand Princess cast off at 6pm and it was high time!  We were beginning to think she was waiting for a giant to grab her handle and push her.  But now it was her turn to be snubbed as once Navigator had passed the pier the vast majority buggered off.  Don't blame them really because no sooner was she emerging from the turning circle than it started to rain on and off but thankfully nowhere near as bad is the last time we went down to see her.
Another disappointment after keeping the remaining people, not to mention her passengers waiting - no blasting!  She really was a selfish cow today.  You can go off certain shippies you know!
So that was Grand Princess for me until September when she's in when I go on Aurora.  I'm hoping for better weather, as she appears to be a rainmaker like Oriana, and more cooperation!

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© Patricia Dempsey 28th July 2007
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