Queen Elizabeth 2 & Independence of the Seas Arrival
After the events of the 22nd April 2008 with the current three Cunard Queens it was now time for the next major one on the 25th - the arrival of Royal Caribbean's latest 160,000grt Freedom class vessel, Independence of the Seas!  Unlike her elder sisters, this one was staying rather than visiting four days and buggering off.  In fact they have such confidence of success, she will be back again next season.  I thought it amusing my two consecutive RCI cruises will have been on ships which were named in Southampton and sailed on their maiden voyage from here.  Of course it took me ten years to get on Vision of the Seas.  Not so long to get on Independence - just seven days to wait!  Unlike her sisters her arrival time was not 9am but 7am so a very early start with a crap public transport system and having to rely on an unreliable taxi firm.  Hard to believe three years earlier we caught the 5.15am bus and now they don't start until almost an hour later.  Too late for us.  The earliest taxi time we could get was 5.50am but looking at AIS and she was early!  Just as we left, due to him being late, she was coming into the view.  When we arrived at the marina she had passed the pier.  Not many people were out, perhaps it was because of the time.  It was a nice morning, albeit a little chilly.  A mother arrived with her daughter who wanted to see the ship but a few turned up when she was almost docked.  If it's anything like last year they probably thought 7am was arriving not docking.  Why can't the fairweathers be so ignorant at other times?  The QE2 was still in, coming to the end of her refit.
Docked starboard again.  Grrr!  I hope it's temporary and she's port for next week.  Don't want to be the first maiden voyage to go last.  We went before she was in fully to have some breakfast.   For photos of her maiden voyage click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 25th April 2008
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