Norwegian Jade, Artemis & Ventura
Norwegian Jade, the former NCL America ship, Pride of Hawai'i, made her Southampton debut on a rainy 30th May 2008.  She was due to dock originally after a repositioning cruise from Barcelona at 4am but it was put back half an hour.  If she had come at the original time it would have been to a glorious sunrise as by the time she passed my view at 4.20am it was typically pouring with rain and gloomy.  The port has gone starboard crazy this year with both her and Artemis docked that way with Ventura port at Mayflower Terminal. Jade was due to sail an hour earlier than the P&O ships but then that 4pm was put back half an hour.  I was getting a strong sense of deja vu and she hadn't even been here twelve hours!  As my dad chatted to a chap from Worthing, I was busy filming the flags being taken down from Artemis.  Unusually it was 3.15pm instead of around the hour prior to departure.
The weather was mild but did spit a few times.  Thankfully those heavy rain clouds were just that.  It didn't keep people away as slowly the marina built up.  A container ship mades its way towards the container terminal.  4.30 came and went with no movement.  The ropes were almost all gone when the container ship passed.  We heard one blast and finally movement!  She followed towards the turning circle at quite a lick.  Meanwhile at QEII, there was smoke coming from what looked like Artemis but it was a car carrier the other side.  Just before 5pm Artemis was heading for her own turning circle.
Once turned, she headed out at a snail's pace and was frustratingly silent!  The only sound coming from her was the vibration which was loud enough to hear.  Bless.  Part of her charm.
As she neared we could see her original Promenade Deck hull art was still there.  It sort of stood out compared to her new decor so I wondered why they hadn't changed that at the same time.
Once she'd passed the pier she blasted once more.  A little disappointing she was almost as mute as Artemis for her maiden visit.  We couldn't be bothered waiting for Ventura who for some reason wasn't moving despite VTS removing her from the departures list.  She must have left about 6pm because she passed the house half an hour later.
Nice to see my second rock-climbing wall-free NCL in a little over two months.  I hope for future sailings Jade is as noisy with her horn as the rest and also, more importantly, docked PORT!  Thank goodness for 4pm departures but wasted passing shots when she's late and has to turn as well.  To see photos of Norwegian Jade as Pride of Hawai'i and arriving in Los Angeles for the beginning of her transformation, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 30th May 2008
Not to be reproduced without permission