Crystal Serenity, Celebrity Eclipse & Queen Victoria
On the 29th April 2010, Celebrity Eclipse returned from her short inaugural cruise with me onboard.  Our original arrival time was 7am but it was changed to 5.15am, the usual time for RCCL vessels cruising from here.  With us would be Crystal Serenity, making her first call for two years and my dad's favourite.  She was due for 8am and docking in Mayflower Terminal, but for some reason that was changed to 5am so would beat us in and in the dark!  Grrr!  Making up the trio at the later time of 7am from 6.30am was Queen Victoria, going into Ocean Terminal.  I was out on deck in the cold and mist feeling unwell so took some really crap photos.  We turned in the Middle Swinging Ground and docked as it gradually became lighter but mistier.
I decided to give QV a miss due to the length of waiting, weather and also not feeling great so went back to the cabin to try and sleep for a couple of hours.  I decided to go and try some breakfast in the Oceanview Cafe then headed out onto the deck for some pics of both ships.  Annoyingly a Grimaldi car carrier was docking at that very moment, beginning to block the view of Serenity!
So back down for the sailings.  To be honest, if my dad didn't love the Crystal so much we'd have stayed home.  I was still feeling a little icky but much better than the morning.  QV was down to go at 4.30pm, Eclipse fifteen minutes after that for her 'maiden voyage' and Serenity at 6pm.  There were quite a lot of people down the marina but the weather couldn't make its mind up from one minute to the next, being too hot or too cold.
We heard the eight bells of Eclipse at 4pm as we waited for the first sign of movement.  Slightly later than scheduled, QV was free of ropes and began to move, sounding three blasts to signal going astern.
Then we heard Eclipse give three blasts and she was off!  Just like my cruise three days earlier, they wasted no time moving.  Also a few minutes later, that bugger in Cunard colours blasted, though not in reply.
Most people left after those two with a scattering remaining for the Crystal, although some even gave up there.  She was slightly late but when she did move, she did the unexpected - blasted!  Crystals don't do anything from here, just slip out.  But no.  Today she gave three of them.
As she slowly made her way towards us, the little Hythe ferry suddenly turned and seemingly her engines went quiet.  Being a grand old lady of 64 now, Hotspur IV chugs loudly along, so it's perplexing when there's silence, especially given her recent engine troubles.  As it turned out, the skipper was just waiting for the Red Funnel to pass then tagged along behind, rocking merrily in the wake.
Then we went home to warm up as it had become a bit chilly.  The review of my Eclipse cruise can be found here.  

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© Patricia Dempsey 29th April 2010
Not to be reproduced without permission