Grand Princess, Independence of the Seas, Ventura & Seven Seas Voyager
One reason and one reason only why we went out on the 5th June 2010 - Seven Seas Voyager made a return call and was docked in the QEII Terminal.  When she called during 2009 she was in Mayflower with a 6pm departure so it wasn't worth it.  I'd be seeing her in Tallinn anyway that year so just watching from the window wasn't a problem.  I love this ship and have since I first saw her in Fremantle back in February 2006.  I'd like to see her sisters but am happy with her.  Her sailing was brought forward to 5pm from the usual 6pm.  She was first to arrive at 4.45am with Indy for 5.15am.  Grand Princess and Ventura were 6.30am.  The Princess has her time brought forward to 4pm but never makes that and docking the wrong way round usually means she brings up the rear well after the rest.  So on a gorgeous sunny day, with some cool breeze, we caught the 3.40pm ferry to take some photos of Voyager.  Unfortunately Great Ex was back in service so we got to the front of the queue.

We stayed on for the return journey and even though Whitchallenger had left the Princess, there was no sign of her moving.  Meanwhile as I tried to get a photo of Indy, a ferry blocked the view.  Guess which one?  That's right, the former banana - Red Osprey!  It just had to be!

We went on the pier to wait, since Split Two was still dredging by the marina and ruining the view somewhat.  The end of the pier had about a dozen people waiting to wave someone off and we started there as Grand finally moved forward.  Unfortunately, just like all these people, a woman went right in front of me as the ship was passing Marchwood so we went down a bit.  The mist was a pain.  It's not like this in June normally.  This was more like April haze.
Normally by now something else is moving only today it wasn't.  4.30pm had come and gone leaving Ventura still sitting there tied up.  It was obvious Indy would follow but when would the P&O throw the ropes?  Could it be possible Grand Princess, bane of our ship stalking lives since her arrival in 2008, would be first instead of miles behind the rest?
Indy gave a couple of blasts as the Princess passed to let everyone know she was on the move too.  Ventura still was motionless at what was now twenty three minutes late.
For some reason neither the Princess or Ventura blasted to its sister line.  This is always one of the highlights so was very disappointing.

Once Indy has passed we saw Ventura was on the move at last!  She was only forty-nine minutes late by then.  As Ventura backed out to turn, Seven Seas Voyager began to single up ready to let go as soon as the P&O had safely passed.  But would she reverse into the Itchen despite the wind or go to the Lower Swinging Ground?

Voyager slowly moved away from the berth towards the channel and backed up - YES!!!!  Three short blasts were sadly all we got but it was better than nothing.

The pier train was coming back so we stopped there and went to catch it so we could make the bus.  It had been a good day with them all going after each other like that.  Pity about the mist.  Seven Seas Voyager was due to return the following September but for some reason they changed it to Dover.  She is scheduled for calls in 2011 though so I hope they keep them, but it would be nice to see Seven Seas Mariner or Seven Seas Navigator sometime.


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© Patricia Dempsey 5th June 2010
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