Celebrity Eclipse, Queen Elizabeth (II) Queen Mary 2 & Costa Luminosa
Another weather refugee arrived in Southampton on the 12th September 2011 in the shape of Costa Luminosa.  Due to the remnants of hurricane Katia hitting Sunday and Monday, Dover Cruise Port announced on the 9th they would most likely be closed, Fred Olsen posted about Black Watch going from Portsmouth instead.  There would already be three ships in Southampton so the berths were Eclipse port in City, Mary starboard in Ocean (and arriving nearly two hours late) while Betty was starboard in Mayflower, thus, for some daft reason, plonking Luminosa in 104 when QEII was available.  The next day that changed to Mary starboard in QEII while Luminosa would now be in Ocean.  Luminosa was Costa's first Spirit/Vista hybrid, sharing the same dimensions as the Cunards and even features grass like her near-sister getting wet up the end.  This 92,700grt Vista was christened in a joint ceremony with Costa Pacifica in Genoa on the 5th June 2009.  We caught the 11.10am ferry across and, despite dire warnings of doom and gloom from the remnants of hurricane Katia, in truth it was a bit windy but warm and sunny.  We were overdressed, thinking it would be like when AIDAblu and Costa Atlantica diverted six days earlier.  Through the haze I could see Luminosa coming around the hook as we crossed Southampton Water.
Phill was on Town Quay so I had a little chat with him before heading to the end and talking briefly to Steve (hoppy82 on YouTube).  Because Luminosa would be docking in Ocean, it would mean a lot of movement and extra strain on my back so I went close to the Red Jet terminal to await her coming around the mountain - aka Mary!  Disappointingly, both were silent.  Some Germans asked some Americans if that was the Queen Mary 2 and they replied it was but didn't know the other one so I explained she was here because of Dover being shut.
We headed back to catch the 12.30pm ferry, killing time by chatting to Phill then got some more shots as we passed.  The skipper had told people the Costa was Greek so, after telling the the first mate it's Italian, said to tell him so we did.  Waverley still had a restriction around her and her voyage had again been cancelled due to weather although she had done a couple during the week.
Never one to miss a photo opportunity if I can help it, I left the door open on the pier train so I could get some more of our now four ladies.  I really like weather refugees!
Home for a couple of hours then down the marina, which was pretty chocka but it usually is when the fat one's lording it over everyone.  Again it was warm and sunny with very little wind at times so we were overdressed in winter woollies and coats!  Mary was still 5.30pm, Betty was now 5pm while Eclipse remained the same 4.30pm.  Since the Costa was 11.30pm we weren't bothered about that.  A five year old boy knew what ships were meant to be in so I told him about the Costa.  He later double-checked the departure times with me and then a man from the Midlands did the same.  Eclipse was twenty minutes late, giving three blasts as she very slowly moved into the channel.  Because some old git went and sat right in my way, I had to stand and twist for most of the time to avoid getting his head in the shot which was absolute hell.  Fairweathers!
Then the old git's wife went in the way but thankfully the ship had passed.  We had no choice but to move down to the front, which used to be more convenient but now causes a lot of pain so I need to be sat on a bench for comfort.  Within ten minutes those two pissed off!  I got chatting to a bloke called Geoff about various things and it helped pass the time as Mary's time was pushed back to 7pm, despite having muster at 5pm.  At 5.30pm several blasts could be heard from the direction of Mayflower - Betty was on the move at last!!!!!  Once she neared the Costa, blasting ensued.  We heard nothing from the visitor but I have been told she did respond.  Mary did as usual, with morons behind making stupid comments and asking each other questions about the saluting, so more bloody fairweathers!
And so home since Mary was now the ridiculous 8.30pm, and the bus didn't turn up.  A lady said she'd been waiting since 6.15pm.  Mary eventually left after 9pm after having trouble with a winch, meaning she was unable to pick up the tender before sailing as usual.  Once it was fixed, she was off, reversing into the Itchen.  The Costa went at 11pm.
It was lovely having a second Costa in six days.  To see photos of her Spirit sister Costa Atlantica coming for shelter, click here and of her Vista sister, Costa Deliziosa in Geiranger, click here.

Back to Stalking Index

© Patricia Dempsey 12th September 2011
Not to be reproduced without permission