Azamara Journey Southampton Debut & Balmoral
Azamara Journey made her first call to Southampton on the 29th May 2012.  I'd seen her in Stockholm and Barcelona, as well as heading into open sea the day before after calling at Rouen.  I was coming back after a short trip on Balmoral so we followed her into Southampton.  It was ironic both ships which sailed on the Titanic Memorial Cruise were togethet in Titanic's home port a month later.  I was up at 4.30am in the hope it would be light enough to get some fairly decent photos, since she was due to berth in City Terminal for 6am whith us in Mayflower half an hour later.
I managed to just make the 8.30am Hythe ferry and it was the gorgeous Hotspur IV.  The woman told me I was lucky because she had been running every hour.  Ooh er.  As we neared the pier, I saw Ashleigh R, the Blue Funnel Cruises boat, waiting in our spot so guessed she was in trouble again!  We pulled up on the other side, where she's usually laid up, the Patrick, the skipper, dashed down from the wheelhouse muttering something about turning something off before it overheats then disappeared.  Turned out to be her oil pressure gauge.
And so over to Mayflower Park.  Although Balmoral was due at her usual 4.30pm (but brought forward fifteen minutes), the Azamara wasn''t going until 6pm, which gave us plenty of time to get back our side and wait.  Nothing ever works out that way!  Balmoral was moving as we arrived and if it hadn't been for the Azamara, would have just snubbed the other ship over the Titanic wreck.
Afterwards we saw Steve (hoppy82 on YouTube) and stayed chatting with him as 6pm drew closer and muster had been at 5pm already.  Despite the men waiting by the ropes since well before the hour, nothing.  Eventually things started moving - or appeared to be.  She wouldn't be going until half past so we headed to Town Quay to aim for the 7pm ferry.  She started to single up after we got there.
We had to go.  Hotty was fixed and returned to service an hour earlier, heading towards Town Quay.  We chased her but never caught up.
The review of my Balmoral cruise can be found here.  To see other photos of Azamara Journey, click on the Other Stalking index.

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© Patricia Dempsey 29th May 2012
Not to be reproduced without permission