National Geographic Explorer & Caribbean Princess
A newbie to the port on the 14th May 2012 in the shape of Caribbean Princess, fresh from her repositioning.  She was replacing Crown on her itineraries from this year.  I had last seen her in Aruba back in December 2011 when i was on Celebrity Constellation.  Meanwhile, still in berth 202 since the 1st was National Geographic Explorer, refit at an end.  She had been listed to sail the day before at 3pm then 6pm, 9am this morning, noon, somewhen until finally she was down for 3.15pm this afternoon.  The weather was cold, wet and windy as we hot footed it down, just making the 3.15pm bus because it was running late.  Well we waited and waited and waited and thankfully the rain stopped even though the cold wind hadn't.  Still it was quiet as the fairweathers were kept away, only one elderly couple huddled under a golfing umbrella who may have buggered off when we went to the other side of the lock for all we know.  Around 3.50pm she was on the move with the assistance of two tugs, Wyeforce and Wyetow.  Then wouldn't you know it, bloody Red Falcon.... Grrrrr!!!!!!!!!
And so it was the turn of our new girl - avec handle, baby!  I was so pleased she hadn't been decapitated during the November 2011 refit like her big sister Grand had been that April.  I also hoped the engine problems she suffered in March, resulting in being stuck in St Maarten so Grand had to tender then cancelling the following two cruises, were in good working order.  She was scheduled to sail at 5pm and so off her ropes went twenty minutes late then took an AGE to shift her handlebar bum!
And so home to warm up with a nice cup of coffee and dinner!  To see arrival photos of National Geographic Explorer, click here and pictures of Caribbean Princess in Aruba, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 14th May 2012
Not to be reproduced without permission