Independence of the Seas, MSC Opera, Ventura, Crown Princess (II) & Caribbean Princess
A busy day and beautifully sunny day on the 29th June 2013 with five ships in, three of which were Grand class Princesses.  Caribbean was in QEII, Crown in Mayflower, yet again the wrong way round and their P&O sibling Ventura was in Ocean.  Indy was in City while Opera relegated to 104 again, where she'd been most of this season.  Christian Reay, Anthony Marshall and Dan Gosling came across, as well as Howard Paulman, who I'd met on the QE2 five years ago this very week.  He'd arrived from New York earlier in the week.  He came over on the same ferry as Christian and Anthony while Dan arrived by bus just as we were passing the stop.  Indy, Opera and Crown were due to go 4pm, Ventura 4.30pm and Caribbean 5pm.  Opera was then changed to 4.15pm and Crown 4.30pm.  It beggars belief they constantly dock the Princesses starboard when their P&O siblings are port and as Christian pointed out, they could have put Crown in Ocean and Ventura the right way round in Mayflower.  Indy left first then Opera went astern to turn at the Middle Swinging Ground, as she'd done once before in 2011.  Indy blasted to everyone and Ventura responded.  Caribbean was rather rude.  Once Opera passed, out came Ventura who didn't acknowledge her sibling Caribbean and vice versa.  That's what we were there for!  The helicopter which had buzzed around before disappeared so we don't know if it was for pictures for Carnival UK or what.  Caribbean singled up and then we noticed Crown FINALLY shifting her Princess arse to time waste.  We hoped she would wait but decided to bugger off once a car carrier had sailed, leaving Crown to play catch up.  It was the least she deserved for spoiling the Carnival UK party.
Then it was time to go.  Dan's mum picked him up in her great car while the rest of us went back into Hythe centre.  Our bus just turned up so we said a hasty goodbye to Howard, Christian and Anthony and hurried to it.  The driver was starting to drive off as soon as he disembarked passengers instead of waiting a few minutes!  Thankfully the grumpy git stopped.

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© Patricia Dempsey 29th June 2013
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