MSC Opera, Ventura, Independence of the Seas & Aurora
MSC Opera returned for her third Southampton season on the 18th May 2013 and was unusually docked in the QEII Terminal.  It was a later comeback than 2012 because they changed her itineraries.  Indy was in the usual City, Ventura on Ocean while Aurora the wrong way round after a charter in Mayflower, all due at the usual 4.30pm.  We got there about 3.50pm and it was packed with people you never see when it's cold or wet, so we had to sit down the front like the old days before my back got knackered.  Now with a dodgy knee, it made it difficult but ships are worth it!  Opera was singling up before we'd even seen almost every seat was taken but went on time with three long blasts.  Geoff, who i first met when we waited for Freedom of the Seas to arrive in 2006, was down waiting to wave Aurora off on her three night trip with Opera singer, Russell Watson.  Indy then gave us all a surprise by blasting twenty minutes later.  Aurora finished muster at nearly 4.30pm while Ventura began hers then so neither of those would be on time.  Aurora eventually gave three blasts just before 4.50pm with Ventura doing blast mania twice about fifteen minutes later so wasn't going to wait.
As we headed out of the marina, a bloke turned up and got his camera out - too late, mush!  At least the weather had stayed dry, despite clouding over quite a bit.

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© Patricia Dempsey 18th May 2013
Not to be reproduced without permission