Oceana (II) & Royal Princess (III) UK Debut
Another brand new ship on the 7th June 2013 when the latest Royal Princess made her debut from the shipyard.  The original was named by Princess Diana in 1984 and was revolutionary as there were only outside cabins.  She was transferred to P&O in 2005 to become Artemis until 2011 and is currently Artania for Phoenix Reisen.  The second had no royal connection whatsoever, just being given the name after Carnival Corporation closed Swan Hellenic and transferred Minerva 2 to Princess in 2007.  She then went to P&O in 2011 and is currently Adonia.  This one is 141,000grt and has no oceanview cabins, only a few inside with the rest balcony meaning paying double for a single.  Does everyone REALLY want a balcony, as the mantra goes, or are cruise lines using them to make more money, forcing people to book them by removing other options?  Anyway, she left the Monfalcone yard just after 6pm on the 31st May and stopped briefly at Algiceras on the 4th to refuel.  The big day arrived after more than a week of sunshine, and was pouring, cold and windy with thunder and fork lightning.  They hadn't forecast that!  The swans were having a great time while we got drenched.  A few turned out, waiting in their dry cars, popping out to take a few pics then leaving.  A Princess employee was there, having just got back to the UK and knew some of the crew onboard, while others were getting soaked but having fun on the Blue Funnel boat, Ashleigh R.  Disappointingly, she didn't blow her horn passing Hythe as new ships tend to.
We were too soaked and it was too windy and wet to watch her dock so we wimped out and squelched to a taxi to get home and dry off.  To see photos of Royal Princess departing on her maiden voyage on the 16th June, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 7th June 2013
Not to be reproduced without permission