Adventure of the Seas, Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 & Ruby Princess
A reunion - of sorts - on the 23rd May 2014 when Ruby Princess was in with two-thirds of the Cunard fleet she'd met in Lisbon on the 6th, when Mary and Vicky returned after their respective voyages following Mary's 10th birthday celebrations.  Disappointingly, with Ruby's 4.30am arrival, 5pm departure and stuck the wrong way in Mayflower Terminal, there would be no passing.  I don't understand the thinking.  Arcadia, Ventura and Azura are always port in Mayflower yet Vicky, Betty and the Princesses are starboard.  Why when they're the same basic design?  Anyway, thankfully the weather stopped before the other three were scheduled to sail at the usual 4.30pm.  None left on time.  There's a surprise - not!  Adventure moved just before Vicky though, giving a mere one blast.  Vicky was also tight, giving one before eventually the three so signal going astern.  I hope this skimping on blasts isn't a fuel saving measure.  There's nothing better on a ship than hearing a minimum of three as you depart and better saying hello to those around, especially in the same fleet.  Mind you, Vicky was probably still recovering after Mary's birthday blasts on the 9th!  As usual, the decent weather brought out the idiots.  One lady went to the rest of her family, "How old is Queen Victoria?  She looks really old".  She also asked them if the ferry was Red Funnel or Hythe, despite the fact it had Red Funnel in big red letters on the side.  And she expected whoever it was on Adventure to see her because she was wearing a red coat while Mary was "being pushed out with the tug".  They were nothing though compared to Mr Running Commentary!  Oh my God, he was the funniest thing I've heard for years!  He was recording video onto his phone for someone and came out with so many ridiculous statements including how Vicky and Adventure (by then up by Fawley/Calshot) were waiting for her to catch up!  When Mary gave one blast, he said that meant "Yes, I'm going forward" but had no opinion on the three after that.  He was very surprised she was going so slow while in the port area and told the friend he was talking to on the recording how she will speed up shortly and soon he will see the water kicking up around the bow.  It was a relief when he left feeling very pleased with himself and his wealth of knowledge because we no longer had to try and stop cracking up.  Anyway, Red Osprey hung back in the Itchen as Mary was swivelling her bum around and began to move once she was going forward.  As she passed Calshot, heard her mournful whistle blow three times.  FINALLY, Ruby decided to up props and shift it at 5.45pm.  It really is such time wasting going to turn.  Please dock them the right way round in Mayflower!!!!  If she let rip we couldn't hear it.  Certainly didn't after turning anyway.
And so that, later than advertised as usual, was that and we went for the bus.  Photos of the three Cunard Queens meeting Ruby in Lisbon can be found here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 23rd May 2014
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