Celebrity Constellation in Harwich
Because Rowan and I were going on Vision of the Seas on the 3rd May 2009 from Harwich, we travelled up the day before.  My friend Robin Prichard picked us up from Victoria then drove us over to Harwich.  It was the beginning of their cruise season, with Celebrity Constellation being the first ship.  I hadn't seen her since my cruise ended on the 30th April 2007 when she went from Southampton to refit and tranferred power from gas turbine to diesel-electric.  They'd also added the annoying Celebrity prefix, which makes their ships' names right mouthfuls.  2009 was her second season doing Baltic cruises from Harwich and her last from the UK.  In 2010 she would be moved to Amsterdam while the new Celebrity Eclipse would have a handful of Baltic runs from Southampton.  Rowan had never seen a Celebrity before.
Connie was due to sail at 5pm so Robin drove us to the Harwich Foot Ferry, where Pam had told me to watch the ships from.  It was miles away from the Premier Inn and no signs until you were practically on top of it!  It's a wooden jetty and a bit like Town Quay, including its own irritating fishermen getting in the way!  It was pretty crowded as well but still some good places to stand.  She left late.  I got chatting to a bloke who worked for the port after I'd told Rowan and Robin this was her last season.  He had no idea.
She'd come out then seemed to grind to a halt for the longest time.  We could see she was still moving, albeit really very slowly before finally picking up speed and heading towards us.
A shame everything in the way stopped us seeing her sail into the open water.  It was good anyway and something different.  Would be better if there was somewhere nearer the port and hotel to see the ships from.  To see photos of her sailing for her refit as just plain Constellation, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 2nd May 2009
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