musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Southampton Shipwatch 19: Crown Princess

The problem with Crown Princess is that you could substitute either Azura or Ventura for her, and unless you knew where to look you would not be the wiser. I considered that her arrival and departure on the 30th of April would not really be worth documenting, but I decided to have a look anyway, after all, Norwegian Breakaway was also sailing shortly after her.

As you can see, they are more or less interchangeable. A perfect scenario for a conspiracist. I believe there are even more of them out there, so maybe at one point this pic may have an additional vessel added.

Getting back to Crown Princess; she was berthed up at Ocean, and due to sail at about 16H00, but that did not seem to be happening and I was treated to the usual long winded announcements from the ship which were audible even for somebody as deaf as I am. I am glad safety took up most of the announcements too. 
 
I usually watch to see whether the radar is turning, as well as that telltale plume of smoke from a funnel, and of course, the appearance of a little man in the distance wearing a white unform on the retractable mooring platform. It is like an AND gate. If A+B+C=1 then ship is about ready to go. 
 
Eventually all conditions were met and she started to move sideways in the berth and then forwards. No tugs required. The most noticeable difference between these ships is probably the funnel colour/logo. She is operated by Princess Cruises and has the Princess logo on her funnel.
 
I actually think that logo suits her better than the bland buff of the P&O operated ships. 
 
And as more of her is revealed from behind the terminal building you get more of a sense of how big she is, and how she dwarfs little Shieldhall which is berthed at the end of the particular berth. Mein Schiff was moored up at QE2, and even she was almost overwhelmed by this ship, although both would be overwhelmed in turn by Norwegian Breakaway. 
 
Once she has cleared the berth she then has to make a turn to port to clear the ships berthed at QE2 and head down Southampton water, all the while fending off advances by the Hythe Ferry, or the Isle of Wight ferries. Nowadays it is much easier because the ships have bow and stern thrusters and amazing propulsion systems so they do it all unattended by tugs. But up till a few years ago she would have had to have had tugs attached, and many of the older cruise ships still have a tug in attendance when they sail. 
 
At some point she will show us her rear end and then slowly swing onto her new course, I will not comment on their sterns, but at least the carrying handle was removed from them. Once the turn is completed the ship is almost on her way, and she will stick out above the car park for quite some time, and its worth turning around just to take the pic because seeing something this big is always worth it.

Arrival 25 May 2013
I was able to get great images of her on this arrival, the right combination of angle, sun and time were all in my favour.
opera 023
Out of curiosity, when I sailed on the Symphony in 1995, they were talking about building these ships with a GRT of over 100000 tons, and we shook our heads and could not quite see it. Crown Princess measures in at 113000 GRT. Times have changed.
 
And that concludes my shipwatch on Crown Princess, and the last for the month of April. It has been quite a ship watching month for me. The last time I saw so many ships was in Hong Kong in 2008, and that was a mere seven. I will be staying in Southampton till the end of May, so keep watching, there may be more to come.
 
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