RCL’s newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, had her maiden arrival in Southampton this past week. Unfortunately, as I am in my last days at work I was unable to get leave to see her, although she did arrive in the late afternoon, which would have made photography difficult anyway. The only window I really had to see her would be on the Sunday afternoon when she sailed for the United States. The weather has not been kind to photographers lately and I was in two minds to go down to Southampton to see the ship. The timing was awkward because of trains, and a 17H00 sailing would have been do-able, but only just. I arrived at the station at roughly 15H30, and caught the bus down to Town Quay. The walk was just not something I felt like tackling. Ever since my ankle started to play around I have been trying to cut down on the top speed charges that I tend to make when I am in a hurry. The ship was alongside at 101, and the weather was grey, although the rain seemed to be staying away.
First impressions? that baby blue hull, heaps of unshiplike appurtenances, the eye in the sky thingey, and lots of superstructure and a small hull. It is however hard to be definitive about her because I was not able to get a full side view of her or a front view.
At least she did not have an open plan stern like Oasis of the Seas has. Although what lurks behind that strange glass area is still a mystery as I have not looked at deck plans of her. Mayflower Park was packed and I moved across to Town Quay to do my photography from there. Quantum was occupying the berth usually used by RCL ships, which meant that Adventure of the Seas was sitting at QEII, she was due to sail at 16H30.
The sun was busy setting by now, casting a nice orange glow on the surroundings. Its just a pity that it would not give us that extra hour we needed to see Quantum away. From Town Quay it was possible to see her a bit better, although the clutter from the derelict Royal Pier messes up the view.
I must admit I definitely prefer her to Oasis, she does not have that large superstructure overhang, and her lifeboats are stowed further inboard on her hull. The top decks look horribly cluttered though, but given all the goodies she has on board she still doesn’t look too awful. The eye in the sky thingey is actually called “The North Star Observation Tower”. I keep on thinking of the London Eye when I see it, and while it does seem a lot over the top it must really be an experience to see the view. The crane arm is 41M long, so it is a long way to fall.
Just after 16H30 Adventure sailed, and my gut instinct was saying that the ship would not sail on time. I had planned my visit that the latest I could leave Town Quay would be 17H35 to catch my train by 18H10. If I missed that train I would have an hours wait for the next.
It was getting dark really quickly, and the ship was slowly coming alive with light, although not as much as I really wanted. My camera does not deal with the dark very well, and for that matter neither does the operator.
I was lucky to catch the eye in the sky thingey raised. and it did look odd. Come to think of it, where was the foremast? Sailing time came and went, and I decided that I was really wasting time and would head off to the station, pausing at Mayflower to see what she was like close up in lights.
She towered over the area, and stuck out like some garish disco over the darkness. The area was still packed, but you could see a lot of people were leaving because they did not know when she was going to sail. That’s the problem with waiting for a ship to go, it could take ages. She sailed 2 hours late the other night, and that was bad news if you are standing shivering waiting for the lines to drop..
It is interesting to compare the night and day shots of her stern.
Then I was out the door. The lines were still down and it did not look like she was going to sail soon. She was probably waiting for me to reach the station, that’s what usually happens.
One last shot through the fence and I was off. I could still catch the 17H54 train if I rang down full ahead. And, I made it in time too. I believe she finally sailed at 18H00. So what does she look like from the front? unfortunately I do not have images of her from that angle, however I did find these two on the Royal Caribbean Press Centre website.
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