Then the ship was clear and you could see how big she was, or should I say how broad she was. This was a really big ship and my first impression was of a large superstructure on a small hull, with a huge overhang on either side. She was not a pretty ship from this angle, if anything she looked like an ungainly one, but that was really because of the odd angle. As she came closer the foreshortening effect diminished and you could finally get a feeling for her length. She was big, very big, and would probably make Independence of the Seas look small!
As she came alongside you could get a sense of how high the accommodation was, with its cluttered upperworks. The stern interested me because I had never been able to understand what was going on there. It appeared as if there were some sort of fabric sails that hid the hole in the back. Unfortunately, with our low vantage point there was no real answer. I would have to try get other pics from Mayflower.
Strangely enough her hull was a baby blue colour which I will reserve judgment on until I have seen her in sunlight. Then she was past me and I headed off to Mayflower to join the crowds. She was berthing a bit further towards 102 than the ships usually do and was coming alongside without a tug. She was quick though, there was no fussing or messing around, from arrival to this point had probably been 15 minutes.
Then I got a chance to look at that stern. I can see a hang glider there, and a large logo…
I took my pics, checked my watch and decided it was really time to get back to Salisbury. I stopped at Dock Gate 8 and took a few pics, although could not get past the gate to get other images.
I was glad that I had made this trip, although to be honest she doesn’t really appeal to me, although I would love to go on board to poke around. But sail on her? probably not. There could be over 5000 people on board (that’s probably 10000 items of luggage that has to be moved between ship and terminal), and that is 4999 people too many for me.
The nitty gritty is that when she was built she was the largest cruise ship afloat, although her sister Allure of the Seas is a smidgen bigger. Awhile ago I explored large cruise ships in a blog post called Really Big Ships, so will have to make a few changes to that one.
On 30 October the latest of these mega ships is arriving: Quantum of the Seas will be here and occupy the same berth. By then they will have sorted out all the peculiarities involved with a ship this size and things should go smoother. It is unlikely that I will be able to go down to see her as I am changing jobs next month so my leave is all tied up. However, I will see how things go, I wouldn’t mind seeing her, after all, it is not every day that the opportunity arises to see such huge moving objects. Its just a pity the weather had not played fair.