Well here we are after a busy year shippy-wise and personally. It was a rotten year for many of us in one way or another and I expect you’re all as glad to see the back of it as I am. Of course, I made some wonderful new friends via Facebook and on cruises which makes for good points during the year. So we head towards another year. More ships and more cruises!!! I’m very excited to see six shippies in Southampton on the 5th January. It’s just a bugger they leave at different times! Now you see, ABP, if you stopped obsessing over a bloody container terminal on Dibden Bay and concentrated on the fast growing CRUISE business, Fred Olsen could sail at the same time instead of delaying over three hours due to passenger numbers! Anyway, there’s another six in July possibly. They can’t double those up since there’s four biggies (Crown Princess, Grand Princess, Ventura, Eclipse) and two babies (Balmoral + the maiden call from Artemis as Artania). They’ll lose trade if they can’t compete. I looked at the nine in Civitavecchia back on the 13th October (including us) and wished Southampton would be similar. No chance with this container obsession! We CAN compete with cruises. We CAN’T with containers so give it up! Anyway I’ll miss number two due to being on a cruise – woo! Still can’t get over Juanita doing another after Equinox was a one-off, something different. She may not have the bug (yet!) but can clearly see the logic in them. I’ll get her on P&O Australia one of these days. Hehe. 🙂
So no new ships as in from the yard but we do have Seabourn Sojourn, which is sort of new. Mein Schiff 2 (former Mercury) makes a visit on her maiden voyage. We’re the first port of call! MSC Opera has relocated from Dover and doing a number of cruises plus calls from MSC Orchestra (the bugger I missed in Barcelona by just 45 mins because the flight was an hour late!) and MSC Poesia returns. Vision of the Seas revisits the place she was named and had her maiden from after 13 long years. Returns for Silver Spirit, Silver Whisper and Silver Cloud. Europa calling and Rotterdam doing part of a celebratory transatlantic following in the footsteps of her predecessor. Also we lose Black Watch during summer to Dover and now keep Balmoral year-round instead. So exciting times still ahead!
Happy New Shippy Year!