A Vision of the Seas (Updated)

Well the 2011/12 Southampton season is well underway as more and more ships return after repos and worldies. But the one I’m most excited about seeing again isn’t a regular but a stranger for the past 13 years. Vision of the Seas left Santos at 5pm (9pm BST) and is making her way VERY slowly to Southampton, the place she was named and began her career in 1998. The 2nd May is her birthday, when she said goodbye to us and set sail on her maiden voyage. She also shares it with Independence of the Seas and the formidable, QE2. In fact, Lizzie & Vizzie were together in Los Angeles on the 30th March 2008. There may have been other meetings but I wasn’t there for that, only Lizzie’s final call to the port. Anyway, after a long 24 1/2 days she will dock back here, though sadly not in the QEII Terminal where she originally sailed from. Here’s video of her arriving on the 18th April 1998.

And sailing on a jolly on the 27th April (the date used on onboard photos)

I got photos of her the day she would leave, as Arcadia (now Pacific Jewel for P&O Australia) was arriving around noon.

Arcadia (III) & Vision of the Seas in Southampton 2nd May 1998

You’ll notice back then there was no rock climbing wall, which personally I think makes her look better. Who’d have thought one day I’d be going on her and all thanks to Amy having the bright idea of a cruise when I was over in California, and Princess for wanting me to pay UK fare for Dawn Princess. The cruise on Vision was identical, just LA instead of San Diego. Thankfully Royal Caribbean don’t care where you’re from and my love affair with what we affectionately called Ducky (short for Ducky Bum because she waddles) began!

Dawn Princess & Vision of the Seas in Cabo San Lucas 25th March 2008

Vision of the Seas 25th March 2008

Vision of the Seas in Mazatlan 26th March 2008

And then what we planned – arriving back with Lizzie! Here’s a video of our arrival following her in as well as both their departures.

Vision left LA the following January. Imagine my delight a few months after my first cruise on her when I discovered she was coming to Europe in 2009! She wouldn’t be coming here though. On her birthday she would be sailing by en route to Harwich. From there she would do a short repositioning to Oslo, with an overnight in Amsterdam. Had to go!!!!

Vision of the Seas in Harwich 3rd May 2009

Vision of the Seas in Amsterdam 4th May 2009

Vision of the Seas overnight in Amsterdam 4th May 2009

Tahitian Princess (now Ocean Princess) & Vision of the Seas in Amsterdam 5th May 2009

Vision of the Seas in Amsterdam 5th May 2009

And now she’s coming here so the unashamed love affair continues. I wish RCCL would look to the past for newbuilds instead of more big monsters. Smaller can be ideal with larger public rooms, a more intimate and friendly atmosphere and getting into ports large ones can’t (as long as the itinerary planners use their imagination). This time I’m going with my friend Fay so I just hope she likes her, even if it’s not as much as I do. Bring on Ducky!!!!! πŸ˜€

Update: 29th April 2011

She’s here!!!!! We come full circle. It’s taken a long time and she’s come the long way due to constantly doubling back on herself. Don’t let her read a map ever again!!!!!

In a couple of hours I’ll be requainting myself with that gorgeous ship again and I can’t wait! There’s always something special about sailing from my home but more so when it’s on one of my favourite ships.

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