Queen Mary 2 berthed at Southampton
A dream come true for Harry Cotterill, President & Managing Director Dream Designs Colchester when he was lucky enough to voyage on the Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2. Harry stayed in a hotel in the City of Southampton the day previously to the voyage.
The P&O Cruises’ vessel Artemis was berthed at Mayflower Cruise Terminal on Sunday 7th November 2010. Artemis was due to leave her berth at Southampton Sunday evening, but her departure was delayed until the following afternoon. The stricken vessel was manoeuvred to Ocean Terminal assisted by 3 tugs.
Artemis Departs Southampton
Due to Artemis having a delayed departure the Queen Mary 2 was forced to berth at the old QE2 Terminal where her predecessor Queen Elizabeth often berthed. Queen Mary 2 was originally due to berth at Mayflower Cruise Terminal which was later changed to Ocean Terminal before being changed again to the QE2 Terminal. Queen Mary 2’s new fleet mate Queen Elizabeth was also berthed in Southampton on Monday 8th November 2010, along with the Royal Caribbean International cruise ship Independence of the Seas.
Embarking Queen Mary 2 at Southampton
Upon embarking Queen Mary 2, passengers were directed to Ocean Terminal, where they had to wait to board the ship. They then encountered quite a wait. All of the passengers boarding the Queen Mary 2 at Southampton where bused to the QE2 Terminal, by just 2 buses! This disorganisation, with the change of the ship’s berthing positions and also the heavy volume of traffic due to the 4 vessels being berthed in Southampton at once, meant Queen Mary 2’s departure was delayed that afternoon.
Harry and his father boarded the Queen Mary 2 just after 2pm that afternoon. Artemis left her berth at 4:30pm assisted again by a number of tugs. The muster drill aboard Queen Mary 2 was further delayed until 5:05pm as 500 passengers were still due to board the ship. Eventually the Queen Mary 2’s departure was delayed until 6pm.
Harry said " Embarking Queen Mary 2 was quite a performance, with crowds of passengers waiting, queuing, pushing and shoving as they rushed to board the liner! Once we we’re aboard however the level of stress declined. "
Harry Cotterill aboard Queen Mary 2
However the vessel did not begin to manoeuvre until her fleet mate Queen Elizabeth had passed by just after 6pm. Queen Mary 2 finally started to depart her berth at Southampton just after 6:20pm.
Harry said " Viewing the Queen Elizabeth aboard her fleet mate Queen Mary 2 was a unique opportunity, with the added excitement of both of the ship’s horns blasting as Queen Elizabeth passed. "
He added "Our delayed departure from the berth in Southampton did not effect our arrival in Cherbourg the following morning, due to the short distance between both ports "
Whilst the Queen Mary 2 was berthed in Cherbourg Harry received a phone call from the Commodore’s secretary. She asked about the drawing which Harry had spoken about to a member of the ship’s crew the pervious day at the Purser Office. Before receiving the phone call Tuesday afternoon Harry had just been to the Purser Office were he left his drawing of Queen Mary 2 for Commodore Bernard Warner. The Commodore’s secretary agreed to meet Harry at the Purser Office to collect his drawing and meet him. However a few moments later Harry receivied another phone call inviting him to the bridge later that evening.
For the rest of the afternoon Harry and his father took the time to explore the Queen Mary 2’s numerous passenger amenities.
Harry said " After touring the Queen Mary 2 with Stephen Payne in 2007, I had forgotten just how large the ship was! It took a number of hours to tour the ship completely. "
At 5:30pm Harry and his father made their way to Stairwell A, Deck 12, where they were met by the Commodore’s secretary. A number of other passengers were also invited to the bridge. Whilst Harry was on the bridge the Deputy Captain introduced himself to Harry, who had seen a drawing of his before aboard another Cunard ship and must have recognised him. Before departing the berth the Commodore’s secretary introduce everyone.
Commodore Bernard Warner took to time to speak to Harry and was very impressed with his drawing of Queen Mary 2. A number of the other passengers on the bridge were also interested in his drawing.
After speaking to all the passenger Commodore Bernard Warner and his officers began to manoeuvre the Queen Mary 2 away from her berth, assisted by the aid of a tug boat due to the high winds which had suddenly blown in. Harry and his father along with the other passengers were given the special chance to watch the ship depart the berth from the bridge.
Harry said "It was a great opportunity to visit the bridge of the Queen Mary 2 and meet Commodore Bernard Warner. I was so pleased that he was delighted with my drawing which I presented to him."
Harry and his father spent the rest of their evening visiting the various amenities aboard the liner, such as the Planetarium, the only one at sea! The journey back to Southampton was slightly calmer with force 7 winds and waves of 4 - 7.5 feet.
Queen Mary 2 arrived in Southampton this morning, Wednesday 10th November 2010 at 6:30am. Harry and his father enjoyed breakfast before disembarking the vessel just after 7:30am.
Harry said "It was an absolutely amazing experience to have the chance to voyage on Queen Mary 2. I am sure this will be the first of many more to come in the future!"
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Harry Cotterill - President & Managing Director
Harry Cotterill set up his blog when he was just 16-years old, making him one of the youngest cruise bloggers in the world. In later years he became known across the world for his amazing talent of drawing cruise ships!