On July 3rd 2012, I was lucky enough to visit Southampton to witness P&O Cruises' 'Grand Event' to celebrate their 175th Anniversary, where all 7 of their ships berthed together for the first time.
I do hope you enjoy reading this blog, finding out more about 'The Grand Event' seeing our photos and learning more about our close connection with P&O Cruises and each of their truly magnificent ships!
Finally, I am sorry for the delay in posting. I've been extremely busy, preparing for more forthcoming events throughout the summer.
President & Managing Director
Dream Designs Colchester
Town Quay, Mayflower Park & City Cruise Terminal
Gavin and I arrived in Southampton at around 13:00, some 3 and a half hours after we left Colchester. Upon our arrival into Southampton we found our hotel, before checking in early and having a quick rest. On our way into Southampton we had already seen some of the seven ships towering over the surround buildings, sadly the weather was quite disappointing and the forecast wasn't looking promising for the remainder of the day.
We then made our way over the Mayflower Park, where we got a closer view of Aurora, Oriana, Arcadia and Ventura berthed at the Western Docks in Southampton. It then started to rain again, so we quickly made our way back to our hotel, stopping off on the way at one of the local stores to get some snacks.
Now parked we headed towards the shoreline, to find a suitable vantage point. We got there just in time to catch the Trinity House vessel, Patricia sail past, which HRH The Princess Royal was aboard. Patricia was followed by the Naval vessel HMS Dragon, which was there as an escort. The rain was still coming down at this point too so we found some shelter.
At around 19:10, Adonia, the first of the 7 ships appeared in full view, around the corner of Fawley, where the oil tankers berth. She slowly made her way closer, surrounded by a flotilla of small crafts. As she passed she sounded her horn to the many onlookers at Calshot.
In December 2010, our Volunteers @ Sea, Ernie & Edna had the opportunity to officially present our especially assigned drawing of Aurora to Captain David Pembridge, during their 23 night Christmas Caribbean cruise. We were recently informed by a member of the ships crew, that the drawing is displayed in the crew bar!
Before the 7 ships set sail on July 3rd 2012, The Princess Royal was invited aboard Oriana, for a VIP reception where she met with celebrity chefs Marco Pierre White and Atul Kochhar, together with wine expert Olly Smith, who all oversee restaurants and bars on board all 7 ships in the P&O Cruises’ fleet.
Most recently, on June 23rd 2012, our brand new especially assigned drawing of Azura was presented to Captain Kieth Dowds, on behalf of Dream Designs Colchester by our Volunteers @ Sea, Ernie & Edna, during their 17 night cruise aboard the vessel.
Azura's Godmother, Darcey Bussell, also joined P&O Cruises to celebrate 'The Grand Event' and was welcomed aboard Azura before the ship set sail. Earlier that day she also visited Carnival House, where she unveiled a plaque celebration 175 years of P&O Cruises.
On December 30th 2011 our especially assigned drawing of Oceana, was offically presented to the Captain on our behalf, by our Volunteers @ Sea, Ernie & Edna. The drawing is now proudly displayed aboard, so passengers and crew can view the drawing.
I would like to extend my great appreciation and thanks to my friend Gavin Pamment, for being kind enough to offer to take me to Southampton and join me there for 'The Grand Event'.