Friday, 11 November 2011
Sovereign Cruise Part 2
Saturday 25th June 2011
I enjoyed breakfast and, after checking out from my hotel, went along La Rambla to meet my two travelling companions at the Christopher Columbus statue. We had more coffee and then did a harbour tour on OMNIBUS, which gave us our first view of SOVEREIGN in port.
I remembered I had first seen her in the port of Los Angeles on 17th January 2005 as SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS, so I was excited to be sailing on her today.
Sovereign of the Seas 17th January 2005 at sunrise
Liberty of the Seas
We took the port bus to the cruise terminal, checked in and boarded the ship for our 7 nights cruise. I am in cabin 2104, which is an outside double for single use, at first sitting dinner.
Lunch on board was chaotic – we were all sent to the restaurant expecting a sit-down meal, but instead everyone had to queue for a long time, half way around the restaurant, to serve ourselves, buffet-style. Hmm, don’t think they’ve got this organised, but I suppose it’s because the ship is in port for such a short time, and there are lots of other things to be done.
SOVEREIGN appears to be a huge ship in my eyes, but at 73,529 gross tons is not really considered that nowadays. She was built at St. Nazaire, France, in 1987 for Royal Caribbean Cruises of Oslo, Norway, and was named SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS, to carry 2,524 passengers. She was handed over in December 1987 and began cruising out of Miami in the USA, as the largest cruise ship in the world. I’m told that in 1999 she was the first cruise ship with Internet facilities on board; in 2005 her port of registration was changed to Nassau, Bahamas, and in 2006 she began sailing out of Port Canaveral, Florida. In January 2009 she became part of the Pullmantur Cruises Company, registered in Malta. Her name was also changed then to SOVEREIGN. In 2011 she was based in Barcelona, Spain, for 7 nights cruises with Pullmantur, and we were to sail on her Mediterranean Breezes trip. We left at 5 p.m.
Braemar leaving Barcelona
Braemar and Wind Spirit
During our first look around, I found that my eyes were often going to the circular 360º Bar & Lounge, high up on Deck 14 aft, which was originally known as the Viking Crown Lounge. It’s something quite new to me and proved to be a delightful location for an after-dinner drink.
Entrance to the Bar/Lounge
Near the stairs leading up to the Bar/Lounge - an original Royal Caribbean piece of artwork
In the Lounge
Part of the Lounge
Artwork near the Lounge
Ships seen: Omnibus, Maersk Stralsund, an Iscomar ship whose name I couldn’t see, Silver Spirit, Braemar, Moonlight II and its helicopter pad, Sunrays and its helicopter, Sovereign, Liberty of the Seas, Wind Spirit (with its 4 masts)
To be continued...