Hi there Trip, thanks for the hook on which I can hang our experience.
As you saw from the pictures it was a pretty amazing experience, dampened sightly by the very heavy rainfall and low cloud which caused the cancellation of the RAF's Red Arrows events (the second time for Southampton as they also had to cancel the 3 Queens Sailaway celebration on our Majesty's Diamond Jubilee), but hey, if we will organise major events in the British Summer ;o)
We were travelling on board Oriana, which meant that we got to see HRH the Princess Royal looking fantastic in her official Trinity House (the organisation who look after the safety & welfare of sailors) uniform, with Mickey Ariston, Carol Marlow and David Dingle amongst others boarding our ship for a ceremony with all 7 captains and the current Commodore of the fleet - Steve Burgoine, who was our very first Captain on MV Victoria ex Sea Princess.
The as we sailed down the Solent, HRH carried out a Review of the Fleet from on board the Trinity House flagship, THV Patricia, very moving to be saluted by HRH and the crew of the ship.
Unfortunately the dark skies and misty weather mean that most photos are gloomy, and certainly nothing compared to the professional ones shown on the site that you have put the link to.
But yes, certainly an amazing day for all those involved both sailing out, as well as those arriving in port that morning. Local TV reported some issues debarking those pax & letting them get on their way, but as long as it's just once every 175 years it is probably ok.
Happy sailing all,
Alan & Katrina
Next Cruise: P&O Adonia - 20th May 2013
Last Cruise: Queen Victoria - Xmas/New Year
Golden, Grand(2), Caribbean, Sea(4+1 aborted)
Adonia(4), Arcadia, Artemis(2), Aurora(5), Azura, Oceana(3), Oriana(10), Ventura(2), Victoria(5)
QM2(2), QE2(9), QV(5), Caronia(2), Minerva II, Fred.Olsen(8), NCL Jade, =X= Eclipse, HAL Ryndam