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Posts posted by CGTNORMANDIE

  1. HELLO RUBY!!!

    GREAT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!! I can't wait until you publish your memoirs!!!:D


    HI GANG!!!

    YES...the rudder on TITANIC was small but the real problem was that Murdoch??? ordered the engines into reverse. The TITANIC did not have a chance to turn. Had Murdoch ordered the helm over full and kept the propellers turning...then they might have cleared the berg. The TITANIC was built with a special steam turbine driving the center propeller that forced water directly over the rudder...by reversing that propeller...the effect on the rudder was obvious...the TITANIC simply plowed ahead.






    I hope they just take the new Brideshead film and go straight to DVD...LOL. How could they possibly improve on Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Lord Lawrence Olivier, Claire Bloom and the rest of the cast??? They were superb...I believe it was the best made for TV series ever produced. Of course they had John Mortimer doing the script and screenplay...who could be better than that. John Mortimer was the creator of of RUMPLE OF THE BAILY...my other all-time favorite program...with the incredible Leo McKern. How I miss that program...sighhhhhhh.


    I do hope they have the good sense to film the ship scenes in England...where they have the technical know-how to make them come alive. The original scenes were splendid until they got on the decks of the QE II.







    It is amazing that she is still sailing. I saw her many times in the 1970's...usually cruising out of New York. I am sure Doug can give us the details but off the top of my head...I remember her being built by Aristotle Onassis in or around 1955??? Years ago there was a nice article about her in Cruise Travel...and the paneling and main dining room were still in great shape. She is certainly a classic and I would love to go onboard to see her. I do have some good memorabilia on her. Her First Class menus were wonderful. I talked some friends of mine into their first cruise...about 1972...and they took the OLYMPIA...out of New York and they absolutely loved it. They could not get over how much space there was and how nice everything was. They said the food and service was better than any hotel they had ever stayed in.



  4. HI GRAHAM!!!

    HOW COULD THEY??? How could they improve upon Brideshead??? It was perfect the way it was. Let's hope they are just mastering the old one...LOL.


    HI DONALD!!!

    I doubt you would have found a lot of chamber pots on the OLYMPIC in the 20's and 30's. I think a lot of those pots came from the steerage section of TITANIC. The steerage had been torn out of the OLYMPIC after WW I. The Immigration Act of 1922 also changed everything. The Steerage had changed to 3rd Class...with running water and associated facilities.



    I went down to the docks to see her when she would visit Boston in the 1970's. Her 1950's conversion by Incres Line had transformed her into a beautiful cruise ship with a big pool deck that swept back and made her look glamorous. Everyone I knew who sailed on her fell in love with her. Again...the Italian service made her famous. I have many menus, programs, deckplans etc. from the VICTORIA. She was very special and everything a cruise ship was supposed to be.



  5. HI GANG!!! HI GRAHAM!!!


    I will have to look at a deck plan to see exactly how the movable doors worked. I do know they were good in any kind of weather...they would be closed in the cold and opened in the tropics.


    YES...air conditioning was a big deal. I can remember my 1965 crossing on the original QUEEN ELIZABETH. Our drum and bugle corps went down to NY on a bus the night before and it was a very warm July night in NY City. We went aboard the QE around 11:00 PM and it was warm inside the ship...and all the outside doors were opened and you could feel the air moving thru the ship. We slept onboard that night and when we got to our cabins...deep down on D Deck, the first thing we noticed was the giant air nozzle pumping cool fresh air into the cabin...and the cabin fan was blowing it around. Some of us were hot and took showers...did not help much as all the water was warm. The next morning we went to the First Class Dining Room for breakfast and we noticed all the side doors opened on the side of the ship. By the time we sailed at 11:00 we noticed how hot things were getting...but the moment we sailed out into NY Harbor things started to cool down. By the time we had cleared the Verezano Bridge everything was comfortable. All we needed in the cabins was that fresh air and we were very cool as you could adjust the nozzle to suit yourself. I loved the inside cabin as I could sleep without interruption. Everything was clean and crisp as the linens were changed everyday. Our steward was a former Royal Marine and he kept everything as sharp as possible. We had a 1/2 bath and the shower and tubs were just across the passageway. We were using the indoor pool everyday so we showered there most days. I don't think it even crossed my mind that we did not have a full bath "en suite"...LOL...at the age of 16, I was just happy to be there...LOL. We really came to love those inside cabins down on D deck...and our steward. Since we were a drum corps we had to go to breakfast at 8:00 each morning and then report for rehearsal at 9:00 AM. Our steward would take one of the brass fire nozzles and blow the British equivalent of Reveille at 7:00 AM...LOL. There was an older gentleman who ran the elevator...we named him Boris...he looked just like Boris Karloff. He was wonderful...he would wait for us and make sure there were no stragglers before he closed the doors...neat and orderly and never a problem. We all got together and gave him a great tip at the end of the voyage and he was just "bowled over" with our generosity and good cheer towards him. Great memories!!!



  6. Really? I didn't know they had guest lecturers on the TITANIC! And to think, at this age, he is still lecturing, too! Even for Saga he must be old if he was old enough to give lectures in 1912...


    (Sorry, couldn't resist ;) !)


    DOUGLAS..."Onboard"...SAGA ROSE (understood)..."Lectured on"...the subject of (understood) LOL. I suppose it is possible to literally lecture "on the Titanic"...but you would need a deep water submersible to do it!!! LOL!!!

  7. OOPPPPSSS!!! SORRY...The KUNGSHOLM was from 1966. When I quote ship facts and figures I do it off the top of my head so you will have to excuse the inaccuracy...a sign of age...(I used to be like Host Doug...at the ready with the facts and figures...LOL.)


    SAL continued:

    The Swedish ships were really beautiful and cozy-comfortable. As I have said...the cabins were built for long cruises...lots of closet space...and wonderful wood. Most of the bathrooms had full size tubs. The main dining rooms were really cozy...with banquets on the sides that faced out so You could sit and look at the other diners and the waiters could serve you face to face. One of the rooms I loved on the ex GRIPSHOLM was the Winter Garden...a big room running the entire width of the ship...just under the Bridge and looking out over the bow. This room was stunning...all green with tropical plants everywhere and decorated to perfection. What a pleasure to just sit and watch the sea or take afternoon tea...which was always formal...white gloves on the steards and proper dress required...even under Regency management. Another of my favorite rooms had been the First Class Library. It was built in blond oak and had wonderful sofas and chairs. Regency had a large screen TV placed there and played a lot of great movies...including a lot of classics. It was just like being in a friend's living room...it was so comfortable I often found people sleeping in chairs as they had fallen asleep while reading. Comfortable and cozy is the best way I can describe it...LOL. I also loved the wonderful Promenade Deck...with the movable wood and glass doors that could be adjusted for all climates. The GRIPSHOLM and KUNGSHOLM were wonderful ships and they were built to make sea travel a delight. We will never see that level of comfort on any of the new liners.



    I actually received a post card from RUBY yesterday. She loves the SAGA ROSE and is having a fine time for herself. She tells me that they had a lecturer onboard who lectured on the TITANIC...and he was very good. It sounds like she will be devoted to SAGA forever...LOL!!!



  8. The KUNGSHOLM of 1965...

    I planned a big trip to Europe in 1975...we were taking 1 month off and going. I don't know how my wife got 1 month off from work but she managed it somehow. I had booked the QE !! over and the KUNGSHOLM coming home to NY. The KUNGSHOLM was completing a long cruise and was offering space from Le Havre to NY. As October approached I got a telegram in early September stating that the SWedish American Line would no longer be in business...so my crossing was canceled. I have kept that telegram in my collection...it was the sad end to a glorious era. We were really sad that we had missed the KUNGSHOLM by less than 2 months. The SAL was a great line and offered the best that Sweden had to offer. I have many fine menus from all of their ships and I can say SAL was a First Class operation. I grew up with a Finnish lad whose father sailed often to Europe and Scandinavia and he told me his father's all time favorite ship had been the STOCKHOLM...of ANDREA DORIA fame. I have a rare collection of First Class menus from her...there were only 49 people in her First Class. We later sailed on the REGENT SEA...formerly the famous GRIPSHOLM of 1958. I have to say...she was one of the most comfortable ships I was ever on. I loved the cabins...they were masterpieces of wood workmanship with multi drawers and closets and shoe racks...great cabinetry.


    To be continued!!!





    WOW!!! Now we are cooking!!! Look at all those good memories we will be able to pick over...Frank and the CANBERRA...Wayne and the SEA PRINCESS which had been the great KUNGSHOLM of the Swedish American Line...and Graham on HAL!!! How about Druke and Conte??? What really amazes me is how similar in taste we are as I would also like to cruise more and pay less...LOL. I guess it is just something in the genes of "the shipdaft"...LOL.


    My own preference is a bit jaded...LOL. Back in 1984 I took my wife, Diane, and her mother, Ida, on a cruise. As Ida got older we started taking care of her and we have always cruised taking Ida with us. In recent years...Ida's sister, Evelyn, has joined us...so you can see that our needs for accommodation are a bit different. Since Diane and I are still working...and cannot go cruising every other month...LOL...we have to pick cruises and ships that work out for us. We no longer take 7 day cruises...it just gets insane. I can see most of you also enjoy a longer period onboard ship. We have to take a cabin that will accommodate the 4 of us...since Ida is getting so old. We have found Royal Caribbean to be the best fit for us at this time. We can get a large suite for 4 people and enjoy fairly palatial surroundings at fairly reasonable rates. NO...the service in the cabin is not as good as a premium line...but the ships are really spectacular and have a high activity level if we want to venture out and partake of all the action. So for us...it is pretty much the best of both worlds...luxury at a reasonable price. We also liked Celebrity back in the Chandris days. And YES Donald...I have been very interested in sailing on the MERCURY on the West Coast...but now they have taken her away.:( We loved the CENTURY...sister to the MERCURY. We had a suite and the butler was wonderful. I am hoping that Celebrity will become a bit more reasonable once the new ships come on line. Usually when the new ships take over the old ships become more interesting...price wise and itinerary...we shall see. So...right now we are happy with Royal Caribbean and hopefully Celebrity in the future. So I guess we just have to shop around and find interesting ships that Doug Ward would not approve of...LOL.:D



  10. An enviable position Ross! My problem is that the cognacs that I like, I cannot afford & the cognacs that I can afford, I do not like! I therefore tend to stick to my national drink. You can get a very good 'single malt' for the price of a very bad cognac!




    LOL!!! I know the feeling Graham!!! Back in those days the prices onboard were completely affordable. The lines believed that the libations were part of the hospitality package and that quality libations were necessary part of the accommodations being offered. Today the libations are a necessary ingredient in fattening the bottom line. We have gone from being passengers to be accommodated according to great traditions to guest-consumers who need to be squeezed at every possible opportunity. Now the lines have become corporate entities run by business school graduates who were former airline executives.:mad: What they know about the history and traditions of ocean liners...I could put into my baby finger tip.


    Which gets us back to my original question: WHICH SHIPS DO YOU LIKE??? You see...my theory is this. We are all fairly experienced sailors with a wealth of knowledge regarding the classic ships and how they operated. And...it appears that each one of us has found happiness aboard certain ships...that Doug Ward would approve of...LOL!!!:D


    Donald...Celebritymania...has a preference for the VISION OF THE SEAS...and Donald comes from a long line of ocean liner history.


    Druke seems to enjoy P&O...and I would love to hear about that.


    Wayne...wynkys...seems to favor SILVERSEA.


    So...give us your choices and tell us why you like them so much...and what you have found onboard that makes them special.


    The funny thing is...WE ALL SEEM TO HATE FLYING!!! LOL!!!




    WOW...you were on the GEORGIC. Funny thing...but many veterans of the Transatlantic ferry preferred the GEORGIC to the larger and faster liners. The GEORGIC was the last of the White Star Line.


    HI DONALD!!! I hope you feel better!!!


    CONTE!!! The MAURETANIA Book: I hear it is wonderful!!!



  12. HI GANG!!!


    I am trying to think...what classic ships are still sailing that will survive the next round of SOLAS??? I cannot really think of any...:(. I just heard a brief blurb on the former BREMEN that HAPAG sold. She was a classic but HAPAG sold her when they got the new EUROPA. I know the old STOCKHOLM is still sailing but will probably not make the SOLAS cut this time. Thank heavens the ROTTERDAM V is going to be a hotel in Rotterdam. So...instead of dwelling on what was why not answer the question: WHAT ARE THE BEST SHIPS (ALL YOUR FAVORITES) CURRENTLY SAILING??? And tell us why you like a particular ship.


    HI DONALD!!! Where have you been??? I remember that your uncle was on the BREMEN...too bad he did not take you with him at the time...LOL.





  13. HI GANG!!!


    HI GRAHAM!!!

    Yes the EUROPA is getting very high marks but my German is not good enough to keep up with the other pax onboard...LOL. Doug Ward can be a real task master when it comes to rating ships...sometimes a bit too harsh. He used to relish the QE II Grill rooms but he ignored the Tourist Class wastelands...that had declined so precipitously...LOL. I have also found ways to bypass Doug Ward's pronouncements and find true happiness on ships he panned...LOL.


    You are correct Graham (and I would never flame anyone who is as "shipdaft" as I am...LOL). The Disney people hit the mark with their ships. Too bad they do not have one for us adults...LOL. They did a great job in mixing the classics and the Art Deco era together. It just goes to show you what can happen when Carnivore Cruise Lines is not in the picture...LOL!!!


    The Polish Ocean Line disappeared when they lost the battle for the Stephan Batory. They were never able to recapture their place on the Atlantic.


    HI CONTE DI!!! Malcolm Brinnin's books are great. He is/was a professor at Boston University.


    HI MARCONI!!! The GALILEO and the MARCONI were beautiful ships with very graceful lines...and they were fun to sail on. I really liked The Winter Garden on the GALILEO...a pleasure to sit and watch the sea go by.



  14. HI GRAHAM!!!


    When I was on the BREMEN in 1971...it was the HAPAG LLOYD. The BREMEN was transformed in 1958 from the CGT PASTEUR...which had been a nice midsized liner launched in 1939 but ended up doing troop transports for all those years until the Germans bought her and transformed her. I was extremely lucky to have sailed on her. They also had the smaller EUROPA which had been a Swedish ship. My travel agent then was an older single lady who had traveled the world after the war and she swore that the only way to cruise was onboard the HAPAG LLOYD ships: BREMEN and EUROPA. I think she was right. We never saw such great service...it was just fantastic.




    WELCOME to Ruby's thread...we will try and keep it going while she is cruising for the next 3 weeks.


    I was also on the GALILEO when she had just been sold to Chandris. They eventually made her into the MERIDIAN which was the very first Celebrity Cruise ship.


    You might want to check out my signature ( I usually leave it turned off...lol) and you can see the ships I have been on.



  15. Donald: We are posting at the same time again! I will have to look out for 'Only Way to Cross'. Must run, dinner time again!




    HI GRAHAM!!!


    You will definitely love 'THE ONLY WAY TO CROSS'...it is an enchanting history by a ship lover for ship lovers.


    I have to agree...the Italian and the French knew how to please the customers...and their styles were definitely different. I have to also say that the Germans are probably the most neglected when it comes to retelling the transatlantic stories. My experience on the BREMEN in 1971 was just fantastic. I also believe the Dutch had a great company with HAL..and just as different. Then you had the Swedes and Norwegians...but don't forget the Polish. The Polish also ran a great company and many people thought they were fantastic too. Reminds me of the story of how the Poles ran the STEPHAN BATORY with a First Class Restaurant...until around 1973 when the ruling communists found out about it and put an end to what had been a wonderful dining venue.



  16. CGT: I have a question for you regarding the classic ships of yore.

    I enjoyed reading your stories of sailing on the 'France'. I wanted to sail on her, even as the 'Norway', but alas I was too late. John Maxtone-Graham, in his book 'Liners to the Sun', claims that the interiors of the QE2 were superior to the France. I have seen pictures of the France's original interiors & thought them very 1960s & not to my taste. I imagine that QE2's original interiors were just as '60s', until they were changed. Did you get a chance to see both ships for comparison, & did you see the France in her original 1960s decor? I would be very interested in your opinions.

    Thank you.





    Looks like Ruby has taken off for foreign lands...lol.


    The short answer is YES...I was able to see the FRANCE in her original glory...and I felt like a lot of ship-lovers...a bit let down...you did expect a glimpse of the NORMANDIE...and what you got was the "Swinging 60's"...lol. There were bits and pieces of the FRANCE where you felt the fleeting glory of the CGT...in the Theater, the Library, the Music Room, in some of the sitting areas, etc. There were public areas that had exquisite stainless walls and they would lead out to that wonderful Promenade. The First Class Swimming Pool was a 'head turner". Of course the Salon Chambord...the First Class Dining Room...was sensational. The Grand Staircase down under the famous dome and all that inlaid elm paneling was just exquisite. The incredible thing about the SS FRANCE was the atmosphere. Almost all of the seasoned personnel had served on the ILE DE FRANCE or the LIBERTE'. I had a table captain who could remember being carried onboard the NORMANDIE by his father when he was a child. Most of the waiters and stewards were third and fourth generation with the CGT. They knew instinctively how to set the pace and tone for the crossing. They had a way...working as a group...ensemble...of elevating the cruise atmosphere...to the point whereby the 3rd day out you felt you were walking on the clouds. Everything was the best...you could have some of the greatest food, wine and service in the world...it was all there just for the asking. I can remember going for an after dinner drink in one of the quiet lounges and being handed a list of cognacs that were so rare that you could not even remember the names (and believe me...I knew them all...LOL). The wine list was more than 25 pages long...and it was just fantastic. The best Champagne was $10 a bottle and it flowed constantly...it was nothing to meet friends before dinner and take turns buying the Champagne...and going through 3 or 4 bottles...sometimes more.


    It is funny but when the ship became the NORWAY she still retained that cache'...even a bit of legend with it. The improvements really complimented the original decor. The Grand Lounge was actually improved upon and became more of what you thought the FRANCE should have looked like...lol. The Grand Lounge...I forget the real name...was really a throwback to the elegance of the 1930's...it was superb. You could still relive those transatlantic days onboard the NORWAY...although the great CGT crew had vanished forever...and that was sad. I met John Maxtone Graham oboard the NORWAY in 1993. I think he truly loved that ship. I was very fortunate to have been able to sail on both. It seems remarkable to me now...as I am "only" 58 years old...to have been fortunate enought to have sailed on the classics.


    THE QE II: You have to understand...my first ship was my first love...the original QUEEN ELIZABETH. I was extremely lucky to have sailed transatlantic on the QUEEN ELIZABETH at the tender age of 16. The QE was eclipsed by her sister, the QUEEN MARY. Many ocean liner enthusiasts never got to know the QUEEN ELIZABETH. She had one of the greatest profiles of any ship to have sailed the Atlantic run. She was everything the Queen Mary was but without the clunky deck clutter and overstuffed look of the QM. That wonderful never ending paneling that went on forever in all the companionways...the use of rare woods in that fantastic 3 story paneled back drop to the main First Class staircase...was just exquisite.


    So you can imagine my horror when viewing the QUEEN ELIZABETH II when I first stepped aboard her in 1975. The only thing I really liked was the First Class Reception area...with the sea green leather couches and black carpeting etc. The rest of the ship reminded me of a spaceship...even the slanted venturi-like windows that surrounded the outdoor pool bothered me. They showed up some years later in the pool scene of my favorite PBS series..."Brideshead Revisited"...and they were just as ugly and out of place...LOL. I could not get over how the service had changed onboard the QE II...when compared to the original Queens. The Cabin Class on the old Queens had been wonderful...the Tourist Class on the new QE II was horrid. I was on a Cunarder and I was having a "foreign experience". Nothing could have been more obvious than that change in service style that Cunard had so carefully nurtured all those years. It was gone...just vanished. The QE II is and was a very well made ship...but it never had any of the cache' that the old Queens had.


    So Graham...while the interiors of the QE II might have been better in terms of design...they were not better to me...in terms of the Cunard traditions. I preferred the SS FRANCE to the QE II. Neither one could live up to the past with their newer interiors but I have to say...the FRANCE had a certain style, atmosphere and allure that was head and shoulders above the QE II.


    A sad footnote: The SS FRANCE had all this heavy duty tripple chrome plated Bauhaus style chairs and lounges...they were big and very comfortable...but still very 60's...but in a classic way. When the NORWAY was making her way across the Atlantic for the first time...the crew was dumping those wonderful pieces into the ocean. I really wish they had unloaded them in New York and auctioned them off.


    There you go Graham.:)



  17. HI RUBY!!!


    I am just checking in to see how your thread is progressing. I hope you book another SAGA cruise real soon...as I thoroughly enjoy reading this thread...with all of us "shipdaft" enthusiasts making comments. I think this thread has been one of the most delightful threads I have ever seen on CC.:D





    I can't believe this!!! 2 Silvias...both born on the GALILAO!!! And the Captain's wife was named Silvia!!! This is too good to be true!!! What a riot!!!:D


    I loved the GALILAO...she was a beautiful ship...I was fortunate enough to have sailed on her in 1984...when Chandris had bought her. She had beautiful lines and was a comfortable ship to sail on...I especially liked her Winter Garden.


    If you have any pictures...PLEASE...post them here so we can see.





  19. HI GANG!!!


    YES!!! The EMPRESS OF BRITAIN was the CARNIVALE in 1978!!! What confused me was the V-A-L-E. I digress...The TRANSVAAL CASTLE was also sold to Carnival Cruises and became the FESTIVALE in 1978.


    SO RUBY!!! You were actually sailing on the forerunner of the Carnival Corp!!! LOL!!! I am sure you enjoyed the EMPRESS OF BRITAIN more than you would have enjoyed the CARNIVALE...LOL.:D


    HI DONALD!!! I am glad the EMPRESS OF BRITAIN is still sailing today!!!:D





    I am going to have to research the EMPRESSES...there is some confusion over which one became the MARDI GRAS. I looked it up online and I know they were incorrect...since they listed the EMPRESS OF BRITAIN as having been the CARNIVALE...which was actually the SS VALE.



  21. HI GANG!!! HI DONALD!!!


    I am sitting here rubbing my hands with glee!!! You have a lot of good memories...and I will help you with some...LOL. I was always a big fan of the little VICTORIA...she was a wonderful ship...I used to see her in Boston and everyone I knew who sailed on her loved the VICTORIA. I had to laugh at your shower incident...things like that always happened and now we can look back and chuckle. The water and the ice were always very important factors in cabin comfort. We always made a point of meeting the cabin steward as soon as possible and then arrange the times for water and ice deliveries...LOL.


    The photo of your Uncle onboard the Queen Mary does look like a First Class section...but I will take a look at one of my QM deck plans from the 1950's and let you know...might take a few days before I get to it...LOL.


    Tell us more about your cruise on the VICTORIA. She was staffed by all Italian personnel...I have a lot of memorabilia from her and I can say that the VICTORIA was what cruising was all about in those days. She was elegant and intimate with wonderful food and service. I had one good friend of mine who was my attorney back then. He sailed on the VICTORIA and raved about her. He once told me that he sailed from New York on a cruise in the 1960's and that a good friend of his had sent him a case of Dom Perignon onboard the ship!!! He told me that he treated his tablemates to Champagne every night!!! I think that today...a bottle of Dom would go for more than $250 onboard!!! LOL!!! THOSE WERE THE DAYS!!! LOL!!!:D


    OBTW...Didn't the EMPRESS OF ENGLAND become the QUEEN ANNA MARIA for the Greek Line. I will check that one out.



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