10 Favorite Liners


Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Some indication of the shher size of the immigration wave can be seen by reading This Paper on Historical Census Statistics. To quote one of the opening paragraphs:
quote:

The 1850 decennial census was the first census in which data were collected on the nativity of the population. From 1850 to 1930, the foreign-born population of the United States increased from 2.2 million to 14.2 million, reflecting large-scale immigration from Europe during most of this period.1...
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Authors: Campbell Gibson and Emily Lennon
Last Revised: January 18, 2001 at 10:00:34 AM​
 

Tom Lear

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Aug 22, 2003
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Well, to try and tie this back to liners, when you speak of the ships that helped bring over immigrants in the first half of the nineteenth century, I picture a motley assortment of barks, brigantines, clipper ships and paddle steamers.

Not that these ships don't deserve notice for the role they played, but it might be a stretch to call them "liners." That word is more evocative of the organized shipping conglomerates that came to the fore later on, Cunard, the Allan Line, etc, and the beginning of ships like the City of Paris, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse and so on.

It's all academic, I suppose.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Not that these ships don't deserve notice for the role they played, but it might be a stretch to call them "liners." <<

Perhaps. It should be remembered that some of these ships were owned by well organized lines such as the Black Ball line. The ones involved in the carrying of mail as well as passengers were known as "packets" In any event, the organization of shipping lines/concerns/consortiums came befor the advent of steam on the North Atlantic trade.

>>It's all academic, I suppose.<<

You may well be right. The historical impact of immigration however cannot be underestimated, though I suspect that if the native Americans had known where it would all lead, they might have been inclined to write it off as a bad idea.
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Jack Devine

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Jan 23, 2004
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I suppose it would be a stretch to call them liners in the sense that we think of the term. They ran the whole spectrum from squalid and dangerous to merely unpleasant, but they did slowly evolve into what we're familiar with. This is the period in which Samuel Cunard got his start, as well. "Transatlantic" by Stephen Fox covers this very well, it's worth picking up if you're interested in how the trade developed.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Tom- I notice that you have Bremen and Europa on your list, for interiors. Have you ever seen the hardcover book which was available to First Class passengers during the earlier seasons? Each ship had her own book, and to judge from the Bremen volume, they were spectacular. Every public room was covered, with full color artists renderings and B&W photos. They run to about 150 pages each, and are worth seeking out. If you ever add Bremen to your site I will be able to send scans of those interiors- am still looking for the Deauville and Trouville color shots for you.
 
Jul 9, 2004
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Mr. Kalafus,

I don't know if you mean Iroquois... later to be Ankara? Or is there another Iroquois that I don't know of.

I have it on my list because I've always thought of it as an attractive, well proportioned ship. I just took a liking to the exterior of it... I've never seen interiors.

I'm not completely sure about Columbie. I don't know much about some of the more minor French Liners, though most of the ships I like are from that line. I'm afraid my interest in ships doesn't take much form other than their artistic/visual appearances and the day-to-day life on board them.

When I posted that top ten... I had to leave a few ships out. They're ships that I find visually attractive, but know very little about myself. (With the exception of France.)

Belgenland
France (circa 60's)
Michaelangelo/Raffeaollo (Though I forgot how to spell it! Both are exterior only)

And I can't think of anymore. lol.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Brandon; You can call me Jim. I request formal address only under very specific circumstances.

Yes, that is the same Iroquois. I've always been partial to her. Colombie had interiors which, although extremely moderne bore no resemblance to those of Normandie, Champlain Lafayette etc. SHe had a style all her own, and survived until the 1970s.

I posted some photos of a 1930s Belgenland cruise to Halifax somewhere on ET. Do not remember where, or how easy they are to find.

Rafaello and Michelangelo were the last liners built with great interiors. Some aspects are now (violently) dated looking, but a few of the rooms were timeless (like the Black Bar aboard Michelangelo) and even those which now appear Brady Bunch-esque (the theatres) can be given points for attempting to convey elegance, albeit in a style which is still too vivid in most peoples memories to seem appealing. I remember them well, and even as a child (8-9 yrs) I could see that they had 'that certain something,' which QE2 lacked.
 

Tom Lear

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Aug 22, 2003
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Jim:

Sorry I haven't answered sooner. As soon as I'm back in front of my own machine I'll try and fill you in on things, if you want. All I have at the moment are a few German-language pamphlets on the Bremen/Europa. Thanks again for your efforts.

It's hard to do better than the First-class foyer or ballroom on the Michaelangelo (similar superlatives apply to first class rooms on the Da Vinci), but what was up with those stacks? Just doesn't do it for me -it's like a bad take-off of the Pompidou Center without the color, or what would have happened if they asked Gene Roddenberry to design an ocean liner.

Just my take on it.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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The stacks looked better in person than they did in pictures. And, from someone who was there, worked better too- aft on the France frequently was like being in a gritty fall out zone. M&R were very clean.
 
Jun 8, 2002
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Hello, all.

I was glad to see "Michelangelo/Raffaello" on some of the "favorites" lists. Jim, I agree that the funnels worked aesthetically in person--very elegant as a '60s design, although they were grouped a little tight, in my opinion. Tom, the ballroom on the "Michelangelo", as you said, is hard to beat, at least among public rooms aboard ships after World War II.

My favorite space though, like Jim's, was the Black Bar. I ought to post of photo of it, dated March of 1975, showing a pretty geeky looking guy in a bad polyester blue suit seated around a cocktail table of people he'd just met and who were clearly NOT from Lubbock, Texas!

On the other hand, maybe I won't.

Best regards to all,
Doug
 
Aug 10, 2002
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Hello:
My choices are:
Titanic
Aquitania
QM I
QE I
Michelangelo/Raffaello
Independence/Constitution
Leonardo Da Vinci
Luriline
Normandie
Nieuwe Amsterdam
This is based on their exterior appearance.
Regards,
Charlie Weeks
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Hi, Doug: You were there in 1975 as well! I'm the obnoxious 8 year old hovering behind the guy in the blue suit in the photo. Small world.

Fotr some reason the critics prefered Rafaello to Michelangelo, but I remember little of "Ralph" as she was nicknamed, other than that the colors in her public rooms were muted when compared to "Mike." From photos, the impression I have of Rafaello's interiors are that they were VERY 1960's posh Catering Hall (the type with 'Chez' in their title) and that the things the critics hailed her for are what now make much of her look old-but-not-antique. That lounge, for instance....
Still, I'd choose her brand of modernism over "period design" any day. A contradiction, I guess, since her interiors are now extremely 'period.'

Anyway, I wish that the Black Bar, and the Arras Ballroom from Leonardo Da Vinci had been preserved.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Is that you in the blue suit living la dolce vita?
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Getting back on topic, Michelangelo and Rafaello although far more appealing than QE2 were laden with design flaws which all but assured that their active lives would end in less than ten years. They were twin screw, which meant that, even if desired, half of their propulsion machinery could not be eliminated as was done later aboard the France. They were three class, and the cabins in tourist class were, even in the best cases, inferior to those aboard France or QE2. THe vast majority of cabins were inside (there were no "outsides" at all in Tourist, and only a handful in Cabin, which were intended to double as First Class rooms during peak season) because there were no portholes in decks A B and C. All of these things made them a "hard sell" as Deluxe cruise liners after Italia folded, and tehy ended up as accomodations ships in Iran.
 
Jun 8, 2002
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Thanks, Jim, for that gorgeous interior shot of the forward bar and the equally gorgeous image of me bringing honor and glory to all of us from West Texas

To answer your question, the picture of me in the "Black Bar" (which actually you have named, have you not? I thought it was the Monte Carlo bar or some such) was taken at the table just beyond the one in the foreground, closer to the bar. My table was composed of a stockbroker from Luxembourg, an artist from Missouri on her annual trek to a six-months' stay in Venice, a watercolorist from New York on his way to his second home in St. Paul de Vence, an Italian-American woman from San Francisco and another, a female medical student from Philadelphia going over to see relatives in Iscia. And in this midst was the bad blue suit from Texas. I was a junior in college then. So YOU were that eight-year-old we all wanted to throw overboard at Algeciras!

I occupied one of those windowless cabins on A Deck, glad to help preserve the clean exterior lines of the ship as seen from afar. Not. This was a March crossing, you see, and I don't care if it was billed by the Italian Line as the "sunny Southern route", it was very stormy and rough. That, then, was the first and last inside cabin I've ever occupied.

Otherwise, I have very special memories of the "Michelangelo" and that nine-day crossing. BTW, the ship's newspaper announced, on that voyage, that both sisters would be withdrawn from service in the next few months. To their great credit, the stewards and staff, though clearly saddened, maintained serice standards throughout the voyage.

Thanks for kindling memories.

Regards to all,
Doug
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Doug: It was actually "Grand Bar Mediterraneo. I cannot accept credit for "Black Bar" which is just an informal nickname which stuck and turns up occasionally in reminisces.

I've spent 9 days in an inside cabin, and that is an experience I wish everyone who pines for the days of classic liners "not like these floating hotels they have now" could share. It was somewhat akin to imprisonment, and the fact that it was a 90 square foot former First Class room was no consolation at all.

Yes, I was that 8 year old. But, I went through a rough time after losing the part in the Poseidon Adventure to Eric Shea and was "not myself." And, I will go to my grave disbelieving that what happened to me at the Pinata Party was "just an accident." Most of those people were not wearing masks.....
 
Aug 31, 2004
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Okay, I don't know if this has been posted before, but, What is your favorite ship?

If you have more than one, that's okay-personally mine are Titanic and QM2...I also quite partial to the SS United States.
 

Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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Okay, I don't know if this has been posted before

It has, and today's messages have now been consolidated into the pre-existing thread.
 

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