2nd Class Cabin Size

James Doyle

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Jul 30, 2002
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Just to let everyone know I am a first time poster here! I love these message boards and can't wait to get started. I have looked for a Titanic Message board for a while now and this is the best one I have seen yet.

Ok, now thats out of the way...How big was your typical 2nd Class cabin? I know they had bunk beds but did any just have 1 bed? Were they all the same standerdized cabins or were some bigger then others? One last question, on the night of the sinking, how were the 2nd class passengers awoken and made aware of the situation? Whew, that was a lot. Can't wait to post and answer more questions here. I think I will quickly become a regular!
 

Adam McGuirk

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May 19, 2002
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Hello James. Second Class cabins on the Olympic class liners were unusually luxourius for second class and the equivilent to first class accomadations on other liners. I have seen drawings and pictures and they don't look that bad at all. I can't answer if some were bigger than others though I would guess they are all about the same and don't have the wide range in size like the first class cabins. My guess is stewards helped wake the passengers or some passengers may of seeked out the stewards.
Hope I helped a little
Adam

Welcome to the board you will become addicted quickly like I did!
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hi James, Adam,

No idea of their sizes, but there were a range, depending in part on which deck; whether it was an inside or outside room; and whether it was a 2-berth or 4-berth room.

Look at this site under deck plans. - E-deck aft; starboard-side; with an "E" in front of the room numbers. That will give you an idea.

Hope that helps,
Lester
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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As far as I can see from Bruce Beveridge's plans, all second class cabins had at least two berths.

I'm open to correction by those with better eyes and no cat to get in the way.
 
Jun 4, 2003
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Hi again everybody! I would like to know whether there were any single staterooms in second class and also if they were priced too much or reserved for special occasion! Thanks ...
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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I agree with Dave - a minimum of 2 berths in 2nd Class cabins. If the ship was not fully booked, however, a passenger might be allocated to a 2-berth cabin with nobody sharing. Lawrence Beesley, for instance, remarked that he was "fortunate enough" to have been in that situation. Anybody wanting to ensure solitude could pay for both berths, but that would be unlikely when for the same price they could book a single in 1st Class.
 
Feb 24, 2004
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You might want to read Mrs. Shelley's affidavit to the U.S. Senate Inquiry:

http://web.titanicinquiry.org:81/USInq/AmInq18Shelley01.html

She and her mother were 2nd-Class passengers with quite a story to tell about 2nd-Class accommodations. Here's part of what she had to say:

"Mrs. Imanita Shelley, of lawful age, being first duly sworn as regards the Titanic disaster, on her oath deposes and says:

"That her mother, Mrs. Lutie Davis Parrish, of Woodford County, Ky., and herself embarked on the White Star steamship Titanic at Southampton, England, upon the 10th day of April, 1912, having purchased the best second-class accommodation sold by said company.

"That instead of being assigned to the accommodation purchased, were taken to a small cabin many decks down in the ship, which was so small that it could only be called a cell. It was impossible to open a regulation steamer trunk in said cabin. It was impossible for a third person to enter said cabin unless both occupants first of all crawled into their bunks. . . ."

Apparently, not every room in 2nd-Class was all so ginger-peachy. Some of those cabins, I believe, could be designated as either 2nd- or 3rd-Class, depending on the passenger head-count. Do you suppose it was one of those is where she and her mother initially found themselves? Or was she just one of those chronic complainers we've all encountered?

Roy
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Apparently, not every room in 2nd-Class was all so ginger-peachy.<<

The same could be said of a lot of First Class cabins too. It's one thing to crow about the luxurious accomadations of Edwardian liners and quite another to take a hard look at the reality that the shipping lines tried very hard to not show to the cameras. Take a look at the cabins in the deckhouse on the boat deck. You had a small room with a bed and that was it. En suite bathrooms were more the exception then the norm and even in First Cabin, most people had to use the public bathrooms/lavatories if nature called.

What we need to remember is that a ship needed to carry as many passengers as possible to make money so space was always at a premium. (The extra cabins built into B deck on Titanic were added in with earning extra revenue in mind.) What this meant in practice was crowding as many people as possible in the smallest space they could get away with. Much the same applies today, and if you want a cabin with a lot of elbow room, and no roommates, you'll be paying premium rates for the priviledge.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>it's single berth.<<

And it's in First Class territory! While this was taken for granted as a decent cabin in 1912, such a cabin would not only be unacceptable today, in some countries, it would be illegal!
 
May 1, 2004
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Illegal? Why? I think comfort was important to every First Class ticket holder. And the amenities (which we all should know about). In hotels of the day, every room wasn't ensuite. The gents lav and bathrooms were just a step away from A-21.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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It's not just a question of comfort but also health and sanitation. The lack of en suite bathrooms would simply be unacceptable, if not in law, certainly among passengers. Then there's also the question of fire safety. Wooden wall panels tend not to go over well with fire authorities these days.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>The same could be said of a lot of First Class cabins too.

And hotel rooms ashore, as well.

When you check in to any of the remaining Edwardian era hotels in Manhattan, what you tend to find are grand public rooms, a few large rooms running along the principal facade, and then a depressing number of extremely small rooms. The smallest I ever occupied was an 8' x 7' deluxe room...8 by 12 seems to have been a fair standard.

I think that it was expected on both shore and land that your cabin/ room was where you planned on sleeping and changing clothes. Both of which can be done in an 8'x 7' space. The...uhhh...fabulousness of your crossing took place in the public rooms.

I think expectations changed after WW2. Motel began offering standard rooms that were twice as large, or more, than the average rooms in the grand hotels. And, hotels began facing irate guests who pointed out that "I paid $15 for a room that is in every way inferior to a $6 room at Howard Johnsons." It took a while, but eventually everyone was conditioned to expect at least 200 square feet of floorspace. And, all except for the grandest hotels began groping for nice sounding synonyms for "budget priced rooms" to cushion the culture shock of walking from a grand lobby to an 80 square foot box.

This is a 1900, 8 x 7, room I checked in to. No names, to avoid potential legal troubles...but the hotel had a grand beaux arts facade, some impressive public spaces, and bedrooms that were equivalent in floorspace to a QM2 suite bathroom/dressing room combo. The room was painted trendy charcoal, which added to the sense of non-spaciousness. But, to the non-millionaire Titanic first class passengers, it would have been totally acceptible. I kept reminding myself of that, as the walls seemed to compress inward at me....

207991.jpg


It functioned well as a place to sleep and dress. And, as aboard a 1900 luxury ship, I arranged to meet and entertain my friends in the public rooms.
 

Scott Mills

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Jul 10, 2008
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This is a rather old thread, but I feel the need to contribute. As a graduate student who travels extensively, but has far from bottomless pockets I can say this:

Anyone traveling through continental Europe should know that, even for moderately priced hotels, en suite facilities are the exception and not the rule. Typically to pay for what in some countries is called an "American style" room with its own bath and toilet, you're paying an incredible premium.

As someone else has posted here there are many hotels in New York that continue to have similar arrangements--not to mention surviving Edwardian and Victorian hotels elsewhere (I believe the hotel del in Coronado still has some rooms like this and they are very expensive).

In both cases, it is not illegal for sanitary reasons. I cannot imagine that there would be any laws stipulating that cabins on passenger carrying ships all have to have en suite facilities. Most likely they do have them, since in this day and age people usually find themselves on these ships as vacations in-themselves, but it seems impossible that they're legally mandated to do so.

Now the wood paneling is another story entirely! I don't know much about shipping regulations and passengers and such, but it seems to me wood paneling would almost universally be ruled out due to fire risk.