Crew dining area


Chris F.

Hi everyone! I was wondering if anyone knows where the victualling crew (stewards, cooks, etc.) ate? Did they use the passenger dinning rooms when the passengers were not eating? Thanks
Unlike other crew departments (deck crew and engineering) the victualing crew had no mess areas. They were expected to grab a bite when and where they could, in between their duties - generally in the kitchens or pantries and often while standing or even on the move.
I am personally interested in knowing what the china looked like for the crew. I don't know who would know that. It seems to be a very obscure matter.
Were there separate mess areas for different parts of the crew , such as deck or engineering , or just a common mess for all crew members ?,,,,..
Yes, much of the mess was divided by crew. The seamen had a different mess than the firemen (who shoveled coal and would have been perpetually filthy the entire voyage). These were on C deck in foc'sle. The officers had their own dining. The marconi and postal workers (who did not work for the White Star Line) had their own mess, I believe near the After Grand Staircase, on C Deck, just forward of the Maid and Valet's Saloon. The engineers had a mess on E deck near engineering.
Last edited:

I'm wondering where the general crew, stewards, attendants, cooks, waiters, 'hotel staff' all ate?
People have suggested the maids and valets saloon on c deck but that was for the maids and valets that held first class tickets that could not dine with passengers, they were employed only by their first class employer and technically passengers separate from the waiters and stewards. so where did the white star line waiting staff eat? I have found no specific area for them. surely they would of had their own space to eat and take breaks?

Very interested to know your thoughts
The "waiters* " were saloon stewards.

The "attendants" were bedroom stewards.

The deck officers, engineers, seamen, firemen, trimmers and greasers all had their own individual mess rooms.

Yet, the stewards and galley crew don't appear to have had their own assigned mess rooms.

There has been a suggestion (and probably a correct one) made here on ET in the past that the stewards and galley crew simply ate their meals in the galleys and pantry when they could get the chance (for they would be kept very busy of course) and maybe also had a snack whilst lying in their bunks.

Regrettably, only rarely were the surviving crew (regardless of which department they were in) asked about what their own accommodation and victuals were like sadly, a real missed opportunity. No-one was really interested (I'm interested though !) in what it was like for a first class bedroom steward when he was off duty, they were more interested in the people he would have served.

It's just my opinion, others may disagree but I think Violet Jessop's memoirs are the best "window" into what life was like for an ordinary member of the victualling crew.

*Only the À la Carte Restaurant had "waiters", and they were not strictly employees of the White Star Line.