Really cramped and claustrophobic Saloon Class cabins


May 12, 2009
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I've been going over the Lusitania and Mauretania photographs in Mark Warren's books and it seems while the Saloon Class public rooms with large and spacious, the cabins were AWFUL! Even Second Cabin passengers had more room to move around in their staterooms. The ceilings seem so low and the floor plan so narrow, which is made even worse by all the superfluous furniture and throw pillows crammed into those rooms.

Has anyone else ever noticed this about those two Cunarders? Were Saloon Class passengers ever known to complain about the small and cramped staterooms? The Suites look the worst, there is nowhere to move and the beds are stacked headboard to headboard because there was obviously no room to place them side by side like on the Aquitania or the Olympic-class vessels.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Has anyone else ever noticed this about those two Cunarders?<<

Yes, and a number of other liners of the period.

>>Were Saloon Class passengers ever known to complain about the small and cramped staterooms?<<

Somebody is always going to complain about that but for the most part, I think you'll find that it was simply accepted and even taken for granted. The expectations of the age were very different from what we expect now.
 
May 27, 2007
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I remember reading in the Diana Preston book that the bulkheads in Second Class also shook when the ship approached excessive speeds.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I remember reading in the Diana Preston book that the bulkheads in Second Class also shook when the ship approached excessive speeds.<<

Vibration was one of those vexing problems which they were never able to make completely go away. Propellor design was the culprit and even now, it's as much art as science to minimize the impact. About all they could do was rebuild portions of the interior and redesign the props. This never eliminated the problem but at least they were able to make it tolerable.
 
May 27, 2007
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Actually Michael that is what I think they did. Which didn't fix the problem but made it less noisy and noticeable.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Actually Michael that is what I think they did.<<

Oh, that's exactly what they did. Considering that this portion of the ship was literally uninhabitable because of the noise and vibration, Cunard didn't have much of a choice in the matter if they wanted to operate the ship at her best possible speed and still fill up cabins with paying customers!

Cabins which can't be sold don't go over very well with the accounting department!
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May 27, 2007
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I wouldn't have gotten a cabin with that screaming noise in the back ground even if I could of gotten it at a reduced rate. I would made it not an hour before I ended up getting my money back or spending all my time including sleeping, on deck.

>>Cabins which can't be sold don't go over very well with the accounting department!<< Yep gotta make ends meet with that almighty dollar/pound.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I wouldn't have gotten a cabin with that screaming noise in the back ground even if I could of gotten it at a reduced rate.<<

It wouldn't have been a screaming noise. In a lot of respects, it would have been worse. On my last ship, the props were specially designed to minimize cavitation but that still did little to deal with the pressure waves being pushed out by each one of the blades. The thunder...and thunder is exactly what it sounds like...was so loud that you had to wear hearing protection in the spaces above the screws.

The devil in this detail is that these screws were designed to minimize noise but even with supercomputers to help, the designers could only do so much.

In the Lusitania's day, it the supercomputer of the day was pencil, paper, sliderule, trial and error. The wonder of it all is that they managed as well as they did.
 

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