Shared Cabins Among 2nd & 3rd Class

Jan 29, 2007
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I saw a similar thread, but I don't think this question quite belongs there.

I've read that some of the 2nd class, and many of the 3rd class passengers shared their cabins with complete strangers. So my questions are a) how common was this, and b) were the passengers aware at the time they bought the tickets that they might have to spend their trip with someone they've never met?
I'm sure the 3rd class passengers weren't terribly picky, but 2nd class...I don't know, if I had booked the trip already and boarded only to find out that someone I'd be sharing my cabin with someone I never met, that's slightly irritating. Of course you don't have to become best friends, but, what if I got stuck with someone who snored loudly, or sleepwalked!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Those were different times, with different expectations. There were no single-berth cabins in 2nd or 3rd Class, so a passenger traveling alone would always expect to be sharing with at least one stranger. If you weren't prepared to accept that, your only option was to book a single cabin in 1st Class.

If the solitary traveler booked 3rd Class and ended up with a room-mate from hell that was generally tough luck, but it was only for a few days so not many passengers would have been overly concerned about the prospect. In 2nd Class you could ask for a transfer to another cabin if one was available, which might well be possible if the ship was lightly booked. In that circumstance you might in any case get lucky and find yourself the only occupant of a 2-berth cabin. Otherwise it was the usual procedure - hope for the best, expect the worst and settle for whatever you get!
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Jan 29, 2007
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Thank you, Bob.
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I knew the 2nd class was either 4 berth or 2 berth, and assumed that since the 2nd class wasn't booked full, that passengers traveling alone were lucky enough to have a 2 berth cabin to themselves, and that families, or groups of friends, had the 4 berth cabins. But, maybe even some of the people traveling alone almost wanted to share a room with someone else who was traveling alone. Sort of makes you feel less, for lack of a better word, alone! :D

I also read that the Titanic tried to match up passengers who spoke the same language together as much as possible, especially in 3rd class where many of the passengers were from different countries.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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"...but, what if I got stuck with someone who snored loudly, or sleepwalked!"

... or died in the bunk above you and bled, with blood dripping down onto you (I'm guessing it was a nose bleed)! This happened on the Olympic at some point during her career - I can't remember where I read it, probably Mark Chirnside's book.

These were different times indeed. Further to what Bob mentioned, this was not uncommon in 1st Class either! Of course every opportunity would be given not to put complete strangers together in the same cabin, but during times of high demands, even 1st Class passengers could find themselves with complete strangers.

All people should have been aware of this when booking their tickets however, as this depended on the price they paid. If a passenger was prepared to pay more to be the single occupant of his or her cabin, then this could be guaranteed. Otherwise, if they were only willing to pay the minimum 1st Class fare, they could only hope that demand is low (enough) and that they would end up in a room on their own.

Daniel.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Otherwise, if they were only willing to pay the minimum 1st Class fare, they could only hope that demand is low (enough) and that they would end up in a room on their own. <<

There was always the option of one of those "posh" jail cells cabins on the boat deck. So small, you had to go outside to change your mind and only a single bed. Only one of those was occupied on the Titanic, so I doubt anyone was breaking down the doors at the ticket office to get any of them.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Michael

While the Boat Deck cabins were small, I think rooms B 3, B 4 and C 145 probably take the cake for the smallest first class staterooms!

In the new book that's coming out, there's an image of one of the Boat Deck staterooms (3D model) and it actually looks quite nice. Although the real thing probably would have been somewhat cruder, those staterooms would have been quite comfortable and pleasant nonetheless. While many of the first class rooms were small, the furniture was of high quality and provided all the necessities that would have been needed at sea.

Where the passengers would really critique their accommodation is the service; and that was impeccable on Olympic/Titanic. A 1911 article praised the service and cleanliness of Olympic, even going so far as to say they (the author) would eat off the Galley/Pantry floor - it being that clean!

Daniel.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Although the real thing probably would have been somewhat cruder, those staterooms would have been quite comfortable and pleasant nonetheless.<<

You're probably right about that. Computer models seldom show the little blemishes that appear in even with the best workmanship. All else aside, they wouldn't have attracted any bookings if they had been unacceptable as a place to sleep.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Jason,

The book is "Titanic the Ship Magnificent" by Bruce Beveridge and co-authored with Scott Andrews, Steve Hall and myself (Daniel Klistorner).

Daniel.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Danial, is the book still on track for April of this year? With the four of you guys on the job, I expect that short of a room full of primary source documents, this work will be the book for Titanic techies to have!
 
Dec 7, 2000
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All

Pardon the all-modesty-aside call, but as I'm only one of four contributors to this Titanic book, I will say that this is one of the biggest undertakings, perhaps even of 'Titanic' proportions, in a long time. A great deal of time and effort has been poured into this work to share as much information as possible and in pursuit of that, there were inevitable delays. Although the book won't be ready for April, it should be out a little later towards the end of this year.

Regards,

Daniel.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I was so hoping it would be published in April. Still, I think it'll be well worth the wait. I don't think I'm too far off the mark in pointing out that this will be one of the most signifigent collaberative works to hit the bookshelves for Titanic historians in a very long time.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Michael,

Believe me, I was looking forward to it coming out in April as well as I was going to go to Halifax for the "launch" of the book at the BTS convention. Now I don't get to go to Canada.

Daniel.
 

Steven Hall

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I was also going with Dan to Hailfax. All four of us (authors) were going to meet there for the launch.
Let me say about the book, my mind has reached overload reading through the manuscript.
There's 4 guys that have poured thousands of (individual) hours work into it, as well as over 35 years of combined research done between us all.
This is going to lift Titanic research to a new level.
 

Jason D. Tiller

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What a shame, Daniel and Steve. I'm going to be in Halifax for the convention; it would have been a pleasure to meet you both.

But as Mike said, we've waited this long, so we can wait a little longer.
 
Feb 7, 2005
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Steve, Daniel, Bruce and Scott...

I want to thank each of you in advance for putting so much effort into what promises to become the standard text on Titanic, the ship.

We're all looking forward to it with great anticipation--WHENEVER it debuts!

Thanks so much, guys!

Denise