Marko, the ships had the same basic hull and machinary, but were very different in many important respects. The Titanic had greater passenger accomadation for one thing, the two "Millioniaires Suites", slightly different ventilation arrangements, a flat faced wheelhouse inside the bridge, (Olympic would not recieve this modification until 1913) and of course, the so-called Ismay Screen on the foward part of the A deck promanade which was to protect the promanade from sea spray.
There were also differences in internal decor and furnishings. Nothing really major, but enough so that one could easily destinguish one ship from another.
As to the Olympic, she had a long and successful career until done in by the harsh economics of changing times and the Depression. She finished her last commercial voyage on 12 April 1935 and was sold off for scrap in September of 1935.
The Titanic also had another sister-ship. The Britannic. She was still in production when the Titanic sank, so she received alot of modifications to increase security and compfort after the sinking of the T. This made her longer, wider and with a greater GRT. But she was still very similar to the other two. Before she could enter commercial service, she was drawn into the Great War as a hostpital ship. She sank off the island of Kea, 40 miles south east of Athens on the 21st of November 1916 after hitting a mine laid out one month earlier by a German submarine.
One minor quibble in Stefan's post. Britannic was no longer than her sisters. Some sources say she was three inches longer, while others say she was 903 feet long. I don't know how this started, but suffice it to say, length is the same between all three ships.
To be succinct, yes, Olympic had a Grand Staircase like Titanic. As Mr. Standart pointed out, there were only minor changes between the two. The added staterooms and the "Ismay Screen" were only the most visible.
The two "Millionaire Suites" on Titanic were staterooms B-51-53-55 and B-52-54-56; each with their own private promenade. The Cardezas occupied one on Titanic's voyage, Bruce Ismay in the other.
The Olympic had a grand staircase, virtually identical to Titanic. By minor differences mentioned above, Titanic was an improvement over Olympic. Titanic had more square tables in her palm court than Olympic's, which were primarily round, the smoking room had red and blue pattern tiles - Olympic buff and gray. Titanic boasted one major feature over Olympic - the extension of B-deck cabins outboard. Olympic had a full length enclosed B-deck promenade from 1911-1913.
Both ships had a basic design similarity, but each were unique in their own right. There are both Olympic and Titanic deck plans available in books. Those will show how similar/different the two ships were.
As for that 903 feet of Britannic, I think that has to do with White Star, they advertised Britannic as being '900 ft.'
Seems like a marketing trick because of the new German liners which were to be over 900 ft.
And 900 feet is easier to pronounce then 882 feet and 6 inches!(from memory there)
I'm not 100% sure about her exact length, but it seems logical that she was the same size of her sisters. Why change it. Measuring plans give the same figure too IIRC.
Marko, from what was described above, neither was more luxurious than the other. Britannic was intended to be more luxurious, with many changes to her interiors, but those did not happen for obvious reasons. Other ships built since the Olympic-class sisters had appointments which rivaled them, though. The Imperator comes to mind on that one.
Marko, one would be wise to take all the superlatives attributed to the Titanic with a grain of salt. A lot of it was ad mans hype. Olympic was breifly the largest but was quickly eclipsed by the German Imperator.
The Germans went out of their way to make their ships as luxurious as possible and took it to such extremes as wroght iron decor, heavy woods, large spaces with marble...all of which made these ships topheavy. Dangerously so in the case of the Imperator.
This is not to say that any of the Olympics were plain. Far from it, but compared to what was being offered, they were studies in restrained good taste.
If you can find it, I suggest you get the book "Liners: The Golden Age" by Robert Fox, Clive Harvey, and Alex Linghorn. It is literally packed with photographs of all the great liners, along with a lot of informative text about them. The Imperator is in there.
Thanks Brandon, thanks Greg. I'll pick up the book tonight. It says that the Olympic and the Britannic where upgraded, after the Titanic sunk. They said that they did some mwork with their water tight doors so that they actually work? What other things did they improve?
Does German ships are something. Pity how the Americans took over their boats like that. I gotta say, those German liners when compared to the Titanic and Olympic, luxury wise, really leave them in the dust. Well at least in those photographs they look like a mansion inside.