Titanic vs Queen Mary

May 3, 2005
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We've stayed at Hotel Queen Mary at Long Beach on a few occasions.
Even though the hotel rooms are in converted First Class Suites they are no match in luxuriousness to those depicted on Titanic.
(At least if James Cameron got it right in his sets for Rose and Cal's Rooms, Dining Saloon, etc.) 1912 and RMS Titanic must have truly been in "The Gilded Age". RMS Queen Mary looks almost austere in comparison !
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Contrary to some popular conceptions, Cunard was not known for being overly lavish in their accomodations but don't even go so far as to read too much into that. They always had a few that were pretty spectacular but the same wouldn't hold true of the majority. Most First Class cabins on board the Olympic or the Titanic were nowhere near as luxurious as the ones shown to the photographers. Liners typically have a mix of cabins, with a lot of plain ones, a slightly smaller number that get progressively better, and a few really elegant ones...with the elegant fares to match.

Guess which ones get the press!
 

James Smith

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Dec 5, 2001
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My understanding is that with Art Deco, the emphasis shifted from the way the materials were worked to the quality of the materials themselves. I never get bored looking at all that wood on the Queen Mary, and all of the different patterns of grain in it. And the fact that each of those cabins had their own private bathroom, in and of itself, implies a standard of luxury of which Titanic fell short.

As an aside, one of my hobbies in Queen Mary staterooms has become pulling the dresser drawers out and turning them over. An awful lot of them have messages written on the undersides by people who have stayed in the rooms (mostly since 1970)--some outrageous, some funny, and some rather touching.

--Jim
 

Lucy Burkhill

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Mar 31, 2006
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It depends on how one defines "luxury". The Art Deco style which so characterises Queen Mary, was far more restrained and streamlined than the period decor of the liners of Titanic's era, and whilst it may appear austere in comparison, there was great emphasis on the quality of materials used, ie wood was no longer elaborately carved, but treated so as to show off its distinctive grain. Also new and innovative materials, such as formica, were used, and were considered to be luxurious, as well as durable, at the time. Remember that the concept of style had changed considerably by the mid - 1930's - the emphasis was very much on an ultra-modern image, rather than nostalgia for the past, and Hollywood glamour had an influence on interior decor, with many aspects of design inspired by movie sets.
As Jim points out, facilities on Queen Mary were superior to Titanic (about 80% of Tourist Class cabins now had bathrooms)- to me, a cabin with an en-suite bathroom is more definitive of luxury than one with an elaborately carved four-poster bed (as in "Rose's" room in the JC flick). Certainly, by the '30's, people increasingly demanded facilities such as private bathrooms. As Mike says, the really lavish staterooms on Olympic and Titanic were not really typical of the average first class accomodation.

Lucy