Where would one bcheck inb on Titanic

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Tarn Stephanos

Member
Ocean liners were for all practical purposes floating hotels.....
Where in 1st, 2nd and 3rd class would passengers check in?
From whom would they aquire thier cabin keys?
I am assuming the Inquiry office on C deck was the 'front desk' for 1st class passengers. How about 2nd and 3rd class passengers?

Thanks


Tarn Stephanos
 
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Bob Godfrey

Member
At Southampton, any required formalities like the 3rd Class medical inspection were conducted in the terminal buildings onshore. Having obtained their inspection cards (which were marked also with the cabin/berth locations), passengers could board and needed only to be escorted to their cabins by stewards. The stewards acted also as porters and as guides to the location of basic facilities like toilets and dining rooms.

1st Class passengers were ushered onboard immediately on arrival, with the Purser and Chief Steward on hand in the entrance area to offer a welcome and to address any special requirements. No shortage of stewards on hand to act as porters and guides.

I've never seen any evidence that cabin keys were provided. Certainly none were found on any of the hundreds of recovered bodies of passengers. If a cabin class traveller wanted to have his/her room locked or unlocked, the bedroom steward was on hand to do it. In those times, many people who employed a staff of servants didn't need to carry keys even to their own homes, as there would always be someone inside to respond to the doorbell!

In 3rd Class, where few people had valuables beyond what they were wearing or carrying, the cabin doors may not have had locks at all. But potential thieves would never have found the 3rd Class areas deserted - stewards were stationed in the main passageways at all times to keep an eye on comings and goings.
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Noel F. Jones

Member
Cabin baggage would be delivered by the baggage gang to each cabin/stateroom as per label.

The bedroom stewards, in each class, would collect passage tickets and render them to the purser's bureau to be ticked off against the passenger manifest.

Keys would not be an issue on express transatlantic passage. On intermediate vessels, where security was a concern at wayports, keys would be issued to passengers by the BR's on embarkation.

Passengers were subsequently supposed to deposit their room keys at the bureau when visiting the shore and collect them upon returning. This provided a form of tally to make sure all transit passengers were on board on a departure. It didn't always work!

Noel
 
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Daniel Klistorner

Member
All,

Fr. Browne's account may be of interested to know how a 1st (and I assume 2nd) class passenger would board. After describing how small people looked and Titanic stretching in either direction from the gangway, also seeing 2nd class passengers boarding further aft, he continues:

Once on board a visit to the Purser's office, where a letter of introduction served as a passport to the genial friendship of Mr. McElroy, sent us looking for cabin A37 ...

So it seems that a visit to the Purser's office for all passengers first thing after boarding was essential. Not all passengers who booked tickets booked an exact cabin, and any luggage sent ahead by them would have been marked for a certain cabin once it arrived at the ship. So some passengers only found out thier cabins once they'd been to the Purser's office.

Daniel.
 
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Bob Godfrey

Member
I don't think there are any first-hand accounts of the 'processing' of 3rd Class passengers for Titanic, but there are good accounts of procedures at Liverpool on other White Star liners of the period. The details may be of interest here. The 3rd Class/steerage passengers were 'loaded' in dock along with the cargo, before the ship was moved to the landing stage for cabin class passengers. They were first escorted onboard to a large public area like a dining room. There the routine medical inspection too place. This was conducted very quickly in a moving line, and consisted of an examination of the eyes (for trachoma) and basic observation for any other obvious symptoms of illness. The line then moved past three officials, one to collect tickets, one to issue inspection cards, and a third to assign the cabin and berth numbers which were then marked on the card. Wherever possible, care was taken to keep friends, families and nationalities together.

At Southampton these proceedings took place before boarding, the completed inspection card serving as a boarding pass. I imagine that the 2nd Class procedures were similar, except that there was of course no medical examination.
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M

monica e. hall

Member
Moved to this folder, Security & Safety, to join other boarding procedure questions.
 
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