My mom and stepdad are avid cruisers in their retirement years. As I type they are sailing the (reportedly rough) high seas along the coast of Australia, headed soon to New Zealand. So it was exciting for me to find a booklet in a local antiques shop from a cruise on the S.S. United States (“the world’s fastest and most modern liner”) from New York to Havre, Southampton, and Bremerhaven. The ship departed January 11, 1956. You can read more details about this ship on this preservation site. How neat that it is still around!
Along with the location of various rooms on each deck, and “how to know the ship’s officers by their sleeve stripes”, this booklet contains a list of first class passengers. It looks like the Kiefer sisters and their parents were onboard, as were the Macklin family, and some Negropontes. Mr. Borris Yane traveled alone. I wonder if he met up with Miss Emmaline Leconbla, who also appears solo? Perhaps they shared a dance. No Grotkes onboard this ship, alas.
I’ve never cruised so not sure how much of this is “quaint and curious” vs. “still happens on cruises today”, but I found a few parts of the information book interesting.
There was a beauty parlor on ship, where you could get:
Hair trimming $2
Hair cut $2.50
Hair set $2
Facial $3 up
Permanent Wave $15 up
Tinting and Dying $7.50
Eyebrow Arching $1.25
Also available: Electric Baths and Massage, where you could request an assortment of massages, rubs (alcohol, oil or salt, anyone?), sun treatment, a “cabinet bath” and something called “Shower – Scotch Douche” (I’ll pass, thank you very much).
There were kennels aboard for the pups on ship. And they were air conditioned! With a trained Kennel Attendant. Luxurious!
- A long list of safety instructions included:
- Please do not run on the ship, and walk carefully when the deck is wet. Do not wear high heels, nor shoes with leather heels when playing deck games.
- Do not move about in darkened rooms; make use of the lighting facilities.
- Do not stroll about the ship unnecessarily. Remain seated in furniture which is secured.
- Brace yourself when sitting in a straight-backed chair.
- If your chair should move in the Dining Room while at meals, hold on to the table – do not attempt to save table utensils or equipment.
And, in case you are wondering (given the recent ship sinking event in Italy), printed in bold, highlighted by a box around the text: “Passengers should familiarize themselves with the Notice in the Staterooms regarding Emergency Station and Life Boat Number, and also participate in the Fire and Boat Drills.”