After it became obvious that airplane travel was here to stay, and that a trip to Europe could be completed in 10 hours instead of five days, the cruise line companies began to shift gears from providing transportation to providing vacations. A ship voyage was already a pleasurable experience for those with the money to buy first class tickets, and so that level of luxury was easily converted to the idea of the ship as a hotel that visited different ports.
The idea really caught on after WWII, when the cruise lines got their ships back after their wartime service. Cruises to Hawaii and South America became big business. These pleasure cruises would last up to a month, in contrast to the common three and four day cruises of today.
I’m sure you have all read how the 3100 passengers on the Carnival Triumph got an unwanted four day extension of their four day Mexican cruise. This was big news in the US, and completely overshadowed what was an even worse incident on a cruise in the Canary Islands when five crew members of the Thomson Majesty were killed during a routine lifeboat drill.
I’m not qualified to comment on the safety regulations and procedures of cruise ships, but for an industry that has people talking about the accident of the Costa Concordia over a year later, it seems to me that they have some ‘splaining to do.
Does anyone beside me remember that series on The Mickey Mouse Club where Annette took a trip to Hawaii? She went on a cruise ship and I thought it was the most fun thing ever.
Several years ago a friend and I took a cruise through the Aegean as part of an educational tour of Greece. As such, we were on a small ship which held about 600 people, and I thought *that* was big. I can’t imagine being on one of those floating towns of up to 5000 people that pass for cruise ships today. Especially now.
Certain fortunate people combine knowledge that comprehends the best with the means to purchase it.
We should all be so lucky!
The Time: 6 P.M., any night. The Place: Grand Central Terminal, New York. The Star: you, stepping from the crimson carpet to the magic carpet that is the famous 20th Century Limited. It’s the New York Central’s luxury hotel on wheels, your overnight vacation between New York and Chicago, first night on your coast-to-coast week end.
If you love old magazines, then I bet you are like me, always lamenting the total lack of glamour in travel today. I don’t think it would be so bad if not for these reminders of how travel itself was once an experience to be savored. Unfortunately, travel today is more likely to just be endured, especially travel by plane. But even trains are not the luxurious and relaxing places they once were. But in our busy lives, it is often time that is the luxury, and the speed of modern travel does allow us more time when on a trip.
I’m writing this several days in advance, because when it is published I’ll be on a trip, with two of my dearest friends who knew I needed a change of scenery. Maybe this post should have been about friendship instead of travel.
I bet you can guess where I am!
Forgive me for a moment so I can indulge in a little wintertime fantasy. It’s a cold, rainy, gloomy day, but on the seas to Hawaii all is sunny and bright.
It took the cruise lines a few years to get back up to speed after WWII, as most of the ships had been used in the war effort. Matson was operating four luxury liners in the Pacific before December 7, 1941, and all were converted into troop carriers. Together, the four Matson liners carried a total of 736,000 troops and covered one and a half million miles before the war ended in 1945.
The transition back to cruise service was difficult and costly for Matson. They ended up selling two of their liners so that the S.S. Lurline could be remodeled and relaunched in 1948. By the late 1950s Matson had four liners making the route between California and Hawaii. Today Matson is still in business as a container ship operator on the Pacific. I’m sure it is more profitable than running cruise ships, but it could not be as romantic.
I was lucky enough to attend elementary school during a time when a music education was more than 55 minutes once a week. No, our teachers were serious about music, and determined that we would learn and sing every old American song ever written. (That included the horrendously morbid, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp.)
I especially loved Thanksgiving, because that meant “Over the River and Through the Woods”. I was always confused by the reference to the sleigh going over the white and drifted snow. Wasn’t snow more of a Christmas thing? As it turns out, the song was written in 1844 by Massachusetts abolitionist Lydia Maria Child, and Massachusetts in 1844 was enduring what has been referred to as the Little Ice Age.
During my own childhood, Thanksgiving was a short car ride, over a few creeks and through the woods, because I was lucky enough to live a few short miles from my grandparents. So my own experience was actually closer to that of the 1844 song than that of this 1951 advertisement!
She always goes high-hat when she carries Oshkosh!
Don’t blame this poor camel for “putting on airs”… Oshkosh luggage seems to have that effect on man or beast.
If you could see through luggage, Skyway would stand out even more!
Vacationers with inside information choose Skyway!
And I love “Perpetually Matchable!”
To have a set of the white with blue trim would be a dream come true!