Mine was the SS United States 1959 from Germany to New York, after spending three years in Germany with my father who was in the Air Force. I was 12 at the time, and had never experienced luxury, having grown up in the military.
Meals were absolutely awesome. Even though you had assigned seating, everyone lined up a minimum of an hour early. Dress code was Tuxes, for all meals, including for kids. Our waiter was magnificent. For each meal there was a 56 page menu...you could order Lobster for Breakfast if you wanted. Service was perfection.
Something I REALLY adored and really miss was a huge basket of perfectly-ripe fruit in the cabin, refreshed several times a day. Because of regulations, all uneaten fruit had to be thrown overboard before arriving in the U.S., so they let you eat all you wanted.
Amazingly, even though we had First Class cabins, the cabin consisted of two bunkbeds!
The ship absolutely maintained First Class...there were literally bars with locks on them blocking First Class for the other classes, like on the movie Titanic. We saw First Run movies (a novelty for military folk.) I still remember them: Birdman of Alcatraz with Damon and Pythias. Entertainment consisted of horse races, where you bet on a horse, then they would throw dice and the number that came up advanced that particular horse one spot.
I adored the Promenade Deck as it had large lounge chairs. When you sat in one, a Steward immediately covered you with a nice warm blanket and brought you biscuits and Hot Tea. (It was cold in the Atlantic.)
The only pool was deep inside and almost never used. The gym was alongside the pool and consisted of a rowing machine and those "bowling pins for weight things" from the 20's. Without today's stabilizers, it was fun to get into the pool on rough sea days. The deep end would completely empty with one swell, then pop you to the ceiling with the next swell.
I got my first kiss....Wendy Buckeister....amazing to remember this long later, but who forgets their first kiss? We went to see the movies and I got to hold my first hand....I wasn't sure how to do it, so by the end of the movie, sweat was dripping from our hands onto the floor.
The absolutely most amazing part of the trip for me was the early gray morning we sailed into New York at about 6AM. Every single passenger was on deck to watch as we sailed by the Statue of Liberty. To my amazement, only being 12, I started weeping and then saw every person was similarly crying at the experience.
If you've seen the movie Titanic, this is what the cruise was, minus the sinking.