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Posts posted by Matsonbrat

  1. None of my 6 cruises (all different lines) are gone.


    Passenger ship companies: Matson (to and from Honolulu 1937 and 1939) , American Export, Loved the 4 trips on the Independence and Constitution to and from the Med in the 50-60's. .


    Nice size ships and not like the large sheep ships cruising today (they sail to and from the Gulf states from down under, Arabs love mutton) . 1,000 passengers were a comfortable size and not so far to walk to and from everything.

  2. I have a menu that Duncan O'Brien sent me as a gift. He did the big cocktail book "White Ships" about 6 years ago. It sold for $65. You can get a used one on Amazon for $1,000. Has new book out next month " The Grand Manner of Matson". Crew, passengers and others with their memories and etc.


    The menu's cover shows " Farewell Dinner , Honoring passengers disembarking in New Zealand. SS Mariposa (drawing of it also). At Sea Sydney to Aukland Friday June 29th, 1933.

    2nd page is autograph page with 13 signatures including my father's (it was his table) who at the time was Chief Steward, Cabin Class. He went on to be the Chief Steward 1935 to 1947 when ship was sold. He retired as Dir. of Passenger Service in 1961.


    Too big to upload to this site, but here are some of the dinner items that night that are probably not too popular today.


    pearl onions, anchovy straws, Swedish herring salad, clear green turtle amontillado, salmon with "anchovy butter", boiled smoked ox tongue, fried parsnips.


    A big assortment of desserts, three cheeses.



    Time marches on and so do our tastes.

  3. :) About five years ago Duncan O'Brien of Vancouver, B.C., came out with his cocktail table book "White Ships". It is about the four white liners of Matson Lines 1930-6-?. It was like $65. I just saw on Amazon a used copy for $1,000. Now he is coming out with another one next month, (mine ordered) and it will be more about crew, passengers, etc, stories. As I am a child of a long time Chief Steward and former Director of Passenger Service for Matson, I am pleased to see such strong interest in that era of Matson. Surprising to me as you have to older then the hills to have had any connections with their passenger liners. There was a 1982 large book put out by the late Fred Stindt, a former purser, called "Matson's Century of Ships". Surprising it is on

    Amazon for only $25-60. Of course I have that one too.


    Anybody here sailed on one of the 4 ships?


    New book is "The Grand Manner of Matson".

  4. Remember that they had just installed a computerize communications system in the Radio Room. This included satellite TV. It kept going out just after we sailed from Italy. Being a recently retied communications officer U.S. Govt. I offered to take a look at the problem. Seems the operators were still doing what they had been doing with the old radio equipment and were smoking, eating and no AC in the Radio Room. I knew at that time that a computer equipment area needs to be very clean and cool, about 70 F. Somehow they cleaned up their act and cooled the area and we all had TV again. Brits too proud to say thanks as I remember.

  5. My favorite has to be this ship in 1956 NYC to Naples. I was young (23) , single, and on my first State Dept. assignment to Istanbul. I was in Cabin Class due to the travel rules then. Upgraded to 1st class few years later.


    All the younger people seemed to be in Cabin Class and we all had a great time every day. At the Azores it was good weather rest of the way and the pool bar rear doors were opened all the way across and we had buffet lunches inside or out. Lots of shipboard romances started in that bar. Every one dressed up, especially at dinner. Passengers were a different crowd then cruisers. Lucky to have had 4 voyages on the Independence or Constitution 1956-63 between the Med. and NYC. Whole ship probably did not have more then 800 passengers in the three classes. Compared to the mega cruise ships now in service, a different experience in all respects.

  6. :)Saw it the first time on the Cunard Princess on an E. Med. cruise 1992.

    I was told it was from what British soldiers use to do many years ago to amuse themselves with a Soldiers Show. It was so funny, I almost fell off my chair. Oh! how I miss the under 1,000 passenger cruise ships. Same for regular passenger ships in the 50's too.

  7. :) AHL has a good memory about his voyages in 1961 in post #61.


    His Mariposa trip to the South Pacific was on a Mariner freighter converted in Portland, Oregon to a passenger ship in 1956. She and her new sister ship Monterey were one stackers and only 365 passengers. My father went up to the shipyard there to see that his designs for the galley and dining rooms were followed properly. He also put women on the ships after WWII as waiters and room stewards. When he was scattered at sea in 1972 in the shipping channels between Molokai and Koko Head, Oahu, the now PFL owned one stacker Monterey had it's fantail full of these women who were originals or replacements. ( I have photos of the service sent by her Master with a copy of the ship's log of the funeral .

    A few years ago I went to Koko Head and had my own private memorial service as I looked across to Molokai.) AHL's Lurline trip was really the old Monterey from the 30's with her sister ships Lurline and Mariposa with about 715 passengers each. The Matsonia was a 1929 smaller ship then the other 3 of the 4 great white liners of Matson. I truly envy AHL his South Pacific trip. Imagine today going from HNL or the Mainland on a cruise ship with only a max. of 365 passengers on that voyage.

  8. :) How interesting. Cool Cruiser has a post #58 that linked a web site that was originally posted by Host Doug in post #7 22 March 2005. It concerns the old Matson ships and in the post after you go to the third sub link at the bottom of the first page you will find the title page of postwar stories and a color photo there taken in the lounge of the then Lurline of Matson. The folks are dressed formal and in the backgound is a gray haired gent in a black tux at a table looking to the right of the photo with another man with his back to the camera. I was able to save it and blow it up and now can present this.



    I am sure it is my father the then Dir. of Passenger Service for Matson and the ship was near his office at piers 30-32 which had been Matson's since the 20's in S.F. He was Charles Christian, Sr. Went to sea for 30 years on passenger ships until he got his first shore job in 49. He died in 1972.


    It was a nice treat for me tonight.

  9. In reply to the costs I will guess maybe less then $500 as immigrants usually traveled 2nd class and shared a cabin with 3 other men. Ticket was maybe several sheets with the contract and details typed in on the passenger and all other information needed to cover the trip and conditions .. It could be actually much less as it was back in '51.:confused:

  10. :)

    I have a 1959 book that shows a picture of her and being built in North Vancouver at Wallace Shipyards in 1921.


    At that time she was the only ship in the Alaska cruise service of the CPR. She was also P.L. II as there was one also back in the 1800's.


    I also have a note on the picture that she capsized as a restaurant in 1989.

  11. It was the 1931 Monterey of Matson Nav. Co. One of 4 of the great White Liners of Matson in the 1930's with her sister ships Lurline and Mariposa and the smaller 1928 Matsonia. She was 18,170 GT, 22 knots. 715 passengers in 1st and Cabin class. She and the Mariposa did the L.A/SFO to Hnl, Samoa, Fiji and N.Z/Aust. runs and the Lurline and Matsonia the Calif. to Hnl runs. While my dad was mostly Chief Steward of the Matsonia 1935-47 I see he did two months as such on the Monterey in the summer 1937 when we moved to Honolulu. He received a nice salary that was doubled by his take from the bars and slots. Also a little more from tips for extra special services to the top drawer passengers. Everyone dressed well all the time and the service and food was always as elegant as the passengers.


    Withdrawal of the mail contracts and the growing air line traffic killed the last passenger ship for Matson in 1961 when my father as Dir. of Passenger Service and many of his old shipmates had to retire. Two new and smaller (one stack) ships, the Mariposa and Monterey, were sold to Am. President Lines who kept them going for some years. One of those ships had a ceremony on her stern in 1972 for the scattering of Dad's ashes in the ship channel between Koko Head, Oahu and Molokai. It was attended by about 50 members of the crew who had worked or sailed with him over the years at Matson. He had first sailed that channel in 1924 as a 20 year old Saloonsman on the S. Pacific cruise of the SS Buford. At age 14 he was on the streets alone due to a broken home and trying to be the Super. of an apt. building and going to school. Tug boat Captain at the pier in Tacoma , WA offered him coffee and pie one day and he became the tug's cabin boy. For twenty years he claimed to be years older then he was to not be too young for better positions. 30 years at sea before he got a shore job.


    Old history now but what a grand era it was.

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