Questions for old old time cruisers.

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#21
10,809 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Our first cruises were on Sitmar, and we were allowed to have BON voyage parties. We could bring the drinks and as many friends as we wanted.
That introduced many to the cruising life.

On our second cruise, we were invited to the Circolo DE Commandante party which was held in the captains quarters and there were twelve of us.
That count included the officers.

We were referred to as nerps (non revenue passengers) and we're included in all the activities.

We had metal door keys and did everything in cash. DrinKS were cheap, and we could bring as much as we wanted onboard with us.
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#22
San Francisco
883 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
First cruise-1954 on the Lurline-Bon Voyage party included all of my high school friends. :-) For many of our early cruises, we were met at the door of the ship and escorted to our cabin-Possibly a small tip was involved? Stateroom keys were attached by ring to a plastic thingy that had the room number on it. Yes drinks were much cheaper, still have menus with prices in sterling and pence from old Arcadia and Canberra. Great memories
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#23
7,805 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Originally posted by Homosassa
Besides the large room keys and paper sail cards, I should mention the way cruises were booked by the cruise lines.

I only know this because my first cruise I went directly to the cruise line's corporate office in Manhattan (long story that I have posted before). This was in 1976.

I was taken in a back office where long ledger books were kept for each sailing. The pages were diagrams of the ship's cabins. When a cruise was booked, the passenger names for the cabin was written into the cabin on the diagram.

Hi , how are you doing? Are you still playing trivia? What cruise line was that.
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#24
Cincinnati Ohio
1,095 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
On the first Windjammer cruise we took, we didn't even have room keys. You could bolt the door from inside but couldn't lock it if you left.


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#25
Aliso Viejo, CA
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Joined Jul 2001
I remember the safe on the original Royal Princess. What a pain to use! It had a 3-number combination with a dial. For instance, a 3-7-9 combination, you'd turn the dial right to 3, left to 7 and right to 9. Horrible. You couldn't see the darned numbers much less remember the combination.
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#26
NE Ohio
4,036 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Also, slightly off the main topic, we used to receive a directory with the name and home address of the passengers on the cruise. I think it also had the cabin numbers.
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#27
Oregon
1,977 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Our first few cruises were on the Home Lines and we had a key to enter our cabin.
There were no safes in the cabins so every evening before dinner (everyone dressed up for ever evening meal) there would be a line of women outside of the Purser's office reclaiming their personal safe deposit box in order to select what jewelry to wear that evening....and later on a repeat line to return said items.

We also paid for and selected lawn chair location for the entire cruise. This was on a first come first serve basis so usually as soon as a couple boarded the wife went directly to the pursers office to sign for a much needed safe deposit box while the husband raced topside to get the best lawn chair spot. One good result was the chairs were then reserved for you the entire cruise...no chair hogging issues!
#28
South Carolina
28,830 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Originally posted by FritzG
Also, slightly off the main topic, we used to receive a directory with the name and home address of the passengers on the cruise. I think it also had the cabin numbers.
Yes, I remember those directories with the full names, home addresses, and cabin numbers of fellow passengers.

Back with I first started cruising in 1961 (not on Princess) we had real keys for our cabins and it was a total Cash system.
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#29
Homosassa, Fl and Colunbia, MD
2,351 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by geocruiser
Hi , how are you doing? Are you still playing trivia? What cruise line was that.
It was on Chandris. The ship was the Britanis.

Yes, I am still playing Trivia.

Big happenings in life - my daughter was married on July 9 (honeymoon is a Mediterranean cruise 0n MSC).
#30
Sugar Land, Tx.
368 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Our first cruise was in the early 90's on board RC Sovereign of the Seas.
We had to go to pursers office for safe deposit box and yes everyone dressed every night for dinner in MDR. One nice thing I remember is the crew passed out streamers to everyone to throw overboard as we sailed away from the Miami port. Keys were the same as today, but drinks were bigger and cheaper and tasted a lot better. Tips were paid with cash.
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#31
7,805 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Originally posted by Homosassa
It was on Chandris. The ship was the Britanis.

Yes, I am still playing Trivia.

Big happenings in life - my daughter was married on July 9 (honeymoon is a Mediterranean cruise 0n MSC).
Wonderful to hear about your daughter.

Britanis was a a great ship. I traveled on her many times as well as her sister ships.
Maybe you might know, the bathroom on Britanis, was there a the bathroom and then a sink also in the cabin? I remember in one of our cabins that there was a extra sink.

On Homes lines I remember the horse racing and skeet shooting off the back of the ship.
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#32
South Carolina
28,830 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
A great cabin location was close to the Purser's Desk because that's where our valuables were kept in a safely box since there were no safes in cabins.
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#33
WA state
2,951 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by OCruisers
Yes, I remember those directories with the full names, home addresses, and cabin numbers of fellow passengers.

Back with I first started cruising in 1961 (not on Princess) we had real keys for our cabins and it was a total Cash system.
And I'd be willing to bet that when you changed from "real keys" to cruise cards, or whatever was the "new" way to get into your cabins, that there was a big discussion among cruisers as to what the new change was and how it wouldn't work just like the new brouhaha over the upcoming change to the Medallion is going! Of course that was almost surely pre-Internet, so it probably was just a subject of conversation when cruisers met!


Tom
#34
Northern Virginia / DC Metro
98 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I recall many of the points raised by other long-time cruisers. When I cruised with my parents in the 1960s, keys were used for the cabins. There were few extras to pay for, aside from drinks (including soft drinks). Drinks and items from the store were paid in cash or traveler's checks. That was even a bit early for credit cards to be in general use. All meals were included. No steakhouse or casino patronize.

On the Matson Mariposa in 1961 and P&O Oriana in 1965, a steward showed passengers to their cabins. I don't recall any checks on reboarding at port calls. Visitors were welcome on the ships when in port, and the lines used this as advertising. I recall we visited other ships in port, such as the Lurline in Honolulu and Oronsay in Long Beach.
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#35
COLORADO
59,527 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
As a youngster I used to get visitors passes at the P&O office in Melbourne, Australia and spend the day on ships such as Iberia/Orsova/Oronsay/Orsova.
Also walked on and visited Shaw Savill's Northern Star and Southern Cross there too. I had a blast!
Sailed on the Great White Whale (Canberra) and the original Oriana too.
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#36
Homosassa, Fl and Colunbia, MD
2,351 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by geocruiser

Britanis was a a great ship. I traveled on her many times as well as her sister ships.
Maybe you might know, the bathroom on Britanis, was there a the bathroom and then a sink also in the cabin? I remember in one of our cabins that there was a extra sink.
When I booked at the corporate headquarters, the ship was sold out. The gentleman helping me offered me a crew cabin in a forward section of the ship that did not have any other crew in the section.

We did not have a bathroom in the cabin. Instead there was a men's and women's facilities that each contained nine toilets, nine sinks, nine showers and three bathtubs.

We did have the sink in the cabin.

To reach our cabin, we had to go all the way forward to a crew only staircase that led to only the section our cabin was in.
#37
Lady Lake, Fl
327 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
A large key fob w/ken on Sitmar. Crew knew you after the fist night. You could visit other ships in port , just show your key. As a matter of fact, you could visit a ship just to 'see it', did this in Miami, and Tampa. Went on board a few HA ships, had a buffet lunch, got off. But this was in the good old days (70's)
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#38
Homosassa, Fl and Colunbia, MD
2,351 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Yes, I remember visiting other ships when in port.

Our best ship visiting port was Barbados in 1978. There were ships from Royal Caribbean, Princess, Chandris, Cunard and Carnival. We were on NCL.

With the exception of Carnival who didn't allow any visitors from other ships (they were outclassed and knew passengers from the other lines would not book down to their ship), we were welcomed aboard and told where lunch was being served.

We visited all the other ships.
#39
WA state
2,951 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Fascinating to read all these things. World of differences between then and now. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just plain scary between times then and now. Makes you wonder what the world will be like in 50-60 years from now. Brrr.....

Tom
#40
South Carolina
28,830 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Originally posted by Pierlesscruisers
And I'd be willing to bet that when you changed from "real keys" to cruise cards, or whatever was the "new" way to get into your cabins, that there was a big discussion among cruisers as to what the new change was and how it wouldn't work just like the new brouhaha over the upcoming change to the Medallion is going! Of course that was almost surely pre-Internet, so it probably was just a subject of conversation when cruisers met!
Tom
Tom, yes, you're right. No internet ... but, once on the ship, there was an ongoing conversation about how much folks hated not having "real keys". LOL
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80+ Cruises .... Princess, Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, NCL, Costa, etc. (Still miss Sitmar)