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Chandris S.S. Brittanis???


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I can't believe I found this thread! We're getting ready to leave for a cruise on Sunday and have been looking back over past cruises. I found this link: http://www.rhmsamerikanis.co.uk/myweb/britanis-sinking.htm that shows pictures of the Britanis going down. We had a great 5-day trip aboard around 1993 with a group cruising with a DFW area jazz stations.

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I almost fell off my chair when I saw this topic.

 

The SS Britanis was my very first cruise. I went from NY to Bermuda back in the 80s. I was such a great trip. I can still remember the staff and how friendly everyone was. The ships sure have changed alot since then. I have to dig out my old photo albums. I remember snapping tons of pictures that trip.

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Wow I was trying to remember the name of the ship that I took my first cruise on in the summer of 91 From Puerto Rico to the southern Caribean. That was it, Fantasy Cruise Lines-The Brittanis. Beautiful ship great cruise, hooked me for life. Thanks for the memories.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
Hey Cool,I did Southhampton-Sydney in 1971 on this ship... also I did a round-world on what I think was the sister-ship - the SS Australis?Tony

 

I also sailed on Australis in July '75 from Sydney to Southampton. 35 days of fun. I was 14 at the time and it was while on that trip that I made a promise to myself to cruise when I got older. Took me 11 years but I finally did it. It's so sad to see the pictures of her as she is now.

 

Karen

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Another time, another place, but the same ship !

Over forty years ago, July of 1963, I sailed from Honolulu to Los Angeles/Long Beach with my parents and brothers on the then-Matsonia, later Lurline..........and finally, Britannis.

Move on to January, 1988. While waiting to tender back to QE2 in Cartagena on a transcanal cruise, my mother and I sat enjoying a drink at the Colombian Navy Yacht Club. As we watched, a classically beautiful white liner with X-marked stacks approached from the sea. My mother commented on the ship, remarking on its lines and sense of presence, momentarily unaware that she had sailed on her a quarter-century previously.

I think Chandris even kept the "Waikiki" name for the dining room from the Matson days, and I still have photos from that wonderful voyage.

Personally, I think for a great ship to die at sea is somehow appropriate and comforting. The prospect of the breakup yard is so unworthy.

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Caroliner - welcome aboard! Always great to see a new member come aboard with a healthy interest in maritime history :) .

 

You are absolutely right - Chandris did indeed keep the Waikiki name for the main dining room. I am not sure if this was simply a name that was left over from the Matson days, or if it was actually given to the room by Chandris as an homage to the ship's previous existence?

 

Somewhere I have BRITANIS deck plans though I haven't a clue where they are right now :o .

 

I have always found it facsinating to compare the original, very ornate pre-war interiors of this ship (and her sisters) with the sleek, mid-century modern post-war interiors and then of course with the later Chandris refits. But basically, a great deal of the circa-1950s MONTEREY/LURLINE survived right up until the very end. This included a good deal of artwork which, sadly, went down with the ship.

 

She was an amazing and long-lived ship and I'm sorry I never did get to sail in her.

 

The last time I saw her was at Miami in February 1994, a few months before she was retired. At that time of course I did not know that she was about to end her career as a cruise ship! She was wonderfully majestic arriving in Miami early in the early morning, against the fiery backdrop of a very orange Miami sunrise. At the time I was aboard NORDIC EMPRESS and we were arriving together with BRITANIS and one of Carnival's then-new FANTASY-class ships... I think ECSTASY. I distinctly remember seeing the glow of the changing-color fiber-optic lighting through the Carnival ship's windows! The contrast between the brand-new Carnival mega-liner (for the FANTASY-class ships were mega by 1994 standards) and the modestly-sized, 62-year-old BRITANIS was of course rather stark and indeed, the new Carnival ship looked quite ugly next to the stately BRITANIS. That image of her, a faint haze of black smoke streaming from each of her perfectly proportioned funnels, will forever be etched in my mind.

 

She was a great ship with an exceptionally long life. May she rest in peace...

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Host Doug:

Thank you for the greeting !

 

Matsonia's Dining Room was even then named 'Waikiki' in 1963, and I gathered that it was just never changed.

 

My voyage was in the days when sailing from Honolulu was truly an event. As we were moving back to the mainland, my parents hosted a true 'bon voyage' party that filled our two outside cabins and the short hallway that led to them. All five of us emerged on deck covered in leis of plumeria and orchids for the actual departure.

 

Sailing then from the Aloha Tower was still a social and community spectacle. Hula dancers on the pier, masses of streamers, friends waving and crying, and over it all, as the ship drifted away from the dock, the heart-wrenching notes of "Aloha Oe" as the band serenaded and the crowd sang the words by heart.

 

Escorted by catamarans and speedboats, friends and strangers, the ship made a long slow passage along Waikiki and headed out past Diamond Head. Then, along the ship's promenades and across the open decks, hundreds of passengers, many with tears in their eyes, would step forward to the rail in ones, twos and families or groups, slowly remove a lei from their neck, and drop the flowers overboard, watching for the blossoms to drift towards shore, guaranteeing a return to Hawai'i someday. A magical experience!

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Matsonia's Dining Room was even then named 'Waikiki' in 1963, and I gathered that it was just never changed.

I guess that's the case... They just never changed it.

 

I do wonder, though, if it was left intentionally as a reminder of her previous life.

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Does anyone know what became of Chandris's Brittanis? It was my first long cruise that I ever went on and is largely responsible for the addiction to cruising that I developed at a very young age!!! When we were on her, Celebrity had just taken over (or merged?) with Chandris. There was the trademarked "X" on the smokestack just like the Celebrity ships now wear. I think she had a twin sister too....ring any bells??

 

My, this brings back memories - I was commenting on tss Festival, Song of Norway & Mardi Gras & now the Brittanis -- we loved to cruise & our oldest(13 mos) loved it. We wanted to see how they would take to cruises - did a 1 day one from PT Canaveral - they finally fell asleep on the deck. (ages 3 & 4 apprx). The next one was a short 3-4 day on Premier Cruise line(first boat they had) -- had trouble getting them off, they wanted to stay on. Next was a 5 day on Brittanis. Remember going to an island that had a sheltered cove & the boys jumped out of the water into Dad's arms -- they saw little fishes. This was like 1985-1986(??) We stopped going for a while. Kids in Scouts, etc. In 1999, my DH asked our son what he wanted for graduation -- a cruise. We went on the Sensation and we haven't stopped yet. Even did a 2 week on the old Noordam, which we call our submarine cruise as the waves were above our porthole window. Been on little & big - 1 x Voyager & 2 on Mariner of the Seas (inaugural-it went to San Juan) down to Mardi Gras. Boys are easier to get off now - miss home (cats & ice skating). Now we have grown from 4 to 5 - a fiance & she loves cruising as much as we do. Next -grandkids???:D

 

Thanks Doug - great topic!!!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

In 1971, I decided I wanted to cruise the Southern Carribbean. No travel agents here in Florida could come up with anything that interested me. I finally found some agency in N.Y. to book me, my husband and young child on a ship that had a wonderful itinerary, the Chandris S.S. Regina sailing out of Curacao. Well, when we walked down the pier, my heart sank. Turns out it was the former S.S. Herbert Hoover, an ex troop ship from which world war, I dont know. It had not had much in the way of refurbishing; everthing cold steel, noone spoke English, it was all Greek, people were baling out at every island. To sum it up, although the islands were beautiful, the cruise was horrible. I swore I would never cruise again, the X stood for condemned. Ten years later, I was convinced by friends to try again.

Am now headed off for my 15th cruise,this time on the Xpedition, my 5th on Celebrity, my favorite line. Things, they do change.

:D

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Hi wow what memories we have of the Brittanis .Back in 83 & 84 we did 3 day party cruises to nowhere out of NYC .with 16 friends .When we get together today with them all .we always talk about those cruises on the Brittanis!! I also remmber the winter of 1983 she was tied in Brooklyn for the winter .I got to go on her in Feb 83 for a look around .I loved her then as i did when we cruised on her .It getting real sad to see all the old great gal's of the hight seas going away !! Long line the linners of the past .

Mr Veendam

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I sailed on the Brittanis in the mid 80's (cannot remember the exact year) with my sister and two girlfriends. The ship sailed from Charleston ,SC for a 3 day "cruise to nowhere". It was the first time that any of us had cruised. Needless to say, we had a blast! We shared a stateroom with four bunkbeds and one very small porthole. The bathroom, however was very large. The food was fantastic. What great memories!

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  • 2 weeks later...

My sister and I cruised the Britanis from Jamaica to Cartagena, Panama, San Blas and Aruba. We chose the cruise because it was cheap and had an interesting itinerary. We had an inside cabin with upper and lower beds. The ship rolled so much with the waves that I got up in the middle of the night thinking that the ship had capsized! I ran out into the hall before I figured out that if the ship had capsized, I wouldn't be standing in the hall! Despite that incident, we had a great time. It would be 8 years before I went on my next cruise, but now my husband and I cruise every year.

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Hey everyone! I'm so happy to see that this thread is still alive and kickin'! I loved reading about your memory of the contrasting Brittanis and Carnival ship because I remember thinking the SAME EXACT THING!!! I actually still tell my boyfriend about it whenever he compares the "small"...(ahem) ships (RCI vision class and smaller) to the big mamma-jammas. I remember being 12 years old and standing on the back of the Brittanis, looking at all the other roundish, bloated, bright white ships surrounding me and thinking...hmmm...which one doesn't belong? I thought it was strange but believed that there must be a good reason that it was still around.

I remember thinking to myself, "this is what I always envisioned a cruise would be like", with all the brass, wood, sleek lines, and salty decks that turned your attention to the sea rather than inward towards crowded neon promenades. My boyfriend is older than me, so he thinks it's hilarious when I share memories about the Brittanis like I'm some old salt, but I always get the the last laugh when I remember that HIS first cruise memory was on the Voyager of the Seas. He'll just never understand, am I right?

Heheh...LaUrA

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I was lucky enough to sail aboard this wonderful ship - as Matson Lines' SS Lurline - in the summer of 1969. We went from Los Angeles to San Francisco to Honolulu. She was a legend in the Pacific.

 

My family had reservations to sail on the Lurline again in the summer of 1970, but a telephone call in the spring of '70 from our travel agent, informing us that Matson was selling the ship, ended that dream.

 

There used to be a story going around Hawaii in the 1970s that the people of Honolulu -who had for many decades known one Matson passenger ship or another with the name of Lurline - never quite forgave the Matson Line for selling off the last of the passenger ships of that name.

 

The name still lives on with a container ship in the fleet of Matson Navigation Company sailing between the West Coast and Hawaii.

 

Tom

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I can't remember which Chandris ship we were on, but it was the worst cruise we every had, I was with a friend, her bed was cracked down the middle, somehow we took the elevator one deck below debarkation level the last morning and we ended up in the kitchen. Pipes were leaking like crazy; I can't think of anything positive to say except cruising is always fun, no matter what. NMnita

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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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  • 2 weeks later...

This ship was also my first time on the ocean. I loved it!

We were on a western carib. in I think it was August of 1896. I wasnt quite 16 yet and we left from Miami. I still remember while we were waiting to push away, a speed boat came alog side and slowed down so all the guys could see the very attractive model type with her boobs just soaking up the sunshine. Everyone was whistling and yelling. Man was that a shock for me. I remember I won almost 800 bucks playing in the casino. Remember I was only 15 at the time. That cruise got me hooked. I only wish I could have cruised more. We will be on our 3rd Carnival cruise in less than 3 weeks. Cannot wait.

 

Anyway, Thank You for the memories.

 

 

Tim

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  • 2 weeks later...

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