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Remember When they Sounded a Chime Before Meals?

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Buon Appetito!

Those were my DD's first non-English words, We began sailing w/Sitmar in 1974 when DD was 2 1/2; her next phrase was 'bella bambini'. She/we loved the dining room, the crew, everything on the Fairwind & Fairsea!:)

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Those were the good old days.


But then Dining became dinning, Steward became Stewart, and nearly everyone started showing up wearing baseball caps, tattoos, piercings, and wife-beaters.


There must be a McDonalds theme song they could use in place of the chimes.

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The chimes are one of the little things that were what made cruising an uncommon experience.


It is nice to bring up some of those memories again.


We still enjoy cruising very much but it has changed so much over the years.

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BridgeMates said:
Hadn't thought about the chimes in years (many).

Traveled as a dependent with my AF family from Seattle to Yokohama in 1952 on the Simon B. Buckner (a military transport ship). I was only 11 years old but remember the meal chimes during that 2 week trip so well and how much fun it all was. Also remember my first horrible experience with sea-sickness on that first "cruise." Never been sick again in over 40 cruises since even tho we've been on some rough ones.

Thanks for the memories......:)



OMG!!!! I was a duffle-bag (Army brat). Dad was stationed in Japan and w/MacArthur's HQ in Korea. We returned to the states on the Buckner! I was only three, but do remember bits and pieces of that first voyage!



Admiral E. W. Eberle AP-123 (1943-1997) laid down on 15 February 1943 under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 681) by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Alameda, CA. She was the fourth of what ultimately would be eight P2-SE2-R1 "Admiral" class troop transports. She was launched on 14 June 1944, when she was sponsored by Mrs. Earl Warren, the wife of the Governor of California who later became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. She was acquired by the United States Navy when she was commissioned on 24 January 1945, Capt. G. C. Carlstedt, USCG, in command.



The ship was named after Admiral Edward Walter Eberle, who commanded the U.S. Navy Atlantic and Pacific Fleets and was Chief of Naval Operations from 1923 to 1927. The transport displaced 20,120 tons, had a length of 608’11”, a beam of 75’6” and a draft of 26’11”. Her top speed was rated at 19 knots; she had a ship’s complement of 618 and a troop capacity of 5,200. Her war-time armament consisted of four single 5” dual purpose gun mounts and four twin 40mm guns.




The transport was operated by the Naval Transportation Service and manned largely by Coast Guard personnel. On 6 March 1945, she departed San Francisco with troops and supplies bound for New Guinea. She made stops at Finschhafen and Hollandia before dropping anchor at Manus Island on 25 March. While there a U.S. Navy plane crashed into the starboard side of the ship. Both occupants of the plane were killed, and casualties on board Admiral E. W. Eberle numbered one dead and five wounded.


On 26 March, the ship sailed in convoy for the Philippines. After loading boons at Leyte, USS Admiral E. W. Eberle proceeded to Manila. There, she embarked over 2,000 civilians for transportation to the United States. These passengers were mainly American citizens who had been interned in the Philippines since Japanese forces captured the islands in the spring of 1942. Admiral E. W. Eberle returned to Leyte on 13 April to pick up U.S. Army personnel, then sailed, via Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands, for the west coast of the United States and reaching Los Angeles (San Pedro) CA. on 2 May 1945.



The ship's next voyage took her via the Panama Canal across the Atlantic to Italy. Arriving at Naples on 4 June 1945, she embarked U.S. Army personnel and baggage for transportation to Trinidad. The transport reached Trinidad on 18 June and soon reversed her course, bound for France. At Le Havre, Admiral E. W. Eberle embarked over 4,000 homeward-bound troops whom she put ashore upon her arrival at Norfolk, VA on 6 July.


Admiral E. W. Eberle stood out to sea again on 14 July 1945 for yet another voyage to France. She called at Marseilles and took on board troops destined for the Philippines. Admiral E. W. Eberle steamed via the Panama Canal and Ulithi, arrived at Luzon on 29 August 1945 where she debarked part of her passengers and then moved on to Manila. The transport returned to the United States in September and put into Seattle, Wash., for upkeep. Between October 1945 and March 1946, Admiral E. W. Eberle made three voyages to Japan and Korea.



Admiral E. W. Eberle was decommissioned on 8 May 1946 and returned to the Maritime Commission for transfer to the U.S. Army. Her name was struck from the Navy register in June 1946. The Army acquired the transport that same month and subsequently renamed her General Simon B. (Bolivar) Buckner.




Now USNS General Simon B. Buckner T-AP-123, the ship was once again transferred to the U.S. Navy on 1 March 1950 and assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service. The transport, now with a civilian crew, steamed across the Pacific throughout the Korean conflict, transporting troops and equipment to Japan and other staging areas. General Simon B. Buckner continued operations in the Pacific until 15 February 1955, when she departed San Francisco, CA bound for New York, NY.


Upon her arrival there two weeks later, she was assigned to the New York-Bremerhaven, (West) Germany runs. During the next 10 years, General Simon B. Buckner made over 130 Atlantic voyages from New York to Bremerhaven, Southampton, England and ports in the Mediterranean.


Departing New York on 11 August 1965, she returned to the west coast, arriving at Long Beach Naval Base, CA on the 27th to assist in the movement of troops and equipment to southeast Asia. After two cruises to South Vietnam, the veteran transport resumed operations in the Atlantic, arriving at New York on 3 December 1965.



During the next eight months, she steamed across the Atlantic 10 times, making stops at Bremerhaven and Southampton. Returning to the west coast in August 1966, General Simon B. Buckner was once again pressed into service to carry war material to Vietnam. She departed San Francisco on 8 September and reached Da Nang, South Vietnam twenty days later. Following her return to San Francisco on 16 October, she continued to support American operations in Southeast Asia until President Nixon's Vietnamization program decreased the Navy's need for transports. She was returned to the Maritime Administration on 24 March 1970.


Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Cavin Point Army Deport, NY during the following two decades, USNS General Simon B. Buckner was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 20 August 1990. On 14 July 1993 her title was transferred to the Maritime Commission and she was sold by that body in June 1997 for scrapping. Her final journey took her to the International Shipbreaking Company at Brownsville, TX where she was dismantled in May 1999.

Calgon1 @ Yahoo . Com


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Those were the good old days.


But then Dining became dinning, Steward became Stewart, and nearly everyone started showing up wearing baseball caps, tattoos, piercings, and wife-beaters.


There must be a McDonalds theme song they could use in place of the chimes.


It's a Wal mart world we are living in.

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Reading some these threads about meals, MDR, Windjammer and specialty dining reminded me of when they used to have meal announcements preceeded by a series of chimes. After a while you would have a pavlovian response whenever you heard the chimes!!!


Now of course with so many dining options its no longer done. But for you newer cruisers, it was like calling in the cows to eat!!!


I agree.

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Yes, we remember the chime on HAL.

The good old days of smoke everywhere.

Sorry about the chimes. Thankful for change in smoke policies.




Now that you mention it......I SO enjoyed both the chimes announcing dinner AND my after dinner cigarette in the dining room.....but that's just me.....

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  • 9 years later...

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