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Remember the Italian Line Raphaello and Michaelangelo?

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51 minutes ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

 

Very definitely from First Class.  

 

Comparing such menus with those I had on Nieuw Statendam 1/6/19-1/20/19:  would such menus even compare with what would have been offered for Cabin Class?

 

It'd be interesting to view a menu from Tourist Class on Andrea Doria or another Italian Line ship of that time as a comparison.

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Let me see what I can find in my collection.  The basis for all menus in the 1950’s consisted of Hors D’oevres, soup, fish, pasta, main course, grill, potatoes, vegetables, cold buffet, dessert, fresh fruit, cheese, coffee or tea.  Tourist Class menus were pared down to one or two items.  

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8 hours ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

Let me see what I can find in my collection.  The basis for all menus in the 1950’s consisted of Hors D’oevres, soup, fish, pasta, main course, grill, potatoes, vegetables, cold buffet, dessert, fresh fruit, cheese, coffee or tea.  Tourist Class menus were pared down to one or two items.  

 

I recently acquired a Gala Dinner Menu from a 1953 sailing of S. S. America which, I think based upon the coding on the menu, is a Tourist Class menu.  It had such a breakdown of categories that you listed.  

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Great to rediscover this thread...I posted  years ago...

 

I have lots of menus from the early 70's from Rafaello, Michaelangelo, Cristoforo Columbo and Leonardo Da Vinci.  My mother saved them from our various crossings/cruises, and gave me a folio many years ago.  I need to dig them out and reminisce about the amazing food and service.  

 

Andrew

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15 hours ago, Blazerboy said:

Great to rediscover this thread...I posted  years ago...

 

I have lots of menus from the early 70's from Rafaello, Michaelangelo, Cristoforo Columbo and Leonardo Da Vinci.  My mother saved them from our various crossings/cruises, and gave me a folio many years ago.  I need to dig them out and reminisce about the amazing food and service.  

 

Andrew

 

You do realize, I hope, that you own some nautical memorabilia that has not only sentimental value, but financial value as well.  These items should never see the inside of a dumpster.  If they do, its like throwing money in a dumpster.  Or, they could be donated to an organization that preserves such memorabilia, such as the Steamship Historical Society of America.   

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8 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

You do realize, I hope, that you own some nautical memorabilia that has not only sentimental value, but financial value as well.  These items should never see the inside of a dumpster.  If they do, its like throwing money in a dumpster.  Or, they could be donated to an organization that preserves such memorabilia, such as the Steamship Historical Society of America.   

👍Thanks, and yes, I realize.  I have a small trove of memorabilia, including ashtrays, maps, playing cards, and metal model ships that all came from the Italian Line.  I have a few things from the French Line as well from our crossings on the France, and a few things from my Grandparents, including a photo of them with leis getting off a Matson Line ship and the end of their round the world trip.  The menus are safely tucked away.  

 

It was an amazing opportunity to sail on these ships as a child- we took the last crossing on the Michaelangelo, and they shot off red, white and blue water from the NYC Fire Tugs in New York as we left- 1975.  Many years later (2008), my honeymoon was on QE2 for her last crossing, and we got the same treatment from the tugs as we left in tandem with QM2.  Almost better than my wedding day!

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Blazerboy,  I am envious of your collection.  I'm thankful that you recognize the historic, if not interested in the financial, value that you possess.   

 

Those final sailings, as you did on QE2 and Michaelangelo, are so memorable.  I sailed on HAL's Statendam--Seattle to Singapore--her final HAL sailing before being transferred to P&O Australia.  Our Seattle departure was just as memorable as yours.  Leaving the dock and sailing South towards a large waterfront park where HAL Office employees were gathered with signs, etc., the Captain pivoted the ship as the ship's whistle was repeatedly sounded among the sounds of the cheers from those on-shore.    It's Time To Say Good-bye by  Andrea Bocelli was played over the PA.  Many of the staff and crew were on the aft Lido Deck along with many guests.  There were tears in my eyes that afternoon just as there are now as I remember that sailing.

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2 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

Blazerboy,  I am envious of your collection.  I'm thankful that you recognize the historic, if not interested in the financial, value that you possess.   

 

Those final sailings, as you did on QE2 and Michaelangelo, are so memorable.  I sailed on HAL's Statendam--Seattle to Singapore--her final HAL sailing before being transferred to P&O Australia.  Our Seattle departure was just as memorable as yours.  Leaving the dock and sailing South towards a large waterfront park where HAL Office employees were gathered with signs, etc., the Captain pivoted the ship as the ship's whistle was repeatedly sounded among the sounds of the cheers from those on-shore.    It's Time To Say Good-bye by  Andrea Bocelli was played over the PA.  Many of the staff and crew were on the aft Lido Deck along with many guests.  There were tears in my eyes that afternoon just as there are now as I remember that sailing.

There is something about these experiences that they become indelibly etched into our consciousness.   As much as I enjoy reminiscing about mine, I also love hearing stories like yours.

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22 hours ago, Blazerboy said:

There is something about these experiences that they become indelibly etched into our consciousness.   As much as I enjoy reminiscing about mine, I also love hearing stories like yours.

Hi Andrew and Hi RKA,

 

Great to to see you back Andrew.  Speaking of memorabilia...I have well over 1,000 pieces and just about every book ever published including all 12 volumes of Arnold Kludas.  I intend to donate the collection to one of the marine history museums.  My Normandie collection is well over 100 pieces and includes 37 First Class Menus.  I have menus from ships dating back to the 1800’s with complete collections from all the major lines.  Some of my favorites are my menus from Andrea Doria.

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Although now long gone, the influence of these beautiful transatlantic liners extends into the design of 21st century cruise ships.  The first class Excelsior dining room of the Raffaello has been a frequent source of inspiration.  Having had the priviledge of dining there, I can say it was one of the most stunning rooms on any midcentury vessel.  Its tree-like fluted columns were reinterpreted in the Queens Room aboard QE2 and now, the most recent homage is aboard Seabourn's Encore in the dining room designed by Adam Tihany.  It is a marvelous reinterpretation and clear inspiration for what is in my opinion a gorgeous setting.  Even the blue chairs of the original Raffaello room have been reinterpreted in blue.  Great job Mr. Tihany.  Bravo!

Excelsior DR.jpg

Seabourn Encore DR.jpg

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Thank you so much Conte.  I think I actually like the Raffaello more than Encore.  Those chairs on Raffaello look so comfortable.  The dining room on Raffaello looks so peaceful...a work of art.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm pretty sure the photo of the Raphaello dining room  is  class.  The cabin class dining room was almost identical, same chairs, color, but the room was a bit smaller.  I'm sure I have a photo of us somewhere!

Edited by marco

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Here is a picture of the Cabin Class dining room which was smaller and more intimate than the one in First Class.  There were 550 Cabin Class  passengers accomodated in two sittings but there was only one sitting for 535 First Class passengers.

Raffaello Cabin Class DR.jpg

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Yep..that's were we ate.  My mother said 1st class was a little bit too stuffy an formal and tourist a little bit too spartan and cabins too small.  We always went Cabin Class.

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7 hours ago, Conte Di Savoia said:

Here is a picture of the Cabin Class dining room which was smaller and more intimate than the one in First Class.  There were 550 Cabin Class  passengers accomodated in two sittings but there was only one sitting for 535 First Class passengers.

Raffaello Cabin Class DR.jpg

Thanks Conte,

 

What a beautiful dining room...very intimate.  

 

Marco, I think your mother was right!

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On 7/14/2019 at 3:18 PM, Conte Di Savoia said:

Its tree-like fluted columns were reinterpreted in the Queens Room aboard QE2 and now, the most recent homage is aboard Seabourn's Encore in the dining room designed by Adam Tihany.  It is a marvelous reinterpretation and clear inspiration for what is in my opinion a gorgeous setting.  Even the blue chairs of the original Raffaello room have been reinterpreted in blue.  Great job Mr. Tihany.  Bravo!

 

Just one more example of "what is old becomes new again". 

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I never sailed on them, but I was lucky enough to find record albums from both the Michelangelo and Raffaello, these are a couple of photos of them, hope enjoy and hear back on what you thought on them.

1966_bon_voyage_raffaello_record_album_by_wildelf34_dck8doz-pre.thumb.jpg.9da6c2ac1740b4f92a920f2912ac6ca2.jpg

tn_michelangelo_lp_front_by_wildelf34_dauisww-fullview.thumb.jpg.f8b6e6810999117fd4c4fff4d2dfa29b.jpg

raffaello_record_album_by_wildelf34_dck3a05-pre.thumb.jpg.78276c1e91cb920329100bafd8dcd0b5.jpg

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Haven't been on the CC web site for awhile and very happy to have checked in and found this. My first introduction to ocean travel was in early 60's on the Michelangelo NY to Naples and return on the Leonardo DaVinci in the days before "cruising" became a mass market industry and an Ocean Liner was a viable alternative to a 707 to get to Europe. I still proudly list them first in my 50 (now 60) year sailing log.I was totally enchanted and felt like I'd found something to love. The style, service and glitz was other worldly. I expected Fred and Ginger to come waltzing down the staircase at any moment. It served to be my basis of comparison for all subsequent trips. A very tough act to follow. It no doubt helped that I was in my 20's and madly in love.

 

We all were so fortunate to have experienced some of the great ships before the end of the age of Ocean Liners. There was a style and atmosphere that is probably gone forever even on the most luxurious modern lines. I fell in love with ocean travel and that continues to this day. I accept that times and markets change and still enjoy every day at sea. These posts make me both sadly nostalgic for what is gone, but also happy and grateful that I did get to experience those magical times.

 

Not surprisingly my current favorite line is MSC. They definitely are an Italian ship with a totally different flavor than their American competitors and offer a very nice alternative to the somewhat cookie cutter culture of so many of today's ships. To anyone reading this article I'd recommend giving them a try (especially for sailings other than from Miami).

 

Perhaps Cruise Critic would consider starting an Old Salts Club for us mature sailors to exchange stories and memories of the great ships or find away for those of us sailing together on future cruises to meet up on board.

 

Jack

 

 

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Hi Jack,

 

Great to hear from another refugee from a bygone era.  Your description of your past experiences from those last glorious years of transatlantic travel were so apropos.  All of us who were there feel exactly the same way.  I also agree with you on MSC...especially in the Yacht Club.  

 

Great idea to start the Old Salts Club.  Let’s see what we can do.

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We've  booked our 4th MSC cruise.  The closest thing  (but still not close enough) to the old "Italian Line".

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I have booked MSC Meraviglia in Yacht Club for a January sailing and am looking forward to a different (Italian) cruise experience.

 

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On 8/12/2019 at 9:10 AM, norboy76 said:

I was lucky enough to find record albums from both the Michelangelo and Raffaello, these are a couple of photos of them, hope enjoy and hear back on what you thought on them.

 

Something else to try to find!  I have a record album from the S. S. Oceanic (Home Lines):  Romy Formica and the Favolosi that I bought when I sailed on the Oceanic.  The Band played in the ship's Italian Hall and always play this when I need an "Italian fix" with memories of the last night at sea before returning to New York City.

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3 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

I have booked MSC Meraviglia in Yacht Club for a January sailing and am looking forward to a different (Italian) cruise experience.

 

 

Congratulations RKA,

 

You will certainly enjoy the M.  The Yacht Club is as close to the old First Class as you can get.  Maybe not so much Italian Line but outstanding none the less.  I hope you will report back to us when you return.

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13 minutes ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

 

Congratulations RKA,

 

You will certainly enjoy the M.  The Yacht Club is as close to the old First Class as you can get.  Maybe not so much Italian Line but outstanding none the less.  I hope you will report back to us when you return.

 

God willing, you can be sure that I will do so.

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Dear fellow Old Salts,

This blog(?) is truly a very satisfying nostalgic experience! Since my first post I find it very interesting that so many veterans of the Italian Line are A) still active and still putting more water under their keels and B) so many of us find MSC as one of our      go-to favorites. My own opinion re: MSC is that among modern American cruise goers there is no middle ground....you either love it for what it is or you would never go back.  I'm not trying to be critical or elitist, but here is a true anecdote from a wonderful 21 day re-positioning cruise on the Divina. While sitting outside I couldn't help over hearing the animated conversation between 2 middle aged couples seated nearby. They were on their first MSC cruise and apparently had some prior cruise experience. 1st wife " I still can't believe it. We went to the show last night and all they had were people signing Opera. And they didn't even sing in English !".2nd husband " and the hamburgers aren't as good as on Carnival....". All " we are not going again". I guess you can draw your own conclusions.

 

Could it be that those of us lucky enough to have experienced the Golden Era of the great ships not only feel in love with ocean travel with style, but today gravitate to those few lines that provide an approximation of things past at a fair price? 

Note to rkacruiser .....I've still got a very narrow, circa 1970's , logo necktie from the old QE 2

 

   

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