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Remember the Italian Line Raphaello and Michaelangelo?


anne13
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  • 6 months later...
On 2/18/2006 at 10:16 PM, tvaud said:

When I was a little girl, my grandparents sailed on the Michelangelo and I was fortunate enough to see them off on board. I remember the cabin being very tiny. Lots of people walking throughout the ship. In one of the main lounges, I remember looking around mesmorized...it was wonderful. When I strolled the deck with my family, I knew I didn't want to get off. My memories are so vivid for that long ago, but I was definitely smitten. I remember saying to my sister that day, "Maybe someday if I am very very lucky, I'll get to go on a cruise" Sadly, I never sailed on the Italian line, but later was able to enjoy cruises on Costa and SITMAR. By the way, that was the historic day, so I was told later by the son of an Italian Line executive, that the Michelangelo and Raphaelo were in port together....berthed right next to each other.

 

Maybe someday, a cruise executive will see these postings and bring back some of the style and service we once loved and now long for...

 

Cindra

Cinders,

Great news for you. Cruise Executives have indeed brought back much of the style and service we once loved and now long for. It is there for the asking - and paying - on many small elegant upscale cruise lines. Today, unfortunately, many cruisers want all the old frills at all the old prices. That’s just not going to happen.

If  you really want to cruise today - in the grand old style - you can buy that cruise today.

But don’t expect to find it at Walmart.

 

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4 hours ago, Donald said:

Cinders,

Great news for you. Cruise Executives have indeed brought back much of the style and service we once loved and now long for. It is there for the asking - and paying - on many small elegant upscale cruise lines. Today, unfortunately, many cruisers want all the old frills at all the old prices. That’s just not going to happen.

If  you really want to cruise today - in the grand old style - you can buy that cruise today.

But don’t expect to find it at Walmart.

 

This begs a good question.  Were the Cruises of yesterday less expensive than they are today?  My answer would be...no.  A 7 day cruise off season back in 1971 ran me $350 pp for an inside cabin with 2 lower berths and a bathroom with a shower.  That would translate into at least $2,000 pp today.  Granted there are more bells and whistles today but the high quality of yesterday was still pricy in its day.  

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  • 1 month later...

My brother just sent this to me recently....this photo was taken in one of the First Class lounges on the Rafaello in the Spring of 1973, as we saled to Europe (April 28th or 29th sail date). 

 

On the right side on the sofa are me, the late actor Hugh O'Connor, son of the actor, Carroll O'Conner, and my brother.  On the left is a forgotten shipboard acquaintance and my mother.

 

So fun to find a photo from one of our memorable crossings on Italian Line ships!

12183878_10206971634120814_1827673809582232244_o.jpg

Edited by Blazerboy
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46 minutes ago, Blazerboy said:

On the right side on the sofa are me, the late actor Hugh O'Connor, son of the actor, Carroll O'Conner, and my brother. 

 

Who gave whom "rabbit ears"?  Love it!

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On 2/5/2021 at 6:27 PM, CGTNORMANDIE said:

And now we know how you came to be called Blazerboy...great picture.

Actually, a nickname from college, but the wearing of blazers certainly started long before.

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On 2/5/2021 at 4:55 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

Who gave whom "rabbit ears"?  Love it!

Hugh gave then to my brother, James. 

 

BTW, for those who like stories of the rich and famous on liners,  in addition to Carroll O'Conner and his wife Nancy,  Alan Bates  was also on this crossing.  There was also a Broadway producer, Richardson Meyers- my mother dated him very briefly.  Quite heady stuff for an 11 year old from a small town in New England!

 

My brother and I spent the whole crossing together with Hugh as friends, and played a game called "Ditch," where two of us would look at eachother, call out "Ditch," run away from the third, and then play a ship-wide game of hide-and-seek. Because of sibling rivalry, Hugh rarely got ditched.

 

We also took "penny tours" of the ship- "heads," we went left or up, "tails," we went right or down.  We snuck into both Cabin class and Tourist class areas, as well as crew quarters.  We got into trouble often, including scaling up the  railings right below the bridge...the Captain knocked on the window!

 

I still have the toy model of the Rafaello that my brother won in some shipboard contest, as well as the dinner menus, deck plans and a few decks of playing cards.  We sailed back from Europe on her later that Summer for what turned out to be the last time. 

 

By the time my mother found out that she was being taken out of service two years later (she was on a cruise on the Rafaello in the Caribbean with another then-boyfriend) it was too late to book for the last crossing, but we did get cabins on the Michaelangelo a month or so later. (Spring 1975).  Without any real time to plan, we sailed over, spent the weekend at Lake Como, and flew home.  Bless my mother's heart, she was up for adventure! 

 

As a postscript to the 1973 crossing, we saw the O'Conners in Rome a month later, and, before they left town, they gave us their tickets to a Papal audience. We (and several thousand others) were blessed by the Pope as it was "The Day of the Child."  Didn't seem to help keep me out of trouble in life, but my mother's attitude, as a Protestant, was that it "couldn't hurt."

 

Thanks for letting me reminisce!

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23 hours ago, Blazerboy said:

We (and several thousand others) were blessed by the Pope as it was "The Day of the Child."  Didn't seem to help keep me out of trouble in life, but my mother's attitude, as a Protestant, was that it "couldn't hurt."

 

We all need all the help that we can use.

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It was in the spring of 1966 or 67.  We went into Manhattan to see the damage of the superstructure  on the "Michelangelo".  A HUGE wave damaged the front of the ship and a destroyed a cabin, and those passengers died in the accident.

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2 hours ago, marco said:

It was in the spring of 1966 or 67.  We went into Manhattan to see the damage of the superstructure  on the "Michelangelo".  A HUGE wave damaged the front of the ship and a destroyed a cabin, and those passengers died in the accident.

 

April 16, 1966

 

 

Michelangelo-accident_reparations_in_NY.jpg

Michelangelo-incidente_danni-frontale-articolo_Epoca(BrunoBlasi)2.jpg

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8 hours ago, marco said:

It was in the spring of 1966 or 67.  We went into Manhattan to see the damage of the superstructure  on the "Michelangelo".  A HUGE wave damaged the front of the ship and a destroyed a cabin, and those passengers died in the accident.

 

A very popular Cincinnati TV celebrity and her family were aboard that ship when this happened.  I recall hearing her accounting when that happened.  Fortunately, they were uninjured.  

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17 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

A very popular Cincinnati TV celebrity and her family were aboard that ship when this happened.  I recall hearing her accounting when that happened.  Fortunately, they were uninjured.  


I believe three passengers died.  They had gone up to one of the front cabins to watch the waves...bad idea.  

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I've been rummaging through the closets and came across this little advertising memorabilia. I've populated the four brochure racks with a few items from the files.

 

Rob

 

Italian Line.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think I still have the ticket up in the attic in my Cruise memorabilia tub from the T/A we took in 1973 as in your "1973 Sailings" brochure (above post)  That was the last time we sailed T/A on the Italian Line.  Still preferred the Da Vinci.

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13 hours ago, marco said:

I think I still have the ticket up in the attic in my Cruise memorabilia tub from the T/A we took in 1973 as in your "1973 Sailings" brochure (above post)  That was the last time we sailed T/A on the Italian Line.  Still preferred the Da Vinci.


The Leonardo DaVinci had a great ambiance that I don’t believe the Raffaello or Michelangelo had.  I also think that the Leonardo was a happy ship.  She was built to cruise as well as cross.  She was the perfect ship to cruise on. The Leonardo was built specifically to replace the Andrea Doris.  I think the Italians had a great deal of pride in the Leonardo.  

Edited by CGTNORMANDIE
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18 hours ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:


The Leonardo DaVinci had a great ambiance that I don’t believe the Raffaello or Michelangelo had.  I also think that the Leonardo was a happy ship.  She was built to cruise as well as cross.  She was the perfect ship to cruise on. The Leonardo was built specifically to replace the Andrea Doris.  I think the Italians had a great deal of pride in the Leonardo.  

 

A cruising regret of mine is not having sailed on the Italian Line.  I had "tastes" of Italian cruising by sailing on Home Lines and Sitmar.  Costa has been on my radar for years, but keep deciding to book someone else.  MSC had a bit of the Italian "flavor", but I am fairly sure that the Italian Line experience would have been different.  

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33 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

A cruising regret of mine is not having sailed on the Italian Line.  I had "tastes" of Italian cruising by sailing on Home Lines and Sitmar.  Costa has been on my radar for years, but keep deciding to book someone else.  MSC had a bit of the Italian "flavor", but I am fairly sure that the Italian Line experience would have been different.  


The Italian Line experience was like no other.  Home Lines was probably closest but still not the same.  The Italian Line had a style all their own.  I think the thing that stood out to me was the high level of service no matter where you went onboard.  When we first got onboard we were stunned at the small cabin.  So I went to the Purser to see if they had anything else.  After explaining my aversion to claustrophobia the Purser immediately took me for a personal tour of three different cabins.  We settled on an inside quad with a bath on a lower deck.  Try getting that kind of service on a ship today...LOL.  The waiters were also highly trained.  The Italian Line had a training school and the waiters were all sent there for further training.  They thought nothing of setting up table side service to prepare a special dish that you had requested.  They were actually eager to do so.  We will never see anything like that again.  

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Both T/A's and cruises on the DaVinci and Raffaello.  Only T'A/s in the Michelangelo.  Several cruises on Home Lines.  I thought it just as "Italian" as the Italian Line., but the demographics of pax more diverse.  We've sailed on MSC and though officers are mostly Italian, crew and staff are not.  Not nearly the "Italian experience" as on Italian/Home lines.  Rumor has it Home lines looked at both the Raffaello and Michelangelo when the Italian line ceased pax service.  I never understood why those 2 ships had no portholes/outside cabins below "A" deck.

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22 hours ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

 When we first got onboard we were stunned at the small cabin.  So I went to the Purser to see if they had anything else.  After explaining my aversion to claustrophobia the Purser immediately took me for a personal tour of three different cabins.  We settled on an inside quad with a bath on a lower deck.

 

On which ship was that?

 

22 hours ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

The Italian Line had a training school and the waiters were all sent there for further training.  They thought nothing of setting up table side service to prepare a special dish that you had requested.  They were actually eager to do so.  We will never see anything like that again.  

 

As you are aware, HAL has training schools in Indonesia as well as the Philippines.  Pre-Covid, I heard a rumor that another school was being considered in either India or Thailand.  

 

Tableside preparation for specially requested dishes was also once a "not out of the ordinary" request that was willingly fulfilled.  Preparing a fresh Caesar Salad tableside in the Pinnacle Grill was what one expected when the Salad was ordered.  Such service surely does belong in the "once upon a time...." category.  

 

8 hours ago, marco said:

We've sailed on MSC and though officers are mostly Italian, crew and staff are not.

 

Meraviglia's YC Restaurant had two Maitre d's who were Italian.  A few of the Stewards also were Italian, I think, as were a minority of the Butlers.  None of the Assistant Butlers were Italian.  Elsewhere on the ship, the only possible Italians whom I encountered were those making pizzas and making cheese and one of the YC Concierges.

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RK, that was on the Leonardo Da Vinci.  The service was superb it was like every steward and stewardess was trained to the level of an MSC butler.  Then add that Italian ambiance with La Dolce Vida along with the most likable personalities...the perfect combination.  
 

Yes I’ve known of the HAL training schools.  There is a passage in a John Maxtone Graham book...might be “Crossing and Cruising” or “Liners To The Sun”.  Graham tells about the transition of the Philippinos taking over for the Dutch.  He told of one steward who refused to wear shoes...he used shoe polish on his bare feet.  HAL wisely set up a training center to prepare their workers before they got on a ship.  

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I suspect that many of you are familiar with the book "The Lido Fleet", by Peter C. Kohler.

Perhaps fewer have seen a more recent book, "Masters of the Italian Line, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raffaello", by Ian Sebire.  Good book!

Ian has been a contributor here on CC.  The last time we corresponded, he was working on another book about ocean liners.

Ian, are you there?  What is the latest on the next book?

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7 hours ago, shipgeeks said:

"Masters of the Italian Line, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raffaello", by Ian Sebire. 

 

Unaware of this book; thank you for the suggestion.

 

On 3/7/2021 at 6:31 PM, CGTNORMANDIE said:

RK, that was on the Leonardo Da Vinci.

 

Thank you answering my question.

 

On 3/7/2021 at 6:31 PM, CGTNORMANDIE said:

 There is a passage in a John Maxtone Graham book...might be “Crossing and Cruising” or “Liners To The Sun”.  Graham tells about the transition of the Philippinos taking over for the Dutch.  He told of one steward who refused to wear shoes...he used shoe polish on his bare feet.

 

Having cruised on HAL during the transition from Dutch/European crew to the new Asian crew, I witnessed some of the "tensions" that existed and have posted my observations on other CC posts.  

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