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My family traveled from Italy to NYC on the SS Constitution in 1964 but was paid for by the Army. We have many nice photos from all the ports and we had a great time even if I was only 9 y/o. I believe this was in the month of February. We stopped in Monaco and the Island of Madeira.

God what memories. I'm sad just to find out that it's on the bottom of the sea.

Do you have any photos taken on the ship that you can post? I have some in the link below when we were on her in July 1962. (Genoa to NYC) I loved Madeira, too. I bet my uncle, the chief engineer, was working on the Constitution in 1964 during your trip. He was on vacation during our's.

http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slideshow.jsp?mode=fromshare&Uc=5106809j.2sqzrcgr&Uy=l8s10s&Ux=0

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Gotcha beat. I sailed on her in 1958 from Naples to NYC. I was about 11 at the time. I remember the FOOD more than anything else! <g>

 

1960. Genoa, Italy to NYC, via Casablanca. My first cruise. I was 6.

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January 1991 was our first Cruise and it was with American Hawaiian Cruise Lines on the SS Constitution. When we embarked her with thought man does life get any better than this? We had a great Cruise and that was the Cruise that got us hooked on Cruising. Man, we’ve come a long way baby! I googled the SS Constitution to view pictures of her. We look at those pictures and the memories come back to us as if we just disembarked her.

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The first time I was on the S.S. Constitution was Sep. of 1953. We were returning from 3 years in Bangkok, by way of Leharve. I have a family photo of my sister Pat and me, our heads together looking through a logged life ring. We are going on a cruise to the Baltic in a few days with plans on recreating that picture … except on the Celebrity Century! My sister always speaks of her 5th birthday as being the BEST ever … it was celebrated the night of the Captain’s Dinner … and if you traveled back then you know that the celebrations were mush bigger. When they brought out her birthday cake … the entire dining room broke out in song. December of 1957 was the second time we were on the S.S. Constitution. I will NEVER forget leaving New York … band playing and confetti being tossed everywhere. We were moving to Beirut Lebanon. We have photo’s of the Christmas party with Santa on-board. To this day … he looked drunk! I remember that my sister and I kept escaping from the rather strict children’s area and hiding out in second class. My father would order dinner for us since he felt this was a great opportunity to try new and different foods … what 7 year old would order tripe? Well, the food for the most part sat on the plates! We were lucky to be in a position to travel first class … and back then if you were traveling outside of The United States … you took a boat. We were on The S.S. United States, The Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mary and twice on The S.S. Constitution.

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The first time I was on the S.S. Constitution was Sep. of 1953. We were returning from 3 years in Bangkok, by way of Leharve.

 

 

 

Great stories only one problem ... the Constitution never sailed fro Le Harve. She always sailed the southern route from the Mediterranean and especially in 1953. You must have sailed out of southern France or Italy if you were on the Constitution.

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I sailed on her when I was 18 in June of "84 around Hawaii. Interestingly enough, Barbara Eden sailed on this cruise and did a performance one night. My dad got her autograph. One strange event that occurred was the assistant Cruise Director Jeffrey ____? hitting on me, and I'm a guy. Other than that, it was a fun cruise, great food and good island stops.

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My family and I were on the Constitution in May of 1960 and in 1965 from NY to Genoa..I was 8 years old ( 13 in 65)..Our cabin was in third class...we had no bathroom...had to go down the hall to get ther and to take a shower..I always thought our cabin was under the water line...for that reason, now i will never take a cabin below deck 8 .....I believe we took the Independence back to NY.My brother and I use to sneak up to First class and play with the kids there...that ship really did rock and i remember getting sea sick..My brother even threw up in the dining room which made a waiter fall and get hurt...... Lots of good memories...this was the beginning of my love of the sea and of cruising

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Sorry about the stitch job it was cobbled together from a couple of 35mm slides. I took this back in 1974 and just ran across it. The ship was being towed through the Panama Canal, she was still going to be laid up until 1982 when she went into service for American Hawaii Cruises, joining her sister the Independence.

 

2s0n7r7.jpg

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:cool:Dose anyone have or know where to get pictures of the interior of ss constitution crews loung and old pics ?

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We sailed on the SS Constitution on our honeymoon when she was an American Hawaii Cruise ship in June 1986. It was our first (and most recent !!) cruise.

 

I don't remember much about our cabin or the ship itself. What I do remember is the wonderful people we had dinner with each night, the shore excursions and the special Captain's cocktail party we were invited to. We learned at that party that seemingly everyone who was invited had something that American Hawaii Cruises did wrong... four of whom were in an elevator on the ship that dropped 3 floors while they were in it! American Hawaii Cruises forgot us in Honolulu when they were supposed to greet us at the airport with flower leis and escort us to our next flight to Kauai. Because of this our luggage stayed in Honolulu while we had to find our way to our terminal.

 

We actually had a great time. Don't know why it's taken us this long to get back into cruising.

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SS Constitution was retired in 1995; while under tow to be scrapped, the liner sank north of the Hawaiian Islands on November 17, 1997.

 

 

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My grandfather was a steward in the Constitution. I was a little girl so I don't remember any particular stories but I still have some beautiful furniture and housewares that he brought back from Europe on his travels.

 

 

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Appropriate to spend eternity on the ocean floor vs. demolition at a scrapyard. That's the romantic in me, I think of ships as living breathing entities.

 

 

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Appropriate to spend eternity on the ocean floor vs. demolition at a scrapyard. That's the romantic in me, I think of ships as living breathing entities.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

And the marine engineer in me thinks of ships as ornery, cantankerous piles of machinery that needs constant attention. :D

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Just discovered this site while looking for old friends I shipped with, in the 1980s.  I worked on the Independence, the Constitution and the Liberté for ten years as a Cabin Steward, Second Steward, Auditor and Chief Steward.  During that time the company, American Hawaii Cruises (AHC), went through three changes of ownership and management.  As American flag registered cruise ships, the Independence and the Constitution operated under the auspices of the US Coast Guard and the crew were members of the SIU (Seafarers International Union).  The last owner brought out the Liberté, which was intended to eventually become the third ship in the fleet sailing in Hawaii.  But because it takes an act of Congress to register a cruise ship under American Flag (https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/23/~/the-jones-act-%26-the-passenger-vessel-services-act ) and that takes time, the Liberté was brought out in Tahiti on a one-week cruise to six islands:  Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea and Rangiroa.  The officers were American and the crew was a mix of Indonesian, Filipino and Taiwanese nationals (not unionized).  It was a spectacular cruise but the company had endless difficulties with the French Territorial Government which was utterly inept and corrupt, expecting bribes and payoffs to allow the ship to stay in operation.  As an example, at one point they held up our container shipment of California wines on some pretext for several weeks, trying to force the company to buy extremely expensive imported French wines.  Another incident occurred when the company shipped a container of luxurious beach towels with the AHC logo to Papeete.  The shipment went apparently went into one side of the warehouse and directly out the other.  Over the following weeks we saw our beach towels being worn as sarongs, put up in windows, etc!  After little more than a year in service, the Tahiti operation bankrupted the company.  I believe the Liberté went into service in Asia but eventually hit the scrap heap.  The Independence eventually became a University Campus but then it, too, ended up on the scrap heap.  The Constitution, the ship I had spent most of my ten years working on, went down while being towed to Asia and sits on the ocean floor.  Those of you who sailed on the Constitution may remember Captain Wu.  He had been in the Hong Kong Navy before coming to AMC as Captain.  He sailed his first week as a passenger in a single room on Sun Deck were I was at the time a cabin steward and took care of him.  No one knew who he was and I assumed he was simply a passenger.  The truth was he wanted to see how the crew operated and the ship was run before taking command.  I treated him as I did all my passengers, with friendliness and professionalism.  It apparently made an impression.  As Captain, he would go on weekly inspections with his Senior Officers and all the cabin stewards dreaded it.  He did "white glove" inspections.  If any lint or dirt showed up on his glove, no matter where he checked, the poor cabin steward did overtime until his section was spotless.  Coming into my section he would always tell his officers in his Pidgeon English, "Denny da best boy, he section perfect, no need check," and they would pass by.  All the other cabin stewards hated me!  Likewise, when he inspected crew quarters and came to my cabin he made his officers take off their shoes before entering.  He was quite the character.  I understand that he passed away some years ago.  If any of you have photos of any of the crew from any of the three ships, I would love to see them.  Thanks!  Photo is of the Liberté, I believe anchored in the lagoon at Bora Bora.

Liberte04.jpg

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Thanks so much to all of you for the great memories of this beloved ship.   As an ocean liner historian, I find these stories to be treasures from wonderful times past.

I am surprised that the one historic event, that made the SS Constitution famous, has not been mentioned.  Namely, the wedding of Grace Kelly.  It was aboard the Constitution that took Grace Kelly and her wedding party to Monoco.  The press coverage in April 1956 was explosive.  Every newspaper in America and Europe covered the story.  The picture of Grace waving goodbye to New York while onboard Constitution was carried around the world.  I remember these events well and how much it stimulated my interest in ocean liners.  I believe it was the following year 1957 that Carey Grant and Deborah Kerr appeared onboard Constitution in the movie, An Affair To Remember.  

Edited by CGTNORMANDIE

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On 2/14/2019 at 2:56 PM, Greenshade said:

  But because it takes an act of Congress to register a cruise ship under American Flag (https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/23/~/the-jones-act-%26-the-passenger-vessel-services-act ) and that takes time, the Liberté was brought out in Tahiti on a one-week cruise to six islands:  

 

Just to clarify, it does not take an act of Congress to register a cruise ship under US flag, or any ship for that matter.  It does, however, require a waiver of the US construction requirement of the Jones Act or PVSA to operate in the Jones Act or PVSA trades (coastwise trade).  There are many ships flying the US flag that were not built in the US, and therefore cannot carry cargo or passengers from one US port to another, but which can certainly carry cargo or passengers in foreign trade, which does not require Jones Act or PVSA certification.  The Liberte could have been registered in the US, but not eligible for the PVSA trade strictly in Hawaii as the Connie and Indie were, but could have done the Hawaii and Fanning Island, or West Coast round trip (with a stop in Ensenada or Vancouver) until such time as the PVSA waiver came through.

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Yes, you're quite right.  I'm not that well versed on maritime law.  I do know that AMC's CEO at the time, Bill Jesse, intended to move the Liberte to be the third vessel of what would then be the interisland cruise fleet in Hawaii after obtaining the waiver but logistically had to bring her out in a timely manner and thus arose the Tahiti itinerary.   Both the Independence and the Constitution had obtained the waiver and neither vessel ever visited any foreign port while operated by AMC.  There were many matters that brought about the demise of AMC, not the least of which was the Tahiti misadventure.  The Liberte was a beautiful vessel and the itinerary was extraordinary but as I have mentioned earlier, the local government created numerous barriers to its success.  There were also many problems internally in the management of the company and in its interaction with the SIU, the union that crewed the vessels.  At various times I served as the Chief Cabin Steward (on the Independence), the Chief Steward (on the Constitution) and the Second Steward (on the Liberte).  There was an ocean of difference between the operation of the two vessels in Hawaii and the Liberte in Tahiti.  The foreign nationals who made up much of the crew on the Liberte were totally professional and competent.  By contrast, the American crew was often much less so and there were constant problems.

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Actually, the Indie and Connie didn't need a waiver for the PVSA, since they were built in the US, flagged in the US, US owned, and US crewed. The current NCL Pride of America was originally for AHC, but when the company went bankrupt after 9-11, NCL bought the unfinished hull.

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The Liberte started life as the Moore-McCormack liner Brasil and was actually constructed at the Pascagoula,Mississippi shipyard of Ingalls.  So she was American before becoming HAL's Volendam.  She had many name changes in later years.

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40 minutes ago, Conte Di Savoia said:

The Liberte started life as the Moore-McCormack liner Brasil and was actually constructed at the Pascagoula,Mississippi shipyard of Ingalls.  So she was American before becoming HAL's Volendam.  She had many name changes in later years.

Yes, but unfortunately, when she was reflagged to the Netherlands Antilles for HAL, she lost her qualification to operate in the PVSA trade.  Once a ship that is PVSA qualified leaves US registry, that qualification is lost.

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