Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Other Cruise Lines > All Other Cruise Lines
Register Forgot Password?

All Other Cruise Lines All cruise lines not listed by name below

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 28th, 2005, 01:09 AM
FAB FAB is offline
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Australian
Posts: 1
Default Twilight time of the real liners

With all the rush these days to get new tonnage into the water, the original concept and atmosphere that surrounded liners (as opposed to cruise ships) has been, sadly, lost.

For a time, many years ago, I worked in the marine operations dept of P & O in Sydney (after leaving the sea for a while). These were the autumn days of the great liner services that were the lifeline between the UK, India and Australia. By the time I got there the ships were, on the surface, looking a bit run down but that was OK because each still had a heart and personality forged in Atlantic and Pacific storms, the heat of the Indian Ocean and the long balmy days of the Mediterranean. Nights spent in the Suez Canal loop as the ‘other way’ convey appeared to sail the Sahara. The ‘Anvil’ that is, or rather was, Aden.
I think that over the years these ships absorbed some of the personalities of the people, both passengers and crew that had sailed in them. Voyages usually lasted five or six weeks and there was still time for gentle living, unhurried dinners, dancing under canvas awnings as either the ocean or a desert slipped by.
I was lucky enough to do the long haul trip UK – Australia about 15 times, some via Suez, some via South Africa and a couple the ‘other way’ around via the USA.
There was not a great deal of entertainment as such. The ship would usually have a couple of bands, a very bad comedian, some ‘over the hill singers etc. Much of the entertainment was put on by ship’s officers, Music Hall night was a highlight of the voyage. English WAPs (women assistant pursers) were not exactly first choice as showgirls but some of them brushed up very well and did their part with enthusiasm.
The Purser was the boss of passenger decks and this was never challenged - no ‘Hotel Managers’ and stuff, the line of command was Purser – 2 Deputy Pursers (admin and catering) 2 SAPs (senior assistant pursers) a whole tribe of APs (you can guess what that stands for and as general dogsbodies a couple of Cadet Pursers.

The Lord above all was the Captain; never young, these men oozed experience and competence. Many had served in the Merchant Marine and Royal Navy during WW2 (perhaps even WW1). Mainly they were exceptionally nice chaps but believe me, you didn’t cross them. He was backed up by the Staff captain (Staffy) and then a gang of deck officers in descending order.

Depending on the vessel after the two main companies (P&O and Orient) merged, the bedroom stewards, dining room stewards and public room stewards would be a mixture of British and Goenese. The engine rooms and deck would have gangs of Pakistani or Indian crewman.

The stories from those days would fill a dozen books and all, or nearly all, would evoke either laughter or tears. It was twilight time for the ships and it was twilight time for the society that spawned them. Strange, even in this forum there is no individual section for P&O, yet it was the company that kept the spirit of sea travel alive through the dark days.
Each of these magnificent ladies had a unique personality born from far voyaging - and each are sadly missed.

Frank
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
line, liners, real, time, twilight

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
REAL Boarding Time?? jeana Celebrity 1 February 14th, 2004 06:52 PM
Ship Time vs. Real Time KarenB Carnival Cruise Lines 5 July 13th, 2003 08:00 PM
Donna...help with a real time counter please Nan Carnival Cruise Lines 2 February 17th, 2003 04:49 PM
HELP! Looking for a real time counter speedinbk Carnival Cruise Lines 15 February 14th, 2003 09:19 AM
HELP!! I'm Looking for a real time counter speedinbk Royal Caribbean International 0 February 11th, 2003 07:01 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:51 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1