While the cruise industry basically sits at the dock, today’s post takes a look back at the golden age of cruising. We will look at your first class dinner aboard the Titanic on April 14, 1912.
When you go on a cruise, everybody is more or less created equal aboard ship. The major difference is the size and location of your cabin which will determine how much you pay for your cruise. Back in the day, cruise ships sold tickets by travel class and location. Your travel class determined where you could go aboard the Titanic with second and third class passengers being confined to their respective decks. Here are the prices in U. S. dollars for the inaugural Titanic voyage by travel class with adjustment for inflation for 2013 in parenthesis.
- First class suite $4,350 ($75,788),
- First class berth $150 ($2,613),
- Second class $60 ($1,044) and
- Third class $40 ($696).
First Class Dining
The highlight of your first class passage is heading to the first class dining room at 7:00 pm for dinner. Dinner was typically a 10-course (or more) feast and featured the very best in food quality. Foods that were seasonal were featured out of season using massive galley refrigeration for that time. Today where you may be given a choice of starter or main course, you got both.
The menu for April 14th, 1912 was nothing short of lavish:
The meals were made in the Edwardian style made famous by British King Edward VII. “Hot cuisine” or “high cooking” and dressing to your absolute best was the dining experience. The actual recipes went down with the ship, food experts believe that they have recreated these menu courses. First class dinner typically lasted for two to three hours in duration. Lindsay Holiday recreates the final first class meal for us:
The Table Setting
The British people pride themselves on proper service. From the classic “full English breakfast” to your table service for dinner. The “full English breakfast is a big deal in the U.K. and there is actually a society for the preservation of this tradition. When I fly first class on British Airways, my flight attendant carefully lays out my tablecloth, places the silverware on the center of the table cloth and gently slides each utensil to their proper position. This video shows Titanic historian David Kaplan recreating the table settings for all three classes aboard the Titanic:
The First Class Dining Room Virtual Tour
The only way to do the first class dining experience total justice is to take a tour. This video takes on us a virtual tour of the dining accommodations in first class:
I hope that you enjoyed our cruise back to 1912 where first class cruising was truly an art form. The dining was lavish and full of the British pride of service. With the travel disruptions currently in place, we could at least take a look back to the golden age of cruising.