Passengers' Quarters on Steamships - 1910
The ventilation in modern ships is practically perfect, and inside rooms are liked by many travelers who prefer those rooms which are apt to be very much warmer in winter, and also by those who do not like to be reminded of the sea and the motion of the vessel.
The inside rooms are usually by far the cheapest, and those wishing to make the trip as economically as possible can secure accommodations in such rooms to advantage. It must not be supposed that because a room has a port-hole, this porthole can be kept open at all times.
They are usually closed by the stewards at night except in very fair weather, as a change in the course of the vessel might result in the shipping of water to a considerable extent which might damage the personal property of the occupant of the room and might even endanger the safety of the ship provided there were a number of portholes open at one time.
Rooms on the promenade decks usually have windows opening out on the deck which may be kept open at all times except when heavy seas are being shipped and spray is apt to enter the rooms.
The vessels are heated either by steam or electricity. Electric heating is very insidious, the heat appears to be given out very slowly, but as soon as the heater has reached its maxim, the heat is intense, and care must be exercised that nothing in the way of clothing should be placed on or near the heater.
The writer knows of one sea captain who went to sleep with his feet on the innocent radiator in his chart room. The subordinate officers walked the bridge for two weeks.
Electric curling irons, bed-warmers, and electric warmers for milk for children are provided on some lines. Electric light will be found on all trans-Atlantic steamers, and the rooms are adequately lighted.
Electric bells serve to call the stewards and stewardesses, and on many steamers telephones are also installed, which enables the passenger to make known his wants at once.
Fresh water is provided for washing, also soap, a new cake being provided for each passenger, each trip. There are plenty of towels, and warm water for washing and shaving is provided on request, and usually stewards bring around hot water half an hour before dinner time.
On many lines a bugle call is sounded half an hour before each meal, giving a chance to make any necessary changes in clothing. Where it is necessary to have two seating:: at the table, the room steward will wake up the passengers who eat at the first table in ample time.
On retiring, the door should be fastened slightly open with the aid of the hooks which are provided. One of the first things which a sailor learns when he goes to sea is not to be locked up in a room while afloat, and passengers may well note this. In case of a collision, or other emergency, it might prove very dangerous if the passenger's door could not be opened immediately.
All surplus money, valuables, etc., should be left with a purser, who will receipt for same. The passageways are constantly patrolled at night, but cases of theft, while not common, do occur. On the whole, considering the number of passengers carried, the personal property of voyagers is safer than in hotels on land.
First class passengers are not allowed to enter second or third class compartments, and vice versa, as complications might arise under the quarantine regulations.
Visits to the steerage can only be made by special permission. The modern steerage is an entirely different place from that which fiction has penned, and on a modern liner it need not offend anyone.
On some of the newer German ships, the inside staterooms have an opening on a narrow passageway about a foot and a half wide, which is closed at the passageway by an iron gate. This narrow opening affords abundance of light and air and is an ideal way for constructing a steamer.
On reaching a vessel, if you have a berth and a stateroom with another person, seek them out at the earliest possible opportunity and exchange cards.
Occupants of the same room should practice much mutual forbearance in the disposal of their personal effects ; it should be remembered at best that the accommodations are very much cramped.
A ladder is provided to enable the occupant of the upper berth to reach it safely. Many, however, find the ladder unnecessary and ask for its removal.
Life preservers will be found in every stateroom. Illustrations showing the method of putting on the life preservers will be found in the staterooms or in the passageways. It is only necessary to put on the life preserver in cases of very grave peril.
When the ship is rolling very badly, steamer trunks, satchels, etc., should he lashed to the berth supports or the sofa supports, to prevent them injuring the passenger. The steward will attend to this matter.
Passengers should avoid loud speaking in the corridors and staterooms during the night-time, as this is apt to keep other passengers awake. It is to the mutnal interest of all concerned that the ship should be kept as quiet as possible at night, and the stewards are specially charged to see that this quiet is maintained.
On some lines promenading on the upper decks is not permitted after a certain hour. Avoid asking the officers questions about the navigation of the ship; remember that they have had to answer these questions many thousands of times, and eventually this becomes wearisome even to the most good-natured officers. The information contained in this book ought to be sufficient for the average traveler.
Passengers should under no circumstances attempt to visit the navigating bridge while the vessel is under way, as this is absolutely against the rules and interferes with the work of the officers, who are responsible for the safety of the ship.