Private Dinner Parties Onboard Steamships - 1906
Private Dining Room in a Presidential Suite
When the RMS Caronia and RMS Carmania were put into commission the excellence of the catering arrangement evoked as much praise from passengers as did the ships themselves, and their magnificent accommodation for all classes of travelers.
The Cunard line, however, acting upon their traditional policy of keeping in the very fore front of the trans-Atlantic lines, has during the past few months inaugurated a further advance in taking further steps to enhance the comfort of first-class passengers, and one which affords another illustration of the fact that these Cunard vessels are floating hotels of the very first rank.
The principle which was originally adopted in the Caronia and Carmania of departing from the usual long saloon tables has been extended, so that small parties consisting of five to twenty individuals can dine together.
In catering for these social functions special menus are printed, the wishes of the party concerned being consulted as to the various courses, as they are in the case of a private dinner given at a hotel ashore.
These menu cards which may be inscribed with a motto or legend indicative of the occasion are, needless to say, treasured by the guests as an interesting souvenir.
These dinner parties for which no extra charge is made are much appreciated by passengers, the increased facilities they provide for social intercourse on ship board adding much to the pleasures of a sea voyage.
The special dinners are only the outward and visible sign of Cunard enterprise in catering for their passengers. Chief stewards and head waiters have been put through a course of training in the leading hotels of London and Paris, and they in their turn have trained the different steward staffs to the highest possible degree of intelligent service.
The arrangements for the preparing, cooking and serving of food on board the Caronia and Carmauia are as perfect as can be, the cuisine arrangements of the London, continental and American hotels bring carefully studied and the best principles of each adopted.
The cooking ranges are the largest yet made for any vessel and will only be eclipsed by those of the Lusitania and Mauretania. Potatoes are peeled and dishes are washed by machinery, joints, birds, game, etc., are roasted in special ovens, while the cold storage arrangements enable passengers to be supplied with all the delicacies of the season as fresh as when they came on board.
With regard to the Lusitania and Mauretania the catering arrangements are receiving special attention and they will, as is to be expected from the size and magnificence of the ships, eclipse anything which has yet been attempted on ship board.
The following is one of many tributes which the Cunard Steamship Co. has received from passengers respecting the new vituabng arrangements.
This innovation takes the form of dinners à la carte which, under the able supervision of the catering department, and in the hands of an excellent chef, vie with those of the best restaurants of Paris, London and New York.
If they could add to the luxury already provided on the well-appointed ships of this fleet, these dinners must supply the want. Everyone feels that a well-cooked dinner served in a delight ful way at his own hour is the crowning comfort of the day.
The same time it affords an opportunity to entertain one's fellow travelers in a fashion second to none, there is little to be desired in the way of ocean travel. It is a departure which should meet with the success it deserves, more especially as it may be enjoyed without incurring any additional expense.
The Marine Review, Private Dinners Aboard Ship, December 13, 1906, Page 33