April 12, 1912
Ireland but a sweet memory she ploughed on. She made 386 miles yesterday, as
the board proudly displayed. Every day the previous day's run was recorded for
the curious to see. From noon to noon the miles were counted and set in the
first-class smoking room. Due to her long pause off of the verdant isle the
distance was not as great as if she had been steaming for a full day. To day
would be different, she had no more ports to visit and no more guests to take
on. For the rest of the voyage she would be content with sailing westward
For the hundreds upon hundreds of passengers she continued to be the dream that they had so longed to experience. Regardless of their class the passengers were by and large, terribly impressed. The accommodations across her decks far outshined any other afloat. Even those in steerage found themselves more comfortable than those in first-class on other ships. For every ticket holder the food was superior, the public rooms were more spacious, and no minor detail was overlooked. Life was luxurious and not a soul regretted being in her presence...or so was the popular opinion.
There were many that disliked the idea of going to sea on her. Some thought that as she was brand new, she was not yet fully tested. They feared that she may not perform as well as expected under inexact conditions. Others fretted over her size, as Himalayan as she was. Surely a monster that huge could not possibly be safe, they thought. With all of that steel, what would keep her from going straight to the bottom as soon as the Atlantic waters were touched?
Many people destined to cross to America at the time had ignored her advertisements. They chose to purchase tickets for other liners. Perhaps it was the desire to avoid all of the media frenzy that made their decision. Perhaps they felt insecure in the thought of being aboard her. Whatever the reason other passages were booked. A few even cancelled their cabins on her to take another elsewhere.
But most of them were to sail on her anyway, even against their wishes. At the time a coal strike had crippled her industry. Her Line was pulling in their fleet so that her bunkers could be filled. She was ravenous and her maiden sail had to be kept on schedule. Her voracious appetite had to be satisfied, even if it meant taking the food from the mouths of others. The powers that be thought that the strike would surely end soon and this voyage was meant to be a special occasion. To sacrifice the odd run to here and there would be of no great consequence.
To make up for the inconvenience of lost cruises, her Line offered an exchange of tickets. They would gladly see the displaced from other ships have a stateroom on her. Due to the popularity of her and the late ticket transfers, not everyone received an equal exchange. Some who were to be travelling first-class on another vessel found themselves in the second-class on her. Although the atmosphere was forever festive and grand, they were still unhappy at the downgrade. They felt that they should be dining beside the world's elite, not mere bank clerks and merchants.
But the sentiment was not wide spread and her opulence worked to dissipate it. For whatever the predicament that landed many on her decks, she still offered nothing but the finest and most decadent. Even if they were in a lesser class, they still fared better than if they had been able to sail on their original ship...