Tuesdays Past and Present

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Click on the picture for a much, much better view. From The Mariners’ Museum collection.

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Library blog. This blog mentions the SS United States with some frequency, but I’m sure many people are curious what a typical day might be like aboard one of her Caribbean cruises. The Mariners’ Museum Library has a large collection of programs from the SS United States, which offer a glimpse into one of those days – but how does a cruise aboard the SS United States compare to a modern one? How would your average Tuesday differ from past to present? Using the below pictured program, we can compare its Tuesday in 1962 to a modern Carnival cruise line’s Tuesday in 2008, which can be viewed in its entirety HERE. Both vessels arrive at St. Thomas on their respective Tuesdays, so let’s see how they compare!

On first inspection, the programs share some similarities: both have morning religious service followed by breakfast, a morning excursion to the island, lunch, dinner, and entertainment. However, a number of differences present themselves. First, the SS United States seems to have a much shorter program than the Carnival line. The SS United States program covers only the basic events of the day, while the Carnival program extensively lists each and every activity aboard ship by time and location. Carnival features a schedule teeming with family activities, sports, games, music and movies in large number: the SS United States program only has one movie, two cocktail hours, a swimming pool, afternoon tea and a dance.   Read more

The Cruise Industry After Costa Concordia

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Passengers fleeing the burning cruise liner Kyros in Haifa Harbor, Israel, 1966. From the Photograph Collection.

After such a large-scale and heavily publicized disaster like the Costa Concordia, one can’t help but wonder if the cruise industry as a whole has been affected.  I wondered the same thing, and decided to find some information.

Carnival Corporation (which owns Costa Cruises), as well as Royal Caribbean, have both experienced double digit declines in cruise bookings since the January 12 accident.  These declines have been seen in the United States, but were more pronounced in Europe, where media coverage of the disaster was even more extensive.   Read more