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Fire at Sea: Tragedy of the SS Morro Castle

On the morning of 8 September 1934, en route from Havana to New York, the ship caught fire and burned, killing 137 passengers and crew members.   She was a luxury ocean liner of the 1930s that was built for the Ward Line for runs between New York City and Havana, Cuba. The Morro Castle was named for the Morro ... Read More »

Elsa Maxwell: the greatest celebrity of all-time…

Pianist, gossip columnist, TV star, and above all a giver of great parties, Elsa Maxwell was famous for being herself. She was most likely far more interesting than the celebrities she covered. Elsa Maxwell first worked as a theatre pianist after leaving school at the age of 14 and before touring with a troupe in various music halls. Elsa Maxwell, ... Read More »

OCEAN PRINCESS will be joining the Oceania Cruises fleet.

One of Princess Cruises’ smallest ships, the 672-passenger Ocean Princess, soon will be joining the Oceania Cruises fleet. Oceania’s parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), today announced a definitive agreement to buy the 15-year-old vessel from Princess with the transfer set to take place in March 2016. Originally designed for now-defunct Renaissance Cruises, the Ocean Princess is a sister ... Read More »

The Canadian Pacific liner RMS EMPRESS OF JAPAN had four different lives…

First as the trans-Pacific record holder liner, then serving during World War 2, followed by being renamed the Empress of Scotland on the trans-Atlantic run and then finally sailing under the German flag. It was ironic, the allied ship used during WW 2 to fight the Nazis, was sold to Hamburg America Line and rebuilt as the Hanseatic for cruise ... Read More »

1960s – P&O liners…

Visiting San Francisco. 1960s – Photo from Cruise History – San Francisco, California…  P&O liners SS CANBERRA (docked at the Matson Line pier) and the SS ARCADIA (in background) sailing away. Read More »

The Pump Room at Chicago’s former Ambassador East Hotel

When Ernie Byfield opened The Pump Room in the Ambassador East Hotel on October 1, 1938, he undoubtedly had little idea that he was beginning an enterprise that would still be thriving to this day. Today, The Pump Room remains highly acclaimed restaurant and Chicago landmark. Located in Chicago’s Gold Coast inside the Ambassador East Hotel, the Pump Room’s traditional ... Read More »

1948 Olympic Team sails aboard liner America

The USA Olympic Team sailed aboard the SS America. The 1948 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in London, England, United Kingdom. The 1948 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in London, England, United ... Read More »

Canadian 1930s Liners – The “Drunken Duchesses”

SS Duchess of York was one of the several sturdy Canadian Pacific liners which were known as “Drunken Duchesses” for their lively performance in heavy seas. She was built as a sister ship to the SS Duchess of Bedford, the SS Duchess of Atholl, and the SS Duchess of Richmond. The vessel was created for transatlantic service; and she was ... Read More »

Veteran’s Day: Travel by Train in World War 2

Celebrating Veteran’s Day – A look back at wartime transportation in WW 2. Trains were crowded with standing room only. Dining cars were full and most of the trains only served two meals a day. It was a major boom to train travel. The Pullman Company operating all sleeping cars. Pullmans was accommodating 1000s of people on overnight trains. Here ... Read More »

History of Princess Cruises – 2015 is the cruise lines 50th Anniversary…

The SS Princess Patrica was the first “Love Boat”!   For two seasons Princess Patricia was chartered to Stan McDonald, a Canadian-born businessman now in Seattle, for cruising between Los Angeles and Acapulco during the winter.McDonald became excited about cruising during the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. He eventually branched out to other vessels but chose to name his new company ... Read More »

THE LOVE BOAT sails again…

It’s a blast from the past, as the ship’s whistle for the brand new Regal Princess is the theme from “The Love Boat,” the romance sitcom from 1976 until 1986 that helped make cruising mainstream. The Love Boat was known for its frothy romances and the steady stream of well-known actors who made guest appearances on the show — Wikipedia ... Read More »

Matson Line’s SS Lurline “was” Hawaii in the 1950s…

In the 1950s, a cruise to Hawaii was sailing round-trip from California to Honolulu (alternating between San Francisco and Los Angeles) on Matson Line’s SS Lurline. The first class ship made the crossing in 4 and 1/2 days. Most passengers spent 9 dqys in Hawaii before returning to the California major cities. It was an American flag ship with an all American crew. Trapshooting ... Read More »

I Love Lucy, Grace Kelly and the SS Constitution…

The SS Constitution was a passenger ship owned by American Export Lines. She was commissioned in 1951. She sailed on the New York-Genoa-Naples and Gibraltar route to Europe. The Constitution was a sister ship to the SS Independence. The ships were two of the world’s most famous, popular, and innovative ocean liners, following World War 2. They were symbols of ... Read More »

The Pullman Streamliner City of Los Angeles…

Streamliner & Pullman History: The City of Los Angeles was a streamlined passenger train between Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California via Omaha, Nebraska, and Ogden, Utah. Between Omaha and Los Angeles it ran on the Union Pacific Railroad; east of Omaha it ran on the Chicago and North Western Railway until October 1955 and on the Milwaukee Road thereafter. The train ... Read More »

Drive-In Restaurants – Southern California – The “fabulous” 1950s…

Male car hops at fabulous Delores Drive-In. Located in Westwood, California. Lasted into the 1980s. Cars, cars and more cars! They just seem to keep coming in, nonstop. The summer weather is warm, especially warm for evening. The car hops are busily skating around the parking lot delivering sizzling hot cheeseburgers, mouth-watering milkshakes, and golden french fries. The kitchen is ... Read More »