On April 2, 1912, from the shipyard in Belfast, Ireland, tugs pulled the Titanic out to sea and her engines were fired up. The crew practiced different turns, stopping, turning a full circle and running at different speeds; this “test drive” took less than a day.
These sea trials, though brief, were satisfactory enough for the Titanic‘s builders and owners – but the interior of the ship was far from completed. Construction continued in the passenger areas after the ship headed across the Irish Sea and arrived in Southampton, England, with painting and installation of furniture, carpets and fixtures finished up following the two-day journey before her maiden voyage.
But once Titanic was ready to welcome passengers on board, it was quite a luxurious sight for them to behold. Here are some facts about life aboard the “Ship of Dreams”:
The cost of a first-class ticket on Titanic toNew York was $2,500, approximately $57,200 today. The most expensive rooms were more than $103,000 in today’s currency.
A third-class ticket on Titanic cost $40, which is approximately $900 in today’s currency. Up to 10 people resided in third-class rooms. The rooms were divided by male and female, oftentimes splitting families.
First-class passengers had the luxury of paying for their leisure while on board: a ticket to the swimming pool cost 25¢, while a ticket for the squash court (as well as the services of a professional player) cost 50¢.
Sixty chefs and chefs’ assistants worked in the Titanic’s five kitchens. They ranged from soup and roast cooks to pastry chefs and vegetable cooks. There was a kosher cook, too, to prepare the meals for the Jewish passengers.
Titanic had its own newspaper, the Atlantic Daily Bulletin, prepared aboard the ship. In addition to news articles and advertisements, it contained a daily menu, the latest stock prices, horse-racing results, and society gossip.
There were only two bathtubs for the more than 700 third-class passengers aboard the Ship.
The forward part of the boat deck was promenade space for first-class passengers and the rear part for second-class passengers. People from these classes thus had the best chance of getting into a lifeboat simply because they could get to them quickly and easily.
Have you been to see Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition yet? What elements of the ship’s passenger areas or artifacts intrigued you most?