The Titanic could accommodate about 2500 passengers who booked either first, second or third class. Wikipedia tells that
those travelling in first class, most of them the wealthiest passengers on board, included prominent members of the upper class, businessmen, politicians, high-ranking military personnel, industrialists, bankers, entertainers, socialites, and professional athletes. Second-class passengers were predominantly middle-class travellers and included professors, authors, clergymen, and tourists. Third-class or steerage passengers were primarily immigrants moving to the United States and Canada.
Much has changed since then.
Life at Sea in the 21st Century
Purpose and passengers of such mega ships (rather kilo ships ) have changed dramatically since then. The ship is no longer a mean of transport. Passengers from Central Europe fly 5000 km to the Orient for a cruise of 500 km to a nearby harbour and back to the point of departure. Many passengers are rather age group 50+ and have cruised around quite a lot already1. Then, there are few younger families and couples as well. Other single travellers fall rather into the category of widows2.
My ship features 1267 twin cabins for 2534 passengers, but if need be, can host up to 2700 passengers–the 1030 crew members excluded. The other ship in the habour, Costas Firenze, has 2116 cabins for up to 5078 passengers (two times the Titanic) and provides for a crew of about 1300 members.
Due to Covid-19, the ships are far from fully booked. In my case the occupation rate was about 40%, a bit more than 1000 people.
Life at sea on this German-operated ship is best compared to Club holidays in Germany3:
- room service takes care of cabins twice per day
- all inclusive all you can eat and drink
- about 5 restaurants and several bars
- Döner Kebab at the poolside
- SPA area
- fitness club with courses, volleyball court and running area
- entertainment program in the lounge, the two theatres or on the open-air stage with shows that involve the dancers and acrobats belonging to the crew and guest artists (stand-up, magician)
- casino (open when in international waters)
- a few shops for shopping (VAT-free!)
- kids club
- organised day trips (bus, bike and boat tours, etc.)
- mostly German-speaking crew
- 99% German-speaking guests/passengers (I spotted two Dutch)
Consequently, a cruise on this ship is the perfect fit for all those who would like to hang out with Germans, have German bread and bread rolls for every meal, enjoy Sauerkraut, Klöße, Currywurst and Döner Kebab, but at the same time rather prefer a more Mediterranean climate than what Germany can typically offer! Kind of German holidays outside of Germany.
With 1000 German passengers on board, it is easy to make pictures of the scenic locations without people: At 8 PM, everyone is at dinner! Let me take you on a tour.
I have a few more impressions taken at daytime.
I know because during some show on the deck, the moderator has asked the question who has been on a cruise before and many hands were raised. ↩︎
There was a meetup of single travellers on the ship. However, I didn’t use the occasion to ask them whether they were really widowed. ↩︎
Not that I have ever done club holidays in Germany–but that’s how I imagine it! ↩︎