The First Evening

Back in cabin 4170 we washed and changed for dinner at 6.15pm. We have been allocated table #61 in the Ballindalloch restaurant and we met our table companions for the first time: a father and daughter, David and Joanna from Ohio, USA and a couple, Donny and Barbara from Toronto, Canada. They all seemed very pleasant and a lot of the mealtime talk was, not surprisingly, based around the Titanic and White Star Line. We explained to them that the SS Olympic, sister ship of the Titanic, had been scrapped on the Tyne in 1937 and her First Class Dining Room had been disassembled, then reassembled as the function room in the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick, Northumberland, a town about 55 miles away from us. They were fascinated by this information, particularly as the Titanic‘s captain, Edward J Smith, had previously been captain on the Olympic. So we had trodden the self-same wooden decking in the White Swan Hotel as “EJ” himself had done. 🙂

After dinner we went along to the Neptune lounge for the first of several Titanic themed talks which will be taking place this voyage. The guest lecturer tonight was Claes-Goran Wetterholm whose presentation was entitled “Travelling Third Class on the Titanic”. He was Swedish and he had had a great uncle who had been a passenger on board the Titanic travelling in steerage class. His relative was not one of the survivors. Apparently, of all the nationalities emigrating on the Titanic to the USA, the four greatest numbers were the British, Irish, Arabs and then the Swedish. The talk was most interesting and gave us a good insight into what life was like travelling on the ocean liners of the time.

Once the lecture was over we remained in the Neptune lounge for the cabaret, which was a singer called Gavin Murray. He was really good and did quite a few of the Broadway classics, including some songs from The Phantom of the Opera. Then we had a nightcap before going back to cabin 4170 and turning in for our first night on board M/S Balmoral.

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