Crossing and Cruising: From the Decline of Yesterday's Ocean Liners to the Rise of the Cruise Ships of Today

Overview

The Only Way to Cross, John Maxtone-Graham's classic history of the great transatlantic liners, was published twenty years ago, followed in 1985 by Liners to the Sun, his colorful sequel about life aboard cruise ships. Now, with Crossing & Cruising, he completes his definitive survey of passenger-ship travel, showing how the elegant "crossings" of the past gave way to the extravagant cruises of today. From the steerage ordeal of emigrants bound for New York to the "huddled masses" who sail on seven-day ...
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Overview

The Only Way to Cross, John Maxtone-Graham's classic history of the great transatlantic liners, was published twenty years ago, followed in 1985 by Liners to the Sun, his colorful sequel about life aboard cruise ships. Now, with Crossing & Cruising, he completes his definitive survey of passenger-ship travel, showing how the elegant "crossings" of the past gave way to the extravagant cruises of today. From the steerage ordeal of emigrants bound for New York to the "huddled masses" who sail on seven-day cruises, Maxtone-Graham ranges back and forth over the years, re-creating the grandeur of a lost era and detailing the corporate maneuvers of the 1980s. Here are the ships and their stories: the stellar career of Aquitania, the great four-stacker that survived three million sea miles and two world wars; the art deco luxe of Normandie, French dream liner of the 193Os; and the rebirth of fabled France as Norway, closing the circle on an immortal ship that once crossed but now cruises. Here, too, are the marvels and problems of contemporary cruising: the sleek lines of customized ships, the crews that man them, and the corporate high jinks that drive the industry to seek ever larger markets. More than just vivid social history, Crossing & Cruising cultures what it was really like on board then and now - the sophisticated ambience of Cunard and White Star, the crowded squalor belowdecks, and the Formica and glass of today's liners. Rich in detail, broad in scope, Crossing & Cruising is a voyage in itself, evoking salt air, cabin lore, deckchair wisdom, shipyard savvy, and marketing guile. Sail as a fellow passenger with an entertaining guide who knows his ships well and loves them all.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Today's ships are ``less grand hotel than grand mall,'' contends maritime historian and shipboard lecturer Maxtone-Graham in the concluding volume of a nostalgic trilogy ( The Only Way to Cross ; Liners to the Sun ), a book that is likely to delight steamship buffs. The vessels, he notes, have changed more than their passengers. Liberally illustrated and rich in nautical lore, the book contrasts today's ``giant floating theme parks,'' designed expressly to provide ``total-immersion escapism'' for fun-bent cruise guests, with the more purposeful ocean carriers of the past. Maxtone-Graham evokes the crowded, stifling steerage quarters of millions of deloused, often seasick immigrants, the ordeal that awaited immigrants upon their arrival at Ellis Island and, in later years, the annual eastbound migrations of vast numbers of culture-hungry tourists and students aboard Edwardian and Beaux-Arts superliners from the Aquitania to the Queens (and the incomparable Normandie , to which he devotes a chapter). Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Library Journal
A disappointing effort from one of the world's foremost authorities on the subject, this overview of 20th-century cruise ships is badly written and poorly organized. In breathless and overblown prose, Maxtone-Graham ( Cunard , Sterling, 1989) jumps from descriptions of long-ago salvaged ships to overly personal accounts of his recent cruises. The illustrations (not seen) might offer considerable embellishment, but the detailed and subjective textual descriptions of naval architecture found on ships both past and present do not illuminate their subjects. The author's knowledge and enthusiasm are not enough to sustain the reader's interest. Recommended only for serious cruise ship aficionados.-- Gary Williams, Southeastern Ohio Regional Lib., Caldwell
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684191546
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 9/1/1992
  • Pages: 320

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Emigrating to New York 1
2 Carnival, Carnival, Carnival! 33
3 Aquitania, Cunard's White Star Liner 65
4 Miniships: Extravagance of Scale 109
5 Once & Future Normandie 145
6 Special Deliveries 191
7 Closing the Circle: France/Norway 245
8 Landfall 285
Bibliography 293
Index 297
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