Monday, July 6, 2009

The Countdown Has Begun!

Only 5 days left before we leave for our wonderful vacation cruise to the Mexican Riviera and I have a ton of things to do to get ready. I couldn't help but compare our preparations to those of my Granny Grimes, who was very wealthy, nor could I help but smile at the difference in cruising seventy-five years later.

In July 1934 Granny Grimes and her husband Dr. Charles Grimes were making preparations to sail on the SS Carinthia's North Cape-Russia cruise, one of many they took. They had a live-in housekeeper who did all the cleaning, cooking, laundry and helped pack their trunks. She prepared all their meals having their groceries delivered. We loved Anna.

Whereas in our house I'm the only live-in housekeeper. Today is wash and clean the upstairs day, along with calling our doctor to get the patch and other medications we'll need. I don't know if they ever got seasick but I do. Plus the guys will be working on our back decks so I need to refill the cooler and clean out areas for electrical hook-ups. I'll have to run to the stores too for last minute travel items. The most difficult task however is arranging for pet care during our absence. Scuba Dog (Firecrackinmama's World: I've Been Trained Well) has never been in a kennel and we aren't planning to put her in one this trip. Plus we now have 2 more cats to keep Land Lubber Cat company.

It's all worth it though because one week from today we'll be on the Carnival Splendor!

The Valor Photo Shopped to be the Splendor
for our Firecrackinmama's World: Carnival Funday Sunday! Party -
still a magnificent image

I can't wait to see the real thing as we have now been on the Carnival Valor and the Liberty. Both are luxury floating hotels providing us with all the amenities one could only dream about. We sailed out of Miami on the Valor and from Ft. Lauderdale on the Liberty. This year we are flying to Long Beach, CA to sail on the Splendor.

Seventy-five years ago the Grimes also boarded a floating hotel, the SS Carinthia out of New York. They were headed to North Cape and Russia. I think they took the train to New York. I was fortunate to have collected all her memorabilia, or at least most of it, when she passed away. Converting it to digital files has been an enormous task but well worth it. I will never live the life she did.

I have the abstract log of the Cunard R.M.S. "Carinthia" and some of her journal written on the Carinthia letterheads. I'm able to decipher most of her handwriting which is helpful in aligning the postcards they purchased with their trips.

I could only find a portion of their Itinerary. Really wish I had the rest of it so I could arrange all the vintage postcards they have with their trip. Oh,well.

Dr. Grimes is the first man, top row left
and Granny Grimes is the second woman
down to the left in the dark hat.

We've never had a picture taken of all the passengers on our cruises but evidently that was the thing to do back then. Hmm... it must have been a much smaller ship then what we've sailed.

I think the most interesting thing I found was that they had to be tendered in a couple of their ports. We of course had to be tendered in Belize.

What a difference 75 years can make!

Dr. and Mrs. Grimes last seat in the boat.

Dining on board has really changed as well. I wish I had a better picture of our dining experiences but...

Notice how casual everyone dresses.

Dr. Grimes and Mrs. Grimes in background

In our defense I have to say we did eat at Harry Winston's when we sailed on the Liberty. It was our 35th anniversary and we took the kids and our friends out for a real treat.

Click on the picture to get a virtual tour.

When I have time I'll post their cruise to the West Indies, Mexico and South America aboard the S.S. Carinthia. They left New York on 2/6/32 and returned on 4/4/32. Now that is a cruise times 10 and there must be over 150 postcards!

I also have a journal of a 1910 European cruise my Granny Grimes took upon her graduation from high school. She was part of a private party under the chaperonage of Mrs. Burton of Cambridge, MA. They left port aboard the "Duca degli Abruzzii" on June 25, 1910 and returned August 20, 1910. Again it will be difficult to match postcards with the itinerary.

She and Dr. Grimes also went on a Christmas West Indies Cruise aboard the S.S. "Columbus" in 1927. According to the Log Book she left on December 22, 1927 from New York and returned January 7, 1928. The Log Book is quite impressive. Raymone-Whitcomb provided them. They are hard bound with gold leaf pages complete with the cruise route, entertainment and descriptions of each port of call. Space was provided for journal entries along with historical information and images.

So far the exploration of all this memorabilia has been quite interesting and I shall continue to share.

Have a Firecrackin Great Day!

1 comment:

Jasmine said...

The whole thing sounds exciting. I've never been on a cruise. Have a safe trip and hope to see pictures when you return. :)