After a tense departure from her dock where Titanic was almost involved in a collision with the American Lines' s.s. New York - the new White Star liner slowly gained speed as she sailed down the Solent and out into the English Chanel enroute to Cherbourg, France.
Titanic was not fully sold out for this maiden voyage due to all the publicity of the recently settled coal strike. Passemgers were reluctant to book passage only to have the sailing cancelled. Still, her First Class was almost two thirds full with many of the world's most influential people of two continants on board.
The luxury suites were almost full and the two grand luxe apartments, each containing their own private covered promenade deck, were occupied. One was taken by Mr. Bruce Ismay and his manservant as due his status as Managing Director of the line.
Mr. Thomas Andrews, the chief designer of Olympic and Titanic occupied a large cabin aft on A-deck right next to the after First Class staircase. This cabin and the one directly across from it on the ships' starboard side were last minute additions by Mr. Andrews to add additional accommodations for the First Class.
Another drastic change to Titanic's accommodations were the extension of deluxe cabins all along B-Deck directly below. These cabins were some of the most sumptious then available at sea and were built out to the side of the ship each containing two large windows that could be opened for the fresh sea air.
On Olympic, this deck area contained another long covered promenade deck. The owners of White Star line and Mr. Andrews thought this could be made more viable as revenue producing deluxe suites for the First Class. Most of these suites were unique in their designs of furniture, paneling, etc. Most had individual fireplaces and seperate sitting rooms and private baths as well.
The Second Class accommodations were half filled. These passengers were of more modest means. Teachers, small business owners and families traveling to America for a holiday or migrating to begin a new life.
The accommodations in Second Class were as fine as First Class on many of the liners then sailing. A deffinate step up in luxury for travelers.
Third Class or Steerage was located at the extreme ends of the ship. Accommodations for Single men were located forward near the bow of the ship. Single women and Families were located in the after sections of the ship.
Many of the cabins could accommodate entire families quite comfortably. The Third class public rooms were at the stern of the ship and contained a smoking room, social room and ladies parlor. The deck directly above was their open promenade space.
The Third Class dining room was located forward and could hold almost every passenger in one seating. The accommodations, while spartin, were clean and bright. Many of these passengers had never experienced such luxury in their lives.
They were sailing to a new country to begin a new life on the newest, largest and grandest ship in the world!