|The Lure and Lore
All accommodations reserved for first-class passengers were on the decks A, B, and C. The finest were the staterooms, in particular the two parlor suites, which were located on either side of the grand entrance, which was at the bow of the boat on deck C, and the two promenade suites, that occupied similar positions on deck B. At 870 pounds, the promenade suites were the most expensive rooms on the Titanic and according to the shipbuilder, had been "fitted out with unparalleled luxury." The parlor and promenade suites each consisted of a sitting room, 2 bedrooms, 2 wardrobe rooms, and a private bath and lavatory, while the promenade suites also had their own private decks, for going out on and breathing in the fresh sea air. Great attention was concentrated on detail. The sitting rooms were decorated in different styles and periods, including Louis Seize (XVI) and Louis Quatorze (XIV). Many of the light fittings cost hundreds of pounds a piece and were totally authentic to the period. And when booking the promenade suites, the occupant was given a free inside cabin for their servants an irresistible offer.
Many of the other first-class staterooms were also decorated in different styles and periods, such as- Italian Renaissance, Empire, Adams, Luis Quize, Georgian, Regency, Queen Anne, Modern Dutch, and Old Dutch. All the staterooms were linked by long imposing corridors. On each deck there were 6 suites that joined the parlor and promenade suites. Each of these suites had 3 combined bed-and-sitting-rooms with connecting doors, 2 wardrobe rooms, plus private bath and lavatory. There was a wide variety of staterooms which included up to 3 berths (bedrooms) designed to cater to every taste. Some featured an adjoining cabin for their personal servant. They boasted electric heaters, four-foot wide brass bed, wicker armchairs, horsehair sofas, marble washstands, and fans in the ceiling. Also a green mesh net hung from the wall for the storage of valuables at night, undoubtedly a luxury of the highest order.
All first class accommodations were situated amidship to limit the swaying or roughness of the water. Access from one deck to another was by two grand staircases or by three electric lifts that ran between decks A and E. Befitting a ship of her stature, the staircases were not ordinary. They were decorated in late seventeenth century English style, but the heavily carved balustrade, with its wrought iron scroll work leaned more towards Louis XIV with walls covered in oak paneling.
The largest room on the Titanic was the first-class dining room on deck D, which was the entire width of the ship (92 ft.). The length consisted of 114 ft. and catered 550 diners at one time (compared to the Olympics ship diner which seated 532). It was made to look like the great Jacobean stately homes. A number of recessed bays enabled passengers to dine in privacy, while the lighting was designed so the whole room appeared to be bathed in permanent sunshine. The Captains table sat six that was positioned at the forward end of this vast room, which was central to the ship. The official description of the dinning saloon spared no adjective: "It is an immense room decorated in a style peculiarly English, reminiscent of early Jacobean times; but instead of the somber oak of the 16th and 17th centuries, it is painted a soft, rich white, which with the coved and richly-molded ceilings and the spacious character of the apartment, would satisfy the most aesthetic critic. The furniture is of oak designed to harmonize with its surroundings." One of the few events that were the same for all classes on the Titanic was dining hours. Breakfast was served from 8:30am to 10:30am, lunch was served from 1:00pm to 2:30pm, and dinner was from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. However certain first-class facilities, such as the restaurant, remained open longer.
Adjoining the dining saloon was a 54-foot-long reception room where first-class passengers gathered before dining. This also (like the dining saloon) occupied the full width of the ship. The floor of the reception room was covered in a rich Axminster carpet and the furniture included sumptuous Chesterfields, can chairs, and a grand piano.