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In the early days of steam, shipboard diversions were few and far between. Card-playing was always one of the more popular pastimes and company brochures routinely warned of the presence onboard of card sharps.
In 1891, the City of Paris boasted a library of about 9,000 volumes and more active passengers could contribute to a printed gazette of poetry, jokes, and other articles . Socializing was an important entertainment, which explains the ubiquity of passenger lists . Note the presence of photographer Edward Steichen aboard La Provence , en route home from Paris after photographing the first “fashion shoot” as we know it today.
The shipboard day was punctuated by lavish meals [91, 98]. One could arrange for a private dinner with a personalized menu . After an afternoon of sea air on the promenade de chiens (see no. 12 on the Normandie plan ), Toutou was likely famished .