Cost: $70 million
Interior Architects: Eggers & Higgins, New York
Convertibility of classes - First class to Cabin class: 269; Cabin class to Tourist class: 145
Dining Saloon seating capacities: (single seating)
Galley Production: 9000 meals per day plus morning bouillon, afternoon tea, midnight snacks
Deck Department: 96
Engine Department: 144
Pursers Department: 41
Total Crew: 1044
Passenger Conveniences: The SS United States was the first passenger liner of her size to be completely air-conditioned. Each passenger stateroom had its own heating and air-conditioning controls in order that each passenger could regulate their own conditions. The air conditioning system aboard the Big U could easily chill three theatres the size of New York's Radio City Music Hall.
Passenger Spaces. There are over 40 public rooms aboard the SS United States including two ultramodern theaters. The First & Cabin Class Theater, seating 352, is located aft aboard the ship on the Promenade deck. The tourist class theater, seating 199, is located forward on Promenade deck. Trivia: As you watched a movie or performance aboard the ship, you were facing backwards aft.
Accommodations: By design the SS UNITED STATES was built with a total of 693 passenger staterooms, plus 340 crew quarter spaces. There were 14 suites aboard ship, six on the Upper Deck and eight on the Main Deck. These 3-room suites have three staterooms, three bathrooms, a dressing room and a trunk room. The trunk room had it's own door so porters could easily place/move luggage without disturbing guests.
The SS United States swimming pool, located on C deck is made of
Communications/Telephones: The Big U was the first liner of her size to have a telephone in each stateroom in all three classes. Calls could be made to any telephone aboard the ship as well as any ship-to-shore calls. Throughout the ship loudspeakers were installed in a network that allowed the Bridge, Captain or Damage Control Officer to speak to specific areas or all of the ship to communicate announcements or emergency instructions.
The SS United States was the first luxury passenger liner built to high standards of the U.S. Navy. At the time of her build the power output of the ships boilers was more than twice that of the next most powerful American passenger ship.
Largest Liner Ever Built in the USA. To the present day, the SS United States is the largest and fastest passenger ship ever constructed in America. She is as tall as your average 12 story building. She is approximately five city blocks long. If tipped end on end she would tower more than 10 stories above the Rockefeller Center Building in New York City.
Because the SS United States was built in a graving dock (dry dock) she was far more complete than any previous major passenger vessel build by the time of her christening. Approximately 70% complete. Building the Big U in drydock removed weight limitations that are put on traditionally launched vessels.
At 990 feet in length she actually was longer than the drydock she was built in, extending stem and stern beyond her graving dock by 30 feet.
National Defense . The SS United States design included special structural features for extra safety speed and performance. The ship was built for high-speed long-range cruising. At the time of her build the only other vessel of similar power was the battleship Iowa (158,000 S H P). But, unlike the Iowa the SS UNITED STATES could cruise at her high power output/speed continuously - a requirement of passenger service. At speed, (35 knots) her range is 10,000 nautical miles, or the equivalent of steaming without refueling for 12 days. A present day comparison Note: May 2000: Boeing Aircraft announces plans to produced modified Boeing 777 aircrafts to allow a non-stop range of 10,000 miles. This will be the first time ever a passenger aircraft can obtain such a long nonstop range. However, the SS UNITED STATES, soon to be 50 years old, was designed for this range - while she normally transported 2,000 passengers, and 1,100 crew member. Thats about 1600 more people than your average 777. But, more importantly, the Big U was designed to support food/water and housing for about 13,600 more people than the 777 aircraft could carry - if she was needed to. Troop ship capacity: 14,000 soldiers (nearly a full Army division)
Safety. Not only is the SS UNITED STATES the largest liner ever built in the USA, she was also arguably the safest. Exceptional measures were incorporated in both her design and operation to maximize safety of passengers and crew. The ship construction made no use of wood. Fireproofing throughout included marinite, treated fabrics, aluminum furniture and specially formulated fire-retardant paints. Her steel and aluminum construction also made her more fire resistant as well as more stable. (2,000 tons of aluminum, mostly in her superstructure - contributed to stability and performance). Extra compartments bordered by water tight doors protected in case of flooding. Comprehensive and redundant emergency systems (damage control) were in place including, remotely activated water tight doors, a smoke detection system throughout the ship monitored from near the bridge, manual watches, remote control fire doors, hundreds of fire extinguishers, multiple fire pumping stations, multiple emergency backup generators, room to room telecom throughout, PA systems throughout, all aluminum lifeboats, extra flotation, double hull construction, extra thick high tensile steel plating, and fully duplicated engine/boiler rooms all combined to provide the highest degree of safety possible. Her funnels, the largest of any in the world - also served as lookouts and in bright red, white and blue stood high above the horizon (collision avoidance) as they proudly displayed the line colors.
Important dates for the SS United States
Mrs. Tom Connally, wife of the Senator from Texas, who was her official sponsor, christened the SS United States at precisely 12:43 p.m. on June 23, 1951 in the first christening ceremony ever to be televised.
|Looking forward at Frame 153, Unit #4. Three of the four levels of the forward Engine Room of the SS UNITED STATES are visible in this Gibbs & Cox architectural plan. At the 26' level (above ship bottom) the high pressure and low pressure turbine of Unit #4 (Port). Steam exits the turbines down in the main condenser. You're seeing just half of the forward engine room. The mirror image of this machinery exists to the right of the thin blue vertical line(ship's centerline). Units #4 and #1 powered the outboard props. Farther back in the mighty Big U - yet another total duplicate of this engineering - the aft engine room, with units # 3 and #2 driving the two inboard props.|