The Wilhelm Gustloff was a German luxury liner that served as a hospital ship and later on, as a floating barracks during WWII. It was torpedoed and sank during Operation Hannibal by a Soviet submarine and resulted in the deaths of over 9,400 of its passengers. To date, it is the worst maritime sea disaster in recorded history.
Although smaller than the Olympic Class liners, the Lusitania boasted luxury on par with that of the White Star Line vessels. The First Class Dining Saloon, for instance, took up three decks, with two being the dining room itself and the third deck accommodating a plaster dome in the Louis XVI style.
The design of the First Class Grand Staircase aboard the Britannic differed from the previously used design found on Olympic and Titanic. The aft portion of the staircase lacked the Boat Deck level balcony that overlooked the A-Deck landing, instead, plans for a Welte Philharmonic Organ to be installed were made but were ultimately abandoned once Britannic was commissioned for use in WWI.
The First Class Grand Staircase aboard Britannic. It’s overall design differed greatly from those on her sister ships.