During our time at sea, we conducted in-depth research to uncover the TOP FIVE ways in which Emmett Lee Dickinson influenced the cruising industry. Number 5, the inclusion of art galleries and art auctions on cruise ships, is discussed HERE. Information on Number 4, the push for around-the-clock nacho buffets on party ships, is discussed HERE.
3. Fold-down aisle seats on island cab-vans.
The number three way Emmett Lee Dickinson influenced the cruise industry was due to an early invention of his – the fold down aisle seat.
The 1970s brought significant drops in total numbers of passengers on cruise ships. The top complaint from vacationers was that they could not reach island beaches fast enough on days at island ports. There just weren’t enough taxis and/or seats on island cab-vans.
Arnt Fagerstrom (pictured at the right), the captain of Royal Caribbean’s Flamboyance of the Seas, came to the rescue. He knew about “Dickinson seats,” a fold down seat invented by Emmett Lee Dickinson for Conestoga wagons. He suggested that island cabbies install “Dickinson seats” in their vans, and once they did, the cruise lines saw dramatic increases in passengers.assengers.
2. Cocktail Parasols and Fruit Garnishes
In the early years of the cruise industry, ridership on cruise ships was modest at best. Then Tilda Thunberg, a cocktail waitress aboard the Carnival Spectacle, suggested that bars on ships include cocktail parasols and fruit garnishes in their drinks – both creations of Emmett Lee Dickinson – and the numbers of cruisers skyrocketed. To be honest, the modern cruise industry can really be traced to Thunberg’s suggestion of using Dickinson’s cocktail innovations.
Pictured at the right: Emmett Lee Dickinson's cocktail inventions: the tissue-paper cocktail parasol and the fruit garnish.
Pictured at the far right: Tilda Thunberg, credited with creating the modern cruise industry when she suggested using Dickinson's cocktail parasols in drinks served aboard cruise ships.