Better a cruise than a crossing, seeing as how CGT's 'Versailles of the Atlantic' was such a notorious roller!
I've always thought FRANCE totally missed-out in the looks department. For starters, those too-short, all the same height funnels were just *wrong*. She managed to appear old, even when she was brand new.
Out of that relatively small number of four-funnelled liners France is in fact my favourite. I like her low and racy look and the funnels positioned just that bit 'too far forward'. Internally she was so opulent.
Above me as I write this is a glorious hand-coloured photograph of her, signed by her Master and dated 1st January 1913.
It's "the eye of the beholder", as they say, but I'd have to disagree with you, ssflandre. I always rather thought she came closer than any other ship of her era to anticipating the form prevalent in the 20s. Certainly the more-evolved forms of Conte di Savoia, Normandie and Queen Mary and the like took a nice step forward, but I just can't see any aspect of France of 1912's design that looks "old" compared to ships built at the same time. The flare of the bow at the maindeck, the relatively streamlined forward superstructure, and even the shorter funnels to my eye give her a more modern appearance than her contemporaries. Even the forward placement of the funnels anticipates Pasteur (and Normandie, if they'd left off the rear-most dummy).
From my perspective, she very much anticipates the later greyhounds Europa and Bremen in form, 15 years before their debut.
She reportedly had a very loyal following with lots of repeat guests, so I reckon she must not have been too uncomfortable for a crossing.
I agree with Clive about that "low and racy look". I also like the position of the funnels. It looks perfect viewed three-quarters bow-view forward and makes her look a mile long viewed from the stern.