You are so right. At the risk of being controversial , although I sailed 7 years with BI and Bullard King, I must say that a white crew ship were we all got on was second to none. I say this as one who has been in every rating from "peggy" to "The Mate"
One of my favourite voyages was on the Harpalion when she was almost new. A good company, terrific ship, wonderful crew and very interesting voyage. Not, though, the kind of trip that would make interesting stories. No, the best yarns come from the worst ships, the hungriest ships, the hardest ships and the most unpleasant crews.
I sailed on the Hartington as jounier enger first trip from januray 1960 to 1961 coming to my home port of Newcastle I rejoined the Hartington and saild to japan then ause then to hong kong where the ship was sold to the chinees we flue home in feb 1962 great ship
I too agree it is the crew that makes the ship a happy one. Only had one ship where it was not a happy one. Brasil Star, ironic did two trips though that was for the run truly superb oh those memories.
Possibly it was as she had the crew split accommodation wise? The latter was the absolute worst of any ship I was on also the food. Saying that some of the old timers who did every trip were less than friendly. Sadly very much in cliques, deck, engine room, of course stewards were virtually all as we use to say, 'fruits' but very funny even if trying every which way but loose to get you into their spider web down that dreaded Burma rd ): gad we were so young then.