Cruise Ship History and Cruising The Past. More steamship history with a video cruise aboard the SS United States. In 1964, former SS United States purser Jim Green returned to the ship as a passenger for a West Indies cruise along with his beloved wife Frieda. Here, set to the music of the ship’s own orchestra, is a nostalgic journey back to 1964. This video also answers the trivia question: “Why were live turtles carried aboard the SS United States?” Hint: it wasn’t for the soup! Enjoy this retro look at the United States Line and its flagship.