The Lusitania sailed from Pier 54 in New York in May 1st with almost 2,000 passengers and crew. The ship was the pride of the Cnard line, holding the record for the fastest Atlantic crossing and her speed helped foster the belief that the Lusitania would never fall victim to a submarine. The ship was claimed to be the most luxurious afloat, with magnificent state rooms, public areas and decor. The passengers on the final voyage included the playboy millionaire, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, playwright, Charles Frohman and art collector Sir Hugh Lane. The cargo was listed as, in effect aa floating hotel. mixed but the manifest became a matter of dispute later when a propaganda war began on the exact nature of the cargo and the justification for the attack. When the ship was built it had been part funded by the British Government which secured design changes to enable it to be used as a cruiser if needed. This resulted in claims that there were gun mounts hidden on the deck of the Lusitania and it being classed as a war ship in German guidelines. There were rumours of some passengers receiving anonymous warnings before the sailing but these and a public notice by the German Embassy that all ships sailing in the area were liable to attack were ignored. On May 1st huge crowds gathered at Pier 54 in New York Harbour to bid farewell to the Lusitania for the last time.