Interesting reading through those websites - son was saying that on the first trip, they actually had 1350 odd people, 168 dogs, several cats, a pet rabbit, think some parrots and a ferret.
Below decks smelt terrible with the animals but there was a job to do. They did not have time to re-provision before travelling from Sydney (most of the crew recalled from Christmas Eve celebrations and had to be sober) so the crew was on a fried rice diet for several days allowing the passengers better fare.
He with his job did not see much of them as being in the Electrical field spent most of his day below decks.
One thing is for sure, he is not in a hurry to have any more fried rice for a while.