|Before it became America's first cruise ship, the Quaker City was a Civil War ship doing duty in blockades and anti-Confederate raids.|
After the Civil War, U.S.S. Quaker City was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Yard and sold at auction--after which it became, according to the ad Twain saw that lured him on board, "a first-class steamer...provided with every necessary comfort, including library and musical instruments" and "an experienced physican."
It turned out, of course, that one particular passenger--the roving reporter known as Mark Twain--would lend Quaker City its final and greatest cachet.
For more on the history of the U.S.S. Quaker City, see the official Navy site at http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-q/quakr-cy.htm.