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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SNAPSHOT: Voyage Aboard Titanic

SnapShot by Stefanie Gorder and featuring Gina Palmeri

SnapShot is a monthly column offering a collection of travel & networking concepts to destinations and activities worldwide.

Expose yourself to travel!

In October, I spent three weeks networking and traveling in Pennsylvania and Branson. While in Pennsylvania, I was hosted by the Palmeri family. Jim is a long time industry colleague and provided a unique training opportunity which allowed me to also become a member of their family. For three weeks I mixed with Jim and Carol (who have been married for 25 years) and their youngest daughter Gina (who is 16 ½). It was Gina’s spunky style and graceful speech that provide me with hours of entertainment. When we discussed an upcoming business trip to Branson, she lit up at the memory of her visit to the Titanic Museum. I promised that if she wrote an article on this incredible attraction, I would submit it for publication as long as she received extra credit in her English class.

Please welcome the newest travel writer for marketingCents, Miss Gina Palmeri in her first publication release (both writers shown in above photo). Sit back and enjoy the tour through the Titanic Museum as told through Gina’s youthful charm and eloquent style. Welcome Aboard!

First Class Birthday Voyage aboard Titanic
By Gina Palmeri

To really understand the story of Titanic, I wanted to experience it. After doing some research, I found the only place that could let me do that was the Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri. My parents were kind enough to take me there for my fifteen birthday because I was dying to see it, being the Titanic fanatic that I am. When we arrived I was surprised to see how many people went to see the attraction, probably curious about the huge ocean liner in the middle of Missouri. This was no ordinary museum, but a real replica of Titanic on the inside and out, the largest museum attraction in the world. No wonder people were flocking to see it.

Photo by Palmeri Family: Gina celebrating her birthday in style

As I first boarded the ship, I felt as though I traveled back in time to 1912. I was greeted by a cabin stewardess who immediately gave me a Happy Birthday sash, tiara, and button for the “princess birthday package”. She then told me a full summary of the passenger whose boarding pass I was issued while walking in. Each boarding pass had the name of a person aboard the ship and a short description of their life. The goal was to follow their story throughout the museum and ultimately see whether or not they survived. I was the famous actress, Dorothy Winifred Brown Gibson for the day and I was certainly treated like a movie star. Every time ship re-enactors saw me, they would go out of their way to give me extra attention. An extra special part was when the band played me a special birthday song on the grand staircase. Talk about first class.
Photo by Titanic, World's Largest Museum Attraction: Stylish First Class Cabin

Walking through I saw an ice berg “straight ahead” that was icy cold to experience the temperature of the frigid Atlantic Ocean on that doomed April night. After that there were dozens of artifacts, each with an in-depth description telling exactly what it was. It was amazing to see the artifacts they scavenged, such as plates, jewelry, and even papers, which were still in one piece. I definitely recommend the audio tour that gave even more information for every room. The grand staircase was awe-inspiring and looked exactly like I have seen in books and movies. Once I found out they hold weddings there, I was sold!

As I walked up the grand staircase, I felt a chill with each step. It is amazing to think that they could build such an exact replica from old pictures and its condition at the bottom of the ocean. Every aspect of the models, especially the state rooms, looked as though they were made back in the early 1900s, from the furniture to the woodwork.

A gust of cool air came over me as I strolled out onto the deck to look up at the perfect stars in the imitation night sky. Adjacent was the bridge where I “steered” the ship with the gigantic steering wheel. There was also the wireless room where I practiced my “SOS” in Morse code. That could come in handy one day; you never know!
Photo by Titanic, World's Largest Museum Attraction: Interactive Gallery

The museum was really kid friendly with hands on activities. For example, a water tank, where kids could put their hands in and feel how cold the ocean actually was that night. There were slanting board decks they could climb on and a fake boiler with coal they could shovel in. For me, being 15 at the time, it was a great mix because I could appreciate these things as well as the artifacts and the more scientific aspects of it. I think teenagers would get the most out of the experience because they enjoy both the kid friendly and scholarly features of the museum.

One of the neatest rooms in the museum was the gallery. Here there were tons of photographs taken of Titanic two miles below the sea. They showed the decay of the ship from 1985 from when it was discovered in comparison to more recent dives. With the use of underwater robots, scientists were able to photograph the most interior parts of the ship and find even more priceless artifacts. It was extremely interesting to see the affects of salt water on the ship and how it decayed in 97 years. Sadly, it is decreasing fairly rapidly and may be gone in a matter of years. This was shown through a model of the ship underwater, which was used in the blockbuster movie Titanic, and then donated to the museum by director and producer James Cameron.

Photo by Titanic, World's Largest Museum Attraction: Memorial Wall

At the end of the tour we entered the ghostly silence of the memorial room. It was here where we found out if “we” survived or perished. Thousands of names lined the walls in honor of those who experienced the disaster. In the middle of the room was the life jacket of Madeleine Astor, the only jacket that can be traced back to a specific person. Luckily for me I survived, but seeing the names of the deceased was a reality shock of how serious this tragedy actually was. The emotion that came along with the end was immense because I had created a connection with the passengers throughout the visit. I had relived their experience and that gave me so much more respect for Titanic than I ever had before.

When I first heard that Titanic had a museum in Branson, Missouri I was a little confused. I would have thought they would have built one on the coast, or even Ireland where the ship was built, not in the middle of America. However, after I visited Branson, I had a new perceptive. I had no idea the town was so lively and exciting and had so many attractions! You would think a huge Titanic museum would stand out in a town like this, but that was the point. It is unique and so attracts curious travelers. Don’t go to Branson just to see Titanic because you would be missing out. There are fifty theaters and as they say, “Someone you love is always playing in Branson.” It is ideal for a family vacation with amusement parks, museums and shows. There was always something to do and was easily one of the best vacations I ever had.

Titanic Museum in Branson is more than just educational information about a shipwreck; it is an experience. Once I stepped into the museum it was really like I was stepping into Titanic, ready to take to sea. Instead of reading boring facts about the ship, there are numerous interactive activities that can be enjoyed by anyone of all ages. This attraction is also not made for just Titanic lovers like me, but anyone with a desire to know the real story of Titanic, not just the one portrayed on the big screen. This story goes much deeper than many realize, about 2 miles below sea level to be exact. It is important that the stories of those affected by the Titanic disaster stay alive for they are the only connections we have left. Sadly, the last survivor of Titanic passed away recently. However the stories of those who survived live on and will never be forgotten. They best way to learn about Titanic is to relive it, and the best place to do that is in the Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri.

Contact Information:
The Titanic Museum Branson
Branson, MO & Pigeon Forge, TN

Ticket Information: 800-381-7670 or 417-334-9500



Thanks to Kristy Merritt, Vice President Sales & Marketing the Titanic Museum Branson for the assistance provided to complete this article.

Also, a big SHOUT out to Miss Gina Palmeri .... I am proud of you! Your dedication and research for the article was impressive. Congrats on a job well done! xo Stef

Submission: November 2009

Stefanie Gorder, ctp, ds
marketingCents, llc.
Twitter: @StefanieGorder

SnapShot is a monthly column offering a collection of travel & networking concepts to destinations and activities worldwide. Expose yourself to travel!

Published by THE NATIONAL NETWORKER Newsletter. All rights reserved. Subscribe Free - Click HERE.
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<3 Madison said...

Yay Gina! This is awesome :)

Anonymous said...

Great work!! Well thought out...didn't even know it was there actually! Good reading! Webarc?

Anonymous said...

Very intersting. Who knew. Your personal touch made it even more enjoyable as opposed to a pure travelogue description. What's your next adventure?

Dave Jordan

Marj Snyder said...

Congratulations, Gina. Great article! I didn't know about the Titanic Museum in Branson, and your article now makes me want to see it. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself, and I hope to read more of your articles in the future. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Gina! Even though the Titanic attraction is in my own backyard, it was great to experience it through your eyes.

Bobby Hill

Anonymous said...

Dear Gina, I must admit I didn't know such a museum existed. Excellent article. The excitement of your experience was well documented and has encouraged me to add to my list of places to visit. Thank you for sharing!!!!

Tracey S. Smith

James J. Palmeri said...


This is written like a true professional. Congratulations.


Branson Traveler said...

Agree with the other comments, really great write-up on the museum. It's definitely worth visiting while you are in town!

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