By Evelyn Grosso

On Friday, June 21, a group of us from Thriving In Place excitedly awaited transportation to the Titanic Dinner Show and Artifact Exposition. We arrived a bit early and spent a pleasant half hour or so having some refreshments and appetizers at Buffalo Wild Wings, which was only a few steps away.

As you enter the Titanic Dinner Show and Artifact Exposition, you are given a card of an actual passenger on the ship with their personal details, who they were travelling with, what class voyage (I was first-class – naturally!), and why they were aboard the Titanic (we were later informed whether we were survivors or “lost”). We were greeted by a member of the “crew” originating from England, who were dressed in period costume and spoke authentically.

They took photos of our group and we proceeded through the doors to view some of the items recovered. We were being given some information on our tour, while we viewed a replica design of a bedroom. We stopped at the Grand Staircase (very impressive), where Captain John Smith appeared, and we were given the opportunity to have our photos taken.

We then were led into the formal dining room and met Molly Brown and other members of the crew. We were seated at tables of ten amongst other first-class passengers. Dinner even included a champagne toast!

Following dinner, we were escorted on a further walking tour, stopping at various rooms displaying quite a bit of the items recovered, photos of notable passengers and others, and viewed an astounding piece of the hull recovered from the sea floor. The suspense increased as we were informed about the iceberg. Passengers were separated for the rescue on a (sadly) small number of lifeboats.

The final room held the names of all passengers on that fated voyage, and fortunately, our group were all survivors. I couldn’t help but purchase a photo of our group…of a Night to Remember (name of previous Titanic movie).

Thriving In Place is a community-based membership program under the umbrella of the Celebration Foundation. Our members are Celebration residents who are at least 55 years of age, or a person with a disability of any age, who want to stay in their own homes and lead a healthy, safe, independent and productive life. For questions regarding Thriving In Place, please call Rachel McIntee at 407-572-9850, e-mail Thriving@celebrationfoundation.org, or visit the office at 690 Celebration Avenue.