The Unsinkable Mickey Mouse
Writer Sascha Zuger–a self-proclaimed reluctant cruiser–decided to take her son on a transatlantic cruise. There was only one problem: He’s a Titanic buff.
“Mama, look! I found a book about a cruise ship!”
I kept that frozen smile all mothers perfect when they don’t want the little ones to know something is amiss as I inspected my six-year-old’s school library pick, featuring a cockeyed, bow down, stern-to-the-sky Titanic on the cover. Great.
My son has a fascination with large ships, so I planned a visit to the Times Square Discovery Center’s international touring Titanic exhibitTimes Square Discovery Center’s international touring Titanic exhibitTimes Square Discovery Center’s international touring Titanic exhibit. I thought the impressive tour filled with artifacts, audio presentations, and a frosty iceberg you could touch would finally tame his curiosity. Adding to the authenticity, they handed me two tickets bearing actual passenger names, a poignant feature of the experience. A small gasp escaped me when I gave them a closer look: The tickets’ departure date read April 10, 1912.
“Was this, heh heh, (fake smile) the actual date?”
The gatekeeper nodded and ripped off the ends of our tickets, sealing our fate. As it turns out, I had recently booked a 15-day transatlantic cruise with Disney, and we were scheduled to depart on Saturday, April 10, 2010–ninety-eight years to the day the Titanic made its fateful departure.
Finally, Saturday, April 10 came, and we walked across the gangplank and stepped aboard the Disney Magic for our own transatlantic journey. As confetti flew through the air and we did the electric slide alongside Mickey, Goofy, and friends, I felt the slightest chill in the warm Florida breeze as the ship’s horn blasted its seven note, “When You Wish Upon a Star.” We clinked our champagne glasses (his filled with root beer) and waved goodbye to land for our own ocean crossing.
The past few days have been filled with “traveler freedom,” a bravado and release born of knowing you can dive into the unfamiliar, free of worrying how you might appear. But today is April 14th, and I have to admit, on more than one occasion I’ve looked around at all the laughing faces, the dancing couples clinking champagne, and had flashes of the Titanic‘s journey.
I’ve considered tweeting something snarky about the coincidence and then deleted, picturing a screen shot of my 140 on a museum wall one day.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
We are now four days and 1,200 nautical miles from land, almost dead in the center of the Atlantic. I’ve managed to restrict my son’s recitations of Titanic trivia to our cabin, but tonight will be interesting. He’s asked if he could wear his tux to dinner and I, my formal gown. Hopefully no one will ask us why…
Follow Sascha on Twitter, and read about her on TravelSavvyMom.com.
Photo: Sascha Zuger