By John Toth
It was windy and not all that warm. We stood on the helipad of Adventure of the Seas as it sailed away from Galveston. I had a secret mission that could not be revealed until we got to the very tip of the bow of the ship.
Sharon, my traveling editor and better half, would have a chance to do what she probably has wanted to do since 1997, although she may not have realized it until I set up the scene.
There were other people there, but so what? We’re on a ship with 3,500 people for six days, after which we’ll never see them again. Chances were that once we left the bow, we would not see them again, even on the ship.
“You have to reenact the scene.” I was talking about the scene in which Rose (Kate Winslet) leans forward at the very front of the ship, with Jack (Leonardo diCaprio) behind her. It’s been a long time since I have seen the movie “Titanic,” the 1997 version, but that is THE scene. It’s also on the movie poster.
Rose feels free of all complications as the wind blows against her face and looks into the vast ocean. Jack is behind her to make sure she doesn’t fall, I think, or maybe for some other reason. That is the scene I had in mind.
The Royal Carribean ship’s crew responsible for making sure we are headed in the right direction, is several decks higher, on the bridge, with a panoramic view of everything that’s happening below. They must have seen people reenacting the “Titanic” scene thousands of times.
But for us, it was a first, since the Carnival Breeze, the ship we sailed on last August, did not allow passengers to go to the very tip of the ship. I was looking forward to doing the reenactment then, but sadly it had to be scratched from our schedule.
I thought that we would have to wait our turn to do the scene. To my surprise, there were only a few people on the helipad, probably because the rest of the passengers were inside, where it was warmer and not windy. There was no one at the tip of the bow, where Sharon would do Rose’s scene. That’s the railing where Rose leaned into the wind.
Unfortunately, we encountered a problem right away - a sign that stated that leaning over the railing is prohibited. I guess they didn’t want to risk losing any reenactors.
Sharon would have to remain behind the sign and pretend that she was leaning over it. I would have to video the scene and could not act the part of Jack. It was just the two of us. We didn’t have a camera crew.
I could have given the GoPro to someone else to hold, but I didn’t think of it. It’s not like they would have taken off with it. We were in the Gulf of Mexico, on a ship, with surveillance cameras everywhere.
Anyway, people on a ship are not there to steal. They’re there to have a good time and try to break even on the drink package. Our drink package consisted of water, lemonade, coffee and tea.
“The camera is rolling, and … action,” I said.
Sharon did the scene for a few seconds before she became self conscious, even though there was just another couple around us and a young woman with earpods, sitting on a nearby bench.
To me it looked like she killed it - the scene, that is. Although short, it was effective. Another woman got up the courage after Sharon and did the same thing.
Unfortunately, her husband was not videoing, and her performance is now just a memory.
These moments are precious, which is why I always had a GoPro in my pocket, as well as a cellphone. I posted Sharon’s Rose photo on Facebook and got some interesting comments.
This was my favorite: “I bet she would share her floating board with you, though.”
She would have. I thought Rose would also, and they’d live happily years after. I would have written a different ending. I’m a sucker for happy endings.