“The orchestra belonging to the first cabin assembled on deck as the liner was going down and played ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ – Miss C. Bounnell, first class survivor” (Deitz). The Titanic wined and dined the elite in all of its extravagance, but soon came to a tragic end with its mysterious sinking. The ship was proclaimed to be unsinkable and that no known accident of the sea could ever sink the ship; however, we all know that was proven wrong (SV; CA, SV.). Life on the ship was nothing short of spectacular with the most expensive ticket costing $4,350, around $100,000 today (“Titanic”). Everything with the ship was smooth sailing until the one fateful night in April. This event helped lead to more changes and better technology for ships.
Life on the Titanic was marvelous and exquisite; most of the wealthiest people in the world were among those on board the Titanic (SV; SV.). Built in Belfast, Ireland, in 1909, the Titanic, said to be “as long as four city blocks”, was loaded with amenities such as pools and elegant features like supreme wood and extravagant chandeliers (Deitz; Goodman). The ship was a whopping 882.5 feet long, about the length of three football fields, 92.5 feet wide, about 11 stories tall with its smokestacks, and carried 2,200 passengers (Rattini).
Because of the Titanic’s extravagance, the wealthy people were favored and treated with the utmost respect. The rich lived on the upper deck while the middle and lower class slept on the lower levels (Goodman). All crewmembers were top notch and lived up to the Titanic’s image of class (Rattini). First class passengers received a variety of amenities that were not available to second and third class passengers. Those amenities were swimming pools, gyms, steam baths, brass bands, string orchestras, a theater, fine dining, and games (Harmon 12). The first class also had access to a lounge modeled after the French palace at Versailles while the second and third classes had separate smoking/general rooms (16). Passengers from all classes had access to barbershops and doctors offices (12).
In grand spectacular fashion on the night of April 12, 1912, the passengers on the Titanic partied, sang and danced and drank, as the ship left port from Southampton, UK, for New York City (Goodman) (A and B and C). Before this time, many people were skeptical of sailing the Atlantic Ocean in a large vessel because it was extremely dangerous, expensive, and unpleasant (Harmon 19). Reluctantly, people were excited and wanted to try out the “wonder ship”. The ship was led and navigated by Captain E. J. Smith; he was one of the most experienced captains from the ship company White Star Line (25). No crewmembers or passengers had any worries about Captain Smith’s abilities to guide the ship across the rough Atlantic waters. Everyone had no worries and believed that nothing could ever happen to them or the ship.
On the cold night of April 14th, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg...