June 13, 2011

The Titanic Museum, Pigeon Forge—new audio tour

DSC_5782Our family was recently invited to The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge to try out their new audio tour. When we visited around Christmas, we were so impressed with the museum and the effort they put into making it an enjoyable experience for all ages. Well, I think they’ve outdone themselves with the addition of the audio tour! When we visited in mid-November, our daughter loved the exhibit. She was so pleased when I told her we were returning, and she has already planned our next trip there with a friend! Oh, and we can’t wait for the water park to open!DSC_5764

Before I give more info about the audio tour, I want to set the stage a little bit. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that we recently made a trip to Disney. One of the things that struck me most about that trip was the attention to detail and customer service. As I visited the Titanic Museum with that trip fresh in my mind, I was delighted at all of those little things that I noticed about the crew members and set up of the museum. You are greeted warmly by crew members in freshly pressed period dress. Children are treated with the same respect as adults and catered to with attention and care. The crew members know details about the ship, voyage, recovery, and passengers and make that experience come to life as they talk about it. The gift shop staff are helpful without being pushy. The restrooms and entire museum are impeccably clean and neat. The exhibits seem to have been carefully thought out so that each type of guest will have something that will draw his or her attention. In short, the Titanic is one of those places that you want to visit again and again, not just because of the education and exhibits but also because of the way you are treated.

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I had the opportunity to speak with Mrs. Kellogg-Joslyn after the tour, and I complimented her on how regal the experience is for guests. She told me a little bit about the behind the scenes work to make it so. Crew members go through a Titanic class and shadow existing crew members before they are able to go out on their own. They have secret shoppers make trips to the museum often to give them feedback on what is going well and what needs improvement. Whenever there is an area of improvement identified, they don’t just work with the crew members. They also work with leadership, taking a hands on approach to making sure that guests receive the best possible experience in the future. They have a multi-year plan so that those return guests are treated with something new and exciting when they visit next. They’ve even worked with a local author on a brand new children’s book to further educate the public on the history of the Titanic! Now that is the kind of attention to detail that keeps you coming back for more!

PF-AskAboutAudioTour.Adult.7.5x10--AudioTour.ai During this trip, we used the new audio tour. Each guest is given a device that sort of looks like a remote control with a lanyard that goes around your neck. Upon entering the museum, you receive a short training in how to use the tour. When you enter each exhibit hall, guests are told to watch for numbers. The smaller numbers are for the adult option of the tour and the larger numbers are for the children’s audio tour. I listened to both versions. The adult option gives a little more history and detail, while the children’s version engages them into the aspects of the tour that they are most interested. It encourages them to look for certain objects, which keeps them further engaged in the experience. After a couple of rooms, our daughter (age 5) had the hang of the controller and was so excited when she saw another number to punch in! On the way home, she was telling us details about the boat that she had learned—a definite plus for parents who want her to have a good working knowledge of historical events!

The addition of the new audio tour opens the museum up to a wider audience than ever before. I highly recommend that you talk with your child’s school about making a field trip to the museum. If you are a homeschooling parent, I can’t express how rich of an experience that the trip will be in teaching your children about this part of history. Since I work with older adults, I’m going to recommend that senior citizens groups and assisted living facilities plan to take the tour.

You know I’m always interested in saving a little money, and I’ve uncovered a few ways to do that at Titanic. First off, I recommend ordering your tickets online to get a little discount off of the purchase price. If you have a family of four, ordering the family pass will save you a little more than $7.50 off of the price of your tickets. If you text ICEBERG to 62447, you can receive a discount in the gift shop. If you make a purchase at the gift shop, be sure to check the back of your receipt. Thrifty Christy scored a freebie at Tanger Outlets with hers! If you want more event information, you can also text TITANIC to 62447. If you are interested in visiting any of the other area attractions, you might want to purchase a bundle deal to save a little money on the admission price to both. Also be sure to sign up as a Facebook Fan and follow them on Twitter and the Titanic blogs to stay up-to-date on any Titanic news.

While we were given a free admission to the museum, all of the information and opinions on this post are my own. I’m very impressed with this museum and look forward to future visits there. If you are in the Pigeon Forge, TN or Branson, MO area, I hope you’ll plan a trip to the Titanic to see why I’m recommending it so highly!

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