I don't know whether James Cameron had seen Irving Rapper's Now, Voyager, because the scene looks very much like a tribute to the famous revelation of Davis' transformation. To clarify, yes the scene I am referring to with Davis isn't her entrance in the film but it is her entrance to us after she has had her makeover. Winslet's scene on the other hand is her first appearance in the film, and you cannot deny that both certainly have a wow, movie-star factor about them that will undoubtedly be used in documentaries about their legacies in the future. Here are some screenshots comparing the two.
Shot 1) A glimpse of our leading lady, whether it be her shoe or her glove - both are obviously expensive, beautiful things, and hint at our ladies wealth. Although Winslet shows us her hand first, her foot soon follows. Notice already similarities in colour use - white/navy/purple - clean and classic.
Shot 2) Pan of the outfit - we now get a glimpse of what else our actress is wearing. For Davis we see that she is wear a figure-hugging dress which is simple yet elegant, and very flattering. Her slim figure and the sophistication of her outfit vastly contrasts her frumpy, granny look previously. Winslet is in a very flamboyant boarding dress/jacket, which really emphasises the wealth she has, but also shows just HOW rich you had to be to sail 1st class on the Titanic. She stands out from the other thousands in the crowd. NOTE: both are wearing white gloves.
Shot 3) A large and glamorous hat - excellent for concealing the face and also teasing the audience as to who is beneath it, the shot helps to highten to mystery and anticipation of how beautiful Davis look, or in Winslet's case - who is behind the hat?
Shot 4) Partially revealed - the hat still hides half of our actresses faces but offers a glimpse of her mouth. By focusing on the mouth the camera is immediately telling us that this is an attractive woman, and the use of red/dark lipstick on both women adds a sense of sex appeal/youth.
Shot 5) The unveiling - both Davis and Winslet have lifted their heads enough so that their faces are fully revealed. Both are looking their best, with exquisite make-up used to enhance their best features. With Davis, we already knew that she was a star, this shot simply solidifies her legendary status. However, Winslet back then was not yet a star - Titanic had made her a global star. Therefore for Winslet this shot is her star entrance; as soon as the world saw her lift her head and gaze up at the enormous ship in front of her, she was forever immortalised on film and would be recognised by millions throughout the world.
Two very different films from two very different eras. Davis is getting off her ship, Winslet is about to board hers. Davis was already a huge star at the time Now, Voyager was released, Winslet was an up-and-coming starlet with solid roles behind her but no superstar status - yet. You can even go as far to compare the journey's both actresses take on this ship as a bildungsroman - an educational trip that empowers both women and ultimately helps them to detach themselves from their controlling mothers. As far as entrances go, you can argue that this scene is the entrance both actresses are most remembered for. You cannot argue with the similarities in these scenes - did Cameron want to pay hommage to this moment from Now, Voyager? Who knows. Whatever the reason or inspiration behind it - it worked. Both Bette Davis and Kate Winslet are at their most beautiful in these films, and these two scenes give them a mythical quality in tip-top Hollywood fashion.
NOTE: I am in no way comparing Davis and Winslet as actresses. This blogpost purely analyses the two scenes and their connotations.