RMS Queen Mary - Long Beach, CAAuthor: valley
Date of Trip: August 2005
My husband and I were looking for something different to do on our anniversary. I was going to be in California about that time helping a friend of mine with an independent movie that he was working on near Long Beach.
What a wonderful choice the Queen Mary was. Being a history buff and with a vivid imagination, I was delighted by the natural ambiance of the beautiful ship. The inside has been almost totally renovated to it's original elegance. If only the crew wore uniforms fitting the theme it would be perfect.
The service was superb. The crew bent over backwards to make sure our stay was pleasant and enjoyable. We stayed in one of the cabins, I believe it was on the third floor (or is it a deck?). We were told that it was the most haunted floor on the ship. I admit that I was spooked, but I think it had more to do with my afore mentioned vivid imagination then anything supernatural. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I refused to go anywhere except the bathroom without my husband right next to me. The next time we visit I intend to make reservations for one of the Suites.
The art deco design of the main lobby was a treat as was the beautiful amber colored wood work throughout the ship. I can only imagine the grandeur one felt as a first class passenger on her early trips.
The museum onboard is incredible with memorabilia from her first trip to her last. She was commissioned by the Navy during the Second World War and acted as a troop/transport ship during that time.
We caught a play onboard recalling a number of the hundreds of stories surrounding the ship. The best part by and far was the haunted tour below deck. I don't like "grizzly-gory" but I love "fun-scary" and this tour fit right into my idea of "fun-scary". Though it was far too spooky for the three small children that were on our tour. Fortunately, the tour guides were aware of this and were able to provide a quick exit for the children and their parents.
The swimming pool, which unfortunately isn't in use any longer, is certainly creepy. I'm not sure why but my imagination was working overtime during this part of the tour.
I understand that some of the tour guides will take you through the dressing rooms. Unfortunately, our group was too large to accommodate this part of the tour. I will go back some day just to see this part of the ship. If you check out the ghost.cam on the Queen Mary's web site it is usually focused on the swimming pool.
Dining on board is fairly formal so make sure you have clothes that are at least casual dressy. There are also snack bars and a number of restaurants in the surrounding area.
I love that part of California, but after coming off the ship everything else looks shabby. A treat for us was watching the start of a race to Catalina Island. Every size boat from small power boats to larger fabulous yachts were in the race and everything in between. A stroll on the deck provides a marvelous view of the marina as well as the ocean.
If you want to see the beautiful dining room check out the movie Pearl Harbor. The scene towards the beginning of the movie where they are all dancing was shot in the dining room. Also, the scene outside the ship where they go up the lift next to the ship was shot outside the Queen Mary.
If you are able to plan your vacation on a weekend, definitely make a reservation for the Sunday Brunch. And go HUNGRY. No, really, I mean REALLY hungry.
Have a great trip and beware of the third floor.
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