Who has been to the Queen Mary? If so, who has eaten in its 3 story first class dining room, known today as the Grand Salon? If you haven't done either, you should go! It is really awesome to see! Especially the grand salon.
The Queen Mary is wonderful. I've stayed 5 times now and have eaten in all the restaurants. I just love it. It's the closest to the White Star Line I'll ever get in this lifetime.
I'm curious, when you say the Grand Salon are you talking of the one off the Promenade Deck? Or Are you talking about Sir Winstons? I believe Sir WInstons was the 1st class dining room during service and that the Grand Salon was the 1st Class Lounge.
We have stayed at Hotel Queen Mary (or is it "on" ? ....LOL) twice. In former First Class Cabins on "A" and "M" Decks. And just had lunch on another occasion.
Both "cabins" had ..they were either Queen Size or King Size Beds ? On one stay, our daughter (who was very young at the time) had her own little play room with a Twin Size Bed. This appeared to be in the space where the wall between what might have been a separate room for the maid or servant had been removed, making a large hotel-size room. The original bath room fittings had been retained. The handles were the original ones marked Hot and Cold Fresh and Sea Water. (Only Fresh Water operational). I think the original telephone and clock were still in place but also not operational. Our room had a Port Hole with a view of Long Beach. We had breakfast and lunch at the Promenade Restaurant, which is in the former Promenade Deck which had been enclosed for the Restaurant. Also with views of Long Beach. Dinner was at Sir Winston's which is in the former Verandah Grille . (Baby Sitter for the daughter....they both had a good time together !)
You are free to roam the ship at will in most places.
I took a guided tour - Engine Room to Bridge. Our guide was dressed in the usual Cunard Line Officer's Uniform and was very informative with occasional bits of "humour."..... There is a clock on the wall in the former Third Class Section. It is not operational but it is the most accurate clock on the ship - It has the actual exact time twice each day ! LOL.
Be advised that prices for lodging are much higher than for a first class hotel. Food was just a bit higher at the Promenade Restaurant but I thought a bit unreasonably high at Sir Winston's. But we just marked that off as "our big splurge" for the vacation trip. I also thought the extra charges for parking - even if you're just having a meal - were unreasonable. But you have to pay for what you take for what you get.
Oh Nice! @robert, sounds like you were in the "Family Suites". And from what the concierge say, you have it right, it's maids rooms converted to an extra sleeping area now.
I've stayed in those and the King Bed Suite, The two Queens (or maybe they're fulls)... twice, and the mini suite twice. I posted video on youtube, I think you just have to type in Queen Mary. And no worries it's just the rooms, not me hamming it up for the camera haha. Been to all the restaurants and actually liked the Promenade Restaurant the best. Had a fantastic burger there. Been on all the tours too. I really liked the general Haunted tour best (better than the paranormal investigation).
The hotel is definitely expensive as you say and is WAY subpar where cleanliness is concerned. That's also not due to the historic nature, it's simple neglect like stains on chairs that aren't original and stains on lamp shades etc...I even once found a spoon under the bed...when you're paying $325 a night. But regardless, I have a ball and keep going back. I think it truly feels like a cruise for a day haha. Plus, I live in LA so I can go on the off days and save some money on prices. I try to go twice a year.