Review of the Queen Mary Long Beach

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Daniel Odysseus

Guest
I just returned from a day trip to the Queen Mary in long beach... That first view of the ship's red smokestacks from the freeway were really amazing... I took a whole roll of 24 pictures; they're not developed yet, though. I'm waiting rather impatiently... I tried to get one picture by hanging over the back rail to get the name, upside-down. But I didn't succeed; the guard was coming and you could only see "Mary" and below it "pool" so I decided not to waste my film...

The ship itself was really good though, but the interiors weren't any better than the Olympic-class would've been; the first-class staircase was much more humble on QM, though, but the "haunted" first-class pool on QM was much nicer. But they should've moored the Olympic in Long Beach too! And the first Mauretania...

I only regret that I didn't see "Treasures from the QM" exhibit... I thought it would be a room with old bed sheets or something, and I was rather pressed for time... Then I found out halfway back south, that it had the replicas of staterooms, etc. Oh well. Next time.

The "Haunted Queen Mary" exhibit was good; a little cheesy at some points (like the tourguides saying "I don't know what we'll see today"), but still pretty good, you get to see the pool and the boiler rooms, and the special effects were good. When the water flowed in... Wow, I was just thinking Titanic there; I was so mesmerised that I didn't get a picture of the water flooding in. Another note for next time...

It was an interesting crowd onboard today; there was a motorcycle convention in the parking lot, so onboard the QM were ship nuts, tourists, and bikers...

One note: If you go to the QM go round the other side across the bridge as well... You can get a great view from across the harbor...

The only thing I think was disappointing about it was that it was very choppy... Since some parts were removed, the hotel's in the center, and there are scattered restaurants... The self-guided tour didn't really show you any interiors; I understand most of the lounges and dining saloons are now restaurants and convention centers... Oh well. I guess I can imagine the rest... The gift shop wasn't very good either; they only sold one book; I bought it and read it the whole way back south. It only told about her time in Long Beach... Not the ship biography I was hoping for, but still informative...

NOTE: If you're ever within driving distance, go see the Queen Mary, and when you get there, see it all! It's all really good. And get a guided tour (we didn't, but we should have... A third note for my next trip!) This tour makes me want to go on the QM2 when it premieres... I just need to find a way to get a quick ten thousand dollars... lol.

-D.O.
 
May 8, 2001
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>>>One note: If you go to the QM go round the other side across the bridge as well... You can get a great view from across the harbor...<<< Which is where I got to see her the other day. A breathtaking site is to see her on the distant shore, all lit up at night. It takes time to see all of her. Did you see the propeller area, and did you recognize the areas they used in the movie Posideon Adventure? How about Goliath Awaits? Only one gift shop? Hmm..... How about the new SSUS exhibit they unveiled on July 3rd? Did you see all the huge fish swimming outside the ship?!
Do you live in Southern California Daniel?
Can't wait to see the pictures you took!
Colleen
 
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Mikael Jonsson

Guest
Interesting Daniel. I am thinking about making a trip to USA next year just to visit Queen Mary. Do you know how much it costs to spend a night on the ship? Is it forbidden to take photographs inside the ship?
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Members of the British & Irish Titanic Society are staying on the Queen Mary for seven nights next June, combining it with a three day visit to San Francisco - looking forward to it already!

Geoff
 
May 8, 2001
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Mikael. You can take as many pictures as your heart desires. The cost to stay on board is between $109.00 to $500.00 a night. Check here for more details. www.queenmary.com
Hope to see you there! Let us "Californians" know if you make it to Queen Mary.

Colleen
 

Adam McGuirk

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May 19, 2002
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Ive said it before and I will say it again Geoff. When you all go to San Francisco be sure to put some flowers in your hair.
Adam
 
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Daniel Odysseus

Guest
I'm going to try to respond to everyone here...

Colleen:
Yes, I did see the propeller area; the little box that they had for a viewing area... And the SSUS exhibit was good, though I didn't get to see much of it; we were pressed for time, and I really wanted to see more of Queen Mary... And yes, I live just north of San Diego.

Mikael: Colleen was right; pictures are free... I took a whole roll just in that one day, and I didn't see everything there! However, the pictures I took during the "Haunted Queen Mary" exhibit, such as the pool and boiler rooms came out too light; it was a dark room, too dark for pictures without a flash, but my flash, I guess, was too strong. I'm trying to get my scanner working; maybe I can darken them using Adobe. My flash didn't turn off when I took a picture of the propeller (the button got stuck) so it reflected...

Geoff: Next June? You wouldn't happen to know the dates, would you? Hopefully I can manage a trip up there...

-D.O.
 
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Mikael Jonsson

Guest
Coleen and Daniel: thank u for answering my question. I have been reading a lot of Queen Mary during the last months so it will be very interesting to see it for real. The only problem is that is quite far between Europe and USA.

If/When I go there I will bring a digital camera so I can take hundreds of pictures
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May 8, 2001
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Tom. Yes. Although the last time I was there we had to sneak on to see them due to the haunted house they were getting ready to start.
 
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Daniel Odysseus

Guest
The engine room was on the beginning of the self-guided tour, and the boiler room was on the haunted tour, so you can see both.
 
Jan 29, 2001
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Hello TOM:

My older Sister who lives in So. California, and has no interest in steamships accompanied my visit to QUEEN MARY the second time. When we entered the engine room...my Sister was taken aback! You'll want to keep an eye out for a very *oversized* nut wrench which lurks down there. Funny but I don't recall which purpose it served at this time. Perhaps Colleen would remember?

Don't forget to cross the barricade (Of course when no one is around :) so to have your picture snapped at the base of one of QM's stacks (ala O'Dell aboard TITANIC)

BTW, Mikael...it' would'nt seem so far if you had an opportunity to fly the Concorde SST...;-)

Michael A. Cundiff
USA
 
Jan 29, 2001
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Ah that humongous wrench!

I seem to recall now. For expelling the nuts which held the propellors in place. I think it is on display just before you get to the propellor *box* which houses a prop still fitted to the ship. A mock-up diver is set in place to give you a scale of the dimension of the propellor.

Michael A. Cundiff
USA
 
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Mikael Jonsson

Guest
Michael: nae.. I think I wait until they invent the teleport. That will be quite cheaper than fly with the concorde
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Jul 11, 2001
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Hello All,

I am finally back from Holiday on the west coast. My friends and I spent Sunday night and Monday night on the Queen Mary. Seeing the ship loom up on the horizon was breathtaking. After checking in, we headed to our respective Staterooms. I was sharing a two bed outside First class room on the Main deck, M130. Another friend had a room to himself one deck below, A107 on A-deck. While his was facing the water, ours was facing the dock. This made it possible to get our pictures taken with our heads out the two portholes in our stateroom. I can't wait to get those photos back!

Our stateroom was much larger than expected. There were two full closets for clothes. Our Hotel suite in Las Vegas didn't even have that much space provided! I counted no less than 5 mirrors in the room for dressing. The original wood paneling was in excellent shape. In fact, all the first class hallways were elegantly paneled.

The first day we explored the ship unescorted. Being a Sunday afternoon we thought it best to drive into Los Angeles to avoid the Monday commuter traffic. Nice thought, but the freeways were packed even on Sunday! Returning to the ship at night, I couldn't go to sleep without walking the decks several times. I did notice they closed the bow area off at night. Maybe a few tourists few off after having a few too many drinks? The Ship was full of tourists Sunday afternoon, plus some kind of banquet was being held in the First Class lounge. Very quickly as the tourists and Banquet guests left, the ship became virtually empty. We seldom saw any other guests in the hotel sections.

Monday morning I woke early and went up on the Sun deck to enjoy my morning coffee. I sat on a teak deck chair and watched a Carnival Cruise ship docked behind us as its' passengers admired the Queen Mary from their oddly shaped floating amuzement park. Later, we had a nice breakfast in the Promenade Cafe. The view of the water and Long Beach is really nice from there. We soon grabbed a self-guided tour brochure and headed to see the propeller area and engine room. We had pretty much seen the rest of the ship the day before. We didn't do the "Ghosts tour" as it sounded corney. But now it seems that it also gave you more access to parts of the ship we didn't see, like the first class pool area. Oh well, maybe next time.... Hmmm

Monday we did take the rental car back into the city to see Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the other hokey tourist spots. After a day of fighting L.A. traffic, we were too tired to change into "dress" attire for Sir Winstons' restaurant, so we ate casual attire in the Promenade cafe again. The Chelsea restaurant was closed as it is only open Weds thru Sunday. A nice dinner nonetheless. After dinner, we went up to the observation bar for a drink before retirering for the night. Like the night before, I couldn't turn in before "taking the air" on deck on more time.

Tuesday morning we had time for a coffee and danish from the bakery shop on the Promenade deck. Sadly we had to check out and move on to our next city. Overall we all enjoyed the visit. The ship is in pretty good shape for its age. A few places we saw some rust here and there, but I did notice the stern docking bridge was in good shape, which Bill had said was very rusted on his last visit. So I guess restoration is a continuous thing.

We all agreed that it would have been nice to been on board with more hotel guests. That would be more like a trans Atlantic crossing. It was almost spooky to be on board at night. Of course this also meant no lines in the gift shops. LOL. And yes, my luggage was a bit heavier on departure.
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David
 
May 12, 2005
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Hi, David:

I am glad you posted about your experiences. I was going to ask you to do that as many of us have never been to see the Queen Mary and your e-mail was so interesting, I knew others would enjoy hearing about it, too.

In 10 years of travel I've never made it once to the West coast but, as I told you, I'm finally going out this fall. My publisher lives just outside L.A. and I'll be staying with her while I do some research at UCLA and also at the Fashion Institute.

After reading your review, I think I'll have to stay on the Queen Mary a day or so! It's great to know so much of the beauty of that time has been preserved and can be enjoyed today. You must have had a blast - although I'm not sure you wouldn't have had a better time at some old car show!

As I mentioned to you, you might want to think of also coming out later this year (October) so we can have a get-together with others.

We will surely have that drink (if mine can be a diet Coke!) and I'll pack something appropriate for Sir Winston's; thank God there's a place where tourists in flip-flops and T-shirts can't go!

Randy
 
Jul 11, 2001
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Hi Randy!

If I can escape work for a long weekend I will definately fly out and meet you there. The ship is about 23 miles from LAX so you will need a rental car. You can take a taxi, but the ship is kind of isolated from the rest of the city. It was nice to be able to jump in the Towncar we rented and do some sightseeing.

Monday night while having a drink in the observation bar, a over-weight married couple walked in wearing beach attire. Flip flops, athletic type loose flannel shorts and an untucked tanktop shirt. I can't even begin to tell you how she was dressed! I looked at my friends and commented how these people would have been turned away at the door back in the day. But of course, people would certainly not even been on the Queen Mary dressed as such, except maybe at the pool. Even then they would have changed clothes at the pool before walking back through the ship. So yes, the ugly American tourist has invaded the Queen Mary.

I was also shocked to see people dressed in Jeans at the "Top of the Mark" bar and restaraunt on the top floor of the famous Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco. I am only a struggling middle management type, but even I brought some appropriate clothes for a nice dinner. Otherwise it was shorts and a polo shirt for the casual touristy stuff.

Order me a diet Pepsi. The glass of wine I had Sunday night at dinner had me thinking the ship was rocking, which of course it cannot do. hehehe. Meeting some of the other ET'rs sounds great too. Perhaps as the time gets closer we could post the date(s) here on the board.

Oh! and yes, I did manage to see a few antique autos on the trip. We stopped at a Vintage Cadillac dealer in Hollywood, plus Harrahs' Imperial Palace Auto Museum in Las Vegas. People in San Francisco drive old cars as daily drivers there, it was amazing! No Chalmers Limousines though. I thought I saw a car with a Lady Duff Gordon interior, but alas it was an AMC Matador Oleg Casini edition. Hehehe, sorry, that was a cheap shot. You can slap me in October!

David ;)
 

John Clifford

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Nov 12, 2000
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Hi David. Thanks for the review; glad you did enjoy your weekend.

Sorry for the "rude introduction" to our traffic system.
Two weeks ago, I was at a 2-day session at the Downtown Federal Building and learned that even 50 minutes is not enough time to drive ~25 miles to Downtown on the "Horrible Freeway" (I-110) (made me extremely thankful I don't work at the Federal Building); and you got to encounter the "7 - 10 MPH" Freeway, passing the one Freeway that many feel is appropriately numbered, as you always ended up driving "4 o 5 Miles" Per Hour, regardless of the day and time.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading your critiques.
Personally, the Queen Mary's location does not make for a good hotel location, especially as you can look out to all the hotels on Ocean Avenue, in Long Beach.

I am glad you enjoyed the Promenade Cafe, and the chance to enjoy a drink at the Observation Bar.

BTW, did you see the Father Pirrone cutaway models of the Titanic and Lusitania? I was pleasantly surprised to see them at the Engine Room.

Let me know when you will be back at the ship.