Queen Mary Ship and Hotel (Long Beach, California): is this old icon of a ship worth visiting today?
|RMS Queen Mary at Long Beach California|
When I first wrote this posting and recorded a podcast about the RMS Queen Mary liner at Long Beach in California, it was heading towards Halloween time at the end of October. What got me thinking about writing the posting was that I received an email newsletter reminding me that one – if not THE – most haunted places in the
- History of ship in Long Beach
- Things to do on the ship
- Attractions and events around the ship
|RMS Queen Mary at Long Beach|
Even Disney, operated the hotel and attraction at one time. Disney took on the lease as part of a clever – if maybe naughty – attempt to play off
As you approach and go on the ship, you do get the distinct feeling that it is a kind of maintained neglect. But do not let that put you off, as the ship is still an amazing experience and well worth visiting.
They keep adding new initiatives like the “ghosts” tour, which I will cover later, being used to try and drum up new interest and reasons to get fans back to visit again.
|Queen Mary Funnels|
The “Queen Mary” attraction – what to do there and some tips
The day I visited (a Monday) it was very quiet indeed, and initially I thought that this was great as I had the ship more or less to myself… but it became increasingly spooky wandering around the corridors and beneath the deck areas of the ship and long and gloomy corridors with no-one around. I can see why so many ‘ghost stories’ have emerged!! And found myself scuttling around some parts of the ship.
On board, the public (i.e. those not staying at the hotel part of the ship) you get to go around the upper decks of the ship and see the bridge. This was quite something, with its brass controls. It is quite visually amazing.
You also get to see the Captain and his immediate senior officers’ cabins. I really found these very interesting as all the furniture, fixtures and uniforms are there on display and as they were when the ship was in service. But even more interesting was to see where and how the ship was adapted for service in WW2, and how they managed to cram at time anything from 10000 to 15000 men on-board the ship. That’s about 4 times more than it was designed for.
You get to see how the accommodation was configured to achieve that. It certainly was crammed and cosy.
One of the best sections on the tour is the ‘Treasures of Queen Mary’ section which recreates all the cabins. That part of the attraction is quite hard to find, and it is really badly signposted and I almost missed them altogether and had to ask a few times how to get to that part of the ship. Last time I visited the ship, I had no idea that part even existed. So you need to make sure that you make sure you don’t miss this part of the ship, as it is well worth the visit as you get to see replicas of each of the different classes of cabins and the large diversity that existed on the ship.
I have taken a fair few photos of the ship, which you can take a look at. My photos of the ship: http://www.bembridge.co.uk/Queen_Mary_2004.htm
|Decks of the Queen Mary at Long Beach|
What else is there to do on and around the ship?
- Eating and drinking venues
- The Ghosts and Legends Tour
- The Russian submarine anchored next to it which you can visit
Ghosts and Legends Tour
The Ghosts and Legends show is a daily, special effects, walk-through show created aboard the ship that dramatizes actual paranormal and historic events that have been reported over the years. The set up is that some of what you see may actually not be created – it may be real ghost activity. The tour is based on stories from passengers and people who work on the ship.
The tour is spread over a huge 25,000-square-foot area and takes guests through locations not accessible to the public on other tours.
The main haunted areas are:
- The 1st Class Swimming Pool. Closed for almost 40 years, images of women in period swimming gear and wet footprints appearing are reported. Psychics claim the pool area is a vortex that allows spirits to enter and leave the ship. Give you the chills!
- The Engine Room/ Door 13. In 1966 an 18 year old was crushed in the water tight door, and reports of a blue overall lad walking down the corridor and disappearing at the door are common.
- The Queen Salon (old 1st Class Dining Room). A woman in white is seen dancing in the shadows. The spookiest story is the one tour guides tell of a young girl on a tour constantly claiming she could see the woman when no-one else could.
- First Class Suites (it does seem that the 1st Class spirits are the more persistent haunters doesn’t it). People staying there report ringing phones, breathing, covers being pulled off and a photographer had the image of a man dressed in 1930s clothes in one of the mirrors.
- 3rd Class Nursery. A baby died not long after birth and crying is often reported from the area the nursery used to be.
- The hull. In a tragic accident in the 2nd world war the Queen Mary zig zagging to avoid being destroyed by the German Navy submarines spliced through a Royal Navy escort ship called the H.M.S. Curacao killing 300 men. A TV crew had left recording equipment on overnight a few years back and found lots of pounding and other report horrible screams from the area the ships collided.
Moored next to the “Queen Mary” is this Russian Submarine. Looking a bit shabby, it is very interesting.
The “Scorpion” theater, exhibit and gift shop areas are can be visited by everyone, and the views of the exterior of the submarine from the wharf are good. But the real interesting part is if you clamber inside.
|shopping arcade on the Queen Mary|
|The bridge on Queen Mary at Long Beach|
So all in all if you are in the Los Angeles area, I really do recommend a trip down to Long Beach to visit the Queen Mary!