It was an amazing experience taking a tour of the Queen Mary in Long Beach. I don’t know where to begin to describe the beauty & grandeur of this ship. For over 2 hours, we were immersed in awe-inspiring art & history during our exclusive tour of the Queen Mary by the Commodore of the ship – Commodore Everette.
Designed in Art Deco Style and built in the ’30s, this 1019 feet long Queen Mary Ship served as an ocean liner from 1936 until it retired and underwent a conversion. We found out that it was bid for over three million dollars (Whoa!!!) and settled into Long Beach in 1967. 3 Million dollars back in the ’60s is a lot.
The Queen Mary in Long Beach now houses over 300 rooms, event facilities, restaurants, shops, etc. So much detail went into designing this ship and it was evident during our tour. Everywhere I looked there’s an artwork, every room has a custom-designed pendant light, materials were rich and heavy yet elegant, it was like watching the movie Titanic with the first class, second class situation. Yes, this ship has a first-class swimming pool, first-class salons, etc.
The Queen Mary is a tourist attraction and is now home, for a limited time to the Princess Diana Exhibit where it showcases a priceless collection of gowns, dresses, cherished memorabilia associated with the Princess and the Royal Family. Check out our post on the Princess Diana Exhibit at the Queen Mary here.
The interior of the Queen Mary is in a pink tone, from the walls to even the mirrors. And over 50 species of wood were used for wall panelings. And the above picture shows 36 of them. And wherever we are on the ship, Commodore Everette can pinpoint what wood species was used on the wall panelings and from which country it came from. I’m an interior designer and seeing how he can differentiate each one astonished me aside from how much material was used on the ship.
A lot of the artwork is still in place on the ship. Like this beautiful painting by Kenneth Shoesmith above a fireplace in the First Class Drawing Room. Sir Winston Churchill traveled regularly on the Queen Mary and spent his time reading in this room which now serves as a souvenir shop of the Queen Mary like the cuddly bears below.
We started our tour on the promenade deck. This deck is where travelers from the ’30s to ’60s can get their cigars and other items. It still houses the same stores and has kept the original storefronts like a pocket curved glass-paneled door.
Speaking of kids. They kept the original playroom for viewing. No tablets here kids! Just wooden toys and probably their nannies.
The Queen Mary is now a mix of the old and the new. We were admiring the well kept wooden floors, all the rivets used in the ship, black and white pictures of famous people who traveled on the Queen Mary. And then all of a sudden, we saw a Starbucks sign. Starbucks?! Ha!? Yes, they have Starbucks on the ship.
But speaking of something old and something new. Do you know you can get married at the Queen Mary? Yes! For an indoor wedding, they have a beautiful wedding chapel and if you’re thinking outdoor, the gazebo is a perfect venue as it overlooks the Pacific Ocean. And they have a lot of ballrooms and salons that exude the Art Deco style & detail. From wood to leather paneling, Art Deco light fixtures, original murals, and other artworks.
This has to be my favorite artwork from the Queen Mary. It features two-ship crystals traveling across the map representing Queen Mary and its sister ship Queen Elizabeth. It tells you the exact position of the two ships in the Atlantic. This artwork is located at the Grand Salon where you can enjoy the Champagne Sunday Brunch of the Queen Mary. The Sunday Brunch is open from 9:30 AM – 2 PM and price ranges from $19.95 to $49.95. I’ve never personally tried it. But champagne and brunch? One of these days folks… one of these days. Haha.
Commodore Everette also showed us design details you won’t typically see or even notice when you’re partying or touring the ship like this textured glass hidden under those heavy curtains. Materials used on the Queen Mary is so expensive that when one of the pink mirrors accidentally broke during a New Year’s Eve party on the ship, they’d have to shell out $30,000 to have it replaced.
Some of the old furniture of the Queen Mary has been kept in storage to preserve it from wear and tear but not this piano. Yep… I’m sure you’ve never seen an old piano like this too. Clad in veneer! All I can think of is Sir Elton John playing “Can you feel the love tonight”. LOL.
I’m sure you’re wondering – isn’t there any ghost on the Queen Mary Ship? Commodore Everette gave as a tour of the First Class swimming pool which is part of the ship’s haunted tours and it was definitely eerie. It was dim and we were looking down at an empty pool through an atrium. I hardly move from where I was standing. I tried to rush to get these pictures taken and hoped for the best that I won’t take home any ghost shots. Our daughter was all quiet but when we got out she said, “Scary”, and we all burst into laughter. She was scared too! Haha! I didn’t get any goosebumps though. The dim lights and background music effect made it scary.
The tiles used for the swimming pool used to be gold so it shimmers when there’s water on it. Disney changed it to blue when it took over. They are now looking into restoring it to its old glory but it will take time as they are still trying to gather up the funds but I can totally see how beautiful this pool is going to be. Just look at the existing details. There’s the mother of pearl on the ceiling, Art Deco wall sconces, alternate cove light detail, etc.
We also went outside the deck and saw a couple doing their version of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet’s line of “I’m the King of the World” from the Titanic movie. And the Good Year Blimp passed us by. Funny how I used to look at the Queen Mary from our trips with Carnival Cruise and always wondered how it looks like inside. I’ve finally taken a tour of the Queen Mary and is no longer a stranger to this port.
Aside from the Queen Mary being used as a venue for weddings, proms, quinceaneras and much more, the Queen Mary itself also is a host to a lot of events like Chill: Ice Kingdom during the winter, West Coast BBQ, Fourth of July Fireworks, New Year’s Eve Party, etc. One event coming up that caught my eye and my tummy is the Big Bite Bacon Festival. Calling all foodies!!! Bacon! Bacon! We’ll update you once the event is nearing or you may check the Queen Mary website to not miss on any event.
If you’re a fan of the series Downtown Abby (who isn’t), do you know they held the season premiere of this PBS series at the Queen Mary? Yes, they did. I wish I was there. But if you like the series so much. Maybe some tea and sconce at the Queen Mary’s The Tea Room will do. Mmm.. I’d like to bring all my mommy friends and gal cousins here for an afternoon of three-tiered yummy scones and petit fours.
If you’re into art and history or you’ve watched enough British themed TV series like Downtown Abby & Tudors or is simply into the British Monarchy or perhaps ghosts are your thing, I suggest you take a tour of The Queen Mary. We had a really good time during our tour. If I have out of town guests looking for things to do in Los Angeles, I’d take them here.