Friday, October 15, 2010

The Queen Mary

I have seen the Queen Mary, permanently moored at Long Beach, CA, before, but never paid to go inside.

It's rather pricey - $25 - but I found a coupon online here for $10 off. Much more reasonable and definitely worth it.

Not only do you get to wander anywhere you want on the ship, you get an audio tour and the Ghosts and Legends Show. I took a couple hundred pictures...

Each of these lifeboats was supposed to hold 145 people! I guess they all had to stand!

The lifeboat picture was taken from one of the docking wings, which stick out from either side of the bridge, shown here.

The Observation Bar and Art Deco Lounge features 1930s artwork.

The Ghosts and Legends show is a special-effects tour of the ship's paranormal hotspots. It's very dark and spooky, with just enough light to get around. This is a flash picture taken as we go down into the hull in the front of the ship.

Once there, the hull sprang a leak - OH NO! There are supposed to be a lot of ghosts on the ship, and apparently some of them like to play tricks.

You can also wander unaccompanied through the engine room. Wow, that's a lot of mechanical gizmos!

I even got to steer the ship.

Only one of the 4 original propellers still remains. It measures 18 feet in diameter and weighs 35 tons. You view it by entering a special box built outside the hull.

During WWII, the ship was painted grey, and transformed into "The Grey Ghost," transporting troops to and from the war in Europe. In peacetime, the ship normally carried 3000 passengers, but now it was transporting a whole division, over 15000 soldiers at a time!

My father went to Europe on the Queen Mary in late December 1943. Instead of 2 passengers in each stateroom, there were now 9 bunks, and 18 men! The men took turns sleeping in the bunks or on the deck. In the middle of winter!

Fortunately, the trip lasted only 5 days. He landed safe and sound in the Firth of Scotland and within hours was on a train to England.


  1. Nice photo of Uncle Ellis. He spent a good part of the day with us on Wednesday while Al was having a treatment at the Med center. We enjoy his visits.

  2. Fascinating post. I love how you always manage to find these interesting places. :) Do you have some sort of guidebook, or do you go by word of mouth or personal research?

  3. I'm with Sarah -- how do you find all these interesting places to visit? (Can't believe you "drove" the Queen Mary in LA traffic!)

    - Joe

  4. This post brings back memories of a trip long, long, long ago when we toured the Queen Mary and the Spruce Goose ... boy what fun that was.

    To actually have a connection with the QM ... now that must have made it an extra special visit.

  5. My grandfather came to visit America from England on the Queen Mary in 1963. My parents had emigrated from England in the early 50s. I remember as a young child going on board when he arrived in New York. Not many people traveled by plane back then! Would love to visit the QM in California and see it as a museum and take the tour. Fascinating stuff!

  6. Were they able to stop the leak or is it now too late to tour? Quite a fancy ship our father rode on. Can't even imagine 18 people in a stateroom!

  7. Interesting Post, Diana. Your Dad had the fastest, safest trip there was. The QM was far safer than a regular Troop Transport. She was so fast the German Uboats couldn't keep their periscope Sights on Her long enough to launch Torpedoes and they couldn't begin to catch her once past them. My Dad spent the War inspecting Extruded Aluminum Wing Spars for first the B-17 Flying Fortress and later the B-29 Superfortress. HHe was part of Roosevelt's "25,000 Warplanes-a-Year" effort.

  8. The Queen Mary is one of my very favorite stops. We stay there when ever we are in LA. The food is excellent at Winston's, and the Sunday Brunch, tho pricey, is excellent. Oh, how I love that ship. There are discussion groups, web sites, and other things of interest on the web about the Queen Mary. :)

  9. What a lovely helmsman...helmswoman...helmsperson?

  10. Great post and an interesting link there with your Dad. Its good to see the ship still being appreciated and "used".



  11. I don't comment to often, it would just a repeat of how great your blog and pictures are. When do you find time to post, you are one of the busy ladies On line. Thanks for sharing your adventures. I have traveled with you all over the states.

    Dan (Bubbadan)

  12. Hi-YA Captian Diana!
    Great shot of you at the helm..
    And what a wonderful connection with your father! I Thank him for his service to this country-
    Safe Travels!


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