When an email popped into my box about the Queen Mary’s forthcoming 80th anniversary on May 27th I couldn’t help but smile ….. this grand old lady of the ocean was one of my ‘most unusual stays‘ on a US road trip four years ago.
Just a one night stay but a promise I had made to myself a few years earlier when travelling with kids. We had done a Haunted Encounter style visit in which we had screamed and equally loved as a guide led us round the most haunted spots on the ship. We learned about the incidents in the swimming pool, the problems in the engine house and experienced the lights flicking on and off. The atmosphere was great and interactive it certainly was. With two kids in tow a stay there wasn’t financially feasible but now that it is just he who likes to think he is obeyed and me we can afford to splash out – forgive the pun! There is no splashing as the Queen stays put.
Growing upon the south coast of the UK it was almost obligatory to stop off at the QM as we see many liners glide along the Solent, so liner’s and the sea are part of my personal history and certainly the Queen would know that area well.
QM doesn’t go anywhere as she is now at rest in Long Beach and plays host to many grand events and is also a hotel. The rooms are very much as they were on ship faring days, beautiful shiny wooden interiors with portholes as windows. It’s as authentic as any cruise liner should be. You can dine and sip cocktails in a variety of bars and restaurants and you can watch the Long Beach lights sparkle across the water as you imagine life as a first class guest on deck many years ago.
Being an over night guest you are able to explore much of the ship by yourself, it is like a living museum, telling the history of the ship, its important voyages and its important guests. It’s certainly a privilege being a modern day guest here. So if you are in the area or doing the Pacific Coast road trip take a stop if just for a day visit if you haven’t much time. Long Beach also boasts a great aquarium so it’s a worthwhile stop off between SF and San Diego.
So you might not be going anywhere Queen, but bon voyage and happy anniversary, enjoy your celebrations whilst we raise a glass or two here on the south coast remembering when you slipped out of Southampton Water for the first time.