Queen Mary’s launch
You don’t need me to tell you how amazing the Queen Mary must have been in the 30’s when she was the worlds grandest ocean liner (I honestly couldn’t tell you because I was no where near being alive). She carried celebrities, dukes duchesses and even Winston Churchill. During this time she set a new speed record. The Queen Mary had loads of first class staterooms but also lower class rooms where “two bunk beds to a cabin and eight cabins to a bathroom would only have been considered “luxurious”. Small though they were, these berths were not cheap at £80 per passage (equivalent to £3,700 today).”
In 1939 she was transformed into a troopship and stripped of all of the luxurious things which she previously had onboard. During the war she broke the record for the most passengers on one ship – 16,683, this record remains unbroken. Churchill claimed that the Queen Mary’s contribution shortened the length of the war by a year. After the war she was refitted to her original grand standard and continued passenger services for another 20 years. She completed one last cruise in 1967 to long beach, California, where she has stayed ever since.
The Queen Mary is now a fully restored hotel, there are three restaurants onboard and I believe they also host weddings on the ship (bet that costs a small fortune). The ship is absolutely gorgeous and much of the decor and style is still reflected in Cunard’s current ships.
I was lucky enough to stay on the Queen Mary with my parents and my brother, we stayed in one big cabin with two porthole windows. We decided to take an audio tour to get a better look around the ship. The audio tour takes you around the decks and public areas, then down into the behind the scenes parts of the ship.
It is amazing to think about all of the history that the ship has had. There are so many reports of ghosts and spirits onboard the ship, it is rumoured that the many prisoners who died onboard still walk the corridors as well as a young man who was crushed by a water tight door and a girl who drowned in the swimming pool. Many paranormal TV shows have visited to try and capture the action, I particularly enjoyed watching the most haunted episode which was filmed on the ship. I love to terrify myself with this kind of thing! Mind you, I’m glad I only started to look into this after my stay.
Below is a photo of me and my brother in front of the Queen Mary, apologies for the silly look on my face, it was rather windy!
I enjoyed my time onboard the Queen Mary. It was really interesting to stay on a ship with so much history. Going on my recent Cunard cruise onboard the Queen Victoria made me reminisce about this trip and that’s why I decided to write this post. It is crazy to see how much has changed in cruising, I wonder what cruising will be like in another 80 years or so…
If you find yourself in long beach, I would definitely recommend a stay on the Queen Mary, even if it is just for a night. If nothing else, it’ll make you appreciate the modern day cruise ships. The Queen Mary is gorgeous but she definitely doesn’t have a surf simulator or ice rink onboard!
Wednesday 1st of November 2017
I would highly recommend paying to do the guided tour with one of the volunteers. (I did the WW2 tour) I've been lucky enough to go to the ship twice, the first time just on a day visit. The volunteers are very knowledgeable, and you get to see parts of the ship you don't see as a hotel guest. You get to have a good look at all the cabins and suites, and the ballroom was amazing. (I don't think the guide appreciated me laughing when he was telling us about a similar ship - SS Normandie, that was on fire in New York Harbour. The Americans filled it up with so much water trying to put out the fire, it sunk!)
Emma Le Teace
Sunday 5th of November 2017
Ha ha ha....