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LandlockedCruiser01

Queen Mary hotel in Long Beach

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11 hours ago, LandlockedCruiser01 said:

I think I want to do the tour.  Is it free (or discounted) for hotel guests, and if not, how much is it?

it is discounted for hotel guests, I don't remember how much though.  I wanna say 35 or 40$.   it was a little over 2 hours, lots of steps, but fun too

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Just a quick update: I booked a room on the Queen Mary.  I got a standard, not a deluxe; my research showed that there wasn't much difference between them, other than the wooden wall paneling vs. regular painted walls.  Plus, I can always go to the top deck to get a harbor view, anyway.

 

I have a feeling that other people from my cruise will be staying there too.

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Frequently they invite well known paranormal investigators to do seminars and conduct tours.  We were there in January when they did it but had to leave to go out to Catalina for the weekend.  Check the www site for schedules.  

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On 7/3/2019 at 10:55 AM, LandlockedCruiser01 said:

Just a quick update: I booked a room on the Queen Mary.  I got a standard, not a deluxe; my research showed that there wasn't much difference between them, other than the wooden wall paneling vs. regular painted walls.  Plus, I can always go to the top deck to get a harbor view, anyway.

 

I have a feeling that other people from my cruise will be staying there too.

 

What sailing are you doing? DH and I are going to book the QM for a pre-cruise night Sept. 28th. 

 

We stayed on her about 5 years ago with our two teen daughters. Everyone had a blast! We took so many amazing photos and we did the evening ghost walk. It was great! We will probably do it again this trip.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/4/2019 at 6:08 PM, RobinCruiser said:

 

What sailing are you doing? DH and I are going to book the QM for a pre-cruise night Sept. 28th. 

I'm sailing on September 2, on Carnival Inspiration.  So I'm staying there the night of September 1.

 

I'll post a mini-review on it after the cruise.  I doubt much will change over a month.  It is, after all, a historic ship.

Edited by LandlockedCruiser01

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A bunch of great info here already, but since I had a great time on the QM recently, figured I would share my thoughts, as well!

 

Our ship docked at the World Cruise Center (think that might be San Pedro?) and we took an uber to the QM for $17.  Arrived very early for check in (10AM) but after some negotiation, was able to pay a little extra to upgrade to a port hole room that was available immediately.  Happy with the room - small portholes looked out into the harbor which provided a decent view plus a breeze.  I thought the room was good sized and comfortable.

 

Ate lunch at the restaurant near where you board, decent food and prices (IMO) but nothing to get excited about.  Did a self walking tour during the day and now wish we paid for a formal tour.  It was great to see the ship and read the signs, but a tour guide would have added a lot of history and give access to places that we couldn't get to (like the first class dining room where we were just able to peek through a crack in the door).  Ended up paying around $50 pp for the evening ghost tour, enjoyed seeing different parts of the ship and hearing the stories on that one.  Those tours are not for everyone, but would recommend it if you like your history with a bit of storytelling mixed in!  We got a coupon for a free glass of champagne (probably sparkling wine) at the "captain's reception".  An actor in a Captain's uniform was there to pose for pictures; was disappointed that he didn't have stories to tell...

 

For dinner, took an uber to downtown LB at a cost of $8 each way.  To access the ship, you go through industrial dock areas and over a long bridge, would not recommend walking that route with so many other transportation options.  Visited the ship's bar, but some event was going on and it was very crowded so did not stick around.

 

To enjoy a stay on the QM, I would think that you would need to be on the ship for the history and experience...if it is intended as just a place to stay before the cruise, you likely would be disappointed.  It is far away from everything, has no amenities like a pool or even deck chairs, and it is old!  I saw signs for a spa, but not convinced the spa was in operation.  Also be prepared for some neglect - per what I understand, the ship has changed hands a few times and has nearly bankrupted some owners.  Seems like some of the displays and improvements were updated in the 60/70's when it first became a hotel, and have not been updated since then.

 

For us, an amazing experience and would consider doing it again in the future.

 

Good luck and enjoy!

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On 6/29/2019 at 9:40 AM, tutuwahineLV said:

there is the original 'system' that brings the air in.  Hard to describe.

They are called Punkah Louvers-- quite common on ships of the time. When Queen Mary was in service the warm air was heated but the "cool" air was just forced air from outside-- no air conditioning as she mainly was on the North Atlantic which is comfortable even in summer. QM never got air conditioning (unlike her sister Queen Elizabeth, which got it towards the end of her career as Cunard was considering putting her into cruise service). QMs final voyage around the tip of South America to Long Beach was notoriously uncomfortable in the tropics as she was one big oven inside.

 

On 6/29/2019 at 9:40 AM, tutuwahineLV said:

If you stand at one end, and look towards the other.......you can't see the other end, unless you're down near floor level. 

Its called sheer-- left over from sailing ship architecture, it provides the ship additional stability in rough seas by having the bow and stern elevated in relation to the rest of the deck. Also present, but less noticeable, is camber-- this is the slight sloping of the deck downwards from side to side (as opposed to sheer which is front to aft). This was a holdover also from sailing ships so that water would drain to either side of the deck rather than pool in the middle. It made creating doors and doorways in ships like the Queen Mary an art unto themselves. 

 

Also a holdover from sailing days, the QM was one of the last large passenger ships to have spreaders across her forward mast. 

Queen Mary's mast - Long Beach, California

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Thanks Princeton123211!  I find that type of info fascinating. It’s hard to see in this photo due to the low quality, but I’ll attach an example of the ‘sheer’ on QM. 

CD5FB2F2-8FA9-4176-B837-A9DD1FE8BE48.jpeg

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QM was first bought and turned into a hotel by a subsidiary of the Disney Company.  We stayed on her during that time frame and she was wonderful.  The Sunday brunch had a dress code.  On weekends they did an awesome fireworks show off the stern.  I can't recall who get her after.  But I think several years ago she was going to get scrapped so the City of Long Beach bought her.  They have put some money into her, mostly to keep her afloat, but not enough to make her like when Disney owned her.    

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3 hours ago, ATSEAMYLIFE said:

QM was first bought and turned into a hotel by a subsidiary of the Disney Company.  We stayed on her during that time frame and she was wonderful.  The Sunday brunch had a dress code.  On weekends they did an awesome fireworks show off the stern.  I can't recall who get her after.  But I think several years ago she was going to get scrapped so the City of Long Beach bought her.  They have put some money into her, mostly to keep her afloat, but not enough to make her like when Disney owned her.    

 

Actually the Queen Mary was bought by the City of Long Beach in 1967.

 

The first hotel rooms didn't open until 5 years later and 5 years after that, the Wrather Co. signed a long term lease to manage the hotel. Wrather was the company that owned the Disneyland Hotel. In 1988 Disney bought the Wrather Corp, mostly to acquire the DLH; the Queen Mary and Spruce Goose came with the deal.

 

Disney tried to make a half hearted go of it, but when their proposed "Port Disney" and "Disney Sea" theme park idea got shot down they announced that at the end of 1992 they were terminating the lease. The Queen Mary closed Dec 31, 1992.

 

Joe Prevratil stepped in, took a lease on the QM as the City/Port of Long Beach was getting ready to sell it. The QM reopened in late Feb 1993.

 

It hasn't been all smooth sailing since then, but the QM has become a pretty permanent fixture in So Cal. I can't see it going anyplace at this point.

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3 hours ago, ATSEAMYLIFE said:

QM was first bought and turned into a hotel by a subsidiary of the Disney Company.

Actually she opened in in 1971 under Diners Club as the operator. After a few years she passed to Hyatt Hotels who ran her for a few years until 1980. That year Jack Wrather (who owned the Disneyland Hotel) bought the lease for nostalgic reasons, having sailed on her a number of times, and it was operated by his company until 1988. That year the Walt Disney Company bought his holdings so they could own the Disneyland Hotel (which they had been trying to purchase for decades) and the Queen Mary lease was an unintentional consequence of that purchase- they didn't really want her. They toyed with turning the area into a theme park but never went ahead with it-- in 1992 the QM closed when Disney pulled out. They actually almost ruined her. 

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We will be flying to LAX and arriving around 9:00am. We are both retired teachers (one History) and can’t wait to board her for our stay. My question is whether you can check in early (11:00 am) or at least hold your luggage?

Also, can you wait and book the tours when you arrive?

Thanks in advance for any input!

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I don't think that will be an issue.  We just went for a couple of hours before flying out to Catalina for the weekend.  There is a tour and check-in booth on the pier.  We got there about 10:30 AM and got right onboard.  There were plenty of people doing walkup buying tours when we got there.  I'm sure they have plenty of space for your luggage if your room isn't ready.  

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On 7/19/2019 at 6:59 PM, ATSEAMYLIFE said:

I don't think that will be an issue.  We just went for a couple of hours before flying out to Catalina for the weekend.  There is a tour and check-in booth on the pier.  We got there about 10:30 AM and got right onboard.  There were plenty of people doing walkup buying tours when we got there.  I'm sure they have plenty of space for your luggage if your room isn't ready.  

Thank you so much for your reply.  Can’t wait to see her.

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On 7/19/2019 at 2:10 PM, jaimevoyager said:

My question is whether you can check in early (11:00 am) or at least hold your luggage?

Also, can you wait and book the tours when you arrive?

As a hotel guest you enter the ship on a different gangway than a day guest. You'll be able to check in whenever you arrive (whether the room is ready is a different matter-- usually they are, but if you are checking in on a Fri, Sat, Sun theres a chance you'll have to wait). 

 

As a hotel guest you can see a lot of the ship on your own without the need for a tour by just wandering around. They used to include the basic tour as part of your hotel rate-- not sure if thats still the case but make sure to check. If not they can help you onboard to purchase a tour-- no need to go to the kiosk on the pier. 

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2 hours ago, princeton123211 said:

As a hotel guest you enter the ship on a different gangway than a day guest.

 

Not exactly accurate.  Everybody goes up the same elevator from ground level.  We were there in January and hotel guest were getting off and hotel check in/out was on the same deck we got off.  

 

We had a free admission coupon from the helicopter company that was flying us out to Catalina.  I showed the coupon at the tour ticket window on the pier and they told me to just get on the elevator and show it at the upper deck.  I assume if you have a hotel RSVP printout you could do the same thing.     

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So I’m just a bit confused...the rooms do NOT have central air conditioning? This will determine whether we book here or choose another more modernized hotel. Thank you. 

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10 minutes ago, debnrick said:

So I’m just a bit confused...the rooms do NOT have central air conditioning? This will determine whether we book here or choose another more modernized hotel. Thank you. 

 

The rooms don't need A/C in Long Beach. The air circulation is more than adequate. Long Beach ain't Steubenville.

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1 hour ago, debnrick said:

So I’m just a bit confused...the rooms do NOT have central air conditioning? This will determine whether we book here or choose another more modernized hotel. Thank you. 

As Scott said, its not really necessary most of the time, BUT thats not to say the ship isn't air conditioned-- it is. The difference is that it is pumped through the old central system so it can't be adjusted with a thermostat from room to room, but cool air is being circulated and you can control the amount of airflow. You can increase or decrease the amount of cool air in most staterooms using the old punkah louvers. 

 

I have slept on the ship many times, often in the middle of summer, and have never been uncomfortable-- and I usually sleep with the room at 65 at home. 

 

Some suites do have individual air conditioning controls. 

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We stayed last October and personally found it dreadful.

 

Ordinary conversation in the next cabin was crystal clear. We did advise them, when we both happened to exit our rooms together. Alas, when they came back on the ship at 2.00pm, drunk, it was even worse.

 

To my mind renovations are desperately needed. Remove sticky tape from carpets on the stairs and put down new carpets. Make sure the lifeboats look as though they could save you and not full of rotting wood. 

 

We were here with a tour group and 50% of our group had a choice of water in the bathrooms hot or cold. We were lucky we had hot water.

 

There is a lot that could be done to refurbish back to the original standard.

 

Televisions in the rooms was not one of them.

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On 6/22/2019 at 10:45 AM, LandlockedCruiser01 said:

Hi, returning from years of cruise hiatus, and contemplating a West Coast cruise this fall.  The hotel I'm almost settled on is the Queen Mary hotel, which is right next to Port of Long Beach.  One of my passions, also biggest weaknesses, is history.  So Queen Mary is just the ticket.  Rooms are $150 a night tops, no shuttle is needed to get to the pier, food isn't obscenely overpriced like at most hotel restaurants, and oh, the views!  If I so desire, I'll even ride a bus or Uber it to a nearby In-N-Out Burger, which don't exist in my area.  Plus, I'll get to stay on a historic ship overnight, then board a modern ship next morning.  How cool is that!

 

Anyway, what are everyone's experiences with the Queen Mary hotel?  Rooms?  Public areas?  Restaurants and bars?  Historic photo opportunities?  General safety?  Also share the location of the nearest In-N-Out Burger, if you know it; it's on my food bucket list.

 

Tell all.

 

We stayed one night pre-cruise this past April. We had a deluxe king harbor view. Room was big, old paneled wood made it look expensive. Bathroom is dated but functional. Walls are thin. Porthole was nice.

They were redoing some heating while we stayed, so some rooms didn't have heat. We did and slept fine.

Staff - Friendly and porters worked their tails off. They have a nice system to store your bags prior to check in. Porters will also walk your luggage over to the port terminal for you as well, but you must accompany your luggage.

 

Coffee shop was nice and on par with retail establishments.

 

There is a FREE shuttle that will take you to Shoreline Village. I think runs every 1/2 hour. Forget the hours it runs. Go over there as it's a pretty neat place with lots of places to eat.

 

Only negative for us and YMMV - Observation bar. Expensive, crowded and service was slow. Their version of a Mai Tai was glorified orange juice. Took 1/2 hour to get an app, which we refused.

 

It's an old ship, so not everything is tip top, but great for exploring.


 

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On ‎6‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 11:19 AM, cfralc said:

There's nothing better than waking up on the Queen Mary, going out on deck with your coffee and seeing the cruise ship you will board in a few hours!  Very exciting! 

Couldn't agree more, but the other post is correct also. Love to look at the QM from my balcony on the ship. We are 73 days away from our 4th LB cruise and our 4th stay on the QM. Starting to get antsy.

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By the way, we are from the other end of the state, last year we flew into Long Beach Airport as opposed to LAX, it was awesome. Close to the QM (15 minute cab ride) and shorter flight from Sacramento by about 20 minutes. LB Airport is so very east to navigate through.

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