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Good For Kids

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the ship from a downtown Long Beach perspective
Photo Credit: guyonthego

The Queen Mary

1126 Queens Highway Long Beach, CA 90802
Open 9:00am-5:00pm
877-342-0738 3 hours
February 2014 All year
$30-59 Long Beach California
Website Historical Ships
First review
One visit here was enough. The Queen Mary is a hotel, restaurant, event center and museum located on the former passenger ship of the same name and which was operated by the Cunard Line from 1934 to 1967. The attraction also includes a Soviet era diesel submarine, which served from 1971-1994. The Queen Mary is displayed to reflect its early years. In addition to a self-guided audio tour, several guided ship tours are offered including a ghost tour at night.

When the Queen Mary was launched it provided state of the art travel between Europe and the United States. Ship ammenities included restaurants, bars, ballrooms and pools. During World War II, the Queen Mary was converted into a troop transport. It nearly capsized when hit by a large wave in the Atlantic Ocean and with tens of thousands of US soldiers on board. This led to the idea for the Poseidon Adventure story and film. Following the war, passenger ships were made obsolete by air travel. After years of losing money, the ship was sold and brought to Long Beach to serve as a hotel/attraction. It has since had several owners and a number of retrofits.

A ticket to see the ship and submarine cost a steep $31, and there was an extra $15 charge to park. The submarine was cramped and difficult to negotiate. Also, the audio tour was narrated by a man with a cheesy Russian accent. Ten minutes in the sub was enough time wasted. The ship was better. More interesting sections included a detailed museum located at the ship's entrance and the somewhat elegant promenade deck which had multiple pictures from the past. A ship audio tour is included in the ticket price, but it provided little insight. Many interior rooms also were off limits unless on a tour. The Glory Days walking tour took about an hour and was moderately enjoyable with a flamboyant tour guide and visits to a marquee ballroom and large premium suite. There were a number of hotel guests on board, so it seemed popular for lodging. Also, a $50 Sunday brunch looked enticing. As a historical attraction though the Queen Mary was disappointing. Access was too limited, the audio tour was inadequate, and the entry price was too high. One visit here was enough.
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