Hotel Review: RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA


The RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA is a 1930s ship that's permanently docked and serves as a hotel and event venue. It was closed for three years following the 2020 COVID pandemic but was recently renovated and is now open to the public. My friend Melissa and I decided to book a 2-hour adults-only ghost tour and we learned about the haunted ship, its history, and even spent the night. 

Staying Overnight Aboard the Queen Mary




Queen Mary Hotel and Museum


There are 347 first-class dog-friendly cabins for guests to book on the ship and early check-in is available if you call in advance and speak with the front desk. During our stay, our harbor view double-bed cabin cost $259 per night the weekend before Memorial Day. Prices will vary depending on the season. Luckily, I was able to book our room leveraging my American Express Platinum card points. 

We walked down the long hallway to get to our room, M133

Upon arrival, the front desk warned us that the walls were thin and to let them know if anyone was being overly loud during our stay. We were instructed, "Quiet time starts at 10pm." As soon as we walked through the long quiet hallway, it felt like we were transported back in time. The brown walls, vintage-looking clean carpet and intricate accessories of the ship made for a great experience.   


Our room contained double beds, two complimentary water bottles, multiple mirrors, a full bathroom including a large tub, and a porthole/window that opens to let in fresh air. 


The room was clean and the bed was comfortable. There was plenty of drawers and closet space. 


I loved how there was an original fan in our cabin. I learned that the electric powered fans were built to be durable and reliable, designed to withstand vibrations and ship movements. The fans were positioned close to the ceiling and were considered modern at the time.


The room was equipped with DIRECTV, so we were able to watch some Food Network shows.


I appreciated how there were two sinks, one inside the bathroom and one outside by the front door.


The bathroom did not feel cramped and compared to modern cruise ships, the Queen Mary was noticeably larger. 


We loved the tiled floor, vintage faucets, light buttons, and I appreciated the hair dryer, which provided a modern touch to the ship. The tub was complete with body wash, shampoo and conditioner. 



Know Before You Go


  • We were warned that the room walls are extremely thin and while in our cabin, we could hear conversations next door, so if you're a light sleeper, make sure to bring some noise-canceling earbuds. 

  • There's no smoking on the entire ship, so don't even try it. You will be charged a $250 fine, which will be placed on your credit card. I learned about this when our cabin neighbor was reprimanded by guest services for smoking a cigarette in his room. 

  • Outlet plugs are limited so bring a combo power strip or portable power banks to ensure your phone, smartwatch, cameras, and other digital devices are fully charged. 

  • Overnight parking costs $30 and if you're staying at the hotel, they will just charge it to your bill. You will be given a parking pass, if you decide to explore Long Beach, CA and leave the ship. 

  • Reservations are recommended for onsite restaurants including Chelsea Chowder House. 

  • If you're looking for a quick snack, coffee, tea, or even alcoholic beverages, visit the Midship Marketplace. We went back to this location multiple times during our 9-hour stay.

  • Address: 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802




After checking out our room, Melissa and I decided to explore the Promenade Deck. We walked through the lobby area, then into a gift shop. 


There are many areas of the ship that are educational and protected by glass, similar to museum exhibits I've seen at other historical locations. For one, there's a music room right outside of the Observation Bar. 

There's also an area of the ship with model boats on the Promenade deck. 



Dining on the Ship

Melissa made us reservations for the Chelsea Chowder House & Bar before our 8pm Ghost Tour. Inside of the restaurant, we enjoyed art deco floors, natural lighting, and we loved the overall decor. We were seated next to the windows so we enjoyed the ocean views.



I ordered the 10 oz Filet Mignon ($46 USD), which consisted of carrot puree, peppercorn brandy demi, herloom potatoes, and confit balsamic tomato. My steak was perfectly cooked medium rare, was flavorful, tender and nicely seasoned. The potatoes had a nice crisp on the outside and were soft on the inside. The tomato was nicely charred, soft, and tasted a bit sweet. I would love to go back to the restaurant to try the seafood. 


Melissa ordered the Scallop, pea + asparagus risotto ($46 USD), which was creamy, cheesy, and the scallops were buttery soft. We both cleaned our plates. 


Before our meal, I ordered a cocktail to celebrate our short girls trip. The "Sailaway" was delicious, tart, refreshing and consisted of camarena blanco tequila, cinnamon syrup, pineapple, and lime.  The drink was strong and I enjoyed it. 

Melissa ordered the Colonel Warden ($16 USD), which consisted of Makers 46 bourbon, vanilla, and apple bitters. 



Below is the menu consisting of appetizers, soups, salads, house specialties like Fish + Chips, roasted half chicken, and Cioppino. Under the "Land" section, offerings included Filet Mignon, NY Steak, and Panko Crusted Lamb Chops. 

Seafood on the menu included, Lemon Dijon Salmon, Daily Blackboard Fish, Fruitti Di Mare, and a whole fish for two. Mushroom Ragu and Quinoa Cakes were also on the menu. Overall, prices ranged between $6 - $88 and the drink menu was extensive.



Our meal was delicious and pictured above is our bill, minus the 20% tip. I highly recommend the Chelsea Chowder House & Bar for special occasions.

Paranormal “Ship Walk” Tour



During the 2-hour ghost tour ($69 USD), we were taken to various parts of the ship and learned about the incidents and accidents that occured, along with the hauntings that have been reported. 

Captain's Wheelhouse

It was said that sometimes, a shadowy male figure can be seen looking out of the window of the captain's bridge or wheelhouse.

Ghost Elevator

During the ghost tour, we learned about a woman in a blue dress with blonde hair who sometimes shows herself in the elevator reflection. We didn't see her but Melissa caught something and it looked like a person wearing a jacket standing next to me. This freaked us out. There wasn't anything to make that reflection. (Tip: Watch my video to see the ghost).

 

Pool

A young girl named Jackie drowned and haunts the Queen Mary pool along with a woman in a vintage bathing suit. People have heard Jackie laughing, splashing and calling for her parents.



Our tour guide Jack told us that ghosts tend to stick to a location due to trauma or to relive happy memories. It was said that a woman would appear in the room pictured above, talk to guests, and then vanish in front of their very eyes. It was also reported that visitors would catch paranormal activity when taking photos of the mirrors in the room. 



Haunted Piano

We also saw the piano that plays by itself at all hours of the night. A few Queen Mary employees have put in their notice after getting spooked.



Room B340

We were taken to room B340 where unexplained deaths have happened. The room has had multiple shadowy ghost sightings. People have also reported unexplained knocking, footsteps and even voices. There have been reported objects moving on their own, lights turning on and off, bedsheets being pulled off and these incidents have caused Queen Mary employees to turn in their resignation.



Signs Transcribed: 


"My family and I were up on the bridge looking around and I wandered off by myself in the chart room. There was only one other guest besides myself in the room and he left right after I entered. As I was looking at the chart on the table where they would layout the maps trying to find the Queen Mary, I felt someone tug at the back of my shirt just above my left shoulder. When I turned to see if it was one of my family members, I felt a chill and realized that there was no one else in the chart room. I left the room immediately. This was the first time anything like this had ever happened to me." 


"B340 is one of the staterooms reported to be haunted on the Queen Mary. Soon after the Queen Mary opened as a hotel in 1971, the front desk began getting complaints from guests in the room claiming that someone was knocking on the door in the middle of the night, and that the bathroom lights would come on by themselves. The hotel maids began complaining that they would enter the room and find the bathroom water running, even though the room had not been occupied for several days. One maid became hysterical when she changed the bed covers in this room one morning and left to get fresh towels; when she returned all of the covers had been pulled off the bed and were laying in the middle of the floor in a heap.

In researching this particular "problem" it was discovered that even during her last years of sailing this cabin had started receiving reports of strange goings on. Ship's logs contain two interesting reports. The first report, dated May 1966 was filed by a passenger. This passenger called the night steward to her room claiming she was awaken by the covers of her bed being pulled off while she was asleep. She sat up in bed and said she saw a man standing at the foot of the bed. When she screamed and pushed the button for the steward, the man vanished into thin air. The steward stated that he had been in the passageway not too far from the room when the steward call light went on and he heard the passenger scream. He saw no man leave the room or enter or exit any part of the passageway during the entire disturbance.

The second report was filed by a Staff Captain in 1948. The ships log reads: 3rd class passenger, British subject, found dead in cabin B226 - cause unknown. Details of the passengers death have never been learned, however it was discovered that cabin B226 was later changed to B340."





"Out of the corner of my eye I saw a person walking by, so I turned to look. It was a lady in a powder blue dress.

She was solid but unfocused and hazy. She never looked at either of us. Then suddenly she just walked behind a thin pole, which we had a clear view of, and just disappeared."


"I was on the elevator that is in the aft part of the ship, it was very early in the morning. I was going up between E and F deck when I heard children playing. I thought, how nice to hear children laugh, but so early, it was around 6:00a.m.

I then started to hear the words 'mommy, mommy' and I realized it was coming through the control panel on the elevator. I then heard more laughing and a dog bark and then a cat meow. Then I heard 'mommy, mommy. The elevator door opened and I got out and checked that my radio wasn't on.

I asked security if someone could talk through the speaker on the elevator, and they said only if I were to call for them.

I didn't know what was going on, but it was very strange."

We saw this in the closet of Room B340.


Engine Room

There's a story about an 18 m-year old who got crushed by door #13 and still haunts the engine room. We were taken there but I didn't feel any weird vibes.


We were able to see the propeller and we learned that there was an accident between the Queen Mary and another ship. Around 300 people perished, some died due to the strong propeller. 


Queen Mary’s History

According to our tour guide, the Queen Mary used to be an active vessel in the 1930s and won awards for being the fastest ship. It also served to transport army veterans and is also known to have many spirits on board as people have fallen down the stairs, died from accidents aboard the ship.



Crew members would use the lever above to indicate cable status. 

Launched in 1934, the British ocean liner served as a transatlantic passenger vessel from 1936 to 1967. Built by John Brown & Company in Scotland for the Cunard Line, the ship was the flagship of the line from 1936 until 1945. 



On the ship, there was an office equivalent to a travel agent's ticketing office. It was positioned strategically in a well trafficked area of the ship. Ages ago, it helped provide people with onward travel including booking train, plane, or other ship tickets. It also helped people arrange for sightseeing tours and other excursions, similar to cruise ships today. 

Not only did the ticket office provide bookings, it also helped with currency exchange services, which were crucial for international travelers. Additionally, this office also served as a communications office to help passenters send telegrams or making long distance calls. 



On the way to the Observation Bar, we came across some dolls in the nursery. Back in the day, the nursery was decorated with whimsical themes, inspired by popular children's stories and nursery rhymes. 



The nursery included a special play area filled with toys, games, and activities for kids of various age groups. These games and toys helped keep the kids entertained during long transatlantic crossings. 



We enjoyed the fresh sea air as we explored the sun deck. We would visit the Midship Marketplace and pick up a chai latte and coffee to enjoy it while watching boats and jet ski's pass by.


 

💡Did you know: During World War II, the Queen Mary was converted into a troopship, carrying Allied soldiers. Post-war, it resumed passenger service until its retirement. In 1967, the Queen Mary was permanently moored in Long Beach, California, where it functions as a museum and hotel. It remains a prominent landmark, attracting numerous visitors annually.



We enjoyed the sunset while on deck.


We learned there were over 10 million studs, aka rivets or fasteners, used to construct the Queen Mary. Pictured below, they were used to join the steel plates of the ship's hull and structural framework. Made from high grade steel, it was chosen for its strength, durability and it was corrosion resistant. 


The sunset from the Queen Mary ship was beautiful as we overlooked the water. I also enjoyed seeing the iconic red funnels on top of the ship. These red funnels were mainly used to vent smoke and gases from the ship's oil-fired boilers, which produced steam to power the ship's turbines. 

The funnels were aerodynamic and helped reduce air resistance, contributing to the ship's speed. They weren't only used for venting gas and smoke, they also housed ventilation shafts for different parts of the ship, and electrical wiring conduits.



Pictured below are antique phones that crew members would use to talk to those in the engine room, navigation room, and other operational areas of the ship. These phones were crucial as navigational offers used them to discuss course changes, receive weather reports, and it ensured the ship's safe passage across the Atlantic. 




Observation Bar


After the 2-hour ghost tour, Melissa and I went back to the Observation Bar for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. It was a great way to decompress from the tour and to catch up. Note, although it was Saturday, last call was around 11pm. 

We enjoyed the Art Deco design of the Observation Bar, which was a popular style of the 1930s. The bar featured sleek lines, rich wood paneling, awesome light fixtures, and classic tables and chairs. Back in the day, this bar provided guests with a comfy and stylish place to relax while enjoying views of the ocean. 



The Observation Bar also hosted live entertainment aboard the ship. Musicians, singers and small bands would perform there. 


Today, the Observation Bar still offers specialty cocktails, wine and even small bites. Prices for the drinks range from $8 - $25 USD. Bottles of wine can go up to $51 USD. 


After the ghost tour, I was a bit hungry since we had an early dinner but small bites stop being served at 9pm, so keep that in mind if you're visiting the ship. The menu consisted of chips, pretzel bites for $10 USD, spinach artichoke dip for $12 USD, sliders for the same price, buffalo cauliflower for $12 USD, chicken wings for $14 USD, and flatbread pizza ($9 USD for cheese and $12 USD with your choice of protein). 


I enjoyed my glass of Sauvignon Blanc in the dimly lit bar, pictured below. 



The gift shops had lots of souvenirs including teddy bears in uniform, sweaters, jackets, patches, magnets and more. Below, I took a photo with the bear, which was taller than me. 


Pictured below, Melissa and I enjoyed sitting in the sun with our lattes.



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To sum up our stay, the Queen Mary is a great location to visit. Complete with sightseeing, a ghost tour, multiple bars and places to eat, it was the perfect 9-hour visit for our girls trip weekend. Note, I got the room for free using my American Express Platinum points (42k points aka $249/a night) so, this wasn't sponsored. We also paid for the ghost tour out of pocket, which was $69 per person. Definitely check out the RMS Queen Mary if you're into good food and cocktails, ghost adventures, and vintage ships. Bring your dog too, since the ship is dog-friendly. My friend Melissa talks more about dog-friendly travel on her blog: HavePupperWillTravel.com.


Trip Resources


If you’re planning a road trip, here are some helpful sites that I use. Note, below are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for every booking, with no extra cost to you. Thanks so much, in advance!

Booking.com - Anytime we need a rental car, we use this site to find deals. 

Expedia.com - I like to use this site to explore upcoming cruises that I'd like to take. I also refer to it to compare hotel prices, flights, and car rentals. 

GetYourGuide.com - Book things to do, attractions, tours and discover new food. 

VRBO.com - When we’re not staying in an AIRBNB, we’re in a VRBO rental. We use this option when we want to enjoy a full house with individual bedrooms, a kitchen, backyard and other amenities. 

TripAdvisor.com - Anytime I want reputable reviews, tips, and overall advice about a vacation area, I leverage this site. 

Viator.com - Looking for cool tours in your vacation area? This site has a number of options. 


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