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Queen Mary Hotel, Long Beach California

Updated on December 19, 2012

Staying fit ? Run 4 times around the deck!

Embark on a unique vacation!

While I was booking online for my airline tickets for my mom and dad, my husband and I, to Los Angeles, destination Disneyland, California, various hotel choices started popping up before my eyes. As I looked for the best deals, an awkward picture of an ancient ship repeatedly showed up on the screen. Not thinking much about it, I scrolled down for the list of featured hotels. Overwhelmed by the vast amount of choices, I decided to postpone the whole hotel part until the day after.

Fast forwarding one day, the ship picture popped up once again amongst the hotels. I thought to myself almost out loud: "Why does a cruise have to show up with the hotels? " This is annoying, and out of place. This website needs to be updated!"

However, I glanced once again at the ship and only seconds later I discovered it was actually a hotel, the Queen Mary Hotel! For those who are not familiar with the Queen Mary, it is an authentic ancient English ship full of legends, history and stories that will certainly fascinante just about anybody who loves history, adventure and intrigue.


On May 27th 1936 ,stretching about 1,018 feet in length and weighing more than 77,500 tons, the Queen Mary was quite a surprise for Queen Mary's 69th birthday when it appeared in all its majesty before her eyes.

The following day, May 28th, the Queen Mary was all ready to embark for her Maiden Voyage, from Southhamptom to New York city. Knights, poets, painters, and aristocrats were all on board on this luxury ship for the ultimate journey across the pond. Only four days, twelve hours and 24 minutes later all disembarked safely into the arms of New York City.

The ship's construction began back in 1930 in Scotland but came abruptly to a halt on December 11, 1931 due to the economic crisis of the Depression Era. However, construction was able to be resumed on April 3rd 1934 thanks to the merger of the Cunard and White Star lines.

When Hitler invaded Poland on August 31st 1939, the Queen Mary was in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean. In peril and full of passengers and refugees, the ship sailed off route in a zig-zag mode and with its lights shut off at night in order to avoid possible submarine attacks. On September 4th 1939, the ship arrived safely in New York City.

For the following six years, the ship evolved from an elegant cruise liner to an Army transport ship carrying over 800,000 troops. When the war ended, the ship happily carried the troops back home along with newly weds and babies from Great Britain to the United States and Canada.

Post war, the ship regained its cruise ship status,and sailed together with the Queen Elizabeth, both being the most successful ships of the North Atlantic. Unfortunately, around the 1960's the Queen Mary was surpassed by the new gigantic cruise liners and the convenience of air travel drew such a fierce competition, that the Queen Mary could no longer keep up .Cunard therefore opted to put the Queen-Mary for sale for a good 3.45 million dollars in 1967.


Once on sale, the sunny city of Long Beach, California decided to purchase the ship in 1967 and display it as a tourist attraction. It quickly became a combination of hotel, convention center, tourist attraction, and historic relic.

While smaller compared to today's colossal cruisers, the Queen Mary is a testimony of the nostalgic old days and still preserves its ambiance of a bygone era.

If you are looking for an unusual and fascinating hotel this is the place to be. I still remember the surprised look on my parent's faces once I told them that was where we were booked to stay and the hair raising chill of seeing the ship in its whole majesty right in front of us once when we parked alongside the ship. My dad then actually surprised me as he was familiar with the Queen Mary because when he was young he used to work for the Homelines cruise company and saw the Queen Mary docked in between transatlantic cruises.

If you are planning to book a room, I would highly recommend a stateroom. You will be able to have a window view and enjoy the sight as if you were really embarking for a cruise. The indoor cabins may feel pretty dark and cramped.

Enjoy the unique amenities the hotel room has to offer. You will see original artwork, and antiques and yet you will get to sleep in rooms full of history that no other hotel in this world can offer. I think the Queen Mary hotel should be on the top list of the seven hotel wonder places you should stay during your lifetime.

Be prepared to spend some good quality time on-board since the Queen Mary is a living museum. Stroll along it decks and look at the authentic antique memorabilia. Dine in its fine restaurants or take a paranormal tour in search of wandering spirits. Whatever you decide to do, you will surely be fascinated by the rich history and uniqueness this ship has to offer.

If you are planning to surprise a dear one, you absolutely can't go wrong with the Hotel Queen Mary, after all, take a look at its history, it even amazed her Majesty- the Queen of England!

The Queen Mary still proudly retains its antique splendor

The Queen Mary in all its splendor...

My dad in front of the Queen Mary, Happy Birthday!

Queen Mary's arrival in Long Beach 1967

A tribute to the Queen Mary throughout history


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    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 9 years ago from USA

      Unique and amazing indeed! Just staying at this hotel is a vacation itself!

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 9 years ago from California

      I love the Queen Mary! It is an amazing ship. My high school prom was on the Queen Mary!