by Liane Bonin Starr
For grown-up history buffs and kids old enough to be curious about what life was like in the 1930s, a stay at the Queen Mary is an opportunity to step back in time. Many fixtures are original, and rooms have original 1930s artwork and Art Deco built-ins. Reports of ghost sightings by previous guests are sure to appeal to older kids and teens!
However, families hoping for modern amenities and lots of space may want to stay elsewhere. Walls can be thin, Wi-Fi and mini-fridges come at an additional charge, and the ship’s many nighttime events make it worth asking which rooms might be quiet (if any) during a stay. Parents will appreciate the convenience of the many dining options on the ship, from fast casual to a “dining with spirits” experience.
Family staterooms are available with either two queen beds or one king and a single twin bed. The hotel is also pet-friendly.
Our Editor Loves
- Historical novelty
- Possible ghost sightings
- Onsite dining choices
- Onsite Dining
The entrance fee was too expensive for the tour. There were limited places to see. There was no guide to explain the stories or history. We ate in the restaurant, but didn't think the food was that good.
by Deb K
Getting to the QM took intense attention since there was road construction.
Once there the ship was overwhelming.
I had reservations for a couple nights.
I found the parking fees to be a bit over the top along with resort fees when there weren't a lot of amenities to participate in that didn't already have additional fees. WiFi was intermittent.
There was a slight discount on the tour pricing if lodging on board. The evening ghost tour I did not feel was worth the effort, it repeats a lot of the glory days tour. If you are interested in a ghost tour, invest the time and do the actual ghost hunt tour. You work with an actual paranormal investigator and check out areas of the ship that may not be open to the other tours. It does extend to the wee hours of the morning so make plans to stay aboard or at least not have to work the next day.
The ship itself is fascinating and well worth the two days. Some areas were not accessible, such as the pool area. Some areas have strong smells, like the engine room and boiler room. The first class room is luxurious and having port holes (windows) is good because air conditioning is not adjustable to temperature.
There was a cruise ship parked nearby and the intercom system was quite loud even across the bay. Be mindful if there are people staying in the next room, walls are thin, and you can hear everything.
What would be interesting is if they had examples of the original rooms set up for the visitors to experience. Both as a passenger ship and an example of the conditions aboard when operating as a troop transport.
Food on board was way below the standards I was expecting.
Only the cafe offered breakfast (unless you want heat and eat packaged goods from the Starbucks), and it was way over priced for the quality of food offered.
The "fine dining" could use a bit more information on the web page and the menu board at the base of the steps. Proper dress is required, but you don't find out until on board, at the top of the steps, and standing inside the doorway...there on the hostess desk it is posted in a passive aggressive style. Oh they also require reservations. Menu items are a la carte unless you get the special of the day. Also something they don't mention, even if you can understand the thick accent of the waiter. The food was very disappointing for the atmosphere and price.
The bar area offers standard bar fare but it is nice sitting outside and the art-deco decor inside is interesting.
Staying on board gets no breaks when it comes to meals.
There is a free bus that can transport you across the bay for shopping and restaurants. There were supposed to be water taxis available too for a small fee but it may be necessary to call about scheduling. They were scheduled the days I was there but there were none running.
I highly recommend staying on board and a couple of the tours, I also recommend taking the bus or water taxi across the bay if you get hungry.