My Visit to the Queen
We head out to the airport – Chris dutifully dragging both luggages so I can work the camera.
We hop the shuttle over to our terminal.
McNamara is the cool terminal – but only a few airlines fly out of it.
We get through TSA with a small amount of hassle… See, packing a ton of charging cables, camera lenses, and M&M tubes full of pennies looks AWFULLY suspicious on the xray. I got my hands swabbed for explosives and everything.
This is the biggest airliner we’ve been on. It’s got 3 rows of seats – and yet it’s the narrowest walkway evah.
The luggage barely rolls, let alone us getting down them. Luckily we have pre-boarding!
I don’t have a window seat – because we wanted a spare seat between us (bought) and the outside rows are only 2 seats across. Instead I take advantage of the empty plane to shoot across the aisle real quick.
A long but calm flight later:
We made it!
After a L O N G walk through LAX, we locate a shuttle bus (after politely declining several Taxi cabs trying to drain our wallets – “Where you going? I’ll take you for $75!”) that takes us to our hotel (30 minutes away) for only $30. I hear later that several of my compatriots who didn’t do their research end up in said taxis for upwards of $60.
We check in to the Queen Mary. First setting sail in 1936 – she has been docked in Long Beach since December 9, 1967.
You saw evidence of the time it was built in places you didn’t expect. Like the teeny closet elevator – that said maximum 8. I wouldn’t want to see 8 children in here, let alone adults!
There was also a little alcove here and there that I swear was a janitor closet – but now seemed to be a bathroom:
Not a place to stay for the claustrophobic…
Finally! At our room.
Sadly, she didn’t live up to my visions of classic Hollywood grandeur. It came across as dingy and dated. Those pink sculptures are very 80s to me – and any images I can dig up from its launch are nothing like what is used today. I expected a proper restoration – draperies, sheets, upholstery and all.
The shower had a generic shower tap installed – and while they left the original fittings it felt like it was more to do less work than preserving anything. Why couldn’t the original taps have been hooked up to the water lines? Again, things just felt in a state of disrepair and hasty patching.
This or an open porthole window (and all the bugs with it) were the only ways to get “air”. There was no real AC that we could tell, and this barely did anything. The lovely fan in the left corner of the room shot was just for display. Why?
After relaxing a bit (and super judging our accommodations lol) we decide to get some photos and head out to dinner.
It’s hard to express how BIG this ship is. I’ve never been on a cruise-liner so this was really impressive – especially knowing that there are plenty larger now! I really started feeling it after the first day – walking the length back and forth for meetings.
Quick group shot and then off to dinner.
We requested an Uber and then headed towards the parking lot to get picked up. We quickly found that no one was going to be able to get us due to the massive line of cars trying to come to the event that was set up in the lot.
We had to walk out to the curb where the freeway started and have the car stop for us there. When we were later dropped off – we found there was no designated lane for hotel guests to bypass the ridiculous wait, either. . .
I had listed a few places in the area that looked good to try – and James Republic was the “fancy night out” pick.
Huge glass doorwalls open to the pleasant night air, and a really cool interior – it was a good pick to relieve the stress of getting settled at the hotel.
I ordered a house drink – bartender’s choice after telling him my preferred spirits.
Then we got a half dozen oysters.
They don’t photo pretty – but man, are they GOOD.
Grass Fed Burger: Fiscilini white cheddar, onion jam, horseradish, house pickles, farm egg.
Farro “Fried Rice”: farm egg, fresh fish, pork belly, fresh watercress, cashew butter
For dessert we split a Flourless Fudge Brownie – topped with vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate almond bark, and whipped cream. Strawberries on the side because Chris doesn’t like fruit on his sundaes. :)
We head back to the ship.
To find the haunted carnival is still going on.
It would go on long into the night, we’d learn, and was right outside our window. Watch the video below for more.
Video recap of the flight and boat/hotel.