Built during the Great Depression, Queen Mary departed on her maiden transatlantic voyage in 1936. This grand ocean liner set the bar in terms of luxury, hosting celebrity guests such as Clark Gable as well as British royalty. The Queen Mary’s days a luxury liner were short lived, because in 1939 she transformed into the Grey Ghost as a troopship at the start of WWII. After her service in the war she returned to serving passengers for 20 years, before docking for the final time in 1967 in Long Beach, Ca. Today families are encouraged to visit, stay and play on this historic icon. So, let’s explore The Queen Mary with Kids together!
Money Saving Tips:
Visiting the Queen Mary with kids doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of packages, deals and specials going on all the time. For instance, we recently purchased tickets to the Scottish Festival for less than $10 on LivingSocial. It is actually free to board the ship and explore the ship with all its shops, museums and restaurants. This is one reason why it is one of our favorite affordable weekend destinations near Orange County.
Staying Aboard the Queen Mary:
Staying aboard the Queen Mary is quite a treat. It’s like stepping back in time, drifting off to sleep surround by the art deco décor and glamor of another time. Unless of course you are keeping one eye open in order to spy one of the many ghosts said to haunt this historic floating hotel. Yup, I said ghosts. Every time I visit, I secretly (okay not so secretly) wish I would spot one having a cocktail in the observation bar. Rates average $99 a night, but I’ve seen them as low as $79 and high as $200. In addition to the staterooms Queen Mary also has family staterooms with two bedroom areas.
Places to Eat on Queen Mary:
On board, there are five restaurants to choose from and they are all amazing. My parents used to take us to the Queen Mary for dinner as a child and we could watch the other cruise ships in port, while pretending we were cruising ourselves. See my post about Traveling in Place, HERE.
Sir Winston’s Restaurant & Lounge:
For a five-star dining experience, this dining option features gorgeous views of the sea. Open daily for dinner at 5:30pm, the menu features classic fine dining cuisine such as Beef Wellington and Rack of Lamb. Don’t let the white table clothes intimidate you, kids are welcomed. I have many fond memories of dining at Sir Winston’s as a child. It is a bit pricey, but is worth doing at least once. The live piano entertainment provides wonderful ambiance as well as entertainment for the kids.
The Tea Room:
Fashioned after British afternoon tea, The Tea Room is only open during lunch hours and offers British tea service as well as delicious salads, soups and sandwiches. Although it is a more casual than Sir Winston’s, The Tea Room is elegant and will make you feel a bit like a royal. Kids love the tea experience, while mama can enjoy a glass of wine.
Champagne Sunday Brunch:
One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday is brunch and the Queen Mary has a fantastic one! Held in the Grand Salon, the endless buffet of delicious dishes from all over world wraps around the entire dance floor. Live music plays and champagne flows. It is truly a Sunday Funday.
Chelsea Chowder House & Bar:
They don’t just have one type of chowder; they have a wide selection of chowders to choose from as well as other delicious seafood options and steak. Surf and turf, baby! Nothing sounds better than some warm chowder and cold beer when you are on a boat surround by the blue ocean.
Like the other dining options on the ship, the Promenade Café has gorgeous views of the ocean and delicious food. Very family-friendly, the café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Great for a quick snack or coffee break!
In addition the restaurants are a number of dining events like the Dining with Spirits, where guests dine at Sir Winston’s followed by a paranormal tour of the ship. The Queen Mary Barrel Series which pairs delicious cuisine with featured premium spirits in a five-course dining event.
Places to Grab a Drink:
Observation Bar & Art Deco Lounge:
This is probably my favorite hangout on the Queen Mary with kids because it is so kid-friendly. Great drinks with a great view; you can’t beat that. I love to escape to the Observation Bar, because they have live music and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. They used to have live music on Sunday all day, which was great, because I would squeeze my double stroller near a nice corner table and let the good times roll. Happy hour is Monday through Thursday from 4:00pm-7:00pm. The Observation Bar is located right at the front of the ship with large glass windows and doors to take the kids exploring the deck of the titanic era cruise ship.
Fun Things to do on Queen Mary in Long Beach
Upon the Queen Mary, there is plenty offered to stay entertained. Just being on the grand vessel is exciting enough. My kids love to explore the bow of the ship and so do I. I’m the queen of the world!!
Queen Mary offers a variety of tours and exhibits for exploring and learning different aspects of the ship. For instance, The Diana: Legacy of a Princess is the newest exhibit which replaced the Titanic exhibit. My favorite is the Haunted Encounters tour, because guests get to discover for themselves why Queen Mary is considered among the top 10 most haunted places in America. Next to the Queen Mary is the Russian submarine, Scorpion which remains unchanged since the Cold War. I could go on forever, but check out Tours and Exhibits to find the one that suits your fancy. There are many packages that include a night stay with your tour, so be sure to check that out.
In addition to the tours and exhibits, there is always a fun event being hosted at the Queen Mary. During the month of February is the Scottish Festival, which we love see my post HERE. There are tons of fun activities for families, the sound of bagpipes fill the air, and the beer is flowing freely. It is a great time!
Another event that I love is the Shipwreck, now called Dark Harbor, during Halloween time. There are haunted houses, live music, bars and an extra level of spookiness due to the real ghosts that might be wondering around.
That’s a Wrap:
I’m a huge history buff and there is something about the Queen Mary that makes calls to me. Growing up I was fascinated by the Titanic and the Queen Mary was very similar in style. Every time I would board the Queen Mary with kids, I felt like I stepped back in time and loved every minute of it. To this day, I still love being on board, touching the railing, smelling the old wood, absorbing its wonder. Now I take my kids and it feels so cool to share this experience with them. If you ever find yourself in Long Beach, be sure to check out this magnificent ship.
Have you ever visited the Queen Mary?
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