The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

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Here in the “Blogosphere” many of my fellow bloggers use the words, “Throwback Thursday” to connote the re-posting of perhaps a favorite writing they would once again like to share.  I looked back at a year ago this week to see I had written a post about the enchanting, “Queen Mary” ship located in Long Beach, California.  So here’s my first, “Throwback Thursday” post about that utterly incredible experience aboard this historically huge ship! I hope you enjoy it!

It was an absolute pleasure not only to see the Queen Mary on our recent trip to Long Beach, California, but to go aboard was like a dream sequence.  The picture above was taken at approximately 6:00 p.m.; I couldn’t wait to walk those halls! Oh, I must say that the photos are much better when you click on them to enlarge the detail!

This incredible passenger ocean liner was built in Clydebank, Scotland in the 1930’s.  Her maiden voyage as a luxury vessel was in 1936 from Southampton, UK, to New York.  The Queen Mary was known for her speed as well as her beauty.  Dignitaries, royalty, and the Hollywood set took great pleasure in adorning the ship’s cabins and decks.

When WWII and its bleak days blanketed the world, the Queen Mary was retrofitted as a troopship, carrying approximately 15,000 soldiers into the depths of war.

After WWII, the magnificent vessel was retrofitted once again to provide luxury travel for her adoring upper-crust crowd.  However, in the 1960’s, travelers began to turn the tide, as it were, and focus on air travel for their worldly adventures.

In 1967, the Queen Mary made her last voyage and settled into Long Beach life as a fascinating landmark.  The ship is still equipped with staterooms and restaurants, providing a floating hotel of remarkable and historical significance.

Now that I’ve bent your ear a bit regarding the history of my new-found friend, I’ll turn to our own experiences aboard the “Grey Ghost”, as she was called during WWII.

As we approached the Queen Mary, I could feel the excitement building.  Knowing a tiny bit about its history made the visit all the more thrilling!  What tales she would have to tell!  I took the above photo at approximately 8:00 p.m.  I apologize for being unable to get the entire ship in view! She’s too grand for that!

Security is very tight on the Queen Mary.  I like that, as it is such a massive vessel that one could get lost if left to one’s own devices.  The idea of being a stowaway wouldn’t get you too far though since she’s not moved in over 45 years!

The fact that the Queen Mary is stunning was a bonus beyond words.  So much of the ship has been preserved and/or maintained that you could swear it was 1938 or thereabouts.  As we walked along the various decks, I could not help but feel the grandeur and wondered aloud if this is what it felt like to be a passenger all those decades ago.

The next photo was taken in a hallway approaching one of the numerous restaurants on board.  Note the slatted, wooden floor!

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This photo was taken on one of the decks where the cabins are located.  There are numerous decks and I seem to recall each having its own reception area! How posh indeed!

Queen Mary reception desk

This photo was taken of a shop that was unfortunately closed when we were visiting the Queen Mary.  The windows are laden with artifacts from the Queen Mary during her heyday.  Can you see the unbelievable woodwork?  It was breathtaking.

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This next picture was also taken in an area with shops and windows with displays of Queen Mary memorabilia.

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The following photo is a hallway of one of the cabin/stateroom areas:

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This photo is of a room we were not able to get into; however, it seems to be a lovely display of old artifacts containing a piano, a telephone, and a microphone with a stand.  I am wondering if this is used in some way to broadcast radio programs.  I attempted to find out more, but could not seem to obtain anything concrete.  If I do, I’ll be certain to let you know!

***Addendum – I received a wonderful email back from Jennifer of Passenger Services at the Queen Mary who provided me with the following information about this room:

This room was the First class Music and Rehearsal Room.  The room was used by the Queen Mary’s first class passengers to rehearse music, speeches, or presentations.  Many of the famous passengers (Bob Hope and Liberace to name two) did utilize this room, and they also performed as on-board entertainment for other passengers.  Jennifer also noted that despite the fact the furnishings in the room are original to the Queen Mary, they were not originally located in the room.  On another deck was a baby grand piano; this piano was the original piano that was used in this room.  Because of how small the room is and how large the piano is, there was no room for any other furniture.  Thank you again, Jennifer for clarifying this information!

Radio Room Queen Mary

I could most certainly write a volume’s worth of information about the Queen Mary and its fascinating past.  I shall leave it at that for now, and hopefully tantalizing you with the next “LA/Long Beach” post!  We’ll take a little journey to Hollywood, where the stars shine not only on stage, but on the illustrious “Walk of Fame”! Do stay tuned, please!

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61 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday – The Queen Mary: What a marvelous maiden!!

  1. D. Parker says:

    This is so gorgeous, what an amazing piece of history and art.
    Thank you for sharing it with us Cher!
    Boo and big hugs, Donna xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you, dear Donna! She’s in my soul; they say that about some places and this one is surely part of me! I resonate with her energy. Incredibly and fascinating history aboard this phenomenal vessel! Big hugs, Cher xo

      Like

  2. John says:

    Wow, beautiful inside. I have seen this ship but only from the car as we passed. Lucky you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Hi John! And those were only a ‘few’ photos we took! It is one of the most amazing places I have ever been to on land or on water! The woodwork is exceptional! The history of this ship is more interesting than the best scripted fiction! Having been used as a luxury liner, then a troop ship, back to a luxury liner and all the while was one of the fastest to cross the Atlantic! She’s a beaut! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Clyde built of course (;-D ). We had a visit from her successor a couple of years ago in Bergen – http://scotnor.com/?s=Queen+Mary+II

    Liked by 2 people

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      *biggest grin* Ah, let me have a look! I should have written in my post, “The Queen Mary is beautiful and majestic because she was built in my ancestral home of Scotland!!” Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. seaangel4444 says:

        She was a fast ship, was our Queen Mary!! 🙂 Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Bonnie says:

    It’s a throwback Thursday for me too!! Remember, I was there just a few weeks after you last year!? 😉 What a beautiful bit of history! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Hi Bonnie! Yes I most certainly do remember that! In fact, you came to my mind when I was posting this today!! Thank you!!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. andy1076 says:

    Definitely a ship with an incredible story, I watched the documentary and still find it fascinating 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Andy! What documentary?? Details, please! *clink* Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. andy1076 says:

        Discovery Channel mighty ships 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Thank you, Andy! Hhhhmm, wondering if the Discovery Channel is on Comcast (that’s the cable company here). I’m going to find out! Mighty Ships! Mighty thanks, Andy! *quadruple clink* Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      3. andy1076 says:

        Oh no you can go on discovery.ca and see it there you, we Canadians are humble that way muahsha!! (digs into his tub of ice cream)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. seaangel4444 says:

        HAHAHA well since I am a Canadian AND an American, I guess that makes me 1/2 humble? *stands by, watching Andy with TWO spoons digging into his MASSIVE TUB of ice cream* How does he do that?? ;-P

        Liked by 1 person

      5. andy1076 says:

        ~Stirs the giant spoon and gulp~! it makes you humble and carazay 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      6. seaangel4444 says:

        *LOL* *LOL* Hahaha, awesome!!!! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This is so cool! Thanks for sharing. My mother came over from England on the Queen Mary when she was an infant, so this was really neat to see.

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Oh that is absolutely wonderful to hear! Did she? My goodness, have you had a chance to take a tour? If you can, wouldn’t that be great! Your mum was a wee babe on the Queen Mary!! Thank you so much for sharing this! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t, but my mom and I have talked about doing a tour together… she’d really like to see it again. This has inspired me. We need to get on that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        I think you would both love it! I really hope you do a trip there! And of course, you can stay on board as it has a hotel!!

        Like

  7. Wow! What a beauty! I really loved this post. Thanks so much for sharing the wonderful information and photos. 🙂

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Absolutely my pleasure! Thank YOU! She is a beauty, that’s for sure! I cannot wait to go back and really do some wandering around! I’ll take lots of photos for another post! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Looking forward to it! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Thank you! Now I am thinking, hhhmmm, when can I get back there? *grin* Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  8. There’s a good reason for “Throwback Thursdays.” Re-blogs of great posts. I enjoyed it all over again, Cher. Thanks.

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Carol, your name, “Sunshinebright” is a perfect moniker for you, as you always make me feel happy! Thank you so much!! Cher xo

      Like

  9. Don says:

    Sometime ago she was in Durban South Africa.. A magnificent ship. Wonderful Cher – can’t remember seeing your post.

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Was she, Don? I had no idea about that! I shall go and look this up! She is incredible; what a phenomenal history!! Thank you, Don! Cher xo

      Like

  10. Poetsmith says:

    Magnificent ” Queen Mary” and the history behind it! Splendid story, Cher 🙂 Thanks for this and the photos too. Love, Iris

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you, dear Iris! It was truly a pleasure to walk the halls of this incredible, historical vessel! I truly mean it when I say I cannot wait to get back and do a lot more exploring!! Love, Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Poetsmith says:

        Sounds just great, Cher! Enjoy exploring… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        I’m thinking a vacation should be planned, Iris! *LOL* Thank you!! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  11. JunkChuck says:

    Gorgeous. Every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Isn’t she a beaut? The “Grey Ghost” they called her during the war! Cher xo

      Like

  12. The photos make me feel like I am right there! Excellent for this weeks photo challenge, the designs and the time it must take for the cleaning crew!! Amazing~

    Like

  13. Gator Woman says:

    Absolutely awesome pictures. Brings back great memories. Love Long Beach~

    Like

  14. Elena says:

    Excellent post. Now I am kicking myself for driving past it several times when we were in California.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much, Elena! If you do have the opportunity some time, PLEASE take tours, walk around, anything because you will be so glad you did, I’m sure! 🙂 Truly, I cannot wait to get back aboard the Queen Mary! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Kate Loveton says:

    Cher, this was so interesting! Imagine what it must have been like to have been a passenger on the Queen Mary back in the day. Thanks for sharing a bit of her history as well as the lovely photographs.

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much, Kate! I have envisioned what it must have been like to be cruising across the Atlantic Ocean on this magnificent vessel! Oh if the walls could talk! So much history! Thank you, Kate! Cher xo

      Like

  16. Helen Jones says:

    My great grandmother travelled in this ship when she came to visit her daughter (my great aunt) who moved to America after WWII. I still have her steamer trunk marked ‘not wanted on voyage’ – I use it as a coffee table now 🙂 I’d love to visit the ship one day and see its beauty for myself xx

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Oh Helen, that is wonderful!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! And to have her steamer trunk must be brilliant! Yes, if you have the opportunity to see the Queen Mary, I am sure you will adore her! Since you have a personal connection to this magnificent vessel, it will feel even more special, I’m sure! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Helen Jones says:

        Thanks Cher xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Thank you, Helen! xo

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks for visiting my blog again for liking another post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Ah, right back at you, Natalie! Thank YOU! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  18. SD Gates says:

    Hi my friend. I took my boys to the Queen Mary last year. Had High Tea – which the boys and my grumpy husband absolutely loved. Reminded me of my Auntie Hilda’s high teas (I loved going to visit her in Sudbury). Also went on a Paranormal investigation down into the bowels of the ship. Very cool. But we had this drunk lady in our party with the most cloying, horrendously awful smelling perfume on, and I think it scared the spirits away. Love the post!!!!!

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Hello there! Well that is wonderful you have High Tea aboard the QM! I want to do that! We also went on the paranormal investigation. I daresay you and 100% correct; I’m most certain the spirits were rather ‘put off’ by the dreadful cologne permeating their space. Amazing how some are unaware, isn’t it? 😉 Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SD Gates says:

        It really is. And this woman (she was really nice), but so loud (as many Californian women seem to be). I think it was too much, probably offended the ghosts’ sensibilities – it certainly did mine. Tea was great – little sandwiches and petit fours (my favorite) on tiered silver platters – with proper tea – not the herbal stuff and real linens. It was wonderful. I understand the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco puts on a good High Tea as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        I’m sure she would have offended mine, too. Wow, I am going to have to check this out for sure! I’ve never been to high tea. Well I know they have a Ritz in LA; I wonder if they do it there as well? Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      3. SD Gates says:

        I don’t know. I will look. Be right back!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. seaangel4444 says:

        Ah, thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. SD Gates says:

        The Ritz doesn’t have anything – they are to LA-y but the Millennium has an afternoon tea. Sent you the link – looks yummy!!!http://www.millenniumhotels.com/usa/millenniumbiltmorelosangeles/dining/rendezvous-court.html

        Liked by 1 person

      6. seaangel4444 says:

        Well thank you so much for that! I’m going to check it out! Very thoughtful of you my dear! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      7. SD Gates says:

        My pleasure – I am glad I found it, might pop into LA and try it out!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. seaangel4444 says:

        It looks amazing! And the price isn’t bad considering it is traditional High Tea! You should do just that!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      9. SD Gates says:

        I think I will.

        Liked by 1 person

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