Ahoy! I just arrived back from a week long trip in Long Beach. My hotel was a ship, the Queen Mary. She’s a tourist attraction and hotel now but in the 1930’s, she was the most luxurious ocean-liner in the world. It was my fortune to come-aboard for 3 nights and attend a conference on her bow.
The ship is bigger in real life than in pictures. It’s really hard not to be impressed. Check-in was easy, my room was on A-deck. Walking to the room you can see from near stern, down an endless hallway, to the bow. It is a mind-bending hallway.
The room was so-so. The walls are thing and the rooms show their age. It helps to keep things in perspective but you are likely to be underwhelmed like I was. TripAdvisor user cav1023 described it well:
“Its not 1936 anymore”
If you enjoy sleeping in a tiny windowless room, with no air conditioning, and walls so thin you can hear your neighbor breathing then by all means stay on the ship. For those who enjoy history but also enjoy living in a modern world, visit the ship during the day but stay in a real hotel.
As the days went on, I grew to like the ship more and more. The things that bugged me about my room become less important. The guided tour gets you access to the best parts of the ship, like the grand dining hall and Queen’s Salon.
This was my first time in Long Beach. I was unable to be impressed by the dining in town. There are a plethora of chain restaurants so I ventured out a little further to Belmont Brewing Company. The beers were great and pizza was good. I explored the city via Uber, it is a very Uber-friendly city. Long Beach Airport is charming and the Burger Bar inside hit the spot on the way out.
My final verdict is to visit the ship, stay for dinner and hang out in the Observation bar but I would pass on booking a room. The ship is great in many ways but the rooms need an overhaul to compete. As a conference space, the ship works. I enjoyed my meetings in the Queen’s Salon and I won’t hesitate visiting again.