Docked in Long Beach, California, is the RMS Queen Mary. Intent on not falling behind in the shipbuilding race, Britain’s John Brown & Company built the RMS Queen Mary for the Cunard Line, which sailed mainly in the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936-1967. After it’s final voyage in 1967, it retired in the Port of Long Beach, in the greater Los Angeles area.
Growing up just north of Long Beach, every year I had friends who would venture to The Queen Mary during Halloween for some scary fun on the ship. I never went, and I can’t remember if I ever went on a normal day as a child, but after I went today I have no idea why I had never been before.
A few months ago, one of my best friends told me that The Queen Mary is hosting a Princess Diana exhibit. If you know me, Princess Diana was (and still is) my style and humanitarian icon. So, I could not wait to go.
The exhibit was as lovely and interesting as can be. In fact, it was more than an exhibit on Princess Diana. There was a whole display of history on the royal family from the time of King George V and Queen Mary, to present day. The collection of letters from various members of the royal family is quite impressive. My favorite letters were birthday cards that Princess Diana wrote to certain friends, and the label card placed in front of each noted “…adult-rated birthday card from Princess Diana…” I loved that. The woman was so witty. And of course, the main attraction—some of Princess Diana’s dresses that were auctioned at Christie’s just before her death—was fabulous.
After we made our way through the exhibit we headed to the tearoom. We tried this really nice hazelnut chocolate tea. I’ve never had such a tea, but I love hazelnut chocolate so I was immediately intrigued. When the waitress brought it over it smelled divine! It was so lovely. So we sipped our tea accompanied with miniature sandwiches, scones with Cornish cream and jams, and mini desserts. It was my kind of perfect day…and it got better!
After tea we walked around the deck and explored the ship a bit, which was AWESOME. Every time I saw a set of stairs I got excited to see what was below or at the top of them. It felt very reminiscent of Rose and Jack and Titanic. And of course, when you have the chance to reenact Titanic…you DO IT!
Seriously, it was SO much fun. And quite surprisingly, The Queen Mary is full of cafes and restaurants. I mean, how many restaurants does one ship need? Apparently at least 8, plus gift shops! It’s a great place for a photoshoot, a party, other private functions, and even a wedding. They have a wedding chapel, but they also have an outside area with lined benches and a gazebo that was clearly created for weddings. You can also stay on the ship and live out your 1930’s transatlantic dreams ;).
I’m definitely bringing my family here for lunch one day. If you’re in the L.A. area, you must visit The Queen Mary. I promise you’ll have a fabulous time!
BIG LOVE & HUGS