Search: Advanced | Preference

Traveling Boy means the travel adventures of the Traveiling Boitanos
Travel adventures of Eric Anderson Boitano
Travel adventures of John Clayton
Travel adventures of Deb Roskamp
Travel adventures of Fyllis Hockman
Travel adventures of Brom Wikstrom
Travel adventures of Jim Friend
Travel adventures of Timothy Mattox
Travel adventures of Corinna Lothar
Travel adventures of Roger Fallihee
Travel adventures of Tamara Lelie
Travel adventures of Beverly Cohn
Travel adventures of Raoul Pascual
Travel adventures of Ringo Boitano
Travel adventures of Herb Chase
Travel adventures of Terry Cassel
Travel adventures of Dette Pascual
Travel adventures of Gary Singh
Travel adventures of John Blanchette
Travel adventures of Tom Weber
Travel adventures of James Thomas
Travel adventures of Richard Carroll
Travel adventures of Richard Frisbie
Travel adventures of Masada Siegel
Travel adventures of Greg Aragon
Travel adventures of Skip Kaltenheuser
Travel adventures of Ruth J. Katz
Travel adventures of Traveling Boy's guest contributors

Ketchikan Bed and Breakfast Service

Panguitch Utah, your destination for outdoor discovery

Alaska Sea Adventures - Alaska Yacht Charter and Cruises

Colorado ad

Sorrel ad

Polar Cruises ad

       Feeds provide updated website content    

Queen Mary
The Queen Mary Still Reigns
In Long Beach

Story and photos (unless stated otherwise)
by Mary McGrath

ince docking at Long Beach Harbor in 1967, the Queen Mary's been pretty much idle, but there's still a lot of activity surrounding this famous ocean liner, making a visit well-worth your time.

Currently CHILL is in full swing, with its popular snow-driven activities taking place adjacent to the boat. Onboard, the Diana Exhibit showcases decades of European history, coupled with rich displays to satiate any fashionista. And then there are the fine restaurants, particularly Sir Winston's, offering premium 5-Star dining overlooking the harbor. Scallops and duck were our choices that evening, and we were very impressed with the quality of the food, and the service.

scallops at Sir Winston's restaurant onboard the Queen Mary
Scallops at Sir Winston's

Ever wanted to cruise around the world? Coming up on New Year's Eve is their re-launch of the retired ocean-liner to her voyaging days with a one-night world cruise, where "passengers" will be ushered to such places as India, Brazil, the extravagant Moulin Rouge in France and Times Square in New York before returning to the ship's beginning, a village in Scotland. The celebration will culminate with fireworks at midnight, and no passport is needed! Prices start at $99.

Bew Year's Eve celebration a the Queen Mary
Fireworks. Photo courtesy of The Queen Mary.

We were curious about the Queen, so we booked a two-night stay, not quite sure what to expect. Sure, it's not the Four Seasons, but we found our updated room comfortable, clean, and punctuated with some groovy throwbacks to her earlier days. Check out those vintage portholes, and the heating vents from the '40s. Our room even had a small writing desk from that bygone era.

We were originally there to sleuth for ghosts, which are a given at the Queen Mary. There are several paranormal excursions available, taking you to the bowels of the boiler room, the famed haunted swimming pool, and hot spots inside the boat where people have met with gruesome endings.

Although there are several paranormal tours, we took two of the daytime tours. The shorter Ghosts and Legends is more of a special effects romp, taking you deep into the interior of the boat. Boilers hissed while a simulated flood ensued. This was all good fun, but we preferred the Haunted Encounters, proving why the Queen Mary has been voted one of the Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America according to Time magazine. Who died in that room and how? What really happened in the first class swimming pool? How many people were caught in the rear propeller when the Queen cut another ocean liner in half? The creep factor was high on this tour, and our guide was engaging and informative. Many spirit orbs were evident in many of the photos I took.

spirit orbs in the Queen Mary's boiler room
Spirit orbs in boiler room

If strapped for time, simply walk the boat, where you'll see photos of dignitaries, actors and other famous people, all whom have contributed to the illustrious reputation of the Queen Mary when she was in full swing.

Art enthusiasts will enjoy the many murals, paintings and Art Deco furniture that still punctuate the ship, taking you back to a bygone era when Big Band music was king, and everyone did the Continental.

art deco furniture and paintings at a lounge inside the Queen Mary
Art Deco lounge

We toured the boat on our own one morning, to avoid the crush of people on the tours, and discovered some wonderful gems. Maritime history is plentiful on the boat, giving you a peek into relics from a bygone era.

old maritime equipment on display aboard the Queen Mary
Full steam ahead!

One spot was the radio room near the front of the boat where two volunteers entertained us with tales of the Morse code, the war efforts, and many other factoids related to the history of the Queen Mary. Jerry Fullerton (on the right) and his pal were well informed and such a delight, showing us how to operate many of the sophisticated instruments that were in use at the time.

Jerry Fullerton and his friend at the Queen Mary's radio room
Jerry Fullerton (right) and his pal in the radio room

Erika Komark tries to phone home

The Queen Mary has many facets to her, so if you've never come aboard, now's the time. Whether you're a history buff, an art or fashion enthusiast, a snow bunny, ghost-hunter, or simply looking for some fine dining or unique entertainment opportunities, come check her out. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

For more information visit the Queen Mary's website.

Related Articles:
Sailing Into the Past: A Cruise on the S.S. Lane Victory; The Oasis of the Seas; Royal Yacht Britannia and RSS Discovery; Vegas Meets Disneyland on the High Seas; The SS Lane Victory: A One-Day Tourist Attraction

Name: Required
E-mail: Required
City: Required


I enjoy your newsletters -and particularly Patti Nickell's article about the 'Pudding Club' in the Cotswold's. An old friend of mine is taking a holiday there this year and plans to try their Jam Roly Poly and Spotted Dick - amongst many!

--- John & Maggie - UK


The way I read this article, you stayed at the "Breeze and Waves". Do you have any pictures of the cottages, and would you recommend to some first time visitors to Caramoan?

--- Richard Simons, Stockton, CA

Hi Richard,

Breeze and Waves was still under construction when I stayed there in Feb. 2010. It should be finished by now. You can see pictures of the resort on this page. We got to stay in one of the small cottages in the picture. I'll recommend it to budget travelers but you might want to look at other options. We chose it because of its location right by the beach. You can try other resorts in the Caramoan town proper (you have to get a ride to get to the beach and the jump-off point to go island-hopping but it's a relatively short distance). There are also two higher end resorts located on a cove and very near the islands: Gota Village Resort (unfortunately there is something wrong with their website right now) and its twin resort Hunongan Cove. Caramoan is a relatively new tourism development so resorts are just now being built.

You can go to this site for a good list of choices for accommodations in Caramoan.

I should add that it might be good to go to Caramoan (and almost anywhere in the Philippines) during the dry season from December to May. June to November are the typhoon months and sometimes typhoons will still come during early December.


* * * * *

Hi, I'm planning to go to Caramoan this coming May. Would you know the number of Breeze and Waves Cottages? Thanks!

--- Ann, Manila, Philippines

Hi Ann,

Breeze and Waves' phone number is 0908-2911072. Look for Freddie. Hope you have a grand time at Caramoan!



For Nature's Playground: The South Island of New Zealand

Hi Wendy,

In winter, Heritage Heights Apts. now offers free shuttle service to and from Queenstown 24/7 to guests without cars. We own a 7-passenger 4-wd Toyota Highlander used specifically to taxi guests up and down the hill during winter months. We also run advance purchase winter promotions which include a 4-wd rental.

If any of your readers head over this direction, I will enjoy extending Heritage Heights hospitality!!


--- Ailey, Owner, Queenstown, NZ

* * * * *

New Zealand text and pix top drawer! Almost as good as making the trip. ( but one still wants to. . . ) Full of useful detail. Only trouble with the website: It's tough figuring out which feedback goes with which article, and the more there are, the tougher it gets!

--- Ken W., Camarillo CA

Thanks Ken..."álmost" is right, you really have to experience the South Island firsthand. Granted this piece is long, but still all I can think about is how much I left out! I agree abut the relevancy factor re the feedback--it can be confusing...sometimes I have a "Wait a minute...what?" moment myself.

Thanks for writing,


* * * * *

Okay Wendy, from now on whenever you book your travel, please reserve space for me. I will carry your luggage, bring you cold drinks, massage your shoulders, and change the film in your camera (oops, I guess you don't have to do that anymore). Wonderful ideas and recommendations. Can you get to New Zealand from Boston in less than a week?

--- Carl A., South Easton, MA

Ha ha ha Carl, you're quite the comedian! But you'd be surprised how short that flight feels. I suspect Qantas isn't the only airline who's figured out that 3 movies, 2 full meals, lots of snacks and a complimentary travel pack (eye mask, warm socks and neck pillow) equals a quiet, well-behaved cabin. It really isn't bad. Just fly direct--pick the shortest flight w/ no lengthy layovers and you'll be fine. Re: signing on as my Super Sherpa...why not? I think you know I seldom travel in anything less than Party mode. There's just that pesky background check...

Thanks for writing,


For Excellence Riviera Cancun:

Wendy, I truly enjoyed your info especially since we leave in a week to celebrate my 50th Birthday. Was it necessary to make reservations at the restaurants? Was there a dress code for the restaurants? What would you recommend not missing while there? Was the spa experience worth it? Did you travel away from the resort while there? Thanks,

--- Kim P. Fuquay, Varina, NC

Hi Kim.

Sorry for the delay in had heavy competition with the holidays. Reservations at Excellence restaurants are not necessary and you will not find a wait. The dress code is basically no bathing suits and flip-flops...with a decided a mix of atmospheres. Mostly the open-air beachside spots are super casual, the rest slightly more formal. Truly, as long as you are clothed, I don't think you'd be turned away anywhere, though most people seemed to enjoy dressing up at night...I suspect more for their own pleasure than any sense of decorum.

The spa experience was worth it, though my favorite part wasn't the actual massage. The precursor was a 45 min. or so rotation from sauna to a series of (kind of wild) water jets which was very different and very cool, not just for women. In its' entirety, and with the serenity of the beach/champagne/strawberries, it was memorable.

We did not travel away from the hotel this trip, but the hotel is very helpful in arranging day excursions to fit your desires and you do not have to book these until you arrive.

Have a great time!

--- Wendy


I enjoyed Nino's contribution, since we all read about the frightening terrorist attack. Having travelled somewhat through India years ago, I am continually impressed with this country and the gentle spiritual aspects of this nation. Some day I look forward to going back. Nino has encouraged me. Thank you!

--- Yoka Y., Westlake Village, CA


Dear Mr.s/counselors Brown and Koro,

Thank you for a very informed and succinct article on motorcycle accidents and the law. It inspired me to think about getting a motorcycle, but not have an accident. But, if I do I am now well informed with the basics of what to do providing I do not perish in the accident. Any tips about that too?

--- Unnamed

Dear Rush and Chuck,

I wish I had read your article before our camping trip the Friday prior to President's Day.

My wife and I were in a car accident on our way to a camp ground. We were "rear-ended" and the impact caused our car to crash into the car in front of us. The contents of the truck that we were riding scattered onto several lanes. It's a miracle our two dogs decided to stay inside the car. My wife and I were shaken up badly but despite the mess, I was still able to walk out of the car. I got the license plate of the driver in front of me but, to my surprise, after reviewing the little damage on his car, he then sped off. I didn't know you could do that! The driver who hit me from behind gave me his information and then he too left the scene without saying good 'bye. When the police arrived all I had to go by was the little information I had jotted down which I hope was truthful. What if it was bogus? What if I had written the plate number incorrectly? How would that affect my insurance? What if we were unconscious, who would have written down all that information?

I do have one suggestion if you are injured in an accident. The police asked if my wife wanted an ambulance to bring her to the hospital but we declined the offer. I remembered when I rode an ambulance years ago that it was not a comfortable ride. I was strapped to the stretcher and there were all sorts of medical equipment dangling noisily above me. As long as you are able, it is a more relaxful ride inside a car. Besides, isn't there a fee for ambulance service?

--- Dave S. of Pasadena, CA

© All Rights Reserved. 2015.
This site is designed and maintained by WYNK Marketing. Send all technical issues to:
Friendly Planet Travel

Lovin Life After 50

Big Sur ad

Tara Tours ad

Alaska Cruises & Vacations ad

Cruise One ad

Visit Norway ad

Sitka, Alaska ad

Montreal tourism site

Visit Berlin ad

official website of the Netherlands

Cruise Copenhagen ad

Sun Valley ad

Philippine Department of Tourism portal

Quebec City tourism ad

AlaskaFerry ad

Zurich official website

Zuiderzee Museum ad