A Royal and Tasty
Time Aboard the Queen Mary
Story by Greg Aragon
Photos by Greg Aragon (except where otherwise noted)
came for the legendary Sunday brunch and ended up staying for breakfast.
I didn't originally plan it that way, but after filling my gullet on
an incredible assortment of seafood, salad, meat dishes and some serious
desserts, I needed a nap. And what better place to rest than on a ship,
gently rocking with the tides. And if the vessel you are relaxing on
happens to be one of the most famous in the history of ocean travel,
then it's icing on the cake.
Since her 1936 maiden voyage in Southampton, England,
the Queen Mary has been
a legend of the sea.
My getaway to the historic, 1930s Queen
Mary began last Sunday when a friend and I showed up for the popular
Champagne Brunch. As one of Southern California's best brunches, this
nautical-themed feast takes guests on a worldwide culinary adventure
with more than 50 unique dishes from around the globe. From made-to-order
omelets, pancakes, and eggs Benedict to Mexican fajitas, carne asada
tacos and meatball soup, to Asian inspired ribs and noodles, to garden
salads, fresh seafood, decadent desserts, and bottomless champagne,
this brunch has something for every taste bud.
The Queen Mary's Sunday Brunch is a nautical-themed
feast with more than 50 unique dishes from around the globe.
And when it comes to atmosphere, the Queen's brunch
has plenty. Located in 80-year-old ship's elegant and graceful Grand
Salon, the dining experience, complimented by a live harpist, has "the
air of a royal soiree and is anything but typical."
The Queen's brunch is one of the best in Southern
After about 90 minutes at the buffet, devouring numerous
plates of fresh crab legs, smoked salmon, ahi tuna, oysters on the half
shell, shrimp, imported cheeses, carved turkey, Chinese BBQ ribs, soup,
and chocolate cheesecake, I made my out of the Grand Salon and into
the ship's luxurious main lobby, near the bow, where I checked into
Located on B deck, near the stern, the room was cozy,
charming and oozed with history. To get there, I walked down a level
of stairs, past the ship's fitness center, and then strolled nearly
the entire length of the 1,019-ft-long ship to room 491.
The hotel rooms aboard the Queen Mary are cozy,
charming and full of history
(picture courtesy of Queen Mary).
Like the rest of the 346 original first-class staterooms
aboard the ship, my cabin featured original artwork from the boat's
heyday, as well as authentic Art Deco built-ins for additional storage.
Known as the ship of woods, many of the original staterooms
are adorned with rich wood paneling from all over the world. While every
stateroom is unique, they all offer a glimpse into what transatlantic
travel was like during the 30s, 40s and 50s.
Porthole windows in the
rooms provide stunning views
to Downtown Long Beach
My room came with a firm king bed, large flat screen
TV, a half-tub with shower, wireless Internet, and two porthole windows
looking out to the city of Long
Beach across the bay. The room also came with the Queen Mary's incredible
Since she first took to the water on her maiden voyage
on May 27, 1936, in Southampton, England, the ship was an instant star.
She boasted five dining areas and lounges, two cocktail bars and swimming
pools, a grand ballroom, a squash court and even a small hospital. The
ship set a new standard in transatlantic travel, which the rich and
famous considered as the only civilized way to travel.
While taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the ship, I
learned about the ship's glory days on the high seas. For three years
after her maiden voyage, she was the ocean's most royal liner, carrying
Hollywood celebrities like Bob Hope and Clark Gable, royalty like the
Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and dignitaries like Winston Churchill.
And speaking of Sir Winston, my tour visited the room he occupied while
During her heyday, the Queen Mary welcomed famous
folks such as Bob Hope, Clark Gable and Winston Churchill (picture
courtesy of Queen Mary).
During her time at sea, the Queen Mary also carried
WWII troops and had a bounty put on her by Nazi Germany. After WWII,
the ship was retrofitted and put back into civilian service until its
last voyage in October 1967, which led her to her final docking station
in Long Beach, where she has been since.
Another interesting tour at the ship is located just
outside the bow, where a real Russian submarine is located and open
for public tours. The Scorpion Submarine is a genuine Cold War
Warrior. During this tour, guests can explore the torpedo rooms,
the cramped crew quarters and the wide array of various valves, pipes
and wires that made up this combat sub. Completely authentic, accurate
and unchanged since the Cold War days, the Scorpion submarine gives
guests the rare opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse of what life
was like aboard a Russian submarine.
Next to the ship is an authentic Russian combat
submarine open for public tours
For more information on the Queen Mary Sunday Champagne
Brunch, call 877.342.0738 or visit: www.queenmary.com.
For more information on staying aboard the ship and on current specials,
call 877.342.0742 or visit: www.queenmary.com.
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