Our Room on the Queen Mary

I can make small vowel sounds with some effort. Colds! Why so many this year?

I almost came to terms with "losing" yesterday, what with us returning a little early and probably would've just spent that day on the road then decompressing. But today? My sunburn seems better, even if my face is still bumpy, but I think today is a write-off as well. Which leaves me with, essentially, just a 3-day weekend and not "the whole rest of Spring Break" that we were crowing about when sitting in bumper-to-bumper LA traffic on Tuesday night.

Maybe it's the price to be paid for three-and-three-quarters perfect days of vacation?

(Resuming this five hours later, after another promethazine nap.)

Your options for bunking on the QM are as follows, in order of fanciness:

  • "Royalty" Suite - has either a kitchenette or a second room with a twin bed
  • Deluxe Stateroom - a king or two twins in a newly renovated room (you lose some original decor compared to the 1st class stateroom below, but you get a fridge, coffeemaker, hair dryer, etc.)
  • Family Stateroom - extra bed, original decor
  • 1st Class Stateroom - a king or two twins with 85% original wood paneling
  • Tourist Stateroom - a king or double in a smaller room than above with modern decor
  • Inside Stateroom - two twin beds, small room, mirrors instead of windows, modern decor

It was tough to choose between deluxe and first class. Normally the 1st class room is a little less ($10), but they were priced the same for our "Winter Holiday" package.

Okay, it wasn't tough for Mike, who thinks it's peculiar that not every single hotel room in this country comes with a fridge, but it was tough for me. Majority of original decor (for the most authentic experience) or newly renovated with some original decor (for, according to reviews online, the most comfortable experience)?

In the end we went with the deluxe. In the sailing days, these would've been called "cabin class" rooms (they didn't use the term "first class"), and while a few were on the Sun Deck (and have since been gutted), most were on the Main Deck, one deck above check-in. (More were on A deck, the check-in deck, but these had the social weirdness of being next to 2nd class rooms. Oh my stars.)

Below is the starboard corridor we faced to our room, M-149. (Possibly known as M-129 back in the day. I'm still researching this.) The fluorescent lighting was added as a cost-saving move when the Wrathers took over circa 1980. It didn't bother me too much at the time, but it does make for shiny photographs.

The Cabin Class Corridor - Main Deck

And this is our room:

The Bed, Made

Immediately we were thrilled, having anticipated something either smaller or more modern. Instead, it was delightfully woody with several original fittings, and two portholes!

The Side Area

The radiator at left in the first photo below is non-operational. Later I learned that this is more to do with not everything being switched to direct current in the conversion from working ship to hotel, not necessarily because they want these appliances disabled. Other affected appliances include the fan and the thermostat controls. (We didn't find the new thermostat until much later.)

The Radiator at Left

Non-Operational Fan and Water Damage

Cooler, Warmer, Deader

This is the view from the left porthole:

Our Harbour View

And this is the, uh, view from the other porthole, which seems to be a bit warped, as if sea-demons raked their claws across the glass one stormy night. Ooo!

The Other Window

Later, Mike discovered that these portholes open.

Mike Looking Out Our Other Porthole

("Arrrgh! Don't open them! We'll be compelled to accidentally throw out something of value, just like Helena Rubinstein!")

To the right was a connecting door (original) and shelves and drawers on each side:

Drawers and Connecting Door

There is a little writing area opposite the door where the keyboard for the "Internet TV" is kept. (I think there is also wireless internet in the room? I didn't bring anything to try it out.)

Writing Area

Here is a view looking into the bathroom (after Mike showered the next morning):

Entering the Bathroom

I don't know why I didn't pan down a little and get a better view of the basin with its neat backwards-turning taps:

Bathroom Mirror

The bathroom is where I started to have my doubts. Had we really gotten a deluxe room? If I'd had the website handy, I could've stomped these suspicions by comparing photos, but the bathroom is where my ability to not even see water damage in the bedroom (scroll back up and look at the photos of the fan and the bed) suddenly ended. The tub? Clean, but grotty. It put me off a hot bath. The toilet? Clean, but grotty. Broken tiles, discolouration and ripped wallpaper around the flushing device... I didn't mind, because it all added to the ship's ambience, but I still felt like the "newly renovated" room was misrepresented.

Toilet and Tub

The modern showerhead (not shown) let's you set the temp of the water, but these fresh water faucets still let you fine-tune the settings. (I don't know what would happen if you took a wrench to the salt water taps.)

Watch your step between the bedroom/bath and the bedroom/hall. (Again, have this switchplate and sign really been newly renovated?)

Light and Warning

Now I put a squinty eye not only on the water damage by the fan (shown above) but on the bubbles in the ceiling. Once on the bed, they were hard to miss, as one measured a few feet across. Mike grabbed one of the smaller "pimples" and started pushing on it like a stress relief ball, but then wisely stopped courting possible disaster.

The bed, however, was very comfy, even without the extra pillow requested from Housekeeping that never came:

The Bed Untucked

This was despite the dripping noise that we could hear after settling into bed. Light back on, yep, it was coming from the water-damaged section. Mike put a towel under it which fixed the audio problem, but in the morning we still had a visual of a rusty brown wet rag where once a clean white towel had been. (I told the front desk as we checked out. I won't say the clerk didn't care, but that she didn't do the most convincing job of pretending to make a note of it.)

Before we slept, we relaxed with some cold Bundaberg ginger beer, specially bought at Cost Plus World Market a few days before. Mike reckons it may be the first time anyone has ever had Bundaberg aboard the QM (as well as possibly the first time anyone has read Footrot Flats there as well).

The First QM Bundaberg

My Side of the Bed

I took the porthole side, shown above, but we should have swapped. I was cold all night and Mike was hot, and when I walked over to the portholes in the morning, I found that whole section of the room to be icy cold. Gosh, you don't think that maybe, maybe, it was a... a GHOST?!

Self-Photo in the Room

(This is why I don't let Mike take photos of me. One, he doesn't shoot from overhead to minimize chinnyness. Two, he doesn't Photoshop out moles. Three, he doesn't apply eight more Photoshop actions until I'm almost unrecognizable and therefore can blame all "issues" on the processing. Michael Jackson? I get him now.)

All in all, I understand why some people find the rooms disgraceful, but we were very comfortable and the room really is clean, just old in spots. Relish in the significance of the disrepair, and you're fine.

21 March 2008 |


 We built a house. 

 Rabbits tolerate us. 

  We play modern board games.  

 I hunt the dead.