Sunday Morning on the Queen Mary

The time it is taking about to blog about a mere 21 hours at a hotel is the reason why I will never be a travel writer. There may be some other reasons, but they would be uncharitable to detail. Yesterday was such a great day - received an unexpectedly good eval after such a tough year (plus acknowledgment of the tough year, which was even better and reminded me of why, in some ways, my school is pretty amazing) - that I'm all about keeping a Spring in the Step. (Oh, and I had on comfy new pants that I didn't have to iron or shave my legs to wear. This is important.)

Back to a month ago, to the day, on the Queen Mary:

I woke up a bit past 3 a.m., had some conversation with Mike that now I don't remember, and decided to read myself back to sleep. Except, um, where was the lamp in the little sitting area? Oh.

Mike, being a saint and all, put up with the illumination from my side of the bed with no complaint, but after a couple of hours (and quietly stuffing a good hunk of the cheese bread in my mouth), I knew there was no getting back to rest. That's just how I am these days.

I thought, "Hey dork" (this was before the Spring in the Step initiative) "why don't you go stretch out in the comfy sitting area in the center of the deck and read there?"

You can see the ends of the sofas below. You can also see where the QM spa is.

Can You Find the Spa? (Queen Mary Main Deck)

Somewhere in the distance, tinny 1930s music played. How neat that they keep this bit of atmosphere going all night. (This is the part where a QM employee should write in and say, "Uh, what are you talking about? There is no music. There isn't even a speaker system." Slumber party story!)

Eventually I decided to go on a nautibout. (Nautical + walkabout. Yes? No? Maybe not.) No one was around. No employees, no passengers (er, hotel guests). Just me and those post-jazzbaby instrumentals.

I walked up to the heart of the Promenade deck.

The Promendade Deck - Shops

Then out to starboard:

Lifeboat 13 Believes in the Green Light

I sat at one of the tables, trying to be read in the amazing scenery, but it was too dark and nippy in the wind. I decided to read a little more inside and come out at sunrise. So it was back to the nice sofa in front of what was once the First Class Tourist Bureau.

First Class Tourist Bureau

But I kept checking the time on the camera, eager to explore some more, so 20 minutes later I was up again. This is a display of lifeboat-related artifacts, illuminated for night wanderers.

Illuminated Case

I tried to take a photo of myself, but I was in mid turn when the click happened. I don't really have a pinhead. I do have a big ole tumtum, but thrusting my hands into the pockets of my jacket exaggerates it here.

Zippy the Ghost

The sun crept toward the west coast.

Looking Stern

To the right is the dome that used to house to Spruce Goose. I guess it's a soundstage now?

The Former Spruce Goose Hideaway

What is this island? It has a tower and other evidence of people. I think I read that it may be a correctional facility? (Alcatraz Lite?)

What's That Island?

Then around to port side.

Queen Mary - Port Side

I'm trying out a new set of Photoshop actions, free from the amazing Pioneer Woman. Unfortunately, no amount of glamming can save some of these grainy photos. So, I went with my old "vintage cop out" routine.

Queen Mary - Port Side (to Stern)

Back inside, hey, it's a display showing some of the fixtures like we have in our room. I'm really glad we didn't get a more modernized room.


As the sun came up, so did a few people. The chairs were moved away from the tables as the cleaning crew swabbed up.

Chairs Aside for Swabbing

Across the Harbour, I now knew where to look to look for The Pike.

The Pike, across the Harbour

Not every lifeboat was awake yet.

Lifeboat 5 is Still Sleeping

I like the wood Promenade Deck signs, although there's something about the blue lettering that makes me question whether they're original.

Promenade Deck Sign

(That's right: they're original. In a recent post, I wrote "their" for "they're." I know I was tired but - whoa! It's things like this that keep me up half the night, sure I am now only three IQ points away from being Forrest Gump, but without the homey charm. I'm sure that being kept up half the night has nothing to do with making stupid grammar mistakes. Heh. Anyway, if you saw it, I apologize, and it's absurdly important for me to tell you that I noticed it and fixed it, and thank you for not mentioning that I do this much more than I realize, I'm sure. Kisses!)

After the wedding the night before, the flowers were abandoned all about by the trellis, keeled over in the wind. I didn't get any good photos of this, but another guest and I did grab a few posies for ourselves. (Which I then forgot about and only yesterday threw away the husks when finally putting away my travel tote.)

After the Wedding

The grain/blur is horrid here, but perhaps you can make out the snowy mountains in the distance? I never realized you could see such a sight from the beach. No wonder people love California.

Snowy Mountains = Surreal

Ho! What is this?

Here Comes Trouble

Two or three other souls gather, at well-spaced intervals, to watch with their cameras.

Other Peeps are Up

(I turn around for a moment to photograph the once-posh Verandah Grill.)

Verandah Grill

I was still standing under the wedding arch. If you were to get married on the Queen Mary and were the groom, this would be your peripheral view as you were supposed to be gazing lovingly at your bride:

What You See If You Get Married on the Queen Mary (at Sunrise)

And then the big cruise ship, the Carnival Pride, began to turn.

Carnival Pride, Turning

Carnival Pride, Backing In

Here it is, almost in. Amazing to see such precision. Dad pointed out that they use GPS and computers now and it's quite easy, but still. Amazing to watch.

Carnival Pride, Nearly There

Do you see the water slide on the top, to the left? Also, nice lifeboats:

The Carnival Pride Has Nice Lifeboats

I returned to our room after an hour-plus of gallivanting to find Mike stepping out of the shower. He has since said that I should have woken him, and it would've been even more great to have him along, yes, but all I ever meant to do was read. One thing then just led to another.

We had our free breakfast coupons, so it was up to the Promenade Cafe (where we were noticed that not everyone gets these coupons, so the clerk really was being especially kind). The ship has a fancy Sunday buffet, but it is expensive and we get plenty of world class buffet at home. (And sometimes some steerage class buffet - I'm talking to you, Bally's - but that's another story.)

We were fine with the "choice of blah blah blah" that our coupons offered, but it turned out that the cafe decided to simplify things and put out a small buffet for the couponed guests. Here's Mike, so blissful he's blurry.

Mike - Breakfast on the Queen Mary

Below is my plate. The eggs were so good. Every two mouthfuls one of us would turn to the other and say, "Wow, these eggs are so good. Aren't these good? Wow." And they were. The whole thing was good - delicious orange juice, lightly spiced potatoes, and truly some of the best scrambled eggs I've had in my life.

Breakfast (Mine) on the Queen Mary

Not to mention that the decor was airy and tasteful, and the view of the Harbour was great.

Full of free and delicious food, we skipped arm-in-arm about the boat, taking in a last view. (Sometimes the skipping is metaphorical. Sometimes not.) Sated, it was time to zip down the coast, hang left, and hit Disneyland.

The Queen Mary was a really fun experience, everything and more than I hoped it would be. Mike says we are going back, no question, maybe the night before a Catalina trip. (The Catalina Flyer is docked right next door. However, have you seen the cost of hotel rooms in Avalon? Not even the Economic Stimulus rebate sweetens the deal.) But now our Disneyland passes have expired, and we're not renewing until the five-year-plan to redo California Adventure is a little further along, so who knows when we'll see the old RMS again?

Final thought: can you go wrong with a hotel that gives you real room keys?

I Forgot to Mention the Keys

16 April 2008 |


 We built a house. 

 Rabbits tolerate us. 

  We play modern board games.  

 I hunt the dead.