Above and below decks of the beautiful Queen Mary

Bigger than the Titanic, nearly as long as New York's Chrysler Building is tall, and once carried 16,082 soldiers from NY to England in WWII, here's what the incredible RMS Queen Mary looks like inside.

Geoffrey Morrison
RMS Queen Mary
1 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

RMS Queen Mary

Museum, hotel, former cruise ship: behold the RMS Queen Mary

Check out the story behind this tour, Legend of the seas: a look inside the massive RMS Queen Mary.  

RMS Queen Mary
2 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Passengers and crew

In her day, the QM could carry 1,957 passengers and 1,100 crew members.

RMS Queen Mary
3 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

On board

You enter the ship on the Promenade deck, giving a fantastic view down the length of the ship.

RMS Queen Mary
4 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


Most of the tours start up here, and down that way is the bar.

RMS Queen Mary
5 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Art Deco

Built in the 1930s, the Queen Mary exudes all the luxury and modernism that the contemporary Art Deco style promised.

RMS Queen Mary
6 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


Like something out of Bioshock, perhaps. 

RMS Queen Mary
7 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


What used to be the first class drawing room was used by Winston Churchill when he took the Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic. The black and white photo in the middle is him sitting in this very spot.

RMS Queen Mary
8 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


Once the ship's library, now a gift shop. During WWII this, and most other areas on the ship, were converted to living spaces. 

RMS Queen Mary
9 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Queen of Lego

Nearly 26 feet (8 meters) long, and consisting of 250,000 individual bricks, the Lego QM apparently took over 600 hours to build.

RMS Queen Mary
10 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


Instead of Legos, mahogany. The port-side deck has a collection of elaborate ship models.

RMS Queen Mary
11 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


The beautiful Art Deco continues to the bar.

RMS Queen Mary
12 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

King of the world

No re-enacting Titanic at the moment, due to ongoing restoration work.

RMS Queen Mary
13 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


Downstairs, on A deck, is the check-in desk for the Queen Mary's hotel.

RMS Queen Mary
14 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Into the distance

As long as this looks, I'm in the lobby area of the hotel about one-third of the way down the ship.

RMS Queen Mary
15 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Hotel room

There are bigger staterooms available, but during my visit this was the only unoccupied room.

RMS Queen Mary
16 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


One of over 2,000 portholes. 

RMS Queen Mary
17 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


The Queen Mary is protected from the ocean, to an extent, by a stone breakwater. 

RMS Queen Mary
18 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Long Beach

Perhaps not as majestic as the North Atlantic, but certainly warmer. 

RMS Queen Mary
19 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


The room's bathroom, with refurbished original fixtures.

RMS Queen Mary
20 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Deco elevators

Original elevators. Well, the outside anyway. The mechanicals have been updated. 

RMS Queen Mary
21 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


Down that way are the elevators you just saw. Behind me is one of the main ballrooms. However, there was a big event happening when I was there, so I couldn't photograph inside. However...

22 of 53 The Queen Mary

Grand Salon

The Queen Mary let me use two of their marketing photos. This was the First class dining room.

You can rent this room, or you can partake of a highly civilized Sunday Champagne Brunch

23 of 53 The Queen Mary


Yes, the little boat would move as the ship crossed the Atlantic.   

RMS Queen Mary
24 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


The allegedly haunted first class pool. 

RMS Queen Mary
25 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

A grand staircase

Though larger than the Titanic, the QM doesn't have the Grand Staircase. However, these gorgeous glass reliefs show the evolution of transport. Commodore Everette Hoard waits to show us the rest of the ship.

RMS Queen Mary
26 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Sun deck

Appropriately named. 

RMS Queen Mary
27 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


The dome in the background once held the Spruce Goose. Now it's an event venue and cruise terminal.

RMS Queen Mary
28 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Sports deck

The Sports deck is the very top of the ship, here you can find the Officer's Quarters. Though you can see these areas through the glass on a normal tour, you can't go inside. We got special access though!

RMS Queen Mary
29 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Captain's dayroom

Inside the Captain's dayroom! Unless urgently required elsewhere, the captain would entertain the crème de la crème of the QM's passengers here.

RMS Queen Mary
30 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Captain's desk

I meant to ask if the blue book on the left, subtitled "Small Boat Handling," was meant as a subtle joke.

RMS Queen Mary
31 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Captain's bedroom

Paneled in mahogany and maple, it's quite a lovely cabin. Check out this 360 video of the bedroom, the Dayroom and several spaces around the ship.

RMS Queen Mary
32 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Captain's bathroom

This sure looks familiar. 

RMS Queen Mary
33 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Staff captain's bedroom

The second in command got his own sizable suite. 

RMS Queen Mary
34 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Slightly less grand staircase

Once you're done with the main section of the ship, you actually have to go to the Promenade or R deck, leave the ship, go down a walkway and re-enter the stern to see the engine room.

This walkway is visible in the lower right of the very first slide.

RMS Queen Mary
35 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Engine room

My favorite part of touring old ships like this is the wonderful steampunk nature of the engine rooms. 

RMS Queen Mary
36 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


In total, the QM had 160,000hp and on average burned a gallon of fuel for every 13 feet she moved (1m/l).

RMS Queen Mary
37 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Full ahead

One of the steam turbines that helped move the ship, capable of around 11,000hp.   

RMS Queen Mary
38 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Dials galore

Am I the only one who wants to decorate their house with dials like this? With its 27 boilers, the QM had a top speed of 33 knots, but cruised at 28.5 (32.8mph/52.8kph). 

RMS Queen Mary
39 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Full astern

By turning these valves, engineers could route steam to different turbines to drive the ship.

RMS Queen Mary
40 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


Huge reduction gears, one of the steps to get power from the engines to the propellers. 

RMS Queen Mary
41 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Prop shaft

From the reduction gears in the engine room, through this passageway and eventually to the propellers. 

RMS Queen Mary
42 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


This is looking straight down from the catwalk. There is something unsettling looking at rust on a ship's hull. At its thickest, the hull plates are 1.25 inches (3.2 centimeters) thick.

RMS Queen Mary
43 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Obstructed view

Backup ship's wheel and electrical generators. 

RMS Queen Mary
44 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


Massive hydraulic steering rams to move the QM's 140-ton rudder.

RMS Queen Mary
45 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Big switches

Serious switches for some serious electrical distribution. 

RMS Queen Mary
46 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Ghost prop

This is one of the creepiest things I've ever seen. I wish photos did it more justice. This is the QM's only remaining propeller, and you're able to view it while it's still attached and in the water. I'm not sure why it creeped me out so much.

One of the others is in the parking lot nearby. They were 18-feet in diameter.

RMS Queen Mary
47 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


The beautiful QM shares her berth with the Foxtrot-class Soviet/Russian submarine B-427. She's currently closed to the public, but I toured her several years ago and I have a handful of pictures from then. 

RMS Queen Mary
48 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


During her service, the B-427 had 78 crew.  

RMS Queen Mary
49 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


She was powered by three 2,000 hp diesel engines and for running underwater, three electric motors that generated 5,400 hp.

RMS Queen Mary
50 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


Beware dangerous dinghies.

RMS Queen Mary
51 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Torpedo room

The B-427 had six forward torpedo tubes and 4 aft. Special cameo here by my dad! 

RMS Queen Mary
52 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


If you're interested in seeing more photos from a Foxtrot-class sub, I toured the B-39 at the San Diego Maritime Museum.  

RMS Queen Mary
53 of 53 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


So ends my day at the Queen Mary. There's even more to see than what I was able to show you here. Check out their website for info about times, tours and rooms.

For the full the story behind this tour, check out Legend of the seas: a look inside the massive RMS Queen Mary

More Galleries

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
Go Inside the Apple iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: See How the New iPhones Look and Work
iphone 15 in different color from an angled view

Go Inside the Apple iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: See How the New iPhones Look and Work

21 Photos
Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)

Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)

16 Photos
CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)

CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)

9 Photos
2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: concept cars

2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: concept cars

14 Photos