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HolidayBuyer's Guide

RMS Queen Mary

Passengers and crew

On board

Promenade

Art Deco

Gorgeous

Churchill

Library

Queen of Lego

Models

Bar

King of the world

Lobby

Into the distance

Hotel room

Portholes

Pacific

Long Beach

Retro

Deco elevators

Entranceway

Grand Salon

Map

Pool

A grand staircase

Sun deck

Dome

Sports deck

Captain's dayroom

Captain's desk

Captain's bedroom

Captain's bathroom

Staff captain's bedroom

Slightly less grand staircase

Engine room

Turbines

Full ahead

Dials galore

Full astern

Gears

Prop shaft

Hull

Obstructed view

Steering

Big switches

Ghost prop

Berthmates

Crew

Diesel-electric

Periscope

Torpedo room

Tubes

Sunset

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.  

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Like something out of Bioshock, perhaps. 

Caption by / Photo by 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.

Caption by / Photo by 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. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The beautiful Art Deco continues to the bar.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

One of over 2,000 portholes. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The room's bathroom, with refurbished original fixtures.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by 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...

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by The Queen Mary

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

Caption by / Photo by The Queen Mary

The allegedly haunted first class pool. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Appropriately named. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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!

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This sure looks familiar. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The second in command got his own sizable suite. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by 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).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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). 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by 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.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Backup ship's wheel and electrical generators. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Serious switches for some serious electrical distribution. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by 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. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by 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.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Beware dangerous dinghies.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by 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.  

Caption by / Photo by 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

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
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