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The Queen Mary Hotel, Long Beach, California

An iconic floating hotel with a rich and storied history – and maybe a few ghosts…

You might be happy you missed the Titanic’s maiden voyage, but we’re betting there’s a side of you that wishes for a grand nautical adventure (with a happier ending, of course). Cast your sexton to the Queen Mary, larger (in every aspect) and more luxurious than the Titanic – and now an iconic floating hotel in Long Beach California.

the grand Queen MaryThe Queen Mary embarked on her maiden voyage in 1936, setting a new and luxurious standard in transatlantic travel for the rich and famous. Clark Gable, Bob Hope and the future Queen Elizabeth (and her consort, Prince Phillip) were just a few blueblood celebrities who sailed aboard her. During World War II, the grand dame of the Atlantic was stripped of all her luxuries and transformed into the “Grey Ghost, transporting as many as 16,000 troops per voyage. After the war, she was retrofitted with her previous elegance and continued her sovereign reign for another two decades.

soldiers on the Queen Mary wartimeDuring the 1960’s the Queen Mary operated at a loss, forcing the Cunard line retired her on December 9, 1969 in Long Beach California, where she remains to this day. While she no longer sails the open seas, she’s an elegant floating hotel, visited and loved by many from around the world.

Ghostly tours aboard the Queen Mary – if you dare!

Time Magazine rated the Queen Mary as the one of the 10 most haunted places in America, which isn’t surprising considering the ship’s history. There were 49 recorded deaths aboard the ship but during the war, conditions for soldiers and prisoners of war were extreme. And records not well kept.

Haunted? Tell me the stories ... Allegedly, there is literally a boatload of ghosts who haunt the ship today. A wealthy man murdered his young family in their beds and later shot himself (the daughter still plays by the pool) and a chef was cooked in his oven – apparently in response to his terrible food. Also among the spirits who allegedly call the ship home are a sailor who died in the ship's engine room, a "lady in white" who haunts the pool decks and a few children who drowned in the ship's pool.

Haunted tours are offered during the day, but guest sightings of ghosts reportedly increase when the sun goes down. If you’re a ghost-loving-traveler, there’s no shortage of ghost tours and seances aboard the ship. And if you’re really brave, you can visit room B340, supposedly the most haunted room on the ship. Legend has it, a third-class passenger was found dead in the room in 1948. In the ensuing years, so many passengers who occupied the room reported range noises at night, water in the bathroom turning itself on and the ghost-standard of flickering lights that the cruise line was forced to close off the room. It was stripped of many of it’s furnishings but a few were left to make the ghost tours a little more titillating…

Hungry for more ghostly hotel experiences? We’ve visited a few that might intrigue you:

The Queen Mary hotel experience

Queen Mary luxuryStaying aboard the Queen Mary is only of the many things you can during your visit. Despite the many ghost stories, overnight guests are plenty and booking far in advance is recommended as the hotel often operates at capacity. Room rates are surprisingly low (starting about $100 per night) but remember, the ship is old and hasn’t been refurbished in a long time. Expect smaller rooms (considering the time period the ship was built) and understated luxury.

If staying overnight is outside of your comfort zone, consider a meal aboard the ship – twilight is a beautiful time for dinner but lunch can be a fun affair as well.

There’s a spa aboard the ship, as well as a fitness center, business center and a small collection of boutiques and shops. Hankering for something different, check out the Queen Mary’s social calendar – there’s always something going on.

Bob Hope on the Queen MaryRegardless of what you choose to enjoy during your visit to the Queen Mary, it’s safe to say, you won’t be disappointed. Want to learn more about the Queen Mary Hotel? Visit them online – and don’t forget to tell them GoGirlfriend sent you!

Love reading about the Queen Mary Hotel? Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook – and let’s continue the conversation!

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