Sunday, August 7, 2011

Boarding the Queen Mary

Carnival Paradise’s decorative theme is Great Ocean liners of the World (thank you ship’s architect Joe Farcus), so it seems very fitting to spend a pre-cruise overnight on the Queen Mary.

The Queen Mary sits afloat at the Port of Long Beach ... very handy for those embarking on the Carnival ships that dock there. I booked directly through the Queen Mary Web site and found a Park & Sail deal attached to a Deluxe Stateroom with King Size Bed. Sounds fabulous, count me in! I detest paying for parking and will usually try to find ways around it. There are a few other hotels in Long Beach that will babysit the car for free while you cruise. It’s good to check out the deals if you are driving to the port.

We arrived later than we originally wanted to. You see, we had this pressing work deadline that we were feverishly trying to complete. Our vacation initially was to include some pre-cruise fun for a few days in and around Long Beach, but ‘the deadline’ quickly took that over. So, as our Thursday turned to Friday turned to Saturday, we knew those fun days were gone. Not that big of a deal, we had our reservation set and paid for the Queen Mary Sunday. We were leaving then, for sure ... deadline or no deadline. And so we did. We arrived just after dinner. 

Hauling a load of cruise luggage for a one-night hotel stay is funny. Even when packing light ... there can be a lot of pieces. It’s just the way it works. So, here we were late Sunday hauling our ‘necessities’ onboard the Queen Mary. Setting foot onto what was once regarded as the grandest ocean liner ever built; a sea-faring vessel that transported kings, queens and other very important people across the Atlantic, in my loaded down vulnerability I felt like the Beverly Hillbillies.

The Lobby, located on A Deck, was easy to find. We quickly checked in and received a pass key for our Stateroom #449 on B Deck ... one deck below. We have cruised quite often and have stayed in quite a few hotels in our life, so it came to a halting surprise to us that we got completely lost looking for our stateroom on the Queen Mary.

Plodding our way through the infinite hallway watching the room numbers rise ... B301, B315, B331 ... we were confident we would soon reach our room ... B341, dead end. What? We were at the Bow of the ship with not a #400 in sight. So, with plenty of backtracking (and even a few sidetrackings) we found that the stateroom numbering systems begin mid-ship. B301 starts mid-ship and goes forward, while B401 starts mid-ship and goes aft towards the Stern. We were at the wrong end of the boat.

Our stateroom was awesome. There were two Portholes with a sitting area, a flat screen TV, a King size bed and good size bathroom that included a bathtub. Yes, we were sitting in the lap of luxury.

Hello, Rod! Here is my hubby’s review of the Queen Mary bed: “Best. Bed. Ever.” And I concur.

Hey, did you know the Queen Mary is haunted? They have tours available ... but, we decided to create a few ‘ghosts’ of our own!

Yep, that’s me taking stateroom photos. We spent the rest of the evening running around the ship with our cameras (you’ll probably hear this a lot).

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