LONG BEACH, CALIF.-Visit the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach this holiday season and you'll be amazed at how this city unto itself is aglow with Christmas Tree Lights, Ballroom Galas, Wedding Chapel Ceremonies, and best of all, world class dining that is making the luxury liner an A-ticket event. We wandered in, expecting to find a table at the brand new Chelsea Chowder House and quickly learned the restaurant that launched a short time ago was booked for the evening! Amazing...but that's how things are when you do something right. (We made reservations for a future date and will report back on our findings.)
When the Long Beach attraction that's permanently docked in the harbor introduced a new management firm in 2009, world-class Delaware North and its staff brought fresh enthusiasm. They renovated the hotel, brought back renown chef Larry Banares, upgraded the ship's classic restaurants, menus, and even unveiled the new restaurant to much fanfare. They also invested in an incredible Halloween haunt called Dark Harbor while continuing beloved traditions such as the New Year's Eve Celebration, the popular Scottish Festival in February, and many more. First time guests are impressed and repeat visitors are pleasantly surprised to experience enhancements to the Long Beach icon.
We visited "The Queen" for a book signing of a fantastic, new must-have photo book about the ship, "Images of America, RMS Queen Mary". Written by an all star cast of historians & authors, it features 128 pages of historic photos about the ship accompanied with descriptions.
Five brilliant researchers were given the key to library archives on board the ship...a time capsule filled with history, romance, royalty, celebrities and even nations at war. The black & white images take you on a tour of the ship not today, but when it was built and during its time sailing the high seas. From the first voyage in 1936 through 1967 when the opulent vessel made her final pleasure cruise, you discover that this majestic Queen has an amazing story to tell-one that comes to life through the faces of those seen in the pictures.
The book is an ideal gift for Christmas, birthdays, or any time of year. Signed copies with all five authors' signatures are available in limited quantity at Stacks Aboard the Queen Mary. Contact Everette Hoard at (562) 499-1759 and he'll let you know if he still has signed copies (they are going fast). Everette told us he can "ship" them out to you. Price is around $21.99, plus tax & shipping.
Written by authors, Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Frank Cooper, Athene Mihalakis Kovacic, Don Lynch, and John Thomas, "Images of America RMS Queen Mary" is available though Arcadia Publishing and is also sold on Amazon. ISBN-13 978-0-7385-8067-8.
The best way to buy the book and other cool holiday gifts is to visit The Queen Mary and stay there. A top-seller and great value is the Royal Romance Package which provides a $100 food voucher you can spend on meals at the new Chelsea Chowder House or Sir Winston's, a fine dining restaurant. Surprise your partner with an unforgettable night on-board THE QUEEN MARY. The Romance Package includes:
# One-night Deluxe Cabin stay
# Bottle of Champagne
# Chocolate Covered Strawberries
# Dinner Voucher of $100 can be use in Sir Winston's Restaurant, Chelsea Chowder House, or The Promenade Cafe
# Breakfast for Two in Promenade Cafe along with the King Size Bed in a Stateroom
If you haven't visited "The Queen", she truly is a gem you should see. All the information you need for planning a trip or booking a package is available at www.queenmary.com.
About the photo: Carolers sing holiday songs to the backdrop of an urn lighting fixture constructed of bronze and golden onyx to provide a warm glow.