Last month, my husband and I traveled to Long Beach California to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. In one of those bucket list things, we did something we always wanted to do, which was stay on the Queen Mary.
And yes, we wanted ghosts.
Although our flight was delayed out of Sky Harbor, we arrived early for our check-in time. The concierge was very accommodating and because I had spilled the secret when making our reservation that this was to celebrate our anniversary, they wished us well to boot. They gave us the room that was available and we dropped off our luggage in our amazingly beautiful stateroom. We signed up for the Queen Mary package which included a behind the scenes look at the ship, the ghost tour, the WWII days and the self guided tour.
After scheduling everything for that day (as we boarded another ship to sail for Hawaii for 15 days the next day), we went to the tea room for, what else, tea. Heaven, pure tastebud heaven. And African Solistice is my new favorite tea.
We toured the gleaming art deco ship, marveled at the exquisite craftsmanship just about everywhere and learned the very real hazards of renaming a ship. After taking the red shuttle into Long Beach we returned exhausted and decided to go to bed at the very late hour of 8PM.
Hey, it was dark out.
So, in we spooned cradled between snowy white linen under a down comforter.
Just as we were drifting off, there came a tap-tap-tap on the port hole.
Um, did I mention that we were between 6-7 stories up, no balcony, no nothing except 3 more stories up on the sun deck.
My husband and I looked at each other. Probably just a bird, right? Right?
Hubby got up, opened the window. The outside of one was wet. The outside of its twin was bone dry. Hmm. Must be birds. Back in bed, hugging a little tighter.
Right. Birds. I checked. Not a featherhead to be seen. Birds. sneaky buggers. Back in bed. I don't care. I'm going to sleep. silence. Just as I was drifting off, it started again. On the fringes of my mind I wondered if it could have been some kind of morris code. SOS-dot-dot-dot, dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dot.
About 130 AM I woke to the hum and vibration of engines. Every engine has a different feel to it and this was a deep, growly feel coming from below decks. I didn't think much of it until I realized the ship technically doesn't have any engines.
So what was humming and thrumming?
Um, okay. After hubby confirmed he didn't hear anything, I snuggled a little closer and decided to ignore it.
The next afternoon while waiting to board our ship to Hawaii, I met a woman who stayed on the Queen Mary over night in the Queen Mary suite. She reported her findings to the front desk and added her experience to the log.
They have a log?
She then asked our room number. When I told her, she said "Oh, yeah, that was in there. A lot."
O-kay then. Having time to kill, I then had a lightbulb moment and hubby and I reviewed photos of our room.
I'm taking that green orb for dust. You can take it for what you want.
If you are ever in Long Beach and have a few hundred dollars to spare, spend the night on the ship. She has class, grace and beauty beyond description. And while a tour is nice, staying on her is not just a trip back in time but a window to luxury, art and a connection to history.