H.M.S. Queen Mary, Icon of 1930's Luxury Ocean Liner Travel

There really was no other way to get over the big pond in those days. My own mother as a small child crossed the Atlantic three or four times just moving from Apalachicola to Constantinople and back, then back across again to live in Paris. Ah the glamour and excitement of it!

Wall Painting Adorning the
Bakery Cafe Onboard the H.M.S. Queen Mary
Where the Children Ate Breakfast

Compared to how we travel now...seat in upright position, tray table up, carry ons stowed, seat belt fastened (for sixteen straight hours!)... it seems incredible that as a matter of necessity when traveling to Europe you would live in a lovely stateroom, shower, nap, take long walks breathing the sea air, have sumptuous dinners, touch the stars, and arrive in England without even a whiff of jet lag! Just imagine!

The H.M.S. Queen Mary
Under Sail

We had a quick business trip to LA last week, and decided to stay on the Queen Mary for the night. She was stunning as we approached; her magnificent 18 stories filled the sky. Walking into her lobby was like walking back eighty years to the very glamourous Art Deco era of the 1930's. Did we feel like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor? Not quite, but we did feel just a touch more regal as we strolled the promenade and took our drinks on the afterdeck watching sunset's glow.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor Strolling the
Promenade Deck of H.M.S. Queen Mary

Air Vent Aft
The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Brass Railings on the Bridge
The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Teak Railings Aft
The H.M.S. Queen Mary

The Stern of The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Speed-o-Meter on the Bridge of The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Numbered Things for Port and Starboard in the
Bridge of The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Astern The H.M.S. Queen Mary
at Night

One of Her Lifeboats Onboard The
H.M.S. Queen Mary, Never, Thankfully, Used

Brass Fittings on the Bridge of The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Another Enormous Smokestack on The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Art Deco Detailing in Hallway and Elevator of The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Silver Art Deco Banister Detail on The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Rigging for Lifeboats on The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Transatlantic Telephone Communications
Onboard The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Art Deco Fish Design Carpeting in all Staterooms
Onboard The H.M.S. Queen Mary

The Queen's Salon Onboard The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Art Deco Wall Painting Adorning the
Fireplace of the Queen's Room on The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Art Deco Restaurant on The H.M.S. Queen Mary

Life Preserver on The H.M.S. Queen Mary
Also Never Used

Was she a little touristy? Yes, but just a touch. As a national treasure, she is well preserved in her original state of splendor with her dignity completely intact.

Sleeping on the Queen Mary was so quiet...no sounds of sirens or traffic or dogs barking...just the gentle sound of the rigging tapping against the masts, and in the early morning seagulls heading out to sea for an early catch. And the moon hung over the water everywhere you looked.

And I loved the craftsmanship shown in every detail: the brass fittings, the silver railings, the mahogany polished to a high sheen, the Art Deco detailing. No detail was overlooked in this tightly constructed and shipshape vessel.

Built by John Brown & Co, Ltd, Clydebank, Scotland, H.M.S. Queen Mary was launched September 26th, 1934, by H.M. Queen Mary. Gross Tonnage is 80,733 tons. Her height reaches 180 feet. Speed exceeding 30 knots. She accomodates 2136 passengers and 1101 crew. Completed on March 24, 1936, she was the first passsenger vessel to make the Atlantic crossing in under four days. During World War II, she was put into service carrying soldiers, and was later restored to her luxury liner origins. The Queen Mary is the last great Atlantic Ocean Liner left in existence.


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