A Progressive Dinner on The Queen Mary

Bob eating fries

queen mary long beach picture

Dinner on the Queen Mary, Long Beach, California

Walking up to the magnificent and graceful ship in Long Beach, it’s now wonder this beauty is called Queen. Dressed up in my prettiest vintage style dress with Bob, in his white boat shoes, we arrived at the Queen Mary ready to meet and greet in style. Little did we know that this was about to be one of the best dates we’ve had all year.

Quick History of The Queen Mary

Named after King George V’s wife, Queen Mary, the ship had many duties during its 30 years of sailing the Atlantic. The ship was first known as a passenger cruise line and shortly after, an important troop ship during World War II. It was hailed as the largest and fastest troop ship to sail, transporting 16,000 soliders at a time.

Besides its military feats, the ship is also well-known for its design. With over 50 different woods decorating the interior, emphasizing the Art Deco design, it is recognized as an Art Deco Landmark. It is also famous for the ship being haunted, and had several TV shows tape episodes on board, including Ghost Hunters and Unsolved Mysteries. Now, a once a year event called Dark Harbor invites guest to experience the legends and spooky ambience for themselves.

Now that it is a floating hotel and event space, the ship is also on the National Register for Historic Places.

The Titanic vs. The Queen Mary

life boatsMany people compare The Titanic and The Queen Mary. Stepping foot onboard the Queen Mary, it was fun to envision life aboard the Titanic, or at least aboard the movie version. As one of my favorite movies, I was interested in the fantasy of being aboard the famous ship. (And I can’t be alone, there were dozens of sites comparing the two online)

The differences are actually even more fascinating, with the Titanic being 127 feet shorter in length and carrying almost 300 more passengers. (despite the smaller amount of passengers, there were actually more lifeboats on Queen Mary.)

A Progressive Dinner Aboard the Queen Mary

We started our tour in the Observation Bar, nibbling on an enormous cheese platter that was hard to tear Bob away from and a few speciality cocktails. It was here that we first met our host for the evening, the Queen Mary’s commodore, the very charming Everette Hoard. Mr. Hoard has worked onboard the Queen Mary for many years and he was the perfect host and story-teller.

Leaving the Observation Bar we headed to the Promenade Cafe for crab cake sandwiches, fish skewers, seasoned fries, and lobster bisque soup. The crab cakes were my favorite and I may have been why they needed to make several more orders- they were so juicy and savory with soft buns. We washed those down with fruity cocktails made to order from our private bartender. This room might be my favorite since it has a low-key vibe with gorgeous views of Downtown Long Beach. As the sun was setting, the golden rays hit against the water and the buildings in the most spectacular way. *I would definitely suggest coming here with a loved one around sunset time for fresh seafood and the view.

Next we walked out on the deck and up towards Sir Winston’s Restaurant for the main course. (I was already pretty stuffed- eating two crab cake sandwiches will do that to you, even if they are minis!) We entered a much more refined dining space, with white tablecloths and thick white napkins. When I saw the menu, I thought my eyes were seeing things: starting with two different types of breads, soup, and a three meat signature entrée with a smooth and savory red wine to top it all off.

For someone who loves a lot of different types of food, this night was foodie heaven. We had already tasted cheese, seafood and now meat. Like I said, foodie heaven!

Lastly, we had a dessert tasting with port in the newly designed Tea Room. The room was beautiful and the perfect end to our fantasy night. I was so full however, that I couldn’t even eat the dessert or drink the port. Bob tried the custard and chocolate pastry stuffed with cherries and said they were both delicious. I had to take his word for it! *Note to self: wear stretchy pants the next time you go to a progressive dinner!

For me, this was one of the best experiences in Southern California. It was fun trying all the different food and drinks, of course, but it was even more exciting getting to see each different part of the ship and learn all the history and haunted stories from the Commodore. If you are planning your own trip to Long Beach and The Queen Mary, plan your visit around a sunset dinner. Make sure you have enough time to get a pre-dinner drink at the Observation Bar to fully lose yourself in the ships ambience and charm.



More Facts:

  • First voyage was in 1936
  • Constructed in Scotland in 1930
  • During the war, the ship was painted a gray color and called “Grey Ghost”
  • Clark Gable and Audrey Hepburn were both passengers
  • Currently a Diana: Legacy of a Princess museum onboard
Thanks to The Queen Mary for inviting us onboard and showing us a fantastic time. As always, all reviews and thoughts are our own, even down to the stretch pants tip!


Jade Broadus is a spunky girl hailing from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. She’s addicted to traveling and has a strange obsession with maps and globes. A lover of dogs, fashion, fish tacos, marine biology, and college football, she has a broad range of interests. Jade has a strong passion for the film “Love, Actually” and has watched it 176 times. Her interests include singing really loud, impromptu dances, shopping, and dressing up in cute dresses and extravagant hats. She has written for Gadling, AOL Travel, Discover Los Angeles, LACOT, LandLopers, Wedding Nouveau, and The Vacation Gals. She is currently the social media and marketing director for Inside Out Media, a media company that owns TravelMindset.com and iExplore.com.


  • Reply September 28, 2012

    Michele @ Malaysian Meanders

    I’ve only done a tour of the Queen Mary. For smoe reason, the “speed bumps” on the stair railings stick out in my mind. Having a sunset dinner there must have been absolutely fantastic.

  • Reply September 28, 2012


    What a great idea- it looks so much fun! Dinner looked delicious.

  • Your time onboard the Queen Mary sounds like a wonderful experience! I’d love to spend the night on the ship- how much fun would that be? Love your vintage dress!

  • Reply September 28, 2012


    What a fun evening! I would love to do something like this. (I guess I’ll have to plan a trip.)

  • Reply September 28, 2012

    Mary {The World Is A Book}

    Yummy on all that food you had! What a great feast! I’ve passed by the Queen Mary several times and have always wanted to do a tour. After reading this, I’d rather attend an event like this. Such a wonderful experience and date for the two of you.

  • Reply September 28, 2012

    Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com

    Never been there but I’d want to have dinner there too, on special occasions. The food looks so yummy!

  • Reply September 28, 2012

    Jac:kie @ travelnwrite

    This definitely goes on my future’s list – great post!

  • Reply September 28, 2012


    What a great night out. I would love to do this though I might just call it quits with the crabcakes minis. I love those things! How far from LAX is it to the Queen Mary out of curiosity? That’s the one point in the city I know.

  • Reply September 28, 2012


    That sounds like a great date night. The food sounded excellent!

  • Reply September 28, 2012


    Ooh, how old-world wonderful. I remember stumbling around the Queen Mary many years ago, would very much like to do a proper tour.

  • Reply October 1, 2012

    Ashley of Ashley Abroad

    Wow, what a gorgeous ship! I would love to be aboard and bask in the old-world elegance. And maybe eat a crabcake sandwich.

  • Reply October 1, 2012


    What a fun evening! The food looks and sounds awesome, and what a setting!

  • Reply October 2, 2012

    Cathy Sweeney

    Love your vintage dress, Jade. I’d like to see Bob’s white boat shoes, too. What a cool experience. How fun to listen to Mr. Howard’s stories and the food looks fabulous.

  • Reply October 6, 2012

    Vago Damitio

    Man, that food looked amazing. I miss real food. By the time I finally escape from Morocco I’m never going to want to look at another tajine again. The only thing I dress up for here is when I’m on my way to another country. Really nice site you guys have. Great photos, great writing, and it sounds like great fun. All the best,

  • Reply October 10, 2012


    What a cool experience! Sounds fun and delicious!

  • Reply August 20, 2014


    Two corrections:
    1. Your host’s name was Everette Hoard.
    2. QM maiden voyage was May 27, 1936.

    • Reply September 11, 2014


      Thanks for the notes. I don’t know where we got 1937 from.

Leave a Reply