Saturday, October 26, 2013

"Dark Harbor" at The Queen Mary

It's basically a bunch of "Spook Houses" with a food court, trinket sales, and a bandstand where some head banger band was playing all night.

I took my wife there several years ago when we were dating (What? Old people date?), and I got a special offer email, so I bought the tickets, and we went again.

We got there shortly before the gates opened so we could get home early (there's that "old people" thing again....), and paid the extra $5 for "preferred" parking ($25 total) so we could park MUCH closer, what with my walking ability being impaired and all. wife's friend who came along had "forgotten" to print her ticket after she bought it and received the email, so we spent about 20 minutes at Customer Service where they were able to look it up, and give her a replacement ticket.

We then proceeded to the entrance, where EVERYBODY who came into the event had their picture taken.


Full face.

AND a right-facing profile.

While this was ostensibly to provide you with a souvenir (which you had to BUY for another $20), I was pretty steamed about it, as they would NOT let you pass without it.

Or so the guy taking the pictures told me. now I'm probably in another database somewhere, in the name of stopping "terrorism" or something.


The Spook Houses were pretty good, although you get pretty tired of somebody popping out of a dark corner trying to scare you, people banging on the walls, and the ever present thick clouds of good old Rosco Fog Juice, but the ladies enjoyed it.

One thing I'd never seen before was pretty neat. At the entrance to two of the "mazes", there was a large canvas "bag" on each side, filled with low-pressure air, and you had to force your way through very small gap between the two bags to get into the maze.

There were seven mazes (three of them took you on the ship to some spaces not normally open to the public) throughout the site to navigate, but at number five, I had to take a break, as my right hip was acting up, and I just couldn't comfortable navigate several more flights of stairs at the time, so I sat that one out while the gals walked through the "Hellfire" maze.

The next to last one was called "Submerged", and took you through the swimming pool/spa area on The Queen. I'd never seen that part of the ship before, and it was amazing. The original swimming pool is there, in very bad repair, but all the ceramic tile walls and floor of the area around the pool, as well as all the Art Deco lights, are still there, along with some signs on the wall explaining how the pool area operated, and what the cost was back in the 1930's.

As an aside, a British Pound was worth $5US back then, and I think it's something like $1.80 now. I don't know whether that says more about the Pound, the Dollar, or both!

SO...after stumbling around the entire site for about 3~3-1/2 hours, we'd seen everything, and the crowds were really starting to build up (along with an astounding assortment of female eye-candy out on the prowl for the night), so we left.

The extra $5 for the preferred parking was well worth the money, as we had parked within 100 feet of the park entrance/exit, and very close to the road leading out to the freeway, and we were out of there, and on the freeway, within 10 minutes, watching a huge line of cars from the other parking areas wind their way through the parking lot to even get close to the exit.

And I'm still pissed about being forced to have my picture taken......


  1. Doesn't sound like it was TOO bad, although I'm not a fan of big crowds.

  2. And that's why we went early!

    I don't care for large crowds, either, but the crowd was very well behaved.

  3. I've been on a couple of other ships for short trips around the harbor and the photo thing is a requirement there, too. (One that I recall specifically is the Steamboat Natchez that does a hour and a half long excursion around the Port of New Orleans.) They told me that it was a Coast Guard requirement. Not sure I buy that, but I don't doubt some sort of government mandate. You also don't have to buy the picture, however. I never do, and I ALWAYS make faces when they're being taken.

    1. Well, the Queen Mary isn't considered a ship any more. The props have been removed, there are large openings cut into the hull, and it's rather permanently attached to the pier. AFAIK, the USCG doesn't have any jurisdiction there.

      There were a LOT of uniformed Long Beach Police walking around, and a dozen or so squad cars in the parking lot.

  4. Now tell me more about the female eye candy on the prowl...

  5. HAH!

    A LOT of 20's, 30's and 40's women, age, not era, dressed up casually, or in some kind of costume, and mostly unattached. The younger ones were in groups of 2 or three, and the older ones seemed to be in twos.

    I'm sure you and your wingman could have connected with some if you'd been there.....

  6. Just look at the brownie points you got for being such a romantic devil!!!

    1. Except for my hip bothering me, and the picture taking, it wasn't too bad.....

  7. This is a really great video from Dark Harbor Halloween at The Queen Mary. It gave me the chills!!!

  8. Ummm. wonder if that was in case you got lost... But still I wouldn't have done it...


Keep it civil, please....