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Alcohol Hit-Or-Miss

The Holidays Aboard the Queen Mary Isn’t Your Usual Holiday Haunt


Photo: Greg Nagel

Picture this: You’re sitting aboard a historic luxury British ocean liner, drink in hand, yet the spirits outside the glass are just as entertaining as the ones in.

It’s just past midnight and we’re sitting in one of the most haunted places in America — deep in the belly of the historic Queen Mary, as the cool dry winter sea air pours through small cracks and port-hole windows nearby. I’m not much of a ghost hunter per se, but if I was, the old mail room where guests of yesteryear would drop off postcards from around the globe is a flurry of paranormal activity. I have a craft cocktail in one hand, and a ghost-hunting multimeter in the other… and it’s lighting up like a carnival ride after asking some questions out loud, “What’s your favorite food…do you like pizza?” The ghosts are so cool.


Photo: Greg Nagel

The Queen Mary during the holidays keeps its regular haunted ghost tours, but the real spook is with Aiden Sinclair’s Ghosts of Christmas Passed show that runs in a small theater called the Reverent Room on the B deck. Pre-show, you’re treated to a cocktail hour filled with museum of curiosities and a handful of classic-themed cocktails, such as a Smoke & Mirrors that’s a take on a classic Manhattan, complete with smoked maple bourbon, black walnut bitters, sweet vermouth, and hickory smoke on service. Make sure to grab a drink for the show, you’ll need it.


Photo: Greg Nagel

If you’re into ghost-free dining, Sir Winstons aboard the ship offers fine dining with some of the best views of Long Beach overlooking the bay. At sunset, light pours through the dining room, making for some epic selfies while ordering off of their hidden gem sunset menu (3-course prix fixe for $50). I went off the regular dining menu with the classic British Sir Winston’s beef wellington that’s a perfectly cooked hunk of beef encased in crispy puff pastry, a bit of pork belly, and a schmear of pâté Campagna. It’s seriously umami heaven.


Photo: Greg Nagel

The Queen Mary’s Royal Brunch is also a perfect place to spend a Sunday in their grand ballroom, complete with all the mimosas you can handle. The spread is deep with fresh hand rolls of sushi made to order, a raw bar, more crab legs than you can sword-fight with, and every other cuisine and carving stations than you can handle. When I’m a ghost someday, I’ll gladly haunt the Queen Mary.

The Queen Mary, Sir Winston’s, Aiden Sinclair’s Ghosts of Christmas Passed, and more is all found at QueenMary.com