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Queen Mary honors veterans, active military by free admission for Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend, the Queen Mary honors veterans and active military with free admission
Memorial Day weekend, the Queen Mary honors veterans and active military with free admission
Courtesy of the Queen Mary

Today through Monday, as a special way to honor our servicemen of the past and present, the Queen Mary is proud to offer Free Admission to active service members of the armed forces, retired military personnel, veterans and special discounts for their family members. It's a great opportunity to explore The Queen Mary and learn the incredible true story how her involvement played a pivotal role in guiding the Allied Forces to victory in WWII.

Nicknamed the "Grey Ghost" after receiving a hauntingly stark paint job, the ship's impressive speed and size made it an ideal troop hauler often carrying as many as 15,000 men in a single voyage. During her tour of duty, the Queen Mary set various world records for speed and cargo adding another layer to her already impressive tapestry of work.

Even though I usually don't relate personal items in my articles, the Queen Mary has special meaning. That was the way my father, as a member of the 8th U.S. Army Air Force traveled to England to do his part during WWII. For any guests who have a relative who fought in that war, the display of how they traveled over on the “Grey Ghost” will allow you to picture your family member as they traveled to and from England during the war.

The Queen Mary certainly played her part and was a ship where it's easy to visualize your grandfather, father or other relative walking the deck, often amazed at their first time on the ocean and their first time out of their home town. The ocean crossing on the world's most magnificent luxury liner, painted grey and with luxurious rooms converted to military bunks, was a completely new experience for most. And for many, they were never able to enjoy the cruise back to the United States.

This is an excellent way to enjoy the Queen Mary and relive some of the days past on it. Of course, the dining on the Queen Mary provides many excellent options. The Tea Room, with their pots of tea, scones and finger sandwiches, evokes the way the British enjoyed their most favored beverage. Sir Winston's and the Chelsea Chowderhouse, with both dining rooms overseen by the Queen Mary's Executive Chef Todd Henderson, recreate the atmosphere of the Queen's heyday with delicious food featuring excellent seafood and meat dishes.

The Observation Bar, restored to the original Art Deco designs, looks out over the bow of the ship, across the harbor to the skyline of Long Beach. Some of the specialties there include the Jack Daniels Single Barrel Select, especially blended for the Queen Mary. Another excellent drink, which was featured just this week at the Queen Mary's Barrel Series 2014 Caribbean Island Dinner, is the Mount Gay Barbados Black Barrel Rum. This rum was specially blended for the Queen Mary by Allen Smith, Master Distiller at the Mount Gay Distillery on Barbados, working with the Queen Mary's Twain Schreiber to make a perfect blend to complement the rich history of the Queen Mary.

Free admission applies to one Queen Mary Passport per active service, retired military, or veteran guest. No other discounts apply. Family members receive 20% off all Queen Mary Passports. Offer valid Saturday, May 24 - Monday, May 26, 2014. Valid Military ID or proof of service required. Only available at the box office. More info at: or call 877-342-0738

The Queen Mary

1126 Queen's Highway

Long Beach, CA 90802

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