Traveling with teens is always a challenge. It’s tough to find things that amuse them. So I was thrilled to discover the Ghosts and Legends tour of the Queen Mary cruise ship in Long Beach, California.
Touring the cruise ship that was the height of luxury travel in the 1930s and 1940s was not high on Tess’ southern California agenda. She would have much rather been on a tour bus driving past the houses of the stars. But a chance to hear the ghost stories of the Queen Mary brought a spark to her eye.
It’s a fun, somewhat cheesy tour through the allegedly haunted portions of the ship, particularly the boiler room and the bow of the ship, which is haunted by the souls of 300 World War II sailors who died when the Queen Mary accidently rammed their ship. A few special effects, some very dim lighting and a tour guide with a flair for the dramatic made it a fun 30 minutes for my 14-year-old horror movie loving daughter.
Sadly, this is not one of those rare tourist attractions that works just as well for younger kids as it does for older kids. The younger kids on the tour, one girl who was just 4 and a boy who was 9, were clinging desperately to their moms, terrified by the special effects and the ghost stories. So, unless your child is a veteran horror movie fan or truly intrepid in the face of scary stuff, leave the little ones strolling the promenade deck with Grandma while you take the older kids on the tour, which is included in the general admission price (Adult: $27.95, Senior (55+) & Military: $24.95, Children 5-11: $15.95).