DESTINATION LONG BEACH: THE QUEEN MARY STORY. The history of an ocean liner would ordinarily begin and end with its life at sea. But when it comes to the majestic RMS (Royal Mail Ship) Queen Mary, nothing has been ordinary. While among her predecessors and contemporaries, many ended their service as scrap metal of some, such as the Lusitania, the Normandie or Queen Elizabeth I, in tragedy, the Queen Mary has successfully endured -- despite the dramatic societal and economic changes since her Depression- era launching in 1934. As a luxury liner, she offered her passengers a splendor not previously seen afloat. In her 27 public rooms, passengers would see carved marble, cast bronze doors, tapestries, bas relief, and wall-sized murals. Throughout her 12 decks were56 varieties of wood, fine oil paintings, more then 2000 portholes. The first-class swimming pool showed off a mother-of pearl ceiling. The first-class lounge had a 30-fppt ceiling and three onyx fireplaces. Then after 31 years as a luxury trans-Atlantic ocean liner, the Queen Mary closed down its engines, detached its massive propellers and began life anew -- berthed in Long Beach, California, a one-of a kind hybrid dubbed by some a floating building and by others a land-dependent ship. however you may choose to look at her, the Queen Mary has now been permanently berthed in Long Beach more years than she served at sea and all indications point to many more years right where she is.
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