First Class Staterooms and Special Suites - A deck

According to the Shipbuilder: - among the staterooms on A deck are a number of suites, "each consisting of a bedroom, sitting room, private bathroom, arranged so that, when the occasion arises, the sitting rooms may be used as bedrooms." A number of different interior design houses worked on the interiors of the suites and special staterooms on both A deck and main deck.

Sitting Room of one of the Eight Special Staterooms on A Deck.

"Ample wardrobe space is available, and the large dressing tables, surmounted by mirrors illuminated by concealed lights, are a feature of the furnishings; while dressing chests, writing tables, bedside tables, small, easy and tub chairs and dressing stools are also provided. The illumination is effected by lights concealed in troughs of moulded glass. The floors are close-covered with carpets, over which are specially woven rugs are laid. In the sitting rooms, the furniture consists of settees, armchairs, small chairs, tables, etc., and the lighting, carpets and soft furnishings generally are in keeping with those in the bedrooms. A typical bedroom may be described to convey some idea of style of treatment. Wall panelling of light Honduras mahogany provides the setting for furniture in quilted maple. The curtains, bedspreads and pillow covers are in ivory satin, with pink and green ribbon appliqué."

"The ceilings are devoid of any ornament, and are finished a light ivory". And elsewhere in describing the suites …"their comfortable aspect is enhanced by the introduction of mantelpieces in which are set electric radiators simulating the cheerful glow of coal fires."

Much of the rest of A deck was taken up by standard first class cabins. However 2/3 of way along the passageways going aft were class barrier separating first from second class cabins. (The slightly narrower original second class passageways on A deck are retained to this day.)

History of Use

1936 – 1939 - we are unaware of any significant changes made to these facilities as described above during this period.

1940 – 1946 - the ship was used as a troop transport during this period. The precise functions assigned to the A deck cabins and suites is currently being researched.

1947 – 1967 - the paneling and the furnishings were meticulously restored in the post-war refit. The cabins and suites returned to their original use. As the passenger load changed during the late 1950s and early 1960s some cabins in the forward part of A deck were reassigned to third class use.

1968 – present – all of the cabins and special suites on A deck were incorporated into the hotel function in the Long Beach conversion. The special suites were, however, converted as standard cabins. As with all of the ship the conversion from direct to alternating current rendered useless all original electrical features except for the lights. A conversion to fluorescent lighting in the early 1980s robbed the ship of the beauty of the original lighting scheme.

Restoration and/or Reuse Potential

We see the major portion of A deck as an area of the ship that is reserved for hotel guests and Club Queen Mary members exclusive use. The cabins in the former first class area, the majority of the deck, need sensitive restoration.

Some Suggestions:

See also:

Hotel Queen Mary - creating a ship within a ship for hotel guests and Club Queen Mary members.

Club Queen Marycreating a new social center for Long Beach.

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