SHOPPING AT SEA: Every ocean liner worth its water-vast views boasts a collection of on-board shops. We're talking about the merch-plentiful spots where a passenger can go to pick up a quick candy bar, a postcard, a history book about the ship, or maybe a wrap for those chilly evenings on deck.
THE QUEEN MARY, now forever-at-home in Long Beach, has long housed a clutch of tony and everyday-stuff shops, on its photo-worthy Promenade Deck, a location that is known as not simply the place to find the ship's stores but a visual symphony of Art Deco delights. Those design details have been preserved, and new ones revealed, as the deck and its stores underwent a recent rethink. The rethink is complete, as are the preservation-minded repairs to some of the deck's most iconic details, and "a revitalized collection of boutiques" will debut on Thursday, April 23.
THE BOUTIQUES INCLUDE... The Portside Marketplace, which offers jewelry, gifts, books, and souvenirs. The space that now houses The Portside once was the home of the First Class Library, but then you likely know that already, Queen Mary mavens. Foods and fancy candies can be found at The Centerline Boutique, a former haberdashery. And men's accessories and ship-themed items are for sale at The Starboard Shop, which was once a drawing room.
THERE ARE OTHER SHOPS... in the maritime mix -- a stationery store and a wine shop -- and the refurbishment impacted over 2,000 feet of shopping space in all. Details such as matching linoleum, a rarely seen material nowadays, and the revelation of original ceiling's "character-defining features" are part of the ship shops' long-running story. Some wood veneers needed replacing, too, during the spiffy-up, but they were matched to original designs.
WANT TO CHECK OUT THE REFURBISHMENT? On the grand opening -- or re-opening -- day? The Queen Mary is welcoming all aboard with free admission on April 23, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.