Queen Mary New: Free Evening Admission

Arrive after 6 p.m. and board the big boat without paying a dime.

"Ship's time" is something that conveys the reading on the clock at the location where the vessel is currently afloat. And keeping track of the hours? An on-board horn often does that, loudly and with impressive tone, several times each day.

Big boats and the time of day have a pretty tight, very old relationship, which is quite understandable, as staying on top of the whens and wheres while at sea is essential. But there's a new time of day to keep in mind, when it comes to one of the biggest boats around, at least if you're enjoying an evening out in Long Beach.

It's the Queen Mary, the '30s-era, born-in-Scotland Art Deco landmark that transformed into the Grey Ghost, and Winston Churchill's office-at-sea, in World War II.

Visiting the ship's many historical displays, and reportedly haunted hallways, just got a mite easier: The Queen Mary will now waive admission after 6 o'clock each evening.

There may be some holidays and special nights when this new policy doesn't apply, keep note, but most days you can show up at 6 and saunter on in while keeping that wallet tucked away.

One large asterisk? Parking is not included, but here's another asterisk to place alongside that: If you "...spend $20 or more at the Observation Bar" or dine at Sir Winston's or the Chelsea Chowder House, your car entry is also gratis for the night, too.

That's it, a perk for people who like to do a little ghosty and/or historical nosing around after dark on the fabled ocean-liner. And as for those water-shimmery views of lovely Long Beach? Those are pretty darn nice by moonlight, too.

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And we weren't exaggerating about time and ships before. If you've been on the Queen Mary at 10 a.m., 3 p.m., or 6 p.m., you've heard her horn blow.

Golly, if you've been within ten miles of the ship you've heard the horn's celebrated sonorous sound, an auditory experience that's as Long Beach as a seal bark or the lapping of the waves.

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