Clatto Reviews: Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor 2017!


The dead have surfaced once again at the Queen Mary in Long Beach to treat themselves to a fresh new batch of ill-fated Halloween thrill seekers at the iconic ship’s annual Dark Harbor event, running select nights now though Nov. 1.

Joining the dead’s legion of drowned mariners, salty savages, and seafaring monsters is Chef, a rotting Ramsey-like culinary master burnt alive in his own oven for serving up WWII soldiers as flavorful delicacies. Not one to let a bad review torpedo his career, the Chef is back from the dead with a bone to pick. Your goose is cooked if you fail to successfully navigate Feast, the ship’s brand new maze!

But, don’t worry. Clatto made it down to the docks to test the waters and brave the terror lurking at every corner of Dark Harbor. In addition to the unholy hordes of hellions and freakish fiends, the event includes seven maddening mazes, immersive attractions, live undead entertainment, tasty grub, and intoxicating spirits (booze!).


Feast is this year’s new maze and it marks the fourth on board the Queen Mary vessel, joining B340, Lullaby, and Soulmate in taking passengers deep into the ship’s engine rooms, corridors, and galley for a uniquely terrifying experience. Serving up a smorgasbord of unimaginable cannibalistic horror, Feast provides an unsavory tour of Chef’s kitchen from the chopping block to the oven and all gruesome meat lockers in between.

Hungry for a Filet-O-Fisherman? Some Shrimp Louie (or Bob, Carol, John, any person next to you really)? Maybe some tots? We did see some children simmering in stew. If the menu isn’t to your liking, you’re outta luck. The only one getting Chopped is you and, most likely, roasted! Such was our fate when we took to our hands and knees to crawl through the vents only to come face-to-kinda-face with Chef! We escaped… to the oven. Doh! Our tip: if you can’t bum knee pads off a slider, do a butt crawl instead and spare your knees.

Chef Venting

Chef Venting

B340, Lullaby, and Soulmate are altered slightly this year to offer a more intensified experience. While each maze remains the same thematically, their design and scare actors continue to impress. B340 is dark and gory – a snapshot of passenger Samuel the Savage’s lunatic mind. Lullaby and Soulmate evoke dread and misery through tragic characters Scary Mary and Graceful Gale, respectively. Drown child-victim Scary Mary mocks and beckons passersby with sing-song taunts and tiny-voiced whispers while lost at sea debutante Graceful Gale haunts quietly.

On the docks, the layout has changed – providing a sprawling landscape where more creeps and monsters than ever before roam freely, pouncing on the lost and distracted. Our tip: wear comfy running shoes to sprint to the nearest shot-girl for some liquid courage. Or, enjoy a flight of chilled vodka at Chef’s Meat Locker, a 7-degree ice bar with prices so horrifying you’ll still get hot under the collar. Regardless, it’s good to have some firewater in your belly when facing the dead, especially in seven bone-chilling, heart-stopping mazes. Bonus tip: stick to beer or wine as many of the bartenders are slow and lack mixing/pouring skills.


Deadrise tells the story of a sunken World War II escort ship haunted by drowned crew members and their fearsome Captain. It was our favorite land maze last year and remains one of Dark Harbor’s most fun attractions, and possibly its longest and wettest. Surprisingly, last year’s biggest disappointment, Intrepid, returns to give it a run for the money. Revamped with a new design and more actors, it provides a unique thrill in a green lit scare room that creates a waist-level mist, hiding the Iron Master’s monstrous minions below!

Crowd-pleaser Circus is still fun in it’s ability to disorient guests through its mirrored maze. Potentially adding to the mayhem is a secret bar, but you have to figure out how to win favor with the Zoltar machine to gain access. If you’ve seen Big, you know these Zoltar types can be kinda dickish. We caught a glimpse of the bar as the door was shut in our face! Don’t sweat it. You can find another in the Feast maze.

Tickets – including online deals – are available now and can be purchased at the Dark Harbor website.

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