7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I took the Pearl Mist cruise from Chicago to Toronto on September 12, 2018. That is, it was supposed to leave from Chicago, but, in fact, left from Milwaukee, a 90-mile change we did not learn about until the day before our ... Read More
My husband and I took the Pearl Mist cruise from Chicago to Toronto on September 12, 2018. That is, it was supposed to leave from Chicago, but, in fact, left from Milwaukee, a 90-mile change we did not learn about until the day before our scheduled departure. Yes, they did provide us with a bus from Chicago to Milwaukee, albeit a noisy and uncomfortable one. The accommodations on board, the ship, when we finally arrived, were comfortable, if hardly as spacious or luxurious as the price and promotional literature suggested, but the food ranged from barely acceptable to downright terrible. Meats were overcooked and under seasoned, vegetables mushy and not very fresh (except for the occasional salad), fish, mostly frozen, tended to be flavorless, breads and were pastries gummy or cottony not worth eating. My husband and I developed severe gastro-enteritis, as did a goodly portion of the other passengers according to people we spoke to. The number of "Do Not Disturb" signs we saw on cabin doors was depressing. We had to miss several shore excursions because we were sick. One evening, no hors d'oeuvres were served at the cocktail hour--"for sanitary reasons" a staff member explained. On another day, after we had recovered a bit from our illnesses, we went to the ship's library and found all the shelves empty of books--they were being "sterilized" a crew member explained. A few days later, the books were back on the shelves. This was by far the worst cruise we've ever been on, and the most expensive. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This is small ship with limited facilities, no spa, no pool. The most disappointing was the lack of internet service, We were told the ship would leave from Chicago however it left from Milwaukee, we had to be bused there and never were ... Read More
This is small ship with limited facilities, no spa, no pool. The most disappointing was the lack of internet service, We were told the ship would leave from Chicago however it left from Milwaukee, we had to be bused there and never were given an explanation as to why this change was made. Things were very disorganized at the Chicago hotel, no one was there to direct us to the buses. Mackinac Island in Michigan.was wonderful but the other ports of call in Canada were mostly small Indian villages with little or no shopping and restaurants. Service and food onboard was good. We had a premium stateroom that was fine although the balcony was uninviting (painted steel and plastic furniture) We had to leave the ship early due to lack of internet service. There is little to do on the two days you are at sea. Unlike most of the other older passengers my wife and I have businesses to run. If you need to stay connected to the internet, this cruise will not be good for you. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Having been on over 30 Ocean and river cruises all over the World we wanted to spend more of our time and money in the United States. This cruise offered an interesting itinerary most of which we had never visited. We prefer small - medium ... Read More
Having been on over 30 Ocean and river cruises all over the World we wanted to spend more of our time and money in the United States. This cruise offered an interesting itinerary most of which we had never visited. We prefer small - medium size ships over the floating malls and their crowds. The staff was excellent, friendly and very helpful, the meal selections good and varied and the sizes and quality outstanding. In addition to a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks and water in our cabin, mixed alcoholic drinks were available at lunch, dinner and all entertainment venues. The on board entertainment was very good and appropriate for our age group. The ship and cabins are comfortable but dated and need to be updated and unless the ship is in port the Wi-Fi is poor to non-existent. Departures, transfers and ship events were punctual and as advertised. We would consider travelling with them again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We heard it was a nice trip through the Great Lakes with lots of history, so we choose Pearl Seas Cruises after checking another lines out, cause even though it was more expensive, it looked to be a better boat with a good itinerary. ... Read More
We heard it was a nice trip through the Great Lakes with lots of history, so we choose Pearl Seas Cruises after checking another lines out, cause even though it was more expensive, it looked to be a better boat with a good itinerary. First let me start off by saying from the book you received about the trip, it stated one day on the lakes with no stops, which was false advertising cause there was 2 days. Two of stops that were included on this trip, Sauté St Marie and Little Current there was nothing to see there and we spent several hours there. There was no one to give you the history of each stop, yes there was a little page that was put in your room each. Ignite giving you a little detail, but not much and the women they had on board to give lectures, didn't lecture about the area, in fact of the lectures was about the Titanic, which I thought was not appropriate. One day we spent more time going thru customs and waiting in line then actually at the Ford Musuem. Nigeria Falls was beautiful, but again you felt like you were rushed through it and did not get to see any of the area around there, which looked beautiful. The food was good and the wait staff and room steward was wonderful! It was also suggested that you tip $20 a day, which I though was high, considering the price we paid for the cruise. I tipped individually and gave a little as a whole. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We took the Pearl Mist 11 night cruise from Chicago to Toronto last August 2018. This cruise is targeted for people 75 years an older, many of which need assistance. That's ok but it should be clearly stated. Let's start by ... Read More
We took the Pearl Mist 11 night cruise from Chicago to Toronto last August 2018. This cruise is targeted for people 75 years an older, many of which need assistance. That's ok but it should be clearly stated. Let's start by saying the good things: 1) Stateroom and bathroom are very big. 2) Probably the best thing was the Staff, they are very friendly and helpful 3) Food was ok. 4) Drinks are included. 5) Some ports of call are very interesting: MACKINAC ISLAND, MUSKEGON / HOLLAND, Parry Sound and Niagara Falls. 6) Cruising the Welland Canal and going through 8 sets locks from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Now the bad things: 1) Overpriced at 20 grand per stateroom for and outed ship with little to do in it. It has no pool or good onboard activities. We spent 2 days cruising with little to do. The Gym consists of 4 machines located on and outside deck. 2) The TV in the stateroom is ridiculous 3) The ship is very small 108 cabins. 4) Some ports are call should be eliminated specially Sault Sainte Marie and Little Current. Nothing to do in them. 5) The time allocated in each destination is not well planned. We only spend 2-3 hours in Niagara that had a lot of activities to do and spend a full day at Sault Sainte Marie with almost nothing to do. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
If you want to way over. pay and get a marginal cruise in return this one is for you. The cruise should be at least 3 to 4 days less and the price cut by 60%. At no time did they exceed my expectations. Food was average, except for ... Read More
If you want to way over. pay and get a marginal cruise in return this one is for you. The cruise should be at least 3 to 4 days less and the price cut by 60%. At no time did they exceed my expectations. Food was average, except for three ports of call very boring, ship HVAC system terrible, entertainment very marginal. The only two positives I can give. you are the room size and the crew. This is our second cruise with American Ship lines. Last year we did the Mississippi cruise which was even worse. We cruise usually twice a year and American Ship Lines has set the bar for worst ship line in the industry. If the above was not enough , we got of the ship inn Chicago in the industrial port next to broken wood crates and garbage, The place smelled and we had to walk on plywood to get around water puddles to get on buses. The out side temperature was 90 degrees and. 80% humidity and the bus had broken air conditioners. The extra charge shore excursions were a joke and way overpriced. Bottom line for the amount you pay. for this cruise you could take 3 Caribbean cruises back to back and get a lot more for your money. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because we were traveling with 80 year old parents. We enjoy small ships, wanted to see the Great Lakes region and relax. This cruise was perfect and just what we were looking for. Booking was easy (book early for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were traveling with 80 year old parents. We enjoy small ships, wanted to see the Great Lakes region and relax. This cruise was perfect and just what we were looking for. Booking was easy (book early for an early bird discount) We arrived the night before in Chicago and stayed at The Sheraton where we got a cruise discount and were picked up by cruise transport in the am. Embarkation was a breeze. The ship holds 210 passengers so does not feel crowded at all. Cabins were roomy with a small patio to sit and relax (we were on deck 5). The food was amazing! They offered 1/2 portions which worked for me. Happy Hour was at 5:30 each day with complimentary cocktails and appetizers. Wine was also included at lunch and dinner. The service was excellent. Any request was promptly answered with a smile Mixed review on the ports. Muskegon was very interesting-a surprise for me! I learned a lot about the area's history. The highlight was Mackinac Island. Charming. We had a nice long day there. Definitely do the horse drawn carriage ride!! We saw some boats go through the locks in Sault Ste Marie, but that port and Little Current were small with not much to do. We took the Killbear park tour and Island Queen boat tour around the 30,000 islands of Georgia Bay and enjoyed both. Disembarkation was simple. They were very organized with shuttles. We took the free bus to the Toronto airport where I had arranged a shuttle to Niagara Falls where we spent a few days before flying home from Buffalo. They have a wide variety of destinations and are building more ships. They are the sister company to American Cruise Lines so have a lot to offer. I will definitely go again. Next trip, New England Islands Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Having been born and brought up in Michigan, the Great Lakes cruise really appealed to me. It was also our first cruise, so it had to be a good experience. It didn't disappoint. The ship accommodations, service and food were ... Read More
Having been born and brought up in Michigan, the Great Lakes cruise really appealed to me. It was also our first cruise, so it had to be a good experience. It didn't disappoint. The ship accommodations, service and food were beyond expectations. The size of our cabin was quite comfortable. The amount of space for handing clothes and storing folded closes was wonderful. The dining room service was always professional by an always accommodating service team. The choice of food met our needs and was always excellently prepared. We were also impressed with the sightseeing, including the tour of the beautiful Mackinac Island, Parry Sound, the beautiful Georgian Bay region and the Henry Ford museum. Of course, the side trip to the base of Niagara Falls was an amazing experience. We would highly recommend the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay cruise to anyone looking for a peaceful period out of your otherwise hectic life. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, and to check off some bucket list items; specifically to visit Mackinac Island and Niagara Falls. We definitely got a lot more. The excursions were very enjoyable, and made ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, and to check off some bucket list items; specifically to visit Mackinac Island and Niagara Falls. We definitely got a lot more. The excursions were very enjoyable, and made good use of our time. We have taken mega-ship Caribbean cruises and a European river cruise, but our Great Lakes cruise on Pearl Mist was better than those alternatives, by far. The accommodations were comfortable, with a very spacious bedroom and bathroom and a private balcony. The service and food were outstanding, and the destinations informative and enjoyable. Life on board the ship was very pleasant and relaxing, with great evening entertainment. We made many new friends on the trip, thanks to many opportunities to dine and socialize together. The all-inclusive policy meant no hassles with bar tabs and other inconveniences. All in all, a very good vacation choice. We recommend this cruise very highly! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We have cruised several times before but this was the first time on a small ship and it was delightful. The atmosphere is totally different than on a large ship carrying several thousand passengers. The crew made an effort to know the ... Read More
We have cruised several times before but this was the first time on a small ship and it was delightful. The atmosphere is totally different than on a large ship carrying several thousand passengers. The crew made an effort to know the passengers and the service could not have been better. The information about our ports of call were provided by the on board expert via lectures and by locals who came on board to give us lots of information about what we could see and do. It was all interesting and informative and helped make our time in each port more enjoyable. The service and the food in the dinning room was top notch and the open seating made it easy to get to know our fellow travelers and we met many interesting people who made the trip that much more enjoyable. We most certainly will take a small ship cruise again, in fact, I am not sure that we will ever take a trip on one of the behemoths again. The small ship experience added so much to our vacation I would definitely recommend it for the mature, seasoned traveler. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was a Great Lakes cruise, Chicago to Sault St. Marie, through Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, through Erie, the Welland Canal and finishing in Toronto. I love being on a ship, much prefer small ships (this was my max at 210 passenger ... Read More
This was a Great Lakes cruise, Chicago to Sault St. Marie, through Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, through Erie, the Welland Canal and finishing in Toronto. I love being on a ship, much prefer small ships (this was my max at 210 passenger capacity) and seveal stops were of interest. The Pearl Mist is a fairly new ship, nicely done, extremely stable. The public rooms are all spacious and well decorated. The lunch and dinner menus were creative but the food just OK. Service from some of the waiters was unsatisfactory, e.g. it was almost impossible to get a second cup of coffee. Wine was available for lunch and dinner but of inferior quality. Liquors available for hors d'oeuvres was top quality. All at no extra charge. We were in port most days, interesting and reasonably priced excursions were available but there was plenty of opportunity to walk about on your own. The on-board entertainment was interesting. They paired a folk song singer with a rocker. It was fun watching them learn to work together. They soon found a comfortable working relationship and provided good entertainment. The lecturer was well prepared and delivered frequent, topical and interesting lectures. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We took the Pearl Mist from Toronto to Chicago in late June. Both embarkation and disembarkation went extremely smoothly. In fact, getting off and on the ship was surprisingly always easy and very fast. This review comes from the ... Read More
We took the Pearl Mist from Toronto to Chicago in late June. Both embarkation and disembarkation went extremely smoothly. In fact, getting off and on the ship was surprisingly always easy and very fast. This review comes from the perspective of someone in their 20's. During my cruise, I was the youngest person on the ship. I was traveling with my grandmother, who is in her late 80's. We chose this location and cruise line because it was somewhere she had never been before, and we were very happy with our choice. Ship - I loved the ship! It has plenty of outdoors space and nice lounges to relax in. Since it is a small ship, there is no spa or workout room (only some equipment on a deck). I didn't mind that, though. Cabin - I shared a handicap cabin with two other people, and it was very spacious. The balcony was wonderful. Dining - The open seating dining was really nice. By the end of the trip, everyone knew each other from sitting next to each other at meals. I also thought the food was wonderful. You could ask for a half portion of food, there were vegetarian options, and dessert was always good. Wine and beer were also included options at meals, and there was a cocktail hour everyday. Entertainment and Activities - Since this is a smaller ship, the entertainment is also smaller. Most nights, two entertainers would play music related to a theme (i.e. country, 50's, etc.). People seemed to love this. I particularly liked the local entertainers that they brought in from outside of the ship. There were also some good lectures and trivia (with prizes) one night. Service - The service was spectacular. At meals, the waiters knew our favorite extras and knew our names. What was really important, though, was the service the ship gave to my grandmother, who uses a wheelchair and walker. They were patient and kind beyond what was expected of them, and they went out of their way to make sure my grandmother could go on all of the excursions. Ports and Shore excursions - I enjoyed them! There was something to do at every stop. Sometimes the locations were tiny towns, but that's what there is in some parts of Canada. We enjoyed every stop, especially Mackinac Island. To summerize, I really enjoyed my travels on the Pearl Mist. I would definitely recommend it for people who are looking for a nice, relaxing vacation. Although I would not recommend it to people my age traveling alone, just because of the price and the slow pace of things, this trip was the perfect way to spend some quality time with my grandmother and to see parts of Canada and the US in a luxury fashion. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We travel all the time, and thought a Great Lakes & Georgian Bay (and the stops we would make) sounded like something different. We were happy to find the entire experience; the many people we met, the tours, the food, etc. exceeded ... Read More
We travel all the time, and thought a Great Lakes & Georgian Bay (and the stops we would make) sounded like something different. We were happy to find the entire experience; the many people we met, the tours, the food, etc. exceeded our expectations. The crew was pleasant and happy, proficient, and eager-to-please. Though most of the 200 travelers on board were quite on in years (few under 60, even fewer under 50, the majority 70s and 80s), almost all were interesting and seasoned travelers. The tours ranged from Niagra Falls to Mackinac Island, to a First People's Cultural Center, a beautiful National Park, lovely towns with a variety of things to see and do... Our state room with its private balcony, had ample storage space, and was clean and spacious enough for my daily Yoga practice. I am strictly Vegan, and the Chef went out of his way to prepare delicious dishes for me, and my husband (who eat everything!) was also very pleased with the variety of meals. The stabilizers on the ship made for very smooth sailing. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We were on the Great Lakes Georgian Bay Cruise.The ship the Pearl Mist is very dated. According to the brochure it gives the impression that it is only a couple of years old but it was built about 15 years ago and sat unsold until Pearl ... Read More
We were on the Great Lakes Georgian Bay Cruise.The ship the Pearl Mist is very dated. According to the brochure it gives the impression that it is only a couple of years old but it was built about 15 years ago and sat unsold until Pearl Seas Cruise Line bought it. The decor shows it's age.No amenities such as spa, hair salon, manicurist, workout room or large screen movies. Easy to get bored. Entertainment was beyond abominable, very unprofessional and obviously cheap. For what the cruise cost (very expensive) the shore excursions should have been included. Mackinac Island and Windsor were the best ports of call as far as we were concerned.The nightly talk about the next days shore excursion did not advise what to see and do, mostly just what time the buses left. The meal servings were also small and the food only adequate, unless you don't know any better. However all the staff was very pleasant and accommodating. The stateroom and balcony was okay. Certainly not what we expected and not a "luxury" cruise. Would we recommend... no! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We were originally booked on the March 6 Cuba offering. When it was cancelled (three days before departure) we took the opportunity to switch to this one from Chicago to Toronto, since we had long wanted to do more touring/cruising in ... Read More
We were originally booked on the March 6 Cuba offering. When it was cancelled (three days before departure) we took the opportunity to switch to this one from Chicago to Toronto, since we had long wanted to do more touring/cruising in North America. Turned out, this was a great choice. We had a 300 SF stateroom that was as quiet and comfortable as any we've ever had (after 40+ cruises) with prompt and efficient service to go with it. The only disappointment was the small TV, but we managed. The food and service was excellent, and we appreciated the moderate sized servings. Wines, beers, and alcoholic beverages were of known sources and high quality; the cocktail hours were complimentary every time. If one is into snacking, there was unlimited opportunity, as soft drinks, juices, coffee, teas, and packaged chips, granola, nuts, etc., were always available in the two main lounges. There was some entertainment, karaoke, games, but we didn't participate. The lectures, however, were excellent, and I attended all of them. The ship is efficiently organized, with a roomy elevator to all five passenger decks. Children would not enjoy this cruise -- it is obviously designed for older experienced travelers. The Toronto City tour that was provided for those with late in the day flights was a nice touch. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Itinerary was interesting. Promotional brochures are inaccurate as to Shore Excursions. Ground operators and step-on guide in Niagara Falls, ON were horrible. Pre-arranged transfers post cruise by taxi did not happen. Cuisine was ... Read More
Itinerary was interesting. Promotional brochures are inaccurate as to Shore Excursions. Ground operators and step-on guide in Niagara Falls, ON were horrible. Pre-arranged transfers post cruise by taxi did not happen. Cuisine was excellent as was service. On-board entertainment and lectures were lacking. Ports of call were lack luster. Included bar service was only for 1 hour a day. At a per diem of $2000.00 for a category "R" cabin I would expect more. This was the most expensive cruise we have been on to date based on per diem and I would not classify it as a luxury experience. The cabin was large, but we experienced an air conditioner on day one that had a bearing in need of replacement. The engineer showed up and changed the filter and sprayed some oil on the bearing. That relieved the noise for one night. We just put up with it for the rest of the cruise. This is NOT a first class operation. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
It was somewhere I had never been!! Loved the Great Lakes and Toronto!!! We also loved visiting Chicago before leaving on the cruise. The cruise people picked us up at the hotel they recommended right on time and were Great!! All of the ... Read More
It was somewhere I had never been!! Loved the Great Lakes and Toronto!!! We also loved visiting Chicago before leaving on the cruise. The cruise people picked us up at the hotel they recommended right on time and were Great!! All of the busses they provided were very clear and very comfortable!!!The food was Great and the portions were the right amount. They always had a great selection of food. The staff was exceptional and the best I have experienced and I cruise a lot. We loved the whole cruise! The Niagara excursion was fantastic along with Mackinac Island!! Loved both of them. We got off in Toronto and stayed for two days. We found so much it do there and would really think of going back! Overall this cruise was one of the best we have been on!! The service. the food the ship and the way we were treated was fantastic. I loved being on the smaller ship as we were able to make so many friends on the cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I am 77 years old and most of the Passenger where in my age group. We left from Chicago and debark in Toronto. The ship was great and so was our cabin. The service was outstanding and so was the food. We have been on many cruises/ships ... Read More
I am 77 years old and most of the Passenger where in my age group. We left from Chicago and debark in Toronto. The ship was great and so was our cabin. The service was outstanding and so was the food. We have been on many cruises/ships and have to say this was one of best. The excursions were well selected and we had a great time. We are locking forward to our next cruise on the Pear Mist to the Panama Canal. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Just back from this trip and it lived up to my expectations, which were all good. That being said, one's expectations must really be managed before embarking on this trip. Because this trip has a very high price tag, people may ... Read More
Just back from this trip and it lived up to my expectations, which were all good. That being said, one's expectations must really be managed before embarking on this trip. Because this trip has a very high price tag, people may expect it to be an all inclusive, very luxurious experience such as If you are expecting a Seabourn or Regent Seven Seas type of cruise, this is not the trip for you. It is not that type of trip. The higher price tag comes in part due to the many behind the scenes costs of running a small ship on North American itineraries such as: required pilot fees for naviagating the Great Lakes; very high fees for transiting locks; North American price tags for goods and services. Plus, the Pearl Mist is a wonderful shp. It is the perfectly size vessel, with only 200 passengers. Cabins and bathrooms are very spacious and all have balconies. Great showers. Very clean. Everyone is constantly cleaning all of the time. Service/crew is superb, genuine and sincere. Itineraries very unique, calling on many places one has always wanted to visit, but never gotten around to it. The two public lounges, as well as library, are lovely. Every cabin even has its own Keurig coffee maker. And though rooms are not equipped with safes, it is my understanding that you may have one upon request. Ambience/dress is comfortable and casual. And I found our cabin to be one of the quietest cabins I've ever had on any vessel. Cruise is really geared for an older, more sedentary clientele. Not much to keep the interest for a real active/outdoorsy type. And this is not a trip for kids. Free flowing wine for lunch and dinner. One hour cocktail hour before dinner each night with top notch, premium liquors. Lounges fully stocked with complimentary soft drinks, coffee, snacks all day. Popcorn and Root Beer Floats served in the lounge at night. Food very good. I was traveling with a group of 13 and we all enjoyed the food. Also, they were very good with special dietary restrictions such as gluten free. Our itinerary sailed from Chicago to Toronto, traversing the Great Lakes, with six additional ports, including Mackinac Island, Windsor, Ontario (which was the gateway to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan) and Niagara Falls. I took the trip because I had not traveled this part of the country. I thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary as well as the boat. I selected the 12 day itinerary because I wanted to see Niagara Falls, but I think 12 days was a little too long for me. Seven days would've been perfect with a day or two before and after in the embarkation/debarkation ports Entertainment needs improvement. For the entire 12 days, there was a combo that played the first three nights and then they got off and were replaced with one entertainer and her acoustical guitar for the next 8 days. That was way too much of the same thing. That being said, I seldom go to shows on cruises, so it was a huge issue for me. They did show a different movie every day on your in cabin tv. We played a lot of cards and read. We were also treated to a wonderful jazz concert in one port, compliments of Pearl Seas Cruises and it was great. The enrichment lecturer, Rae, was great. Lots of wonderful information on the Great Lakes, which, prior to this trip, I knew nothing about. Cruise Director, John K. very good. Worked 24/7 behind the scenes to make sure all was in order. Do remember, because it is a small boat, one must be prepared for the unexpected. Scheduled ports can change due to docking changes and weather conditions. Small boats can get kicked out of berthing spots sometimes by freightors, etc. I really enjoyed the Pearl Mist as a vessel. I think Pearl Seas Cruises is evolving as a cruise line and, for only being in the water for a year and half, is doing a lot of things right. They of course are having some growing pains, as all new enterprises do. It will take a few seasons to get everything completely ironed out. But I must tell you, in my dealings with them, the corporate policy was all about customer service and not cutting corners. I have sailed over 100 cruises, big boats, little boats and everything in between. Would I consider another cruise on this boat: you bet! I would like to do several of the Eastern Seaboard itineraries. The Pearl Mist is really perfect for the smaller, less traveled inlets and coves. If you enjoy the roads less traveled, check this trip out. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
September 1st, I boarded the Pearl Mist in Chicago for a Great Lakes & Georgian Bay cruise then continued on the September 12th cruise through the St. Lawrence Seaway and Canadian Maritimes. I have cruise over 100 times in my life ... Read More
September 1st, I boarded the Pearl Mist in Chicago for a Great Lakes & Georgian Bay cruise then continued on the September 12th cruise through the St. Lawrence Seaway and Canadian Maritimes. I have cruise over 100 times in my life throughout the world. Never have I been so entertained, pampered and dined to the point that I didn't want to disembark. The cuisine was magnificent at every meal. The quality, presentation and variety was wonderful and the dining service was absolutely perfect. The chef and his team are amazing. Every soup was delicious, salads were crisp, seafood was fresh and well prepared, vegetables were cooked perfectly, meats were tender and desserts were so good that many times I had to have half of one and half of another. I put on a few pounds on the cruise but it was worth it. Cocktails are complimentary every day 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm and after dinner until 9:30 pm. Wine is complimentary at lunch and dinner. Chips and snacks are always available in the lounges. During the evening show, root beer floats and popcorn is brought into lounge. I am ashamed to say that after eating so much at dinner, I often had to have root beer float. The cruise directors, front desk personnel, passenger representative and hotel manager could not have been more helpful in every way. Anytime I had a question, I received the answer immediately or in a timely manner. The cabin stewards are very friendly and efficient. Cleanliness on the ship is a priority and this is very evident. The amenities in the bathrooms are plentiful and the shower is large. The towels and bedding are of excellent quality. The staterooms are very large and the balconies have a nice sized table with comfortable chairs. Love the Sky Deck where I could "see the world" from comfortable lounge chairs. One of my friends who came with me, fell several days before boarding. The wound on his leg had to be cleaned and bandaged often. The nurse came twice a day to do what needed to be done so that the wound would heal, and at no charge. The lecturer was excellent. The passengers loved her. She was an expert on the itinerary and fun to listen to. There was a duo that performed in the lounge. They were very talented and often had passengers dancing. Since I have to work on my laptop, I found it easy with plug-in access on the desk. Also, I was glad Internet was available. There were a few days when Internet was spotty. The deckhands were amazing. They were very kind to the passengers, helping them walk on and off the ship, always with a smile. Anyone with disabilities were helped wherever needed. I was impressed to see the care that was always given to the passengers. I have booked Cuba on the Pearl Mist for April 2017. Can't wait to board again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
I have been on many cruises and I thought this cruise was very good. The ship is well appointed for a small ship. The staterooms were a good size and comfortable. About the only thing missing was an in room safe for those items with ... Read More
I have been on many cruises and I thought this cruise was very good. The ship is well appointed for a small ship. The staterooms were a good size and comfortable. About the only thing missing was an in room safe for those items with value that you like to feel are in a safe place when you are off the ship on a tour excursion or just visiting a town. The food service was very good and the before dinner cocktails and wines with lunch and dinner were a nice addition. I did feel that the entertainment could have been a little more varied over the time we were on the cruise. The on board lecturer was excellent, interesting and very knowledgable. I would have liked a little more information about the ports we visited and the local areas. This definitely was a cruise for the senior age group and I felt that the staff and crew did a very helpful job with disembarkation and embarkation in the ports of call. Overall it was a very good experience and I would like to take another cruise on the Pearl Mist. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
200 passenger cruise ship launched 2014 Food and service are excellent. BUT, although the rooms are spacious and comfortable the appointments are chintz from the formica era. NO room safe; tiny flatscreen TV; no robes; no headsets ... Read More
200 passenger cruise ship launched 2014 Food and service are excellent. BUT, although the rooms are spacious and comfortable the appointments are chintz from the formica era. NO room safe; tiny flatscreen TV; no robes; no headsets for excursions; excursions and gratuities NOT included; several areas of docking are awful industrial piers (Chicago, Niagara Falls, Holland, and Toronto) and thus impossibe to step off the ship and even get a taxi into town!! Having the same single entertainer (guitar singer) for 8 nites in a row is ridiculous. There is no medical facility; a nurse comes to your room if needed. Fitness area is on the upper deck, outdoors, thus never used! No elevator access to this deck which has lovely lounge areas. The indoor lounge areas are totally inadequate for seating for 200 passengers. The space has been maximized for revenue generating rooms and minimized for passenger comfort. Would be ok if the price was a low end, but ridiculous at the high end! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
inexperienced, incompetent staff, average food, and poor entertainment (except for small band). Picture the afternoon tea service that consisted of a self service hot water dispenser, tea bags and paper cups! Brochure claims all rooms ... Read More
inexperienced, incompetent staff, average food, and poor entertainment (except for small band). Picture the afternoon tea service that consisted of a self service hot water dispenser, tea bags and paper cups! Brochure claims all rooms have equal space, but a handful of rooms do not. We had little choice in rooms at booking and asked for upgrade. Did not get an upgrade until we complained of room size, and then they moved us to a room that had been occupied by the music entertainers. Ship was disappointing in amenities. Pricing is in the luxury cruise line level, but you get mass market value. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Perhaps if told "luxury" frequently enough, we'll believe it? First, the positive: The cabin was most spacious, a comfortable bed, desk, balcony. The bathroom & shower equally nice, roomy and clean. The food was ... Read More
Perhaps if told "luxury" frequently enough, we'll believe it? First, the positive: The cabin was most spacious, a comfortable bed, desk, balcony. The bathroom & shower equally nice, roomy and clean. The food was a B- overall. Should the folks from Pearl Seas read this, I don't want them to think that our unfortunate delay in Holland MI (34 hours instead of the scheduled 4) influenced our opinion of the trip. Secondly, with sold-out Great Lakes schedules, any changes that add cost are likely not going to happen. However, if I were in charge and wanted Pearl Seas to live up to the expectations passengers have from their ACL experiences, here's what I'd change: -We were missing pre-cruise paperwork (passport and emergency contact info) that wasn't sent (should have come with the mis-dated cruise booklet, I guess). They called for it, emailed the form - and then the next day another staff member called requesting the same info again. Organization and order in the paperwork & planning (see other reviews regarding the dock change in Chicago & lack of notification) wasn't a strong point. -Many of the areas on the ship map designated as "lounges", aren't. Key public spaces are the nice outdoor areas on 4th - 5th - & 6th decks; the forward lounges on 2nd and 4th are nice, large & include coffee/snack areas; the 'library lounge' on the 4th deck is a treasure. -The Holland delay was explained as "10-12 foot waves" in Lake Michigan. Is Pearl Mist not an ocean going ship (Panama - Cuba - et al)? And checking buoy reports (and the forecasts) the biggest waves on the lake that night were 6.5 feet with (what would have been) a following wind. The long-delayed departure had similar waves and wind, but cross (out of the west). I appreciate the thought of safety and comfort, but . . . . . -Cruise director in information regarding the port visit in Holland stated "no WalMart, Target, chain big-box etc in town" (to intimate that this was a quaint village that didn't allow such stores). There was a Target 2 miles from the ship's dock, and a WalMart 2.5 miles away et. al., both with "Holland" addresses. -Snacks must have come from Costco or Sam's Club. 3 kinds of granola bars & Fig Newtons; 3 kinds of potato chips & pretzels, all individual servings and unchanging for the week. "Luxury" cruise? -Pastries at the coffee / snack area each morning (and on the continental breakfast 'buffet') must have come from Costco or Sam's Club. The smallish Danish I'd guess were frozen and enough thawed for the next day? Not 'fresh' at all. It would have been SO easy to arrange local provisioning for perishables - Chicago, Holland, Parry Sound, etc all have excellent local bakeries. "Luxury" cruise? -Every other inland small-ship cruise we've taken has done daily local provisioning. If it happened on the Pearl Mist, we didn't see it, nor was there evidence in the foodstuffs. I know little about food service, and the meals were OK - but I'd guess a lot of frozen stuff. Could be wrong here. -My pet peeve as a person who is addicted to good coffee is that they used liquid "CoffeeMate" at meals & at the coffee stations!! Even McDonalds uses real creamers. "CoffeeMate" on a "luxury" cruise? My word. -My wife's pet peeve as a tea afficionado was the advertised afternoon "tea" was simply the addition of a plate of cake squares to the snack/coffee area. The usual limited teabag selection and lukewarm water from the beverage pumpers remained unchanged. -Advertised "warm cookies" weren't. Again, I'm no expert, but the quality was Sam's Club / Costco . . . . . perhaps purchased dough 'baked' on board, but I'd guess not. I never found a warm one. -Evening local entertainment early in the trip had perhaps about 100 people in the 2nd deck lounge, staff came in with maybe 24 baskets of popcorn . . . . . and TWELVE (12) root beer floats. Most folks were polite and passed to allow others the opportunity to have one, but the 12 were gone without covering a third of the room - and no more arrived. Astounding. -Waitstaff was adequate & polite, but about half of my meal orders were wrong. We tend to linger over meals, and were often rushed away, especially at breakfast. They were seemingly in a hurry to get things re-set for the next meal. -A bottle of red and one of white wine was open & on each table at dinner, available at lunch (beer also). Cocktails in the 2nd and 4th floor lounges for an hour before dinner each day (complimentary also), but one evening at 8:30 pm I wanted a scotch, and none available anywhere, at any price. The bar was maybe an additional 30 minutes (unsure here) beyond that cocktail hour. If you want a drink at 10 pm, you'd better have your own supply. -Shipboard internet, even for just simple email, was painfully, horribly slow. That's been reported in other reviews, and is cumbersome to use. As mentioned, if you use your free daily hour from 9 am - 10 am on Tuesday, you can't get "free" again until 10:01 am Wednesday, etc. Don't expect to download Kindle or movies or music. Use your phone service while in port in your home country & only attempt the ship's internet at 3 am when nobody else is online. -Most astounding: on other small-ship cruises, the captain and staff were an integral part of the social aspects of the ship. I *never* saw the captain of the Pearl Mist. Never. My wife saw him once, across the room, at the delayed "Captain's Cocktail Reception". -And finally: previous small-boat cruises have had the "cruise director" as the leader of the fun and also involved socially & personally with the passengers. In his defense, this guy seemed incredibly overworked and dealing with so many details, without help, 18 hours a day. But this just isn't a job for a Disney-trained authoritarian. This needs personable, not lecturing. This needs warmth, not condescending. ("When you leave the ship for your tour, don't bother to give me your name - give me your cabin number!!" - and he had the computer skills to do an ExCel sort to 'fix' this issue.) He worked hard, no doubt - but older folks who have paid top dollar for a small-ship experience deserve better treatment. We booked this cruise 18 months before embarkation because we live in the Great Lakes and wanted to see it from the water. And while we achieved that objective, when measuring value for $$, for us at least, this was lacking. Read Less
Pearl Mist Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 5.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 2.5
Family 2.0 2.5
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 5.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.3

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