1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
My wife and I cruised on the PEARL MIST in 2016 through the Canadian Marritimes, Portland ME to Toronto. That was such a great experience, we decided to the GREAT LAKES on the PEARL MIST again and had many of the same crew aboard. TOP ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the PEARL MIST in 2016 through the Canadian Marritimes, Portland ME to Toronto. That was such a great experience, we decided to the GREAT LAKES on the PEARL MIST again and had many of the same crew aboard. TOP NOTCH PEOPLE. We had the same cabin, same steward, Rene, who did a superb job. We would do the PEARL MIST again with the right itinerary. All the excursions were nice- some better than others. What is memorable is the warmth and friendliness of the Canadians. We were often welcomed by bagpipe bands at some Canadian ports, and some saw us off as we departed.The PEARL MIST is a very comfortable ship with two really nice lounges, a very comfortable, clean, neat dinning room. With about two hundred passengers at capacity, only one OPEN seating needed in the dining room. Most often we would sit at the same table (most sat six) attended by Sarah, super efficient, and pleasant. All the wait staff were great. The food very good. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
The fact that it was a small ship cruising all around the country of Cuba and it was a cultural learning experience appealed to us. Also important was that the weather the time we traveled was supposed to be warm and sunny but not hot and ... Read More
The fact that it was a small ship cruising all around the country of Cuba and it was a cultural learning experience appealed to us. Also important was that the weather the time we traveled was supposed to be warm and sunny but not hot and sticky. The small ship experience did not disappoint as our room was quite nice and especially roomy, our balcony was nice and the decks on the 6th level were wonderful with nice comfy furniture and a combination of shade and sun seating. The cocktail hour on the 6th floor at least twice during our cruise was especially nice. There is exercise equipment and several lounges (both inside and outside) that we enjoyed. There is a nice library and rooms for playing cards/games. There is only one restaurant but it is huge and could easily accommodate the number of guests on the ship. Their was not a lacking of food offered (although there was not food available 24 hours a day which I liked but some of the passengers wanted that service) as the ship offered early continental breakfast in the lounges, breakfast, lunch and dinner in the main dining area; afternoon tea with snacks, and a pre-dinner cocktail hour. The crew were very polite and accommodating. The excursions for the most part were quite interesting (especially the ones that took us through more of the countryside as that was of interest to us), and the buses used were very modern, clean and comfortable. The opportunity to eat some of our meals in the comfort of Cubans' homes or restaurants in port was a plus. All the tour guides were knowledgeable and willing to take questions about their country, culture, and personal experiences which made the connection to the Cuban people more real. The fact that the cruise director offered 1/2 day or full day excursions was very nice considering many of the passengers were of advanced age. My husband and I appreciated that as it gave us an opportunity to meet many veterans from WW II through the IRAQ Desert Storm/Desert Shield wars. We especially liked the fact that we had a Veterans' Appreciation event one afternoon before cocktail hour to be able to thank our veterans. The previous reviews about this ship having a good number of advanced age guests is true and that is one of the thing that I appreciated about this experience...just meeting these great people and seeing how well Pearl Seas took care of them was endearing. We found this to be a plus despite the fact that we were younger than the majority as it was our pleasure to get to interact and learn from them. Because all our ports were in Cuba where the food supply is not plentiful in selection, the food during the trip primarily comes from Fort Lauderdale. Dining was by menu selection with at various selections for a 4 course meal each time. During breakfast they ask guests to pick selections for lunch and dinner. It is my understanding that was done so that the chef could plan adequately for the rest of the day and not waste food. We were also given the option of doing 1/2 size meals. The food was very good and plentiful (if passengers wanted more they were brought more). Many passengers like the 1/2 portions but others didn't. We would definitely take a Pearl Seas' cruise again. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I will review by category: Service: I think the best part about this company and being on a small ship is the personalized service. By the end of the trip, I knew all of my room attendant staff, the entertainers, cruise directors and ... Read More
I will review by category: Service: I think the best part about this company and being on a small ship is the personalized service. By the end of the trip, I knew all of my room attendant staff, the entertainers, cruise directors and various other staff by name, and they knew mine! and never failed to greet me each time we passed. I especially appreciated this personability that you definitely won't get on big cruises. The main ship director even personally visited my cabin to ask if I was enjoying my room and made extra efforts regarding my accommodations, which I truly appreciated (I was sharing a room with my parents, and I think he felt bad for me ;) The rooms were great, well stocked by attentive and sweet staff, and all had a private balcony. The room service was great! On that note: I have to mention that I was the youngest guest on the ship (I'm 28). I see that there are some pretty negative reviews about the average ages being around 60-75 from past voyages, and don't get me wrong, I definitely wouldn't have minded meeting a cute guy my age ;) however; the age of my fellow passengers didn't bother me at all! In fact, I saw this one of the highlights of my trip. I was able to meet and talk to many of these people and truly enjoyed our conversation, their wisdom and stories, and by the end of our journey; I felt I had made meaningful connections with many of them. Entertainment/Recreation: The ONLY reason I took a few points of for these areas is that A. There was no pool on board (this was a bummer for me) and B. I think they could add a few more Entertainment options on board such as comedy shows or even just increasing the trivia and bingo events. Now for the high points: The band on board was great!! They were very personable and provided nightly themed mini shows, as well as played through cocktail hours. There were also interesting lectures and mini-seminars about our next port cities before we would arrive at each. Again this is an EDUCATIONAL tour, so if all you are interested in is on board dolphin shows, giant movie theatres and all you can eat buffets, this may not be the experience/cruise line for you. If you like to work out, they have a small workout area on one of the decks. *A plus for me was the quiet, comfortable library on Deck 4 (there is a smaller, less known about one on deck 5 as well), as I am in grad school and this provided me with a perfect place to work on homework. They also have 3 computers (1 in the small library) that have access to wifi and printers if you did not bring your own laptop etc. Now for the Cuba Experience! Excursions: I think everyone I talked to had a different favorite port/excursion/experience so it really depends what you are interested in seeing the most! Positives for ME: I really enjoyed meeting and talking to the Cuban people. I opted out of the Havana tour on the last day and instead explored the city on my own (and YES, you can do this!). I was hesitant at first but was reassured by staff, seasoned Cuban travelers, foreigners (mostly European travelers), and Cubans themselves that there is very little crime (especially towards tourists, which is virtually unheard of) and this was probably the highlight of my trip. The guided tours in the other port cities were overall great, the one downside being that we were extremely rushed on a couple and some tour guides and staff were less relaxed than others, making those excursions quite stressful for guests at times. If we could do it again, we would have spent some of the less interesting excursions exploring the cities going to places we wanted to see on our own, relaxed time frame. Otherwise, we went to some AMAZING places, especially in Santiago and other mountainous ports, where we were able to zip line and visit beautiful and historical churches and other incredible architecture, and dine at private restaurants in peoples homes (One in Santigo with a view of the entire city and acousitic band playing cuban music just for us). We also were given a private classical concert right on a beach, which were both beyond beautiful! * This biggest downside for me was not being able to go to a beach, as the weather was beyond beautiful but a little too hot at times (no at all humid though!). It is actually the US government preventing Americans from being able to go to beaches in Cuba, as it is considered a "tourism" activity so I hope this changes soon because I will DEFINITELY be back!! Overall, the Pearl Mist, staff, and tour of Cuba were AMAZING and I highly recommend it! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We wanted to see Cuba not just Havana. This cruise provided that with lectures onboard to prepare us for each stop. The lectures included history as well as the present day situation. I feel that we saw Cuba as in depth as the ... Read More
We wanted to see Cuba not just Havana. This cruise provided that with lectures onboard to prepare us for each stop. The lectures included history as well as the present day situation. I feel that we saw Cuba as in depth as the government allows. It is obvious that the tour guides tell you what the government requires and allows, but they are very gracious and knowledgeable. Most are highly educated and supplement their income as tour guides. The ship is pretty basic but very homey and has everything that you need. Don't expect chandeliers, grand staircases or marble bathrooms, but you will get a wonderful and dedicated staff. The staterooms are larger than many of the bigger ships and ours was very clean. The food is very good and if you ask you might even get chicken adobo for your table one night. The upper deck is a really pleasant getaway for reading and enjoying the sun. I would happily book this ship again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We were scheduled to take a land tour but were unsure about accommodations. After looking at the cruises we were intrigued by the size of the ship and the smaller number of passengers. I liked the idea of being able to return to the same ... Read More
We were scheduled to take a land tour but were unsure about accommodations. After looking at the cruises we were intrigued by the size of the ship and the smaller number of passengers. I liked the idea of being able to return to the same cabin and restaurant if we did not enjoy the food on land. First, my husband and I have enjoyed many cruises but the Pearl Mist exceeded any cruises food selection and quality. It was simply delicious. I hate wasting food especially when traveling to a country that rations. So having a menu first thing in the morning allowing you to select what you might want for lunch or dinner and being able to order small portions was ideal. More cruise lines need to do this. The kitchen staff was friendly, helpful and addressed your every need. Amazingly wonderful!! Our cabin was always clean and well stocked. We even had laundry go out and returned the very next day. Impressive. The lounges always had some sort of refreshment and when they set up the bar every person's need most certainly had to have been met. Again, with friendly and accommodating. We were able to enjoy a dinner with the captain as well as one of the speakers. My husband usually does not enjoy this he finds it stuffy. But this captain was so much fun and down to earth. So easy to make conversation. He even let me taste his filet. It was like being with fun family. The cruise directors were young and fun. We did not know that the age group would be much older than what we had expected. But everything ran smoothly and it seemed like everyone had a great time. Also, the embarkation and the debarkation were the smoothest we have ever experienced!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
I was born in Cuba and had not been back in 51 years. My husband and I loved the entire experience. The Pearl Mist ship was clean, comfortable, offered plentiful and excellent food; the cruise staff was professional, helpful, lovely, fun ... Read More
I was born in Cuba and had not been back in 51 years. My husband and I loved the entire experience. The Pearl Mist ship was clean, comfortable, offered plentiful and excellent food; the cruise staff was professional, helpful, lovely, fun as was the entire crew. The itinerary took us to Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and La Habana. When in Santiago (my hometown) I visited many places of my youth and was able to visit the family who now lives in our previous home. Santiago was incredible fun - the music was just great! Trinidad and Cienfuegos are gorgeous cities. Due to logistics, we were only in Havana one day - a good intense day where we got to visit several major sights. The shore excursions were varied: some hiking (Cienfuegos El Nicho - great), El Cobre Chapel (marvelous), various music venues (steel band, great salsa music and dancing, a chamber music concert) and a theater improvisation outing with great musicians. The Cuban people were so kind, welcoming, interested in who we were, accommodating. The Pearl Mist guests in this trip were absolutely lovely - there was open sitting for all the meals and we got to meet many guests who had so much to share. The ship entertainment band was so much fun and the (2) lecturers were very knowledgeable about the Cuban experience and history. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I chose this cruise because it offered four port visits: Santiago, Casilda/Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Havana, plus an opportunity to view Cuba’s beautiful mountainous seacoast. Each port visit included organized city tours followed by ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it offered four port visits: Santiago, Casilda/Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Havana, plus an opportunity to view Cuba’s beautiful mountainous seacoast. Each port visit included organized city tours followed by free time to visit museums, churches, art galleries or other activities of one’s choice. Time at sea included lectures and orientation meetings prior to each port visit. The advantage of a small ship is that we could dock at each port, rather than waiting for tenders, and larger ships cannot get into Casilda at all. In addition to cultural visits to concerts, nightclubs and historical sites, the trip offered longer field trips, such as a visit to a beautiful mountain park (think crystal blue waterfalls) near Cienfuegos and an all-day Havana tour. All of the cities have historic renovated downtown areas. Each has its own combination of historic buildings, churches, museums and galleries. Cienfuegos, for example, has a lot of French influence. The people are very friendly and welcoming, sometimes too much so, and one has to learn to pick and choose. Trinidad and Havana were crowded with tourists from other countries. But be sure to see the real Cuba—there are no Starbucks or McDonalds here and there is a great need for international investment. I cannot say enough good things about the staff. Everyone was very professional and helpful. At the outset of the cruise, I mentioned that I hoped to photograph offshore lighthouses which I had marked on a map. My map was shortly returned with the date and time we would pass each one! You could not get that kind of attention on a large ship! And staff were extremely helpful when I needed to find a special art gallery in Trinidad (thank you Ralph!) and negotiate a custom taxi arrangement. One tradeoff is that, while we were blessed with perfect weather, a smaller ship will move around a lot more if the seas are rough. Not a problem this time. The cabin was delightful with its own balcony and the food was excellent and plentiful. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone interested in a wonderful cultural experience who is willing to forgo the climbing walls, super slides and crowded pools. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We wanted to visit Cuba and liked that this cruise offered multiple ports of call in Cuba. We prefer small ships, so the Pearl Mist met our needs with itinerary and size. The guests included mostly seniors, but there were a couple families ... Read More
We wanted to visit Cuba and liked that this cruise offered multiple ports of call in Cuba. We prefer small ships, so the Pearl Mist met our needs with itinerary and size. The guests included mostly seniors, but there were a couple families with teen agers. The average age was older that we have had on other cruises. I am guessing average to be about 75 years old. Meals: The food was excellent and we loved that you could order half portions. Since they ask you at breakfast for your selections for lunch and dinner, you knew what to expect the rest of the day. You were not held to the morning choice, but they do this to better estimate quantities. There was always an appetizer, main course and dessert. In the morning, you could order eggs, or other dishes, or self serve at the complimentary bar in the center of the room. Boro, in charge of all dining needs, was always there to make sure you had everything you needed. Wine, beer and other non alcoholic drinks were served in the dining hall and mixed drinks were during happy hour in the lounges and during evening events such as music, etc. On Board Itinerary: The lectures were great, the music in the evening was outstanding and there was a variety of genres. All four of the musicians were personable and talented. Two played in one lounge (deck 2) at happy hour and the other two played in the 2nd lounge (deck 4) and some evenings all 4 played together. Most events took place in the 2nd deck lounge throughout the day and evening, except Happy Hour and snacks were in both lounges. Other events included such things as Bingo, trivia, drink demonstrations, etc. Loved that they served popcorn each evening before the updates and evening music. There was a dance floor and we loved dancing. Crew: All very friendly staff. The 3 directors were wonderful and always there to help. Rooms were always made up promptly. Excursions were well organized, however everything is controlled by the Cuban Government, so there is only so much that the cruise line can do about changes. For instance, our cruise week changed about 9 months before we left, then the direction we would travel around Cuba changed (so we changed the side of the ship our cabin was on). We were only in Havana for one day, and not overnight because of changes by the Cuban Government, or so we were told and I believe it was true. Many days, you chose between a half day and full day excursion. We took all the "all day" tours offered and highly recommend them. After all, you are there to see Cuba. The people in Cuba are very friendly and proud. It is say however, to see the state of things. The tour guides seemed to cover up to some degree, but they are Government employees, so that is understandable. It is good that we have lecturers on the ship who more accurately report the state of things. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We wanted an adult cruise with a small ship atmosphere. The staterooms are well appointed and all inclusive is an understatement. Before leaving I requested items such as a special liquor and wedge bed pillows - no problem. After ... Read More
We wanted an adult cruise with a small ship atmosphere. The staterooms are well appointed and all inclusive is an understatement. Before leaving I requested items such as a special liquor and wedge bed pillows - no problem. After boarding any requests were met promptly and the entire staff was extremely friendly and pleasant. The dining menu was varied and well prepared with excellent service. With only 177 passengers, we almost always either made new friends or were happy to join established acquaintances. There were two lounges where entertainment and lectures were held. The music was great and consisted mainly of 50's, 60's and seventies which played well to the crowd of mainly baby boomers. The lectures were interesting and included much Cuban history and current information. The ship contracted with the Cuban gov't to visit specific ports - the local guides were pleasant but very scripted. The island has many beautiful buildings and the people who entertained us were very accomplished musicians and singers. Unfortunately, the general population and surroundings reflect the extreme poverty a repressive gov't causes. We know of US citizens who traveled not on cruises who enjoyed many areas we were told to avoid - such as the beaches. Embarkation was efficient but leaving was rather chaotic even though there were no hang ups with customs. The sailing was very smooth until the last 2 days and then the disadvantage of a smaller ship became apparent as we were tossed around badly. I would do the lake cruises on the Pearl Mist but nothing ocean oriented. Overall we had a wonderful time but Cuba is definitely off my bucket list! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
This small ship cruise focused strictly on Exploring Cuba as a destination, although in the summer the ship does a Great Lakes cruise. The ship holds about 200 people and was %90 filled. We visited 4 ports during the cruise. There were ... Read More
This small ship cruise focused strictly on Exploring Cuba as a destination, although in the summer the ship does a Great Lakes cruise. The ship holds about 200 people and was %90 filled. We visited 4 ports during the cruise. There were 2 or 3 different excursions in each port (included in the price) so you can tailor your experience to your desired activity level or length you want to be off the ship. Most of the excursions had plenty of walking around on your own time as we were in port for about 1-1/2 to 2 days in each port. The cabins are clean, well maintained and more spacious than in the larger ships. There are destination experts along to give talks during afternoons at sea, and a couple small bands (2 persons each) so there's something playing in 2 of the lounges in the evening. WIFI is included, and the service, while not extremely fast, was acceptable. Happy hour before dinner is included, that includes open bar and ordourves. Because of the small size embarkation and dissembarkation went fairly quickly. While the base price is higher than on the larger cruise ships the amenities included (i.e. bar bill and excursions) make up for most of it. You get to know the concierges very well, and they go on the excursions so are very knowledgeable about the area as well. The food was excellent and varied. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was a very strange experience. I will divide this review into two sections: the cruise & ship itself; and our visit to Cuba. Regarding the cruise, state rooms are extremely large and comfortable. The ship is immaculate. The ... Read More
This was a very strange experience. I will divide this review into two sections: the cruise & ship itself; and our visit to Cuba. Regarding the cruise, state rooms are extremely large and comfortable. The ship is immaculate. The cabin stewards, waitstaff, and crew members are delightful and appeared genuinely interested in each passenger's comfort. The entertainers, including a married couple, make a major contribution to the overall experience. The lecturers, especially Richard, is extremely knowledgeable, humorous, and prepares you to your visit to each city. The cruise directors were always available and helpful. You spend an inordinate amount of time at sea. It took 2 1/2 days to reach the first port. There is virtually nothing to do on board. Exercise equipment is on an open deck and were covered with canvas and tied up. No doubt this was because of the heavy seas and high winds. Beware: The ship does not handle waves very well despite the claim that there are stabilizers. There was no pool and the only activity other than lectures and evening entertainment is eating. The food can best be described as bland. There appears to be little if any salt or pepper used to prepare the dishes. There are few dished made with sauces. Meal preparation seems to be aimed at the elderly population that inhabits the ship. It's surprising that they did not offer to purée the food! Choices on the menu are relatively boring and repetitive and the ship takes on no new food supplies once it leaves Fort Lauderdale. The fish seems ro get fishier as the days pass. I recommend that when possible, take two meals while the ship is docked off shore. Some excursions include lunch and, by and large, the offerings were mediocre. On the positive side, wine and liquor is readily available and if you drink enough, you may be unable to focus on what surrounds you. The cruise line fails to let passengers know that this is a trip favored by the elderly. I would guess the average age of passengers is well over 82. One man was celebrating his wedding: He was age 91 and his bride was significantly younger. For many, the men are on their second, third, and fourth wives. What a surprise! They appear to be decades younger than their husbands. There is enough Botox in passengers' faces to actually float the ship. Facelifts abound. If all the skin was removed and sewn together, there would be enough to create an entire Cuban baseball team! It is clear that this is not a trip for anyone under the age of 75. As for Cuba, as Columbus described it, it is a paradise unto itself. This is a "people to people" cruise, the legal justification to allow US citizens to visit this country. The excursions were phenomenal. They included a trip to the Tropicana nightclub, a woodcarvers studio, an area in Havana consisting of artistic tiles placed almost everywhere, a concert and a vocal performance. The people of Cuba are warm, friendly, open and are as puzzled as the passengers are as to the almost 6 decade old embargo imposed against this country. Tour guides we're openly critical of their government and the economic problems this country faces. Hopefully, the US passengers will pressure their governmental representatives to lift the embargo immediately. This is a very expensive trip. Although the accommodations were consistent with the price, meals were often mediocre. The ship offers little to do for anyone under the age of 75, a group that appears to be a minority on board. Yet, being able to visit for Cuban cities and meet citizens in every port is a memorable, meaningful experience. Again, if you're under the age of 75, I would consider whether you want to be on this floating senior care facility. Hopefully, we will all be much older and then, this would be an appropriate trip. For ow -- I's find another cruise line. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Chose this cruise for the destination and I was not disappointed! We were treated to the Southern cities of Santiago, Trinidad and Cienfuegos before ever getting to Havana. Had an excellent opportunity to meet with the people and mingle in ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the destination and I was not disappointed! We were treated to the Southern cities of Santiago, Trinidad and Cienfuegos before ever getting to Havana. Had an excellent opportunity to meet with the people and mingle in their lives and cultures before that much more known big city. Our lecturers, Richard and Sylvia, provided much insight prior to shore excursions and food for thought. Service was fantastic! Celeste in the dining room met our every need, usually without our asking! Food was good .Cabin excellent and well cared for by Rene! Only hassle at disembarkation was one person at Customs-what a line! Shore excursions seemed well chosen thought I think we were rushed thru some and missed others; could have been the bus we were on with a lot of needy folks! I would take this cruise again and it is my second with Pearl Seas. Tried for the Inaugural on the Chesapeake Bay but it's booked. Will try again! Bon Voyage! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We signed up for the Cuba cultural exchange cruise with Peal Seas which owns the Pearl Mist as this seemed to be a good compromise between a big ship and a yacht. We have mixed feelings about this ship after our 11 days on it. It has ... Read More
We signed up for the Cuba cultural exchange cruise with Peal Seas which owns the Pearl Mist as this seemed to be a good compromise between a big ship and a yacht. We have mixed feelings about this ship after our 11 days on it. It has wonderful crew and personnel and the service was outstanding as well as the well-informed cultural lectures and itinerary. The food was good, though somewhat on the bland side, which may be somewhat determined by the taste of the rather elderly clientele. However, there was a choice of menu, they would even prepare items that were not on the menu but there is no choice of restaurant. What was unfortunate was that the ship itself or its maintenance had some major problems- the wifi internet conked out in a couple of days into the cruise and never restored (lack of expertise?), and when the sea was rough, wooden drawers from the cabinets fell out making banging noises as well as banging partitions between balconies. Even our bureau fell off the hinges spilling the ice bucket and the coffee in the coffee maker all over the floor. And the ship was very, very slow- perhaps at most 10 miles (knots?) an hour. On the plus side, we got to know quite a few of the fellow guests, and overall there was a good esprit de corps. They should have better maintenance and technical knowhow. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise to Cuba because all ports of call were on the beautiful island. There were a few hiccups on the cruise but the positives certainly outweighed the negatives. Embarkation was a breeze. Luggage was brought to the cabin ... Read More
We chose this cruise to Cuba because all ports of call were on the beautiful island. There were a few hiccups on the cruise but the positives certainly outweighed the negatives. Embarkation was a breeze. Luggage was brought to the cabin immediately.. Cabin was large with comfortable bed, chairs and writing desk. Along with balcony to sit and watch the world go by. A+++ We thought the food was very good. Really enjoyed being able to order lunch and dinner in the morning and 1/2 orders were a plus for us and more than enough. Cocktails before dinner was very enjoyable...good drinks, appetizers and entertainment was a nice way to start the evening...A+++ Tours: buses appeared new and well maintained....you have your choice of 1/2 day and full day tours...we enjoyed all except one stop in Havana...our bus did not stop in front of the restaurant that was chosen for lunch..(we did find out, later, that the other buses stopped right in front of their lunch spots.). Our group had a long walk to our lunch spot and it was a challenging walk for some guests. This walk caused us to run late and the “CARS “ that were reserved for our drive drive around Havana had left!! The two cruise director that were with us did arrange for “CARS” to drive us back to the ship...Approximately a 10-15 minute drive instead of the hour drive through the streets of Havana we were promised...I would make sure if you have any mobility issues and do not want to encounter this problem ask about your lunch spot...all other tours were great and well managed...Do not miss the Tropicana...what a show...Havana tour D- Tropicana A+++++. Other tours A WI-FI was lost after a few days and never fixed. Never sure what happened. Wait Staff and Cabin Stewards were excellent...they all seemed truly interested in making sure you were enjoying your cruise and if there was anything they could do to help...A+++ Entertainment and Lectures also quite good. A Disembarkation: many passengers were scheduled to fly out right after arriving in port. The head cruise director did not help these passengers. Many who those who were first off the ship were under no time crunch...her job should be to make sure that those passengers that are on a time crunch should be first to disembark..this situation should be handled much more efficiently..Also, told by same director there would be ample taxis waiting for passengers to transport to the two airports...That was not the case. Lots of confusion as to were the taxis were and when they would be arriving...much better organization needed..also, no porters to help with luggage but passengers were great helping those who were having difficulties...but should not the head cruise director help out? D—— So there were some hiccups but with all that said would not have missed this trip and the chance to see Cuba and meet the wonderful, Cuban people... Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Size matters and it was perfect for comingling and slipping into small ports for up close and personal activities. The cruise line left nothing on the table...everything was top notch. Service, excursions, food on & off the ship, fun ... Read More
Size matters and it was perfect for comingling and slipping into small ports for up close and personal activities. The cruise line left nothing on the table...everything was top notch. Service, excursions, food on & off the ship, fun activities, amazing buses & informed YOUNG guides. Learned a ton... saw amazing scenery...and loved the Cuban people!! PEARL MIST gave the upmost attention to the fact we were there as "ambassadors"....so our educational VISA provided up with a trip of a lifetime cultural experiences. Food in private homes, music (many forms), historical sites, children and varied communities...old and current history along with easy statements of hope for the future. One more thought....the service was more than exceptional...from happy hour appetizers, perfectly made cocktails ( p.s.. o ly thought beer/wine was included...had no idea everything was available, anytime. Fun....especially since no expectations. OOPS, the secret is out...will check out other cruises by this line in a heartbeat!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This People To People experience is a fantastic way to get to know Cuba. Ports were: Santiago, Trinidad- dock at Casilda, Cienfuegos, and Havana. There were excursions that included local artists (pottery maker, choral group, orchestra, ... Read More
This People To People experience is a fantastic way to get to know Cuba. Ports were: Santiago, Trinidad- dock at Casilda, Cienfuegos, and Havana. There were excursions that included local artists (pottery maker, choral group, orchestra, woodcarver, actors, jazz club) as well as visits to historic sites. I was able to freely walk around, taking photos and talking with people. Classic cars were in all town to take tourists on tours. You will learn the reality of life under socialism/communism as you spend time with the people. The ship is very accommodating for the older traveler. People in walkers, wheelchairs were taken to as many excursions as possible. Dietary needs were attended to by the chef. Room service is available for breakfast. Cabins were always clean. There are snacks and coffee available 24/7. Two speakers were on the ship during the cruise, to tell their opinion about life in Cuba. One young man who worked for Pearl Seas is Cuban/American. His views were enlightening. There were daily talks to prepare us for the next port: where to exchange dollars for CUC, how to find good cigars, what sites we would visit, what limitation there might be for passengers with disabilities. Two talented musicians entertained us nightly with music, with some passengers dancing the night away. This cruise line provided a pouch with essentials for visiting Cuba: bug spray, hand sanitizer, Kleenex tissue packets, toilet seat covers, toilet paper. The people are very appreciative of Kleenex tissue packets that you give them. Paper products are not easy to find in Cuba. I highly recommend this trip for people who want to be exposed to a variety of experiences in several parts of Cuba. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Price does not buy you quality on this ship. This was the most expensive cruise we have ever taken and we were so disappointed by many aspects. There are some positives of a small ship and that is a more intimate experience with fellow ... Read More
Price does not buy you quality on this ship. This was the most expensive cruise we have ever taken and we were so disappointed by many aspects. There are some positives of a small ship and that is a more intimate experience with fellow passengers and a certain relaxed atmosphere however many negatives in that very little is offered such as no shop, spa, fresh coffee, bar, walking deck, workout machines (they had a very poor area with 4 old machines), below average and boring entertainment but the worst is the movement in rough seas. We had flying objects coming at us in our room and when getting a coffee from a machine and then the breakfast table ended up in our laps as the boat swayed from side to side and my chair slid along the carpet! Many objects ended up all over the floor in our room. Our room was quite roomy but very dated and just OK. Nothing special. Lets talk about the food or lack thereof!! This is the first cruise that I have ever experienced being afraid I would not have enough to eat (and I am not a big eater) and found myself hoarding oat bars in my room and heard from another passenger that she was doing the same. The food was overcooked and so dry that it was inedible, the meat so tough and full of gristle that I couldn't eat it. There was no fine dining and absolutely no finesse. The portions were often so small (4 bay shrimp as a starter with a piece of lettuce - I am not kidding). Some meals were just ok and some were absolutely disgusting. Tea and hor d'oeuvres were appalling - beyond comprehension. At our first lunch I asked for a cappuccino after dessert and was told I had to get it myself out of the machine on the 2nd or 4th floor. Leave the table, go and get my own coffee made from a machine with powdered milk which had sugar in it and come back to the table! The brochure and the itinerary were incorrect and false, we were lied to. The floors and carpets were constantly damp and wet - I thought I was imagining it and then my socks and slippers would be wet! The whole experience was flabbergasting. It was so unbelievable that it was comical and gave us and our friends we were traveling with much laughter because the alternative was to cry!! I have to write that most of the staff were amazing - very helpful and attentive but they can only work with the tools and ship they are given. I would never cruise with this company again. Way overpriced for what you receive and in fact I would not even cruise with them if they offered me money Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
DO NOT put a deposit down on a cruise until you have a written confirmation of what you will receive. They are excellent at bait and switch. Do Not believe the sales agent when they say you can cancel if they cannot provide a room of the ... Read More
DO NOT put a deposit down on a cruise until you have a written confirmation of what you will receive. They are excellent at bait and switch. Do Not believe the sales agent when they say you can cancel if they cannot provide a room of the class you wanted. They will keep your deposit and not refund anything, and then when you try to get an explanation they pass you from person to person and get ruder with each person. The entertainment doesn't exist or is poor at best. The corporate office is impossible to speak with anyone in authority, even though they state that they are a consumer friendly company. They especially like to do less for the senior travelers. I've traveled with 8 different cruise companies and this is the ONLY one I would warn to stay away from. Many people have scheduled cruises to be canceled at a later date with a limited refund policy or credit on a future cruise which may never take place Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted cool weather, to experience New England and Canada, and try a river rather than a giant ocean-going ship. We prefixed the cruise start in Portland by arriving earlier, staying at charming bed and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted cool weather, to experience New England and Canada, and try a river rather than a giant ocean-going ship. We prefixed the cruise start in Portland by arriving earlier, staying at charming bed and breakfast near the town center, and touring the city's highlights. After ending in Quebec, we went to Toronto for two days before going home. The places we visited in Maine and Canada had glorious, clear air, and beautiful scenery. We were aided by excellent weather throughout the ten days of the cruise and the additional days that we stayed in cities. The townspeople were friendly and helpful, and we were able to enjoy the sights and even museums (in the larger cities) - with no effort to sell us souvenirs and baubles. Because the ship had just 180 (approximate) passengers instead of 6000, we got on and off the ship quickly. The crew was very accommodating. We were treated to delicious food - but not unlimited buffets like on the seagoing cruise we went on a few years ago. When I got up the courage to weigh myself back at home, I discovered that I had actually lost weight! My wife did what she had vowed to do before the trip: she ordered and received a delightful breakfast delivered to her room each day of the cruise. I went downstairs to the dining room each day for breakfast, giving her some 'alone' time. We had lunch and dinner choices of three each appetizers, entrees, and desserts. And one could order two entrees if one chose. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise after our Cuba cruise had been canceled three times. The crew, facilities and food were all excellent. Our shore excursions were often cut short due to weather conditions which was certainly no fault of the crew. ... Read More
We chose this cruise after our Cuba cruise had been canceled three times. The crew, facilities and food were all excellent. Our shore excursions were often cut short due to weather conditions which was certainly no fault of the crew. We had a large group of Stanford Alumni on board and they pretty much ruled what we did or did not do. They got the nice buses, the early departures, the longer excursions and special treatment all the way throughout the cruise. The lectures were all centered around them and the material they had before the cruise. Most did not mix with us 'peons' during the cruise. (In listening to others I was not the only one who felt this way.) I don't know how you could alleviate this as large groups do help fill the ship and I'm sure they work hard to accommodate them but it did make the rest of us feel left out. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Overall, this Pearl Seas cruise compared well with AMA Waterways' European river cruises, but on a more informal and less elegant basis. The food and table service were excellent, though they did an unsatisfactory job of ... Read More
Overall, this Pearl Seas cruise compared well with AMA Waterways' European river cruises, but on a more informal and less elegant basis. The food and table service were excellent, though they did an unsatisfactory job of accommodating a vegan diet. The free nightly full open bar in the lounges an hour before dinner and during entertainment was a decided plus and much appreciated. Rooms were spacious and comfortable, and the steward servicing our room was outstanding. Lounges were comfortable, though some furnishings were worn and tired, with stained and ripped upholstery Excursions, for the most part, were plentiful and entertaining, though using school buses for long rides by older adults is uncomfortable at best. Our itinerary had to be modified because of bad weather and Pearl Seas did an excellent job of rearranging port calls and making sure we saw everything "as advertised." As a concession, we were not charged for any shore excursions. Some otherwise would have cost $40-$75 per person. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Thousand Islands, and on around to Halifax and New England. Being on a ship with 174 other people is a very relaxing way to cruise. We were able to go into ports ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Thousand Islands, and on around to Halifax and New England. Being on a ship with 174 other people is a very relaxing way to cruise. We were able to go into ports that the bigger ships are not able to dock in. The crew was very helpful and friendly. The shore excursions were included and gave us a history of the area. The weather was beautiful until the last couple of days when it was rainy due to Jose passing through New England. We have cruised on larger ships but prefer the smaller size and number of passengers. These cruises are for retirees and people looking for a relaxing, informative time. Not a lot of night life but there was some for those who were interested. The food was varied and very good. If you re expect total luxury and variety these ships are probably not for you. But the accommodations are very comfortable and clean. The elevator was quick and helpful. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This trip far exceeded my expectations. When thinking about doing a review, I tried identifying what I would change. The answer is nothing!!! Well, maybe there is one thing. I would have liked more operational fitness equipment, ... Read More
This trip far exceeded my expectations. When thinking about doing a review, I tried identifying what I would change. The answer is nothing!!! Well, maybe there is one thing. I would have liked more operational fitness equipment, although I made the best of it. Our cabin was spacious, food excellent, service exceptional, shore excursions and entertainment were also well done. The service was suitable for a queen!!! Wish I could do it all over again. I would find it difficult to identify what I liked best. The cruise had a variety of ports and shore excursions. The cruise directors were very helpful in communicating about additional excursions/events, if I didn't want to do the planned activities. Thank you!! The staff was multifunctional. Thank you Kenny and staff for entertainment and all the other duties you jumped in to help with. Thank you for the military salute. The cruise was quite expensive, but worth the money. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
LUXURY PRICES were not a concern because we always book the owner's cabin or the equivalent which was Pearl Seas' R Class. Our cabin was DEFINITELY NOT LUXURY - Cabin 418 R Class was the most expensive. The passageways had ... Read More
LUXURY PRICES were not a concern because we always book the owner's cabin or the equivalent which was Pearl Seas' R Class. Our cabin was DEFINITELY NOT LUXURY - Cabin 418 R Class was the most expensive. The passageways had the feel of an industrial basement. The stairways were very narrow in width and the stairs were very shallow, making it necessary to step sideways in order to get a firm footing on the stairs. I was therefore forced to use the elevator in the interest of safety. Considering the age of most of the passengers, this was a definite safety hazard. We were also booked on two more cruises, one to the Maritimes and one to Cuba but chose to cancel both well before the cancellation deadlines. Even though it was on the contract that there were no refunds of the administrative fee for cancellation, Pearl Seas would NOT even consider a reduction of cancellation fees -- 4 X $425 = $1700. They did offer to give us a 25% discount on the two future cruises which would have cost Pearl Seas more than $8000. Even though this would have been a great discount, I would never consider sailing on Pearl Seas no matter what the price. Food was good and plentiful. The waiters were superb and very friendly!! Entertainment was the same two guys every night. They were good but it was too much of the same thing. Some of the included shore excursions were average and a few were quite good. The staff and service was the best part of the cruise. Too bad the overall ship didn't measure up to those same standards. Read Less
Pearl Mist Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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