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Overall, we do not feel that this was good experience. We have been on approximately 8 cruises and this was the worst. Following are comments which we feel support this conclusion. 1. The Welcome Aboard brochure stated that we should arrive at the ship between 11 am and 2 pm and the ship would leave around 3pm. In order for us to make this schedule, we booked a hotel room in Newark so we could catch an early flight to arrive in Toronto in this time frame. When we got on the ship we were then told that the ship would not leave until 9 pm that evening. No one ever told us of this change which could have been done simply thru a blanket email to all passengers as soon as this change was known. As a result we unnecessarily spent and extra $210 for a hotel room in Newark to catch an early flight. We could have driven straight from home to Newark later in the day and gotten a later flight had we known of the later departure of the ship. 2. This cruise was to be special as a celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary so we selected the largest stateroom on the ship. This whole thing cost us over $17,000 with this large stateroom. As it turned out, the stateroom was large in square footage but not in functionality. It was only large because of a narrow strip of useless space that had two chairs in it. Since it was on the 3rd deck, it didn’t even have a sliding glass door like the staterooms on the 4th and 5th floor. When signing up for this room, no one at Pearl Seas made any attempt to point any of this out to us or assist us in our stateroom selection. Upon our return home, we reviewed photos of previous staterooms on previous cruises and they were all much more elegant and inviting. Including our 3 cruises on American Cruise Lines. 3. We spent $17,000+ for this cruise (note the recurring theme here) and the “free wi-fi” is only one hour a day and you have to pay for any more. Cheezy. Even at that, our free hour in 24 hours had to occur 24 hours after the previous session had ended. Very difficult to manage. It would probably be simpler to just not have wi-fi and people would understand. 4. Couldn’t figure out what size the beds were. They looked like king size, but my feet stuck over the end no matter what I did. I am 6 ft tall. 5. We had a card on the desk in our stateroom stating that our cabin steward was “Dante”. In 10 days, we never figured out who Dante was. 6. Food. It had it’s ups and downs. All beef was cooked exactly as requested. Problem was that the quality of the beef was terrible. It was either tough or gristly or both. Whoever did the provisioning for the meat should be made to eat it. I had a crab cake that was the best I have ever eaten. Much of the fish had to be sent back because it was over cooked. This happened to many or our table mates too. 7. Ports. Holland Mich was a gravel yard. Beautiful. Holland is a nice town to visit, but not on Sunday like we did because almost nothing was open. Pretty boring as a result. But the crowning glory was Chicago: Everything up until we were captive on the ship told us we were docking at Navy Pier. Pretty sweet. Then, once meeting with the Onshore Activities Director we were told we would not dock at Navy Pier. The reason is laughable: “There was a fire on a Halloween barge at Navy Pier and it sunk to the bottom, therefore the Navy Pier docking was not possible because of debris on the harbor floor.” Hmmm. Let’s see, the last Halloween we had was last October, 10 months ago. And in all that time Pearl Sea Cruises was not aware of this calamity which could effect what they told their passengers? On top of that, I talked to several Chicagoans who had no idea what that was all about and there was no apparent salvaging going on to correct this situation. This sounds like one giant fairy tale to me. On top of that, we docked at this ridiculous steel yard which was 45 minutes from Chicago by coach and trolley. Each coach and trolley had to be escorted thru the yard by a guy in a pickup truck. Made us feel really special. Let’s see, Navy Pier in the heart of Chicago or a Steel Yard 45 minutes out of the city. For a $17,000+ cruise, what should I expect? All of the other ports were barely ok. In Sault St. Marie, we were told there would be no shuttle in to town but it was a half hour walk. We went as far as we could because I have a bone spur on my heel. Didn’t make it down town. After lunch we were told that miraculously there was now a shuttle to take us down town. By then, thanks, but no thanks. From the passengers we talked to that did make the walk, downtown was not worth walking to. Would we go on Pearl Seas again? Not in a million years. What a way to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary.

Worst $17,000 We Ever Spent

Pearl Mist Cruise Review by crusintom

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2015
  • Destination: USA
Overall, we do not feel that this was good experience. We have been on approximately 8 cruises and this was the worst. Following are comments which we feel support this conclusion.

1. The Welcome Aboard brochure stated that we should arrive at the ship between 11 am and 2 pm and the ship would leave around 3pm. In order for us to make this schedule, we booked a hotel room in Newark so we could catch an early flight to arrive in Toronto in this time frame. When we got on the ship we were then told that the ship would not leave until 9 pm that evening. No one ever told us of this change which could have been done simply thru a blanket email to all passengers as soon as this change was known. As a result we unnecessarily spent and extra $210 for a hotel room in Newark to catch an early flight. We could have driven straight from home to Newark later in the day and gotten a later flight had we known of the later departure of the ship.

2. This cruise was to be special as a celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary so we selected the largest stateroom on the ship. This whole thing cost us over $17,000 with this large stateroom. As it turned out, the stateroom was large in square footage but not in functionality. It was only large because of a narrow strip of useless space that had two chairs in it. Since it was on the 3rd deck, it didn’t even have a sliding glass door like the staterooms on the 4th and 5th floor. When signing up for this room, no one at Pearl Seas made any attempt to point any of this out to us or assist us in our stateroom selection. Upon our return home, we reviewed photos of previous staterooms on previous cruises and they were all much more elegant and inviting. Including our 3 cruises on American Cruise Lines.

3. We spent $17,000+ for this cruise (note the recurring theme here) and the “free wi-fi” is only one hour a day and you have to pay for any more. Cheezy. Even at that, our free hour in 24 hours had to occur 24 hours after the previous session had ended. Very difficult to manage. It would probably be simpler to just not have wi-fi and people would understand.

4. Couldn’t figure out what size the beds were. They looked like king size, but my feet stuck over the end no matter what I did. I am 6 ft tall.

5. We had a card on the desk in our stateroom stating that our cabin steward was “Dante”. In 10 days, we never figured out who Dante was.

6. Food. It had it’s ups and downs. All beef was cooked exactly as requested. Problem was that the quality of the beef was terrible. It was either tough or gristly or both. Whoever did the provisioning for the meat should be made to eat it.

I had a crab cake that was the best I have ever eaten.

Much of the fish had to be sent back because it was over cooked. This happened to many or our table mates too.

7. Ports. Holland Mich was a gravel yard. Beautiful. Holland is a nice town to visit, but not on Sunday like we did because almost nothing was open. Pretty boring as a result.

But the crowning glory was Chicago: Everything up until we were captive on the ship told us we were docking at Navy Pier. Pretty sweet. Then, once meeting with the Onshore Activities Director we were told we would not dock at Navy Pier. The reason is laughable: “There was a fire on a Halloween barge at Navy Pier and it sunk to the bottom, therefore the Navy Pier docking was not possible because of debris on the harbor floor.” Hmmm. Let’s see, the last Halloween we had was last October, 10 months ago. And in all that time Pearl Sea Cruises was not aware of this calamity which could effect what they told their passengers? On top of that, I talked to several Chicagoans who had no idea what that was all about and there was no apparent salvaging going on to correct this situation. This sounds like one giant fairy tale to me.

On top of that, we docked at this ridiculous steel yard which was 45 minutes from Chicago by coach and trolley. Each coach and trolley had to be escorted thru the yard by a guy in a pickup truck. Made us feel really special. Let’s see, Navy Pier in the heart of Chicago or a Steel Yard 45 minutes out of the city. For a $17,000+ cruise, what should I expect?

All of the other ports were barely ok. In Sault St. Marie, we were told there would be no shuttle in to town but it was a half hour walk. We went as far as we could because I have a bone spur on my heel. Didn’t make it down town. After lunch we were told that miraculously there was now a shuttle to take us down town. By then, thanks, but no thanks. From the passengers we talked to that did make the walk, downtown was not worth walking to.

Would we go on Pearl Seas again? Not in a million years. What a way to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary.
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