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We wanted as many days in Cuba as possible, which the brochures seemed it promise. However, the company cancelled a second night in Havana to substitute an afternoon of busing around Freeport Bahamas. Never got any explanation on why that happened. An advertised shore excursion to a botanical garden in Cienfuegos was also cancelled with the implication that the Gardens were closed on Christmas Eve. Not so, as the other ship in port that day did provide tours to this highly anticipated spot. Again, no explanation. Pre-embarcation and embarcation were badly handled--the company included a night in a hotel before boarding, BUT several people wre diverted to other hotels without being told in advance. Pearl Seas had no representative at either hotel. Then all passengers were told that they had to check out of the hotels at noon, but could not board buses to the ship until 6 pm...An entire shipload just dumped in a city for an unplanned afternoon, no activities, no company representative, just a harried hotel staff coping with unhappy people. Then, finally boarding around 7pm, the ship had not planned to feed us. A hue and cry got some hastily thrown together food. Hence my one star for this terrible example of how to treat your embarking passengers. The other communication issue seemed to be the Captain's problem...He rarely talked on the announcing system, except to warn of bad weather ahead. None of the schedule changes was explained, apparently not even to the Cruise Directors, who mostly seemed as puzzled as the passengers. Fitness and recreation were a few machines out on a forward weather deck. I want to make clear that the crew was superb--friendly, helpful, everything you might want. Similarly, this small ship was clean, well run and provided nearly unlimited alcohol and food service. As a last note, the extreme overhang of the bow and its flare caused heavy pounding in head seas, more than would normally be felt in my opinion as a former ship captain.

Fine Ship, Great Crew, But Poor Execution and Communication

Pearl Mist Cruise Review by olrick

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Cuba
We wanted as many days in Cuba as possible, which the brochures seemed it promise.

However, the company cancelled a second night in Havana to substitute an afternoon of busing around Freeport Bahamas. Never got any explanation on why that happened.

An advertised shore excursion to a botanical garden in Cienfuegos was also cancelled with the implication that the Gardens were closed on Christmas Eve. Not so, as the other ship in port that day did provide tours to this highly anticipated spot. Again, no explanation.

Pre-embarcation and embarcation were badly handled--the company included a night in a hotel before boarding, BUT several people wre diverted to other hotels without being told in advance. Pearl Seas had no representative at either hotel. Then all passengers were told that they had to check out of the hotels at noon, but could not board buses to the ship until 6 pm...An entire shipload just dumped in a city for an unplanned afternoon, no activities, no company representative, just a harried hotel staff coping with unhappy people. Then, finally boarding around 7pm, the ship had not planned to feed us. A hue and cry got some hastily thrown together food. Hence my one star for this terrible example of how to treat your embarking passengers.

The other communication issue seemed to be the Captain's problem...He rarely talked on the announcing system, except to warn of bad weather ahead. None of the schedule changes was explained, apparently not even to the Cruise Directors, who mostly seemed as puzzled as the passengers.

Fitness and recreation were a few machines out on a forward weather deck.

I want to make clear that the crew was superb--friendly, helpful, everything you might want. Similarly, this small ship was clean, well run and provided nearly unlimited alcohol and food service.

As a last note, the extreme overhang of the bow and its flare caused heavy pounding in head seas, more than would normally be felt in my opinion as a former ship captain.
olrick’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 402
Roomy and good. Had sea water come in under the sliding door during heavy weather, never dried out.