1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife wanted to cruise the Great Lakes and i found this ship that was sailing from Toronto, ON Canada through the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay ending in Milwaukee, WS . The ship's facilities were very good but cabins and rooms are ... Read More
My wife wanted to cruise the Great Lakes and i found this ship that was sailing from Toronto, ON Canada through the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay ending in Milwaukee, WS . The ship's facilities were very good but cabins and rooms are dated. The crew members were excellent and very attentive to passenger needs and requests. Entertainment and activities are geared to retired (60+) and service was excellent as was the dining. Shore excursions were good and ports, for the most part, were very easy and efficient. WiFi didn't seem to work when you needed it most and was very spotty to say the least. TV reception (for NBA tournament) was also hit and miss, although some passengers had it on their phones. The disembarkation port was too small though and this made getting off the ship awkward and time consuming. Not good planning on the part of the cruise line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise because I had never visited the part of eastern Canada the itinerary covered. The staff is attentive, service is excellent, food very good. The the ship caters to seniors but, unfortunately, assumes that all seniors ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had never visited the part of eastern Canada the itinerary covered. The staff is attentive, service is excellent, food very good. The the ship caters to seniors but, unfortunately, assumes that all seniors are inactive; there is no treadmill, the fitness equipment that is available is in poor condition and located outside, making it unusable in inclement weather. And the ship's decor, which looks like the 1950s, is a bit depressing--nothing matches and colors are outdated--and could use an overhaul. Cabins are comfortable and spacious with plenty drawer and closet/cabinet space, and amenities are ample. I was pleasantly surprised that other than gratuities for the crew, there were no extras--all off-ship excursions, laundry, cocktails, and wine with lunch and dinner were complimentary. I was disappointed that so little time was spent in each port. Disembarkation at each port and assignment to tour buses was handled efficiently, and with safety concerns, which was appreciated. The staff, however, should consider handling disembarkation of infirm passengers from the ship and buses separately so as not to slow down the more active. There was a speaker on board who talked about various areas to be visited and he was interesting, but much of what he had to say seemed to be marketing for future cruises or hotels with which the cruise line contracts. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because we had never been to eastern Canada, and it was the only cruise and time of year the ship visited Toronto as well as Montreal and Quebec City. The best part and a surprise treat was that all shore excursions ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never been to eastern Canada, and it was the only cruise and time of year the ship visited Toronto as well as Montreal and Quebec City. The best part and a surprise treat was that all shore excursions were complimentary. That saved us over $1,000 and freed us to choose what we wanted to do without regard to price. In some ports we took two shore excursions a day. Another pleasant surprise was complimentary laundry service since there was no self-service laundry onboard. We visited several remote ports that we'd never heard of before and found something enjoyable and scenic in each one. Only complaint was some walking tours were too long with no place to sit and rest while the guide spoke. Our cabin was comfortable and well maintained, and food selection and service excellent as long as we avoided one slow and inattentive server. We looked forward to meeting different (151) passengers at each.meal. The worst part of the cruise was weather due to late arrival of spring. Trees had not leafed out yet, sunny days were the exception, and we usually had to bundle up in winter clothing outside. Since the ship sailed at night, there were three stormy, frightening North Atlantic nights being rocked in the cradle of the deep. Some passengers reported furniture and coffee makers overturned. Thrusters were noisy at night when going through locks/canals. Our historian/guide was very interesting after dinner preparing us for next day's port, but musical entertainment of two guitar playing singers got old fast We were glad to watch MSNBC in our room instead. Recommend staying in Toronto for extra nights as there is so much to see there. Bus to disembark for hotel was 2 hours late due to some miscommunication and no Toronto tour offered.. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I've read many reviews about many cruise lines. I believe that people that are dissatisfied are way more likely to post a review than those who are completely happy with their experience. I'm going to be as objective as I know ... Read More
I've read many reviews about many cruise lines. I believe that people that are dissatisfied are way more likely to post a review than those who are completely happy with their experience. I'm going to be as objective as I know how. The only area in which I'd give a low mark is the internet connection ability. It was slow to non-existent as well as unpredictable. If you're a person who needs high speed internet service all the time, you'll be unhappy. If you have an old flip-phone and use it only occasionally, this deficiency won't matter to you. Our room, 421, largest choice for a cabin, was excellent. Spacious and comfy. Full sized bath, fantastic shower, king sized bed. The food offerings were very tasty and satisfying. If there was a weak area, I'd say it was the bread and pastries. There was no problem making up any assortment of choices three meals a day. Snacks, colas, great assortment of soft drinks were free gratis all day as well as a hot beverage machine that had every kind of hot drink imaginable. (Looked up its price and it's in the $10,000 neighborhood and they had 2). Wine, beer, heavier snacks were available between 5:30-6:30 before dinner. Bottled water and soft drinks were put in the room refrigerator daily as well as the presence of a Keurig coffee pot with a variety of pods. Rooms were cleaned twice daily. Service people were competent and friendly in all areas, dining as well as cleaning. Laundry service was complimentary. Excursions at each port on the Canadian Maritime and St. Lawrence Seaway were also complimentary. Bus tours were well planned for people with disabilities. Help was always available at a moment's notice. On the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay cruise a few had a charge, but many were complimentary. Some may complain that the price is higher than many cruise lines, but I believe when you weigh the amenities the price is well worth it. We think it's the best cruise we've been on. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Wanted to see Cuba and really enjoyed this circumnavigation tour versus a traditional land tour. The Peal Mist is a small, intimate ship that has top-notch staff and service. It is not a luxury cruise ship and compares to the similarly ... Read More
Wanted to see Cuba and really enjoyed this circumnavigation tour versus a traditional land tour. The Peal Mist is a small, intimate ship that has top-notch staff and service. It is not a luxury cruise ship and compares to the similarly intimate ships used on European river cruises. With fewer than 200 guests on board, I had the chance to meet almost everyone and really enjoyed my fellow travelers. The food was good with plenty of selections, the cabin was larger than expected and very comfortable, the staff was outstanding, the entertainment was lightweight and fun, the lecturers were informative and interesting, the tours were varied and well organized. Please note, this is NOT a value cruise. It is pricey when comparing to large cruise ships, but everything is included and the intimacy and attention to detail by the organization and staff is well worth the price paid. Everything about this cruise exceeded my expectations but I must re-emphasize that you are paying for the intimate travel experience versus luxury. I highly recommend this cruise for individuals aged 50+ but do not believe it is well suited for children or young adults. A+++ Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We wanted to experience Cuba before it gets too commercial so we booked a 12day/11 night cruise on the Pearl Mist. We ended up being on Cuban soil only 4 days of the entire trip, and they added Freeeport, Bahamas for the 5th day off the ... Read More
We wanted to experience Cuba before it gets too commercial so we booked a 12day/11 night cruise on the Pearl Mist. We ended up being on Cuban soil only 4 days of the entire trip, and they added Freeeport, Bahamas for the 5th day off the ship; way too much time at sea. While Cuba itself was fantastic, the food on the ship was very good and it was very clean, it was completely unacceptable that they shortened the 8-day promise of Cuban shore time down to 4 days, and some of those days were only half days! They completely misinformed/advertised deceptively of how much time would be on shore. Of course they say that it was out of their hands, Cuban changes, etc. but it was an extremely expensive trip to start with, and they should be held accountable for more time on shore, or a reduction in price. Also, we were told (in print) that the first night dinner would be served on the boat, but we ended up not boarding till past 7:30PM and there were only cold sandwiches offered after much complaining about the situation by all passengers. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise to be with our aging parents. The good news: nobody died. The bad news: we had to live through a week of noisy nights, cheap over cooked or processed food, missed excursions, and cheap accommodations. We arrived at ... Read More
We chose this cruise to be with our aging parents. The good news: nobody died. The bad news: we had to live through a week of noisy nights, cheap over cooked or processed food, missed excursions, and cheap accommodations. We arrived at ports only to be told we could not disembark because of weather. Our itinerary changed with no notice as the staff made poor decisions about excursions. It was obvious from the forecast, for example, that we would not be able to take a tender off the ship to nearby Campobello Island, but we left the safe docking at delightful Eastport, Maine anyway and spent the day anchored two hundred yards away from shore. This happened again two days later when the decision was made to change course to avoid heavy winds while knowing we couldn’t get into the next port. We backtracked to St John’s the next day on a Sunday when there was nothing to do. The food would make Denny’s look like five stars No exercise facility, unless you want to risk falling overboard in a gale Spent an hour waiting in freezing temps for a tender with no explanation as to why none was coming as we were 7 minutes from the ship. The lounges were cramped and did not afford views creating a very claustrophobic environment especially since we spent so much time on board. The entertainers were lovey people; however, their style was not our style but they seemed to be appreciated by many of the guests. If they were only a few of several choices for entertainment, they would have been fine (for others). Since this was a very expensive cruise, per capita per day, we expected the same quality service and amenities that we have enjoyed on other luxury cruise lines. We were sorely disappointed from the moment of check in to our disembarkation. If the cost of this cruise had been significantly lower, our expectations would not have been so high. I have no desire or intention of taking another Pearl of the Seas or American Cruise line cruise again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
For anyone relying on a wheelchair, beware. There were steps to navigate during initial boarding; the day trips were unavailable to us because 5 of the stops we anchored in the harbor and the small boat used to get us to the mainland had ... Read More
For anyone relying on a wheelchair, beware. There were steps to navigate during initial boarding; the day trips were unavailable to us because 5 of the stops we anchored in the harbor and the small boat used to get us to the mainland had steps; and if we were able to get to land, the tour busses were not wheelchair accessible. There were layers of problems getting off and on the boat so even if we had successfully navigated one hurdle, another one existed. For instance, if we had been able to get onto tgevtender boat, on shore the ramp used to get up to the pier had slats across it which the wheelchair couldn’t bump over. The “handicapped” room we were given was a slightly modified able bodied room. The bathroom was the biggest problem. I have tried calling, emailing, post mailing Pearl Seas and they will not return my call. Horrendous trip. Even worse customer service. Caveat emptor. Find another cruise line. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose it because we had never been on an expensive luxury cruise before and wanted to treat ourselves. We liked that we could relax and be served at each meal and not have to deal with buffet lines. I was picturing outstanding gourmet ... Read More
We chose it because we had never been on an expensive luxury cruise before and wanted to treat ourselves. We liked that we could relax and be served at each meal and not have to deal with buffet lines. I was picturing outstanding gourmet meals in a lovely dining room with creative menus and desserts. Instead what we got at each meal was diner food. For instance when offered a seafood salad with shrimp/scallops etc...the shrimp was the size of your finger nail and the scallops were half of that size. Shrimp almost always had the same rub all over it. Here we were outside of the Quebec City at sailing time, a city with great French bread and every meal the breads were hard rolls and tasteless. They need to change their bread vendor asap! Now most of the folks on this cruise were in their 70's and above and many felt the food was good or they were being polite as we were, but believe me when I say it was not. Most of the meals were not bad but it was at best average. We found it odd that they asked you if you wanted half portions. If you asked for a half portion of salad or pasta it was about 1/2 to 3/4 cup. The chef did have some skills but the first day our chicken lunch was hard and my husband's hamburger was dry and tough. On the first night we ordered mushroom soup and it was virtually tasteless, I mean hardly any salt. I tried 3 more soups before giving up on the soups, roasted red pepper (no flavor), ham and pea soup (watered down to the point of being PALE green little taste and no ham) and French onion (3 tiny strips of onion in it and tasted like it came from a very salty can). All of the cake deserts were not as good as a Safeway store bought and were often dry. The only desert that was outstanding was peach cobbler and it was only offered once. Almost every dessert was served with the same creme anglais and a dollop of whipped cream. The breakfasts were great however and the servers were excellent. No tablecloths at breakfast or lunch, only dinner. We missed 3 ports due to weather but that is not the cruise line's fault. Still they said we could not go to Halifax due to a storm yet we sailed right by it to the next city. They may have lost their port. Forget about going to Isle de Madeline because the last two cruises didn't get to dock there and neither did we. The rooms were large but sparse and simple like a Motel 6, bare bones. Entertainment was the same every night but one, two guys playing their guitars and singing, 60's night, 70's night, Elvis night, you get it. Really hokey. Adriana the cruise director was a doll. We enjoyed our tour of the bridge and think the Captain and his crew were very capable. The lectures were very interesting. There was no fitness center or spa to get a massage. The only two treadmills were outside on a side deck and it was too cold to use them. They need to replace the carpet and furniture, pictures etc to update this cruise ship. I felt like a kid at a bad summer camp and just wanted to go home. I guess if we had not paid so much for the cruise and it were half the cost I would not be so upset about it but this cruise was not at all a good value for the money they charged. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise as we had previously toured the area in the late 1990's via two road trips and decided that we'd enjoy viewing it again from the water with fall foliage in its prime. Unfortunately Hurricane ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as we had previously toured the area in the late 1990's via two road trips and decided that we'd enjoy viewing it again from the water with fall foliage in its prime. Unfortunately Hurricane Michael decided to disappoint us with rough seas and rain through out our cruise, causing us to miss 3 of the 9 ports (Baie-Comeau, Halifax, & Bar Harbor) on our scheduled itinerary. Although this change was disappointing, we did come away with a healthy respect of the hardships and challenges that early mariners faced back in the day. The Pearl Mist proved herself to be sea worthy and it's crew proved up to the challenges that Mother Nature threw at them. Excursions were reworked and the kitchen staff likely faced meal planning challenges in order to accommodate the ever changing itineraries. Passengers interacted in the Atlantic & Pacific Lounges as well as hanging out in the well stocked library. Wi-fi connections, however, left much to be desired as internet connections were spotty at best. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Initially concerned after reading some reviews but it was wonderful. The service was impeccable-all were friendly and went out of their way to help people. The passengers on our cruise appeared to be quite well-off and experienced ... Read More
Initially concerned after reading some reviews but it was wonderful. The service was impeccable-all were friendly and went out of their way to help people. The passengers on our cruise appeared to be quite well-off and experienced cruisers. Many were on there 4th Pearl cruise or had sailed with American Cruise (Pearl's sister company). Food was very good and loved the fact that they offered 1/2 portions at lunch and dinner. The more interesting tours are extra and I do think for the price you pay for this cruise all shore excursions should be included. .We did find out that you could have your laundry done on board but they did not advertise this There is no gift shop or spa. There are exercise machines on the 6th deck forward but they are outside so have limited usability. Average are on this cruise was probably 75 and many had limited mobility -the crew was amazing to help them. If they had scooters or walkers, the crew made sure that they got them on the buses and were very careful to describe the tours so that everyone knew what to expect. We were on the younger side but enjoyed ourselves every day. We had a guest lecturer and entertainment every night from two-duos that alternated every other evening. There is a small library and a card room. On our "at sea" days we played trivia and bingo. We never felt bored -there was alway something to do. Highly recommend the Great Lakes tour. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My wife and I are experienced cruisers. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Silver Seas, Regent and smaller ships such as Le Ponant, Windstar and Le Soleal. We decided to try Pearl Mist which accommodates about 200 passengers ... Read More
My wife and I are experienced cruisers. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Silver Seas, Regent and smaller ships such as Le Ponant, Windstar and Le Soleal. We decided to try Pearl Mist which accommodates about 200 passengers because we had never sailed the Great Lakes. The trip was supposed to be a seven day cruise from Midland, Ontario to Chicago. I was under the impression that Pearl Mist was a luxury liner since the cost was luxury liner prices. The fare came to $1,744 per night for two not including tips, airfare, pre-cruise hotel night or land tours. Comparable prices on Regent for a Concierge Suite run from $1,340 to $1,940 per night, depending on destination, but include tips, airfare, pre-cruise hotel night and land tours. But Pearl Mist is definitely not a luxury liner. The only favorable parts of the cruise were stops at Parry Sound, Mackinac Island and Muskegon. The three piece entertainers and the lecturer were good and our waiter was extremely courteous. Otherwise the trip was horrible. 1) Bad things happened immediately. We stayed at the recommended hotel in Toronto the night before and were instructed to check out and be ready to be picked up at 9:00 AM the next morning. The bus would transport approximately 50 of us to the ship about 50 miles away. So here were 50 people with our luggage waiting in the street in front of hotel for the bus that finally arrived 2 1/2 hours late. It was manned by the entertainers and the lecturer since the original bus personnel never showed up. 2) The bus ride was interesting because the entertainer didn’t know the route and got lost. 3) We finally arrived at the port of Midland at 1:30 PM instead of 11:00 AM. 4) They immediately served us lunch but also announced the mandatory Life Boat Drill. We refused to participate since we were starving. 5) Staying with meals, there is one seating for all for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At breakfast each morning we were asked to check off our choices for all three meals each day. The menus had a box to check for 1/2 portions if you weren’t that hungry. I never saw what a 1/2 portion looked like but the full portions were extremely tiny and usually tasteless. Some of the people wound up ordering two main courses each meal. 6) The size of our cabin was adequate since we had ordered the largest suite. But it was not kept clean, there were instances when there were no bath towels and the tiny TV didn’t work for two nights. 7) Courtesy didn’t exist. One evening, at 10:15 PM, I called to request an AM wake-up call. I was told that they don’t accept calls, other than true emergencies after 10:00 PM. I complained the next day and was advised to make calls before 10:00 PM, no apology. The final night we were advised to dis-enbark at 7:00 AM; so I dutifully called at 9:30 PM for a 6:00 AM wake-up call. I was told that the office doesn’t open until 7:00 AM. Thankfully we had an I-Phone so we could escape on time. 8) I said the entertainers were good but the room could only accommodate 1/3 of the 200 passengers. So if you wanted to see them you needed to rush through your tiny meal (maybe that was a positive). The entertainment lounge was laid out with enormous heavy overstuffed couches, many facing the wrong way to see the performers. 9) Two days before the end of the cruise we were all informed that our dis-enbarkation stop was changed to Milwaukee instead of Chicago (appparently no birth available in Chicago although this ship is scheduled to be in Chicago weekly all summer). This was disappointing since we had hoped to spend a day in Chicago sightseeing. It also potentially meant that many of us might miss flights out of Chicago. We did, thankfully, disembark from Milwaukee and were taken in an on-time bus for the 1 1/2 hour drive to Chicago Ohare Airport. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My wife, who is in a motorized wheelchair, wanted to find additional cruise lines that are handicapped friendly. Pearl Mist failed miserably. From the very start the lack of communication, coordination and staff commitment was very ... Read More
My wife, who is in a motorized wheelchair, wanted to find additional cruise lines that are handicapped friendly. Pearl Mist failed miserably. From the very start the lack of communication, coordination and staff commitment was very evident. We were picked up in Toronto almost 2 hours late with no explanation. Our trip was scheduled to end in Chicago but we discovered once on board that we were disembarking in Milwaukee. Of the 8 days we cruised my wife was unable to get off the ship 3 of those days because the crew used stairs instead of a gangplank. Two other days we were stuck in port because the tour buses lacked lifts. Never did any officer apologize to us. The food was fair but very small portions. If you enjoy river cruises book the American Queen Steamboat on the Mississippi or Columbia-Snake. You will not regret it. Sorry Pearl Mist. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I have always wanted to cruise the Great Lakes of Canada and the United States. This cruise became available and we bit the expensive fare to see the Great Lakes. Disappointment came almost immedicately with the person sent to pick us ... Read More
I have always wanted to cruise the Great Lakes of Canada and the United States. This cruise became available and we bit the expensive fare to see the Great Lakes. Disappointment came almost immedicately with the person sent to pick us up. She was new and did not have adequate knowledge about the cruise. In fairness to her, she was one of the two weak musicians onboard. Boarding was acceptable in an out of the way port. Our cabine was very large and very clean. The TV in the cabin was not appropriate for such an expensive fare - a small 17 inch color TV with a DVD player. Dining was mediocre at best. Each day 3 choices that generally included fish, beef, and chicken. The service was outstanding in the dining room. Always a friendly face and eager to serve. There are two small rooms for evening drinks. One is on the second floor and one is on the forth floor. On at least two occasions the bar ran out of certain brands of liquor. They were generally prepared to offer most drink selections. Entertainment consisted of two singers with guitars. The male entertainer was better than the female. Two nights local entertainment was provided and very good. While most people pay $20,000 per cabin we assumed most excursions would be included. That was not the case. They provide some basic excursions such as trolley's that run a loop around town. Some have visits to the local sites. However, the nicer tours have charges. We assumed that we would have a tour around the islands of Parry Sound - only to find out we had to pay for the excursion. The fare charged was less than that charged if you did the excurison on your own. The Cruise Director was less than professional. She sat on the first floor, coordinated excursions and was available for questions most of the time. This cruise line is attractive for people that are over 75 years of age. Many are handicapped and require assistance. The crew did little to provide what I would consider miminal assistance. Often, there are gangplants and steps that need to be navigated. The process is time consuming and often very hard for those with walkers and wheel chairs. The recommended gratuity is $20 per day per person. I did not consider this to be an appropriate amount based on the cruise fare charged. If you need to fly from Chicago the minimum tine to the airport is one hour and thirty minutes - the cruse staff will tell you it takes 45 minutes. The best assets of this cruise were the room and wait staff that were eager to please, the larger cabins that were always cleaned and supplied, and the buses used for the tours each with an onboard toilet. Immigration services were a pain sometimes taking two hours. Whiile tour service on the Great Lakes might be limited the places that you get to see are great. I will not be returning with such high fares and limited services that are included in the base fare. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had never cruised the Great Lakes and the Pearl Mist seemed like an attractive little ship which carried only about 190 passengers. The 11 day itinerary, from Toronto to Chicago had some interesting stops, both in Canada and the U. S. ... Read More
We had never cruised the Great Lakes and the Pearl Mist seemed like an attractive little ship which carried only about 190 passengers. The 11 day itinerary, from Toronto to Chicago had some interesting stops, both in Canada and the U. S. The highlight of the trip was Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel. Other stops included a visit to Niagara Falls and a number of small cities and towns which were neat, clean and pleasant, with very friendly folks. A couple of trips across the Canadian/US border were a real pain in the neck. For example, the ship was in Windsor, Ontario and we were booked to visit the Henry Ford museum across the Detroit River in the U. S. We spent a total of 3 1/2 hours on the bus getting through customs and only about the same amount of time in the museum. As for the ship, built (mostly) in Halifax and completed at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD, she has been in service for four years. She's been well maintained and the interior is very clean and neat. She's registered in the Marshall Islands (Majuro) and is crewed largely by foreigners. The steward's department - wait staff and room stewards, mostly Filipinos, were uniformly excellent. Entertainment consisted of two singers/musicians, Kat and Kenny, who were also quite good and a story teller, Pat, who was very entertaining. The cruise director was probably below average for cruise ships. She seemed like she wanted to be elsewhere a good part of the time. The passenger cabins were pretty good size, with very small balconies on the upper decks. As for the cost, we had a cabin on the highest deck, (L) and the fare for the two of us came to $19,040, minus a couple of "special savings" which reduced the cost by $800. There were no children aboard. The youngest passenger was 55 and the oldest 98. The average age was probably well into the 80's. The advanced age of the passengers definitely slowed things down. Lots of walkers and wheelchairs. While the trip was not advertised as a "seniors" cruise, in actuality it was. I say this considering that my wife is 62 and I am 74, but we got around really well - far better than many of our fellow passengers. The ship has other trips, including one to Cuba, but we will not be making any of those. 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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