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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because it stopped in Mackinac Island and provided a chance to see all five Great Lakes. We stayed in the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee prior to the cruise rather than the recommended hotel only because it was our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it stopped in Mackinac Island and provided a chance to see all five Great Lakes. We stayed in the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee prior to the cruise rather than the recommended hotel only because it was our anniversary and we wanted something special. Milwaukee has plenty to do within walking distance of the dock and is safe and clean. The Pearl Mist is a small ship which enables all cruisers the chance to get to know each other. Our room was comfortable and provided everything we needed. Plenty of hangars in the closet though I bought extra as I like to hang all my clothes. There is a safe in the desk to store your passport and other valuables. We enjoyed the chairs and table on the balcony as we sailed through the Welland Canal and its locks and several times as we sailed away. There are two lounges to choose from for happy hour (all drinks free!) as well as lots of seating area on the top deck to enjoy the scenery as we sail before dinner. Our evening entertainment was two singers on guitar (same ones each night) who were adequate. The music was great - the singing not so much - but nice to dance to. There is also an open bar (more free drinks!) after dinner in the lounge with the entertainment. We enjoyed many meals on the ship where there were also options for vegetarians and gluten-free. Plenty to choose from and the desserts were absolutely yummy. The majority of excursions were included and those that were not were reasonably priced. I compared the prices to what we would pay if we did them on our own and the ship's prices were the same or less. Most of the towns we docked in were right in the town allowing us to walk around on our own. When it was not, the ship provided a free shuttle to the points of interest even if you didn't book an excursion. Maps and local infomation were supplied ahead of time in each port. All excursions were well planned and organized. We went on each included excursion and bought an optional excursion whenever we could. Well worth it. Each day there was a lecture we could attend onboard to learn about the area we were sailing through or some point of interest. There was also a movie or documentary playing on the TV all day pertaining to our next port. I am so glad I overlooked some of the negative reviews that were posted. Some people are always looking to point out that bad. This was a wonderful cruise. The staff and crew were excellent and we enjoyed the highlights of Mackinac and Niagara as well as the smaller towns on the Georgian Bay. Each stop had something to offer and lots of beauty. My husband and I are in our early 60's and good health. We would definitely go again. Read Less
6 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
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
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My wife and I had always wanted to go to New England and see the fall colors. This cruise was suggested to us by some friends with whom we have traveled many times over the years. When we looked the trip up on line we discovered that the ... Read More
My wife and I had always wanted to go to New England and see the fall colors. This cruise was suggested to us by some friends with whom we have traveled many times over the years. When we looked the trip up on line we discovered that the price was very high, and so just assumed that this must be a luxury cruise, which appealed to us. Our mistake. Next time we will certainly do more research and not be fooled by the price. We had to travel from the US to Quebec City in order to start the cruise, so with airfare and hotel stay prior to the cruise the total cost would work out to about $2,000 per night of cruise. But, as I said, we were in the mood for a luxury cruise. The trip started out on the wrong foot. We had booked 5 hours of layover in Toronto because we wanted to make sure there was no chance of missing the connection plane from Toronto to Quebec City. As it turned out, that was barely enough. The flight arrived in Toronto a little over an hour late, and it took us all of three hours to clear customs. The airport was a circus! There were literally thousands of people there. The lines were long and slow, and we had to que up four different times. The airport was obviously understaffed for this amount of traffic. When we got to our gate, we found that that the connecting flight was running 30 minutes late. Once we boarded, we sat on the ground for another 30 minutes waiting for connecting passengers from the Caribbean. I can’t remember the last time a plane full of people sat on the ground for an extended period of time waiting for a few connecting passengers. The flight was completely full. We arrived in Quebec City at 1:30 AM only to find that several of our bags did not connect. The lady at the Westjet counter apologized and promised our bags would be in on the next flight. We noticed that about a half dozen bags were not claimed from our flight, so had obviously misconnected from the previous flight. Not great service. We took a taxi to Quebec City and were dropped off at the Hilton. When we went inside, we were informed that they had no hotel rooms for us. Now, these rooms had been paid for in cash through Travelocity six months previously, so needless to say, we were a bit upset. The lady at the desk said that she was very sorry indeed, and did get us a room in a nearby hotel. The following day when we returned, the lady at the desk suggested that next time I should book using my Hilton Honors to prevent such an incident. No explanation other than it somehow seemed to be my fault for not booking through Hilton. They were also nice enough to refund the room costs for the previous night. Quebec City was very fun. A colorful vibrant place with lots of interesting history and historic buildings. However, the waterfront area was teeming with tourists. There were four cruise ships in the harbor and four conventions. Every hotel room in town was booked as were most good restaurants. We had fun shopping and dining before the cruise, and our missing suitcases showed up the next day. In retrospect, we should have spent the next week in Quebec City and surrounding area and forgot about the cruise. We were picked up by Pearl Cruise lines on time on Saturday morning, and the trip to the boat by bus and check in to the boat went smoothly. Our first hint that this was going to a different type of cruise than those we had previously been on was at our first meal on the boat where we discovered that the vast majority of the passengers were in their mid-seventies and above. Walkers, wheelchairs and canes abounded. The couple that joined us at our table were over 90. As I said previously, I have been on many cruises in the past and this is the first where I have seen this type of demographic. The staterooms were clean and spacious, if somewhat dated both in construction and decor. The king size bed was formed of two mattresses pushed together. The bed was comfortable enough if not a bit on the firm side to my taste. Although the room was equipped with a thermostat, it seemed to be pretty much for show, as temperature settings in the room varied widely. We were in rooms 337 and 339 on the Pearl Mist. I would not suggest these staterooms to anyone who is not a VERY sound sleeper. When the boat prepared to either dock or for tender launch it sounded like the entire crew was taking tap dancing lessons right over your head. This usually started about 5:00 AM. Overall, the food was marginal. Sort of like what you would expect at an Applebee’s if you held all the spices and cut the serving sizes in half (except for the French onion soup, that even Applebee’s would be embarrassed to serve). For breakfast they provided a simple fruit and pastry bar and had a menu you could order from. Stay away from ordering mushrooms on anything. I tried that once and could see they came from a freshly opened can. Every morning at breakfast we were asked to fill in a “wish card” for our choices for the lunch and dinner meals. I suspect that the chef must have spent a few days in a hospital and got the idea there. Each meal had a starter of a soup or salad, a main course with choice of fish, meat or a vegetarian, and a desert of a pastry, custard or ice cream. The deserts were for the most part made in industrial size trays and cut into little rectangles for serving (about half the size of a playing card), reminiscent of what you used to get at your high school lunch cafeteria. You could order a beer at lunch if you wanted, and wine was served at dinner – a bottle each of red and white was on the table when you sat down. The white wine was a 2017 Sauvignon Blanc of no particular pedigree and the red either a 2017 Merlot or a 2017 Pinot Noir on alternating nights. The Pinot would curl your eyebrows, so after the first try at that I stuck to the Merlot, which was almost drinkable, or the Sauvignon Blanc which I drank if it was a Pinot night. By the fourth night I was drinking about a bottle of each every night to try to numb the experience. If you wanted some real wine, they had a limited wine list, but those wines were extra. You could also order a mixed drink at dinner if you requested it, but it was not volunteered by the waiter. For entertainment they hired a local music teacher and his sidekick. They were the guys you remember from your high school prom, only missing half the musicians (the good ones), and no longer able to hit the high notes - same clothes and hair though. They usually held the rapt attention of the old folks for at least 15 minutes after dinner, then people started leaving like rats leaving a sinking ship. They also had a story teller who showed us some neat pictures of a trip he took on his honeymoon to go fishing with some guys he met at a bed and breakfast. I was going to say that the shore excursions were not memorable, but I’m gonna have to be honest here – they were forgettable. The MO seemed to be to take the passengers to an area where all the stores were either closed for the season or closed due to the time of day and drop them off and let them wheel, wobble and wander about until a designated time when they would be picked up. There were also a couple of narrated tours. I forget what they were about. Most of the time was spent on the boat laying on our bed in the stateroom reading or sleeping because the cruise line skipped half the ports we were scheduled into and there was nothing else to do. If you are in your late seventies or above and looking for a place to catch up on your sleep while spending $20,000 on marginal food and poor entertainment, I highly suggest taking this cruise. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I prefer to cruise rivers in the USA. This cruise was the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada, and the eastern coast of the US. The cruise was outstanding! The ports of call were very unique, beautiful, and very accommodating. Cruising on ... Read More
I prefer to cruise rivers in the USA. This cruise was the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada, and the eastern coast of the US. The cruise was outstanding! The ports of call were very unique, beautiful, and very accommodating. Cruising on a smaller ship is so preferable to larger ships. First of all, smaller ports are accessible and beautiful. The towns are not overwhelmed by the number of people, and all activities are very organized and geared to the cruise. It's so much fun to be able to know all the people on the cruise, and how we take care of each other! The food was outstanding! Many of the meals were from the region. I am a vegetarian, and meals beautifully accommodated this. The vegetarian meals were delicious!!! The staff was excellent! From the captain, cruise director, stewards, and wait staff - all were extremely accommodating and helpful. They each went out of their way to make sure that each person's experience on the Pearl Mist was outstanding, and they succeeded!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I don't know where to start. Everything was really filthy. This includes but not limited to the carpets, furniture, common areas, etc. The furniture felt like we were staying in a dirty hospital room. To make matters worse, the ship ... Read More
I don't know where to start. Everything was really filthy. This includes but not limited to the carpets, furniture, common areas, etc. The furniture felt like we were staying in a dirty hospital room. To make matters worse, the ship left a port and sailed into a storm with 15 foot swells. The captain new this storm was there as the crew boarded the windows on the entire first deck. This occurred while we were eating dinner. No one on the ship explained to us what was happening. The ship was not built to handle a storm of this magnitude. It eventually took on water in the engine room and an engine overheated. The ship rolled and pitched with such intensity, that the furniture fell over, lamps flew off tables, our king size bed slid half way across the stateroom and pitched out out onto the floor. Nothing was secured to the walls or floors. The storm and condition of the ship jeopardized our lives. Knowing the storm was out there, the captain should never have set sail. Please see the attached photos of the condition of our stateroom. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I took the Pearl Mist cruise from Chicago to Toronto on September 12, 2018. That is, it was supposed to leave from Chicago, but, in fact, left from Milwaukee, a 90-mile change we did not learn about until the day before our ... Read More
My husband and I took the Pearl Mist cruise from Chicago to Toronto on September 12, 2018. That is, it was supposed to leave from Chicago, but, in fact, left from Milwaukee, a 90-mile change we did not learn about until the day before our scheduled departure. Yes, they did provide us with a bus from Chicago to Milwaukee, albeit a noisy and uncomfortable one. The accommodations on board, the ship, when we finally arrived, were comfortable, if hardly as spacious or luxurious as the price and promotional literature suggested, but the food ranged from barely acceptable to downright terrible. Meats were overcooked and under seasoned, vegetables mushy and not very fresh (except for the occasional salad), fish, mostly frozen, tended to be flavorless, breads and were pastries gummy or cottony not worth eating. My husband and I developed severe gastro-enteritis, as did a goodly portion of the other passengers according to people we spoke to. The number of "Do Not Disturb" signs we saw on cabin doors was depressing. We had to miss several shore excursions because we were sick. One evening, no hors d'oeuvres were served at the cocktail hour--"for sanitary reasons" a staff member explained. On another day, after we had recovered a bit from our illnesses, we went to the ship's library and found all the shelves empty of books--they were being "sterilized" a crew member explained. A few days later, the books were back on the shelves. This was by far the worst cruise we've ever been on, and the most expensive. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This is small ship with limited facilities, no spa, no pool. The most disappointing was the lack of internet service, We were told the ship would leave from Chicago however it left from Milwaukee, we had to be bused there and never were ... Read More
This is small ship with limited facilities, no spa, no pool. The most disappointing was the lack of internet service, We were told the ship would leave from Chicago however it left from Milwaukee, we had to be bused there and never were given an explanation as to why this change was made. Things were very disorganized at the Chicago hotel, no one was there to direct us to the buses. Mackinac Island in Michigan.was wonderful but the other ports of call in Canada were mostly small Indian villages with little or no shopping and restaurants. Service and food onboard was good. We had a premium stateroom that was fine although the balcony was uninviting (painted steel and plastic furniture) We had to leave the ship early due to lack of internet service. There is little to do on the two days you are at sea. Unlike most of the other older passengers my wife and I have businesses to run. If you need to stay connected to the internet, this cruise will not be good for you. Read Less
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We went to Toronto for two days before the cruise and had a private tour. The following is a summary of our experience: 1. We had the unpleasant surprise of three days of swarming bugs in our cabin. Woke up with them on my face, the ... Read More
We went to Toronto for two days before the cruise and had a private tour. The following is a summary of our experience: 1. We had the unpleasant surprise of three days of swarming bugs in our cabin. Woke up with them on my face, the bed and pillow and on the wall. Problem was finally solved but left me shaken. Because of the bug issue, we were unable to use our veranda for the entire trip. The door was locked tight and sealed. 2. The kitchen ran out of bananas, strawberries, and had limited blueberries, and also ran out of fig Newton snacks. Since we were in port every day, this item could have been restocked by the ship. 3. The décor is depressing and dated in the cabin and public rooms. The palette is bland and looks like an old person decorated the entire place. Certainly not worth the upscale price. 4. We got short changed on Chicago. We were tendered which takes a bit of time and we did not get off the ship until late morning. Then after the 2 hours tour and lunch on our own, we had to get on the ship so we could sail to the other Chicago berth. There was no opportunity to explore Chicago on our own. The ship was docked too far away and too inconveniently. 5. The daily speaker, Richard, repeated himself at least three times in his three talks on each port. Somewhat boring and repetitive. 6. We had to ask for setups for tables almost daily to play games and cards. Also, there is too limited space for playing. Only one area to play comfortably. 7. The access to wi-fi and Internet is a disgrace, too slow and inconsistent availability plus have to log in every few minutes as getting access was terminated often. 8. The shower kept running hot and cold without warning and could have been dangerous. The pressure was weak. 9. We were overcharged and poorly handled when leaving the ship. We easily could have put all of our luggage and 4 people in one car, but we were forced to take 2. Worse, the taxis were at the gate at 4 a.m., but had to wait an hour and a half for an escort and we were concerned about missing our flight. We had asked the cruise director (Adriana) about just getting one car. She insisted that our luggage would not fit and we could not call an Uber as there was also an issue about getting by the entry gate and the company she used has no problem getting to the boat. They sent two 6-passenger SUV's with plenty of storage. We and all our luggage could have fit using just one transport. Two couples were each charged $160 and we feel that we are due back the price of one SUV ride so that our transportation fee would be $80 per couple. We have written to the ship twice to get a rebate for our double payment for the airport transfer but have not received a reply. Good luck taking this ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We like the smaller cruise ships. This one was supposedly a step up from the American cruise line so we wanted to see if that was the case and the destination was one we truly wanted to see and experience. Let’s talk about what was ... Read More
We like the smaller cruise ships. This one was supposedly a step up from the American cruise line so we wanted to see if that was the case and the destination was one we truly wanted to see and experience. Let’s talk about what was best on this cruise. The entertainment was by far the best I’ve experienced on any cruise, large ship or small ship. Dusty and Stevie were phenomenal in that they knew something for everyone, 50s,60s,70s,80s, through today’s music. They played country, jazz, rock, island, dance music and kept everyone having a great time. I’ve ignored entertainment on other cruises but I didn’t want to miss any here. They practically made the cruise in itself. Don’t loose these guys if you know what’s good for business. Food was good, there were highlights and there were some lower quality items at times but overall I was satisfied with the food and presentation of it. Service was the same. We have had friendlier waiters on American cruise lines, they seem to care more for you and your enjoyment. Note I did see this in some just not all. Several times we had to get the dining manager to get our waiters attention. Overall love the cruise and would probably do it again someday. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Went to fulfill bucket list. Waited several years to book Pearl of Seas Cruise, but Pearl Mist ship went above and beyond. Never knew a cruise line offered at each excursion, travel via mobile scooters, for handicapped to enjoy the ... Read More
Went to fulfill bucket list. Waited several years to book Pearl of Seas Cruise, but Pearl Mist ship went above and beyond. Never knew a cruise line offered at each excursion, travel via mobile scooters, for handicapped to enjoy the wonderful sights. Free by applying with approval. The scooter would be waiting out side ship and would take to bus, they loaded and unloaded at each stop. Even a rain poncho for Niagara Falls! Thought at first, trip was a little pricey, but with cabin comfort, great food (taste and selections), entertainment for fun along with education insight when viewing next port of call, wonderful staff at every turn, who could ask for more. Would recommend without question. Can't wait to book another trip somewhere with Pearl of the Seas. I guess the only thing I missed from other cruise lines was a spa, but being a smaller ship, it still offered a lot. 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
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
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Wanted to experience Fall Foliage without the driving so narrowed the cruise options between Pearl Seas and Seaborne. We made a mistake. Even though Pearl Seas is priced at the very upper end, the quality of the cruise experience is well ... Read More
Wanted to experience Fall Foliage without the driving so narrowed the cruise options between Pearl Seas and Seaborne. We made a mistake. Even though Pearl Seas is priced at the very upper end, the quality of the cruise experience is well below acceptable standards for a premium experience. The really good part of the experience was the outstanding front-end staff who did everything they could to make you feel comfortable. But they had too little to work with to be able to elevate the cruise experience beyond okay. That is sad as Pearl Seas could have been a superior experience equating to the cost of the vacation. The very best meals we had were the owns we purchased off the ship in ports. Thank goodness for that! The breakfast was good, but all other meals were borderline. The chicken dishes were rubbery, the lobster over-cooked, the grades of meat were nowhere near choice let alone prime and everything was bathed in lots of sauces to cover-up the basic flaws. It was also the little things that added up every single day that brought this high-priced cruise to popular-priced status. Paying very high-end prices for the cruise and receiving Kirkland water at the snack bar (really, serving Poland Springs or Aquafina or dare I say Evian, might have added $500 in costs to the cruise line). The Costco bulk snacks from the stale potato chips to the same fruit bars every night for 14 days is not in standing for a $16,000+ cruise. The "entertainment" was below Holiday Inn standards (again for a premium-priced cruise this is not acceptable). And that "entertainment" was on board each and every night of the cruise which should have been switched up more often. The cruise line did a bait and switch on ports which became apparent when we received our final paperwork six weeks out. Even the name and purpose of the cruise everyone booked was changed and we only became aware of it upon boarding the ship. And a thing with cruising through the small St. Lawrence River and New England ports, we are told that because of our small ship we could get into ports the medium and larger ships could not. They did not mention that half of our ports were tenders and not direct dock. Insult to injury, there was a typo regarding the disembarkation port in Manhattan. We had people meeting us at the port number communicated to us (I even called the Pearl Seas office to verify the port number in the final documents just before leaving), and we had breakfast reservations nearby plus needed to drop off a UPS shipment and found one nearby the intended port, plus a nearby rental car agency. Instead the Pearl Seas docked at Pier 86 in the upper west side (instead of the lower east side) and they admitted the final travel documents were incorrect. Proof-reading should have been done at headquarters. If you are looking for a premium experience, it is NOT the Pearl Seas. If you are seeking a popular priced experience, then negotiate the prices down to that level and the Pearl Seas is acceptable. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Like the company and the destination, and smaller cruise lines. The service and concern for our safety was outstanding. The food and wines and appetizers were outstanding. The commarraderie among the staff was evidence that they liked ... Read More
Like the company and the destination, and smaller cruise lines. The service and concern for our safety was outstanding. The food and wines and appetizers were outstanding. The commarraderie among the staff was evidence that they liked working for their managers. They treated us with utmost of respect. The ports visited were beautiful and time in port good, weather conditions pending. I would highly recommend this cruise for Seniors and retired people. Like having an educator on board, and the music was very good. Missed having an indoor gym that could be used in inclement weather. The fitness equipment was on an outside deck, and very cold at times. The condition of the ship was immaculate and well maintained. The cruise excursions and events were announced and communication was very good. We were well informed of any changes. It was wonderful to have wifi to keep in touch with family, and the New York Times daily summary was great!! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We hadn't received any communication before our cruise, so via our travel agent I asked via email for documentation and received only boarding passes but nothing else and had to ring up Pearl Seas when in Tpronto the day before to ... Read More
We hadn't received any communication before our cruise, so via our travel agent I asked via email for documentation and received only boarding passes but nothing else and had to ring up Pearl Seas when in Tpronto the day before to find out what time we could/should board the ship. A time frame was advised and when we boarded we found that there had been an earlier reception which we had missed and that we were only just in time for lunch. However the boarding process was quick and easy despite having no luggage tags. Once on board we found the crew very courteous and helpful. The stateroom was very comfortable and had some hanging space and plenty of drawer space for unpacking. This was part of a bigger trip for us and we were not travelling light, but we were able to store all our clothes and other luggage comfortably in the stateroom. We liked the full length sliding door to the balcony to be able to watch the passing scenery and as the weather was warm we were able to use the balcony to sit out on on some occasions. The ship was easy to get around, six levels including the top deck and we used the stairs all the time. The main stairs, which were the only ones that took you to all levels, did get congested at busy times. There was also a lift, but we left that to some on board who were unable to climb stairs. There was one dining room and seating wasn't allocated, so we were able to sit with and meet different people at meal times. For breakfast there was a buffet table with fruit, cereals, pastries and cold meat/cheese etc and in addition you could select other items from the menu or mix and match as you preferred. you could ask for things not on the menu eg I had berries for desert instead of the items on the menu. Half portions were an option on the menu and I also saw people sometimes having double portions or eg both the soup and salad for starter as well as the other 2 courses. So dining was very flexible. Lunch and dinner were 3 courses with wine drinks served with lunch and dinner. There was also a cocktail hour every day at 5:30pm in the two larger lounges and this included drinks and finger food. Then after dinner drinks were available in the lounge during the after dinner entertainment, which generally went until 9:30pm. The daily schedule provided after dinner each night advised of meal times, which varied dependent on Port arrival/departure and tour times. Also listed were times of lecture and other onboard activities for the next day and the weather forecast, useful for planning what you might need when off the ship. An overview of the following day with a Q&A session was held after dinner before the entertainment started. The on board entertainment included lectures about the places were visiting. These were very well presented and gave a history to the places were visiting, illustrated by slides. The lecturer was very well qualified, having been doing this for a long time, lives in Quebec and has done a lot of research into the history. The other main entertainment was 2 musicians who played piano and guitar and both sang. They played background music during cocktail hour, one in each lounge. Then performed after dinner. They were very personable and professional but in my view it would have enhanced the trip to have had local musicians playing Québécois, PEI, Acadian etc music Only on one night did they bring on a local musician who could only perform for 45mins as he had to disembark before the ship sailed. The cruise was great for experiencing a snapshot of the places that we visited. We generally sailed at night and stopped each day, sometimes all day and other times just for half a day. Our shore highlights were top of the list - Quebec City, Lunenburg and Charlottetown, then Gaspe and Perce, Pictou (we missed Ile de Madeleine due to strong winds) and Clayton NY. We thought the show at Saguenay was OK but maybe a bit overrated, The shore excursions generally gave an overview of each place with limited time to check it out on your own. We are a couple both aged 61. We were at the younger and fitter end of the age group of the cruise. Patience was required when moving around the ship and on tours getting on and off buses, as in general people were less mobile than us. There were no children amongst the passengers on the trip. The only child we saw was the captains 4 yr old daughter on some of the excursions. There was in general no facilities for children. In general guests on the ship were were polite and well mannered with only a couple of exceptions. People queued when required, waited for people in front to exit buses and were promptly back from tours and onto buses etc. Except one Occassion where one poor couple who misread the ship sailing time and had to be rounded up from the port. In summary we liked the small ship (only 200 guests) cruise but in future we would be more likely to select a cruise with a younger/fitter age group ie with more active tours, that would indicate this. Read Less
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