The Grande Mariner is old and shows it age; the shower was rusty and mildewed. That said, everything else was acceptable. And the crew kept our cabin and the common areas well vacuumed. Our cabin was adequate with good storage and excellent lighting, better than in in many hotel rooms. The food was abundant to the point of wastefulness. Our only complaint was that it was too salty, and the meats were overcooked. There was always a choice of fish or meat. Lunch was formulaic with soup, sandwiches and salad. Breads, cakes, and cookies were baked daily onboard. Fresh fruit, pastries, and beverages were available all day in the dining room. Wine and beer were available at lunch and dinner.
Several night local groups provided musical entertainment which was average at best. The cruise director provided games on other night but there didn't appear to be much interest in them. The passengers were similar to what you find on Road Scholar trips: well educated, retired people, interested in many things, good company.
The staff was pleasant and helpful. During a bad rain storm, the captain proved his mettle when a medical emergency arose and he coordinated a docking at a small marina and arranged for an ambulance to take the passenger to Albany .
The onboard historian was excellent and provided daily lectures. We learned much about the natural and political history of the rivers and canals and towns along the way. Port stops were towns along the way with Quebec City and Montreal at the end of the trip. A day-long excursion to Cooperstown was offered, but it meant missing much of the Erie Canal and the locks. We enjoyed the morning excursion to Hyde Park. A naturalist joined us on the Saguenay River to assist with the whale watching.