1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Blount Small Ship Adventures
  4. Blount Small Ship Adventures Cruise Reviews

8 Blount Small Ship Adventures New York (Manhattan) Cruise Reviews

We chose this river cruise because of the itinerary up the Hudson to the Erie Canal and onto the St. Lawrence Seaway. We knew the cabins would be small but my wife and I were still surprised at the bathrooms (think airline size) and the ... Read More
We chose this river cruise because of the itinerary up the Hudson to the Erie Canal and onto the St. Lawrence Seaway. We knew the cabins would be small but my wife and I were still surprised at the bathrooms (think airline size) and the shower with 5 gallons of hot water at a time. The ship was older and appeared as such. The captain and staff were very nice. The tours, however, left a lot to be desired. We bought the full package and regretted that decision. It is best to look into each one individually. We even received a refund on one tour that was ridiculous. The ship director was new to her job. She was a very nice person that was way over her head in the job. It is inconceivable why the company put her into that position without better training. Unfortunately, the norovirus broke out on the ship, which required the Canadian Health Officials to board our ship in Quebec City for an inspection. We know that viruses can breakout on any ship, but we felt the company and crew were not trained in handling the emergency. We were lucky not to have contracted the illness, but I think about a third of the passengers and crew got it. To top things off, the company's response regarding this cruise was underwhelming to say the least. Their basic response was: "These things happen" and then offered a 20% discount on a 2019 cruise. However, this was nothing more than we had already received on our 2018 cruise. We have done several river cruises in Europe and thought they were fantastic. Our experience with the Blount cruise has us questioning whether we will do another river cruise in the US. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was one of the most expensive cruises we had been on. We had the worst cabin of all time, 73 sq ft. The cruise director must be new. She did not provide sufficient entertainment on board. Example, we had a good lecturer and he was ... Read More
This was one of the most expensive cruises we had been on. We had the worst cabin of all time, 73 sq ft. The cruise director must be new. She did not provide sufficient entertainment on board. Example, we had a good lecturer and he was given a time slot of 8:30PM and never during the long cruise days. He was helpful with the guests but not permitted to provide additional information. We only had a couple movies in the same time slot. Very little planned activity during the day. Only one TV on board and not able to use during cruising. Considering we had many days cruising. Tours were marginal at best and considering the average age on the tour was 75, many times long walks to the buses. If you wanted WIFI connection, you could not get it most of the time (Hard to believe in this day and age.). The ship looked like it needed new carpeting and an overhaul. On a positive note, the food was excellent and ample. The crew were very nice, accommodating, and worked very hard!! (Big turn over during trip.) The Captain was very good at planning for good seas and he was an excellent communicator. If you want to relax, read and eat then this cruise might be for you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This trip was taken with a group of 11 early-mid 70's age friends from California who are all very experienced travelers. ( By the way, it was a VERY old crowd and we were younger and more active than most. Youngest couple was ... Read More
This trip was taken with a group of 11 early-mid 70's age friends from California who are all very experienced travelers. ( By the way, it was a VERY old crowd and we were younger and more active than most. Youngest couple was mid-50's and oldest mid-90s). We were attracted by the itinerary from NYC to Chicago by transiting, canals, rivers and the Great Lakes. Most people are not aware you can do such a thing! We also liked the idea seeing small and large towns and experiencing navigating 40 locks as well as the casual no dress code and BYOB policy. We enjoyed this trip very much, but are not sure we will be repeat customers. The boat is small, clean, but showing age, and holds 80 passengers and we were 73 so it felt very full. Had we not experienced excellent weather and smooth sailing conditions I think we all would have been miserable. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time on upper deck which gave us a lot of moving around space and great views. However when the deck was closed for 2 1/2 days because the pilot house had to be lowered for us to get under the smaller bridges, or when there were too many bugs or a bit too much humidity, we felt very confined. The main lounge was crowded and there was always the dining room for cardplayers, but the two remaining outdoor areas on the main deck had limited seating and there was engine noise. Cabins were too small to spend time in. Windows were sticky and hard to open when we needed some fresh air. We would not pick an itinerary on this type of boat where weather is certain to be an issue. It just wasn't big enough. The crew was friendly and hard working and it seemed like everyone had two or three jobs. The dining room wait staff set up and served the meals, then cleaned our rooms. Two wait staff quit the first week and replacements came on board days later. The tour director, Jasmine was also very friendly, but unlike our other trips, there were no port briefings from her and most of her time seemed to be spent organizing the paid shore excursions, which were very good and affordable. Jasmine did not seem to have a deep knowledge of our ports and we were left mostly to rely on what she put on the bulletin board and maps she had available. We are not sure if this sort of "hands off" policy is Blount's or was a result of this run being fairly new to her. The crew and captain were accessible and friendly. The captain did a masterful job of keeping away from the negative weather and gave excellent navigation briefings each day along with good narrative as we traveled in the more scenic smaller areas. Very informative. Food was excellent and what we all characterized as upscale home cooking.....the kind of thing you would want to serve to company. Baked goods were exceptional down to homemade hamburger buns! Breakfast was partial buffet with fruits, hot and cold cereals, yogurts, juices and pasties. Hot items were brought to the table and were passed family style. Lunch was also family style and started with a delicious soup, then sandwiches or salad, always potato chips and pickles, ending with a tray of brownies or homemade cookies. Dinner was plated and there were generally two choices of main dish and desserts (including homemade ice cream.) We were asked to give our dinner choices at breakfast so the chef had an idea of quantity but you were not held to it. For those that needed substitutions at any meal, it could be obtained if you asked, however choices were limited. This was not announced fromally but the servers were helpful and cheerful about it and often offered. It was not easy to try to keep our group together for meals as tables cannot be reserved. We managed through trial and error. The entertainment was hit and miss and consisted of local musicians coming on board, a movie (usually themed to one of our stops) or a lecture. Some were good, others fair but it was something to do. Unlike other river and ocean cruises we've taken, the lectures by Stuart were unorganized and boring and not at all up to what we have become used to. However Stuart was great one-on-one and if asked, had lots of ideas and knowledge about the stops. He was helpful when cruise director didn't know or wasn't around. All in all, it was a good trip, we saw we wanted to see and came away a few pounds heavier, however the restricted size was an issue and would have been more so had the weather not been so cooperative. Who can count on that when you have to plan months ahead? Small ship adventures are unique and interesting but not necessarily for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose this cruise because it is the only cruise on the Erie Canal and was looking for a small ship cruise. The ship itself is an older ship and in considerable need of refurbishing. The beds in particular were terrible and had a 1-2 ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it is the only cruise on the Erie Canal and was looking for a small ship cruise. The ship itself is an older ship and in considerable need of refurbishing. The beds in particular were terrible and had a 1-2 inch foam pad topper that was squished flatter than a pancake. The air conditioning blew hard directly onto my face as I slept, adding to the misery each night. The captain and crew were friendly and accommodating. That said, I noticed that one of our food servers was obviously ill, and mentioned it to the cruise director, concerned that it was not a healthy situation. The cruise director replied that the staff are not allowed sick days and have to work for the entire duration of the cruise. The food servers were the same staff who provided maid service to the rooms. By the end of the cruise, I had come down with the same infection as the food server, and was not able to shake it for the entire winter following the cruise. During the cruise, a passenger had a stroke, and an ambulance met the ship at the nearest dock, but the gangway was too narrow to accommodate a gurney, so the ambulance crew spent more than hour trying to figure out a way to safely get the patient off the ship, delaying the urgent treatment that stroke victims require. The food was fair, but one day we were served "watermelon soup" for lunch that tasted like spoiled watermelon. It was not edible. The cruise included several free tours, but each time we were to go on these tours, the captain declared it unsafe to dock, so we continued on our journey instead of taking any tours. It was disappointing, to say the least. We docked for a few hours at Kingston, but there was no transportation at all, and the town itself was a hefty hike uphill, leaving no time at all for sightseeing. I wanted to see a historic Dutch church in Kingston, so I went into a nearby visitors center where I was able to convince the attendant there to call me a cab. Once I was in town, I had to guess which one of numerous old churches was the old Dutch church. After some guessing, I finally wandered into a back entrance of one church and some members were there preparing for a dinner who verified that it was the old Dutch church. One of the people there was a member of the local historical society and was gracious enough to give us a brief explanation of the history of that building. I felt that Blount should have at least provided transportation into town, at a minimum. Bottom line, I would never take a Blount cruise again. I have been on numerous river cruises in Europe and the USA, and all of them have far exceeded Blount in every aspect. There is no need to spend your money or your precious time on sub standard cruises such as this one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have river and ocean cruised several times. This was totally unlike those. Tiny cabins because the size of the boat. Very tight quarters but you know that if you read the brochures first. The ship is this size so it can fit into ... Read More
We have river and ocean cruised several times. This was totally unlike those. Tiny cabins because the size of the boat. Very tight quarters but you know that if you read the brochures first. The ship is this size so it can fit into the locks on the Erie Canal. We went up the Hudson River, Erie Canal , Lake Ontario, and St Lawrence Seaway. We hit the fall color perfectly and what a gorges way to see the colors. Each stop had something to see and learn. The bar is BYOB of all things. Mark your bottle and the honor system really worked. Least expensive bar tab ever on a cruise. We found the food outstanding. Lunch was soup and sandwiches. Dinner was usually 2 choices with wine and beer served with lunch and dinner. The food wasn't necessarily fancy but was very nice. The service staff cleaned your room and then fed you! Only 88 people and you really get to know them! All were world travelers and enjoyed meeting others. Folks from Europe, Australia, Canada and the US. My wife and I were 70 and probably the middle of the pack age wise. Definitely a mature group an this cruise. I won't compare it to the big cruise lines. It is too different. We just really enjoyed our 2 weeks and hated to leave. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Travelled from NYC up the Hudson River, through the multiple locks on the Erie and Oswego Canals, into Lake Ontario, through more locks on the St. Lawrence Seaway all the way to the Saguenay in September 2014. We stopped at many smaller ... Read More
Travelled from NYC up the Hudson River, through the multiple locks on the Erie and Oswego Canals, into Lake Ontario, through more locks on the St. Lawrence Seaway all the way to the Saguenay in September 2014. We stopped at many smaller cities and towns along the way as well as Montreal and Quebec City. This was a great experience. We had 72 passengers (capacity is 88) with the majority being in the 60-late 80s age range. The staff on the ship were efficient, pleasant and professional. Food was for the most part excellent and always abundant. Fresh fruit, baking, hot and cold beverages available 24/7. We had a pastry chef on board which meant fresh bread and/or baking every meal. With Blount's home port being Rhode Island, seafood was frequently on the menu. Food restrictions were able to be accomodated. Onboard entertainment in the evening included an onboard lecturer, local to the port musicians, movies. Bus and walking tours were available at many ports at an extra cost. Lecturer organized a short stretching session pre-breakfast later in the trip. (Would be awesome to have entire trip!) Cabins are small but efficient. Some folks in top deck rooms commented on their rooms being cramped as they had separate shower stalls and sliding doors onto the deck. Main floor rooms were more spacious depending on location. Avoid main floor rooms at the stern due to noise from engines/generators as well as ones near to doors into the dining room, lounge and deck due to noise. Blount has a BYOB policy as well as complimentary beer and wine at lunch and supper. Blount hosted 3 happy hours with open bar and hors d'oeuvres. My only real complaint was with internet access. First world problems! But if you are someone depending on using your cell to keep in touch with home or work while away, be aware that Wifi was not available most of the time in part because the ship only uses a hot spot and limited number of people could use it at any one time if you did have reception. Once we entered Canada, there was no wifi the entire time as the host of the hot spot didn't have a Canadian data plan or had used up their data plan. Because of the route, there were often times when we couldn't get any cell reception (via 3G). Don't count on there being easy internet access at some of the ports, esp at the smaller ports. I do highly recommend travelling with this line! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Several years ago, I bought a Danube Christmas market cruise on the MS Bolero through Gate 1. When we got on board, we were told the river was high and there was a bridge we could not get under. Bottom line, no cruise, and THEY KNEW ... Read More
Several years ago, I bought a Danube Christmas market cruise on the MS Bolero through Gate 1. When we got on board, we were told the river was high and there was a bridge we could not get under. Bottom line, no cruise, and THEY KNEW BEFORE WE FLEW TO GERMANY THAT THERE WOULD BE NONE. The July 25 departure was my first experience with Blount Small Ship Adventures, on the Grande Mariner. As we sat in the airport, boarding passes in hand, my wife got a cell phone call that the ship had blown an engine and we would not board at Chelsea Piers in NYC as planned, but they would take care of us. My thoughts were, "deja vu all over again". Another disaster. We arrived at Chelsea Piers and were met by the captain. We were bussed about 5 hours to Warren, RI, where the ship was and boarded the ship while they worked on it. We got underway almost two days later, and were still 200 miles or so from the original starting point of NYC. While in Rhode Island, we were given open bar and a no cost tour of Newport, RI. Once we sailed, the captain poured on the coals to make up time. Most of us had flight arrangements out of Toronto on Aug 3. He made up the time, but did it by steaming all night much of the time. The original plan was to steam mostly by day to see the scenery. So, I missed seeing much of the Hudson River since we ran it mostly at night. Much of the Erie Canal was run at night, not the original plan. The company made all optional tours free, and some such as Niagara Falls would have been close to $200 per person. We made all the tours, such as The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, tours of Kingston, Ontario, Toronto, etc. We stopped at Oswego and Ogdensburg NY, but nothing much there. The company also provided free wine with meals, not the usual procedure. The ship holds around 96 passengers, and there were about 65 actually on board. At 70 and 68, we were among the youngest on board. There were walkers, canes, oxygen tanks. About 10 or so were from the NYC area, another 8 or 10 Canadians from around Toronto, and the others from Florida, California, Missouri, South Carolina, Virginia, etc. We represented Texas. But the passengers overall were middle class, very well traveled and educated people, who were a joy to get to know. Meals were informal, family style, NEVER a dress code or assigned seating, and we got to know a lot of them well. They were retired professional people. The food was good, and we always had choices. I gained 6 pounds. The crew were all Americans, mostly young, and the ship flew the US flag. Crossing into Canada was easy. The tour director collected passports, Canadian officials came on board, and she took care of it as we ate dinner. We never saw the customs people. The captain is who made lemonade out of lemons. Captain "Mike" was everywhere doing everything. We ate with him several times, and had informal chats other times. Bottom line: nothing that went wrong was the fault of Blount or the ship's crew. They did all that was humanly possible to undo the damage of a breakdown and get us to our destinations. The ownership must have taken a big loss on this trip what with all the "freebies"they threw in. Give Blount a try. I think you will be glad you did. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click