Just back from this trip and it lived up to my expectations, which were all good. That being said, one's expectations must really be managed before embarking on this trip. Because this trip has a very high price tag, people may ... Read More
Just back from this trip and it lived up to my expectations, which were all good. That being said, one's expectations must really be managed before embarking on this trip. Because this trip has a very high price tag, people may expect it to be an all inclusive, very luxurious experience such as If you are expecting a Seabourn or Regent Seven Seas type of cruise, this is not the trip for you. It is not that type of trip.
The higher price tag comes in part due to the many behind the scenes costs of running a small ship on North American itineraries such as: required pilot fees for naviagating the Great Lakes; very high fees for transiting locks; North American price tags for goods and services.
Plus, the Pearl Mist is a wonderful shp. It is the perfectly size vessel, with only 200 passengers. Cabins and bathrooms are very spacious and all have balconies. Great showers. Very clean. Everyone is constantly cleaning all of the time. Service/crew is superb, genuine and sincere. Itineraries very unique, calling on many places one has always wanted to visit, but never gotten around to it. The two public lounges, as well as library, are lovely. Every cabin even has its own Keurig coffee maker. And though rooms are not equipped with safes, it is my understanding that you may have one upon request. Ambience/dress is comfortable and casual. And I found our cabin to be one of the quietest cabins I've ever had on any vessel.
Cruise is really geared for an older, more sedentary clientele. Not much to keep the interest for a real active/outdoorsy type. And this is not a trip for kids.
Free flowing wine for lunch and dinner. One hour cocktail hour before dinner each night with top notch, premium liquors. Lounges fully stocked with complimentary soft drinks, coffee, snacks all day. Popcorn and Root Beer Floats served in the lounge at night.
Food very good. I was traveling with a group of 13 and we all enjoyed the food. Also, they were very good with special dietary restrictions such as gluten free.
Our itinerary sailed from Chicago to Toronto, traversing the Great Lakes, with six additional ports, including Mackinac Island, Windsor, Ontario (which was the gateway to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan) and Niagara Falls.
I took the trip because I had not traveled this part of the country. I thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary as well as the boat. I selected the 12 day itinerary because I wanted to see Niagara Falls, but I think 12 days was a little too long for me. Seven days would've been perfect with a day or two before and after in the embarkation/debarkation ports
Entertainment needs improvement. For the entire 12 days, there was a combo that played the first three nights and then they got off and were replaced with one entertainer and her acoustical guitar for the next 8 days. That was way too much of the same thing. That being said, I seldom go to shows on cruises, so it was a huge issue for me. They did show a different movie every day on your in cabin tv. We played a lot of cards and read.
We were also treated to a wonderful jazz concert in one port, compliments of Pearl Seas Cruises and it was great.
The enrichment lecturer, Rae, was great. Lots of wonderful information on the Great Lakes, which, prior to this trip, I knew nothing about.
Cruise Director, John K. very good. Worked 24/7 behind the scenes to make sure all was in order.
Do remember, because it is a small boat, one must be prepared for the unexpected. Scheduled ports can change due to docking changes and weather conditions. Small boats can get kicked out of berthing spots sometimes by freightors, etc.
I really enjoyed the Pearl Mist as a vessel. I think Pearl Seas Cruises is evolving as a cruise line and, for only being in the water for a year and half, is doing a lot of things right. They of course are having some growing pains, as all new enterprises do. It will take a few seasons to get everything completely ironed out. But I must tell you, in my dealings with them, the corporate policy was all about customer service and not cutting corners.
I have sailed over 100 cruises, big boats, little boats and everything in between. Would I consider another cruise on this boat: you bet! I would like to do several of the Eastern Seaboard itineraries. The Pearl Mist is really perfect for the smaller, less traveled inlets and coves.
If you enjoy the roads less traveled, check this trip out. Read Less