12 Chicago Senior Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date July 2018
Chose this cruise for the ports we were stopping at. Knew ahead of time that the ship was old and rooms would be small, but older and smaller than expected. Limited water usage made washing hands/shower difficult. It is at the ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the ports we were stopping at. Knew ahead of time that the ship was old and rooms would be small, but older and smaller than expected. Limited water usage made washing hands/shower difficult. It is at the Captain's discretion if the itinerary changes due to "weather" and we missed one of our stops. Also cancelled one of our tours at one of the major ports, then promised there would be something else "nice" to replace it, but no there wasn't. Internet access is a joke and there are no TVs anywhere on the ship. No real entertainment, just a lecturer and photographer. Very boring evenings and long days. On the positive side, staff was great, helpful and hard working. Food was good and enough at each meal. Chef baked fresh breads and deserts which was something to look forward to. Our stop at Mackinac Island was delightful. However, Sturgeon Bay (cancelled tour), Beaver Island (didn't stop weather), St. Ignace nothing there, Manitowoc, same thing. We booked our own tours in Chicago and that helped to salvage an otherwise disappointing cruise. Do not think I would cruise with Blount again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because we were traveling with 80 year old parents. We enjoy small ships, wanted to see the Great Lakes region and relax. This cruise was perfect and just what we were looking for. Booking was easy (book early for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were traveling with 80 year old parents. We enjoy small ships, wanted to see the Great Lakes region and relax. This cruise was perfect and just what we were looking for. Booking was easy (book early for an early bird discount) We arrived the night before in Chicago and stayed at The Sheraton where we got a cruise discount and were picked up by cruise transport in the am. Embarkation was a breeze. The ship holds 210 passengers so does not feel crowded at all. Cabins were roomy with a small patio to sit and relax (we were on deck 5). The food was amazing! They offered 1/2 portions which worked for me. Happy Hour was at 5:30 each day with complimentary cocktails and appetizers. Wine was also included at lunch and dinner. The service was excellent. Any request was promptly answered with a smile Mixed review on the ports. Muskegon was very interesting-a surprise for me! I learned a lot about the area's history. The highlight was Mackinac Island. Charming. We had a nice long day there. Definitely do the horse drawn carriage ride!! We saw some boats go through the locks in Sault Ste Marie, but that port and Little Current were small with not much to do. We took the Killbear park tour and Island Queen boat tour around the 30,000 islands of Georgia Bay and enjoyed both. Disembarkation was simple. They were very organized with shuttles. We took the free bus to the Toronto airport where I had arranged a shuttle to Niagara Falls where we spent a few days before flying home from Buffalo. They have a wide variety of destinations and are building more ships. They are the sister company to American Cruise Lines so have a lot to offer. I will definitely go again. Next trip, New England Islands Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Having been born and brought up in Michigan, the Great Lakes cruise really appealed to me. It was also our first cruise, so it had to be a good experience. It didn't disappoint. The ship accommodations, service and food were ... Read More
Having been born and brought up in Michigan, the Great Lakes cruise really appealed to me. It was also our first cruise, so it had to be a good experience. It didn't disappoint. The ship accommodations, service and food were beyond expectations. The size of our cabin was quite comfortable. The amount of space for handing clothes and storing folded closes was wonderful. The dining room service was always professional by an always accommodating service team. The choice of food met our needs and was always excellently prepared. We were also impressed with the sightseeing, including the tour of the beautiful Mackinac Island, Parry Sound, the beautiful Georgian Bay region and the Henry Ford museum. Of course, the side trip to the base of Niagara Falls was an amazing experience. We would highly recommend the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay cruise to anyone looking for a peaceful period out of your otherwise hectic life. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, and to check off some bucket list items; specifically to visit Mackinac Island and Niagara Falls. We definitely got a lot more. The excursions were very enjoyable, and made ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, and to check off some bucket list items; specifically to visit Mackinac Island and Niagara Falls. We definitely got a lot more. The excursions were very enjoyable, and made good use of our time. We have taken mega-ship Caribbean cruises and a European river cruise, but our Great Lakes cruise on Pearl Mist was better than those alternatives, by far. The accommodations were comfortable, with a very spacious bedroom and bathroom and a private balcony. The service and food were outstanding, and the destinations informative and enjoyable. Life on board the ship was very pleasant and relaxing, with great evening entertainment. We made many new friends on the trip, thanks to many opportunities to dine and socialize together. The all-inclusive policy meant no hassles with bar tabs and other inconveniences. All in all, a very good vacation choice. We recommend this cruise very highly! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have cruised several times before but this was the first time on a small ship and it was delightful. The atmosphere is totally different than on a large ship carrying several thousand passengers. The crew made an effort to know the ... Read More
We have cruised several times before but this was the first time on a small ship and it was delightful. The atmosphere is totally different than on a large ship carrying several thousand passengers. The crew made an effort to know the passengers and the service could not have been better. The information about our ports of call were provided by the on board expert via lectures and by locals who came on board to give us lots of information about what we could see and do. It was all interesting and informative and helped make our time in each port more enjoyable. The service and the food in the dinning room was top notch and the open seating made it easy to get to know our fellow travelers and we met many interesting people who made the trip that much more enjoyable. We most certainly will take a small ship cruise again, in fact, I am not sure that we will ever take a trip on one of the behemoths again. The small ship experience added so much to our vacation I would definitely recommend it for the mature, seasoned traveler. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was a Great Lakes cruise, Chicago to Sault St. Marie, through Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, through Erie, the Welland Canal and finishing in Toronto. I love being on a ship, much prefer small ships (this was my max at 210 passenger ... Read More
This was a Great Lakes cruise, Chicago to Sault St. Marie, through Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, through Erie, the Welland Canal and finishing in Toronto. I love being on a ship, much prefer small ships (this was my max at 210 passenger capacity) and seveal stops were of interest. The Pearl Mist is a fairly new ship, nicely done, extremely stable. The public rooms are all spacious and well decorated. The lunch and dinner menus were creative but the food just OK. Service from some of the waiters was unsatisfactory, e.g. it was almost impossible to get a second cup of coffee. Wine was available for lunch and dinner but of inferior quality. Liquors available for hors d'oeuvres was top quality. All at no extra charge. We were in port most days, interesting and reasonably priced excursions were available but there was plenty of opportunity to walk about on your own. The on-board entertainment was interesting. They paired a folk song singer with a rocker. It was fun watching them learn to work together. They soon found a comfortable working relationship and provided good entertainment. The lecturer was well prepared and delivered frequent, topical and interesting lectures. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We took the Pearl Mist from Toronto to Chicago in late June. Both embarkation and disembarkation went extremely smoothly. In fact, getting off and on the ship was surprisingly always easy and very fast. This review comes from the ... Read More
We took the Pearl Mist from Toronto to Chicago in late June. Both embarkation and disembarkation went extremely smoothly. In fact, getting off and on the ship was surprisingly always easy and very fast. This review comes from the perspective of someone in their 20's. During my cruise, I was the youngest person on the ship. I was traveling with my grandmother, who is in her late 80's. We chose this location and cruise line because it was somewhere she had never been before, and we were very happy with our choice. Ship - I loved the ship! It has plenty of outdoors space and nice lounges to relax in. Since it is a small ship, there is no spa or workout room (only some equipment on a deck). I didn't mind that, though. Cabin - I shared a handicap cabin with two other people, and it was very spacious. The balcony was wonderful. Dining - The open seating dining was really nice. By the end of the trip, everyone knew each other from sitting next to each other at meals. I also thought the food was wonderful. You could ask for a half portion of food, there were vegetarian options, and dessert was always good. Wine and beer were also included options at meals, and there was a cocktail hour everyday. Entertainment and Activities - Since this is a smaller ship, the entertainment is also smaller. Most nights, two entertainers would play music related to a theme (i.e. country, 50's, etc.). People seemed to love this. I particularly liked the local entertainers that they brought in from outside of the ship. There were also some good lectures and trivia (with prizes) one night. Service - The service was spectacular. At meals, the waiters knew our favorite extras and knew our names. What was really important, though, was the service the ship gave to my grandmother, who uses a wheelchair and walker. They were patient and kind beyond what was expected of them, and they went out of their way to make sure my grandmother could go on all of the excursions. Ports and Shore excursions - I enjoyed them! There was something to do at every stop. Sometimes the locations were tiny towns, but that's what there is in some parts of Canada. We enjoyed every stop, especially Mackinac Island. To summerize, I really enjoyed my travels on the Pearl Mist. I would definitely recommend it for people who are looking for a nice, relaxing vacation. Although I would not recommend it to people my age traveling alone, just because of the price and the slow pace of things, this trip was the perfect way to spend some quality time with my grandmother and to see parts of Canada and the US in a luxury fashion. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were originally booked on the March 6 Cuba offering. When it was cancelled (three days before departure) we took the opportunity to switch to this one from Chicago to Toronto, since we had long wanted to do more touring/cruising in ... Read More
We were originally booked on the March 6 Cuba offering. When it was cancelled (three days before departure) we took the opportunity to switch to this one from Chicago to Toronto, since we had long wanted to do more touring/cruising in North America. Turned out, this was a great choice. We had a 300 SF stateroom that was as quiet and comfortable as any we've ever had (after 40+ cruises) with prompt and efficient service to go with it. The only disappointment was the small TV, but we managed. The food and service was excellent, and we appreciated the moderate sized servings. Wines, beers, and alcoholic beverages were of known sources and high quality; the cocktail hours were complimentary every time. If one is into snacking, there was unlimited opportunity, as soft drinks, juices, coffee, teas, and packaged chips, granola, nuts, etc., were always available in the two main lounges. There was some entertainment, karaoke, games, but we didn't participate. The lectures, however, were excellent, and I attended all of them. The ship is efficiently organized, with a roomy elevator to all five passenger decks. Children would not enjoy this cruise -- it is obviously designed for older experienced travelers. The Toronto City tour that was provided for those with late in the day flights was a nice touch. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I have been on many cruises and I thought this cruise was very good. The ship is well appointed for a small ship. The staterooms were a good size and comfortable. About the only thing missing was an in room safe for those items with ... Read More
I have been on many cruises and I thought this cruise was very good. The ship is well appointed for a small ship. The staterooms were a good size and comfortable. About the only thing missing was an in room safe for those items with value that you like to feel are in a safe place when you are off the ship on a tour excursion or just visiting a town. The food service was very good and the before dinner cocktails and wines with lunch and dinner were a nice addition. I did feel that the entertainment could have been a little more varied over the time we were on the cruise. The on board lecturer was excellent, interesting and very knowledgable. I would have liked a little more information about the ports we visited and the local areas. This definitely was a cruise for the senior age group and I felt that the staff and crew did a very helpful job with disembarkation and embarkation in the ports of call. Overall it was a very good experience and I would like to take another cruise on the Pearl Mist. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I am 77 years old and most of the Passenger where in my age group. We left from Chicago and debark in Toronto. The ship was great and so was our cabin. The service was outstanding and so was the food. We have been on many cruises/ships ... Read More
I am 77 years old and most of the Passenger where in my age group. We left from Chicago and debark in Toronto. The ship was great and so was our cabin. The service was outstanding and so was the food. We have been on many cruises/ships and have to say this was one of best. The excursions were well selected and we had a great time. We are locking forward to our next cruise on the Pear Mist to the Panama Canal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
There is not much to choose from if you like to cruise small ships and wish to remain in or near the U.S. Blount Cruises offers wonderful itineraries on Eastern U.S. Lakes and rivers and coastlines. Advantages include a small passenger ... Read More
There is not much to choose from if you like to cruise small ships and wish to remain in or near the U.S. Blount Cruises offers wonderful itineraries on Eastern U.S. Lakes and rivers and coastlines. Advantages include a small passenger list, great ports to locations you might never take the time to see otherwise, and good food served at the table for all three meals. Wine, beer and soft drinks are free and you can BYOB. There are disadvantages. The cabins are excruciatingly small. We upgraded and received only 68 square feet of cabin space, not including a toilet/shower combo. UPGRADE as much as possible if you want to breathe, don't like engine noise, don't like air conditioning/heating noise or do like fresh air. Almost ALL the excursions cost extra. There is little to do in each port if you don't accept the optional excursion and pay for it. Some ports are eliminated due to inclement weather. Some ports are added to refuel or maintain the boat (nothing to see there at all). There is no social director. The person who manages guest services on the boat is obviously overworked, because she was not very social. The few activities planned were juvenile (bingo and paper folding). Movies were shown in the only lounge several evenings leaving no other place to read or play cards or even talk to other passengers in a lighted room. There was a guest lecturer on board presenting slides of vistas and marine history we did not visit, except for one on the Erie Canal in the entire 16 days. Very disappointing. We expected information on our ports, which included the home of FDR, West Point, Chicago, Cleveland, Mackinac Island, Niagara Falls etc. We did not enjoy lectures on the one Great Lake we did not visit, Lake Superior, or on shipwrecks and copper mining in that same region. Lectures were also held in the only lounge, which precluded any other social activity. The top open deck is closed during the canal transit. Prepare to spend a lot of time in your tiny room when the top deck is closed, or when there are activities in the only lounge you don't like. The boat goes SLOW...12 miles an hour for 1600 miles. This trip was relatively expensive, totaling over $15 K for two people. Lastly, the average age of the 83 passengers was 77. There was a stair lift. We were the youngest aboard (both eligible for Medicare), and threw off the curve. All were mobile, mostly friendly, well educated, well traveled, agreeable, and overwhelmingly politically conservative. Beware. Would we take this cruise line again? No. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015

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