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7 Blount Small Ship Adventures 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
We (3) went on this cruise because it was an expanded version of the same cruise we took last year. Spent several hours at the Warren dock before departure because the low tide was unexpected? I thought tide tables were published in ... Read More
We (3) went on this cruise because it was an expanded version of the same cruise we took last year. Spent several hours at the Warren dock before departure because the low tide was unexpected? I thought tide tables were published in advance. Unfortunately, just like last year, we spent the first night in an unplanned destination (Bristol, RI), and then did not go to Cuttyhunk, MA as planned. Overall, the food, served family style, was very good. It was the best part of the trip. Tours were okay, although the tour director lost one passenger on the 12 meter sailboat cruise. She was just not paying attention. Also, the Block Island visit was a bust because there was no transportation available into town. Again, the cruise director could have done a better job just by communicating was was and what was not available. I think she needs a lot of additional training. All the stops were enjoyable, but I liked Nantucket and Newport the best. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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 had looked forward to this cruise Great American Waterways sailing from Chicago through the Great Lakes, Erie Canal Hudson River to New York finally to Rhode Island. We recently returned home after taking the above cruise with Blount ... Read More
We had looked forward to this cruise Great American Waterways sailing from Chicago through the Great Lakes, Erie Canal Hudson River to New York finally to Rhode Island. We recently returned home after taking the above cruise with Blount Small Ship Adventures on the Grande Caribe. .When I received our travel documents I called the Blount office in Warren to make reservations for some of the “optional excursions” offered.The agent booked the tours and my credit card was charged and I was told I would receive a confirmation email and vouchers for the excursions by mail. I did not receive confirmation I called Blount. The agent was extremely rude and told me as I had not made my original cruise booking directly with Blount she could or would not help and that I needed to contact my agent. When I asked why in fact the company had charged my card I was told “that’s not my problem"This certainly was not a good beginning and certainly not good customer service from the company representative. Our travel documents included the address and directions where the ship was docked in Chicago which we gave to the driver met us at O’Hare. What these instructions failed to mention was we needed to pass through three security barriers to reach the ship!!! We could see the ship but it was a long walk with luggage to carry. Eventually a member of the crew came on a bicycle and opened up each of the gates. The Grande Caribe certainly could do with some refurbishment. We did find the lounge became overcrowded when all the passengers were on board with not enough seating for everyone and when the occasional lectures or entertainment were held that we did not wish to attend the only place to go was our cabin. Service in the restaurant was often slow and the cooked breakfast served family style was often cold by the time passengers were ready to eat. Four crew members left the ship during our cruise which made service even slower and eventually two replacements arrived from the office in Warren!!! Our Cruise Director was certainly “in over her head” when dealing with passengers who were asking for information. Her daily briefings were minimal and she was only concerned with the passengers who had booked “the optional tours.” Those of us who opted out of these excursions where left to our own devices and when my husband asked for suggestions or maps was told “Blount did not provide me with any information” or when I asked for a map she told me to “take the map from the notice board saying she was in a hurry to go and buy flowers!!” The map on the board was useless!! On all the many river cruises I have taken there was always one tour included and the Cruise/Tour director always held a daily briefing before dinner each evening. We had a recurring problem of a flooded floor in the bathroom in our cabin 52B. On three occasions the bathroom floor flooded. We were told the problem was “a leaking water valve” which was supposedly replaced during the first repair!! Another leak occurred a few days later and once again the cabinet beneath the sink which contained the water heater was flooded as well as the bathroom floor. Both were drained of standing water. Over the next few days I watched the water build up again and the day before we left the ship we again asked for this leak to be fixed as we had over an inch of water on the bathroom floor. No one came and I don’t feel that the cause of the problem was ever corrected. We spent the last 24 hours of the cruise soaking up the water with towels. The water in the shower never drained away so that also was a problem. We have taken many river cruises so we expected a certain standard and have always enjoyed our experience. This is the most expensive cruise we have ever taken. We have never had to pay port charges (always included). There has always been one tour included in the price. All tours ashore are an extra charge to an already expensive cruise. We are not normally critical but this cruise certainly did not leave us feeling that we would want to take another cruise this company We have returned home very disappointed. One good thing did occur on this cruise. We met a great group of people who when talking expressed the same feelings of disappointment. I have delayed writing comments about our experience with this cruise company because since returning in August I have tried to contact Blount both by letters sent by Priority Mail and by email and phone on several occasions to try and get some answers to the problem which occurred..Two months later I am still waiting for a response!!. I certainly could not recommend a company that ls so lacking in good customer service. It makes me wonder why Blount Small Ship Adventures has such a strong following of repeat customers!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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
ACCL_Grande Caribe 12 day Erie Canal trip Mostly older crowd -- 55+. Our cruise started out badly due to Mother Nature The trip was revised due to the damage in the locks of the Erie Canal. Most of the ports had been changed. We had ... Read More
ACCL_Grande Caribe 12 day Erie Canal trip Mostly older crowd -- 55+. Our cruise started out badly due to Mother Nature The trip was revised due to the damage in the locks of the Erie Canal. Most of the ports had been changed. We had booked the 40s cabin -- behind the dining room. At the time of booking the reservation agent told me they were good cabins only to find out when we boarded they were over the engine room and a compressor or some machinery that cycled on/off every 10 minutes. The A/C was so noisy we could not talk to each other unless standing side by side. The cabins are small, consisting of 2 twin beds, metal hanging cupboard and a metal set of drawers. The door to the cabin is a folding door with no lock from the outside & a hook lock from the inside. The premium cabins have a chair and small writing table. The head is small but functional, no door and had to use the shower curtain as the door. To shower you need to have the shower curtain in front of toilet and around in front of doorway. Only bar soap, toilet tissue and tissues supplied so need to bring shampoo etc. The staff did not seem to clean the room and the toilet area very well.. After a few days we noticed odors from around the toilet area and the shower curtain was soiled. Towels are changed every other day & sheets half way through the cruise. The blankets were badly worn. The lounge was in the bow and had ample seating with sofas & tub chairs with additional seating on the sides in the form of bench style seats & the upholstery could use a good clean. There was a large T.V. for watching movies, no TV. Stations or radio...if in port they would buy the newspaper. The bar was B.Y.O.B. and snacks were in the bar area, goldfish, nuts and snack mix. Sodas were free from the pop dispenser. There was a games cupboard and a small choice of books to read, plus magazines on the coffee tables. We had a 3 piece jazz group come on one night & a lady from the local Pioneer village dressed in period costume. Other nights they played older movies or nothing. The staff (16) was good during working hours but when they finished their duties you could never find anyone. Thank goodness no emergencies occurred when they were off duty. Seems the ships personnel is off at the same time. The dining: The food was very good and they always had goodies in the cupboard, there was a coffee machine and tea selections as well as ice tea. Andy the cook & his assistant Leah were the best -- very good selections of menus through the cruise & very accommodating for those that had special dietary needs or did not like the meal offered that day. The first night of the cruise we never slept at all because of the noise from the A/C & engine. We spoke to the purser about being moved. The ship has room for 100 PAX but we had 29 PAX surely they could move us up 1 deck. She could not do anything -- we next spoke with the 2nd Captain (they have 2) he said yes this is a small ship & there is noise you will get use to it. WHAT??? We paid almost $6000. Why should we have to get use to it! Next we called H.O. & they have no manager on duty and they have no authority to do anything. So we were stuck with a cruise that didnt resemble anything we booked, a noisy cabin that we could not sleep in. Another older lady spent the first night up in lounge because she could not sleep in her cabin located in the same area. There were 4 cabins booked in this area and the purser told one lady if I move you then I have to move everyone SO WHAT!! There were several cabins open on the deck above they could have made several people more comfortable. We found we could be moved for the pricey sum of $200. PP. So we were stuck for 12 days with lack of sleep and ports of call that had little or anything to do. The tours were not well organized or the information on taxis or things to do in the Port was very sketchy. BOTTOM LINE I would avoid this cruise line if you have ever cruised before, if you have never cruised before you may find it acceptable & buy into their small ships make sounds tale. There are other nicer cruise lines that deliver better service for the money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
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