205 Pearl Seas Pearl Mist Cruise Reviews

Their Cuba itinerary is a straight flat lie! They publish as if they are having 7 excursion days in the island of Cuba, out of 12 total cruise days. We actually got only 3 excursion days! (2 full days and 2 half days) in Cuba. Not to ... Read More
Their Cuba itinerary is a straight flat lie! They publish as if they are having 7 excursion days in the island of Cuba, out of 12 total cruise days. We actually got only 3 excursion days! (2 full days and 2 half days) in Cuba. Not to mention that they cruise during the day and dock at night, instead of cruising at night and leaving the days for touring. There was nothing to do onboard during these 6 days of cruising. The first day we left at 9pm instead of 1pm. The last day we arrived at 6am. So total of 10 not 12! The food is not what you would expect for the high end price. The only good thing about them is the on board staff which are trying their best to cover up for the management. The company has not even responded to our complaint (check their BBB rating of D+). Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We wanted to experience Cuba before it gets too commercial so we booked a 12day/11 night cruise on the Pearl Mist. We ended up being on Cuban soil only 4 days of the entire trip, and they added Freeeport, Bahamas for the 5th day off the ... Read More
We wanted to experience Cuba before it gets too commercial so we booked a 12day/11 night cruise on the Pearl Mist. We ended up being on Cuban soil only 4 days of the entire trip, and they added Freeeport, Bahamas for the 5th day off the ship; way too much time at sea. While Cuba itself was fantastic, the food on the ship was very good and it was very clean, it was completely unacceptable that they shortened the 8-day promise of Cuban shore time down to 4 days, and some of those days were only half days! They completely misinformed/advertised deceptively of how much time would be on shore. Of course they say that it was out of their hands, Cuban changes, etc. but it was an extremely expensive trip to start with, and they should be held accountable for more time on shore, or a reduction in price. Also, we were told (in print) that the first night dinner would be served on the boat, but we ended up not boarding till past 7:30PM and there were only cold sandwiches offered after much complaining about the situation by all passengers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We wanted as many days in Cuba as possible, which the brochures seemed it promise. However, the company cancelled a second night in Havana to substitute an afternoon of busing around Freeport Bahamas. Never got any explanation on why ... Read More
We wanted as many days in Cuba as possible, which the brochures seemed it promise. However, the company cancelled a second night in Havana to substitute an afternoon of busing around Freeport Bahamas. Never got any explanation on why that happened. An advertised shore excursion to a botanical garden in Cienfuegos was also cancelled with the implication that the Gardens were closed on Christmas Eve. Not so, as the other ship in port that day did provide tours to this highly anticipated spot. Again, no explanation. Pre-embarcation and embarcation were badly handled--the company included a night in a hotel before boarding, BUT several people wre diverted to other hotels without being told in advance. Pearl Seas had no representative at either hotel. Then all passengers were told that they had to check out of the hotels at noon, but could not board buses to the ship until 6 pm...An entire shipload just dumped in a city for an unplanned afternoon, no activities, no company representative, just a harried hotel staff coping with unhappy people. Then, finally boarding around 7pm, the ship had not planned to feed us. A hue and cry got some hastily thrown together food. Hence my one star for this terrible example of how to treat your embarking passengers. The other communication issue seemed to be the Captain's problem...He rarely talked on the announcing system, except to warn of bad weather ahead. None of the schedule changes was explained, apparently not even to the Cruise Directors, who mostly seemed as puzzled as the passengers. Fitness and recreation were a few machines out on a forward weather deck. I want to make clear that the crew was superb--friendly, helpful, everything you might want. Similarly, this small ship was clean, well run and provided nearly unlimited alcohol and food service. As a last note, the extreme overhang of the bow and its flare caused heavy pounding in head seas, more than would normally be felt in my opinion as a former ship captain. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I understand that travel to Cuba is not totally predictable, but an unpredictable Cuban government is very different than a deceptive itinerary. Our "Planned Cruise Itinerary" says we will have a "day of cruising" only ... Read More
I understand that travel to Cuba is not totally predictable, but an unpredictable Cuban government is very different than a deceptive itinerary. Our "Planned Cruise Itinerary" says we will have a "day of cruising" only twice during the entire cruise. The reality was 2.5 days of cruising out of Fort Lauderdale and a total of 5 days of cruising. We were told the only change was the time in Havana that was cut short by the Cuban government. I also think that as a small ship the Pearl Mist could be more mindful of waste. Plastic water bottles were so plentiful that people would take a few sips and abandon the bottle. We have been on other small ships that provide a refillable bottle and have refill stations throughout the ship. I still cringe when I think of how many plastic water bottles were disposed of by this ship. They could also have served condiments such as mayo, mustard, jam and syrup in refillable ramekins instead of the tiny, individual glass jars that are impossible to get all of the contents out and make more trash. Our entertainment was three speakers and two musician/singers. One speaker was quite good and the other two fair; but the two others were good musicians but absolutely horrible singers. Surely in Florida there are some Cuban musicians who would have been a better choice. Finally, there was not enough communication between the cruise directors and the local guides. The guides were oblivious to the many physical difficulties and necessities of the guests. The reality with this group of passengers is that they were the most physically disabled group I have ever traveled with, and this was not a handicap-friendly country. Finally, the food is mediocre. My rating RE embarkation is because they left the luggage of four passengers on the dock in Fort Lauderdale. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our cruise on the Pearl Mist was a serious disappointment, for two reasons. First, we didn't get the cruise for which we signed up. We reserved on information indicating that we would spend two full days and an evening of ... Read More
Our cruise on the Pearl Mist was a serious disappointment, for two reasons. First, we didn't get the cruise for which we signed up. We reserved on information indicating that we would spend two full days and an evening of entertainment in Havana, and then one full day each in Santiago, Trinidad de Cuba and Cienfuegos. Instead, we got a half day and the evening of entertainment in Havana and an afternoon in Cienfuegos. There are times that my memory slips, so I thought maybe I did not remember correctly, but everyone with whom we spoke on the ship was also upset, saying they felt they had been denied the cruise for which they paid. We got an afternoon in Freeport as recompense for the lost day in Havana, but all that did was necessitate a prolonged trip across difficult seas in which a good percentage of the passengers, and even the cruise director, got terribly sick. The visit to Freeport, as lovely as it was for four hours on land, was not worth the discomfort. Second, the cruise management was terrible, from the pre-cruise arrangements at various Ft. Lauderdale hotels, right up to breakfast on disembarkation day. We were told dining room opened at 6 but it didn't open until 6:30. So we all stood around. In between, there were dozens of examples of mismanaged situations. Many small things that just weren't handled professionally or with any sense that these people had done this before. Our cabin was a good size and was comfortable, but the furniture drawers came without latches so that when seas were rough they were swinging open and closed. One passenger reported that his TV fell over because it hadn't been secured. The food was good but not spectacular, not as good as on other cruises I've taken with Princess and Viking. Embarkation was confused. The entertainment was dreadful. But the lectures by Prof. Richard Feinburg of UCSD were GREAT! He really gave us a sense of Cuba. The tour guides in Cuba were mostly below par, but the buses were good. The ship is too small to get a good walk in on the upper deck. The exercise machines are inadequate and poorly placed. The Wi-Fi rarely connected. The waiters were good, but there were too few to provide good service. Cabin staff was very conscientious. Worst of all was the staff reaction to expressed concerns. They were all young, probably 23-28, and relatively inexperienced. They could not provide any explanations for why things were the way they were and said that upper management had not provided any information. The captain was rarely seen. Laughably, the two most conscientious adults on the ship were the two musicians who performed every night. They also chipped in with passenger support and worked very hard to help people with issues. Kat, in particular, was an angel to our cabin neighbor who got VERY seasick. Some tips for anyone considering this cruise line: Read every line of every document you receive because they slipped the itinerary change into other documents rather than being upfront and direct. Be aware that this is a small ship, which has some advantages, but that it will also get knocked around in Cuban waters. Be aware that the passengers are mostly retirees. At 67, I was easily in the younger half of the passenger list. The passengers were great. They were all accomplished people, experienced travelers, friendly. We enjoyed ourselves. But younger people might want to skip this preview of life in a retirement home. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We wanted to go to Cuba and visit the smaller ports where big ships can't go. We also prefer the small boats where everyone eats together and you choose where you sit, etc. This ship is as close to a riverboat experience that you will ... Read More
We wanted to go to Cuba and visit the smaller ports where big ships can't go. We also prefer the small boats where everyone eats together and you choose where you sit, etc. This ship is as close to a riverboat experience that you will get outside Europe! It is not a glamorous boat - the furniture is a little dated and the carpets a little worn in places. The cabin is huge by cruise standards and we had a very comfortable king bed which all rooms have. What they do not do is "nickel and dime" you to death. Except for gratuities (which are completely voluntary) you should not pay an extra cent. From complimentary tote bags, hats, amenity bags to take ashore, etc. everything is included. The food is delicious and there are many choices. The staff is wonderful - especially the dining room and housekeeping. All tours are included and excellent. We enjoyed learning from various guides and seeing a variety of sights. To be honest, we didn't attend much of the evening entertainment - we were too tired from all the action during the day! There is wine and beer with lunch and dinner and there is an hour long cocktail event every night before dinner. All is included. Yes, the program and ship attract older people, but honestly, they were some of the most interesting to get to know. They had traveled the world and lived lives of adventure. The Cuba trip also attracts a much younger group than the American focused trips. If you want to go to Cuba we would recommend this ship and tour. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because it focused on Cuba, not just a "sail by" with one stop, and we had been on this ship on the Great Lakes where it works in the summer. We liked the small boat, but be prepared for rock n roll on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it focused on Cuba, not just a "sail by" with one stop, and we had been on this ship on the Great Lakes where it works in the summer. We liked the small boat, but be prepared for rock n roll on the open ocean- even in good weather. I never get sea sick, but lots of passengers did. The average age of the passengers was well into their 80s, about ten years older than my wife & I yielding lots of medical issues. A 20 minute bus stop on tour turned into an hour for all the passengers to offload and get back on. The young tour directors were frustrated by the "old" people, and were not real familiar with the places we visited. (They should take a tour as a passenger first). We had very high expectations for the very high price. That said, the crew was fantastic, ship very clean, and the ports very interesting. The food was ordinary-- no flavors, salt, etc. I am sure it was fit for many passengers, but not me. I like flavorful food, and local dishes, not food brought from Florida. Use caution with the departure hotel stay. They switched the hotel after booking but forgot to tell me or give hotel pick up instructions so we did not have to spend 2 hours at the airport figuring this out on our own. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My husband and I recently took this cruise to Cuba, we have both always wanted to go there. I can't say enough good things about it. This ship goes to places most Americans will never see, We enjoyed the daily talks on the ship ... Read More
My husband and I recently took this cruise to Cuba, we have both always wanted to go there. I can't say enough good things about it. This ship goes to places most Americans will never see, We enjoyed the daily talks on the ship providing information on various topics in regards to the ports we were visiting etc.. At each stop the tours that we went on were very good and educational, The food was very good on the ship and the staff was great. My husband and I were probably one of the youngest people on this trip which was fine with us. The cruise ship does not have a casino or swimming pool. All rooms are a decent size and all have balcony's. If you have ever thought about going to Cuba this is the cruise to take, Oh, and we felt very safe everywhere we went in Cuba, Believe it or not they have a very low crime rate Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise PRIMARILY for Havana. 2 days were promised. We already had plans to travel via Canada or mexico, but the lure of additional stops and 2 days in Havana were too much to resist. What a BIG mistake!!! The cruise line ... Read More
We chose this cruise PRIMARILY for Havana. 2 days were promised. We already had plans to travel via Canada or mexico, but the lure of additional stops and 2 days in Havana were too much to resist. What a BIG mistake!!! The cruise line reneged on the Havana stop and we got CHEATED out of a day in Havana , instead we spent an extra day at sea doing NOTHING!!! davidfhumo wrote a review from a different time and it seems to be the norm. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY !!!! The food on board is palatable but far from luxurious. Never mind the pretend bartenders. They couldn't make a decent drink if their life depended on it. That may have something to do with tending bar was an added responsibility after a primary job on board such as housecleaning. (That really surprised me to see the bartender cleaning rooms). Entertainment consist of a 2 man no talent band with terribly laughable interpretations on popular music. The crew corporate staff was non helpful in offering any insight as to why we were cheated out of our contracted cruise. The "SERVICE" staff were VERY helpful and deserve to be in better company. To them my heart goes out to. One more thought, please be honest with yourself. If you have physical limitations, this is not the cruise for you. The excursions do not bode well for some. The boat has minimal facilities and a serious lack of amusement potential during sailing times. Cuba is GREAT! But DON"T waste your money with this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have sailed on small and large ships and they both have something going for them. This cruise had about 150 passengers and was a great way to meet new people. On this size ship you see the same people all the time and it is easy to ... Read More
We have sailed on small and large ships and they both have something going for them. This cruise had about 150 passengers and was a great way to meet new people. On this size ship you see the same people all the time and it is easy to get to know each other. The lectures are very topical and even the entertainment although limited came down and joined us for our meals. On a large ship you may not see someone more than once with dinner shifts and sheer volume of people. On the other hand a larger ship has more entertainment and certainly more glam in the entertainment stage productions. It is all about what you want on the cruise. This trip to the coast of Main was certainly more enjoyable with new met friends and an excellent smaller ship and crew. The food was excellent and the daily menus offered a good variety of selections. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise to be with our aging parents. The good news: nobody died. The bad news: we had to live through a week of noisy nights, cheap over cooked or processed food, missed excursions, and cheap accommodations. We arrived at ... Read More
We chose this cruise to be with our aging parents. The good news: nobody died. The bad news: we had to live through a week of noisy nights, cheap over cooked or processed food, missed excursions, and cheap accommodations. We arrived at ports only to be told we could not disembark because of weather. Our itinerary changed with no notice as the staff made poor decisions about excursions. It was obvious from the forecast, for example, that we would not be able to take a tender off the ship to nearby Campobello Island, but we left the safe docking at delightful Eastport, Maine anyway and spent the day anchored two hundred yards away from shore. This happened again two days later when the decision was made to change course to avoid heavy winds while knowing we couldn’t get into the next port. We backtracked to St John’s the next day on a Sunday when there was nothing to do. The food would make Denny’s look like five stars No exercise facility, unless you want to risk falling overboard in a gale Spent an hour waiting in freezing temps for a tender with no explanation as to why none was coming as we were 7 minutes from the ship. The lounges were cramped and did not afford views creating a very claustrophobic environment especially since we spent so much time on board. The entertainers were lovey people; however, their style was not our style but they seemed to be appreciated by many of the guests. If they were only a few of several choices for entertainment, they would have been fine (for others). Since this was a very expensive cruise, per capita per day, we expected the same quality service and amenities that we have enjoyed on other luxury cruise lines. We were sorely disappointed from the moment of check in to our disembarkation. If the cost of this cruise had been significantly lower, our expectations would not have been so high. I have no desire or intention of taking another Pearl of the Seas or American Cruise line cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
For anyone relying on a wheelchair, beware. There were steps to navigate during initial boarding; the day trips were unavailable to us because 5 of the stops we anchored in the harbor and the small boat used to get us to the mainland had ... Read More
For anyone relying on a wheelchair, beware. There were steps to navigate during initial boarding; the day trips were unavailable to us because 5 of the stops we anchored in the harbor and the small boat used to get us to the mainland had steps; and if we were able to get to land, the tour busses were not wheelchair accessible. There were layers of problems getting off and on the boat so even if we had successfully navigated one hurdle, another one existed. For instance, if we had been able to get onto tgevtender boat, on shore the ramp used to get up to the pier had slats across it which the wheelchair couldn’t bump over. The “handicapped” room we were given was a slightly modified able bodied room. The bathroom was the biggest problem. I have tried calling, emailing, post mailing Pearl Seas and they will not return my call. Horrendous trip. Even worse customer service. Caveat emptor. Find another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise as we had previously toured the area in the late 1990's via two road trips and decided that we'd enjoy viewing it again from the water with fall foliage in its prime. Unfortunately Hurricane ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as we had previously toured the area in the late 1990's via two road trips and decided that we'd enjoy viewing it again from the water with fall foliage in its prime. Unfortunately Hurricane Michael decided to disappoint us with rough seas and rain through out our cruise, causing us to miss 3 of the 9 ports (Baie-Comeau, Halifax, & Bar Harbor) on our scheduled itinerary. Although this change was disappointing, we did come away with a healthy respect of the hardships and challenges that early mariners faced back in the day. The Pearl Mist proved herself to be sea worthy and it's crew proved up to the challenges that Mother Nature threw at them. Excursions were reworked and the kitchen staff likely faced meal planning challenges in order to accommodate the ever changing itineraries. Passengers interacted in the Atlantic & Pacific Lounges as well as hanging out in the well stocked library. Wi-fi connections, however, left much to be desired as internet connections were spotty at best. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I prefer to cruise rivers in the USA. This cruise was the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada, and the eastern coast of the US. The cruise was outstanding! The ports of call were very unique, beautiful, and very accommodating. Cruising on ... Read More
I prefer to cruise rivers in the USA. This cruise was the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada, and the eastern coast of the US. The cruise was outstanding! The ports of call were very unique, beautiful, and very accommodating. Cruising on a smaller ship is so preferable to larger ships. First of all, smaller ports are accessible and beautiful. The towns are not overwhelmed by the number of people, and all activities are very organized and geared to the cruise. It's so much fun to be able to know all the people on the cruise, and how we take care of each other! The food was outstanding! Many of the meals were from the region. I am a vegetarian, and meals beautifully accommodated this. The vegetarian meals were delicious!!! The staff was excellent! From the captain, cruise director, stewards, and wait staff - all were extremely accommodating and helpful. They each went out of their way to make sure that each person's experience on the Pearl Mist was outstanding, and they succeeded!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose it because we had never been on an expensive luxury cruise before and wanted to treat ourselves. We liked that we could relax and be served at each meal and not have to deal with buffet lines. I was picturing outstanding gourmet ... Read More
We chose it because we had never been on an expensive luxury cruise before and wanted to treat ourselves. We liked that we could relax and be served at each meal and not have to deal with buffet lines. I was picturing outstanding gourmet meals in a lovely dining room with creative menus and desserts. Instead what we got at each meal was diner food. For instance when offered a seafood salad with shrimp/scallops etc...the shrimp was the size of your finger nail and the scallops were half of that size. Shrimp almost always had the same rub all over it. Here we were outside of the Quebec City at sailing time, a city with great French bread and every meal the breads were hard rolls and tasteless. They need to change their bread vendor asap! Now most of the folks on this cruise were in their 70's and above and many felt the food was good or they were being polite as we were, but believe me when I say it was not. Most of the meals were not bad but it was at best average. We found it odd that they asked you if you wanted half portions. If you asked for a half portion of salad or pasta it was about 1/2 to 3/4 cup. The chef did have some skills but the first day our chicken lunch was hard and my husband's hamburger was dry and tough. On the first night we ordered mushroom soup and it was virtually tasteless, I mean hardly any salt. I tried 3 more soups before giving up on the soups, roasted red pepper (no flavor), ham and pea soup (watered down to the point of being PALE green little taste and no ham) and French onion (3 tiny strips of onion in it and tasted like it came from a very salty can). All of the cake deserts were not as good as a Safeway store bought and were often dry. The only desert that was outstanding was peach cobbler and it was only offered once. Almost every dessert was served with the same creme anglais and a dollop of whipped cream. The breakfasts were great however and the servers were excellent. No tablecloths at breakfast or lunch, only dinner. We missed 3 ports due to weather but that is not the cruise line's fault. Still they said we could not go to Halifax due to a storm yet we sailed right by it to the next city. They may have lost their port. Forget about going to Isle de Madeline because the last two cruises didn't get to dock there and neither did we. The rooms were large but sparse and simple like a Motel 6, bare bones. Entertainment was the same every night but one, two guys playing their guitars and singing, 60's night, 70's night, Elvis night, you get it. Really hokey. Adriana the cruise director was a doll. We enjoyed our tour of the bridge and think the Captain and his crew were very capable. The lectures were very interesting. There was no fitness center or spa to get a massage. The only two treadmills were outside on a side deck and it was too cold to use them. They need to replace the carpet and furniture, pictures etc to update this cruise ship. I felt like a kid at a bad summer camp and just wanted to go home. I guess if we had not paid so much for the cruise and it were half the cost I would not be so upset about it but this cruise was not at all a good value for the money they charged. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife and I had always wanted to go to New England and see the fall colors. This cruise was suggested to us by some friends with whom we have traveled many times over the years. When we looked the trip up on line we discovered that the ... Read More
My wife and I had always wanted to go to New England and see the fall colors. This cruise was suggested to us by some friends with whom we have traveled many times over the years. When we looked the trip up on line we discovered that the price was very high, and so just assumed that this must be a luxury cruise, which appealed to us. Our mistake. Next time we will certainly do more research and not be fooled by the price. We had to travel from the US to Quebec City in order to start the cruise, so with airfare and hotel stay prior to the cruise the total cost would work out to about $2,000 per night of cruise. But, as I said, we were in the mood for a luxury cruise. The trip started out on the wrong foot. We had booked 5 hours of layover in Toronto because we wanted to make sure there was no chance of missing the connection plane from Toronto to Quebec City. As it turned out, that was barely enough. The flight arrived in Toronto a little over an hour late, and it took us all of three hours to clear customs. The airport was a circus! There were literally thousands of people there. The lines were long and slow, and we had to que up four different times. The airport was obviously understaffed for this amount of traffic. When we got to our gate, we found that that the connecting flight was running 30 minutes late. Once we boarded, we sat on the ground for another 30 minutes waiting for connecting passengers from the Caribbean. I can’t remember the last time a plane full of people sat on the ground for an extended period of time waiting for a few connecting passengers. The flight was completely full. We arrived in Quebec City at 1:30 AM only to find that several of our bags did not connect. The lady at the Westjet counter apologized and promised our bags would be in on the next flight. We noticed that about a half dozen bags were not claimed from our flight, so had obviously misconnected from the previous flight. Not great service. We took a taxi to Quebec City and were dropped off at the Hilton. When we went inside, we were informed that they had no hotel rooms for us. Now, these rooms had been paid for in cash through Travelocity six months previously, so needless to say, we were a bit upset. The lady at the desk said that she was very sorry indeed, and did get us a room in a nearby hotel. The following day when we returned, the lady at the desk suggested that next time I should book using my Hilton Honors to prevent such an incident. No explanation other than it somehow seemed to be my fault for not booking through Hilton. They were also nice enough to refund the room costs for the previous night. Quebec City was very fun. A colorful vibrant place with lots of interesting history and historic buildings. However, the waterfront area was teeming with tourists. There were four cruise ships in the harbor and four conventions. Every hotel room in town was booked as were most good restaurants. We had fun shopping and dining before the cruise, and our missing suitcases showed up the next day. In retrospect, we should have spent the next week in Quebec City and surrounding area and forgot about the cruise. We were picked up by Pearl Cruise lines on time on Saturday morning, and the trip to the boat by bus and check in to the boat went smoothly. Our first hint that this was going to a different type of cruise than those we had previously been on was at our first meal on the boat where we discovered that the vast majority of the passengers were in their mid-seventies and above. Walkers, wheelchairs and canes abounded. The couple that joined us at our table were over 90. As I said previously, I have been on many cruises in the past and this is the first where I have seen this type of demographic. The staterooms were clean and spacious, if somewhat dated both in construction and decor. The king size bed was formed of two mattresses pushed together. The bed was comfortable enough if not a bit on the firm side to my taste. Although the room was equipped with a thermostat, it seemed to be pretty much for show, as temperature settings in the room varied widely. We were in rooms 337 and 339 on the Pearl Mist. I would not suggest these staterooms to anyone who is not a VERY sound sleeper. When the boat prepared to either dock or for tender launch it sounded like the entire crew was taking tap dancing lessons right over your head. This usually started about 5:00 AM. Overall, the food was marginal. Sort of like what you would expect at an Applebee’s if you held all the spices and cut the serving sizes in half (except for the French onion soup, that even Applebee’s would be embarrassed to serve). For breakfast they provided a simple fruit and pastry bar and had a menu you could order from. Stay away from ordering mushrooms on anything. I tried that once and could see they came from a freshly opened can. Every morning at breakfast we were asked to fill in a “wish card” for our choices for the lunch and dinner meals. I suspect that the chef must have spent a few days in a hospital and got the idea there. Each meal had a starter of a soup or salad, a main course with choice of fish, meat or a vegetarian, and a desert of a pastry, custard or ice cream. The deserts were for the most part made in industrial size trays and cut into little rectangles for serving (about half the size of a playing card), reminiscent of what you used to get at your high school lunch cafeteria. You could order a beer at lunch if you wanted, and wine was served at dinner – a bottle each of red and white was on the table when you sat down. The white wine was a 2017 Sauvignon Blanc of no particular pedigree and the red either a 2017 Merlot or a 2017 Pinot Noir on alternating nights. The Pinot would curl your eyebrows, so after the first try at that I stuck to the Merlot, which was almost drinkable, or the Sauvignon Blanc which I drank if it was a Pinot night. By the fourth night I was drinking about a bottle of each every night to try to numb the experience. If you wanted some real wine, they had a limited wine list, but those wines were extra. You could also order a mixed drink at dinner if you requested it, but it was not volunteered by the waiter. For entertainment they hired a local music teacher and his sidekick. They were the guys you remember from your high school prom, only missing half the musicians (the good ones), and no longer able to hit the high notes - same clothes and hair though. They usually held the rapt attention of the old folks for at least 15 minutes after dinner, then people started leaving like rats leaving a sinking ship. They also had a story teller who showed us some neat pictures of a trip he took on his honeymoon to go fishing with some guys he met at a bed and breakfast. I was going to say that the shore excursions were not memorable, but I’m gonna have to be honest here – they were forgettable. The MO seemed to be to take the passengers to an area where all the stores were either closed for the season or closed due to the time of day and drop them off and let them wheel, wobble and wander about until a designated time when they would be picked up. There were also a couple of narrated tours. I forget what they were about. Most of the time was spent on the boat laying on our bed in the stateroom reading or sleeping because the cruise line skipped half the ports we were scheduled into and there was nothing else to do. If you are in your late seventies or above and looking for a place to catch up on your sleep while spending $20,000 on marginal food and poor entertainment, I highly suggest taking this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I don't know where to start. Everything was really filthy. This includes but not limited to the carpets, furniture, common areas, etc. The furniture felt like we were staying in a dirty hospital room. To make matters worse, the ship ... Read More
I don't know where to start. Everything was really filthy. This includes but not limited to the carpets, furniture, common areas, etc. The furniture felt like we were staying in a dirty hospital room. To make matters worse, the ship left a port and sailed into a storm with 15 foot swells. The captain new this storm was there as the crew boarded the windows on the entire first deck. This occurred while we were eating dinner. No one on the ship explained to us what was happening. The ship was not built to handle a storm of this magnitude. It eventually took on water in the engine room and an engine overheated. The ship rolled and pitched with such intensity, that the furniture fell over, lamps flew off tables, our king size bed slid half way across the stateroom and pitched out out onto the floor. Nothing was secured to the walls or floors. The storm and condition of the ship jeopardized our lives. Knowing the storm was out there, the captain should never have set sail. Please see the attached photos of the condition of our stateroom. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My husband and I took the Pearl Mist cruise from Chicago to Toronto on September 12, 2018. That is, it was supposed to leave from Chicago, but, in fact, left from Milwaukee, a 90-mile change we did not learn about until the day before our ... Read More
My husband and I took the Pearl Mist cruise from Chicago to Toronto on September 12, 2018. That is, it was supposed to leave from Chicago, but, in fact, left from Milwaukee, a 90-mile change we did not learn about until the day before our scheduled departure. Yes, they did provide us with a bus from Chicago to Milwaukee, albeit a noisy and uncomfortable one. The accommodations on board, the ship, when we finally arrived, were comfortable, if hardly as spacious or luxurious as the price and promotional literature suggested, but the food ranged from barely acceptable to downright terrible. Meats were overcooked and under seasoned, vegetables mushy and not very fresh (except for the occasional salad), fish, mostly frozen, tended to be flavorless, breads and were pastries gummy or cottony not worth eating. My husband and I developed severe gastro-enteritis, as did a goodly portion of the other passengers according to people we spoke to. The number of "Do Not Disturb" signs we saw on cabin doors was depressing. We had to miss several shore excursions because we were sick. One evening, no hors d'oeuvres were served at the cocktail hour--"for sanitary reasons" a staff member explained. On another day, after we had recovered a bit from our illnesses, we went to the ship's library and found all the shelves empty of books--they were being "sterilized" a crew member explained. A few days later, the books were back on the shelves. This was by far the worst cruise we've ever been on, and the most expensive. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Initially concerned after reading some reviews but it was wonderful. The service was impeccable-all were friendly and went out of their way to help people. The passengers on our cruise appeared to be quite well-off and experienced ... Read More
Initially concerned after reading some reviews but it was wonderful. The service was impeccable-all were friendly and went out of their way to help people. The passengers on our cruise appeared to be quite well-off and experienced cruisers. Many were on there 4th Pearl cruise or had sailed with American Cruise (Pearl's sister company). Food was very good and loved the fact that they offered 1/2 portions at lunch and dinner. The more interesting tours are extra and I do think for the price you pay for this cruise all shore excursions should be included. .We did find out that you could have your laundry done on board but they did not advertise this There is no gift shop or spa. There are exercise machines on the 6th deck forward but they are outside so have limited usability. Average are on this cruise was probably 75 and many had limited mobility -the crew was amazing to help them. If they had scooters or walkers, the crew made sure that they got them on the buses and were very careful to describe the tours so that everyone knew what to expect. We were on the younger side but enjoyed ourselves every day. We had a guest lecturer and entertainment every night from two-duos that alternated every other evening. There is a small library and a card room. On our "at sea" days we played trivia and bingo. We never felt bored -there was alway something to do. Highly recommend the Great Lakes tour. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is small ship with limited facilities, no spa, no pool. The most disappointing was the lack of internet service, We were told the ship would leave from Chicago however it left from Milwaukee, we had to be bused there and never were ... Read More
This is small ship with limited facilities, no spa, no pool. The most disappointing was the lack of internet service, We were told the ship would leave from Chicago however it left from Milwaukee, we had to be bused there and never were given an explanation as to why this change was made. Things were very disorganized at the Chicago hotel, no one was there to direct us to the buses. Mackinac Island in Michigan.was wonderful but the other ports of call in Canada were mostly small Indian villages with little or no shopping and restaurants. Service and food onboard was good. We had a premium stateroom that was fine although the balcony was uninviting (painted steel and plastic furniture) We had to leave the ship early due to lack of internet service. There is little to do on the two days you are at sea. Unlike most of the other older passengers my wife and I have businesses to run. If you need to stay connected to the internet, this cruise will not be good for you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Having been on over 30 Ocean and river cruises all over the World we wanted to spend more of our time and money in the United States. This cruise offered an interesting itinerary most of which we had never visited. We prefer small - medium ... Read More
Having been on over 30 Ocean and river cruises all over the World we wanted to spend more of our time and money in the United States. This cruise offered an interesting itinerary most of which we had never visited. We prefer small - medium size ships over the floating malls and their crowds. The staff was excellent, friendly and very helpful, the meal selections good and varied and the sizes and quality outstanding. In addition to a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks and water in our cabin, mixed alcoholic drinks were available at lunch, dinner and all entertainment venues. The on board entertainment was very good and appropriate for our age group. The ship and cabins are comfortable but dated and need to be updated and unless the ship is in port the Wi-Fi is poor to non-existent. Departures, transfers and ship events were punctual and as advertised. We would consider travelling with them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Interested in itinerary and believed the brochure touting it as a luxury cruise, NOT! Started with delay in picking passengers up to travel to Port. Nobody to ask from Pearl Seas at Hotel and their office and ship not answering phone. ... Read More
Interested in itinerary and believed the brochure touting it as a luxury cruise, NOT! Started with delay in picking passengers up to travel to Port. Nobody to ask from Pearl Seas at Hotel and their office and ship not answering phone. First cruise I've ever been on that you didnt have a permanent bar. Each afternoon they set up a temporary bar for "cocktail hour" and later after dinner during entertainment. Wine served at meals poor quality. Carpet tired. balcony furniture chipped. Had a good time since we were traveling with a group who all new each other. Worse thing was that a member of our group who uses motorized wheelchair couldn't disembark at several ports. She was literaaly trapped on ship. This information was not furnished before the cruise even though all the right questions were asked. Promoted as luxurious and for good for senoirs. Falseadvertising Would never go on this line again and never reccomend it! Only good thing was the entertainent! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My wife, who is in a motorized wheelchair, wanted to find additional cruise lines that are handicapped friendly. Pearl Mist failed miserably. From the very start the lack of communication, coordination and staff commitment was very ... Read More
My wife, who is in a motorized wheelchair, wanted to find additional cruise lines that are handicapped friendly. Pearl Mist failed miserably. From the very start the lack of communication, coordination and staff commitment was very evident. We were picked up in Toronto almost 2 hours late with no explanation. Our trip was scheduled to end in Chicago but we discovered once on board that we were disembarking in Milwaukee. Of the 8 days we cruised my wife was unable to get off the ship 3 of those days because the crew used stairs instead of a gangplank. Two other days we were stuck in port because the tour buses lacked lifts. Never did any officer apologize to us. The food was fair but very small portions. If you enjoy river cruises book the American Queen Steamboat on the Mississippi or Columbia-Snake. You will not regret it. Sorry Pearl Mist. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My wife and I are experienced cruisers. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Silver Seas, Regent and smaller ships such as Le Ponant, Windstar and Le Soleal. We decided to try Pearl Mist which accommodates about 200 passengers ... Read More
My wife and I are experienced cruisers. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Silver Seas, Regent and smaller ships such as Le Ponant, Windstar and Le Soleal. We decided to try Pearl Mist which accommodates about 200 passengers because we had never sailed the Great Lakes. The trip was supposed to be a seven day cruise from Midland, Ontario to Chicago. I was under the impression that Pearl Mist was a luxury liner since the cost was luxury liner prices. The fare came to $1,744 per night for two not including tips, airfare, pre-cruise hotel night or land tours. Comparable prices on Regent for a Concierge Suite run from $1,340 to $1,940 per night, depending on destination, but include tips, airfare, pre-cruise hotel night and land tours. But Pearl Mist is definitely not a luxury liner. The only favorable parts of the cruise were stops at Parry Sound, Mackinac Island and Muskegon. The three piece entertainers and the lecturer were good and our waiter was extremely courteous. Otherwise the trip was horrible. 1) Bad things happened immediately. We stayed at the recommended hotel in Toronto the night before and were instructed to check out and be ready to be picked up at 9:00 AM the next morning. The bus would transport approximately 50 of us to the ship about 50 miles away. So here were 50 people with our luggage waiting in the street in front of hotel for the bus that finally arrived 2 1/2 hours late. It was manned by the entertainers and the lecturer since the original bus personnel never showed up. 2) The bus ride was interesting because the entertainer didn’t know the route and got lost. 3) We finally arrived at the port of Midland at 1:30 PM instead of 11:00 AM. 4) They immediately served us lunch but also announced the mandatory Life Boat Drill. We refused to participate since we were starving. 5) Staying with meals, there is one seating for all for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At breakfast each morning we were asked to check off our choices for all three meals each day. The menus had a box to check for 1/2 portions if you weren’t that hungry. I never saw what a 1/2 portion looked like but the full portions were extremely tiny and usually tasteless. Some of the people wound up ordering two main courses each meal. 6) The size of our cabin was adequate since we had ordered the largest suite. But it was not kept clean, there were instances when there were no bath towels and the tiny TV didn’t work for two nights. 7) Courtesy didn’t exist. One evening, at 10:15 PM, I called to request an AM wake-up call. I was told that they don’t accept calls, other than true emergencies after 10:00 PM. I complained the next day and was advised to make calls before 10:00 PM, no apology. The final night we were advised to dis-enbark at 7:00 AM; so I dutifully called at 9:30 PM for a 6:00 AM wake-up call. I was told that the office doesn’t open until 7:00 AM. Thankfully we had an I-Phone so we could escape on time. 8) I said the entertainers were good but the room could only accommodate 1/3 of the 200 passengers. So if you wanted to see them you needed to rush through your tiny meal (maybe that was a positive). The entertainment lounge was laid out with enormous heavy overstuffed couches, many facing the wrong way to see the performers. 9) Two days before the end of the cruise we were all informed that our dis-enbarkation stop was changed to Milwaukee instead of Chicago (appparently no birth available in Chicago although this ship is scheduled to be in Chicago weekly all summer). This was disappointing since we had hoped to spend a day in Chicago sightseeing. It also potentially meant that many of us might miss flights out of Chicago. We did, thankfully, disembark from Milwaukee and were taken in an on-time bus for the 1 1/2 hour drive to Chicago Ohare Airport. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We went to Toronto for two days before the cruise and had a private tour. The following is a summary of our experience: 1. We had the unpleasant surprise of three days of swarming bugs in our cabin. Woke up with them on my face, the ... Read More
We went to Toronto for two days before the cruise and had a private tour. The following is a summary of our experience: 1. We had the unpleasant surprise of three days of swarming bugs in our cabin. Woke up with them on my face, the bed and pillow and on the wall. Problem was finally solved but left me shaken. Because of the bug issue, we were unable to use our veranda for the entire trip. The door was locked tight and sealed. 2. The kitchen ran out of bananas, strawberries, and had limited blueberries, and also ran out of fig Newton snacks. Since we were in port every day, this item could have been restocked by the ship. 3. The décor is depressing and dated in the cabin and public rooms. The palette is bland and looks like an old person decorated the entire place. Certainly not worth the upscale price. 4. We got short changed on Chicago. We were tendered which takes a bit of time and we did not get off the ship until late morning. Then after the 2 hours tour and lunch on our own, we had to get on the ship so we could sail to the other Chicago berth. There was no opportunity to explore Chicago on our own. The ship was docked too far away and too inconveniently. 5. The daily speaker, Richard, repeated himself at least three times in his three talks on each port. Somewhat boring and repetitive. 6. We had to ask for setups for tables almost daily to play games and cards. Also, there is too limited space for playing. Only one area to play comfortably. 7. The access to wi-fi and Internet is a disgrace, too slow and inconsistent availability plus have to log in every few minutes as getting access was terminated often. 8. The shower kept running hot and cold without warning and could have been dangerous. The pressure was weak. 9. We were overcharged and poorly handled when leaving the ship. We easily could have put all of our luggage and 4 people in one car, but we were forced to take 2. Worse, the taxis were at the gate at 4 a.m., but had to wait an hour and a half for an escort and we were concerned about missing our flight. We had asked the cruise director (Adriana) about just getting one car. She insisted that our luggage would not fit and we could not call an Uber as there was also an issue about getting by the entry gate and the company she used has no problem getting to the boat. They sent two 6-passenger SUV's with plenty of storage. We and all our luggage could have fit using just one transport. Two couples were each charged $160 and we feel that we are due back the price of one SUV ride so that our transportation fee would be $80 per couple. We have written to the ship twice to get a rebate for our double payment for the airport transfer but have not received a reply. Good luck taking this ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Pearl Mist Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 5.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 1.0 2.5
Family 2.0 2.5
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 5.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.3

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