205 Pearl Seas Pearl Mist Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise, because like most Americans, we want to see Cuba before Americans ruin it. We also enjoy smaller ships & this ship promised to stop in many ports, originally about 7. We origingallly signed up for the first ... Read More
We chose this cruise, because like most Americans, we want to see Cuba before Americans ruin it. We also enjoy smaller ships & this ship promised to stop in many ports, originally about 7. We origingallly signed up for the first sailing in early 2016. We changed to the 3rd sailing because we were told that the port side would have the best views. That trip was cancelled several times and we finally sailed in Feb. 2017. The ship sailed around Cuba in the opposite direction, so we were on the wrong side. When we asked to change, we were told that one would have no view anyway. Not true. We lowered our expectations each time that we communicated with the cruise line. Our friends who were to originally sail with us cancelled after the 1st cancellation of the trip. We had been to Cuba on our own in Dec. 2016, so we knew what to expect in Cuba. The cruise trip was adequate and the general consensus seemed to be that it was drastically overpriced. This Cuban cruise served no Cuban coffee, provided no Cuban music, had only 1 night of local entertainment on board, other than that, no entertainment other than 2 men from Jacksonville who did the best they could. There was no fridge in the room, no hot tub, no gift shop, and no spa services. On several occasions we were required to carry our own luggage. The food quality was definitely not luxury. Although the alcoholic beverages are included in the price, the bar is not always open. If you care for a glass of wine upon returning to the ship, you are out of luck. (The luxury Chardonnay is Woodbridge.) During the days at sea, the movies to your room are pitiful and the 'educational' talks were amateurish. We were originally promiseed a dive and snorkel day, but it never got scheduled. The cruise line blames everything on the Cuban government. Cuba is difficult to navigate, I will admit. So, if the price for this cruise was more in line with the quality of the cruise, I think that people would be happier. I would like to suggest that people not be permitted to jog on the top deck while people on deck 5 are trying to sleep. I was appalled when we were directed to leave our performance at the Hotel National before they were finished. It was utterly rude and does nothing to enhance the view of American tourists. We will be going back to Cuba, but on our own and stay at Airbnb's, as we did before. I would recommend this cruise to people who don't care about the price and are not interested in trying to negotiate Cuba on their own. I feel that the cruise line did an excellent job in dealing with our adverse weather conditions. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We went on one of the first Pearl Mist cruises to Cuba. Yes, there were some problems with the itinerary but nothing catastrophic....it was a great experience. The staterooms were large and comfortable and the housekeeping staff were ... Read More
We went on one of the first Pearl Mist cruises to Cuba. Yes, there were some problems with the itinerary but nothing catastrophic....it was a great experience. The staterooms were large and comfortable and the housekeeping staff were excellent. Actually, the entire staff engaged with passengers and made a sincere effort to address concerns and made you feel welcome and valued. Granted the itinerary was curtailed a bit but the port calls and shore activities that were offered were interesting and lived up to the published Cuban experience. After talking with the captain on the bridge I had a much better understanding of why difficulties were encountered...the ship is pretty much at the mercy of the Cuban authorities regarding getting clearance to dock at Cuban ports. The food was excellent with ample portions and good quality...this in spite of not being able to take on provisions at Cuban ports...again, part of the experience of going to Cuba. Now a final note...I take exception with persistent discriminatory and ageist comments...these are totally inappropriate, insulting and most importantly, inaccurate. Would you think it OK to comment on ethnic or religious groups on board that you find objectionable? There were very few instances where older disabled passengers interfered with the shoreside excursions or detracted in any way from the enjoyment of the cruise. Older people can be fun and add to the cruise experience. Remember, you will eventually become one of us, so lighten up and stop the intolerance. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise in order to experience Cuba. The itinerary was changed and we had to spend 6 days sailing around with hardly anything to do on board. The sun deck was half generator making terrible loud noise. There were 2 lounges ... Read More
We chose this cruise in order to experience Cuba. The itinerary was changed and we had to spend 6 days sailing around with hardly anything to do on board. The sun deck was half generator making terrible loud noise. There were 2 lounges that were nice. One speaker was just average (too repetitive) and the other was terrible - disjointed, hard to listen to and repetitive presentation. I was assured they would accommodate a vegan menu but onboard was told to just write down what I wanted to eat. (Make up my own menu on vacation? Well, what do you have in the kitchen?). A few meals (not the vegan ones) were good though most were very average. Service was average - never saw much of the cabin steward and dining room server often forgot to bring what we asked for. The two musicians (only entertainment at night) were enjoyable and played and sang different types of music well. A little something different would have been nice. The laundry (a well kept secret - you have to ask if any is available) ruined 3 of our shirts and we heard others complain about that too. That said, we did experience Cuba and enjoyed what we saw. Some of the local guides were very good and we learned a lot from them. Make it a week long would be better. This was very expensive and not worth the money. We recommend trying a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
A cruise to Cuba on a small ship? What a great idea! What a great itinerary. The ship was great. The crew was outstanding. The food was good. The cruise overall was a sad disappointment. We were on the 3rd scheduled ... Read More
A cruise to Cuba on a small ship? What a great idea! What a great itinerary. The ship was great. The crew was outstanding. The food was good. The cruise overall was a sad disappointment. We were on the 3rd scheduled cruise to Cuba by the Pearl Seas. The 2nd cruise was cancelled – to work out the difficulties experienced on the 1st cruise. The 3rd cruise should, in my opinion, also been shuttled. We understand that tourism in Cuba is a government affair and the itinerary changes were not in the control of the cruise line, but the fact remains that we did not receive the trip that we signed up for. We were promised 6 ports – we got 3. We were promised tours and museums that – even in the ports we made – didn’t materialize. Rather than colorful stories of cultural immersion we have a sad tale of sedentary boredom. The ship to shore ratio was heavy on the ship, very little time on shore. How much cultural immersion are you getting while you are cruising at a snails pace (with nowhere to go – just wasting days) on a small ship listening to a lecturer onboard (Tom someone) who was so incredibly dull he could put himself to sleep. So when our friends want to hear “all about our cruise to Cuba” our first words are “it was very disappointing..” Generally their next question is: “Which cruise line?” That can’t be good. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We wanted to experience Cuba before it became "touristified." The Pearl Mist is a lovely ship, wonderful service, great staff, very good food. Highlights of the onshore time included the cultural center in Havana, the visit to ... Read More
We wanted to experience Cuba before it became "touristified." The Pearl Mist is a lovely ship, wonderful service, great staff, very good food. Highlights of the onshore time included the cultural center in Havana, the visit to El Cobre, and the botanical gardens of Cienfuegos. Also the time in Trinidad was enjoyable but we did not see two of the three attractions listed. But, the cruise was not as represented. We had less than half our time on shore. Most of our time was spent "cruising" or actually killing time between ports. We were supposed to have had personalized walking tours of 5 plazas in Havana. Apparently that meant we were to figure it out on our own as we did not have any walking tours. Most of our Havana time was spent in a bus going to and from Hemingway's home which was unremarkable and hardly representative of the Cuban culture. We did not tour the Cathedral de la Habana or the Revolution Museum as advertised. Of the 4 Cuban guides we had, two were very good, very knowledgeable, informative and eager to interact with the passengers. The other two had little to say and spent their time answering questions from the people in front but those in back could not hear or understand. Of the two lecturers, Dr. Richard was very good and had interesting presentations. Tom Miller "The Onboard Expert" is apparently a very knowledgeable person and "accomplished author," but as a speaker he is at best painful to endure. If you are looking for a pleasant time at sea with good food and service, you will enjoy this. If you are looking to experience a different culture, it is a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
It was wonderful. Way beyond my expectations. Pearl Seas went all out. There were at least 5 Pearl Seas personal on board. They went on excursions with us and made sure everything went smooth. This was only their second cruise to Cuba ... Read More
It was wonderful. Way beyond my expectations. Pearl Seas went all out. There were at least 5 Pearl Seas personal on board. They went on excursions with us and made sure everything went smooth. This was only their second cruise to Cuba and they went above and beyond to make sure everything was excellent. I got on board with a chip on my shoulder because of the 7 advertised Ports we were only stopping at 3. I thought Pearl Seas was pulling a fast one on us, but once I got on board and started learning what was going on I relaxed and enjoyed the cruise. Cuba is a dictatorship and a totalitarian government. They decided everything - such as what ports we could land at, when and where we docked, when we could arrive and when we had to leave. When we were in port we had fabulous tours, excellent guides that spoke English well, and nice AC Buses with toilet. The American government makes tourist do the "People to People" program, but again it was excellent. We did not have much free time and I would have liked more. They did make sure we could buy Cuban Cigars and Cuban Rum. While we were waiting to sail into port we were on the top deck having a party and enjoying the Havana skyline. There was never a charge for for liquor at the parties or happy hour and they had Glenfiddich a rather expensive single malt scotch that I like to drink. All our excursions were covered including a night at the Tropicana night club and lunches. The show at the Tropicana was spectacular with dancing and singing. Besides a welcome flute of champagne we were given a bottle of Cuban Rum for every four guests to share, the guys cigars and ladies flowers. My single room #507 was very large and a larger deck than most cabins. The food in the dining room was good and beer and wine were included. They could have had a few nicer red wines. The staff was perfect - Very helpful and pleasant. They had some really good lectures and good entertainers. Much to my surprise we were busy all the time, and I survived without a pool and hot tub. I really like the small ship and lack of lines. I like that all expenses were covered. When I complained that I had to drink my coffee latte from a paper cup, Bob from Pearl Seas brought me (in the next port) my own personal mug that says Cuba. The old American cars are such a treat. I am sorry I did not have time to rent a pink convertible as a taxi and take a ride. The Cuban people were very friendly and lovely. They are proud of their free education and health care, and Spanish heritage. They are just getting the internet and they have to go to the parks or squares for service . As far as internet on board, it was so so. Don't count on it. I put my phone in airplane mode. I would love to go again and see all the places that were promised. I would love to snorkel and enjoy the beaches. I feel it will not be too long until we have hydrofoils from Florida to Cuba, and maybe they will reinstate the 90 Mile Ferry from Key West to Havana. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Ship not stable in ocean rough water. Ship had large bowls of sea sickness medicine for passengers to help themselves! Too many days at sea! Numerous changes in itinerary and not punctual on tours . Told what time to be back on bus and ... Read More
Ship not stable in ocean rough water. Ship had large bowls of sea sickness medicine for passengers to help themselves! Too many days at sea! Numerous changes in itinerary and not punctual on tours . Told what time to be back on bus and even guides were late. Often hard to hear guides when off the buses. Best highlight of cruise, buses were new, clean, and had bathrooms! Pearl often cancelled planned tours, and never told passengers. Medical on ship not adequate, and passengers taken to local hospitals in each port before all other passengers could get off ship. Food only adequate. The staff were very nice and tried to be helpful. What we saw in Cuba was not a disappointment, but Pearl was terrible! The ending of the trip Pearl employees dropped our friends luggage in the water when FINALLY arriving back in Ft. Lauderdale. Have been on numerous cruises, and by far this the worst, and very expensive! Would never go on another Pearl Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We wanted to visit Cuba with minimum hassle.Pearl Seas seemed to fit the bill and did not disappoint. The ship was clean, the staff was very attentive and our cabin was extremely comfortable.Embarkation was super easy. No complaints about ... Read More
We wanted to visit Cuba with minimum hassle.Pearl Seas seemed to fit the bill and did not disappoint. The ship was clean, the staff was very attentive and our cabin was extremely comfortable.Embarkation was super easy. No complaints about the food, service or nightly open bar!We really enjoyed the open seating in the dining room. We did not attend any of the lectures or evening entertainment. We enjoyed lounging on the sundecks. Though a small ship, no space ever felt crowded.The cruise directors were fabulous. This was Pearl Seas inaugural cruise so we were prepared for the unexpected.There was indeed the unexpected! We were given excursion options in each port. These were presented in one of the lounges prior to arrival in each port.Since each port was a two day stop, we could choose from two different two day packages. Our first stop was Havana. We were late getting into port which disrupted our first day excursion schedule. We were supposed to have a tour in classic cars which couldn't happen. This was not Pearl Seas fault but Pearl Seas was able to arrange a shortened classic car ride for us. We appreciated that they did their best to make sure we did get to ride in a classic car. Our 1/2 day excursion to Trinidad ended up being much longer and we missed a concert in Cienfuegos. Others raved about this concert and I was really disappointed. When I mentioned my disappointment, I was told that they would try an arrange a performance for our group the following day. I never expected it to happen but they in fact did arrange it for us and it was fabulous! In Santiago de Cuba we unexpectedly had to use tenders. This went very smoothly. Unfortunately, the Cuban government would not allow the tenders to operate after 6:00PM so we were unable to attend a jazz club in the evening. Pearl Seas again did their best under the circumstances and instead brought a local group of musicians on board. I always felt that Pearl Seas did their best to give us a good experience. The tour buses were clean, comfortable and had AC and a bathroom. We enjoyed the excursions. We just kept an open mind and enjoyed the adventure. We had a rough sea day and I really appreciated the baskets of medicine so that I didn't need to bother the medical staff.I must give a huge shout-out to the medical staff. My husband became very ill with a respiratory problem the last few days of the cruise. He got excellent and proper care from the competent medical staff.Due to his weakened condition, Pearl Seas provided a wheel chair from our cabin, through customs and to a waiting cab. We really appreciated the care he received. We had some passengers who experienced very serious medical situations requiring hospital trips.While we were slightly delayed in disembarking for medical evacuations, I think most of us were just very concerned for our fellow passengers and didn't mind the delay for such serious situations. We loved our experience with Pearl Seas.We really like that it was all-inclusive. There was nothing offered that required more money except tips at the end of the cruise. We found the staff very responsive. We got to experience Cuba without packing and unpacking suitcases and had a comfortable place with creature comforts when not enjoying the land excursions. We met so many interesting people.We found the atmosphere very relaxing and wouldn't hesitate to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Cuba has been a destination which has been available to Americans for only a few years and in many ways, it is still limited. We sailed under the visa exemption of "people to people" and participation was in, in theory, ... Read More
Cuba has been a destination which has been available to Americans for only a few years and in many ways, it is still limited. We sailed under the visa exemption of "people to people" and participation was in, in theory, mandatory. Older people with medical restrictions were given a pass for trip excursions that were too strenuous. It also helps explain why excursion options were limited. We sailed entirely around Cuba beginning with a two day stop in Havana, the capital and largest city. While the city has been spruced up for tourists, one could not fail to notice the absence of basic maintenance and new investment since the revolution in 1959. Most day trips had the option of a meal in town. The results were mixed. We had two other ports of call, Cienfuegos (and Trinidad) for 2 days (Southest coast) and Santiago de Cuba, the original capital and oldest city in the country (Southeast coast) for one day. Overall the trip was very relaxing as we were at sea more than half the time. The food was extremely good with snacks available at all hours. To avoid overeating required considerable personal discipline. The passenger list and activities scale heavily to seniors, and being active in our 80's, this cruise line and it's parent company, American Cruise Line, have become our "go to Cruise Line" after previous experiences with Seabourn, SilverSeas, Lindblad/National Geographic and others. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We wanted to go to Cuba before it was invaded by hordes of American's. As it turned-out, this was trip #1 for the Pearl Mist to Cuba. Boarding and dis-embarking the ship was very easy. We book tour's on this ship ... Read More
We wanted to go to Cuba before it was invaded by hordes of American's. As it turned-out, this was trip #1 for the Pearl Mist to Cuba. Boarding and dis-embarking the ship was very easy. We book tour's on this ship because the personnel are the same on every cruise and they take very good care of all of our needs. The food was fabulous, the lectures were very informative. We had live entertainment every night. We established many new friendship's due to the open unassigned Dining Room seating. This cruise had no children on-board. Because of a cancellation, we received a room upgrade at no additional charge. Our room was very comfortable. Our excursions were very informative and enjoyable. We always had staff personnel from the ship as well as the local Tour Guides on every excursion. This was our 4th cruise on this ship and we will book any future new trips. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was the Pearl Mist's inaugural cruise to Cuba. We wanted to visit Cuba before it became overran with tourist and we prefer smaller ships. We were not disappointed. The ship is small (only 210 passenger capacity), we sailed ... Read More
This was the Pearl Mist's inaugural cruise to Cuba. We wanted to visit Cuba before it became overran with tourist and we prefer smaller ships. We were not disappointed. The ship is small (only 210 passenger capacity), we sailed with 156 fellow passengers. It didn't take long before we recognized most of our fellow passengers. Boarding was very easy compared to other cruises we have been on and much faster. The ship itself is clean and well maintained. The public areas are comfortable and appealing. The cabin was significantly larger than the majority of cabins on the larger ships. The dining experience really stands out. The staff are friendly, professional and very helpful. We looked forward to seeing them each meal. The food was excellent, good variety to select from, fresh well prepared ingredients beautifully presented. The service was super, a step above. The ports we visited were interesting and enjoyable. Being the inaugural cruise there were some changes (imposed by the Cuban government) to the itinerary, but all-in-all it was well worth the time and money spent for the cruise. I would recommend the cruise to anyone interested in Cuba, as well as to anyone wanting a relaxing cruise. I would go again and probably will once Cuba opens a few more ports. The on board lecture series was especially interesting. We learned a lot about Cuba and enjoyed doing so. Being a small ship we enjoyed the interaction among passengers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We were happy to be on a smaller ship. The rooms had great storage, the food was very good for the most part and the service was fantastic. Because we were on the inaugural Cuban cruise for Pearl Seas, we had extra staff on board to ... Read More
We were happy to be on a smaller ship. The rooms had great storage, the food was very good for the most part and the service was fantastic. Because we were on the inaugural Cuban cruise for Pearl Seas, we had extra staff on board to ensure that things went smoothly. When things went wrong, they did their best to fix it. As an example, one group went to Trinidad for a half day. There was a Cuban tour guide but no staff member from the cruise (that person had to go to the hospital with a guest who had broken their hip).The streets were cobblestoned and in horrible disrepair. They spent about an hour at the model of the city, with each detail of the model being explained by a non-English speaker whose words were then translated by the tour guide. The tour guide never counted heads and one of the guests got lost and the group had to spend two hours on the bus until the guest was found. They didn't arrive back in Cienfuegos until 4:30 (instead of 12:30) and they missed the amazing concert that the rest of us experienced. Amazing response from staff! They listened to the guests' constructive criticism and as a result, those of us who went to Trinidad the next day were warned about the condition of the streets so that we could wear proper footwear. We only spent 10 minutes at the model of the city. A staff member came with us and counted heads at every stop. And best of all, they got the Cienfuegos musicians to play the concert again for those who had missed it. As for shore excursions, we got to see 4 cities: Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Santiago de Cuba. We did spend a lot of time on buses which were comfortable and air-conditioned. We were on a people-to-people tour, which is one of the allowed categories for US citizens to visit Cuba. We met artists and musicians in each city. The concert in Cienfuegos was a highlight of the trip. We had the opportunity to purchase CDs and pieces of art at each place. Havana is tragically beautiful; poverty and sea air have destroyed most of the buildings. We enjoyed the National Hotel, the show at the Tropicana, a visit to Hemingway's house, lunch at a palador and a half day ride in a classic car, which drove us through many different neighborhoods in Havana. I wish that we had another full day to spend on our own in Havana-it may not be allowed by the government, not sure about that. Cienfuegos was next. Tour of the botanical gardens was much better than we expected because the guide was entertaining and informative. The city center is beautiful and we had a long delicious lunch at a palador. We stayed in port that night and took a bus to Trinidad the next day. The city wasn't much (although we had another great palador lunch), but it was so interesting to see the countryside between Cienfuegos and Trinidad and see how people live outside of the city. So much poverty. Our tour guides were all Cuban and really did a good job of explaining their society and culture. Santiago was the most modern city overall (which really isn't saying much). We did tour for half the day and then instead of going back to the ship we stayed ashore to wander around on our own and had lunch at a hotel rooftop restaurant. All restaurants and hotels are government owned. Compared to the palador (privately owned restaurant) the food was mediocre at best but the view was worth it. We had to change our money when we arrived in Havana and just before we got back on the ship for the last time in Santiago. We changed USD which has a 10% penalty on the front end of the exchange. No penalty for euros but my bank fees etc kind of made it a wash in terms of sheer convenience. It was very easy to do the exchanges. The ship's staff was very helpful. I think that they will able to further refine the experiences in Cuba because they are so responsive to the guests needs. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Wanted to experience Fall Foliage without the driving so narrowed the cruise options between Pearl Seas and Seaborne. We made a mistake. Even though Pearl Seas is priced at the very upper end, the quality of the cruise experience is well ... Read More
Wanted to experience Fall Foliage without the driving so narrowed the cruise options between Pearl Seas and Seaborne. We made a mistake. Even though Pearl Seas is priced at the very upper end, the quality of the cruise experience is well below acceptable standards for a premium experience. The really good part of the experience was the outstanding front-end staff who did everything they could to make you feel comfortable. But they had too little to work with to be able to elevate the cruise experience beyond okay. That is sad as Pearl Seas could have been a superior experience equating to the cost of the vacation. The very best meals we had were the owns we purchased off the ship in ports. Thank goodness for that! The breakfast was good, but all other meals were borderline. The chicken dishes were rubbery, the lobster over-cooked, the grades of meat were nowhere near choice let alone prime and everything was bathed in lots of sauces to cover-up the basic flaws. It was also the little things that added up every single day that brought this high-priced cruise to popular-priced status. Paying very high-end prices for the cruise and receiving Kirkland water at the snack bar (really, serving Poland Springs or Aquafina or dare I say Evian, might have added $500 in costs to the cruise line). The Costco bulk snacks from the stale potato chips to the same fruit bars every night for 14 days is not in standing for a $16,000+ cruise. The "entertainment" was below Holiday Inn standards (again for a premium-priced cruise this is not acceptable). And that "entertainment" was on board each and every night of the cruise which should have been switched up more often. The cruise line did a bait and switch on ports which became apparent when we received our final paperwork six weeks out. Even the name and purpose of the cruise everyone booked was changed and we only became aware of it upon boarding the ship. And a thing with cruising through the small St. Lawrence River and New England ports, we are told that because of our small ship we could get into ports the medium and larger ships could not. They did not mention that half of our ports were tenders and not direct dock. Insult to injury, there was a typo regarding the disembarkation port in Manhattan. We had people meeting us at the port number communicated to us (I even called the Pearl Seas office to verify the port number in the final documents just before leaving), and we had breakfast reservations nearby plus needed to drop off a UPS shipment and found one nearby the intended port, plus a nearby rental car agency. Instead the Pearl Seas docked at Pier 86 in the upper west side (instead of the lower east side) and they admitted the final travel documents were incorrect. Proof-reading should have been done at headquarters. If you are looking for a premium experience, it is NOT the Pearl Seas. If you are seeking a popular priced experience, then negotiate the prices down to that level and the Pearl Seas is acceptable. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Like the company and the destination, and smaller cruise lines. The service and concern for our safety was outstanding. The food and wines and appetizers were outstanding. The commarraderie among the staff was evidence that they liked ... Read More
Like the company and the destination, and smaller cruise lines. The service and concern for our safety was outstanding. The food and wines and appetizers were outstanding. The commarraderie among the staff was evidence that they liked working for their managers. They treated us with utmost of respect. The ports visited were beautiful and time in port good, weather conditions pending. I would highly recommend this cruise for Seniors and retired people. Like having an educator on board, and the music was very good. Missed having an indoor gym that could be used in inclement weather. The fitness equipment was on an outside deck, and very cold at times. The condition of the ship was immaculate and well maintained. The cruise excursions and events were announced and communication was very good. We were well informed of any changes. It was wonderful to have wifi to keep in touch with family, and the New York Times daily summary was great!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We wanted to view fall colors from a high quality small ship. Overall t was a good cruise, but it could have been much better. The reservation process was very poor since we were led to believe there were few cabins remaining when we ... Read More
We wanted to view fall colors from a high quality small ship. Overall t was a good cruise, but it could have been much better. The reservation process was very poor since we were led to believe there were few cabins remaining when we booked only to find out the ship was only 2/3 full. Others experienced the same reservation process. The food was very good and the restaurant staff were very good and very accommodating. The cruise directors were very inexperienced. The cruise director was next headed for Seattle for a cruise and she admitted she had known knowledge about the area. Not very ,professional. The tours were average at best. Some tours were held using school busses (not what you expect from a high end cruise). Disembarkation was a mess (amateurish). Long delays at the port before unloading luggage caused some to be very tight making their flights. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We hadn't received any communication before our cruise, so via our travel agent I asked via email for documentation and received only boarding passes but nothing else and had to ring up Pearl Seas when in Tpronto the day before to ... Read More
We hadn't received any communication before our cruise, so via our travel agent I asked via email for documentation and received only boarding passes but nothing else and had to ring up Pearl Seas when in Tpronto the day before to find out what time we could/should board the ship. A time frame was advised and when we boarded we found that there had been an earlier reception which we had missed and that we were only just in time for lunch. However the boarding process was quick and easy despite having no luggage tags. Once on board we found the crew very courteous and helpful. The stateroom was very comfortable and had some hanging space and plenty of drawer space for unpacking. This was part of a bigger trip for us and we were not travelling light, but we were able to store all our clothes and other luggage comfortably in the stateroom. We liked the full length sliding door to the balcony to be able to watch the passing scenery and as the weather was warm we were able to use the balcony to sit out on on some occasions. The ship was easy to get around, six levels including the top deck and we used the stairs all the time. The main stairs, which were the only ones that took you to all levels, did get congested at busy times. There was also a lift, but we left that to some on board who were unable to climb stairs. There was one dining room and seating wasn't allocated, so we were able to sit with and meet different people at meal times. For breakfast there was a buffet table with fruit, cereals, pastries and cold meat/cheese etc and in addition you could select other items from the menu or mix and match as you preferred. you could ask for things not on the menu eg I had berries for desert instead of the items on the menu. Half portions were an option on the menu and I also saw people sometimes having double portions or eg both the soup and salad for starter as well as the other 2 courses. So dining was very flexible. Lunch and dinner were 3 courses with wine drinks served with lunch and dinner. There was also a cocktail hour every day at 5:30pm in the two larger lounges and this included drinks and finger food. Then after dinner drinks were available in the lounge during the after dinner entertainment, which generally went until 9:30pm. The daily schedule provided after dinner each night advised of meal times, which varied dependent on Port arrival/departure and tour times. Also listed were times of lecture and other onboard activities for the next day and the weather forecast, useful for planning what you might need when off the ship. An overview of the following day with a Q&A session was held after dinner before the entertainment started. The on board entertainment included lectures about the places were visiting. These were very well presented and gave a history to the places were visiting, illustrated by slides. The lecturer was very well qualified, having been doing this for a long time, lives in Quebec and has done a lot of research into the history. The other main entertainment was 2 musicians who played piano and guitar and both sang. They played background music during cocktail hour, one in each lounge. Then performed after dinner. They were very personable and professional but in my view it would have enhanced the trip to have had local musicians playing Québécois, PEI, Acadian etc music Only on one night did they bring on a local musician who could only perform for 45mins as he had to disembark before the ship sailed. The cruise was great for experiencing a snapshot of the places that we visited. We generally sailed at night and stopped each day, sometimes all day and other times just for half a day. Our shore highlights were top of the list - Quebec City, Lunenburg and Charlottetown, then Gaspe and Perce, Pictou (we missed Ile de Madeleine due to strong winds) and Clayton NY. We thought the show at Saguenay was OK but maybe a bit overrated, The shore excursions generally gave an overview of each place with limited time to check it out on your own. We are a couple both aged 61. We were at the younger and fitter end of the age group of the cruise. Patience was required when moving around the ship and on tours getting on and off buses, as in general people were less mobile than us. There were no children amongst the passengers on the trip. The only child we saw was the captains 4 yr old daughter on some of the excursions. There was in general no facilities for children. In general guests on the ship were were polite and well mannered with only a couple of exceptions. People queued when required, waited for people in front to exit buses and were promptly back from tours and onto buses etc. Except one Occassion where one poor couple who misread the ship sailing time and had to be rounded up from the port. In summary we liked the small ship (only 200 guests) cruise but in future we would be more likely to select a cruise with a younger/fitter age group ie with more active tours, that would indicate this. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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 were on the Pearl Sea Great Lakes Cruise from August 23 to August 29th. We boarded in Midland after a three hour bus ride from Toronto. Trip was around the Great Lakes to Chicago. Our Cabin was one of the five “suites.” The ... Read More
We were on the Pearl Sea Great Lakes Cruise from August 23 to August 29th. We boarded in Midland after a three hour bus ride from Toronto. Trip was around the Great Lakes to Chicago. Our Cabin was one of the five “suites.” The extra size was the empty space area behind a stairway furnished with a chair. Balcony was OK but required opening a water tight and secure door, which my wife was unable to open. Ship itself holds about 200 passengers. It is advertised as new but is actually much older than that. Design, furnishings, cabin furniture, decorations, TV, and even the equipment on the Bridge are all very dated. Actual age is certainly more than 10 and perhaps 20 yrs old. No amenities like an exercise room, laundry, pool, or even a hot tub. Library was as fancy as it got. TV reception very poor on an old, small TV. Food was mediocre at best. Meat was never fresh – very dry and tough - strongly suggested it had been frozen. Several times did have Lobster Tails which were excellent. Variety at breakfast buffet very limited and simple. Overall variety at meals very repetitious. Wine served at meals was extremely cheap and poor quality though variety selection was OK. Mixed drinks were available in the lounges for one hour only before dinner with a very limited selection. Two small lounges with very crowded sofas. Staff themselves were very polite and helpful. Most were from the Philippines and very amiable. Passengers were very pleasant and heavily elderly. No one under 65 and many over 80. Large numbers of wheel chairs, walkers, and canes. Ports of Call were simplistic – as there were only small cities on the route. Information talks given on night before only talked about times, etc but included virtually nothing about the sites themselves or what to expect to see. Informational talks on Great Lakes were good but few and very short. Entertainment was only a two man instrument show – very simple and cheap – not at all entertaining. Docks themselves were clean and nice EXCEPT for Chicago. The cruise advertised originally that we would dock at the Navy Pier. That was then changed to a horrific dock about 20 miles south of the city near the violent areas of Chicago. It was a very large cargo storage area protected by large barbed wired fences, and entry guard gate, and required an escort for transportation in and out. The gangplank was onto dirt onto a canvas tarp. Transport trucks and freight cars were constantly coming and going. We were told that the Navy Pier was closed to Cruise Ships but when we finally got to the city several large ships were indeed docked there. Bus transport to the city got lost on city streets (in South Chicago!). They had to use my iPhone with Google Maps to figure out where they were!! In summary, despite the fact that the cruise was priced with the major high class luxury cruise lines; it was very cheap and poorly organized. Although advertised to be almost new, the ship is dated. Food was just OK. Wine horrible. Chicago dock was an abomination. Overall a very poor trip for the price, and a disappointing trip at any price. ________________________________________ Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was the Pearl Seas 10-11 day Great Lakes Cruise leaving from Toronto and stopping in Niagara Falls, Windsor, Midland, Parry Sound, Little Current, Sault St Marie, Mackinac Island, Muskegon, Holland and Chicago. We are 71 and 65 ... Read More
This was the Pearl Seas 10-11 day Great Lakes Cruise leaving from Toronto and stopping in Niagara Falls, Windsor, Midland, Parry Sound, Little Current, Sault St Marie, Mackinac Island, Muskegon, Holland and Chicago. We are 71 and 65 years of age and retired for 1 year. We previously have traveled to the Caribbean islands (x3), Hawaii cruise, Alaska cruise, Italy tour, Great Britain tour, Rhine Cruise, Baltic Cruise, Western Med Cruise, Greece Cruise, New England and Maritimes Cruise, National Parks tour, and China Tour. We chose this tour because we knew little of the region. The ship: The Pearl Mist was a fairly new 300 ft boat in excellent condition with about 200 passengers. The state rooms were much larger than expected with balconies and a relatively large bathroom. beds were great, lots of drawer space, no safe, adequate TV but a bit small for watching from bed. The ship had 2 large and 2 small lounges. The large lounges were used every night for "The Cocktail Hour" (more on this later) and one was used each night for entertainment (2 person songsters). Also used for lectures and daily updates for the next day. Other than the dining room there were no other public rooms: no casinos (thankfully) and no laundry or indoor fitness center. Some people made special requests for laundry service. There was new fitness equipment on one of the open decks but no treadmill. There were several outdoor sitting areas both covered and uncovered but no pools or hot tubs. No deck encircled the ship for use as a walking/jogging track. Room service was perfect. Entertainment: The duo provided very good music and song and also hosted trivia and bingo games. The lecturer was good but limited to very interesting historical information but not port/excursion specific information and only had about 4-5 presentations. Dining: OMG totally fabulous!. All meals were sit down, single open sitting with excellent service. Each meal had at least 4 choices for entree and appetizer, 3 desserts, great soups. Lobster was served multiple ways several times. No limit on how many servings you could order. Unlimited wine/beer. Now dieting (again). Cocktail Hour: Had to make a special section for this. Each day from 5:30-6:30 the 2 lounges were set up with hot and cold hors d'oeuvres and open bar. The bar tenders could make any drink and EVERYONE looked forward to sitting together and chatting about the day, next day and their previous cruising experience. Passengers: Definitely and older crowd. No children. Youngest was probably 60yo. Oldest was close to 90yo. Average was about 70yo. most were incredibly well traveled. Many chose this cruise to get away from the heat in the south (but we still had 85-90 degree days). Most had traveled throughout Europe on river cruises. All were interesting, and had productive, and lucrative careers. Almost all were retired. A few singles. Ports and Excursions: About half of the excursions were included and were quite surprisingly worthwhile. Some unexpectedly, were extra at $35-50 per person but also were well worth it. Highlights were bus/island tour of Toronto, the Niagara Falls cruise, Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village (look it up), Saint-Marie among the Hurons (look it up also), Island Queen Cruise of Georgian Bay, Sault St Marie locks, Freighter and old cruise ship tours, Mackinac Island and Chicago (take the architectural tour). All in all a very good vacation. Improvements might be an indoor fitness center, larger TV, more lectures on the ship, possibly a hot tub. We were sufficiently impressed to sign up for the Louis and Clark theme tour of the Snake and Columbia rivers on their sister organization, American Cruise Lines for August 2017. 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 travel all the time, and thought a Great Lakes & Georgian Bay (and the stops we would make) sounded like something different. We were happy to find the entire experience; the many people we met, the tours, the food, etc. exceeded ... Read More
We travel all the time, and thought a Great Lakes & Georgian Bay (and the stops we would make) sounded like something different. We were happy to find the entire experience; the many people we met, the tours, the food, etc. exceeded our expectations. The crew was pleasant and happy, proficient, and eager-to-please. Though most of the 200 travelers on board were quite on in years (few under 60, even fewer under 50, the majority 70s and 80s), almost all were interesting and seasoned travelers. The tours ranged from Niagra Falls to Mackinac Island, to a First People's Cultural Center, a beautiful National Park, lovely towns with a variety of things to see and do... Our state room with its private balcony, had ample storage space, and was clean and spacious enough for my daily Yoga practice. I am strictly Vegan, and the Chef went out of his way to prepare delicious dishes for me, and my husband (who eat everything!) was also very pleased with the variety of meals. The stabilizers on the ship made for very smooth sailing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were on the Great Lakes Georgian Bay Cruise.The ship the Pearl Mist is very dated. According to the brochure it gives the impression that it is only a couple of years old but it was built about 15 years ago and sat unsold until Pearl ... Read More
We were on the Great Lakes Georgian Bay Cruise.The ship the Pearl Mist is very dated. According to the brochure it gives the impression that it is only a couple of years old but it was built about 15 years ago and sat unsold until Pearl Seas Cruise Line bought it. The decor shows it's age.No amenities such as spa, hair salon, manicurist, workout room or large screen movies. Easy to get bored. Entertainment was beyond abominable, very unprofessional and obviously cheap. For what the cruise cost (very expensive) the shore excursions should have been included. Mackinac Island and Windsor were the best ports of call as far as we were concerned.The nightly talk about the next days shore excursion did not advise what to see and do, mostly just what time the buses left. The meal servings were also small and the food only adequate, unless you don't know any better. However all the staff was very pleasant and accommodating. The stateroom and balcony was okay. Certainly not what we expected and not a "luxury" cruise. Would we recommend... no! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I have always wanted to see the Great Lakes; especially Mackinac Island. The Pearl Mist is a small cruise ship (accommodates just over 200 passengers) and was a fabulous way to see the area. Smallness allowed more interaction with other ... Read More
I have always wanted to see the Great Lakes; especially Mackinac Island. The Pearl Mist is a small cruise ship (accommodates just over 200 passengers) and was a fabulous way to see the area. Smallness allowed more interaction with other guests and added to ease of getting around the ship. Loved the fact every room had a balcony which enhanced enjoyment of the view and allowed sitting outside in the fresh air and sunshine, although the room air exchange system worked perfectly. Shower was especially roomy. Food was delicious, varied, and always cooked perfectly. A number of tours were complimentary and first rate. The lectures about the Great Lakes, Russia, and Chicago were fascinating. The service was tops and consistent. I enjoyed my cruise with Pearl Cruises so much I have signed up for two more during 2017. Happy to find a cruise line with these two smaller ships and it is great to experience such new ships as a bonus! Read Less
Sail Date June 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
Itinerary was interesting. Promotional brochures are inaccurate as to Shore Excursions. Ground operators and step-on guide in Niagara Falls, ON were horrible. Pre-arranged transfers post cruise by taxi did not happen. Cuisine was ... Read More
Itinerary was interesting. Promotional brochures are inaccurate as to Shore Excursions. Ground operators and step-on guide in Niagara Falls, ON were horrible. Pre-arranged transfers post cruise by taxi did not happen. Cuisine was excellent as was service. On-board entertainment and lectures were lacking. Ports of call were lack luster. Included bar service was only for 1 hour a day. At a per diem of $2000.00 for a category "R" cabin I would expect more. This was the most expensive cruise we have been on to date based on per diem and I would not classify it as a luxury experience. The cabin was large, but we experienced an air conditioner on day one that had a bearing in need of replacement. The engineer showed up and changed the filter and sprayed some oil on the bearing. That relieved the noise for one night. We just put up with it for the rest of the cruise. This is NOT a first class operation. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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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