206 Pearl Seas Pearl Mist Cruise Reviews

We enjoyed going to places where we could see the fall foliage and also how people lived and live now. We enjoyed the food, the entertainment on board and on the shore excursions . We enjoyed all the on board activities. The personal on ... Read More
We enjoyed going to places where we could see the fall foliage and also how people lived and live now. We enjoyed the food, the entertainment on board and on the shore excursions . We enjoyed all the on board activities. The personal on the ship were very friendly and helpful. Always happy! The Service was great! The cabin was spacious and the bed was very comfortable. It was kept very clean and neat. We also enjoyed being with people our own age. We like the small ship better that the large cruise ships. We were well taken care of.and enjoyed it very much!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Great personalized service is hallmark of pearl seas. from constant attention to detail to ability for special order foods it was fantastic small size of ship -only 200 lets you get to know other passengers and not be lost in mob ... Read More
Great personalized service is hallmark of pearl seas. from constant attention to detail to ability for special order foods it was fantastic small size of ship -only 200 lets you get to know other passengers and not be lost in mob great value with all included like most excursions, happy hour alcohol and wine with all meals and free internet. personal attention from cabin steward to purser to meals, but especially from Marcie our cruise director like the options and mostly free shore tours largest staterooms over 300 sq feet was magnificient and love private balconys. best staff and cruise ever we have been on over 20 riverboats and pearl seas is the best guest speaker david made learning fun about everything from endangered species to facts on ports Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We had not heard about Pearl Seas, but saw their ad in the Smithsonian Magazine and thought the itinerary sounded like what we were looking for. From the moment we got on the ship, we knew we had made the right choice. Our cabin, while ... Read More
We had not heard about Pearl Seas, but saw their ad in the Smithsonian Magazine and thought the itinerary sounded like what we were looking for. From the moment we got on the ship, we knew we had made the right choice. Our cabin, while one of the smallest, had a King Size Bed with 2 night stands and had plenty of room to get around. We found the dining perfect. It was open seating, which gave us a chance to meet many of the other passengers. Wine and/or beer were provided during lunch and dinner. Happy Hour was from 5:30 - 6:30pm (and many days it was earlier due to activities in the lounges). During Happy Hour all bar drinks were provided along with great appetizers. Most of the alcohol was top of the line. David Catlin was the guest speaker and provided very interesting presentations and many days he was on the top deck helping us spot birds and whales. Most of the shore excursions were included and while not extensive, helped us to explore and enjoy the different ports. Our cruise directors Marcie and Jean were the best. From the first day we met Marcie in our hotel until we disembarked from the ship she was there to make our days very special. We always enjoyed each evenings "Chart Your Course" to hear about our next days activities. At the beginning of our cruise this was followed by John Spyder playing his guitar, which put a nice end to each evening. We would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone looking for a relaxing cruise with so much to see. Most of the ports were smaller which made each one of them different. The Captain and his entire staff were quite accessible and were always there to greet us and ask how we were doing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Small ship worked out well. We had a bad night but the crew was terrific in handling it. The crew of our ship was excellent everywhere but in the person of the Cruise director. The accommodations are good but not luxurious, more than ... Read More
Small ship worked out well. We had a bad night but the crew was terrific in handling it. The crew of our ship was excellent everywhere but in the person of the Cruise director. The accommodations are good but not luxurious, more than adequate for this trip. The food was also very good. The destinations were as advertised, but could use a little more interest/excitement. The onboard entertainment could also use a little more excitement. This is a cruise I would recommend to anyone with the appropriate explanation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I am not a professional reviewer, and this is just my opinion. My wife and I are no big fans of mega-ships, so we thought we'd give Pearl Mist a try. We chose to sail from Portland, Maine, to Québec City in the fall so we could ... Read More
I am not a professional reviewer, and this is just my opinion. My wife and I are no big fans of mega-ships, so we thought we'd give Pearl Mist a try. We chose to sail from Portland, Maine, to Québec City in the fall so we could enjoy the vaunted fall foliage. The Pearl Mist is a small, intimate ship with a maximum of 210 or so paasengers, and on that voyage we were a total of 189 people. There is no assigned seating at any time, so we were able to meet different people at mealtime, make new friends, and avoid some passengers. Our cabin featured a balcony, and it was spacious enough for us. There was enough storage space for our clothes - but we pack rather light. The furniture is not secured for ocean cruising, which caused drawers to open and close during a particularly stormy night - some passengers actually had their dresser tip over, thankfully no one was hurt. There is no safe box in the cabin, a glaring omission in our opinion. The bathroom was small but adequate for our needs. Lighting uses the now old-fashioned "curlicue" neon bulbs, the company may want to switch to LEDs. The ship features two large, comfortable lounges which allow passengers to take a good look at the surrounding ocean and scenery. The dining room was very well sound-proofed, and that allowed conversations to be sustained without having to shout (as on Viking boats). This was the first time we were on a cruise where there was no buffet, save for a smallish one at breakfast. The system of pre-ordering lunch and dinner is smart, there's much less waste. The food was generally fine, and if one was not satisfied with the size of the portions, it was always possible to order two of the same, or basically whatever was on the menu. This is not a "foodie" cruise line, so people who are so inclined should look elsewhere. Dining room service was superb - almost all waitstaff is friendly, fun-loving Filipinos. There is no bar anywhere in the ship, but a nice touch was the cocktail hour (before dinner) where free drinks were offered, as well as after dinner. Wine was complimentary with meals, and the wines featured were quite decent. If there is a weakness in that picture, it's the entertainment, or rather the lack of. There were a couple of guitar-toting singers, one of them had her voice drowned by the conversations - because she was not very good and had a repertoire of mostly 70's folk songs. Pearl Seas should take the example of Star Clippers, who employ good musicians with a keyboard - allowing them to sound like an small combo - who provide a nice, intimate background music. There was no talent show - which is something that both passengers and crew always enjoy participating in. There was a trivia contest, only one, with questions so obscure that our team - the winners - only answered six out of 30. The excursions were generally fine, our only complaint was the lack of photo opportunities - buses did not stop often, and taking pictures through the windows does not work very well. Embarkation and disembakation were generally well-handled, with only a few glitches. In sum this was a fine cruise, not the best we've taken, but not the worst either by far. With a little fine-tuning, Pearl Seas could turn out to be a terrific cruise line for those who don't like megaships, or don't want to spend a lot of money on hoity-toity cuisine and incidentals. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Really enjoyed the small ship. For a relatively new cruise line, service and resources were excellent. The local entertainers were a treat--they added real local color and authenticity. Some shore excursions need refinement in terms of ... Read More
Really enjoyed the small ship. For a relatively new cruise line, service and resources were excellent. The local entertainers were a treat--they added real local color and authenticity. Some shore excursions need refinement in terms of length and content. Quality of food was excellent--especially enjoyed the delicious soups and fresh, creative salads. Cabin was pleasant and comfortable--good mattress and pillows. We really liked the ports and itinerary, but were greatly disappointed that weather prevented us going to Isles de la Madeleine. Truly enjoyed the tour of cemetery where victims of Titanic are buried in Halifax; cruising the Saguenay fjord; seeing the fabulous scenery of Gaspe and Perce. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was an excellent trip! The itinerary was standout, with daily wonderful shore excursions that exposed us to the various ethnic cultures of eastern Canada--food, music, language, history, etc. Staterooms are very roomy and ... Read More
This was an excellent trip! The itinerary was standout, with daily wonderful shore excursions that exposed us to the various ethnic cultures of eastern Canada--food, music, language, history, etc. Staterooms are very roomy and well-fitted. The crew and staff are second to none that we have ever sailed with before, and the food was fabulous;. All in all, well worth the "premium price" of the cruise, and we would certainly recommend this cruise to others. The pasengers all seemed to be aged 60 to 80, and well travelled. So this would not be a cruise for families or kids. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We have mostly cruised on large ships before, so we were curious as to what this cruise would offer and how it would differ. What we found was that it was more intimate and much more casual than what we have previously encountered. ... Read More
We have mostly cruised on large ships before, so we were curious as to what this cruise would offer and how it would differ. What we found was that it was more intimate and much more casual than what we have previously encountered. Some passengers chose to "dress" a bit for dinner, but not all. And I don't think those that did not "dress up" were frowned upon. It was just all very casual. The most amazing difference in this cruise was the level of service of the staff. They were just so friendly and polite. I felt as if each crew member on board did everything that he/she could do to assist in getting passengers whatever was requested. I witnessed this on several occasions. It was amazing! The food was just excellent. The menu offered a wide selection of foods from which to choose. Neither my husband or myself ever had one meal that was not 4 star quality. Besides all of the delicious lobster I enjoyed, I found the pecan/chocolate chip pie to be the best! It was so good that I asked our sweet server, Celeste, if there might be an small piece left over the next day. Imagine my delight at getting that wonderful pie two days! Yummy is all I can say! We took the Canadian trip and were very blessed to have Barry Lane as our lecturer. The man is a walking encyclopedia. We are ordering his latest book on Canada, due out this month. Most of the tours were included in our cruise package, which we did not expect. They were all very excellent tours. We especially enjoyed the bus tour of Prince Edward Island and the walking tour of Lunenburg. Now my husband is interested in taking the Lewis and Clark trip next. Cruising this way is just easier, as one does not need to bring along dress-up gear. I'm all for casual! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Want to travel to ports that are a little off the beaten cruise path? Sail up the St. Lawrence seaway and on to Gaspe and Halifax. Life is easy on a small ship that can dock at ports where large ships either tender out or miss all ... Read More
Want to travel to ports that are a little off the beaten cruise path? Sail up the St. Lawrence seaway and on to Gaspe and Halifax. Life is easy on a small ship that can dock at ports where large ships either tender out or miss all together. Be greeted by a piper in Pictou and Halifax. Find personal delights at Gaspe and Lunenberg. There are many surprises waiting just north of the border. The on board entertainment was usually local talent that gave a relaxing feeling to the trip. The cabin was larger than anything we had on a large cruise ship. The shower was large enough to enjoy the shower without spraying the rest of the bathroom. The shore excursions were informative and fun. The tour on Prince Edward Island highlighted Anne of Green Gables, but it was also delightful to see the ocean, the lighthouses, and the red soil. The bus tours and guides were informative and entertaining. The loading process and the disembarkation processes were quick and easy. The luggage handling was efficient and gentle. The crew paid attention to details from the dining room requests to the gangway "watch your step." I felt welcomed and valued even after leaving the ship when we saw members of the crew in our final port. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I am 77 years old and most of the Passenger where in my age group. We left from Chicago and debark in Toronto. The ship was great and so was our cabin. The service was outstanding and so was the food. We have been on many cruises/ships ... Read More
I am 77 years old and most of the Passenger where in my age group. We left from Chicago and debark in Toronto. The ship was great and so was our cabin. The service was outstanding and so was the food. We have been on many cruises/ships and have to say this was one of best. The excursions were well selected and we had a great time. We are locking forward to our next cruise on the Pear Mist to the Panama Canal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Just back from this trip and it lived up to my expectations, which were all good. That being said, one's expectations must really be managed before embarking on this trip. Because this trip has a very high price tag, people may ... Read More
Just back from this trip and it lived up to my expectations, which were all good. That being said, one's expectations must really be managed before embarking on this trip. Because this trip has a very high price tag, people may expect it to be an all inclusive, very luxurious experience such as If you are expecting a Seabourn or Regent Seven Seas type of cruise, this is not the trip for you. It is not that type of trip. The higher price tag comes in part due to the many behind the scenes costs of running a small ship on North American itineraries such as: required pilot fees for naviagating the Great Lakes; very high fees for transiting locks; North American price tags for goods and services. Plus, the Pearl Mist is a wonderful shp. It is the perfectly size vessel, with only 200 passengers. Cabins and bathrooms are very spacious and all have balconies. Great showers. Very clean. Everyone is constantly cleaning all of the time. Service/crew is superb, genuine and sincere. Itineraries very unique, calling on many places one has always wanted to visit, but never gotten around to it. The two public lounges, as well as library, are lovely. Every cabin even has its own Keurig coffee maker. And though rooms are not equipped with safes, it is my understanding that you may have one upon request. Ambience/dress is comfortable and casual. And I found our cabin to be one of the quietest cabins I've ever had on any vessel. Cruise is really geared for an older, more sedentary clientele. Not much to keep the interest for a real active/outdoorsy type. And this is not a trip for kids. Free flowing wine for lunch and dinner. One hour cocktail hour before dinner each night with top notch, premium liquors. Lounges fully stocked with complimentary soft drinks, coffee, snacks all day. Popcorn and Root Beer Floats served in the lounge at night. Food very good. I was traveling with a group of 13 and we all enjoyed the food. Also, they were very good with special dietary restrictions such as gluten free. Our itinerary sailed from Chicago to Toronto, traversing the Great Lakes, with six additional ports, including Mackinac Island, Windsor, Ontario (which was the gateway to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan) and Niagara Falls. I took the trip because I had not traveled this part of the country. I thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary as well as the boat. I selected the 12 day itinerary because I wanted to see Niagara Falls, but I think 12 days was a little too long for me. Seven days would've been perfect with a day or two before and after in the embarkation/debarkation ports Entertainment needs improvement. For the entire 12 days, there was a combo that played the first three nights and then they got off and were replaced with one entertainer and her acoustical guitar for the next 8 days. That was way too much of the same thing. That being said, I seldom go to shows on cruises, so it was a huge issue for me. They did show a different movie every day on your in cabin tv. We played a lot of cards and read. We were also treated to a wonderful jazz concert in one port, compliments of Pearl Seas Cruises and it was great. The enrichment lecturer, Rae, was great. Lots of wonderful information on the Great Lakes, which, prior to this trip, I knew nothing about. Cruise Director, John K. very good. Worked 24/7 behind the scenes to make sure all was in order. Do remember, because it is a small boat, one must be prepared for the unexpected. Scheduled ports can change due to docking changes and weather conditions. Small boats can get kicked out of berthing spots sometimes by freightors, etc. I really enjoyed the Pearl Mist as a vessel. I think Pearl Seas Cruises is evolving as a cruise line and, for only being in the water for a year and half, is doing a lot of things right. They of course are having some growing pains, as all new enterprises do. It will take a few seasons to get everything completely ironed out. But I must tell you, in my dealings with them, the corporate policy was all about customer service and not cutting corners. I have sailed over 100 cruises, big boats, little boats and everything in between. Would I consider another cruise on this boat: you bet! I would like to do several of the Eastern Seaboard itineraries. The Pearl Mist is really perfect for the smaller, less traveled inlets and coves. If you enjoy the roads less traveled, check this trip out. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
September 1st, I boarded the Pearl Mist in Chicago for a Great Lakes & Georgian Bay cruise then continued on the September 12th cruise through the St. Lawrence Seaway and Canadian Maritimes. I have cruise over 100 times in my life ... Read More
September 1st, I boarded the Pearl Mist in Chicago for a Great Lakes & Georgian Bay cruise then continued on the September 12th cruise through the St. Lawrence Seaway and Canadian Maritimes. I have cruise over 100 times in my life throughout the world. Never have I been so entertained, pampered and dined to the point that I didn't want to disembark. The cuisine was magnificent at every meal. The quality, presentation and variety was wonderful and the dining service was absolutely perfect. The chef and his team are amazing. Every soup was delicious, salads were crisp, seafood was fresh and well prepared, vegetables were cooked perfectly, meats were tender and desserts were so good that many times I had to have half of one and half of another. I put on a few pounds on the cruise but it was worth it. Cocktails are complimentary every day 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm and after dinner until 9:30 pm. Wine is complimentary at lunch and dinner. Chips and snacks are always available in the lounges. During the evening show, root beer floats and popcorn is brought into lounge. I am ashamed to say that after eating so much at dinner, I often had to have root beer float. The cruise directors, front desk personnel, passenger representative and hotel manager could not have been more helpful in every way. Anytime I had a question, I received the answer immediately or in a timely manner. The cabin stewards are very friendly and efficient. Cleanliness on the ship is a priority and this is very evident. The amenities in the bathrooms are plentiful and the shower is large. The towels and bedding are of excellent quality. The staterooms are very large and the balconies have a nice sized table with comfortable chairs. Love the Sky Deck where I could "see the world" from comfortable lounge chairs. One of my friends who came with me, fell several days before boarding. The wound on his leg had to be cleaned and bandaged often. The nurse came twice a day to do what needed to be done so that the wound would heal, and at no charge. The lecturer was excellent. The passengers loved her. She was an expert on the itinerary and fun to listen to. There was a duo that performed in the lounge. They were very talented and often had passengers dancing. Since I have to work on my laptop, I found it easy with plug-in access on the desk. Also, I was glad Internet was available. There were a few days when Internet was spotty. The deckhands were amazing. They were very kind to the passengers, helping them walk on and off the ship, always with a smile. Anyone with disabilities were helped wherever needed. I was impressed to see the care that was always given to the passengers. I have booked Cuba on the Pearl Mist for April 2017. Can't wait to board again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I have been on many cruises and I thought this cruise was very good. The ship is well appointed for a small ship. The staterooms were a good size and comfortable. About the only thing missing was an in room safe for those items with ... Read More
I have been on many cruises and I thought this cruise was very good. The ship is well appointed for a small ship. The staterooms were a good size and comfortable. About the only thing missing was an in room safe for those items with value that you like to feel are in a safe place when you are off the ship on a tour excursion or just visiting a town. The food service was very good and the before dinner cocktails and wines with lunch and dinner were a nice addition. I did feel that the entertainment could have been a little more varied over the time we were on the cruise. The on board lecturer was excellent, interesting and very knowledgable. I would have liked a little more information about the ports we visited and the local areas. This definitely was a cruise for the senior age group and I felt that the staff and crew did a very helpful job with disembarkation and embarkation in the ports of call. Overall it was a very good experience and I would like to take another cruise on the Pearl Mist. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
200 passenger cruise ship launched 2014 Food and service are excellent. BUT, although the rooms are spacious and comfortable the appointments are chintz from the formica era. NO room safe; tiny flatscreen TV; no robes; no headsets ... Read More
200 passenger cruise ship launched 2014 Food and service are excellent. BUT, although the rooms are spacious and comfortable the appointments are chintz from the formica era. NO room safe; tiny flatscreen TV; no robes; no headsets for excursions; excursions and gratuities NOT included; several areas of docking are awful industrial piers (Chicago, Niagara Falls, Holland, and Toronto) and thus impossibe to step off the ship and even get a taxi into town!! Having the same single entertainer (guitar singer) for 8 nites in a row is ridiculous. There is no medical facility; a nurse comes to your room if needed. Fitness area is on the upper deck, outdoors, thus never used! No elevator access to this deck which has lovely lounge areas. The indoor lounge areas are totally inadequate for seating for 200 passengers. The space has been maximized for revenue generating rooms and minimized for passenger comfort. Would be ok if the price was a low end, but ridiculous at the high end! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Overall the cruise was very enjoyable and we visited places we had not seen before. The ship’s common rooms and staterooms are cleaned daily and kept in tip-top condition, the staff are very friendly and knowledgeable, and the daily ... Read More
Overall the cruise was very enjoyable and we visited places we had not seen before. The ship’s common rooms and staterooms are cleaned daily and kept in tip-top condition, the staff are very friendly and knowledgeable, and the daily food menus are varied and leave very little to be desired. Another surprise was that complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks were available for lunch and dinner AND in addition complimentary drinks were served during each evening’s 5:30pm cocktail hour as well as during the after-dinner entertainment. Finally, the guest speaker (Barry Lane) was a virtual encyclopedia concerning the available tour destinations. There were four things in which I was disappointed: 1. The Pearl Mist is a noisy ship. Our cabin was in the aft section and when the ship was underway at speed the engine’s thumps and bangs were almost unacceptable. Additionally, when docking or leaving port the stern thruster really grinds and vibrates the whole ship so much so that at breakfast the china and table items shimmy and slide together. Therefore, only book a cabin in the forward section. 2. I thought the tours were somewhat expensive particularly the additional $50 for lunch at the Grand Hotel as part of the Fort Mackinac carriage tour. 3. Internet access is a bit of a problem in that there are only three ship’s computers available for 200+ passengers. Use of personal equipment is limited to one continuous hour daily with the next available time starting at the end of the previous day’s session. 4. The final straw was that shortly after boarding everyone was advised that the ship could no longer dock at Navy Pier (the final overnight destination) located in Chicago’s mid-city but would be mooring at the Illinois International Port, a cargo storage area located some 40 miles away from anything. Frankly, I believe they should have advised everyone beforehand however this might have resulted in some cancellations - a classic bait and switch situation. Although Pearl Seas did offer some complimentary transportation options, this is a very secure area which meant that the passengers were literally captives on the final night of their cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
inexperienced, incompetent staff, average food, and poor entertainment (except for small band). Picture the afternoon tea service that consisted of a self service hot water dispenser, tea bags and paper cups! Brochure claims all rooms ... Read More
inexperienced, incompetent staff, average food, and poor entertainment (except for small band). Picture the afternoon tea service that consisted of a self service hot water dispenser, tea bags and paper cups! Brochure claims all rooms have equal space, but a handful of rooms do not. We had little choice in rooms at booking and asked for upgrade. Did not get an upgrade until we complained of room size, and then they moved us to a room that had been occupied by the music entertainers. Ship was disappointing in amenities. Pricing is in the luxury cruise line level, but you get mass market value. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Perhaps if told "luxury" frequently enough, we'll believe it? First, the positive: The cabin was most spacious, a comfortable bed, desk, balcony. The bathroom & shower equally nice, roomy and clean. The food was ... Read More
Perhaps if told "luxury" frequently enough, we'll believe it? First, the positive: The cabin was most spacious, a comfortable bed, desk, balcony. The bathroom & shower equally nice, roomy and clean. The food was a B- overall. Should the folks from Pearl Seas read this, I don't want them to think that our unfortunate delay in Holland MI (34 hours instead of the scheduled 4) influenced our opinion of the trip. Secondly, with sold-out Great Lakes schedules, any changes that add cost are likely not going to happen. However, if I were in charge and wanted Pearl Seas to live up to the expectations passengers have from their ACL experiences, here's what I'd change: -We were missing pre-cruise paperwork (passport and emergency contact info) that wasn't sent (should have come with the mis-dated cruise booklet, I guess). They called for it, emailed the form - and then the next day another staff member called requesting the same info again. Organization and order in the paperwork & planning (see other reviews regarding the dock change in Chicago & lack of notification) wasn't a strong point. -Many of the areas on the ship map designated as "lounges", aren't. Key public spaces are the nice outdoor areas on 4th - 5th - & 6th decks; the forward lounges on 2nd and 4th are nice, large & include coffee/snack areas; the 'library lounge' on the 4th deck is a treasure. -The Holland delay was explained as "10-12 foot waves" in Lake Michigan. Is Pearl Mist not an ocean going ship (Panama - Cuba - et al)? And checking buoy reports (and the forecasts) the biggest waves on the lake that night were 6.5 feet with (what would have been) a following wind. The long-delayed departure had similar waves and wind, but cross (out of the west). I appreciate the thought of safety and comfort, but . . . . . -Cruise director in information regarding the port visit in Holland stated "no WalMart, Target, chain big-box etc in town" (to intimate that this was a quaint village that didn't allow such stores). There was a Target 2 miles from the ship's dock, and a WalMart 2.5 miles away et. al., both with "Holland" addresses. -Snacks must have come from Costco or Sam's Club. 3 kinds of granola bars & Fig Newtons; 3 kinds of potato chips & pretzels, all individual servings and unchanging for the week. "Luxury" cruise? -Pastries at the coffee / snack area each morning (and on the continental breakfast 'buffet') must have come from Costco or Sam's Club. The smallish Danish I'd guess were frozen and enough thawed for the next day? Not 'fresh' at all. It would have been SO easy to arrange local provisioning for perishables - Chicago, Holland, Parry Sound, etc all have excellent local bakeries. "Luxury" cruise? -Every other inland small-ship cruise we've taken has done daily local provisioning. If it happened on the Pearl Mist, we didn't see it, nor was there evidence in the foodstuffs. I know little about food service, and the meals were OK - but I'd guess a lot of frozen stuff. Could be wrong here. -My pet peeve as a person who is addicted to good coffee is that they used liquid "CoffeeMate" at meals & at the coffee stations!! Even McDonalds uses real creamers. "CoffeeMate" on a "luxury" cruise? My word. -My wife's pet peeve as a tea afficionado was the advertised afternoon "tea" was simply the addition of a plate of cake squares to the snack/coffee area. The usual limited teabag selection and lukewarm water from the beverage pumpers remained unchanged. -Advertised "warm cookies" weren't. Again, I'm no expert, but the quality was Sam's Club / Costco . . . . . perhaps purchased dough 'baked' on board, but I'd guess not. I never found a warm one. -Evening local entertainment early in the trip had perhaps about 100 people in the 2nd deck lounge, staff came in with maybe 24 baskets of popcorn . . . . . and TWELVE (12) root beer floats. Most folks were polite and passed to allow others the opportunity to have one, but the 12 were gone without covering a third of the room - and no more arrived. Astounding. -Waitstaff was adequate & polite, but about half of my meal orders were wrong. We tend to linger over meals, and were often rushed away, especially at breakfast. They were seemingly in a hurry to get things re-set for the next meal. -A bottle of red and one of white wine was open & on each table at dinner, available at lunch (beer also). Cocktails in the 2nd and 4th floor lounges for an hour before dinner each day (complimentary also), but one evening at 8:30 pm I wanted a scotch, and none available anywhere, at any price. The bar was maybe an additional 30 minutes (unsure here) beyond that cocktail hour. If you want a drink at 10 pm, you'd better have your own supply. -Shipboard internet, even for just simple email, was painfully, horribly slow. That's been reported in other reviews, and is cumbersome to use. As mentioned, if you use your free daily hour from 9 am - 10 am on Tuesday, you can't get "free" again until 10:01 am Wednesday, etc. Don't expect to download Kindle or movies or music. Use your phone service while in port in your home country & only attempt the ship's internet at 3 am when nobody else is online. -Most astounding: on other small-ship cruises, the captain and staff were an integral part of the social aspects of the ship. I *never* saw the captain of the Pearl Mist. Never. My wife saw him once, across the room, at the delayed "Captain's Cocktail Reception". -And finally: previous small-boat cruises have had the "cruise director" as the leader of the fun and also involved socially & personally with the passengers. In his defense, this guy seemed incredibly overworked and dealing with so many details, without help, 18 hours a day. But this just isn't a job for a Disney-trained authoritarian. This needs personable, not lecturing. This needs warmth, not condescending. ("When you leave the ship for your tour, don't bother to give me your name - give me your cabin number!!" - and he had the computer skills to do an ExCel sort to 'fix' this issue.) He worked hard, no doubt - but older folks who have paid top dollar for a small-ship experience deserve better treatment. We booked this cruise 18 months before embarkation because we live in the Great Lakes and wanted to see it from the water. And while we achieved that objective, when measuring value for $$, for us at least, this was lacking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We took the 7 day cruise of the Great Lakes, departing from Chicago, including Georgian Bay and ending in Midland, Ontario, Canada. Our only other cruise experience was an 8-day to Alaska, departing from Seattle on a very large cruise ... Read More
We took the 7 day cruise of the Great Lakes, departing from Chicago, including Georgian Bay and ending in Midland, Ontario, Canada. Our only other cruise experience was an 8-day to Alaska, departing from Seattle on a very large cruise ship. The Pearl Mist was only a year old and we were pleasantly surprised that our cabin and its bathroom were larger than the one we had on the Alaskan cruise. (Who cares that there was no door on the closet? And we were not expecting a mini-fridge, microwave or safe in our room.) The size of the ship was just right, with only 200 passengers. This cruise was expensive, comparatively speaking, as we were surprised to learn after embarking that most of the excursions were at an extra cost. This was not explained in the information we received prior to reserving our place. Those costs should have been part of the initial information with descriptions so that budgetary considerations could be made. We did not take advantage of many on-board activities or entertainment since we took every opportunity available to be off the ship and exploring new places. Each evening, there was a review of activities and excursions for the next day, so that people could ask questions if needed. The excursions themselves were varied, enjoyable and interesting. The ship's activity director and staff did an admirable job of filling in times when we were delayed due to dangerous weather conditions ahead. The food was excellent and the dining staff was terrific. Our cabin attendant was wonderful and he kept our room and bathroom clean and tidy at all times. The bed was very comfortable and we slept well. A tip for those who might not want to experience too much movement on the water: Choose a cabin that is near the center of the ship and on the lowest level possible. A hint: There is always going to be some movement of a vessel when it is on water, even when it is docked. If you expect no movement, don't go on a cruise. A fact: Weather conditions are out of the control of the Captain and the Cruise Director, along with all other cruise personnel. Mother Nature likes to do her thing and she will with little to no warning. A suggestion: If you have questions about the cabins, ask for details before you sign up. We had all our questions answered by Pearl Seas either by email or phone call before we put down the deposit to hold our reservation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
After some most enjoyable small-ship cruises, when in late 2013 I heard that this ACL sister company was building a ship to cruise the Great Lakes, I booked immediately. Comments from others about berthing & docking facilities - ... Read More
After some most enjoyable small-ship cruises, when in late 2013 I heard that this ACL sister company was building a ship to cruise the Great Lakes, I booked immediately. Comments from others about berthing & docking facilities - I could live with, as Great Lakes cruising and port facilities are in their renewal stages. The stateroom was very nice, the balcony and bathroom most spacious and comfortable. Fellow passengers a complete delight. Meals were just OK, perhaps a bit repetitive. "Snacks" were vending machine quality and unchanging. Coffee/hot water for tea from pumpers, and lukewarm. Entertainment a bit repetitive. Guest lecturer was new to this, interesting, but topics somewhat unrelated to the area. After that, our experiences were mostly negative. Staff was polite but distant, not the personable service and attention we've experienced on other small ships. Senior staff was absent, and the overworked "cruise director" was all-business and unengaged with passengers. Perhaps he was simply tired of having to constantly answer the oft-mentioned impression that shore tours were included in the fare, rather than $80-120 additional each. As mentioned in other reviews, the inability to get a cocktail except for 1.5 hours a day was odd and off-putting; beer/wine available during that time and also at dinner, lunch by request. For me, the value for the dollar was about 50%, all considered. This wasn't a "luxury" week as advertised, with the niceties and service that implies. The biggest personal disappointment was the schedule; in ports all day, and "cruise" at night. The highlight (for me) of small ship and inland cruising is seeing things from the water; the current popularity of river cruises a good example. To glide along, sit on the balcony or on an open deck & see the scenery was pretty impossible on the schedule the Pearl Mist kept: the beauty of northern Lake Huron and the Georgian Bay was mostly hidden in darkness, except for the arrival at a port at 7-8 am. We might as well have been in the middle of the North Atlantic for what could be viewed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I am writing to those passengers who want to go on this ship who is under 60. DO NOT DO IT, unless you want to be surround by limited mobility guests. This ship really depressed us, i really felt i was in a nursing home. i usually sail ... Read More
I am writing to those passengers who want to go on this ship who is under 60. DO NOT DO IT, unless you want to be surround by limited mobility guests. This ship really depressed us, i really felt i was in a nursing home. i usually sail on CUNARD in the GRILLS and SILVER SEA. iwas told this ship was the same with luxury as them with with many amenties. I know something was wrong when we were told to meet at a place where there was no room to go inside. All passengers waited outside for a bus. There some passengers that was notified in less than 2 weeks of our trip. WOW!!!! What if it rained, we would have been drench. We went to a disgusting industrial area to board the ship. It was sooh disorganized embarking the ship. Our bags was opened up by unknow employess in the open are. I cold not believe this!!!! The room was ok , Lazy boy furniture. plain and dreary to the eye. We did not meet the steward until the next day. no fruit in the room. The welcome was trusting, you can seee afrustrated director upset when passengers wanted questions answered. The lounges were awful. one computer in one room. The work out room was pathetic, outside, no treadmill. 4-5 pieces of equipment. Sooh if it rained everything is wet. The ports location was often in a construction area and not pleaasant at all. The shore excursions,was often rush and because the old people was so slow, many times we just sat on the bus waiting. The daily programs was often had conflicting times and locations. I could go on and on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The Pearl Mist is a beautiful ship and service staff wonderful. But... it has many rough spots to correct so before you book this expensive cruise look closely and so some research. In my opinion the information about the cruise line both ... Read More
The Pearl Mist is a beautiful ship and service staff wonderful. But... it has many rough spots to correct so before you book this expensive cruise look closely and so some research. In my opinion the information about the cruise line both online and in the brochures seem to be sadly lacking. For example, inquire about where the various ports are located; what the excursions are and the cost and what provisions are available for those who have physical problems on the excursions; how much you need to pay for Wi-fi; and what activities are available on the ship (one of the brochure says there is a spa-not so). We did not find out we had to pay for the excusionsuntil the first night on the cruise. And were taken aback when we found we had to embark and disembark from the ship in remote industrial areas; the one in Chicago was 45 minutes out of town and in a secure site where we could not leave the ship unless we were on curise business. The scenery was wonderful, the guests were delightful, the music entertainment was the same each night... the guest speaker was the highlight of the on board activities. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
As an elderly -85- widowed physician, traveling with old friends and traveling companions, we picked this cruise, in part because of our experience with American Cruise Lines - two trips, and our interest is seeing the Great Lakes. The ... Read More
As an elderly -85- widowed physician, traveling with old friends and traveling companions, we picked this cruise, in part because of our experience with American Cruise Lines - two trips, and our interest is seeing the Great Lakes. The information provided by Pearl Seas Cruises about the ship and itineraries was very adequate. This was a cruise for older folks, 55 plus'es but many in the late 70s, early 80s and no young people. Most seemed experienced travelers. The ship is new and well equipped and maintained. The crew was excellent, of an international background, friendly, helpful and competent. The dining room was large, with open seating, the meals, by and large excellent and service also excellent. There was a complimentary Happy Hour every evening before dinner and complimentary wines were provided at lunch, by request, and at dinner, were on each table. There was one speaker for our trip, a professional naturalist and environment authority who gave 4 lectures related to the Great Lakes and areas which we were visiting that were outstanding. Other entertainment consisted of a husband-wife combo that provided music in the evening, that was pleasant and made for easy listening. The shore excursions were interesting, well organized and generally designed for the level of interest and physical capabilities of the passengers. I enjoyed most a day at the Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn,MI when we were at Windsor, ON and stops at Sault St. Marie with visits to 2 museums, the Bush plane museum on the Canadian side and a tour of the locks and ship museum on the American side. A day at Mackinac was fun and interesting and as was Holland,MI. Parry's Cove on Georgian Bay and Little Current were interesting and well done. I had a cabin for a single on an upper deck with a balcony large enough for several chairs and a table. The cabin was comfortable with single bed, deck, bureau adequate closet and large bathroom and a TV. We docked in Chicago many miles from downtown at an industrial port. A day of tours to downtown was provided, was complimentary and were well done. Disembarkation was well organized and accomplished. We were the last to leave at 8:45 am in a towncar to Chicago. In summary, on the basis on years of cruising, I would say it was a very excellent trip. It was expensive, with shore excursions, close to $10,000 for the 10 days but I consider a good value. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
For the price we paid for this small ship cruise, we were disappointed. Excursions were not included in the price as they are on most small ships/river cruises, and we were not notified of these charges until we boarded the ship. Prices ... Read More
For the price we paid for this small ship cruise, we were disappointed. Excursions were not included in the price as they are on most small ships/river cruises, and we were not notified of these charges until we boarded the ship. Prices were high for the trips. The brochure is written as if all passengers will see the sights by being on the ship. Not true - only if you pay extra! The crew and staff were friendly and efficient. The cruise directors did a good job of trying to straighten out some of the misinformation the passengers had received; however, it was too late to decide not to go. We were unable to dock at Navy Pier in Chicago as indicated in the brochure and were not notified of the change to an industrial dock 45 minutes out of the city. This change had been known by the company for a few months but the company did not notify passengers, some who had made plans to meet friends and to disembark at the Navy Pier. Rooms were spacious, but arranged in an awkward way without a bedside light. There was no room safe and the TV was a miniature flat screen. Bathroom was fine. Itinerary was interesting and took us to a variety of ports. The on-board naturalist lecturer was excellent and added a great deal to the experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
On 8/8/15, our group set sail on the Pearl Mist for a vacation on the Great Lakes with high expectations. Embarkation in Toronto was in an industrial warehouse in a secured area. A disappointing start with no access to Toronto for ... Read More
On 8/8/15, our group set sail on the Pearl Mist for a vacation on the Great Lakes with high expectations. Embarkation in Toronto was in an industrial warehouse in a secured area. A disappointing start with no access to Toronto for sightseeing. Disembarkation in Chicago was even worse-rather than docking at Navy Pier as advertised, we were docked 45 minutes south of Chicago in another industrial cargo yard which did not allow passengers the ability to disembark on their own to sightsee-for two days! The cruise line did not notify us this docking change until we were on board. The ship was very nice and the support staff was delightful. The cabins were spacious and comfortable. The food was mediocre. The on board programming was not plentiful and entertaining, such as you would expect from an EXPENSIVE cruise; basically there was nothing to do if you didn't want long bus rides.The ports of call were nice but there should have been additional tours offered at more reasonable rates. We were led to believe prior to booking that the excursions would be free or inexpensive. This was not the case. I have cruised over 29 times on most of the large company ships, riverboats, and sailing ships. This was a tremendous disappointment. The itinerary could be so fantastic and fun-the Great Lakes are a marvel-but Pearl Seas management needs to employ some programming personal who are trained and knowledgable of working with groups of vacationing people, of varying ages. I would not sail with this company again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Overall, we do not feel that this was good experience. We have been on approximately 8 cruises and this was the worst. Following are comments which we feel support this conclusion. 1. The Welcome Aboard brochure stated that we ... Read More
Overall, we do not feel that this was good experience. We have been on approximately 8 cruises and this was the worst. Following are comments which we feel support this conclusion. 1. The Welcome Aboard brochure stated that we should arrive at the ship between 11 am and 2 pm and the ship would leave around 3pm. In order for us to make this schedule, we booked a hotel room in Newark so we could catch an early flight to arrive in Toronto in this time frame. When we got on the ship we were then told that the ship would not leave until 9 pm that evening. No one ever told us of this change which could have been done simply thru a blanket email to all passengers as soon as this change was known. As a result we unnecessarily spent and extra $210 for a hotel room in Newark to catch an early flight. We could have driven straight from home to Newark later in the day and gotten a later flight had we known of the later departure of the ship. 2. This cruise was to be special as a celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary so we selected the largest stateroom on the ship. This whole thing cost us over $17,000 with this large stateroom. As it turned out, the stateroom was large in square footage but not in functionality. It was only large because of a narrow strip of useless space that had two chairs in it. Since it was on the 3rd deck, it didn’t even have a sliding glass door like the staterooms on the 4th and 5th floor. When signing up for this room, no one at Pearl Seas made any attempt to point any of this out to us or assist us in our stateroom selection. Upon our return home, we reviewed photos of previous staterooms on previous cruises and they were all much more elegant and inviting. Including our 3 cruises on American Cruise Lines. 3. We spent $17,000+ for this cruise (note the recurring theme here) and the “free wi-fi” is only one hour a day and you have to pay for any more. Cheezy. Even at that, our free hour in 24 hours had to occur 24 hours after the previous session had ended. Very difficult to manage. It would probably be simpler to just not have wi-fi and people would understand. 4. Couldn’t figure out what size the beds were. They looked like king size, but my feet stuck over the end no matter what I did. I am 6 ft tall. 5. We had a card on the desk in our stateroom stating that our cabin steward was “Dante”. In 10 days, we never figured out who Dante was. 6. Food. It had it’s ups and downs. All beef was cooked exactly as requested. Problem was that the quality of the beef was terrible. It was either tough or gristly or both. Whoever did the provisioning for the meat should be made to eat it. I had a crab cake that was the best I have ever eaten. Much of the fish had to be sent back because it was over cooked. This happened to many or our table mates too. 7. Ports. Holland Mich was a gravel yard. Beautiful. Holland is a nice town to visit, but not on Sunday like we did because almost nothing was open. Pretty boring as a result. But the crowning glory was Chicago: Everything up until we were captive on the ship told us we were docking at Navy Pier. Pretty sweet. Then, once meeting with the Onshore Activities Director we were told we would not dock at Navy Pier. The reason is laughable: “There was a fire on a Halloween barge at Navy Pier and it sunk to the bottom, therefore the Navy Pier docking was not possible because of debris on the harbor floor.” Hmmm. Let’s see, the last Halloween we had was last October, 10 months ago. And in all that time Pearl Sea Cruises was not aware of this calamity which could effect what they told their passengers? On top of that, I talked to several Chicagoans who had no idea what that was all about and there was no apparent salvaging going on to correct this situation. This sounds like one giant fairy tale to me. On top of that, we docked at this ridiculous steel yard which was 45 minutes from Chicago by coach and trolley. Each coach and trolley had to be escorted thru the yard by a guy in a pickup truck. Made us feel really special. Let’s see, Navy Pier in the heart of Chicago or a Steel Yard 45 minutes out of the city. For a $17,000+ cruise, what should I expect? All of the other ports were barely ok. In Sault St. Marie, we were told there would be no shuttle in to town but it was a half hour walk. We went as far as we could because I have a bone spur on my heel. Didn’t make it down town. After lunch we were told that miraculously there was now a shuttle to take us down town. By then, thanks, but no thanks. From the passengers we talked to that did make the walk, downtown was not worth walking to. Would we go on Pearl Seas again? Not in a million years. What a way to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
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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