30 Pearl Seas Pearl Mist Cruise Reviews

We, as most of the passengers on this ship, choose it because it promised so much time on land in Cuba. THAT was LAST year, NO LONGER. We were in Cuba ONLY 3.5 days. And the ship constantly blamed the government when that was not usually ... Read More
We, as most of the passengers on this ship, choose it because it promised so much time on land in Cuba. THAT was LAST year, NO LONGER. We were in Cuba ONLY 3.5 days. And the ship constantly blamed the government when that was not usually the case. Crew members readily admitted that they could not remember ever being on land for seven days. Furthermore, we are cruisers who typically sail with Oceania or land trips with Tauck, both are higher end, more pricey than average vacations. This Pearl Seas cruise was the MOST EXPENSIVE per day vacation we have ever taken. It was not even worth it at half price. Go to Cuba any other way that you can. Here is the reality. While Pearl Mist was one of the first to go to Cuba in-depth, it is now being pushed out by ANY larger ship because there is more money in allowing the larger ships to use the very LIMITED port facilities (only two ships can dock in Havana at one time). Does the government want the 200 pax ship or the 2-3,000 pax ship?? The same thing happened in Cienfuegos, with buses and tour guides. The larger Oceania ship went to the Botanical Gardens; Pearl Mist told us that the gardens closed early that day. We did not see the gardens. The food was barely average. There is always a chicken, fish, meat and veggie option, they were always just a little strange, not continental. The chef and kitchen staff are all Filipino. Furthermore, the waiters did not want to hear about any variations on the menu. For example, the salad course offered Caesar salad with shrimp. I did not want the shrimp; the waiter said it would be a problem as the salad was already plated. I repeated my request, and he said he would try. Luckily I am not allergic, as someone just took the shrimp off the salad. Any request for meat that was less than well done was NEVER executed; it was always overcooked. The ship has only one dining room option, there is no casual eating restaurant. Furthermore, this ship is sea worthy enough to make the trip, but if there is ANY rough weather, you will be unhappy (and most likely sea sick). Most pax were sea sick for several days. The good news, the rooms and baths are spacious, but no refrige. Internet is included, but so slow that it reminded me of 30 years ago dial up. TV is satellite and limited. The lectures were good, the music was not. AGAIN, GO TO CUBA ANY OTHER WAY YOU CAN. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Their Cuba itinerary is a straight flat lie! They publish as if they are having 7 excursion days in the island of Cuba, out of 12 total cruise days. We actually got only 3 excursion days! (2 full days and 2 half days) in Cuba. Not to ... Read More
Their Cuba itinerary is a straight flat lie! They publish as if they are having 7 excursion days in the island of Cuba, out of 12 total cruise days. We actually got only 3 excursion days! (2 full days and 2 half days) in Cuba. Not to mention that they cruise during the day and dock at night, instead of cruising at night and leaving the days for touring. There was nothing to do onboard during these 6 days of cruising. The first day we left at 9pm instead of 1pm. The last day we arrived at 6am. So total of 10 not 12! The food is not what you would expect for the high end price. The only good thing about them is the on board staff which are trying their best to cover up for the management. The company has not even responded to our complaint (check their BBB rating of D+). Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We wanted to experience Cuba before it gets too commercial so we booked a 12day/11 night cruise on the Pearl Mist. We ended up being on Cuban soil only 4 days of the entire trip, and they added Freeeport, Bahamas for the 5th day off the ... Read More
We wanted to experience Cuba before it gets too commercial so we booked a 12day/11 night cruise on the Pearl Mist. We ended up being on Cuban soil only 4 days of the entire trip, and they added Freeeport, Bahamas for the 5th day off the ship; way too much time at sea. While Cuba itself was fantastic, the food on the ship was very good and it was very clean, it was completely unacceptable that they shortened the 8-day promise of Cuban shore time down to 4 days, and some of those days were only half days! They completely misinformed/advertised deceptively of how much time would be on shore. Of course they say that it was out of their hands, Cuban changes, etc. but it was an extremely expensive trip to start with, and they should be held accountable for more time on shore, or a reduction in price. Also, we were told (in print) that the first night dinner would be served on the boat, but we ended up not boarding till past 7:30PM and there were only cold sandwiches offered after much complaining about the situation by all passengers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I understand that travel to Cuba is not totally predictable, but an unpredictable Cuban government is very different than a deceptive itinerary. Our "Planned Cruise Itinerary" says we will have a "day of cruising" only ... Read More
I understand that travel to Cuba is not totally predictable, but an unpredictable Cuban government is very different than a deceptive itinerary. Our "Planned Cruise Itinerary" says we will have a "day of cruising" only twice during the entire cruise. The reality was 2.5 days of cruising out of Fort Lauderdale and a total of 5 days of cruising. We were told the only change was the time in Havana that was cut short by the Cuban government. I also think that as a small ship the Pearl Mist could be more mindful of waste. Plastic water bottles were so plentiful that people would take a few sips and abandon the bottle. We have been on other small ships that provide a refillable bottle and have refill stations throughout the ship. I still cringe when I think of how many plastic water bottles were disposed of by this ship. They could also have served condiments such as mayo, mustard, jam and syrup in refillable ramekins instead of the tiny, individual glass jars that are impossible to get all of the contents out and make more trash. Our entertainment was three speakers and two musician/singers. One speaker was quite good and the other two fair; but the two others were good musicians but absolutely horrible singers. Surely in Florida there are some Cuban musicians who would have been a better choice. Finally, there was not enough communication between the cruise directors and the local guides. The guides were oblivious to the many physical difficulties and necessities of the guests. The reality with this group of passengers is that they were the most physically disabled group I have ever traveled with, and this was not a handicap-friendly country. Finally, the food is mediocre. My rating RE embarkation is because they left the luggage of four passengers on the dock in Fort Lauderdale. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise PRIMARILY for Havana. 2 days were promised. We already had plans to travel via Canada or mexico, but the lure of additional stops and 2 days in Havana were too much to resist. What a BIG mistake!!! The cruise line ... Read More
We chose this cruise PRIMARILY for Havana. 2 days were promised. We already had plans to travel via Canada or mexico, but the lure of additional stops and 2 days in Havana were too much to resist. What a BIG mistake!!! The cruise line reneged on the Havana stop and we got CHEATED out of a day in Havana , instead we spent an extra day at sea doing NOTHING!!! davidfhumo wrote a review from a different time and it seems to be the norm. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY !!!! The food on board is palatable but far from luxurious. Never mind the pretend bartenders. They couldn't make a decent drink if their life depended on it. That may have something to do with tending bar was an added responsibility after a primary job on board such as housecleaning. (That really surprised me to see the bartender cleaning rooms). Entertainment consist of a 2 man no talent band with terribly laughable interpretations on popular music. The crew corporate staff was non helpful in offering any insight as to why we were cheated out of our contracted cruise. The "SERVICE" staff were VERY helpful and deserve to be in better company. To them my heart goes out to. One more thought, please be honest with yourself. If you have physical limitations, this is not the cruise for you. The excursions do not bode well for some. The boat has minimal facilities and a serious lack of amusement potential during sailing times. Cuba is GREAT! But DON"T waste your money with this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise to be with our aging parents. The good news: nobody died. The bad news: we had to live through a week of noisy nights, cheap over cooked or processed food, missed excursions, and cheap accommodations. We arrived at ... Read More
We chose this cruise to be with our aging parents. The good news: nobody died. The bad news: we had to live through a week of noisy nights, cheap over cooked or processed food, missed excursions, and cheap accommodations. We arrived at ports only to be told we could not disembark because of weather. Our itinerary changed with no notice as the staff made poor decisions about excursions. It was obvious from the forecast, for example, that we would not be able to take a tender off the ship to nearby Campobello Island, but we left the safe docking at delightful Eastport, Maine anyway and spent the day anchored two hundred yards away from shore. This happened again two days later when the decision was made to change course to avoid heavy winds while knowing we couldn’t get into the next port. We backtracked to St John’s the next day on a Sunday when there was nothing to do. The food would make Denny’s look like five stars No exercise facility, unless you want to risk falling overboard in a gale Spent an hour waiting in freezing temps for a tender with no explanation as to why none was coming as we were 7 minutes from the ship. The lounges were cramped and did not afford views creating a very claustrophobic environment especially since we spent so much time on board. The entertainers were lovey people; however, their style was not our style but they seemed to be appreciated by many of the guests. If they were only a few of several choices for entertainment, they would have been fine (for others). Since this was a very expensive cruise, per capita per day, we expected the same quality service and amenities that we have enjoyed on other luxury cruise lines. We were sorely disappointed from the moment of check in to our disembarkation. If the cost of this cruise had been significantly lower, our expectations would not have been so high. I have no desire or intention of taking another Pearl of the Seas or American Cruise line cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
For anyone relying on a wheelchair, beware. There were steps to navigate during initial boarding; the day trips were unavailable to us because 5 of the stops we anchored in the harbor and the small boat used to get us to the mainland had ... Read More
For anyone relying on a wheelchair, beware. There were steps to navigate during initial boarding; the day trips were unavailable to us because 5 of the stops we anchored in the harbor and the small boat used to get us to the mainland had steps; and if we were able to get to land, the tour busses were not wheelchair accessible. There were layers of problems getting off and on the boat so even if we had successfully navigated one hurdle, another one existed. For instance, if we had been able to get onto tgevtender boat, on shore the ramp used to get up to the pier had slats across it which the wheelchair couldn’t bump over. The “handicapped” room we were given was a slightly modified able bodied room. The bathroom was the biggest problem. I have tried calling, emailing, post mailing Pearl Seas and they will not return my call. Horrendous trip. Even worse customer service. Caveat emptor. Find another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife and I had always wanted to go to New England and see the fall colors. This cruise was suggested to us by some friends with whom we have traveled many times over the years. When we looked the trip up on line we discovered that the ... Read More
My wife and I had always wanted to go to New England and see the fall colors. This cruise was suggested to us by some friends with whom we have traveled many times over the years. When we looked the trip up on line we discovered that the price was very high, and so just assumed that this must be a luxury cruise, which appealed to us. Our mistake. Next time we will certainly do more research and not be fooled by the price. We had to travel from the US to Quebec City in order to start the cruise, so with airfare and hotel stay prior to the cruise the total cost would work out to about $2,000 per night of cruise. But, as I said, we were in the mood for a luxury cruise. The trip started out on the wrong foot. We had booked 5 hours of layover in Toronto because we wanted to make sure there was no chance of missing the connection plane from Toronto to Quebec City. As it turned out, that was barely enough. The flight arrived in Toronto a little over an hour late, and it took us all of three hours to clear customs. The airport was a circus! There were literally thousands of people there. The lines were long and slow, and we had to que up four different times. The airport was obviously understaffed for this amount of traffic. When we got to our gate, we found that that the connecting flight was running 30 minutes late. Once we boarded, we sat on the ground for another 30 minutes waiting for connecting passengers from the Caribbean. I can’t remember the last time a plane full of people sat on the ground for an extended period of time waiting for a few connecting passengers. The flight was completely full. We arrived in Quebec City at 1:30 AM only to find that several of our bags did not connect. The lady at the Westjet counter apologized and promised our bags would be in on the next flight. We noticed that about a half dozen bags were not claimed from our flight, so had obviously misconnected from the previous flight. Not great service. We took a taxi to Quebec City and were dropped off at the Hilton. When we went inside, we were informed that they had no hotel rooms for us. Now, these rooms had been paid for in cash through Travelocity six months previously, so needless to say, we were a bit upset. The lady at the desk said that she was very sorry indeed, and did get us a room in a nearby hotel. The following day when we returned, the lady at the desk suggested that next time I should book using my Hilton Honors to prevent such an incident. No explanation other than it somehow seemed to be my fault for not booking through Hilton. They were also nice enough to refund the room costs for the previous night. Quebec City was very fun. A colorful vibrant place with lots of interesting history and historic buildings. However, the waterfront area was teeming with tourists. There were four cruise ships in the harbor and four conventions. Every hotel room in town was booked as were most good restaurants. We had fun shopping and dining before the cruise, and our missing suitcases showed up the next day. In retrospect, we should have spent the next week in Quebec City and surrounding area and forgot about the cruise. We were picked up by Pearl Cruise lines on time on Saturday morning, and the trip to the boat by bus and check in to the boat went smoothly. Our first hint that this was going to a different type of cruise than those we had previously been on was at our first meal on the boat where we discovered that the vast majority of the passengers were in their mid-seventies and above. Walkers, wheelchairs and canes abounded. The couple that joined us at our table were over 90. As I said previously, I have been on many cruises in the past and this is the first where I have seen this type of demographic. The staterooms were clean and spacious, if somewhat dated both in construction and decor. The king size bed was formed of two mattresses pushed together. The bed was comfortable enough if not a bit on the firm side to my taste. Although the room was equipped with a thermostat, it seemed to be pretty much for show, as temperature settings in the room varied widely. We were in rooms 337 and 339 on the Pearl Mist. I would not suggest these staterooms to anyone who is not a VERY sound sleeper. When the boat prepared to either dock or for tender launch it sounded like the entire crew was taking tap dancing lessons right over your head. This usually started about 5:00 AM. Overall, the food was marginal. Sort of like what you would expect at an Applebee’s if you held all the spices and cut the serving sizes in half (except for the French onion soup, that even Applebee’s would be embarrassed to serve). For breakfast they provided a simple fruit and pastry bar and had a menu you could order from. Stay away from ordering mushrooms on anything. I tried that once and could see they came from a freshly opened can. Every morning at breakfast we were asked to fill in a “wish card” for our choices for the lunch and dinner meals. I suspect that the chef must have spent a few days in a hospital and got the idea there. Each meal had a starter of a soup or salad, a main course with choice of fish, meat or a vegetarian, and a desert of a pastry, custard or ice cream. The deserts were for the most part made in industrial size trays and cut into little rectangles for serving (about half the size of a playing card), reminiscent of what you used to get at your high school lunch cafeteria. You could order a beer at lunch if you wanted, and wine was served at dinner – a bottle each of red and white was on the table when you sat down. The white wine was a 2017 Sauvignon Blanc of no particular pedigree and the red either a 2017 Merlot or a 2017 Pinot Noir on alternating nights. The Pinot would curl your eyebrows, so after the first try at that I stuck to the Merlot, which was almost drinkable, or the Sauvignon Blanc which I drank if it was a Pinot night. By the fourth night I was drinking about a bottle of each every night to try to numb the experience. If you wanted some real wine, they had a limited wine list, but those wines were extra. You could also order a mixed drink at dinner if you requested it, but it was not volunteered by the waiter. For entertainment they hired a local music teacher and his sidekick. They were the guys you remember from your high school prom, only missing half the musicians (the good ones), and no longer able to hit the high notes - same clothes and hair though. They usually held the rapt attention of the old folks for at least 15 minutes after dinner, then people started leaving like rats leaving a sinking ship. They also had a story teller who showed us some neat pictures of a trip he took on his honeymoon to go fishing with some guys he met at a bed and breakfast. I was going to say that the shore excursions were not memorable, but I’m gonna have to be honest here – they were forgettable. The MO seemed to be to take the passengers to an area where all the stores were either closed for the season or closed due to the time of day and drop them off and let them wheel, wobble and wander about until a designated time when they would be picked up. There were also a couple of narrated tours. I forget what they were about. Most of the time was spent on the boat laying on our bed in the stateroom reading or sleeping because the cruise line skipped half the ports we were scheduled into and there was nothing else to do. If you are in your late seventies or above and looking for a place to catch up on your sleep while spending $20,000 on marginal food and poor entertainment, I highly suggest taking this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I don't know where to start. Everything was really filthy. This includes but not limited to the carpets, furniture, common areas, etc. The furniture felt like we were staying in a dirty hospital room. To make matters worse, the ship ... Read More
I don't know where to start. Everything was really filthy. This includes but not limited to the carpets, furniture, common areas, etc. The furniture felt like we were staying in a dirty hospital room. To make matters worse, the ship left a port and sailed into a storm with 15 foot swells. The captain new this storm was there as the crew boarded the windows on the entire first deck. This occurred while we were eating dinner. No one on the ship explained to us what was happening. The ship was not built to handle a storm of this magnitude. It eventually took on water in the engine room and an engine overheated. The ship rolled and pitched with such intensity, that the furniture fell over, lamps flew off tables, our king size bed slid half way across the stateroom and pitched out out onto the floor. Nothing was secured to the walls or floors. The storm and condition of the ship jeopardized our lives. Knowing the storm was out there, the captain should never have set sail. Please see the attached photos of the condition of our stateroom. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My husband and I took the Pearl Mist cruise from Chicago to Toronto on September 12, 2018. That is, it was supposed to leave from Chicago, but, in fact, left from Milwaukee, a 90-mile change we did not learn about until the day before our ... Read More
My husband and I took the Pearl Mist cruise from Chicago to Toronto on September 12, 2018. That is, it was supposed to leave from Chicago, but, in fact, left from Milwaukee, a 90-mile change we did not learn about until the day before our scheduled departure. Yes, they did provide us with a bus from Chicago to Milwaukee, albeit a noisy and uncomfortable one. The accommodations on board, the ship, when we finally arrived, were comfortable, if hardly as spacious or luxurious as the price and promotional literature suggested, but the food ranged from barely acceptable to downright terrible. Meats were overcooked and under seasoned, vegetables mushy and not very fresh (except for the occasional salad), fish, mostly frozen, tended to be flavorless, breads and were pastries gummy or cottony not worth eating. My husband and I developed severe gastro-enteritis, as did a goodly portion of the other passengers according to people we spoke to. The number of "Do Not Disturb" signs we saw on cabin doors was depressing. We had to miss several shore excursions because we were sick. One evening, no hors d'oeuvres were served at the cocktail hour--"for sanitary reasons" a staff member explained. On another day, after we had recovered a bit from our illnesses, we went to the ship's library and found all the shelves empty of books--they were being "sterilized" a crew member explained. A few days later, the books were back on the shelves. This was by far the worst cruise we've ever been on, and the most expensive. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is small ship with limited facilities, no spa, no pool. The most disappointing was the lack of internet service, We were told the ship would leave from Chicago however it left from Milwaukee, we had to be bused there and never were ... Read More
This is small ship with limited facilities, no spa, no pool. The most disappointing was the lack of internet service, We were told the ship would leave from Chicago however it left from Milwaukee, we had to be bused there and never were given an explanation as to why this change was made. Things were very disorganized at the Chicago hotel, no one was there to direct us to the buses. Mackinac Island in Michigan.was wonderful but the other ports of call in Canada were mostly small Indian villages with little or no shopping and restaurants. Service and food onboard was good. We had a premium stateroom that was fine although the balcony was uninviting (painted steel and plastic furniture) We had to leave the ship early due to lack of internet service. There is little to do on the two days you are at sea. Unlike most of the other older passengers my wife and I have businesses to run. If you need to stay connected to the internet, this cruise will not be good for you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife, who is in a motorized wheelchair, wanted to find additional cruise lines that are handicapped friendly. Pearl Mist failed miserably. From the very start the lack of communication, coordination and staff commitment was very ... Read More
My wife, who is in a motorized wheelchair, wanted to find additional cruise lines that are handicapped friendly. Pearl Mist failed miserably. From the very start the lack of communication, coordination and staff commitment was very evident. We were picked up in Toronto almost 2 hours late with no explanation. Our trip was scheduled to end in Chicago but we discovered once on board that we were disembarking in Milwaukee. Of the 8 days we cruised my wife was unable to get off the ship 3 of those days because the crew used stairs instead of a gangplank. Two other days we were stuck in port because the tour buses lacked lifts. Never did any officer apologize to us. The food was fair but very small portions. If you enjoy river cruises book the American Queen Steamboat on the Mississippi or Columbia-Snake. You will not regret it. Sorry Pearl Mist. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My wife and I are experienced cruisers. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Silver Seas, Regent and smaller ships such as Le Ponant, Windstar and Le Soleal. We decided to try Pearl Mist which accommodates about 200 passengers ... Read More
My wife and I are experienced cruisers. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Silver Seas, Regent and smaller ships such as Le Ponant, Windstar and Le Soleal. We decided to try Pearl Mist which accommodates about 200 passengers because we had never sailed the Great Lakes. The trip was supposed to be a seven day cruise from Midland, Ontario to Chicago. I was under the impression that Pearl Mist was a luxury liner since the cost was luxury liner prices. The fare came to $1,744 per night for two not including tips, airfare, pre-cruise hotel night or land tours. Comparable prices on Regent for a Concierge Suite run from $1,340 to $1,940 per night, depending on destination, but include tips, airfare, pre-cruise hotel night and land tours. But Pearl Mist is definitely not a luxury liner. The only favorable parts of the cruise were stops at Parry Sound, Mackinac Island and Muskegon. The three piece entertainers and the lecturer were good and our waiter was extremely courteous. Otherwise the trip was horrible. 1) Bad things happened immediately. We stayed at the recommended hotel in Toronto the night before and were instructed to check out and be ready to be picked up at 9:00 AM the next morning. The bus would transport approximately 50 of us to the ship about 50 miles away. So here were 50 people with our luggage waiting in the street in front of hotel for the bus that finally arrived 2 1/2 hours late. It was manned by the entertainers and the lecturer since the original bus personnel never showed up. 2) The bus ride was interesting because the entertainer didn’t know the route and got lost. 3) We finally arrived at the port of Midland at 1:30 PM instead of 11:00 AM. 4) They immediately served us lunch but also announced the mandatory Life Boat Drill. We refused to participate since we were starving. 5) Staying with meals, there is one seating for all for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At breakfast each morning we were asked to check off our choices for all three meals each day. The menus had a box to check for 1/2 portions if you weren’t that hungry. I never saw what a 1/2 portion looked like but the full portions were extremely tiny and usually tasteless. Some of the people wound up ordering two main courses each meal. 6) The size of our cabin was adequate since we had ordered the largest suite. But it was not kept clean, there were instances when there were no bath towels and the tiny TV didn’t work for two nights. 7) Courtesy didn’t exist. One evening, at 10:15 PM, I called to request an AM wake-up call. I was told that they don’t accept calls, other than true emergencies after 10:00 PM. I complained the next day and was advised to make calls before 10:00 PM, no apology. The final night we were advised to dis-enbark at 7:00 AM; so I dutifully called at 9:30 PM for a 6:00 AM wake-up call. I was told that the office doesn’t open until 7:00 AM. Thankfully we had an I-Phone so we could escape on time. 8) I said the entertainers were good but the room could only accommodate 1/3 of the 200 passengers. So if you wanted to see them you needed to rush through your tiny meal (maybe that was a positive). The entertainment lounge was laid out with enormous heavy overstuffed couches, many facing the wrong way to see the performers. 9) Two days before the end of the cruise we were all informed that our dis-enbarkation stop was changed to Milwaukee instead of Chicago (appparently no birth available in Chicago although this ship is scheduled to be in Chicago weekly all summer). This was disappointing since we had hoped to spend a day in Chicago sightseeing. It also potentially meant that many of us might miss flights out of Chicago. We did, thankfully, disembark from Milwaukee and were taken in an on-time bus for the 1 1/2 hour drive to Chicago Ohare Airport. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
If you want to way over. pay and get a marginal cruise in return this one is for you. The cruise should be at least 3 to 4 days less and the price cut by 60%. At no time did they exceed my expectations. Food was average, except for ... Read More
If you want to way over. pay and get a marginal cruise in return this one is for you. The cruise should be at least 3 to 4 days less and the price cut by 60%. At no time did they exceed my expectations. Food was average, except for three ports of call very boring, ship HVAC system terrible, entertainment very marginal. The only two positives I can give. you are the room size and the crew. This is our second cruise with American Ship lines. Last year we did the Mississippi cruise which was even worse. We cruise usually twice a year and American Ship Lines has set the bar for worst ship line in the industry. If the above was not enough , we got of the ship inn Chicago in the industrial port next to broken wood crates and garbage, The place smelled and we had to walk on plywood to get around water puddles to get on buses. The out side temperature was 90 degrees and. 80% humidity and the bus had broken air conditioners. The extra charge shore excursions were a joke and way overpriced. Bottom line for the amount you pay. for this cruise you could take 3 Caribbean cruises back to back and get a lot more for your money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Price does not buy you quality on this ship. This was the most expensive cruise we have ever taken and we were so disappointed by many aspects. There are some positives of a small ship and that is a more intimate experience with fellow ... Read More
Price does not buy you quality on this ship. This was the most expensive cruise we have ever taken and we were so disappointed by many aspects. There are some positives of a small ship and that is a more intimate experience with fellow passengers and a certain relaxed atmosphere however many negatives in that very little is offered such as no shop, spa, fresh coffee, bar, walking deck, workout machines (they had a very poor area with 4 old machines), below average and boring entertainment but the worst is the movement in rough seas. We had flying objects coming at us in our room and when getting a coffee from a machine and then the breakfast table ended up in our laps as the boat swayed from side to side and my chair slid along the carpet! Many objects ended up all over the floor in our room. Our room was quite roomy but very dated and just OK. Nothing special. Lets talk about the food or lack thereof!! This is the first cruise that I have ever experienced being afraid I would not have enough to eat (and I am not a big eater) and found myself hoarding oat bars in my room and heard from another passenger that she was doing the same. The food was overcooked and so dry that it was inedible, the meat so tough and full of gristle that I couldn't eat it. There was no fine dining and absolutely no finesse. The portions were often so small (4 bay shrimp as a starter with a piece of lettuce - I am not kidding). Some meals were just ok and some were absolutely disgusting. Tea and hor d'oeuvres were appalling - beyond comprehension. At our first lunch I asked for a cappuccino after dessert and was told I had to get it myself out of the machine on the 2nd or 4th floor. Leave the table, go and get my own coffee made from a machine with powdered milk which had sugar in it and come back to the table! The brochure and the itinerary were incorrect and false, we were lied to. The floors and carpets were constantly damp and wet - I thought I was imagining it and then my socks and slippers would be wet! The whole experience was flabbergasting. It was so unbelievable that it was comical and gave us and our friends we were traveling with much laughter because the alternative was to cry!! I have to write that most of the staff were amazing - very helpful and attentive but they can only work with the tools and ship they are given. I would never cruise with this company again. Way overpriced for what you receive and in fact I would not even cruise with them if they offered me money Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
DO NOT put a deposit down on a cruise until you have a written confirmation of what you will receive. They are excellent at bait and switch. Do Not believe the sales agent when they say you can cancel if they cannot provide a room of the ... Read More
DO NOT put a deposit down on a cruise until you have a written confirmation of what you will receive. They are excellent at bait and switch. Do Not believe the sales agent when they say you can cancel if they cannot provide a room of the class you wanted. They will keep your deposit and not refund anything, and then when you try to get an explanation they pass you from person to person and get ruder with each person. The entertainment doesn't exist or is poor at best. The corporate office is impossible to speak with anyone in authority, even though they state that they are a consumer friendly company. They especially like to do less for the senior travelers. I've traveled with 8 different cruise companies and this is the ONLY one I would warn to stay away from. Many people have scheduled cruises to be canceled at a later date with a limited refund policy or credit on a future cruise which may never take place Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
LUXURY PRICES were not a concern because we always book the owner's cabin or the equivalent which was Pearl Seas' R Class. Our cabin was DEFINITELY NOT LUXURY - Cabin 418 R Class was the most expensive. The passageways had ... Read More
LUXURY PRICES were not a concern because we always book the owner's cabin or the equivalent which was Pearl Seas' R Class. Our cabin was DEFINITELY NOT LUXURY - Cabin 418 R Class was the most expensive. The passageways had the feel of an industrial basement. The stairways were very narrow in width and the stairs were very shallow, making it necessary to step sideways in order to get a firm footing on the stairs. I was therefore forced to use the elevator in the interest of safety. Considering the age of most of the passengers, this was a definite safety hazard. We were also booked on two more cruises, one to the Maritimes and one to Cuba but chose to cancel both well before the cancellation deadlines. Even though it was on the contract that there were no refunds of the administrative fee for cancellation, Pearl Seas would NOT even consider a reduction of cancellation fees -- 4 X $425 = $1700. They did offer to give us a 25% discount on the two future cruises which would have cost Pearl Seas more than $8000. Even though this would have been a great discount, I would never consider sailing on Pearl Seas no matter what the price. Food was good and plentiful. The waiters were superb and very friendly!! Entertainment was the same two guys every night. They were good but it was too much of the same thing. Some of the included shore excursions were average and a few were quite good. The staff and service was the best part of the cruise. Too bad the overall ship didn't measure up to those same standards. Read Less
Sail Date June 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 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
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
My wife and I took a trip through the Panama Canal with Pearl Seas February 14 – 23, 2016, which turned out to be anything but what was advertised. Much was promised and next to nothing delivered. If you’re planning on taking this ... Read More
My wife and I took a trip through the Panama Canal with Pearl Seas February 14 – 23, 2016, which turned out to be anything but what was advertised. Much was promised and next to nothing delivered. If you’re planning on taking this cruise (which is advertised for 2017), but sure to ask about what you’ll see exactly. Pearl Seas advertised a two-day trip through the Panama Canal and delivered only an overnight transit of four hours in which we could see nothing. We saw the locks at either end, but that was it. We did not see the Gaillard Cut, Soberania National Park or Lake Gatun. The major reason all of us on the ship took this trip was to see the Panama Canal. The trip was a waste of time, money and put us in danger on several occasions. Most of the people on this cruise were old enough they will not have the opportunity in the future to take a second trip through the canal to see what Pearl Cruise didn’t deliver. Pearl Seas advertised two National Parks and Coiba Island and delivered none of them. These were major draws for signing up and major disappointments when they didn’t deliver them. Pearl Seas tour staff was incompetent. The problems started with arrival-date botched reservations and food and beverage gouging at the Marriott in Costa Rica, and the fact that no Pearl Seas representative was at the hotel to meet us. Pearl Seas tour staff did not accompany the passengers on tours except when they wanted to tour themselves, and when they did, they always did it together, rather than splitting up to cover several groups. It was very hard to understand most of the guides, so it would have been helpful to have someone from the ship to clarify when necessary. Likewise, there were no radios with the groups other than at the tender to call back to the ship in case of emergency. The tour staff didn’t provide maps, or water at the start of the trip (although the water situation they later corrected). The scheduling of when rooms left for tours was done in numerical order, so people on the upper decks only got late tours and people on the lower decks only early ones. They also did not organize the people getting back on the tender from tours, which resulted in some pushing and shoving. Quite frankly, it seems they had not scouted out the stops we were making, and were unfamiliar with the local arrangements that had been made. The ship was apparently having stabilizer problems so could not navigate the seas in the open Caribbean, necessitating a longer journey to Cartagena in which we hugged the coastline. On February 17, we had a scheduled “nature” hike and were told it was an easy one. It turned out to be anything but. We were taken by local boat to Gobernadora Island. No one from Pearl Mist was with us. The “local” guide was from another island and we had to wait for a truly local man (who was not a guide and could not speak English) to lead us. No water was provided, and no maps. After waiting for quite some time for the two “guides” to get organized, we started our hike. There was nothing to see. No animals or flowers, and no commentary was provided. We just hiked along a barbed wire fence through dry leaves. The hike was hot and up and down hills and across streams. Most of the people were not physically able to complete the hike without difficulty. The first person to fall behind was rather frail. The English-speaking guide stayed behind with him as he and his wife worked slowly thorough the hike. This made it difficult for us to communicate with the truly local man, who spoke a dialect of Spanish. The second person to go down was a very large man, fainting in spectacular fashion, and hitting the ground hard. Four gentlemen helped him most of the way to the beach, but he finally couldn’t go any further and they had to stop short of the beach. The truly local man from the island did not know where to go and lead the group onto private property. When the situation was explained to the couple who lived there, they came out and showed the group the way to the beach. Even then, three of the hikers got separated from the group and had to pay $40 to a local boat to be taken back. When the main group got back onboard and the situation explained, the ship sent a medic, stretchers, a wheelchair and four strong men to carry the big guy out. The frail man, his wife, and the English-speaking guide were lost for a while but caught up with the people helping the big guy. We all made it back to the ship, but both men had numerous cuts and bruises. A one-hour hike had turned into a four-hour nightmare. We had no way of communicating with the ship, but luckily, the common sense of some of the hikers (including bringing excess water, some military training and the presence of a doctor on the hike), and the sympathy of the property-owning couple saw us through. We were not the only passengers on this ship who were disappointed and many expressed their disappointment. The end result was not anything like the original advertisement. I noticed the verbiage in this year’s advertisement for the cruise has been toned down considerably. With such a major change in itinerary, wouldn’t you have thought the company would have informed it’s customers and offered them the opportunity to cancel? Time and again we were “dumped” on non-descript beaches with poor amenities to pass the time. We received next-to-no value for what we paid. Aside from the touring, the Pearl Seas hotel staff was excellent. The rooms were well taken care of, and the food was very good. The hotel staff and entertainers stepped in to provide overtime efforts the night we were going through the locks to please people when it became obvious many were disgruntled about the passage though the canal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Our pearl seas cruise on the pearl mist was not what we signed up for. The literature In advance , interesting itinerary and the material when we arrived were misleading and inaccurate. From start to finish we were lied to, skipped ... Read More
Our pearl seas cruise on the pearl mist was not what we signed up for. The literature In advance , interesting itinerary and the material when we arrived were misleading and inaccurate. From start to finish we were lied to, skipped promised excursions and stops and the start of it was that there was no one at the airport to meet us. Once we checked in at The Marriott, other Pearl Seas guests were turned away with no reservation and sent elsewhere. Actually the worse of it was traversing the Panama Canal at night. Ridiculous since we had chosen this itinerary specifically to transverse from the Pacific to the Atlantic in its entirety, not overnight in darkness. In addition, rooms and carpeting were damp due a faulty A.C. System, the ship's stabilizers were broken so we were in rough seas for 36 hrs. Rockin and Rollin. The ship neglected to have dressers, lamps nailed to the walls so furniture was toppling injuring passengers and being hit with flying full size Keurag coffee makers. There were no safes, robes or working tv....only 2 movie channels...no news... The balcony door locked by us continued to be unlocked later in the day leading us to wonder who was prowling about. Excursions were not as described. We missed 2 Unesco sites and the crown jewel of Costa Rica....Antonio Marco national park was closed on the Monday we were there. They did not plan their route accordingly. It was a major reason we had chosen this itinerary. My husband's 1 hr. Fishing e petition trolled about 40 miles an hr. The entire time not slowing down enough to catch any fish. One day on a treacherous hike, people were on their own with only a Spanish speaking escort and some had to find and pay door their own transportation back to the ship. Local guides spoke poor English and what was suppose to be a city tour ended up going to a very rural local village. When asked to sign up for excursion time slots, all 180 passengers were crowded around a small wall area to try and get selected time slots...unorganized. John was one of the leaders all week but never gave accurate responses to questions, lied and was rude and insulting. There should have been levels of difficulty on the excursions since many handicapped people had great difficulty and others that could move faster were slowed down as a result. Positives are worth mentioning since the food was very good and the Cabin crew and waitstaff were outstanding as was Bogdan, the dining room manager. Also the musicians and nightly entertainment and magic shows were excellent thanks to Steve, Dusty, Bill and Laura. But the complimentary wines offered were of poor quality and with no variety. The ship overall was dated in appearance, basic with very overcrowded lounge furnishings with not enough room to accommodate all the passengers at the same time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We signed up for the Pearl Seas cruise through the Panama Canal mostly because we were interested in the two national parks in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park and Corcovade National Park, as well as Coiba Island in Panama. The ... Read More
We signed up for the Pearl Seas cruise through the Panama Canal mostly because we were interested in the two national parks in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park and Corcovade National Park, as well as Coiba Island in Panama. The first and third of these parks are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Pearl Seas website and the pre-cruise materials described the parks in glowing terms and talked about all the wildlife that we would be likely to see. As it was, the ship did not visit any of the three locations! Manuel Antonio park is closed in Monday, and has been for many years, and yet we were scheduled to visit on a Monday! This is clearly blatant and false advertising! No explanation was ever given as to why we did not stop at the advertised locations. The ship's crew repeatedly said that they had the right to change ports of call at any time. Maybe Pearl Seas should advertise trips to the moon! It is obvious that the ship never intended to stop at the advertised ports; they were merely used to lure unsuspecting victims into taking (and paying for!) this cruise. The cruise was a disaster from the beginning. We were met by Pearl Seas' staff at the airport. They were confused and didn't know which passengers were staying in which hotels. We were told we were staying at the Courtyard of Marriott and were taken there. We waited behind a long line of people to check in only to find out there was no reservation for us when it was our turn! This was the case with all members of our group who arrived at different times from different cities in the US and Canada. We were then taken to the Marriott Residence where we were finally given a room. The outings that the ship did arrange were of very poor quality and were poorly planned and executed. There was not even enough space for all passengers on the few activities that were offered. We saw virtually no wildlife which was the reason for booking this trip in the first place. On one outing, we were scheduled to go on a nature hike. The boat transfer dropped us off on an inhabited island. There were no paths and no guide and the residents of the island were clearly offended at our presence. There was no way to contact the boat to return for us and no way to call the ship. How could the shop disregard such a cardinal rule of safety. No ship employee or representative was even with us during this outing. We were accompanied on the short walk we did take by several very skinny stray dogs who growled at us from time to time! The outing was so bad that it was almost funny; if we had not paid a boatload of money to go on this trip, that is! Snorkeling was advertised as an activity at some locations but no equipment was available for use or for rent. The ship's advertising talked about traversing the Panama Canal as a day activity, but our transit was overnight. We went through the three locks on the Pacific side from around 8:00 PM to midnight. We then went to bed. In preparation for this trip I had read David McCullough's book "The Path Between the Seas", and excellent 698 page book about the building of the Panama Canal. I was eager to see the famed Culebra cut in which the mountain that runs from north to south through central America was cut through to allow for the building of the canal. Alas, it was very late at night and dark and there was nothing to see. What a disappointment! The stabilizers of the ship were broken, causing much rocking and rolling during even relatively calm seas. As a result, I spent two evenings with my head in the trash can, vomiting. We also missed a snorkeling outing as the captain decided to hug the coast in the return to Cartagena rather than take the direct route. I believe he was worried about the sea-worthiness of a ship designed for still rivers with broken stabilizers. One member of the ship's staff was particularly beligerent and rude to passengers. At one of the evening briefings about the next day's outing, a passenger who was not with our group stood up to complain about the missed national park outings and the crossing of the Panama canal at night. Crew member John began to argue with the passenger and ended up shoving him? This was absolutely beyond belief! Final words - do not sail with Pearl Seas if the destination is important to you. You may not see or do what is advertised. Beware!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We selected this small cruise line because of great reviews, but in this first effort to visit Columbia, Panama and Costa Rica they failed their passengers in so many ways it is difficult to find any positives. Digging deep, I would say ... Read More
We selected this small cruise line because of great reviews, but in this first effort to visit Columbia, Panama and Costa Rica they failed their passengers in so many ways it is difficult to find any positives. Digging deep, I would say their hotel management and staff were comparable to some of the better cruise lines. Also, their evening entertainment and dining were top notch for a ship this size. However, everything else was a complete failure. On the first day out of Cartagena, the ship stabilizers and engines needed repairs. After a day at sea, they eventually fixed the engines but never quite fixed the stabilizers. They marketed satellite television and free wi-fi, but they did not fit the ship with the right antenna for television and their wi-fi could not handle 150 passengers. The wi-fi was so slow they gave free 24 hour access, but it took so long to use it most just gave up. They made no attempt to fix the satellite issue during the trip. Free tours were also marketed but there was only limited availability on these and many were left figuring out on their own what do in ports. The tours that we got on were not previewed by ship staff and they virtually had no idea what we were doing. A typical example is not knowing where to take tenders to so passengers would not need to wade ashore. A personal example is showing up at a 10 am departure with other passengers and watching the tender take off without us. They decided at the last minute they did not know a safe place to unload us so they had to go explore the shoreline while we waited. They came back and said the tide was too low to safely unload passengers and with a line of angry passengers, decided to look again. After an hour I called the ship's captain and asked if I could arrange my own boat to pick us up at the ship and he eventually took me up on that idea when the tender came back again and said it was unsafe to land passengers on the beach. He wisely chose to provide free local boats to all passengers and we eventually were able to do ashore. There were conflicts with locals hired to provide things like kayak adventures. On one occasion a kayak guide was so angry at our ship's representative that he took his kayaks and left. Many witnessed a ship's representative lash out at a lady passenger's complaint about the lack of planning and were clearly intimidated by his confrontational attitude. I could list 20 other examples of mismanagement but the bottom line is it was a mess. My advice is to steer clear of this ship with its current management and if you do go on one of their tours to do your research on tours ahead of time and arrange them on your own. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
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
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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