Sail Date: October 2014
There were several aspects that made this cruise less than advertised. The brochures for Pearl Mist advertised 'Free Internet Throughout Ship'. However there were stipulations and restrictions that rendered this claim bogus. ... Read More
There were several aspects that made this cruise less than advertised. The brochures for Pearl Mist advertised 'Free Internet Throughout Ship'. However there were stipulations and restrictions that rendered this claim bogus. First, only one hour free internet was offered and that one hour had the stipulation that each days' use began 24 hours after each days use ended. So that if you checked email between, say 8 AM and 9 AM one day you couldn't use your one hour until the next day after 9 AM and the following day after 10 AM, etc. Second, it was extremely difficult to obtain internet service. After finally gaining access to the ship's internet webpage it was almost a random event to get connected. It was as if there was only so many connections available and you were fortunate to get your connection. Third, when you finally did get a connection and tried to get your one free hour only to discover that it wasn't available you had to go through the whole procedure again to get the webpage that offered internet access. Fourth, if you did buy the four hour option it was only offered in consecutive hours; in other words, you couldn't use two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. This was especially unusable if you signed on in the morning and took an onshore tour. Another problem we found was that water leaked into our cabin and created a wet carpet by the sliding door. After our third report of this issue a fan was brought in and this helped remove the dampness. I should point out that the door rattled and we addressed this issue by stuffing hand towels in the opening between the sliding doors. For some reason we left Halifax at 7 PM and it didn't seem to make any sense as the next port was Lunenburg, less than half a night's cruising distance. This made dinner in Halifax a difficult option. We enjoyed the daily lectures by Sam Ladley but suggest that you also broadcast these through the room TV. Also posting position of the ship en route on TV would have been nice. It was disappointing that several of our port stops were affected by the inclement weather but suggest that in the future you offer some type of compensation to the passengers, perhaps in the form of free internet. Some things we did appreciate was the open bar and food service. The daily happy hour with appetizers was a good feature. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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: November 2018
We chose this cruise PRIMARILY for Havana. 2 days were promised. We already had plans to travel via Canada or mexico, but the lure of additional stops and 2 days in Havana were too much to resist. What a BIG mistake!!! The cruise line ... Read More
We chose this cruise PRIMARILY for Havana. 2 days were promised. We already had plans to travel via Canada or mexico, but the lure of additional stops and 2 days in Havana were too much to resist. What a BIG mistake!!! The cruise line reneged on the Havana stop and we got CHEATED out of a day in Havana , instead we spent an extra day at sea doing NOTHING!!! davidfhumo wrote a review from a different time and it seems to be the norm. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY !!!! The food on board is palatable but far from luxurious. Never mind the pretend bartenders. They couldn't make a decent drink if their life depended on it. That may have something to do with tending bar was an added responsibility after a primary job on board such as housecleaning. (That really surprised me to see the bartender cleaning rooms). Entertainment consist of a 2 man no talent band with terribly laughable interpretations on popular music. The crew corporate staff was non helpful in offering any insight as to why we were cheated out of our contracted cruise. The "SERVICE" staff were VERY helpful and deserve to be in better company. To them my heart goes out to. One more thought, please be honest with yourself. If you have physical limitations, this is not the cruise for you. The excursions do not bode well for some. The boat has minimal facilities and a serious lack of amusement potential during sailing times. Cuba is GREAT! But DON"T waste your money with this cruise line. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise to be with our aging parents. The good news: nobody died. The bad news: we had to live through a week of noisy nights, cheap over cooked or processed food, missed excursions, and cheap accommodations. We arrived at ... Read More
We chose this cruise to be with our aging parents. The good news: nobody died. The bad news: we had to live through a week of noisy nights, cheap over cooked or processed food, missed excursions, and cheap accommodations. We arrived at ports only to be told we could not disembark because of weather. Our itinerary changed with no notice as the staff made poor decisions about excursions. It was obvious from the forecast, for example, that we would not be able to take a tender off the ship to nearby Campobello Island, but we left the safe docking at delightful Eastport, Maine anyway and spent the day anchored two hundred yards away from shore. This happened again two days later when the decision was made to change course to avoid heavy winds while knowing we couldn’t get into the next port. We backtracked to St John’s the next day on a Sunday when there was nothing to do. The food would make Denny’s look like five stars No exercise facility, unless you want to risk falling overboard in a gale Spent an hour waiting in freezing temps for a tender with no explanation as to why none was coming as we were 7 minutes from the ship. The lounges were cramped and did not afford views creating a very claustrophobic environment especially since we spent so much time on board. The entertainers were lovey people; however, their style was not our style but they seemed to be appreciated by many of the guests. If they were only a few of several choices for entertainment, they would have been fine (for others). Since this was a very expensive cruise, per capita per day, we expected the same quality service and amenities that we have enjoyed on other luxury cruise lines. We were sorely disappointed from the moment of check in to our disembarkation. If the cost of this cruise had been significantly lower, our expectations would not have been so high. I have no desire or intention of taking another Pearl of the Seas or American Cruise line cruise again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
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
14 Helpful Votes
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
Pearl Mist Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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