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Pearl Mist Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
207 Reviews

Passengers suffered egregious mismanagement on this cruise.

Pearl Mist Cruise Review by mirthman

24 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2016
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: undefined

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.

mirthman's Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin Luxury 308

Nice service in the cabin. Some passengers complained of soaked carpet from the air conditioner but we did not have that issue.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Ship excursions were generally a disaster.

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