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Canadian Empress Cruise Review
2.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
23 Reviews

Disgusting accommodation

Canadian Empress Cruise Review by Ginger dog

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Aug 2017
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: undefined

The accommodation was dilapidated, cramped and odourous. We were instructed to leave the bathroom fan on at all times, for room ventilation, hence a roaring sound from the fan and air conditioning, the entire trip. In addition there was a constant roar from the engines, which seemed to be located under our cabin. There was no seating provided in the cabin other than a hard folding chair, or the tiny hard bed which was a board with a thin spring filled mattress on it. I asked for an extra blanket so I could pad the mattress against the poking springs. We sacrificed floor space to keep the second bed, which could be folded up against the wall, in the down position, since the hard chair did not seem to be a viable option for relaxing. Even with the noise in the cabin, it was preferable to the din in the "grand salon" which was deafening at times. From the description of the boat, I pictured a replica steamship with some padded seats and draperies, but such was not the case.

I want to emphasize that the staff were exceptional, and worked themselves to a frenzy, serving in the dining room then cleaning rooms and toilets in between.

This cruise is not suitable for disabled people, of whom there were plenty. There are stairs and ramps to maneuver without assistance from the crew. I found it a bit disconcerting that when we were lined up to get the key for our room, that we were also given a "contract" to sign. The contract released the company from any conceivable mishap. It was only later, when I read the contract, that I understood there would be no assistance for disabled people. This did not make a difference to me, but there were people who disembarked early because of the difficulty they encountered getting up and down the stairs (the cabins were downstairs, meals and disembarkation planks were upstairs). It would have made a massive difference to our potential travelling companions who, thankfully, cancelled early. I do not believe anyone read the 2 page, fine print contract before signing, as other passengers were in the lineup waiting to get the keys to their "cabin".

There was only a small outer deck, at the back of the ship, that was a sheltered place to sit.

It only had about 12 chairs for about 60 passengers. The top deck space, although it had more chairs, was unsheltered from all types of weather.

Only the last half of the cruise on the river was really scenic as the river is just too wide to be able to see much on the shore. I would recommend a shorter trip around the Thousand Islands for anyone who wants to see the scenery. The cruise experience from Quebec City to Kingston on the Canadian Empress was just not worth the discomfort. This trip was not a bargain by any stretch of the imagination!


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