Pick something other than Victory Cruise Lines. The Great Lakes were a great place to cruise; just pick another cruise line. Or set your expectations low and deal with it. We did Detroit to Halifax.
For example, if you don't mind waiting 45 minutes for the crew to figure out how to put the gangway down to get off the ship at your ports of call... then deal with the limited excursion time.
If you don't mind that your port of call for a whale watching excursion is canceled and you simply drive by the area... then deal with it.
The ports of call on the Great Lakes are not what you find on cruises anywhere else in the world. If you don't mind that you dock with the cargo vessels in many ports... deal with it.
Like I said, the Great Lakes are worth doing a cruise on; even if the ports are quite up to what you find to welcome you elsewhere. But, what you do NOT want to do if find yourself on a Victory Cruise ship with any "sea days". These ships are small and without adequate facilities. Other reviews have already noted the tight quarters, terrible plumbing (flushes all night long and water totally stopping mid-shower), and as one fellow put in a lounge that reminded him of the visitor area of his mother's nursing home.
On the positive side, Food was good. Coffee and cookies in the lounge as a snack option was good for those on a diet. Excursion's were good other than often cut short in duration.
Service was marginal but with potential. We were booted from an earlier Victory II cruise because the ship didn't get out of dry dock in time. No compensation for then accepting a cabin downgrade to take a later date was only part of the issue here. The big issue was that the staff on the ship were simply NOT ready for prime time. A handful of staff were great and likely had prior experience. Much of the staff were very weak, inattentive, and more focused on serving the captain and senior crew than the guests.
Would we do a Great Lakes cruise again. Yes! But we will be looking for another cruise line.
Do NOT take cabin 406, 408, or 409. There is something in the inner-workings of the ship that makes relatively loud noises all night long. I sleep through anything but it was a real issue for my light sleeping wife.
The Owner's Cabins look on the diagram like something worth considering. However, don't expect your front balcony to be private as guests from all levels access it.
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Make sure you have a real good map and avoid the underground.
Pretty small town. Better if you get out and see the outlying areas.
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