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We chose this river cruise because of the itinerary up the Hudson to the Erie Canal and onto the St. Lawrence Seaway. We knew the cabins would be small but my wife and I were still surprised at the bathrooms (think airline size) and the shower with 5 gallons of hot water at a time. The ship was older and appeared as such. The captain and staff were very nice. The tours, however, left a lot to be desired. We bought the full package and regretted that decision. It is best to look into each one individually. We even received a refund on one tour that was ridiculous. The ship director was new to her job. She was a very nice person that was way over her head in the job. It is inconceivable why the company put her into that position without better training. Unfortunately, the norovirus broke out on the ship, which required the Canadian Health Officials to board our ship in Quebec City for an inspection. We know that viruses can breakout on any ship, but we felt the company and crew were not trained in handling the emergency. We were lucky not to have contracted the illness, but I think about a third of the passengers and crew got it. To top things off, the company's response regarding this cruise was underwhelming to say the least. Their basic response was: "These things happen" and then offered a 20% discount on a 2019 cruise. However, this was nothing more than we had already received on our 2018 cruise. We have done several river cruises in Europe and thought they were fantastic. Our experience with the Blount cruise has us questioning whether we will do another river cruise in the US.

Disappointing from start to finish

Grande Mariner Cruise Review by Burbank Travelers

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this river cruise because of the itinerary up the Hudson to the Erie Canal and onto the St. Lawrence Seaway. We knew the cabins would be small but my wife and I were still surprised at the bathrooms (think airline size) and the shower with 5 gallons of hot water at a time. The ship was older and appeared as such. The captain and staff were very nice. The tours, however, left a lot to be desired. We bought the full package and regretted that decision. It is best to look into each one individually. We even received a refund on one tour that was ridiculous. The ship director was new to her job. She was a very nice person that was way over her head in the job. It is inconceivable why the company put her into that position without better training. Unfortunately, the norovirus broke out on the ship, which required the Canadian Health Officials to board our ship in Quebec City for an inspection. We know that viruses can breakout on any ship, but we felt the company and crew were not trained in handling the emergency. We were lucky not to have contracted the illness, but I think about a third of the passengers and crew got it. To top things off, the company's response regarding this cruise was underwhelming to say the least. Their basic response was: "These things happen" and then offered a 20% discount on a 2019 cruise. However, this was nothing more than we had already received on our 2018 cruise.

We have done several river cruises in Europe and thought they were fantastic. Our experience with the Blount cruise has us questioning whether we will do another river cruise in the US.
, Marketing Coordinator, BSSA has responded
Thank you for taking time to express your concerns regarding your cruising experience with Blount. Unfortunately, like you mentioned, sickness of this nature spreads quickly in close areas like ships, that once someone is ill it can be challenging to contain. Our Captain and crew did the best they could to work through this challenging time onboard and we appreciate your cooperation and patience and are very thankful you did not contract the virus. Health Canada did assess our response time and protocol during the outbreak as well as a follow up health inspection, in which we passed with a score of 96 and the ship underwent an extensive and thorough sanitation. We hope you will cruise with us again and enjoy a positive cruise experience like so many of our passengers have for the past 53 years.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
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