We chose this cruise because of the route & ports. In previous cruises up the coast to Canada, only the biggest ports were included because of the ship size. So the Pearl Mist being smaller, was able to stop at places like Lunenburg, Gaspe, Isles de la Madeleine and Saguenay that bigger ships can't. However, it was not to be. In Bar Harbor, the ship lay at anchor for a full day because of a mechanical problem. So two of the smaller ports that we had planned on were cut. To increase the uncertainty, the bridge never gave ongoing information about the reason for the unplanned stop and its consequences. Further, the captain was Romanian and was not a good speaker. So, his few announcements were almost unintelligible.
There were three pleasant surprises however that we learned about on arrival - the brochure stated that there would be "Premium" excursions at some ports. But all the excursions were complimentary. Further, there was a full complimentary bar in the late afternoon. If one wanted a drink at another time - or anything else within reason, room service would provide it at no charge. But then again, the bar was open at 5:30, the same time that the dining room opened. It would have been more convenient if the bar had opened before dinner time. And there was a complimentary laundry service. It took a day or so to be returned, but everything was nicely folded.
The per day charge for the cruise was at a level similar to that at Regent or Crystal, for example. Thus, we were expecting a certain level of luxury, as claimed. In my mind, I justified the higher-than-expected cost that since the ship visited more than one US port, that it would have to abide by the Jones act and have a more-expensive crew than the usual complement of south Asians. I was surprised to note that there were very few US citizens in the crew, and certainly not the 75% called for. How the ship avoided those restrictions I do not know.
In the dining room, the server delivered orders accurately and were friendly. However, the service was slow. A typical dinner was a two-hour affair - sometimes the wait for the entree itself was an hour. All meals were served at the tables. In most other lines, breakfast and lunch are cafeteria-style, but not on the Mist. I was surprised to note that at most meals, there was no supervisor present and the waiters were so busy that it was hard to get their attention for more coffee, water, etc.
In the cabins, the light fixtures at the bedside table were insufficiently bright to read by, in our judgement. However, I particularly liked the shower in the bathroom. The usual fixture to control the shower has two controls, one for flow rate and the other for temperature. I find it confusing to operate. However, this shower had the usual one-knob control; rotate for temperature and pull for flow rate - much more logical in my opinion. Furthermore, the shower door had a full height magnetic closure that assured that no water would escape onto the floor. There was insufficient shelf space in the bathroom however - it would have been useful to add a few more, perhaps in place of part of the large mirror. The housekeeping staff is very quick, efficient and accommodating for requests.
I found the musical entertainer - Kenny Holliday to be excellent. Similarly, the guest lecturer was well informed and knowledgeable.
The self-service hot drink machines were well designed and produced a wide variety of drinks.
The wifi on the ship was available and free, but almost worthless because of its very small capacity.
Finally, at Saguenay, the last port before Quebec, the excursion was to something called La Fableuse. We had no idea was it was. In fact it was an extraordinary stage performance of local history by a group of local volunteer actors. The stage was HUGE, there were more than 100 performers on stage at various times, six horses, two antique automobiles, several carriages, a battle scene, explosions, a pig, a goat, a flock of geese, real fire, waterfalls, amazing lighting effects, crops that grew out of the stage and a host of other effects. All in all, it was a terrific way to end the trip.
All in all, the trip was enjoyable, but not up to the luxury level claimed by the line.