For our first trip into unknown territory after Covid, we decided on a smaller river ship down the St. Lawrence Seaway. The PearlMist was the perfect size, about 100 rooms--every one of them with a balcony--and laid-back. We're not into a Las Vegas sized and style cruise. We much prefer a passenger experience that was manageable and comfortable. Pearl Mist provided it.
The good things about Pearl Mist:
The staff. I cannot speak highly enough for the staff, top to bottom of the Pearl Mist. Because I'm sure of the time of year--after school started--our passenger average was over 65 yrs old. No matter how old or mobility compromised, every passenger was treated with kindness, patience and humor. Not only that, the staff went out of their way to not only learn each passenger, but their preferences. The wait staff especially was quick, friendly and responsive. Not only that, halfway through the cruise, we ended up with 22 people isolated with covid(even after needing proof of covid vaccinations and mandatory testing at the embarkation site). Not only did the staff rise to the occasion with complete room service, but without appreciable delays in the dining areas. The Cruise Directors were always available, responsive and thoughtful. They did their best to respond to upsets in our schedule from port authorities and landside tour operators.
The room was a nice size, big enough for a king bed, spotlessly cleaned by our steward Geri, and laundry done free(which was a lovely surprise). the balcony was a lovely addition, as we had brilliant weather and got to go through several locks. And yes, an excellent, spacious bathroom, which I didn't expect on board.