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8 Pearl Seas Cuba Cruise Reviews

We, as most of the passengers on this ship, choose it because it promised so much time on land in Cuba. THAT was LAST year, NO LONGER. We were in Cuba ONLY 3.5 days. And the ship constantly blamed the government when that was not usually ... Read More
We, as most of the passengers on this ship, choose it because it promised so much time on land in Cuba. THAT was LAST year, NO LONGER. We were in Cuba ONLY 3.5 days. And the ship constantly blamed the government when that was not usually the case. Crew members readily admitted that they could not remember ever being on land for seven days. Furthermore, we are cruisers who typically sail with Oceania or land trips with Tauck, both are higher end, more pricey than average vacations. This Pearl Seas cruise was the MOST EXPENSIVE per day vacation we have ever taken. It was not even worth it at half price. Go to Cuba any other way that you can. Here is the reality. While Pearl Mist was one of the first to go to Cuba in-depth, it is now being pushed out by ANY larger ship because there is more money in allowing the larger ships to use the very LIMITED port facilities (only two ships can dock in Havana at one time). Does the government want the 200 pax ship or the 2-3,000 pax ship?? The same thing happened in Cienfuegos, with buses and tour guides. The larger Oceania ship went to the Botanical Gardens; Pearl Mist told us that the gardens closed early that day. We did not see the gardens. The food was barely average. There is always a chicken, fish, meat and veggie option, they were always just a little strange, not continental. The chef and kitchen staff are all Filipino. Furthermore, the waiters did not want to hear about any variations on the menu. For example, the salad course offered Caesar salad with shrimp. I did not want the shrimp; the waiter said it would be a problem as the salad was already plated. I repeated my request, and he said he would try. Luckily I am not allergic, as someone just took the shrimp off the salad. Any request for meat that was less than well done was NEVER executed; it was always overcooked. The ship has only one dining room option, there is no casual eating restaurant. Furthermore, this ship is sea worthy enough to make the trip, but if there is ANY rough weather, you will be unhappy (and most likely sea sick). Most pax were sea sick for several days. The good news, the rooms and baths are spacious, but no refrige. Internet is included, but so slow that it reminded me of 30 years ago dial up. TV is satellite and limited. The lectures were good, the music was not. AGAIN, GO TO CUBA ANY OTHER WAY YOU CAN. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I understand that travel to Cuba is not totally predictable, but an unpredictable Cuban government is very different than a deceptive itinerary. Our "Planned Cruise Itinerary" says we will have a "day of cruising" only ... Read More
I understand that travel to Cuba is not totally predictable, but an unpredictable Cuban government is very different than a deceptive itinerary. Our "Planned Cruise Itinerary" says we will have a "day of cruising" only twice during the entire cruise. The reality was 2.5 days of cruising out of Fort Lauderdale and a total of 5 days of cruising. We were told the only change was the time in Havana that was cut short by the Cuban government. I also think that as a small ship the Pearl Mist could be more mindful of waste. Plastic water bottles were so plentiful that people would take a few sips and abandon the bottle. We have been on other small ships that provide a refillable bottle and have refill stations throughout the ship. I still cringe when I think of how many plastic water bottles were disposed of by this ship. They could also have served condiments such as mayo, mustard, jam and syrup in refillable ramekins instead of the tiny, individual glass jars that are impossible to get all of the contents out and make more trash. Our entertainment was three speakers and two musician/singers. One speaker was quite good and the other two fair; but the two others were good musicians but absolutely horrible singers. Surely in Florida there are some Cuban musicians who would have been a better choice. Finally, there was not enough communication between the cruise directors and the local guides. The guides were oblivious to the many physical difficulties and necessities of the guests. The reality with this group of passengers is that they were the most physically disabled group I have ever traveled with, and this was not a handicap-friendly country. Finally, the food is mediocre. My rating RE embarkation is because they left the luggage of four passengers on the dock in Fort Lauderdale. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We wanted to experience Cuba before it gets too commercial so we booked a 12day/11 night cruise on the Pearl Mist. We ended up being on Cuban soil only 4 days of the entire trip, and they added Freeeport, Bahamas for the 5th day off the ... Read More
We wanted to experience Cuba before it gets too commercial so we booked a 12day/11 night cruise on the Pearl Mist. We ended up being on Cuban soil only 4 days of the entire trip, and they added Freeeport, Bahamas for the 5th day off the ship; way too much time at sea. While Cuba itself was fantastic, the food on the ship was very good and it was very clean, it was completely unacceptable that they shortened the 8-day promise of Cuban shore time down to 4 days, and some of those days were only half days! They completely misinformed/advertised deceptively of how much time would be on shore. Of course they say that it was out of their hands, Cuban changes, etc. but it was an extremely expensive trip to start with, and they should be held accountable for more time on shore, or a reduction in price. Also, we were told (in print) that the first night dinner would be served on the boat, but we ended up not boarding till past 7:30PM and there were only cold sandwiches offered after much complaining about the situation by all passengers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Their Cuba itinerary is a straight flat lie! They publish as if they are having 7 excursion days in the island of Cuba, out of 12 total cruise days. We actually got only 3 excursion days! (2 full days and 2 half days) in Cuba. Not to ... Read More
Their Cuba itinerary is a straight flat lie! They publish as if they are having 7 excursion days in the island of Cuba, out of 12 total cruise days. We actually got only 3 excursion days! (2 full days and 2 half days) in Cuba. Not to mention that they cruise during the day and dock at night, instead of cruising at night and leaving the days for touring. There was nothing to do onboard during these 6 days of cruising. The first day we left at 9pm instead of 1pm. The last day we arrived at 6am. So total of 10 not 12! The food is not what you would expect for the high end price. The only good thing about them is the on board staff which are trying their best to cover up for the management. The company has not even responded to our complaint (check their BBB rating of D+). Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise PRIMARILY for Havana. 2 days were promised. We already had plans to travel via Canada or mexico, but the lure of additional stops and 2 days in Havana were too much to resist. What a BIG mistake!!! The cruise line ... Read More
We chose this cruise PRIMARILY for Havana. 2 days were promised. We already had plans to travel via Canada or mexico, but the lure of additional stops and 2 days in Havana were too much to resist. What a BIG mistake!!! The cruise line reneged on the Havana stop and we got CHEATED out of a day in Havana , instead we spent an extra day at sea doing NOTHING!!! davidfhumo wrote a review from a different time and it seems to be the norm. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY !!!! The food on board is palatable but far from luxurious. Never mind the pretend bartenders. They couldn't make a decent drink if their life depended on it. That may have something to do with tending bar was an added responsibility after a primary job on board such as housecleaning. (That really surprised me to see the bartender cleaning rooms). Entertainment consist of a 2 man no talent band with terribly laughable interpretations on popular music. The crew corporate staff was non helpful in offering any insight as to why we were cheated out of our contracted cruise. The "SERVICE" staff were VERY helpful and deserve to be in better company. To them my heart goes out to. One more thought, please be honest with yourself. If you have physical limitations, this is not the cruise for you. The excursions do not bode well for some. The boat has minimal facilities and a serious lack of amusement potential during sailing times. Cuba is GREAT! But DON"T waste your money with this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Price does not buy you quality on this ship. This was the most expensive cruise we have ever taken and we were so disappointed by many aspects. There are some positives of a small ship and that is a more intimate experience with fellow ... Read More
Price does not buy you quality on this ship. This was the most expensive cruise we have ever taken and we were so disappointed by many aspects. There are some positives of a small ship and that is a more intimate experience with fellow passengers and a certain relaxed atmosphere however many negatives in that very little is offered such as no shop, spa, fresh coffee, bar, walking deck, workout machines (they had a very poor area with 4 old machines), below average and boring entertainment but the worst is the movement in rough seas. We had flying objects coming at us in our room and when getting a coffee from a machine and then the breakfast table ended up in our laps as the boat swayed from side to side and my chair slid along the carpet! Many objects ended up all over the floor in our room. Our room was quite roomy but very dated and just OK. Nothing special. Lets talk about the food or lack thereof!! This is the first cruise that I have ever experienced being afraid I would not have enough to eat (and I am not a big eater) and found myself hoarding oat bars in my room and heard from another passenger that she was doing the same. The food was overcooked and so dry that it was inedible, the meat so tough and full of gristle that I couldn't eat it. There was no fine dining and absolutely no finesse. The portions were often so small (4 bay shrimp as a starter with a piece of lettuce - I am not kidding). Some meals were just ok and some were absolutely disgusting. Tea and hor d'oeuvres were appalling - beyond comprehension. At our first lunch I asked for a cappuccino after dessert and was told I had to get it myself out of the machine on the 2nd or 4th floor. Leave the table, go and get my own coffee made from a machine with powdered milk which had sugar in it and come back to the table! The brochure and the itinerary were incorrect and false, we were lied to. The floors and carpets were constantly damp and wet - I thought I was imagining it and then my socks and slippers would be wet! The whole experience was flabbergasting. It was so unbelievable that it was comical and gave us and our friends we were traveling with much laughter because the alternative was to cry!! I have to write that most of the staff were amazing - very helpful and attentive but they can only work with the tools and ship they are given. I would never cruise with this company again. Way overpriced for what you receive and in fact I would not even cruise with them if they offered me money Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
DO NOT put a deposit down on a cruise until you have a written confirmation of what you will receive. They are excellent at bait and switch. Do Not believe the sales agent when they say you can cancel if they cannot provide a room of the ... Read More
DO NOT put a deposit down on a cruise until you have a written confirmation of what you will receive. They are excellent at bait and switch. Do Not believe the sales agent when they say you can cancel if they cannot provide a room of the class you wanted. They will keep your deposit and not refund anything, and then when you try to get an explanation they pass you from person to person and get ruder with each person. The entertainment doesn't exist or is poor at best. The corporate office is impossible to speak with anyone in authority, even though they state that they are a consumer friendly company. They especially like to do less for the senior travelers. I've traveled with 8 different cruise companies and this is the ONLY one I would warn to stay away from. Many people have scheduled cruises to be canceled at a later date with a limited refund policy or credit on a future cruise which may never take place Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Ship not stable in ocean rough water. Ship had large bowls of sea sickness medicine for passengers to help themselves! Too many days at sea! Numerous changes in itinerary and not punctual on tours . Told what time to be back on bus and ... Read More
Ship not stable in ocean rough water. Ship had large bowls of sea sickness medicine for passengers to help themselves! Too many days at sea! Numerous changes in itinerary and not punctual on tours . Told what time to be back on bus and even guides were late. Often hard to hear guides when off the buses. Best highlight of cruise, buses were new, clean, and had bathrooms! Pearl often cancelled planned tours, and never told passengers. Medical on ship not adequate, and passengers taken to local hospitals in each port before all other passengers could get off ship. Food only adequate. The staff were very nice and tried to be helpful. What we saw in Cuba was not a disappointment, but Pearl was terrible! The ending of the trip Pearl employees dropped our friends luggage in the water when FINALLY arriving back in Ft. Lauderdale. Have been on numerous cruises, and by far this the worst, and very expensive! Would never go on another Pearl Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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