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5 Pearl Seas Romantic Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it stopped in Mackinac Island and provided a chance to see all five Great Lakes. We stayed in the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee prior to the cruise rather than the recommended hotel only because it was our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it stopped in Mackinac Island and provided a chance to see all five Great Lakes. We stayed in the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee prior to the cruise rather than the recommended hotel only because it was our anniversary and we wanted something special. Milwaukee has plenty to do within walking distance of the dock and is safe and clean. The Pearl Mist is a small ship which enables all cruisers the chance to get to know each other. Our room was comfortable and provided everything we needed. Plenty of hangars in the closet though I bought extra as I like to hang all my clothes. There is a safe in the desk to store your passport and other valuables. We enjoyed the chairs and table on the balcony as we sailed through the Welland Canal and its locks and several times as we sailed away. There are two lounges to choose from for happy hour (all drinks free!) as well as lots of seating area on the top deck to enjoy the scenery as we sail before dinner. Our evening entertainment was two singers on guitar (same ones each night) who were adequate. The music was great - the singing not so much - but nice to dance to. There is also an open bar (more free drinks!) after dinner in the lounge with the entertainment. We enjoyed many meals on the ship where there were also options for vegetarians and gluten-free. Plenty to choose from and the desserts were absolutely yummy. The majority of excursions were included and those that were not were reasonably priced. I compared the prices to what we would pay if we did them on our own and the ship's prices were the same or less. Most of the towns we docked in were right in the town allowing us to walk around on our own. When it was not, the ship provided a free shuttle to the points of interest even if you didn't book an excursion. Maps and local infomation were supplied ahead of time in each port. All excursions were well planned and organized. We went on each included excursion and bought an optional excursion whenever we could. Well worth it. Each day there was a lecture we could attend onboard to learn about the area we were sailing through or some point of interest. There was also a movie or documentary playing on the TV all day pertaining to our next port. I am so glad I overlooked some of the negative reviews that were posted. Some people are always looking to point out that bad. This was a wonderful cruise. The staff and crew were excellent and we enjoyed the highlights of Mackinac and Niagara as well as the smaller towns on the Georgian Bay. Each stop had something to offer and lots of beauty. My husband and I are in our early 60's and good health. We would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I will review by category: Service: I think the best part about this company and being on a small ship is the personalized service. By the end of the trip, I knew all of my room attendant staff, the entertainers, cruise directors and ... Read More
I will review by category: Service: I think the best part about this company and being on a small ship is the personalized service. By the end of the trip, I knew all of my room attendant staff, the entertainers, cruise directors and various other staff by name, and they knew mine! and never failed to greet me each time we passed. I especially appreciated this personability that you definitely won't get on big cruises. The main ship director even personally visited my cabin to ask if I was enjoying my room and made extra efforts regarding my accommodations, which I truly appreciated (I was sharing a room with my parents, and I think he felt bad for me ;) The rooms were great, well stocked by attentive and sweet staff, and all had a private balcony. The room service was great! On that note: I have to mention that I was the youngest guest on the ship (I'm 28). I see that there are some pretty negative reviews about the average ages being around 60-75 from past voyages, and don't get me wrong, I definitely wouldn't have minded meeting a cute guy my age ;) however; the age of my fellow passengers didn't bother me at all! In fact, I saw this one of the highlights of my trip. I was able to meet and talk to many of these people and truly enjoyed our conversation, their wisdom and stories, and by the end of our journey; I felt I had made meaningful connections with many of them. Entertainment/Recreation: The ONLY reason I took a few points of for these areas is that A. There was no pool on board (this was a bummer for me) and B. I think they could add a few more Entertainment options on board such as comedy shows or even just increasing the trivia and bingo events. Now for the high points: The band on board was great!! They were very personable and provided nightly themed mini shows, as well as played through cocktail hours. There were also interesting lectures and mini-seminars about our next port cities before we would arrive at each. Again this is an EDUCATIONAL tour, so if all you are interested in is on board dolphin shows, giant movie theatres and all you can eat buffets, this may not be the experience/cruise line for you. If you like to work out, they have a small workout area on one of the decks. *A plus for me was the quiet, comfortable library on Deck 4 (there is a smaller, less known about one on deck 5 as well), as I am in grad school and this provided me with a perfect place to work on homework. They also have 3 computers (1 in the small library) that have access to wifi and printers if you did not bring your own laptop etc. Now for the Cuba Experience! Excursions: I think everyone I talked to had a different favorite port/excursion/experience so it really depends what you are interested in seeing the most! Positives for ME: I really enjoyed meeting and talking to the Cuban people. I opted out of the Havana tour on the last day and instead explored the city on my own (and YES, you can do this!). I was hesitant at first but was reassured by staff, seasoned Cuban travelers, foreigners (mostly European travelers), and Cubans themselves that there is very little crime (especially towards tourists, which is virtually unheard of) and this was probably the highlight of my trip. The guided tours in the other port cities were overall great, the one downside being that we were extremely rushed on a couple and some tour guides and staff were less relaxed than others, making those excursions quite stressful for guests at times. If we could do it again, we would have spent some of the less interesting excursions exploring the cities going to places we wanted to see on our own, relaxed time frame. Otherwise, we went to some AMAZING places, especially in Santiago and other mountainous ports, where we were able to zip line and visit beautiful and historical churches and other incredible architecture, and dine at private restaurants in peoples homes (One in Santigo with a view of the entire city and acousitic band playing cuban music just for us). We also were given a private classical concert right on a beach, which were both beyond beautiful! * This biggest downside for me was not being able to go to a beach, as the weather was beyond beautiful but a little too hot at times (no at all humid though!). It is actually the US government preventing Americans from being able to go to beaches in Cuba, as it is considered a "tourism" activity so I hope this changes soon because I will DEFINITELY be back!! Overall, the Pearl Mist, staff, and tour of Cuba were AMAZING and I highly recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Thousand Islands, and on around to Halifax and New England. Being on a ship with 174 other people is a very relaxing way to cruise. We were able to go into ports ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Thousand Islands, and on around to Halifax and New England. Being on a ship with 174 other people is a very relaxing way to cruise. We were able to go into ports that the bigger ships are not able to dock in. The crew was very helpful and friendly. The shore excursions were included and gave us a history of the area. The weather was beautiful until the last couple of days when it was rainy due to Jose passing through New England. We have cruised on larger ships but prefer the smaller size and number of passengers. These cruises are for retirees and people looking for a relaxing, informative time. Not a lot of night life but there was some for those who were interested. The food was varied and very good. If you re expect total luxury and variety these ships are probably not for you. But the accommodations are very comfortable and clean. The elevator was quick and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, and to check off some bucket list items; specifically to visit Mackinac Island and Niagara Falls. We definitely got a lot more. The excursions were very enjoyable, and made ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, and to check off some bucket list items; specifically to visit Mackinac Island and Niagara Falls. We definitely got a lot more. The excursions were very enjoyable, and made good use of our time. We have taken mega-ship Caribbean cruises and a European river cruise, but our Great Lakes cruise on Pearl Mist was better than those alternatives, by far. The accommodations were comfortable, with a very spacious bedroom and bathroom and a private balcony. The service and food were outstanding, and the destinations informative and enjoyable. Life on board the ship was very pleasant and relaxing, with great evening entertainment. We made many new friends on the trip, thanks to many opportunities to dine and socialize together. The all-inclusive policy meant no hassles with bar tabs and other inconveniences. All in all, a very good vacation choice. We recommend this cruise very highly! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Overall, we do not feel that this was good experience. We have been on approximately 8 cruises and this was the worst. Following are comments which we feel support this conclusion. 1. The Welcome Aboard brochure stated that we ... Read More
Overall, we do not feel that this was good experience. We have been on approximately 8 cruises and this was the worst. Following are comments which we feel support this conclusion. 1. The Welcome Aboard brochure stated that we should arrive at the ship between 11 am and 2 pm and the ship would leave around 3pm. In order for us to make this schedule, we booked a hotel room in Newark so we could catch an early flight to arrive in Toronto in this time frame. When we got on the ship we were then told that the ship would not leave until 9 pm that evening. No one ever told us of this change which could have been done simply thru a blanket email to all passengers as soon as this change was known. As a result we unnecessarily spent and extra $210 for a hotel room in Newark to catch an early flight. We could have driven straight from home to Newark later in the day and gotten a later flight had we known of the later departure of the ship. 2. This cruise was to be special as a celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary so we selected the largest stateroom on the ship. This whole thing cost us over $17,000 with this large stateroom. As it turned out, the stateroom was large in square footage but not in functionality. It was only large because of a narrow strip of useless space that had two chairs in it. Since it was on the 3rd deck, it didn’t even have a sliding glass door like the staterooms on the 4th and 5th floor. When signing up for this room, no one at Pearl Seas made any attempt to point any of this out to us or assist us in our stateroom selection. Upon our return home, we reviewed photos of previous staterooms on previous cruises and they were all much more elegant and inviting. Including our 3 cruises on American Cruise Lines. 3. We spent $17,000+ for this cruise (note the recurring theme here) and the “free wi-fi” is only one hour a day and you have to pay for any more. Cheezy. Even at that, our free hour in 24 hours had to occur 24 hours after the previous session had ended. Very difficult to manage. It would probably be simpler to just not have wi-fi and people would understand. 4. Couldn’t figure out what size the beds were. They looked like king size, but my feet stuck over the end no matter what I did. I am 6 ft tall. 5. We had a card on the desk in our stateroom stating that our cabin steward was “Dante”. In 10 days, we never figured out who Dante was. 6. Food. It had it’s ups and downs. All beef was cooked exactly as requested. Problem was that the quality of the beef was terrible. It was either tough or gristly or both. Whoever did the provisioning for the meat should be made to eat it. I had a crab cake that was the best I have ever eaten. Much of the fish had to be sent back because it was over cooked. This happened to many or our table mates too. 7. Ports. Holland Mich was a gravel yard. Beautiful. Holland is a nice town to visit, but not on Sunday like we did because almost nothing was open. Pretty boring as a result. But the crowning glory was Chicago: Everything up until we were captive on the ship told us we were docking at Navy Pier. Pretty sweet. Then, once meeting with the Onshore Activities Director we were told we would not dock at Navy Pier. The reason is laughable: “There was a fire on a Halloween barge at Navy Pier and it sunk to the bottom, therefore the Navy Pier docking was not possible because of debris on the harbor floor.” Hmmm. Let’s see, the last Halloween we had was last October, 10 months ago. And in all that time Pearl Sea Cruises was not aware of this calamity which could effect what they told their passengers? On top of that, I talked to several Chicagoans who had no idea what that was all about and there was no apparent salvaging going on to correct this situation. This sounds like one giant fairy tale to me. On top of that, we docked at this ridiculous steel yard which was 45 minutes from Chicago by coach and trolley. Each coach and trolley had to be escorted thru the yard by a guy in a pickup truck. Made us feel really special. Let’s see, Navy Pier in the heart of Chicago or a Steel Yard 45 minutes out of the city. For a $17,000+ cruise, what should I expect? All of the other ports were barely ok. In Sault St. Marie, we were told there would be no shuttle in to town but it was a half hour walk. We went as far as we could because I have a bone spur on my heel. Didn’t make it down town. After lunch we were told that miraculously there was now a shuttle to take us down town. By then, thanks, but no thanks. From the passengers we talked to that did make the walk, downtown was not worth walking to. Would we go on Pearl Seas again? Not in a million years. What a way to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
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