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43 Pearl Seas USA Cruise Reviews

We wanted to tour the Great Lakes on a small ship in style. To start our days, the breakfasts were always excellent with a nice variety. The portions at each meal were just right. We enjoyed the open seating at each meal. The cabin and ... Read More
We wanted to tour the Great Lakes on a small ship in style. To start our days, the breakfasts were always excellent with a nice variety. The portions at each meal were just right. We enjoyed the open seating at each meal. The cabin and bathroom were a good size with a nice shower. The cabin steward was very attentive and friendly. The ship was well maintained and clean. We appreciated the overnight laundry service. The cruise director and her assistant were always available and on top of everything. They were very informative about the next day's activities. The entertainment duo had a good variety of music and vocals with changing themes night to night. In summation, our goal for this cruise was to familiarize ourselves and learn more about the beautiful Great Lakes. We learned about the people past and present and the surrounding towns/cities. Also, our goal was to have an enjoyable vacation with people with the same interests. We achieved our goals and enjoyed ourselves very much. We will be looking forward to cruising with Pearl Seas again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband wanted to see the Great Lakes and he loves cruising. We read the reviews and all said “older” passengers. Somehow we didn’t imagine that meant most would be mid 70s to 90s. At 62 that meant we were a whole lot younger than ... Read More
My husband wanted to see the Great Lakes and he loves cruising. We read the reviews and all said “older” passengers. Somehow we didn’t imagine that meant most would be mid 70s to 90s. At 62 that meant we were a whole lot younger than most of the passengers. There were possibly 10 passengers around our age or younger. We had cabin R303 - a nice large stateroom . Because of the odd layout however we did not have a couch only 2 semi comfortable chairs. The tv and air conditioner worked well. We had a lunch very balcony w rocking chairs. The meals were good but I’m not really a fan of the group tables. The wait staff ran hot and cold as far as personality. My biggest complaint is the lack of activities on the ship. The 2 large lounges were nice and they had snacks and beverages all day. However if the Lounge was being used for a talk or presentation you had to leave. The entertainment was really geared to older people. A presentation was on “The Golden Age of Radio.” The excursions were lacking. Local historical societies or WWII activities. The day spent at Mackimac Island was wonderful but we missed lunch at the Grand Hotel due to a scheduling issue as the ship was late leaving the previous port due to a late food delivery. The trip was relaxing for us and we got a lot of reading done but I would have loved something to do on the ship while in port. The older passengers seemed to enjoy the choice of excursions more than we did. For the hefty price tag I found this cruise lacking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to experience the Great Lakes and thought this cruise was a good way to do it. The crew was well trained, friendly and happy but the ship itself was a disappointment. It was rather shabby and in need of a refurbishment. The ... Read More
We wanted to experience the Great Lakes and thought this cruise was a good way to do it. The crew was well trained, friendly and happy but the ship itself was a disappointment. It was rather shabby and in need of a refurbishment. The furniture was well worn with nicks and scratches and most of the carpeting needed cleaning. The lounges were set up like an old fashioned parlor and not appointed well at all. Afternoon Tea consisted of a coffee/tea machine, paper cups and a few hors d’oevres. We only went once. The food was very good and presented well but don’t order breakfast in your cabin. It always came out wrong. Several other people said the same thing. We did enjoy the entertainment very much. Kenny and Kat were very good and enthusiastic. But the entertainment ended at 10pm and you couldn’t even get a drink after that. We had a good enough time but wouldn’t use this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife wanted to cruise the Great Lakes and i found this ship that was sailing from Toronto, ON Canada through the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay ending in Milwaukee, WS . The ship's facilities were very good but cabins and rooms are ... Read More
My wife wanted to cruise the Great Lakes and i found this ship that was sailing from Toronto, ON Canada through the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay ending in Milwaukee, WS . The ship's facilities were very good but cabins and rooms are dated. The crew members were excellent and very attentive to passenger needs and requests. Entertainment and activities are geared to retired (60+) and service was excellent as was the dining. Shore excursions were good and ports, for the most part, were very easy and efficient. WiFi didn't seem to work when you needed it most and was very spotty to say the least. TV reception (for NBA tournament) was also hit and miss, although some passengers had it on their phones. The disembarkation port was too small though and this made getting off the ship awkward and time consuming. Not good planning on the part of the cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have sailed on small and large ships and they both have something going for them. This cruise had about 150 passengers and was a great way to meet new people. On this size ship you see the same people all the time and it is easy to ... Read More
We have sailed on small and large ships and they both have something going for them. This cruise had about 150 passengers and was a great way to meet new people. On this size ship you see the same people all the time and it is easy to get to know each other. The lectures are very topical and even the entertainment although limited came down and joined us for our meals. On a large ship you may not see someone more than once with dinner shifts and sheer volume of people. On the other hand a larger ship has more entertainment and certainly more glam in the entertainment stage productions. It is all about what you want on the cruise. This trip to the coast of Main was certainly more enjoyable with new met friends and an excellent smaller ship and crew. The food was excellent and the daily menus offered a good variety of selections. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Initially concerned after reading some reviews but it was wonderful. The service was impeccable-all were friendly and went out of their way to help people. The passengers on our cruise appeared to be quite well-off and experienced ... Read More
Initially concerned after reading some reviews but it was wonderful. The service was impeccable-all were friendly and went out of their way to help people. The passengers on our cruise appeared to be quite well-off and experienced cruisers. Many were on there 4th Pearl cruise or had sailed with American Cruise (Pearl's sister company). Food was very good and loved the fact that they offered 1/2 portions at lunch and dinner. The more interesting tours are extra and I do think for the price you pay for this cruise all shore excursions should be included. .We did find out that you could have your laundry done on board but they did not advertise this There is no gift shop or spa. There are exercise machines on the 6th deck forward but they are outside so have limited usability. Average are on this cruise was probably 75 and many had limited mobility -the crew was amazing to help them. If they had scooters or walkers, the crew made sure that they got them on the buses and were very careful to describe the tours so that everyone knew what to expect. We were on the younger side but enjoyed ourselves every day. We had a guest lecturer and entertainment every night from two-duos that alternated every other evening. There is a small library and a card room. On our "at sea" days we played trivia and bingo. We never felt bored -there was alway something to do. Highly recommend the Great Lakes tour. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Having been on over 30 Ocean and river cruises all over the World we wanted to spend more of our time and money in the United States. This cruise offered an interesting itinerary most of which we had never visited. We prefer small - medium ... Read More
Having been on over 30 Ocean and river cruises all over the World we wanted to spend more of our time and money in the United States. This cruise offered an interesting itinerary most of which we had never visited. We prefer small - medium size ships over the floating malls and their crowds. The staff was excellent, friendly and very helpful, the meal selections good and varied and the sizes and quality outstanding. In addition to a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks and water in our cabin, mixed alcoholic drinks were available at lunch, dinner and all entertainment venues. The on board entertainment was very good and appropriate for our age group. The ship and cabins are comfortable but dated and need to be updated and unless the ship is in port the Wi-Fi is poor to non-existent. Departures, transfers and ship events were punctual and as advertised. We would consider travelling with them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife and I are experienced cruisers. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Silver Seas, Regent and smaller ships such as Le Ponant, Windstar and Le Soleal. We decided to try Pearl Mist which accommodates about 200 passengers ... Read More
My wife and I are experienced cruisers. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Silver Seas, Regent and smaller ships such as Le Ponant, Windstar and Le Soleal. We decided to try Pearl Mist which accommodates about 200 passengers because we had never sailed the Great Lakes. The trip was supposed to be a seven day cruise from Midland, Ontario to Chicago. I was under the impression that Pearl Mist was a luxury liner since the cost was luxury liner prices. The fare came to $1,744 per night for two not including tips, airfare, pre-cruise hotel night or land tours. Comparable prices on Regent for a Concierge Suite run from $1,340 to $1,940 per night, depending on destination, but include tips, airfare, pre-cruise hotel night and land tours. But Pearl Mist is definitely not a luxury liner. The only favorable parts of the cruise were stops at Parry Sound, Mackinac Island and Muskegon. The three piece entertainers and the lecturer were good and our waiter was extremely courteous. Otherwise the trip was horrible. 1) Bad things happened immediately. We stayed at the recommended hotel in Toronto the night before and were instructed to check out and be ready to be picked up at 9:00 AM the next morning. The bus would transport approximately 50 of us to the ship about 50 miles away. So here were 50 people with our luggage waiting in the street in front of hotel for the bus that finally arrived 2 1/2 hours late. It was manned by the entertainers and the lecturer since the original bus personnel never showed up. 2) The bus ride was interesting because the entertainer didn’t know the route and got lost. 3) We finally arrived at the port of Midland at 1:30 PM instead of 11:00 AM. 4) They immediately served us lunch but also announced the mandatory Life Boat Drill. We refused to participate since we were starving. 5) Staying with meals, there is one seating for all for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At breakfast each morning we were asked to check off our choices for all three meals each day. The menus had a box to check for 1/2 portions if you weren’t that hungry. I never saw what a 1/2 portion looked like but the full portions were extremely tiny and usually tasteless. Some of the people wound up ordering two main courses each meal. 6) The size of our cabin was adequate since we had ordered the largest suite. But it was not kept clean, there were instances when there were no bath towels and the tiny TV didn’t work for two nights. 7) Courtesy didn’t exist. One evening, at 10:15 PM, I called to request an AM wake-up call. I was told that they don’t accept calls, other than true emergencies after 10:00 PM. I complained the next day and was advised to make calls before 10:00 PM, no apology. The final night we were advised to dis-enbark at 7:00 AM; so I dutifully called at 9:30 PM for a 6:00 AM wake-up call. I was told that the office doesn’t open until 7:00 AM. Thankfully we had an I-Phone so we could escape on time. 8) I said the entertainers were good but the room could only accommodate 1/3 of the 200 passengers. So if you wanted to see them you needed to rush through your tiny meal (maybe that was a positive). The entertainment lounge was laid out with enormous heavy overstuffed couches, many facing the wrong way to see the performers. 9) Two days before the end of the cruise we were all informed that our dis-enbarkation stop was changed to Milwaukee instead of Chicago (appparently no birth available in Chicago although this ship is scheduled to be in Chicago weekly all summer). This was disappointing since we had hoped to spend a day in Chicago sightseeing. It also potentially meant that many of us might miss flights out of Chicago. We did, thankfully, disembark from Milwaukee and were taken in an on-time bus for the 1 1/2 hour drive to Chicago Ohare Airport. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Interested in itinerary and believed the brochure touting it as a luxury cruise, NOT! Started with delay in picking passengers up to travel to Port. Nobody to ask from Pearl Seas at Hotel and their office and ship not answering phone. ... Read More
Interested in itinerary and believed the brochure touting it as a luxury cruise, NOT! Started with delay in picking passengers up to travel to Port. Nobody to ask from Pearl Seas at Hotel and their office and ship not answering phone. First cruise I've ever been on that you didnt have a permanent bar. Each afternoon they set up a temporary bar for "cocktail hour" and later after dinner during entertainment. Wine served at meals poor quality. Carpet tired. balcony furniture chipped. Had a good time since we were traveling with a group who all new each other. Worse thing was that a member of our group who uses motorized wheelchair couldn't disembark at several ports. She was literaaly trapped on ship. This information was not furnished before the cruise even though all the right questions were asked. Promoted as luxurious and for good for senoirs. Falseadvertising Would never go on this line again and never reccomend it! Only good thing was the entertainent! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We heard it was a nice trip through the Great Lakes with lots of history, so we choose Pearl Seas Cruises after checking another lines out, cause even though it was more expensive, it looked to be a better boat with a good itinerary. ... Read More
We heard it was a nice trip through the Great Lakes with lots of history, so we choose Pearl Seas Cruises after checking another lines out, cause even though it was more expensive, it looked to be a better boat with a good itinerary. First let me start off by saying from the book you received about the trip, it stated one day on the lakes with no stops, which was false advertising cause there was 2 days. Two of stops that were included on this trip, Sauté St Marie and Little Current there was nothing to see there and we spent several hours there. There was no one to give you the history of each stop, yes there was a little page that was put in your room each. Ignite giving you a little detail, but not much and the women they had on board to give lectures, didn't lecture about the area, in fact of the lectures was about the Titanic, which I thought was not appropriate. One day we spent more time going thru customs and waiting in line then actually at the Ford Musuem. Nigeria Falls was beautiful, but again you felt like you were rushed through it and did not get to see any of the area around there, which looked beautiful. The food was good and the wait staff and room steward was wonderful! It was also suggested that you tip $20 a day, which I though was high, considering the price we paid for the cruise. I tipped individually and gave a little as a whole. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I have always wanted to cruise the Great Lakes of Canada and the United States. This cruise became available and we bit the expensive fare to see the Great Lakes. Disappointment came almost immedicately with the person sent to pick us ... Read More
I have always wanted to cruise the Great Lakes of Canada and the United States. This cruise became available and we bit the expensive fare to see the Great Lakes. Disappointment came almost immedicately with the person sent to pick us up. She was new and did not have adequate knowledge about the cruise. In fairness to her, she was one of the two weak musicians onboard. Boarding was acceptable in an out of the way port. Our cabine was very large and very clean. The TV in the cabin was not appropriate for such an expensive fare - a small 17 inch color TV with a DVD player. Dining was mediocre at best. Each day 3 choices that generally included fish, beef, and chicken. The service was outstanding in the dining room. Always a friendly face and eager to serve. There are two small rooms for evening drinks. One is on the second floor and one is on the forth floor. On at least two occasions the bar ran out of certain brands of liquor. They were generally prepared to offer most drink selections. Entertainment consisted of two singers with guitars. The male entertainer was better than the female. Two nights local entertainment was provided and very good. While most people pay $20,000 per cabin we assumed most excursions would be included. That was not the case. They provide some basic excursions such as trolley's that run a loop around town. Some have visits to the local sites. However, the nicer tours have charges. We assumed that we would have a tour around the islands of Parry Sound - only to find out we had to pay for the excursion. The fare charged was less than that charged if you did the excurison on your own. The Cruise Director was less than professional. She sat on the first floor, coordinated excursions and was available for questions most of the time. This cruise line is attractive for people that are over 75 years of age. Many are handicapped and require assistance. The crew did little to provide what I would consider miminal assistance. Often, there are gangplants and steps that need to be navigated. The process is time consuming and often very hard for those with walkers and wheel chairs. The recommended gratuity is $20 per day per person. I did not consider this to be an appropriate amount based on the cruise fare charged. If you need to fly from Chicago the minimum tine to the airport is one hour and thirty minutes - the cruse staff will tell you it takes 45 minutes. The best assets of this cruise were the room and wait staff that were eager to please, the larger cabins that were always cleaned and supplied, and the buses used for the tours each with an onboard toilet. Immigration services were a pain sometimes taking two hours. Whiile tour service on the Great Lakes might be limited the places that you get to see are great. I will not be returning with such high fares and limited services that are included in the base fare. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We had never cruised the Great Lakes and the Pearl Mist seemed like an attractive little ship which carried only about 190 passengers. The 11 day itinerary, from Toronto to Chicago had some interesting stops, both in Canada and the U. S. ... Read More
We had never cruised the Great Lakes and the Pearl Mist seemed like an attractive little ship which carried only about 190 passengers. The 11 day itinerary, from Toronto to Chicago had some interesting stops, both in Canada and the U. S. The highlight of the trip was Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel. Other stops included a visit to Niagara Falls and a number of small cities and towns which were neat, clean and pleasant, with very friendly folks. A couple of trips across the Canadian/US border were a real pain in the neck. For example, the ship was in Windsor, Ontario and we were booked to visit the Henry Ford museum across the Detroit River in the U. S. We spent a total of 3 1/2 hours on the bus getting through customs and only about the same amount of time in the museum. As for the ship, built (mostly) in Halifax and completed at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD, she has been in service for four years. She's been well maintained and the interior is very clean and neat. She's registered in the Marshall Islands (Majuro) and is crewed largely by foreigners. The steward's department - wait staff and room stewards, mostly Filipinos, were uniformly excellent. Entertainment consisted of two singers/musicians, Kat and Kenny, who were also quite good and a story teller, Pat, who was very entertaining. The cruise director was probably below average for cruise ships. She seemed like she wanted to be elsewhere a good part of the time. The passenger cabins were pretty good size, with very small balconies on the upper decks. As for the cost, we had a cabin on the highest deck, (L) and the fare for the two of us came to $19,040, minus a couple of "special savings" which reduced the cost by $800. There were no children aboard. The youngest passenger was 55 and the oldest 98. The average age was probably well into the 80's. The advanced age of the passengers definitely slowed things down. Lots of walkers and wheelchairs. While the trip was not advertised as a "seniors" cruise, in actuality it was. I say this considering that my wife is 62 and I am 74, but we got around really well - far better than many of our fellow passengers. The ship has other trips, including one to Cuba, but we will not be making any of those. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We took the Pearl Mist 11 night cruise from Chicago to Toronto last August 2018. This cruise is targeted for people 75 years an older, many of which need assistance. That's ok but it should be clearly stated. Let's start by ... Read More
We took the Pearl Mist 11 night cruise from Chicago to Toronto last August 2018. This cruise is targeted for people 75 years an older, many of which need assistance. That's ok but it should be clearly stated. Let's start by saying the good things: 1) Stateroom and bathroom are very big. 2) Probably the best thing was the Staff, they are very friendly and helpful 3) Food was ok. 4) Drinks are included. 5) Some ports of call are very interesting: MACKINAC ISLAND, MUSKEGON / HOLLAND, Parry Sound and Niagara Falls. 6) Cruising the Welland Canal and going through 8 sets locks from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Now the bad things: 1) Overpriced at 20 grand per stateroom for and outed ship with little to do in it. It has no pool or good onboard activities. We spent 2 days cruising with little to do. The Gym consists of 4 machines located on and outside deck. 2) The TV in the stateroom is ridiculous 3) The ship is very small 108 cabins. 4) Some ports are call should be eliminated specially Sault Sainte Marie and Little Current. Nothing to do in them. 5) The time allocated in each destination is not well planned. We only spend 2-3 hours in Niagara that had a lot of activities to do and spend a full day at Sault Sainte Marie with almost nothing to do. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
If you want to way over. pay and get a marginal cruise in return this one is for you. The cruise should be at least 3 to 4 days less and the price cut by 60%. At no time did they exceed my expectations. Food was average, except for ... Read More
If you want to way over. pay and get a marginal cruise in return this one is for you. The cruise should be at least 3 to 4 days less and the price cut by 60%. At no time did they exceed my expectations. Food was average, except for three ports of call very boring, ship HVAC system terrible, entertainment very marginal. The only two positives I can give. you are the room size and the crew. This is our second cruise with American Ship lines. Last year we did the Mississippi cruise which was even worse. We cruise usually twice a year and American Ship Lines has set the bar for worst ship line in the industry. If the above was not enough , we got of the ship inn Chicago in the industrial port next to broken wood crates and garbage, The place smelled and we had to walk on plywood to get around water puddles to get on buses. The out side temperature was 90 degrees and. 80% humidity and the bus had broken air conditioners. The extra charge shore excursions were a joke and way overpriced. Bottom line for the amount you pay. for this cruise you could take 3 Caribbean cruises back to back and get a lot more for your money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We wanted to see most of the Great Lakes on a small ship. Enjoyed all the ports. Learned much of the history of Erie camel. Niagra Falls. Even the small towns welcomed us. I could smoke an occasional cigarette on an upper deck. Loved ... Read More
We wanted to see most of the Great Lakes on a small ship. Enjoyed all the ports. Learned much of the history of Erie camel. Niagra Falls. Even the small towns welcomed us. I could smoke an occasional cigarette on an upper deck. Loved the entertainment by a man who was about to become an American Citizen. Lovely dining room waiter. Elevator was quick. Nice guests of diverse countries and interesting backgrounds. An optional tour of Holland Michigan. We happened to go by my grandmothers home. Our ports were not tourisy except Macaneaux Island. The crowd could be avoided by going to the woods and tours outside of town. The weather happened to be perfect every day. A lucky gift. We enjoyed the cruise so much we signed up for a Lewis and Clark cruise on the Columbia River and Snake River which leaves October 1 from Spokane on America Westcruises ship Song. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My wife and I cruised on the PEARL MIST in 2016 through the Canadian Marritimes, Portland ME to Toronto. That was such a great experience, we decided to the GREAT LAKES on the PEARL MIST again and had many of the same crew aboard. TOP ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the PEARL MIST in 2016 through the Canadian Marritimes, Portland ME to Toronto. That was such a great experience, we decided to the GREAT LAKES on the PEARL MIST again and had many of the same crew aboard. TOP NOTCH PEOPLE. We had the same cabin, same steward, Rene, who did a superb job. We would do the PEARL MIST again with the right itinerary. All the excursions were nice- some better than others. What is memorable is the warmth and friendliness of the Canadians. We were often welcomed by bagpipe bands at some Canadian ports, and some saw us off as we departed.The PEARL MIST is a very comfortable ship with two really nice lounges, a very comfortable, clean, neat dinning room. With about two hundred passengers at capacity, only one OPEN seating needed in the dining room. Most often we would sit at the same table (most sat six) attended by Sarah, super efficient, and pleasant. All the wait staff were great. The food very good. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because we were traveling with 80 year old parents. We enjoy small ships, wanted to see the Great Lakes region and relax. This cruise was perfect and just what we were looking for. Booking was easy (book early for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were traveling with 80 year old parents. We enjoy small ships, wanted to see the Great Lakes region and relax. This cruise was perfect and just what we were looking for. Booking was easy (book early for an early bird discount) We arrived the night before in Chicago and stayed at The Sheraton where we got a cruise discount and were picked up by cruise transport in the am. Embarkation was a breeze. The ship holds 210 passengers so does not feel crowded at all. Cabins were roomy with a small patio to sit and relax (we were on deck 5). The food was amazing! They offered 1/2 portions which worked for me. Happy Hour was at 5:30 each day with complimentary cocktails and appetizers. Wine was also included at lunch and dinner. The service was excellent. Any request was promptly answered with a smile Mixed review on the ports. Muskegon was very interesting-a surprise for me! I learned a lot about the area's history. The highlight was Mackinac Island. Charming. We had a nice long day there. Definitely do the horse drawn carriage ride!! We saw some boats go through the locks in Sault Ste Marie, but that port and Little Current were small with not much to do. We took the Killbear park tour and Island Queen boat tour around the 30,000 islands of Georgia Bay and enjoyed both. Disembarkation was simple. They were very organized with shuttles. We took the free bus to the Toronto airport where I had arranged a shuttle to Niagara Falls where we spent a few days before flying home from Buffalo. They have a wide variety of destinations and are building more ships. They are the sister company to American Cruise Lines so have a lot to offer. I will definitely go again. Next trip, New England Islands Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Having been born and brought up in Michigan, the Great Lakes cruise really appealed to me. It was also our first cruise, so it had to be a good experience. It didn't disappoint. The ship accommodations, service and food were ... Read More
Having been born and brought up in Michigan, the Great Lakes cruise really appealed to me. It was also our first cruise, so it had to be a good experience. It didn't disappoint. The ship accommodations, service and food were beyond expectations. The size of our cabin was quite comfortable. The amount of space for handing clothes and storing folded closes was wonderful. The dining room service was always professional by an always accommodating service team. The choice of food met our needs and was always excellently prepared. We were also impressed with the sightseeing, including the tour of the beautiful Mackinac Island, Parry Sound, the beautiful Georgian Bay region and the Henry Ford museum. Of course, the side trip to the base of Niagara Falls was an amazing experience. We would highly recommend the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay cruise to anyone looking for a peaceful period out of your otherwise hectic life. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
We have cruised several times before but this was the first time on a small ship and it was delightful. The atmosphere is totally different than on a large ship carrying several thousand passengers. The crew made an effort to know the ... Read More
We have cruised several times before but this was the first time on a small ship and it was delightful. The atmosphere is totally different than on a large ship carrying several thousand passengers. The crew made an effort to know the passengers and the service could not have been better. The information about our ports of call were provided by the on board expert via lectures and by locals who came on board to give us lots of information about what we could see and do. It was all interesting and informative and helped make our time in each port more enjoyable. The service and the food in the dinning room was top notch and the open seating made it easy to get to know our fellow travelers and we met many interesting people who made the trip that much more enjoyable. We most certainly will take a small ship cruise again, in fact, I am not sure that we will ever take a trip on one of the behemoths again. The small ship experience added so much to our vacation I would definitely recommend it for the mature, seasoned traveler. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We were on the Pearl Sea Great Lakes Cruise from August 23 to August 29th. We boarded in Midland after a three hour bus ride from Toronto. Trip was around the Great Lakes to Chicago. Our Cabin was one of the five “suites.” The ... Read More
We were on the Pearl Sea Great Lakes Cruise from August 23 to August 29th. We boarded in Midland after a three hour bus ride from Toronto. Trip was around the Great Lakes to Chicago. Our Cabin was one of the five “suites.” The extra size was the empty space area behind a stairway furnished with a chair. Balcony was OK but required opening a water tight and secure door, which my wife was unable to open. Ship itself holds about 200 passengers. It is advertised as new but is actually much older than that. Design, furnishings, cabin furniture, decorations, TV, and even the equipment on the Bridge are all very dated. Actual age is certainly more than 10 and perhaps 20 yrs old. No amenities like an exercise room, laundry, pool, or even a hot tub. Library was as fancy as it got. TV reception very poor on an old, small TV. Food was mediocre at best. Meat was never fresh – very dry and tough - strongly suggested it had been frozen. Several times did have Lobster Tails which were excellent. Variety at breakfast buffet very limited and simple. Overall variety at meals very repetitious. Wine served at meals was extremely cheap and poor quality though variety selection was OK. Mixed drinks were available in the lounges for one hour only before dinner with a very limited selection. Two small lounges with very crowded sofas. Staff themselves were very polite and helpful. Most were from the Philippines and very amiable. Passengers were very pleasant and heavily elderly. No one under 65 and many over 80. Large numbers of wheel chairs, walkers, and canes. Ports of Call were simplistic – as there were only small cities on the route. Information talks given on night before only talked about times, etc but included virtually nothing about the sites themselves or what to expect to see. Informational talks on Great Lakes were good but few and very short. Entertainment was only a two man instrument show – very simple and cheap – not at all entertaining. Docks themselves were clean and nice EXCEPT for Chicago. The cruise advertised originally that we would dock at the Navy Pier. That was then changed to a horrific dock about 20 miles south of the city near the violent areas of Chicago. It was a very large cargo storage area protected by large barbed wired fences, and entry guard gate, and required an escort for transportation in and out. The gangplank was onto dirt onto a canvas tarp. Transport trucks and freight cars were constantly coming and going. We were told that the Navy Pier was closed to Cruise Ships but when we finally got to the city several large ships were indeed docked there. Bus transport to the city got lost on city streets (in South Chicago!). They had to use my iPhone with Google Maps to figure out where they were!! In summary, despite the fact that the cruise was priced with the major high class luxury cruise lines; it was very cheap and poorly organized. Although advertised to be almost new, the ship is dated. Food was just OK. Wine horrible. Chicago dock was an abomination. Overall a very poor trip for the price, and a disappointing trip at any price. ________________________________________ Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was the Pearl Seas 10-11 day Great Lakes Cruise leaving from Toronto and stopping in Niagara Falls, Windsor, Midland, Parry Sound, Little Current, Sault St Marie, Mackinac Island, Muskegon, Holland and Chicago. We are 71 and 65 ... Read More
This was the Pearl Seas 10-11 day Great Lakes Cruise leaving from Toronto and stopping in Niagara Falls, Windsor, Midland, Parry Sound, Little Current, Sault St Marie, Mackinac Island, Muskegon, Holland and Chicago. We are 71 and 65 years of age and retired for 1 year. We previously have traveled to the Caribbean islands (x3), Hawaii cruise, Alaska cruise, Italy tour, Great Britain tour, Rhine Cruise, Baltic Cruise, Western Med Cruise, Greece Cruise, New England and Maritimes Cruise, National Parks tour, and China Tour. We chose this tour because we knew little of the region. The ship: The Pearl Mist was a fairly new 300 ft boat in excellent condition with about 200 passengers. The state rooms were much larger than expected with balconies and a relatively large bathroom. beds were great, lots of drawer space, no safe, adequate TV but a bit small for watching from bed. The ship had 2 large and 2 small lounges. The large lounges were used every night for "The Cocktail Hour" (more on this later) and one was used each night for entertainment (2 person songsters). Also used for lectures and daily updates for the next day. Other than the dining room there were no other public rooms: no casinos (thankfully) and no laundry or indoor fitness center. Some people made special requests for laundry service. There was new fitness equipment on one of the open decks but no treadmill. There were several outdoor sitting areas both covered and uncovered but no pools or hot tubs. No deck encircled the ship for use as a walking/jogging track. Room service was perfect. Entertainment: The duo provided very good music and song and also hosted trivia and bingo games. The lecturer was good but limited to very interesting historical information but not port/excursion specific information and only had about 4-5 presentations. Dining: OMG totally fabulous!. All meals were sit down, single open sitting with excellent service. Each meal had at least 4 choices for entree and appetizer, 3 desserts, great soups. Lobster was served multiple ways several times. No limit on how many servings you could order. Unlimited wine/beer. Now dieting (again). Cocktail Hour: Had to make a special section for this. Each day from 5:30-6:30 the 2 lounges were set up with hot and cold hors d'oeuvres and open bar. The bar tenders could make any drink and EVERYONE looked forward to sitting together and chatting about the day, next day and their previous cruising experience. Passengers: Definitely and older crowd. No children. Youngest was probably 60yo. Oldest was close to 90yo. Average was about 70yo. most were incredibly well traveled. Many chose this cruise to get away from the heat in the south (but we still had 85-90 degree days). Most had traveled throughout Europe on river cruises. All were interesting, and had productive, and lucrative careers. Almost all were retired. A few singles. Ports and Excursions: About half of the excursions were included and were quite surprisingly worthwhile. Some unexpectedly, were extra at $35-50 per person but also were well worth it. Highlights were bus/island tour of Toronto, the Niagara Falls cruise, Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village (look it up), Saint-Marie among the Hurons (look it up also), Island Queen Cruise of Georgian Bay, Sault St Marie locks, Freighter and old cruise ship tours, Mackinac Island and Chicago (take the architectural tour). All in all a very good vacation. Improvements might be an indoor fitness center, larger TV, more lectures on the ship, possibly a hot tub. We were sufficiently impressed to sign up for the Louis and Clark theme tour of the Snake and Columbia rivers on their sister organization, American Cruise Lines for August 2017. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We travel all the time, and thought a Great Lakes & Georgian Bay (and the stops we would make) sounded like something different. We were happy to find the entire experience; the many people we met, the tours, the food, etc. exceeded ... Read More
We travel all the time, and thought a Great Lakes & Georgian Bay (and the stops we would make) sounded like something different. We were happy to find the entire experience; the many people we met, the tours, the food, etc. exceeded our expectations. The crew was pleasant and happy, proficient, and eager-to-please. Though most of the 200 travelers on board were quite on in years (few under 60, even fewer under 50, the majority 70s and 80s), almost all were interesting and seasoned travelers. The tours ranged from Niagra Falls to Mackinac Island, to a First People's Cultural Center, a beautiful National Park, lovely towns with a variety of things to see and do... Our state room with its private balcony, had ample storage space, and was clean and spacious enough for my daily Yoga practice. I am strictly Vegan, and the Chef went out of his way to prepare delicious dishes for me, and my husband (who eat everything!) was also very pleased with the variety of meals. The stabilizers on the ship made for very smooth sailing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Great Lakes and Georgian Bay Cruise. This was our second cruise on the Pearl Mist. The island scenery is fantastic. Embarkation was easy and fast. Baggage handling at both embarkation and disembarkation was very well done.The dining ... Read More
Great Lakes and Georgian Bay Cruise. This was our second cruise on the Pearl Mist. The island scenery is fantastic. Embarkation was easy and fast. Baggage handling at both embarkation and disembarkation was very well done.The dining problems on the first cruise have been corrected. The food was great, appetizers varied and very good. Wine and beer selection at meals and in the lounges were great. Dining and housekeeping staff were a pleasure to deal with. The excursions available did not match the advertisements in the brochure. If you are interested in the Henry Ford Museum I strongly recommend the all day tour. The half day tour does not allow enough time to see many of the exhibits. Support from the Cruise Director and onboard Pearl Seas representative were not acceptable. Little information was provided at the evening briefings and questions were ignored. We will try Pearl Seas one more time. If the cruise director and Pearl Seas representative do not improve dramatically it will be our last cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Fall Foliage Cruise. Spent an extra day in Boston as it was our first time there. Very interesting city. Bus to Gloucester to board the ship. Only 96 pax instead of the full capacity of 210 pax which facilitated embarkation etc. Very good ... Read More
Fall Foliage Cruise. Spent an extra day in Boston as it was our first time there. Very interesting city. Bus to Gloucester to board the ship. Only 96 pax instead of the full capacity of 210 pax which facilitated embarkation etc. Very good food and wine and meal service throughout the cruise. Good-sized comfortable stateroom with balcony an extra feature. Even the bathroom was quite good. Good housekeeping staff as well. Many onboard were sea-sick during one full day at sea under less than ideal weather conditions but the crew handled the situation well. Generally speaking, the tours were not really to our liking; too much time on buses and some destinations of limited interest, but the destinations themselves were good. Limited destination info provided, and we found that the briefings provided by the onboard expert/guide were of limited use. Evening entertainment by two musicians also of limited interest. Wifi was slow and at times did not work at all.Two good quality elliptals & 2 exercise bikes were on board but did not work due to prolonged exposure to sea air. Free weights were available but only in 3, 5 & 8 lb barbells. Overall an excellent return to cruising after so many years. Pearl Seas did a good job. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
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