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3 St. Lawrence North America River Cruise Reviews

Family and friends have all cruised, so we wanted our first one to be on a small boat and on a river. We love Canada and settled on St. Lawrence River Cruises. Customer service was tremendous while we planned a year in advance for our ... Read More
Family and friends have all cruised, so we wanted our first one to be on a small boat and on a river. We love Canada and settled on St. Lawrence River Cruises. Customer service was tremendous while we planned a year in advance for our newest adventure. We arrived in Kingston, Ontario, the night before and explored the city the next day before we boarded. We were able to leave our car at the Ambassador Hotel while we were gone and could drop off our luggage early before embarking. We booked one of the larger cabins, but one doesn't really spend too much time in there except to sleep. It was super clean and neat along with the staff tidying up daily. The ship was adorable! We spent most of our time on the back or top deck watching the scenery getting to know our fellow passengers. We met so many wonderful people! The food was great given they had to feed lots of folks. Even got a look at the galley. Don't know how they do it all! Accommodated passengers with gluten-free options and peanut allergies. We were lucky on the last night to sit with a couple who were celebrating an anniversary - a glass of champagne for all of us at the table. The entertainment was great each night - guitar players and a magician. Also served delicious snacks at intermission. Also, fun games each day. We had a fun competition with a fellow passenger. They handed out fun out awards on the last night. Trivial Pursuit was a hoot!! Service was beyond excellent. The entire crew seemed to work 24/7 for everyone. The Purser, Trevor, was amazing along with being entertaining. I am a theatre person, so it is all live theatre and you hope all goes well as planned. But as in theatre, you sometimes have to improv when the situation arises. We couldn't go through a scheduled lock because there would be a 5 hour delay. OK, agree with that. But, we stopped and watched all the amazing ships that come through the St. Lawrence Seaway with narration. Amazing when you think about it all. Huge storm came through, so we bellied up in an interesting place for the night. My favorite picture is of the double rainbow off the stern of our ship. Definitely not for the physically challenged or larger persons as there are many steps, small corridors and bathroom/shower area (as far as we could tell). The crew was extraordinary!! You felt like a huge family together for 5 days as you got to know pretty much everyone. We actually miss our shipmates. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We [two couples] selected this cruise because we wanted to experience the St Lawrence and the Thousand Islands during the fall. We knew from the brochure and company website that the ship was small but both depicted a cozy environment with ... Read More
We [two couples] selected this cruise because we wanted to experience the St Lawrence and the Thousand Islands during the fall. We knew from the brochure and company website that the ship was small but both depicted a cozy environment with small but reasonably comfortable cabins. We paid extra for the Premier Cabins, a huge mistake. We selected the Premier cabins, 24 and 25 and paid a premium for the extra space. What a joke! The cabin was small with a double bed against a wall requiring that the inside occupant crawl out the foot of the bed or over the outside occupant when getting up. Not an easy task for older passengers. At best the cabin could be described as shabby, the furnishings and the cabin itself had all seen better days. The cabins were located directly over the bow thrusters which were extremely noisy, a special delight when leaving port at 4:30 AM. There were portholes, not windows in the cabin which were locked shut and could not be opened without tools and certainly could not be opened when sailing. The real horror was the bathroom, it was barley large enough to sit on the john and the shower was extremely tight. The toilets were marine toilets that evacuated into a holding tank that emitted an odor that required you to run the bathroom fan continuously and to close the shower drain with a supplied cover. There is no TV or internet available in the ships cabins. The ship itself is extremely small. The only enclosed public space is the dining room which doubles as the bar and lounge. It is barely large enough to accommodate all of the passengers. The kitchen is extremely small, making it difficult for the cooks to prepare food in a timely manner. We had two services for lunch and dinner with half of the dining room set up for meals and the other half set up as a lounge. Half the passengers literally watch the other half eat because there is nowhere else to go on the ship. It was too cool to lounge on deck and the cabins are claustrophobic. The few times they attempted to serve everyone at one time emphasized the kitchens limitations. It took over an hour and a half from salad to dessert for the Captains Dinner despite the best efforts of the chefs and servers. I should note, the crew from the captain on down did everything they could to make up for the ship. They were friendly, accommodating and hardworking, but were fighting a losing battle. Food was good but the cooks were clearly hampered by the size of the kitchen. The entertainment was also handicapped by the space limitations. For example, the last evening we had a dance featuring a local trio. In order to set up for the dance they asked the passengers to clear the dining room and either visit the bridge or go to their cabins will the crew set up for the dance. Neither option was particularly enticing given the time of night or the size of the cabins. Land tours were interesting but limited. Transportation was via school buses and the ships scheduled did not allow for much free time in port. Internet was available only in the main dining room and streaming services like Facebook were blocked. The internet was weak or nonexistent at times but that is not unusual on river cruises. There is no TV service on board. Overall, I would not recommend this cruise. Another cruise line might be an alternative but given our experience I'd suggest driving the route and staying in hotels along the way. The river towns including Montreal and Quebec offer a wide variety of restaurants and accommodations and you are in view of the river most of the way. There are numerous day cruises available in various ports if you want to sight see from the river. Clearly, for what we paid for "premium rooms" we could have stayed in five star hotels for a seven day road trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The cruise of the St. Lawrence River with the St. Lawrence Cruise Lines aboard the Canadian Empress was very disappointing. This is not an inexpensive cruise and one would expect first class service. However the opposite was true. The ... Read More
The cruise of the St. Lawrence River with the St. Lawrence Cruise Lines aboard the Canadian Empress was very disappointing. This is not an inexpensive cruise and one would expect first class service. However the opposite was true. The ship is too old and is beset with mechanical issues the largest of which is the ship's inability to deal with sewage. The boat reeked of sewage and the night cruise of Quebec City on our first night was cancelled due to mechanical issues. We could not hear the captain's explanation of the problem as the sound system was not working. The cabins are very small and ill equipped. Sometimes the showers worked sometimes not and one was never certain if you'd get hot or cold water. The sewage issues persisted throughout the cruise despite two pump outs!! We encountered some very heavy rain on our cruise and the ship had leakage issues as a result. Food is very good. The staff are good and did their best to cope with mechanical breakdowns which were out of their control. The ship could use more staff. Given the price point of this cruise I could not recommend it. It is not good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
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