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.