Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise in order to visit particularly Hydra, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete, which were itemised in the itinerary. Embarkation & disembarkation were no problem. First, the problems arose as we left the port, when the ... Read More
I chose this cruise in order to visit particularly Hydra, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete, which were itemised in the itinerary. Embarkation & disembarkation were no problem. First, the problems arose as we left the port, when the Captain informed us that the detailed itinerary, that we had chosen especially, was going to be undertaken in reverse order. This meant that on our first night we arrived in Hydra at night, and were given 3 hours from 9pm-midnight to go ashore. This was a hopeless time to explore Hydra's natural beauty - in the dark. During the following two days, the Captain informed us that the weather prevented him from undertaking 3/4 of the planned itinerary. We therefore did not visit Mykonos, Santorini or Crete, but sailed to one or two ports on the Peloponese coast. We were hugely disappointed by the alternative ports. The weather seemed normal, albeit a sea swell did exist. We had been told to anticipate swimming stops en route. This happened only twice in 7 days, each for approximately 1.2 hour in unenchanting surroundings. The ship itself was in tired shape and although described as 'luxury', had several issue of wear. For example, the shower tray in our 'P' class cabin bathroom filled up with the shower's water & leaked onto the floor because the plughole was in the wrong place to drain the water. The decks alongside the cabin windows were filthy. The windows everywhere outside were consistently dirty. The upholstery was worn and dirty. Then there was the food. This was drearily like that which is supplied in any motorway roadside cafe. For example, scrambled eggs for breakfast were presented in a steel container at 07.30, where the same eggs remained unrefreshed until 09.30. Every cooked course was treated with the same indifference, so each were desperately unappealing. There was nothing that was luxury about this cruise, except its online description. The best I can say about it was that the mostly Eastern European crew were as helpful as they could be, and the beleaguered Manager was exceptional. We would have left the ship and flown back early had we been able to, but for their contribution. Do not expect what is advertised by this company. The cruise was disappointing, as has been the response from the Managing Agent, Seafarer, who has yet to apologise for offering a ship that he failed to mention was scheduled for a complete refit at the end of the 2019 season. I am not surprised. I was horrified by its appearance. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise to visit the Greek Islands. A friend who we thought has high standards told us about Vantage/Variety Cruises. When we got onto the ship in Athens the Suite we booked smelled of BLACK MOLD. We entered the bathroom ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit the Greek Islands. A friend who we thought has high standards told us about Vantage/Variety Cruises. When we got onto the ship in Athens the Suite we booked smelled of BLACK MOLD. We entered the bathroom and the tile in the shower was covered with BLACK MOLD.At the junction of the tile and shower stall there was mold on the caulking as well. I asked the Hotel Manager to clean with bleach n caulk. They did nothing the first day and I continued to complain until I had an argument with the Tour Guide. All she did was talk over me and when the co-captains overheard they stepped in and got the bathroom cleaned up. The bed linen was old and yellowed the rugs in the state room were stained and not vacuumed as well. The Captain failed to show the guests how to put on the life vests during the safety drill. I also went topside where there were two 16 ft launches that were rusty,the outboards looked rusted out as well and not functioning. Very scary. On Santorini there was no sign or location to meet to get the tender back to the ship. I went to other cruise line personnel who had a hand held radio to get in touch with the Harmony Crew to get us back to the ship. Worse service, questionable crew, took us to cheep retail stores to buy reproductions. We paid over $10,000 for a cruise that was a ripoff. Never use VANTAGE. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
We cruise a lot on all different lines and this is the first ship we felt was UNACCEPTABLE. This is especially disturbing since the ship was chartered by Vantage 'Deluxe' Travel which we had heard was a terrific travel company. ... Read More
We cruise a lot on all different lines and this is the first ship we felt was UNACCEPTABLE. This is especially disturbing since the ship was chartered by Vantage 'Deluxe' Travel which we had heard was a terrific travel company. But, they chartered and continue to charter this ship which has poor accommodations and is not maintained or operated properly. (I tried to post a review like this right after the cruise but CruiseCritic did not have this ship available to review at the time.) I'll start by saying the itinerary, crew and cruise director were great. Only the ship was deficient. First, design. 'Deck 1' on any other ship is above the water line. But on the Harmony G 'Deck 1' is below the water line with small windows AT the water line. So, you feel like you're in a washing machine any time you're in your cabin. 'Luckily' our toilet didn't work so they 'upgraded' us to a forward cabin on Deck 2. This was somewhat better, but because it was forward it had a lot more motion than amidships cabins. As the cruise wore on we realized that the passenger cabins were sorely deficient in ventilation and cooling. Any time it was warm outside, it was hot and stuffy in our cabins. The common areas, the dining room and lounge, were always freezing. And, their doors did not close properly, so that the cool air was constantly being lost outside. I think the engineer purposely used the cooling resources for the common rooms and didn't care whether cool, fresh air got to the passenger cabins or not. The other issue was stabilizers. The ship has them, but the captain only turns them on when they think it's rough seas. And their idea of 'rough seas' is a whole lot different than my wife's idea of rough seas. The food was just 'ok' and they were accommodating to the extent possible with such a small ship and crew. The passengers were average age of probably 75 and preferred to come back to the ship for lunch rather than eating in port. I just don't understand why you would travel all that way to eat average American food. In short, don't sail on the Harmony G. Vantage did not adequately respond to our concerns so we will avoid Vantage 'Deluxe' Travel as well. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise as the ship was small and advertised that it would be docking in city centers around the Iberian peninsula so exploring on our own would be easy. We had been on the Harmony V before, so felt like we knew what we ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the ship was small and advertised that it would be docking in city centers around the Iberian peninsula so exploring on our own would be easy. We had been on the Harmony V before, so felt like we knew what we signed up for. Starting with the ship itself: The ship is a bit tired and wear can be seen throughout. as it is small, it feels cluttered in the dining room and the upper deck. Our cabin was on the middle deck in order to have a window and not just a port hole (which costs more than the lower deck) and we were assigned cabins near the bow of the ship. Our toilet was literally in the shower stall (you could shower while using the toilet if you really wanted...) and the room smaller than the less expensive rooms in the deck beneath us. The window was 18"x18" and foggy. There were problems with the toilet flushing throughout the cruise. The staff did however keep it clean. The cruise was not able to dock in Seville as described when we made arrangements. I understand that with cruises that changes to the itinerary may be necessary and was disappointed to find that our ship was quite a distance from the city center. We were given maps to give taxi drivers so we could return to the ship, but the maps were not helpful: a third of the people on the ship were in taxis that could not find the ship even with the map. The Cruise Director didn't seem to be concerned as, "that was the map they gave me." In fact, the Cruise Director didn't seem to be too concerned about much. Excursions were over-priced and led by tour guides who were not great. Two of the excursions on our trip were cancelled as not enough people signed up. Luckily, due to the proximity to the town centers, excursions were not really necessary other than to Granada and Ronda. Dining was fine The food was good, well prepared, and the wait staff was terrific. The dining room is cramped and there's really no good way to dine outside. Don't expect any entertainment or enrichment on board. That just did not happen at all. The second to last night the cruise director attempted to plan a mixer during dinner but it felt forced and, bluntly, the cruise was already over at that point. Overall, the rest of the ports were close to towns as promised, the food was fine, the staff was overall very good However, I personally would not choose Variety Cruises or the Harmony G again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We were on the Cape Verde cruise starting from Palmeira on Sal, in November 2018. We enjoyed the experience; the only drawback with this particular cruise is that the ports on Santiago and Fogo are commercial ports, not designed for cruise ... Read More
We were on the Cape Verde cruise starting from Palmeira on Sal, in November 2018. We enjoyed the experience; the only drawback with this particular cruise is that the ports on Santiago and Fogo are commercial ports, not designed for cruise ships nor geared for " doing your own thing". Thus the choice is the excursion or staying aboard. Captain Ioannis, Cruise Co-ordinator Dietmar, and Hotel Manager Petros worked wonderfully well as a team, as did their staff, and despite some rough weather their attention to our comfort and safety was exemplary; we never felt any anxiety, or wanted for anything that they could supply. The last three days of the cruise, in San Vicente, and Santo Antao, are the best. The towns are near where the ship docks, taxis are available, so one can create ones own expedition; in fairness, for the morning of the last day of the cruise one would be better on the organised tour, which was informative and drove through amazing scenery. The ship is not the best of Variety's fleet, but with discipline, cabins are just large enough; as another reviewer mentioned the exception - the two Category B cabins forward on the main deck. Okay for single, couples should avoid. The Category C cabins on the lower deck, waterline level, were reported by fellow guests as good for value, the least expensive and the least affected by the ship's motion. For Category B try to get 202, on the main deck near the dining room, but Variety cruises will not allow reservation of a cabin by number, in advance. Dining room is a little cramped, though the food generally is good. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
When I thought ,I ll visit Africa once in my life time, Variety Cruises change my mind, not only got me there to see the beautiful West Africa, with private beaches and the splendors of the side scene and meeting their beautiful people ... Read More
When I thought ,I ll visit Africa once in my life time, Variety Cruises change my mind, not only got me there to see the beautiful West Africa, with private beaches and the splendors of the side scene and meeting their beautiful people with a local flavor in which I always felt save and taken care of, that now I’m thinking will be the first of many times in Africa . The service was very friendly and professional. The crew was impeccable and warm, I felt very secure and I loved the privet environment. The west Africa destinationSenegal and The Gambia were amazing. Variety Cruises has beautiful choices of yachts and the one I was in, I had the best life experience with a fantastic crew exquisite cuisine. My ocean view cabin was great , the views were wonderful, sunrise and sunsets on board were magnificent, and the treatments on board felt like home away from home. I’m absolutely looking forward to my next journey with them, by becoming a member of the Variety Club, which now I’m a Guest of the Sea with 8 days with them and my goal is to become Legend of the Sea with 73+ Days at the Sea. Thank You so much! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had a great time; last year we were on the Galileo and this year on the Harmony G; (next year Cuba). The Harmony G is a good ship with a good lay-out. There is a nice deck in the back but you cannot walk around the boat outside or go ... Read More
We had a great time; last year we were on the Galileo and this year on the Harmony G; (next year Cuba). The Harmony G is a good ship with a good lay-out. There is a nice deck in the back but you cannot walk around the boat outside or go outside in the front of the boat (on the Galileo you cold walk around the boat outside and had a lot of outdoor space and we liked that better) Having been to Greece the year prior, we explored on our own this year and were off the ship most days right after breakfast and returned after dinner. We wanted to get as much of the local culture as possible. I did extensive research on Trip Advisor and looking at Google Maps to see the areas we were going prior to leaving home. The islands are friendly and easy and fun to navigate. The only excursion we did was to Delos and that was really cool. Be aware you do not have to take the same boat to and back from Delos - after we realized this we stayed an extra 2 hours to explore the island, café, museum and small shop. On Crete we hired a driver to see more of the island than just Knossos and were gone from boat 12+ hours but had a great time exploring on our own! The service was good but better on the Galileo and overall preferred last years boat but both trips were great. The crew on the Galileo spoke much better English. The demographics of these trips are mostly older 65-70+ ages. We were 1 of 3 younger couples (in 50s) both years we went. Last year it was a mix of Australian, European and Americans. This year a group of Americans had their own guide (private tour) and that was 60% of the boat and most all of the others were also Americans - much different each trip. The food on the boat was really fancy and a little too "foodie" for us; we like basic food; if you like exotic food with some spices you will like it; many people were not thrilled with the meals. If you like small ship cruising, I think this is a great company and a good value. You have to have a sense of adventure because with changing weather you may not see the islands on the schedule. Last year was very windy and the trip was much different than advertised but we went to other islands and had a great time exploring those other islands. This year there was no wind and the seas were flat the entire time and the schedule was exactly as the itinerary stated. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Wanted to see small islands and historic sites, and this cruise was great. I would love to travel on this cruise line again -- casual and comfortable, suited for the sophisticated traveler who wants an authentic experience. Food was ... Read More
Wanted to see small islands and historic sites, and this cruise was great. I would love to travel on this cruise line again -- casual and comfortable, suited for the sophisticated traveler who wants an authentic experience. Food was fabulous a mix of Greek and international cuisine. Loved the small ship routine -- skilled and courteous captain and crew. Islands and Med are beautiful -- the water is an unbelievable blue! We were on an Odysseys Unlimited tour -- several fine days in Athens at a beautiful hotel (Elektra Palace).. then to the Harmony G -- loved it all! Our Odysseys Unlimited tour guide, the amazing Gemma -- was so knowledgeable, helpful, and attentive to all of us in a friendly and professional way. There are hundreds of inhabited islands, thousands in all .. and I want to see them all. I recommend this cruise line and Odysseys Unlimited ..superior quality, great staff -- all around wonderful time! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
The "Classical Greece" cruise was an ideal way to see the highlights of the Greek Islands and the mainland. Apart from the well-known highlights such as Santorini and Mykonos, the cruise also took us to gems such as Monemvasia ... Read More
The "Classical Greece" cruise was an ideal way to see the highlights of the Greek Islands and the mainland. Apart from the well-known highlights such as Santorini and Mykonos, the cruise also took us to gems such as Monemvasia and Nafplio on the mainland, and less visited places such as Kythira. The service on the ship was always excellent and the food generally delicious. The cabins were also well-equipped. As it was a smaller ship, there were no more than 50 people travelling and therefore an ideal way to meet other passengers. One of the highlights was the 'Greek night' where we had Cretan dancers come on board and they were terrific. The excursions to the ancient sites such as Delos and Knossos were also a highlight and the guides were always excellent. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone who is interested in experiencing both the beauty and classical history of Greece. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We were looking for a small ship cruise tour in the Greek islands to celebrate my mothers birthday plus my wedding anniversary. We were referred to Variety Cruises by american friends who cruised in Costa Rica with the company two years ... Read More
We were looking for a small ship cruise tour in the Greek islands to celebrate my mothers birthday plus my wedding anniversary. We were referred to Variety Cruises by american friends who cruised in Costa Rica with the company two years ago, so we knew where to look at. The number of our "group" counted almost 35 family members, friends, extended family, so we ended up looking at chartering a whole yacht owned by Variety Cruises, called Harmony G. It instantly seemed like a good fit, a boutique ship with 20 cabins, modern interiors, and great exterior areas including a large sundeck, and a swimming platform. We were proposed a classical greece route, a good combination of famous islands and of some tiny ones too. Crew onboard felt like family after day 2, and all of us enjoyed being treated like royalty, and we often visited the bridge during navigation hours and chatted with the captain and officers. Food was delicious, BBQ lunches and dinners were the highlight of the cruise. All meals were served outdoors as we like, some of us also enjoyed some meals at the indoor dining room which also provided great views of the islands we were docked at every day. I couldnt fault any area of the ship, cabins were spacious and had ample storage space. Would travel on this ship again and again. our home away from home for a whole week! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The ports of call were amazing and the Harmony G. provided a wonderful experience to see the Greek isles. The smaller ship was more intimate and the crew was phenomenal! They were friendly, professional, and really made us feel we were ... Read More
The ports of call were amazing and the Harmony G. provided a wonderful experience to see the Greek isles. The smaller ship was more intimate and the crew was phenomenal! They were friendly, professional, and really made us feel we were a part of the Harmony G. family. It made us feel like we were yatching through the Greek isle rather than a conventional cruise on a larger vessel. The common areas were nice, clean, and adequate. There are several decks you so if wanted a little privacy there were always places you can go. The food was excellent and the traditional Greek dishes were wonderful. I can't say enough about the crew. Everyone from the captain on down to the stewards made us feel special and the personal service was exceptional! The ships manager Thanos was a excellent host and the service he provided was top rate. The Harmony G. is a wonderful experience and I would travel with them again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My husband has always wanted to go to Greece. Vantage offered the perfect trip. The Harmony G is operated by Variety staff and crew but charted by Vantage for this voyage. The Variety staff and crew are all very professional and ... Read More
My husband has always wanted to go to Greece. Vantage offered the perfect trip. The Harmony G is operated by Variety staff and crew but charted by Vantage for this voyage. The Variety staff and crew are all very professional and provided excellent service. The Cruise Director, Laura Giannola, was employed by Vantage - she made the trip so special with her love and passion for Greece and it's rich history. She really loves to travel on the Harmony G and that meant a lot to us (my husband is a boat captain). The ship was decorated nicely and appeared to have been recently renovated. The lounge was roomy and the bar was staffed at appropriate time. Drinks were reasonable and available upon request if no one was behind the bar. The dining area was a bit on the small side but Thanos made it work. Topside was my favorite place and had plenty of fresh air, beautiful views, lounge chairs and cushioned seating - it was never off limits. All meals onboard were excellent and the service was fast and courteous thanks to Thanos, the manager. The port of embarkation was Athens (Port of Pireaus). The first night was at a hotel with a beautiful rooftop pool and view of the Acropolis in the center of Athens (Divani Caravel); dinner at the hotel was included. The next morning we toured the Acropolis Museum and the Plaka district before boarding the Harmony G around 2pm. Vantage provided a lovely coach and luggage assistance. After time to unpack we had our safety briefing in the lounge followed by a port talk & history lecture by Laura. Afterward, we ate our first of many fabulous dinners by Thanos and staff in the "cozy" dinning room. Port-of-call #1 - Nafplion. The breakfast was lovely and ample. We visited the archaeological site of Mycenae (very interesting); stopped at a pottery shop and learned how to make clay men; then back to the town of Nafplion where we had lot's of time to explore. We rode the ship's bicycles to the beach for a swim in the crystal clear Aegean Sea. Later that afternoon, my husband rented a scooter and I climbed the 1,000 steps to the Palamidi Castle (I enter as I didn't have the 8 euro in cash) - spectacular views of the town just the same. We ate an elegant dinner then went back into town and strolled around. Port #2 - Monemvasia. The Gibraltar of Greece - or so they say. Right out of a fairy tale. The old city is one of the most picturesque places I have been. We took a trip to a family-owned olive orchard. We learned the process of making olive oil and had a traditional Greek lunch outside. We returned to ship and captain allowed us to swim from the back of the ship - it was perfect conditions. My husband and I took the bikes again and rode all over Monemvasia. Breakfast and dinner onboard - fabulous as usual. We left early because it was a long sail to Crete. Port #3 - Rethimnon, Crete. Early breakfast then we took a 90-minute coach ride to the town of Chania. I had been before so we walked out to the lighthouse instead of shopping. We had until 3am to return to the ship so we rented a scooter drove all over this charming beach town and finally chose to dine at a local restaurant. We ate at the restaurant Alana; recommended by the scooter rental agent - it was frequented by a lot of tourists but still very good. Back onboard around midnight. Port #4 - Heraklion, Crete. Breakfast then a trip to Knossoss Palace - this day it was very hot and there was little shade so my memories aren't as pleasant. This night was the Greek dance show onboard - it was a lot of fun but Heraklion itself was a larger city with large cruise ships. I wasn't thrilled because it didn't have the charm of the other ports. Port #5 - Santorini. We anchored here. Breakfast onboard then we all hopped on a tender to shore. It was a bit windy but nothing bad. We visited Fira then took the optional tour to Oia - Wow! This is not to be missed. The optional tour included a tour & lunch at a local winery in Fira before continuing on to Oia - oh for more time in Oia. I'm glad I opted into this - Oia is where all the famous photographs of Greece are taken. It was magical. We took the cable car back down to the landing and the tender back to the ship for another great dinner onboard. Port #6 - Mykonos. We were in Mykonos for only a few hours and the captain remained in port despite growing wind conditions. The town of Mykonos is a lively town with a lot of young tourists. We were there very early so there was little evidence of the night before party. The island is just as picturesque as Santorini but it is flatter and has it's own personality. The trip out of Mykonos (left at noon) and back to Athens was rough so we were rock'n & roll'n for several hours - passengers & crew were ill until it calmed down. Only of few of us were up and about - but still a bit lethargic. The Harmony G only makes about 10 knots so she can't outrun the weather very well. It didn't last too long and dinner was served on calm seas. Final port - Back in Athens (Pireaus). Last night onboard was in Athens. After breakfast we packed up and headed out to the Acropolis very early to beat the crowds & the heat (good idea). Laura gave the premium tour and then we headed back to the Plaka district for more shopping. We checked back into the Divani Caravel for the last night of the base cruise package. We opted for the Athens extension so we explored the city for two more nights. My experience was OUTSTANDING and a trip that will stand out as one of my favorites. Read Less
Harmony G Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.3
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 3.0 3.5
Fitness Recreation N/A 2.7
Family 2.0 2.7
Shore Excursion 3.5 4.0
Enrichment 3.0 3.9
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.6

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