1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
I can't complain about anything. Our trip in Pan Orama through the Adriatic sea (Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece) was absolutely amazing. The crew is incredible, everyone was super nice to us and we felt really ... Read More
I can't complain about anything. Our trip in Pan Orama through the Adriatic sea (Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece) was absolutely amazing. The crew is incredible, everyone was super nice to us and we felt really well-treated by everyone. Absolutely everyone was super kind. The service is amazing, you get your room done twice a day. THE FOOD IS AMAZING!!!!!! The cabins are really well equipped, and they provide you some toiletries. It has a bar and a coffee table, where you can help yourself with coffee, infusions, tea, cookies or fruit 24/7. Its super peaceful and I am looking forward to go on board again. I was scared of being dizzy all day long, but the ship doesn't move that much and you feel in perfect conditions all the time. The shore excursions are really interesting and we went to really beautiful places ashore. The swim stops are one of the most amazing things I've ever done, it's amazing to swim in open sea.The activities on board are really entertaining and they were scheduled in the perfect moments. We relaxed and had the best vacation of our lives. I seriously hope to be back again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise because of its destination, the size of the boat and the fact that it was vetted by Wilderness Travel, an excellent US travel company. Eight of us traveled for a week along the Dalmatian coast and had a wonderful time ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its destination, the size of the boat and the fact that it was vetted by Wilderness Travel, an excellent US travel company. Eight of us traveled for a week along the Dalmatian coast and had a wonderful time thanks to the great crew and the really nice ship. The embarkation was the only little problem we encountered: no one answered the phone earlier that day so we did not know where to go on the pier. Turns out you have to go through a customs office first, which was not mentioned in the instructions. But everything after that was great. All of us would recommend this heartily for people who like low-key vacations in smallish vessels. The only reason some of the ratings below (Enrichment activities, Entertainment, Fitness & recreation) do not get "excellent" is that they refer to large cruise ships and we were very very glad not to have them available. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Returning to our favorite ship , "Panorama", with our favorite cruise company, "Variety", we were as delighted as ever , and so happy , to find many of the same wonderful staff on board. It felt as if we were ... Read More
Returning to our favorite ship , "Panorama", with our favorite cruise company, "Variety", we were as delighted as ever , and so happy , to find many of the same wonderful staff on board. It felt as if we were returning into a big family. From start to finish everything was excellent . The welcome aboard, the comfort and cleanliness were all very good....... Well done to all the smiling faces. Considering how small the galley is on this beautiful ship, the food was extremely good, we couldn't' believe the variety and standard produced. The excursions always well run and interesting. We were, as before, fortunate to have such a great group of like minded people sailing with us and there was a really happy atmosphere.... The Captain and all his crew were charming and competent. We never wanted for anything from the barman to the cleaning staff to the waiters and waitresses, the cruise coordinator , the manager ,all so very friendly and helpful. As you have probably guessed by now, we had a wonderful holiday. Thank you everyone ! We really look forward to the next time. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our first ever cruise and followed us watching the Panorama sail into Santorini's caldera while we were on holiday there in 2015 - we did some research after we got home and the 2016 Adriatic Odyssey itinerary from Variety ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and followed us watching the Panorama sail into Santorini's caldera while we were on holiday there in 2015 - we did some research after we got home and the 2016 Adriatic Odyssey itinerary from Variety Cruises looked very appealing - covering Croatia-Montenegro-Albania-Greece (calling at Dubrovnik, Korcula, Bar, Sarande, Paxos, Corfu, Kotor, before returning to Dubrovnik). We subsequently booked this 'cruise only' through Blue Water Holidays in Yorkshire, as this gave us a bigger discount than booking direct with Variety. We arranged pre and post cruise overnight stay and flights ourselves, as we are used to making our own bookings and wanted some leeway at the beginning or end of our cruise to avoid any problems caused by delayed flights or return into Dubrovnik. Blue Water provided some information prior to departure but we would have appreciated more. Points to note: * Although we rung the boat beforehand to check which dock it was in, neither Blue Water or the contact on the boat mentioned that we had to access the boat via the international terminal next to the bus station, (the boat was treated as an international departure so passport checks were required before we could get to the relevant part of the dock). This led to us being dropped off in the wrong part of the port by a taxi, having to ask another boat's crew how to find the Panorama and a hot walk with our luggage along the length of the dockside. * Shortly after embarkation we had a comprehensive briefing from the Captain and Variety representative, this explained most of what we'd been wondering about, specifically that no tips are to be made during the cruise, guests would instead be provided with envelopes on the last evening for a cash tip (in Euros) which would then be divided among all of the crew. * The briefing also explained that drinks would be on account for each cabin, with the accounts being settled on the last night of the cruise using either cash (in Euros) or a debit/credit card. * We were asked to book for excursions by lunchtime of the preceding day, to allow time for the necessary transport to be arranged. The cost per person increased for small groups and as there were only 17 passengers in our cruise the excursion groups were almost always in the smallest viable group size, which made them more expensive. We still booked for every excursion offered as we felt this was the best way to get the most out of our itinerary. All of the excursions were either good or excellent, with knowledgeable and personable guides, comfortable transport and some enjoyable tasting (and drinking) sessions included. * The onboard wifi cost 20 Euros for 500mb, I didn't bother as I had 3G coverage for almost all of the time onboard, even when sailing down apparently uninhabited areas of the coast. * We were very fortunate to have very benign weather during our cruise, except for one period of around 12 hours when we sailed through gale force 5/6 winds. Our response to this was to drink a little more that evening but 3 or 4 of the passengers skipped dinner and were a little unwell. It was a little unsettling at first when lying down but we slept ok without needing to take any seasickness / motion sickness medication. * Almost all of the cabins are twin single beds, and as we are used to a king size bed this layout was probably better than us sharing a small double bed. Cabins are cosy but well designed and the small ensuite shower room was perfectly adequate. * Some of our fellow passengers were unhappy with the wine selection offered onboard. We did think it was unfortunate that we were tasting excellent local wines on shore, yet the onboard winelist had some unappealing wines at rather full prices. Our response was to have the Mateus rose every time at 18 Euros a bottle, the most reliable, most palatable and cheapest wine on the menu. * We had 3 or so swim stops during the week, not as many as I had hoped for but generally at least 2 hours for a dip off the boat in warm (for us anyway) Adriatic water. * The sails were raised twice during our week onboard, they can only be used when the boat and wind follow a very specific range of direction but they are very attractive feature of the boat. * Our fellow passengers included two couples below 40 and the majority were between 55 and 65, plus one slightly older. Nationalities were British, American, Australian, New Zealand and Polish. For some reason there was a disproportionately large proportion of passengers who worked in the oil and gas industry. * Our lower deck level cabin (category B?) porthole didn't open (probably best on the windiest section of our trip) so fresh air was from a ceiling vent directly above my head, this was a bit noisy and draughty at times. * Service was excellent throughout - Captain George and Dietmar both deserve a very favourable mention - having just 17 passengers may have given us a much better service experience than if the boat had been closer to its 49 passenger capacity. * The onboard entertainment was limited to 'Greek night' while docked in Corfu, this was great fun and the Corfu Zorbas had us dancing enthusiastically. * The cruise includes breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. We were very happy with the quality of the food but it would have been nice to have eaten onshore a few times as there were so many appealing restaurants and bars - perhaps two days could be offered without lunch and dinner to allow this? Overall the Adriatic Odyssey itinerary was an excellent way to see this section of coast, I don't see how the itinerary could be replicated on land within a week and we got some fantastic views along the way. The Panorama may not be as luxurious, pampering or boutique style as some had expected (based on their previous big ship experiences) but it completely met our expectations and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience, so will be looking for similarly sized boats for cruises in future. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
For the 3rd time we chose to make a cruise with Variety Cruises. This time we sailed the Adriatic and Ionic Seas. Again we had a great experience. A very friendly and helpful cruisedirector, captain, hotelmanager, crew, comfortable ship, ... Read More
For the 3rd time we chose to make a cruise with Variety Cruises. This time we sailed the Adriatic and Ionic Seas. Again we had a great experience. A very friendly and helpful cruisedirector, captain, hotelmanager, crew, comfortable ship, well-equiped cabins and delicious diners, buffets and drinks. We visited 4 countries: Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece, where we did almost all the offered excursions, to get a closer look of each one of them. You also could go your own way if you wanted. The number of guests was 17 and during this week we had so much fun together! Being on a smaller cruiseship means: having a swimstop near a beautiful bay (they can bring you to the shore with the Zodiac if you want to), arriving before the big cruiseships so less crowded in places you're going to visit, getting to now the other guests (if you want to) is easy becouse of te small number, a very luxurious experience. As I said: this was the 3rd time, but it certainly won't be the last. Looking for a next destination... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was my first cruise ever and I really loved it. It's amazing to be sailing with a small ship. There were only 17 guests on board so you had a feel of having the ship for yourself. We did the adriatic cruise and visited 4 ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever and I really loved it. It's amazing to be sailing with a small ship. There were only 17 guests on board so you had a feel of having the ship for yourself. We did the adriatic cruise and visited 4 countries in 1 week: croatia, montenegro, albania and greece. Unfortunately we weren't able to get a close spot in the harbor/port in every city so sometimes you need to walk or take a bus/cab to get to the nearest city center. The crew is extremely nice and helpfull! Every day (except for one) we were able to do an excursion on shore to see the sights. I could really recommend the excursion to Butrint in Albania, the palace of queen elizabeth of austria (sissy) in corfu town and the city of Budva in Montenegro. The other cruises were not really worthwhile. Due to the fact that the ship arrived early in the morning we were able to avoid the big cruise ship masses. That's another advantage of a small cruise ship. On the minus side: * The food is okay especially breakfast and lunch but for dinner we only had 2 buffet style dinners and the rest was a strict menu (you could choose between fish or meat). I prefer buffet type of dinners. * You can buy wifi access on board (€20 per 500Mb). The data limit is a problem because lots of people have their smartphone settings tuned to wifi (to transfer photos etc). I also use a travel app to inform family and friends which I was unfortunately not able to use due to the limit. * We had less guests on board which is great but on the other hand you pay the max price for the excursions which made it very expensive. * During dinner/breakfast time the servants grabbed your plate out of your hands and brought it to your table (even if you were one step away). This felt extremely awkward for all of the guests and although they must have felt it (guests were saying no) they kept on doing that. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Panorama (48 passenger maximum) may be the first small ship in Cuba; this was its first season and rumor has it that it will return next year. Avalon Cruises contracted with Group IST in New York to provide U.S. approved People to People ... Read More
Panorama (48 passenger maximum) may be the first small ship in Cuba; this was its first season and rumor has it that it will return next year. Avalon Cruises contracted with Group IST in New York to provide U.S. approved People to People trips to Cuba for American Citizens who have not previously been able to travel there. Off-ship activities were arranged by Group IST. Most People to People tours are land-based, so this one was unique, and since it was on a small ship, activities included beach time, snorkeling, and beach barbeques. Ship provided masks, fins, and snorkels, but receiving the stuff was not handled efficiently with everybody grabbing for equipment at once as we were about to leave the ship. Equipment to be loaned could have been assigned leisurely earlier in the week to avoid the chaos. On board, the service was excellent, even elegant at dinner. Unfortunately, the food did not match. The chef managed to cook fish, chicken, and beef to cardboard consistency. Best meals we had were at restaurants off ship. The ship was a bit careless in not keeping track of its passengers; it was the ship's responsibility to provide a list of passengers to the Havana port officials who checked each passenger's passport against the list provided. Names were there for three people who canceled the trip at the last minute, but the names of three passengers who were actually there were not on the list, which caused a 40-minute delay when we tried to leave the ship in Havana. We were assured that the ship would accept credit cards, but when it came time to pay, the hotel manager would not accept cards without raised numbers. The newest cards don't have raised numbers, and passengers who tried to use them had not been made aware that theirs would not be accepted, which caused grief for some people who were low on cash. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
How surprised and lucky were we when we arrived on "The Panorama " in Cienfuegos, (having been transported in a small comfortable bus from Havana.) to find that there had been a big cancellation and we were the incredible number ... Read More
How surprised and lucky were we when we arrived on "The Panorama " in Cienfuegos, (having been transported in a small comfortable bus from Havana.) to find that there had been a big cancellation and we were the incredible number of 8 passengers, our own private yacht !!! This did not deter from the excellent team's enthusiasm in helping us to have a wonderful cruise, which we did. We were lucky to get along very well with the other 6 passengers and a great time was had by all. Our cabin was spacious , well appointed and beautifully kept. The staff were always helpful and smiling. The seas were quite rough but we were in extremely competent hands and really enjoyed the exhilaration of it all. What an experience to see Cuba from the sea...the excursions were interesting and our guides very good. The fact that the ship actually moors up in Central Havana is a plus, making it easy to enjoy this vibrant city. We were sad to say goodbye, but, until the next time, thank you Variety Cruises for organising this exceptional cruise, what wonderful memories. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
We recently went to Greece on a Variety Cruise. It was the Antiquity to Byzantium cruise aboard the Panorama II and it surpassed our expectations. The boat is comfortable with lots of places to either be by yourself and read or chat with ... Read More
We recently went to Greece on a Variety Cruise. It was the Antiquity to Byzantium cruise aboard the Panorama II and it surpassed our expectations. The boat is comfortable with lots of places to either be by yourself and read or chat with new friends. The food was delicious!!! Three meals each day with lots of choices and pastries at tea time while we listened to the lecture of the day with our fabulous tour guide. The staff was wonderful. The wind in the Greek Isles can be a challenge and the captain and cruise director were able to deal with the weather and were able to re-arrange the itinerary and make sure we did not miss anything. We can’t wait to sail with them again.   Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our first cruising experience and we travelled a long way to do it ! The appeal of a small group and exploring places that weren't crawling with tourists did not disappoint. Our itinerary was Corfu - Kotor, Montenegro - ... Read More
This was our first cruising experience and we travelled a long way to do it ! The appeal of a small group and exploring places that weren't crawling with tourists did not disappoint. Our itinerary was Corfu - Kotor, Montenegro - Dubrovnik & Korcula, Croatia - Bar, Montenegro - Saranda, Albania - Paxo & Corfu, Greece Highlights : Amazing crew. Captain George, Cruise director Nina, Manager Yanni and Bartender/whatever you need Lovvy were all fantastic as were the whole team. Destinations were all amazing - we will never forget sailing into the Bay of Kotor, zipping around on Scooters on Korcula or nights out in Paxos and Corfu. Who can forget Greek night !! Havent laughed that much in years :-D Swim stops were lovely and something the big cruise ships just cant do Customs was all handled for us and we effortlessly did our shore excursions and visits without any queues or hassles The food was sometimes fantastic especially the traditional Greek meals and the BBQ's Housekeeping was great - rooms done twice a day and nothing ever a problem including several last minute ironing requests The other passengers - only 31 in our group including 10 French, 8 Americans, 6 Australians. Got to know most people really well and was a great mix of ages - 10 - 84 ! Have made several friends for life !! Lowlights : Being a small ship there is a fair bit of rock and roll sometimes. We had one pretty rough night but generally calm sailing. Medication readily available. The food was sometimes woeful ( tinned carrots !) and this feedback has been passed on. There was plenty of it and some dishes were incredible. In saying that we were not expecting a gourmet cruise and were more than satisfied. Sometimes its better to eat in town anyway ( Paxos!) Cabins are a little tired. Bizarrely they insist on putting ugly old brown breadspreads on the beds during the day but remove them for the white doonas at turn down - they look far better ! Wifi - extortion like most boats. When is someone going to upgrade their equipment and be the first to break this mould ? Many people are trying to still run businesses back home ( its even marketed to this demographic) so they need to be enabled. The pros far exceeded the cons and overall this cruise was great value for money. We would not hesitate to recommend to others and are already looking at some of Variety's other offerings   Read Less
Panorama Ratings
Category Editor Member

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise