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Sail Date: April 2019
Buyers beware. Confusing, misleading, or blatantly untrue statements when promoting a product... They advertise as Deluxe Travel. Not even close. There is really no way of knowing anything about the ship until you get there. - ... Read More
Buyers beware. Confusing, misleading, or blatantly untrue statements when promoting a product... They advertise as Deluxe Travel. Not even close. There is really no way of knowing anything about the ship until you get there. - This one is pretty bad ... Temperature in the room can not be controlled - it is ether cold or hot. Temperature control in the room does not work. Really were never comfortable. - Room was tiny. - Door to the bathroom did not close. - Shower tray over-floods and did not drain properly and water was on the floor. - No TV at all. - Internet service sporadic and only in some places of the ship. - The closet door was not working properly fell on my wife once. Islands in the Baltic Sea - Bornholm and Gotland are not particularly interesting - should have spent more time in Riga, Tallinn, and Helsinki. Crew was trying to do their best to serve the guests. The cruise director was actually pretty good. Vantage should try and contract with another ship. Tanya and Sergei 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
My EXCELLENT rating of this adventure is not indicative of luxury, rather a unique opportunity to experience Cuba and to do so aboard a mega-yacht. This was our third Cuban trip in six years. Booking this ship/itinerary allowed us to visit ... Read More
My EXCELLENT rating of this adventure is not indicative of luxury, rather a unique opportunity to experience Cuba and to do so aboard a mega-yacht. This was our third Cuban trip in six years. Booking this ship/itinerary allowed us to visit locations we had not seen previously and would have had difficulty getting to on our own. The Variety Voyager could be classified as an expedition-style ship (Galapagos, Arctic, Antarctic) in some ways, but I suggest it's contemporary, sleek flair places it in its own category. This was our first time aboard a large scale yacht although we have cruised more than 45 times aboard ships of all sizes and in all parts of the world. The booking experience was simple; we received all information promptly. Our flight to, and pickup at, Havana airport was efficient, as was embarkation (and seven days later) disembarkation. Service on board was without fault. All staff and crew were helpful and friendly. Buffet breakfast/lunch had enough choices to keep it from being repetitive. Dinners were from a menu with several courses and choices. Passengers wore comfortable warm-weather clothing throughout the day and evening. Some wore a nicer shirt, top, dress for dinner but it isn't required or necessary. We chose to pack light and never felt underdressed. Captain Constantine, Hotel Manager Stefanos, George, Marina, Christian, Vick, Vilim and their fellow staff/crew were attentive, pleasant and helped us to enjoy our adventure. It would not have been the same without them! Please see cabin comments below. This mega-yacht is a UNIQUE way to travel. It is not meant to be a cruise ship experience. In fact several passengers had never cruised. It is a relaxed atmosphere onboard with enough space to spread out if necessary. The décor is clean, contemporary and attractive. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Very interesting islands, excellent food, nice beaches, even the snorkeling was better than expected. The staff were very friendly and we feel like at home. The group was formed by several couples from all over Europe, and this helped ... Read More
Very interesting islands, excellent food, nice beaches, even the snorkeling was better than expected. The staff were very friendly and we feel like at home. The group was formed by several couples from all over Europe, and this helped very much when talking to each other during the evenings. We would like to plan a few cruises more during coming years and have decided that this kind of boats is much better then the other huge boats that offer similar kind of cruises. All the staff invested time in keeping all of us happy and in the very moment you ask any question or had any requests. We were just 26 people on board out of the 44 places available and this fact also helped very much. Our cabin was the perfect size. It is worth upgrading the cabin to an A class as you are 7 nights on it Read Less
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The Seychelles has always been a bucket list destination for me and it did not disappoint! By traveling with Variety on a yacht cruise you get to see so many destinations that you would not see if you stayed at a hotel on one island or ... Read More
The Seychelles has always been a bucket list destination for me and it did not disappoint! By traveling with Variety on a yacht cruise you get to see so many destinations that you would not see if you stayed at a hotel on one island or traveled on a larger ship. Not only did we get to see so many destination we also had an incredible experience on board the ship. Our cabin was very comfortable was incredible views from our portholes. Because it is a small ship with a capacity of about 44 people the crew is able to get to know you and your individual needs. We were on a first name basis with everyone from the interior crew to the captain and they were so friendly and welcoming! There are multiple turn down services a day, the bartender knew our drink preferences and the hotel manager George was the best host! Truly the trip of lifetime and I miss the crew already! I cannot wait for my next Variety Cruises experience! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We paid for a cruise on Vantage, a line we have had good experiences on previously. Instead of the Vantage ship we expected, we were greeted with the Variety Voyager on arrival in Poole, our departure point. The ship appeared to be older ... Read More
We paid for a cruise on Vantage, a line we have had good experiences on previously. Instead of the Vantage ship we expected, we were greeted with the Variety Voyager on arrival in Poole, our departure point. The ship appeared to be older and was in need of some repairs, some of which were obvious to passengers. The reservation agent offered a cabin on the port side so we would have a good view of the landscape as we cruised. We later learned learned that international shipping law requires vessels to sail 15 miles from the coastline. Within a couple days of sailing, some passengers reported they had brown water in their sinks, toilets and showers. As time on the ship continued, the condition reached most, if not all the cabins. This condition was never fixed in spite of the ship being docked in Ferrol for 3 full days after only 2 days at sea. Passengers were bused to and from destinations that were not included in the itinerary, destinations we specifically wanted to see. Instead we spent about 7 of the 13 days on the bus with nights spent in some very nice hotels. We did get to see some of the scheduled sights but the tour directors had to scramble to find activities for the passengers since we were not in the designated ports of call. Because the bus time was so lengthy we were deprived of the pleasure of the company of fellow passengers stuck in our bus seats. We often arrived at a hotel very close to dinner time (in one case dinner at 8:30) so by the time we finished our meal, it was very close to bedtime. Once again, no time to mingle. While the food on the ship was generally good, breakfast left a great deal to be desired. Lunches were buffet style and offered several options that were acceptable. Entertainment was a disappointment. One song group came in but were busy pedaling (selling) their CDs to the passengers. We found that offensive. The other two nights with entertainment were somewhat enjoyable.. Most land tours were well done but again, with the exception of two days, there was no time to explore on our own. The cabin was comfortable but had limited storage space but had much wasted space with what passed for a desk area. Staff was courteous and willing to help when called on. As time went on, tour directors, having had to struggle to find substitute venues, became a bit short with passenger inquiries. Somehow this was almost acceptable as they had to scramble for alternates due to the bus ride. Yes, there were weather conditions out to sea but not for 5-6 days off and on. We were told the ship would be sailing in an effort to keep up with the bus but that did not seem to happen. Apparently this was a repositioning cruise which are somewhat less expensive but we were never advised of this. All in all, the cruise was largely a bus ride. Had we wanted a bus tour, probably at about half the price, we would have bought that. Again, had there been any indication much of it would be a bus tour, we never would have signed on. We expect some sort of remuneration by Vantage, the cruise company with which we contracted. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We were expecting a luxury cruise. We paid good money for a luxury cruise. The boat Callisto is very old and not well maintained. The noise was that loud that we were offered earplugs by the crew. The boat shuddered while under way and ... Read More
We were expecting a luxury cruise. We paid good money for a luxury cruise. The boat Callisto is very old and not well maintained. The noise was that loud that we were offered earplugs by the crew. The boat shuddered while under way and made sleeping very challenging. The beds were extremely hard. Bathrooms were very tired. The staff did keep them clean.This was not a luxury cruise and had I known I certainly wouldn’t have paid that price. There shore excursions were so expensive. We ended organising ours from shore and paid a third of the price. There was only hot water for the first two days and then the last. The positive was that the crew were excellent. They couldn’t be faulted. Think carefully before booking your cruise. Callisto certainly wasn’t value for money. Embarkation was was very poor. We were given a number to ring to find where the boat would be docked. The number was never answered. This happened to all guests. We were lead to believe we could swim from the boat. This only happened once and not in a lovely bay like on the brochure but where we were anchored just out of the harbour with strong currents. If you were expecting Wifi. Check what they offer. It was not what I expected. The food was good and we met some lovely people and the staff on board were great. This was not a luxury cruise and certainly not value for money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
What a pleasant trip.Staff were so friendly they made you feel at home. The Food was good to excellent and the cruise was a wonderful opportunity to meet lovely people and new friends from all round the world. It was our first time ... Read More
What a pleasant trip.Staff were so friendly they made you feel at home. The Food was good to excellent and the cruise was a wonderful opportunity to meet lovely people and new friends from all round the world. It was our first time in Seychelles and the 7 night cruise on this small ship was an ideal way to see most of the main islands. The cabin (category A) was pleasant and the shower was good but we do not understand why we paid more for a category A cabin than a B cabin as there is no difference between the two other than an A being more pricey. The waters were choppy and large swells made the ship rock and roll which can make one feel sea sick(my wife) but others found it enjoyable! Entertainment was fine and the activities visiting the islands were enjoyable but the snorkeling disappointing. Disappointed that we spent 2 nights in the harbor especially the one at Praslin and suggest the management reconsider this as an overnight stay. All in all an enjoyable first time experience on the this small cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We choose this cruise believing it was high end. It was extremely expensive so we thought it was the cruise of a lifetime. I wish people would write reviews so you can make and informed decision on whether this is the cruise for you. ... Read More
We choose this cruise believing it was high end. It was extremely expensive so we thought it was the cruise of a lifetime. I wish people would write reviews so you can make and informed decision on whether this is the cruise for you. The boat was very old. I wouldn’t pay that sort of money to sail on this boat. The noise was unbearable at night and they offered everyone ear plugs so I guess that tells you something. The boat vibrates continuously under sail. You are trying to sleep and your whole body is shaking. The beds are rock hard. The cabins are old but I didn’t mind that. There was no hot water for most of the trip. Not to much of a problem because the weather was warm but when you pay such a high price for the trip you expect hot water. Don’t sail on Callisto. The crew were wonderful and there service excellent. It was just the age of the boat and the price we paid. Be honest Variety so people can choose if this is the right boat for them Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
I've always wanted to visit the Seychelles, but as I don't fall into the typical group visiting it (couples/honeymoon ) I thought that the best way is to visit on board a small cruise. I was originally planning on booking cabin ... Read More
I've always wanted to visit the Seychelles, but as I don't fall into the typical group visiting it (couples/honeymoon ) I thought that the best way is to visit on board a small cruise. I was originally planning on booking cabin on a luxury catamaran sailing cruise, but found an offer about Variety Cruises. I am so glad I booked that instead! I had amazing time from start to finish. The yacht is fairly small, and we were not more that 25-30 people. That was great as everyone gets to know the other people and the whole experience is much more personalised. I was worried that it will be mainly senior crowd and we will feel out of place (we are in our mid-late thirties), but the group was a really nice mix of people and no one was a nuisance to the other passengers (I guess we were lucky). I also liked the fact that there is no dress code and the whole atmosphere is super relaxed. The boat is old-ish, so don't expect anything glamorous. The food was amazing! I seriously didn't expect so delicious food, and such rich variety in the Seychelles (read a lot of travel forums prior to my trip, and the Seychelles is not famous with culinary experiences). There is a bar on board and there was a decent choice of drinks. I found the prices to be absolutely normal considering the destination and the quality of the drinks. I really liked the itinerary, as you get to see so much in a really short period of time. You'll never manage to do that if you are not cruising. There were two optional excursion, which we found a bit dull and didn't book. Most of our fellow travellers who went confirmed that we've made the right choice. The crew is a mix of nationalities, and everyone was super friendly and accommodating, Everyone is really professional and is genuinely interested in providing you with the best possible service. The captain was constantly interacting with the passengers and was more than happy to answer any questions. I really can't think of better way to see this amazing destination! Already looking to book a Variety Cruise in another part of the World. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Cruise: Adriatic Odyssey: Croatia, Montenegro, Albania & Greece Cruise Company: Variety Cruises Cruise Ship: Callisto Cruise Dates: August 26 – September 2nd. 1. The ship  Callisto is a very old boat and it shows its ... Read More
Cruise: Adriatic Odyssey: Croatia, Montenegro, Albania & Greece Cruise Company: Variety Cruises Cruise Ship: Callisto Cruise Dates: August 26 – September 2nd. 1. The ship  Callisto is a very old boat and it shows its age. But it is clean and runs well. Few negatives: The sun deck has no shade. There were four loungers, and no chairs or umbrellas. Category A cabins have no direct access to the deck. The beds are very hard.  2. The crew The captain had no interaction with the passengers. Even on the last night that was themed” Meet the Captain” he showed up for five minutes said three sentences and disappeared. His decisions about the schedule did not take passengers’ interests into account. He was only concerned about making it from port to port without trying to make it a little more pleasant experience for his guests.  The housekeeping staff was very nice and accommodating. The servers and the bar attendant were also extremely nice if not very efficient. Hotel director went out of his way to be helpful. 3. Cruise director  While he was very approachable, he lacked the knowledge of the places we visited and was unable to offer any suggestions on what there was to do, except for pushing the excursions offered by the ship. He was also not very forthcoming about the itinerary changes and was not really advocating on passengers’ behalf when his help was needed negotiating with the captain. Which in itself should never have been an issue.  4. Boarding No information was given of the location where the ship was docked or on the procedures for boarding. The phone numbers provided did not work. Most passengers spent close to two hours trying to find the ship. No assistance was offered with the luggage by either the cruise or by port officials. No luggage cards were available. The suitcases had to be manually dragged to the ship which was at least 15 minutes walk from the terminal building. Cannot even imagine how some of the older passengers were able to manage. 5. Departure time There was conflicting information about the time of departure from Dubrovnik. Website mentioned the next morning departure with the swim stop before reaching Korcula. Some passengers were told that the ship would depart that afternoon. In reality, it left at night reaching Korcula early in the morning and skipping the promised swim stop. 6. Itinerary The first night on the ship we were told that the big storm was coming. The ship had to leave early to get to Bar, Montenegro and then make a 20 hours journey to Paxos , part of which would be through the storm.  Bar is the destination that has nothing to offer. The ship spent the morning there with the short excursion to the archeological site that was neither interesting nor important. We also stopped to look at the old olive tree and at the Orthodox Church, and were back on the ship by lunch. At that time, the passengers were given pills for motion sickness and were told to expect a storm with strength of 11 on the scale of 1 to 10. Everyone went to sleep drugged. The storm never happened but apparently caused a delay in our schedule.  Originally, the ship was supposed to stop at Corfu first for an hour to go through customs, then have a 5 hours swim stop at some beautiful beach, then arrive at Paxos at around 7 pm and go back to Corfu the next morning. None happened as planned. We were stuck on the boat for 30 hours. Instead of 5 hours on the beautiful beach we had 45 minutes swim off the boat and did not arrive to Paxos till 9 pm at which point it was already too dark to see anything at all.  We had to beg the captain who, by the way never introduced himself or talked to the passengers once, to add at least one more swim stop since we already missed two (in Korcula and in Paxos). At 7:30 am the next morning we were allowed to swim off the boat near Corfu. Most passengers were still asleep and were not able to take advantage of this opportunity. In Saranda, Albania the ship docked right next to the beach that was fenced and impossible to get to directly unless we swam to it off the boat. Again, the passengers needed to beg to let us do it before it was finally allowed. The itinerary made no sense. First, why instead of going to Bar not to stop at some place that has something to offer?  Secondly, why stop at Corfu for an hour, then go to Paxos, get there after dark and then go back to Corfu? Why not spend time in Corfu first and then go to Paxos, so we can see and enjoy both places?  Having passengers on the small boat for 30 hours without stopping is unacceptable. No Bloody Mary’s or fruit platters can compensate for the time wasted and for the discomfort it caused. We basically lost two out of seven days of the cruise for which we paid significant amount of money.  The captain should have made arrangements to avoid this from happening.  7. Food Good but boring, no real variety. Felt like we are the same things every day of the week.  8. Arrival Originally arrival time was given as of 9 am. Travel arrangements have been made based on that time. Since no afternoon flights were available on the day of arrival we had to spend one extra day traveling. However, on the last night we were told that the ship will be back in Dubrovnik at 3 am. If we have known that, we could have saved time and money and left that morning. No assistance was offered with the luggage just like it was not on the day of departure. The ship was docked at the very back and everyone had to drag their suitcases to the terminal on their own. Overall, I would rate our experience with Variety cruises as below average. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is a beautiful small ship (about 25 cabins) with an amazing crew. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The food was wonderful..authentic Greek food, perfect for our trip around these beautiful islands. Our tour coordinator, ... Read More
This is a beautiful small ship (about 25 cabins) with an amazing crew. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The food was wonderful..authentic Greek food, perfect for our trip around these beautiful islands. Our tour coordinator, Joseph, was knowledgeable, friendly and funny a perfect combination! The stewards (food and room) were all efficient and friendly, our room was serviced twice a day. The bar was well serviced and the drinks were generous and reasonably price. There were several events that included drinks (in Santorini the Greek night was so much fun with ouzo (or wine/beer) flowing freely). There were shore excursions offered in each port with the trip to Delos a highlight for us (take plenty of water). We loved the swim stops, swimming out from the boat in the sparling water was amazing and unforgettable. There was a range of ages on our cruise, mid 20's to 80 with most in the mid 40s to mid 60s. We thoroughly recommend this small ship cruise if you enjoy good company (mainly aussies on our cruise), good food, fun and the joy of experiencing new places you will love it.. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I wrote to Variety cruises with my feedback and you do not get answer - only put on the email list for advertising. This has prompted me to put a review on Cruise Critic. Afraid even the travel agent did not want to know. We had ... Read More
I wrote to Variety cruises with my feedback and you do not get answer - only put on the email list for advertising. This has prompted me to put a review on Cruise Critic. Afraid even the travel agent did not want to know. We had previously done a Variety Cruise "Jewels of the Cyclades" on the Galileo and loved the cruise so much that I wrote in a rave review on tripadvisor saying it was perhaps the best holiday I had ever had. Afraid it was not the case with the Adriatic Odyssey and the Callisto. On the Galileo on my previous cruise we have decided to try the rooms below and found out they were fine. Unfortunately on the Callisto the downstairs rooms are so noisy and the boat rattles so much that sleeping is most difficult to near impossible. Even when the boat is moored there is a noise going on and off 24 hours a day making it more like a form of torture. Admittedly the hotel manager did move us to the other side of the boat (still on the same level) and the noise could still be heard but not as bad. When I agreed to be downstairs I thought I was just getting a port hole instead of a window but I didn’t bargain for no sleep - it was not mentioned in your advertising that there would a constant on and off noise. The array of patches and dents on the hull are an indication of the tired state of the boat. I feel embarrassed that I encouraged friends to go with us. 1. I really think that when you pay 517 euros per night for a cabin that internet should be included. These days you get free internet with a 2 euro cup of coffee so Variety stop being so tight. 2. The optional tours were just a rippoff . (like 80 euros each for a walking tour) We had just left another small cruise from Split where there was a walking tour each day (included) – wonderful! Internet was also included and gratuities on that previous cruise. 3. This cruise had a stop in Bar in Montenegro. Bar is not worthy of a stop. Maybe it really it is meant to be just a refueling stop. 4. I know I agreed to this itinerary but I didn’t realise that Corfu is too far from Croatia and Montengro and 20 hours of very very loud rattling boat from Bar to Paxos is too long. 5. We had one beautiful stop called anti-Paxos and then Paxos and these two places were exceptionally beautiful and yet we had no time there. Only for a quick swim and then 2 hours at Paxos. It would be better to leave out Corfu and put more time in these beautiful places. 6. The staff (bar and room staff and chef) were excellent and could not be faulted. The Hotel manager- think that was his title - was not the right person for this job. The remaining staff who were doing a fabulous job were finding him impossible to work with. 7. Food was fabulous and too much. 8. Our tour guide was very good. Afraid I wont travel on Variety again unless I know the boat is much better. 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
Sail Date: August 2018
This sailing was incredible from start to finish! The staff were all friendly, helpful, and couldn't do enough for you. The ship was an older classic style yacht, very comfortable but definitely a dated look to it. The cabins were ... Read More
This sailing was incredible from start to finish! The staff were all friendly, helpful, and couldn't do enough for you. The ship was an older classic style yacht, very comfortable but definitely a dated look to it. The cabins were small but comfortable, the beds were a little on the hard side for my taste but were still cozy enough to get a good night's sleep. The food on board was wonderful! The kitchen staff outdid themselves at every meal. I swear we barely ever stopped eating on board, as soon as breakfast was cleared, someone was out offering fresh slices of watermelon, then lunch, then a dish of sorbet on the sun deck, then an amazing dinner and cocktails, definitely overdid it but everything was impeccable. The cruise director was always knowledgeable about our ports, giving us plenty of insight on what to do while in each country (Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece). I do think the excursions could be improved upon though, they only offered a couple excursions in each port, and they were participation based, so if the one you wanted didn't have enough guests, it didn't happen. That being said, the only port I think an excursion is truly necessary is Albania. My favorite stops were Korcula, Kotor, Anti-Paxos and Paxos (Anti-Paxos had the best beach and bluest waters I've ever seen in my life!). I would gladly travel with Variety in the future, and look forward to the day I get to sail with them again! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We choose this cruise, Vantage Cruise Line's "The Hidden Gems of the British Isles and Ireland" ,because it went to the islands north of Scotland- the Isle of Skye, the Outer Hebrides, and the Orkney Islands- to see sites ... Read More
We choose this cruise, Vantage Cruise Line's "The Hidden Gems of the British Isles and Ireland" ,because it went to the islands north of Scotland- the Isle of Skye, the Outer Hebrides, and the Orkney Islands- to see sites like the prehistoric Callanish Stones and 3,000 year old Skara Brae. We started the cruise in Poole, England, visited Tresco on the Isles of Scilly and two ports in Wales, and then got to Dublin- where the ship stayed for the remainder of the trip. As a matter of fact, it is still there 3 weeks later, detained by the Port Authority for having 'unsafe life boats and a crew untrained in safety proceedures', according to numerous reports available for viewing by googling 'Problems with Variety Voyager Cruise Ship'! After our day in Dublin, this became a bus trip of Ireland. They carted us around in whatever buses they could find on short notice- old ones with broken seats and seatbelts and no legroom at all. After a couple of days we moved to a hotel in Belfast where we continued our bus tour. Any sites we visited left a lot to be desired and we were never given enough time to see an entire exhibit because we had to leave to get to some little town for shopping time! Vantage says they provided us with comparable tours- really? Do you really think a bus trip to Kilkenny is equivalent to seeing Skara Brae or the Callanish stones??? This is not what any of us paid for! Now Vantage travel says that they are not responsible because it was a third party ship! As for the Variety Voyage itself, the ship was not what we expected- absolutely nothing like the pictures in the catalog or on the internet. The food was terrible- always over cooked and over salted. Meals were very plain and choices were minimal- meat or fish, potatoes, and a semi-cooked vegetable. Breakfast was the same everyday. There was always a tray of croissants and pastries baked until they were dark brown, dry, and crunchy. It was the same with all the breads, rolls, and bagels. You would think they would get the hint something wasn't right when nobody ate any of them. The high point of this cruise was probably moving into the hotels- the rooms and food was definitely better! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Greece was my bucket list destination. Because we wanted to see a variety of islands and only had a short time we chose the Jewels of the Cyclades Cruise with Variety. I am glad we did. First off. The ship is charming and because of its ... Read More
Greece was my bucket list destination. Because we wanted to see a variety of islands and only had a short time we chose the Jewels of the Cyclades Cruise with Variety. I am glad we did. First off. The ship is charming and because of its size you spend a lot of time at port instead of getting to the port. Our Cabin was necessarily small ( its a small ship!) but well appointed. I chose Cat A because i like the outside entrance. The staff is fabulous, very accommodating. The food is fantastic. The upper deck is magic. Second the Islands. Mostly you sail early am or late at night and so you get to spend a lot of quality time at each island. That said. Do your homework or take the excursions. The excursions are small groups and not too expensive so I recommend them if you don't know the islands or don't like to strike out on your own. We tend to go off on our own so I did research and we mostly explored each island either by bus on foot or rented a car (Make sure you have your International Drivers Cert) Must see -Go to Rakentia on the island of Folegandros ! you can take a bus from the marina and then walk there from town) Don't miss the excursion to Delos. and so final thought.. I really don't like cruises, and swore I would never take another, but I've been converted. On this small ship cruise you feel more like you are on a private yacht with your friends. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The ship was exclusively chartered by Vantage World Travel for a cruise around the British Isles. After an overnight in the beautiful Hotel Principal in Edinburgh, we were driven by motorcoach to Inverness, where we embarked on the ... Read More
The ship was exclusively chartered by Vantage World Travel for a cruise around the British Isles. After an overnight in the beautiful Hotel Principal in Edinburgh, we were driven by motorcoach to Inverness, where we embarked on the Voyager. We had a total of 61 passengers, and about 30 crew. This was our tenth trip with Vantage. The ship is well-decorated; we had cabin 330, the largest category except for the owner's suite. There are five decks including the sun deck. There is no lift/elevator, so there are lots of stairs, and they are steep. The dining room was on the same deck with our cabin, and the lounge was one deck below that, so most of our stair-climbing was between those two decks. The next deck down contains a small spa and library and a rear deck from which, in warmer weather ports, one can swim. The wi-fi is available for a charge, and unlike other ships I've been on, it is very slow and is suitable only for email. The food on board is fair-to-good. Dinner rolls were always stale, coffee was always weak, and main courses at dinner were always drowned in sauces. The breakfast and lunch buffets were good, never great. Dinners were not well-thought-out. One night we had lamb shanks, the next night osso bucco (veal shank!) Desserts were only fair. The ship is small, and in rough seas it can really be rough. We had two nights when it was difficult to get into bed because of the ship's movement. Now the good news: The crew was sensational. Most of the executives were Greek, and the servers from Mauritius or Ukraine. The excursions were excellent. And James, our Vantage program manger, was fantastic. He knew every passenger by name, and took care of all of us. We stopped in the Isle of Skye, Orkney. Oban, Belfast, Dublin, two places in Wales, Stonehenge, and finally overnight in London. There was regional entertainment on board, and all of it was worthwhile. Overall a very good cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We normally prefer small ship cruises but this was easily the worst. We made the booking on condition that we would be allocated a cabin with a double bed,at the front of the ship. The request was acknowledged by Variety Cruises. On ... Read More
We normally prefer small ship cruises but this was easily the worst. We made the booking on condition that we would be allocated a cabin with a double bed,at the front of the ship. The request was acknowledged by Variety Cruises. On arrival, we were shown to a cabin with two single beds at the back of the ship ! I queried their error and they argued that there are no cabins with double beds. I showed them their brochure with pictures of cabins which did have double beds and a copy of my email acknowledgment ! They were not even embarrassed by being caught out.The Manager shrugged his shoulders.This was a particularly telling sign. They then argued that it was now too late as everyone was already on board. I pointed out that two taxis had just pulled up and the passengers were just embarking. I said if you don’t give us a cabin with a double bed then we would be getting off and would take legal action to receive a refund. At this point they moved us to another cabin with a double bed. We received no apology. We submitted a formal complaint ,at the end of the cruise, about this and also the lack of service provided if you didn’t “ sign up” for their organised tours. In Santorini , as an example,they would not provide a tender from the ship to land after 8.00 in the morning unless we agreed to pay €140 euros each way for a tender. It took 7 weeks to get a reply from the Company regarding our complaints.They did ultimately acknowledge that “ if you are not going on the tour , having just one time to go ashore at 8am was not ideal”. It certainly wasn’t ideal because the return tender was at 16.30pm ,eight and a half hours later. They could have paid the €140 for the tender themselves but they were a penny pinching company in everything they did. The fundamental problem is that they don’t have their own tender. In Mykonos they moored a fair distance away and we needed to pay for our own public transport to travel to the town centre. The larger ships had their own tenders which went back and forth throughout the day and evening. Our category grade A cabin was on the small side and needed to be updated but it was ok The food on board was of a cafeteria standard and should have been better as they were not catering for many people.If the food served on board had been given to us in a restaurant on land ,we would have eaten it but would not have returned. Unfortunately, onboard we had no option. Quality of dining is important ,particularly on a small ship with no entertainment. So there wasn’t much to look forward to in the evening. Fortunately our fellow passengers were a lovely crowd and we were lucky because this may not have been the case. Be very careful if you are on your honeymoon and want a double bed. By the same token ,you could be in for a shock if you want two single beds to then be allocated a double bed ! This is not a cheap cruise , we paid £4700,and after our experience we will never use this company again. Why take the risk ? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Our first time on a ship with only about 70 passengers, but we were still very satisfied with the excellent food, terrific personalized service from the crew and staff, the quality of the ship, the intriguing ports of call, and the ... Read More
Our first time on a ship with only about 70 passengers, but we were still very satisfied with the excellent food, terrific personalized service from the crew and staff, the quality of the ship, the intriguing ports of call, and the well-organized tours. And we even had several nights of local entertainment. I highly recommend this ship and cruise. You will feel more movement on a smaller ship, but we actually like that, reminding us that we were on the ocean. The breakfasts were served buffet-style, with a wide variety of choices. The dinners were waiter-served, with menu choices. Many of the lunches were in the local pubs, with the ship either paying directly for the group or giving you money to make your own pub choice. You will see lots of local color and historical sites in England, Wales, N. Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. All beautiful areas. We also very much enjoyed the Irish Whiskey and Scotch Whiskey distillery tours (and tasting). Vantage Travel did an excellent job of arranging and leading the whole tour experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Great crusie ! Always wanted to go to Croatia and this looked like a lovely way to see it! Classy older yacht, well maintained and very comfortable. FOOD and CREW were 1st class!!! 5 star all the way! Leija was a fabulous cruise director, ... Read More
Great crusie ! Always wanted to go to Croatia and this looked like a lovely way to see it! Classy older yacht, well maintained and very comfortable. FOOD and CREW were 1st class!!! 5 star all the way! Leija was a fabulous cruise director, the captain was friendly, and the wine was freeflowing. Good combination of excursions and free time, crew was willing to be accommodating to special requests for food, excursions, etc. Our cruise was not full and it felt very small and custom. Nice other passengers, plenty of time to meet the others too. I was in a bottom cabin, with just a porthole, but it was exactly the same size or even a bit larger than the top floor cabins, just not a big window! You could hear the drone of the motor when night crusing, not sure if that was based on my cabin location or not. LOTS and LOTS of closet and shelf space, comfortable beds too! Always hot water, good shower, very nice toiletries, nightly turndown - the best! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I have always cringed at the thought of going on a cruise on one of the larger ships so it was with trepidation that I even agreed to go on this one. Boy was I glad I did. From the minute we stepped aboard to the moment we left the ship I ... Read More
I have always cringed at the thought of going on a cruise on one of the larger ships so it was with trepidation that I even agreed to go on this one. Boy was I glad I did. From the minute we stepped aboard to the moment we left the ship I cant speak higher of the service from the staff on board. The ship was beautifully clean throughout with ample areas to relax in the shade or on the sundeck. We never felt that we were too crowded. Our cabin was one of the cheaper ones on the lower deck and although it was small and we could hear the anchor coming up in the morning it was fine for us. It was kept immaculate and cleaned twice a day and there was enough storage space. I did look in one of the other cabins on the upper deck and they were quite a bit larger and nicer but I guess it depends on your budget. You really don't spend that much time in the cabin anyway! The dining area was large and most people tended to find a place and pretty much sit there. The food was wonderful. Always cereal, fruit and hot dishes for breakfast. Plenty of fish, grilled meats, salads and local dishes for either lunch or dinner depending on the days activities. It was wonderful to anchor off small coves and go swimming off the boat or get the tender into the beach. Plenty of noodles to float around on and snorkels and flippers. also a couple of kayaks if you felt energetic! We went to some of the smaller Islands which was lovely as when we arrived at Mykonos there were thousands of people off the large cruise ships!! We had a great ouzo and Greek dancing night on board one night but otherwise there was no formal entertainment, but the bar was always open and the lovely Val was happy to serve you whatever you wished for. The drinks were quite reasonably priced also. Most evening we were in a port tied up next to the local fishing boats and you could wander off to the local tavernas and bars for the evening as we would not leave until early the next morning. You could opt to go on the excursions or do your own thing. We did about half and half. It was a fantastic experience and I have some wonderful memories and would not hesitate to go on a small ship cruise like this again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We loved everything about this cruise! It was our first time in Greece, and after the cruise we were heading out for two weeks of home exchange and our own adventures, so we really appreciated the introduction this cruise gave us. We ... Read More
We loved everything about this cruise! It was our first time in Greece, and after the cruise we were heading out for two weeks of home exchange and our own adventures, so we really appreciated the introduction this cruise gave us. We toured the Cyclades. The ship is delightful, the crew was extraordinarily cheerful, capable and kind. I had an eating challenge that made my diet really complex, and the Hotel Manager memorized my preferences and had special meals created for me - to the point that the other passengers wondered if perhaps I wasn't getting an upgrade! The ship is in great condition, everything perfectly clean. Our cabin was kept spotless, the bed was comfortable and there was more space than we expected (Category B). We did not do all the tours, although our shipmates were happy with them. We did the Delos excursion and it was terrific. We especially loved that the ship had access to the port piers so that we only used tenders at one island. All the other stops we could come and go as we pleased. The half board plan worked great, we really enjoyed scoping out restaurants on all the islands. We will be back with Variety. This was our 35th wedding anniversary, and we enjoyed every minute! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My husband and I decided to finally take our honeymoon trip (almost 3 years later) as we were saving it for something big. We have always wanted to visit Greece (was on our bucket list) but also craved the adventure part, so we decided ... Read More
My husband and I decided to finally take our honeymoon trip (almost 3 years later) as we were saving it for something big. We have always wanted to visit Greece (was on our bucket list) but also craved the adventure part, so we decided to go on a cruise. As we were browsing cruise lines in internet we agreed that we didn't want a big cruise, we were looking for something more personal and special, and we now can say Variety Cruises offers exactly that deal. Our journey aboard the Galileo was one of the most exciting experiences I've had, starting by the breathtaking views and relaxed vibe. One of the highlights is the staff, they make sure everyone is comfortable at all times, very diligent and empathetic people with a genuine smile on their face, that made them look like family at the end of our journey. They even learn everyone's name and make sure nobody's left out. One of the positive things about it is that they gave us plenty of time to visit each of the Greek islands, you can enjoy the daytime as nighttime. We made friends easily on the Galileo and enjoyed every moment of it. We have no doubt that we'll make another trip with Variety Cruises in the future, couldn't recommend it more.! Read Less
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