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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
2 Helpful Votes
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
11 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We just got back from the Garden of Eden 7 night cruise on MY Pegasus which is a beautiful motor yacht. The outstanding service and friendly atmosphere on board with everything we needed taken care of, and an emphasis on relaxation and ... Read More
We just got back from the Garden of Eden 7 night cruise on MY Pegasus which is a beautiful motor yacht. The outstanding service and friendly atmosphere on board with everything we needed taken care of, and an emphasis on relaxation and getting to know our fellow passengers was evident from the start. Everyone was so impressed with the food and the skill of the Seychellois chef. We never felt bored yet neither did we feel that we were being "organised" too much. The daily excursions (most included) meant that we could combine swimming and snorkelling at La Digue or Praslin (or lazing on pristine, secluded beaches) with fascinating trips to nature reserves on the islands of Cousin and Aride. We fell in love with the giant Aldabra tortoises on Curieuse island and took so many photos of the rare birds. The rides on the Zodiac inflatable dinghies to get to the islands were exciting and these boats were also used to take us to some great snorkelling spots. All in all this was the stuff of dreams and had the feel of a true adventure! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Disgusting!!!!! We booked through Vantage Deluxe World Travel for an Aegean Cruise on the Harmony V and it was the worst vacation we have ever had. This ship needs to be taken out of commission or totally refurbished. The staterooms are ... Read More
Disgusting!!!!! We booked through Vantage Deluxe World Travel for an Aegean Cruise on the Harmony V and it was the worst vacation we have ever had. This ship needs to be taken out of commission or totally refurbished. The staterooms are old and run down as are the ship's common areas. Our stateroom "suite" was a sight to behold. The bathroom was covered in black mold and the entire stateroom reeked of mold. The shower door was covered in streaked soap scum for our entire stay - not cleaned. We were told not to flush used toilet paper down the toilet but to put it in the trash can - gross - and the bathroom sink water was not potable. When showering the stall filled ankle deep in water that didn't drain. We used towels to force the water down the drain and sop it up. Never felt clean after showering in a bathroom like this. After two days of complaining about the bathroom to the "hotel manager" a maintenance man was sent to rechaulk the bathroom. When we disembarked the black mold was leeching through again - disgusting and unhealthy. The bed linens were old, rough, tattered and yellowed and the bed and pillows were no better than sleeping on a cot. The carpet was old and stained and need to be replaced. After touring for the day we dreaded going back to this dump of a ship. We have been on many cruises, some better than others, but always a good experience. This $14,000 vacation was a disappointing, disgusting rip off and I have no idea how Vantage and Variety continue to get away with marketing it as a high end trip. STAY AWAY! 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
If it wasn't for the fantastic people we met and the crews professionalism this cruise would of totally destroyed the Greek Islands for me. The people we met are the only reason I didn't disembark this cruise within the first ... Read More
If it wasn't for the fantastic people we met and the crews professionalism this cruise would of totally destroyed the Greek Islands for me. The people we met are the only reason I didn't disembark this cruise within the first two days. The only mega thing about the boat is that it's in need of mega maintenance. Toilets that block , brown water from showers. Uncomfortable beds, white towels that have turned brown and crusty, dirty outdoor furniture to name a few things. Now please don't get me wrong the staff were amazing given the poor equipment and environment they had to work within. I have been on small cruises before and this was a huge disappointment . Please don't waste your time or money I've had better experiences on larger boats. THIS CRIUSE IS NOT WHAT THEY ADVERTISE 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
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