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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
3 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had being on a similar type cruise in Croatia 2 years ago and when I say similar i mean only the head count was similar, everything else was quite the opposite needless to say. Firstly when we googled this cruise , to say the ... Read More
We had being on a similar type cruise in Croatia 2 years ago and when I say similar i mean only the head count was similar, everything else was quite the opposite needless to say. Firstly when we googled this cruise , to say the pictures were air brushed is an understatement . When we arrived at the port , we thought we were at the wrong boat as did other passengers as we found out as the days on board passed by. The size of our room was 7ft x 7ft square with twin beds pushed together . There was a foot either side of the bed and at the end of it and our toilet leaked from day one, of which we reported but nothing was done about it. The air conditioning unit roared like a generator all night long of which was reported also. Nothing was done on either report. We only swam off the back of the boat once and that was on the first day as it was either too windy or we were in a port and could not swim in it. We missed one of our shore excursions or rather port of stop due to being unable to dock??. We spent one afternoon and one night in another port because we were told seas were too rough to move on.We eventually ended up at our final destination Mykonos and were told we could stay out until 3am but would be leaving again at 5am to head back to Athens , note no one on board had any interest in staying out until 3am. We left Mykonos at 5.30am on thursday am and finally docked in Athens at 9.30pm , everyone was sick on board due to the rough seas .This day was completely wasted all in aid of the cruise being back in Athens for Friday am for our disembarkation and embarkation of its new clients. We were outraged at this and the fact that they did not take into account how anyone felt about this nor were we even asked for our opinion. The cabin , Dining and Bar staff were excellent and we had no problem leaving them some form of gratitude in monetary terms, we were asked to leave at least between €80 and €100 for them, that's from each cabin which I think in it self should have being an individual decision and not a request from the tour co-ordinator. I found the him to be a Jekyll and Hyde, sweet when it suited but down right arrogant and rude at the best of times. He took offence when asked questions on what he was supposed to have covered and at times snapped at clients for no apparent reason and then smiled at them after as if saying ... now ask me again !. He treated Dining and Bar Staff as if they were below him and that they were working for him, he was so rude to them and in front of us which was even worse . The boat , well what can I say apart from the fact that it needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom. 3 of the sun loungers were broken and could not be used and the area was so small that not everyone could sunbath at the one time. The Bar area is so basic it is not funny, large plain timber tables and chairs , similar to what you would see in a canteen, the cheapest of furniture and was by no means enticed anyone to stay in the bar for any length of time. The Dining area stank of dampness each morning .The window frames had seen their day and need to be replaced . The ramp for embarkment and disembarkment was a danger in itself. At one stage i watched as a member of crew used a hammer to get the handles to fit to the frame in order that we had something to hold onto in order to disembark. If I were asked to rate this boat on a scale of one to ten , i could at most only give it a 1 - 2 at most. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I wanted to return to Sicily. I have enjoyed cruising in the last several years. I had a wonderful experience on a yacht style ship earlier nether year and wanted to see how Variety Voyage stacked up. Also, the trip was sponsored by ... Read More
I wanted to return to Sicily. I have enjoyed cruising in the last several years. I had a wonderful experience on a yacht style ship earlier nether year and wanted to see how Variety Voyage stacked up. Also, the trip was sponsored by Smithsonian which usually uses class accommodations. This time they missed the boat. The officers on the ship were friendly and accommodating. The rest of the staff was invisible. The room was serviced but that was it. There was no service offered. One particularly annoying thing was that drinks were not included except at meal times. Even soft drinks were charged extra. For a ship with this price that seems unheard of (compared to Crystal, Seabourne, Regent, in hat price range). The room I was in, a category B, was okay for one person. I was traveling by myself and there was barely sufficient storage space in room proper and bathroom. If my husband had been traveling with me, w would have had a problem. The bed was okay but very, very hard. The food was okay but that's the best I can say for it. Some meals were quite bad. Breakfast buffet was identical every day and adequate before t boring after seven days. The couple times we had lunch on the boat was pretty good with a good selection on the buffet. In sum, I would say that Variety Voyage is certainly not worth the price. I expect better service and food for the cost, not to mention a more comfortable room. There were no amenities usually found even on a yacht style ship; no hot tub, no entertainment, outside bar not available. I heard there was a small gym but I never saw it. I would not recommend this ship at all. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We choose this cruise as there was an interesting itinerary and good guest speakers on subjects that appealed. Things started to go wrong as soon as we got on board when the wardrobe door fell off and the problem was treated with ... Read More
We choose this cruise as there was an interesting itinerary and good guest speakers on subjects that appealed. Things started to go wrong as soon as we got on board when the wardrobe door fell off and the problem was treated with indifference by the person that attended to sort it out. The cabin was noisy and the beds very uncomfortable. Cabin towels were clearly very old and worn. The shampoo was obviously of poor quality. The food was terrible for a cruise of this expense with the meat virtually inedible. The salads every day came with the same processed meat. The sweets were unappetising and sickly sweet. The best feature was the bread and soup! There was no choice of wine and it was of poor quality. No maps were provided for the ports we visited as is usual with other cruise ships and boats. Altogether, this was a very bad experience. The ship is clearly run on the cheap giving a visual impression of opulence. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My wife and I went on 7 night/ 8 day Greek Island cruise with friends in September 2015. For months we were looking forward to a trip of a life time, sharing websites links of Harmony V with friends and family. After a month long ... Read More
My wife and I went on 7 night/ 8 day Greek Island cruise with friends in September 2015. For months we were looking forward to a trip of a life time, sharing websites links of Harmony V with friends and family. After a month long European holiday we could not wait to board our " luxury cruising yacht." What a let down. Harmony V was nothing like the photos on the website. It is extremely tired and in a desperate need of a make over. The furnishing and fittings reminded us of a cheap motel. We were not informed that the majority of the passengers were part of a seperate tour group catering for American tourist. They had their own guide and as such did not mingle as they undertook their own excursions and had their seating arrangements for meals. It was really a case of us and them. The cabin and beverage staff were very good and tried their best. The food was average with little variety and the Greek wines on offer were very expensive and not very good. We saw very little of the captain and his executive team. We could however smell them from their constant smoking on the bridge. We paid what we believe was and extremely high price which obviously heightened our expectations. Please do you homework before making any bookings Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
My Husband and I, with another couple with whom we travel often, took the Odyssey Classic Greek Isle tour; our first tour with Odyssey, The four nights in Athens in the Electra Palace Hotel was top notch....no complaints. The ... Read More
My Husband and I, with another couple with whom we travel often, took the Odyssey Classic Greek Isle tour; our first tour with Odyssey, The four nights in Athens in the Electra Palace Hotel was top notch....no complaints. The Harmony V was another story. This was billed as a luxury mega yacht, which paints a picture of a really nice boat. The Harmony V, in our opinion needs a makeover. When we arrived on the ship, the cabin had a smaller bed than we paid for. Lucky for us, another couple switched with us .... we believe they were compensated. The first hour out from Athens, the steering joystick malfunctioned so we missed our first island stop. From dirty carpets, tired and worn linens (white towels that were stained and some that looked as if they were used to clean floors), toilets and showers with rusty brown water, the crews laundry hanging on lines on the forward part of the boat; and the worst experience, a swim stop in choppy waters that was totally unsafe (the only two young women on our tour, who were in the water, pulled many people out ("mainly seniors"') while the staff stood on the deck and watched as the water carried us further and further away. There were people in the group that were on their 3rd, 4th and 5th Odyssey tour. The general concensus was that Odyssey's reputation is being harmed by this tour. They did not deliver what was advertised. The tour guide was good and the islands were everything we expected, although they did not stick to the itinerary on many occasions. The boat is billed as a big part of the "Greek Isle" experience, as advertised in their brochure. It did not live up to the hype in their brochure at all. Is there no quality control on Odyssey's part to check conditions on the Harmony V? Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
45 minutes out of Athens the steering broke...we waited 4 hours to be repaired. The trip did not follow our written itinerary. The linens are very old and mismatched. The towels, especially face cloths were stained. The ... Read More
45 minutes out of Athens the steering broke...we waited 4 hours to be repaired. The trip did not follow our written itinerary. The linens are very old and mismatched. The towels, especially face cloths were stained. The carpeting throughout the boat is dirty. (This was mentioned to the person in charge). The toilet backed up first day, our friends needed a complete new commode during the first 3 days-who is in charge of operations? The shower regularly has rusty water. The crew are a very nice group of people who tried their best to meet our needs. The A/C in our cabin was very good. The food was fair to good. At the buffets the food was never hot. (This was mentioned to the person in charge). This tour is marketed by ODESSEYS UNLIMITED as a Luxury Yacht. It is by no means a luxury yacht. Very misrepresented. When you begin a cruise like we did it is very disappointing and disconcerting to think that you can break down because the 'joy stick steering broke'. Where's the quality control and inspections???? Where is the cleanliness of towels and linens- things don't last forever-it's time for new items. WHERE IS ODESSEYS UNLIMITED INSPECTION OF WHAT THEY SELL? This boat needs a new plumbing system, and a refurbishment throughout. Read Less
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