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Sail Date: March 2014
This was a week-long cruise booked only three weeks ahead by someone who wasn't keen on the idea of travelling one of those vast cruise liners. And this cruise was a wonderful experience! The gorgeous, Greek-operated yacht, Variety ... Read More
This was a week-long cruise booked only three weeks ahead by someone who wasn't keen on the idea of travelling one of those vast cruise liners. And this cruise was a wonderful experience! The gorgeous, Greek-operated yacht, Variety Voyager, with a cosmopolitan, friendly and hugely competent crew, provided a sociable and attractive setting, serving up delicious food, perfect cocktails and even a beauty therapy salon. A naturalist from Costa Rica was on board to tell us about the places - and the fabulous wildlife - we were going to see, and a comprehensive list of optional excursions allowed us, for example, to visit Panama City and see from above the Canal we had just passed through. We had the opportunity to visit remote spots both in Panama and Costa Rica most easily accessible by sea and the ship's Zodiacs would take us to deserted beaches and islands, where we could swim and snorkel (all snorkelling equipment provided!). Always fresh towels available, both for the beds on the sun deck and when we set off to swim from these beautiful beaches. Wi-fi available at a cost, but a little unreliable. My cabin was on the lowest deck - a twin-berth (very comfortable bed) with two portholes, plenty of space for my suitcase and a second case, a decently-sized wardrobe, with safe and refrigerator (and plenty of bottles of water), dresser, flat-screen television set with DVD and a good bathroom. European voltage (240v), with both European and American sockets available. Good lighting (something I always notice!) and air-conditioning. Also plenty of mirrors - often in short supply in hotels. I enjoyed it so much that I am taking another cruise two months later, this time of the Greek Islands! Read Less
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
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
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
7 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
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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this ship after very good experiences on Vantage Travel Cruises. The ship was represented as launched in 2012 with Marble bathrooms, minibars, individual thermostats, five star dining and the like. We chose it for its Baltic ... Read More
We chose this ship after very good experiences on Vantage Travel Cruises. The ship was represented as launched in 2012 with Marble bathrooms, minibars, individual thermostats, five star dining and the like. We chose it for its Baltic Destinations. From the start, the ship failed to meet pur experience tations. The cabin was in its original 1992 state, it’s actual launch date, all steel floors and walls in the bath with no marble in sight. No minibar, the individual thermostats did not work, leaving us overheated as a de ision was made to address those who were cold at our expense. The dining room and hotel staff were engaging young people with whom we enjoyed a gtpreat relationship. The daily tours were solid and led by competent guides, The food, billed as five star, was mediocre, heavy on lamb and eggplant. It was generally served both overlooked and I e cold. Leftovers from prior meals came to be featured components of meals and, despite the high cost of the trip, an all too often occurrence on this cruise. This was a unique cruise. The staff, cruise director and destinations great, the food and physical plant seriously lacking. I truly loved destinations including Rige, Talinn, St. Petersburg and Stockholm. Unfortunately, the aging physical plant and mediocre food made the cost of this trip excessive. After eight Vantage trips in just over four years, we are beginning the process of looking elsewhere. Not a bad cruise, just much less than was promised for the price. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had a goal to visit the Greek Islands on a small ship, the Galileo was perfect. The staff was unbelievable, the food was sumptuous and plentiful. They were very accommodating for dietary restrictions. Our destinations were changed due ... Read More
We had a goal to visit the Greek Islands on a small ship, the Galileo was perfect. The staff was unbelievable, the food was sumptuous and plentiful. They were very accommodating for dietary restrictions. Our destinations were changed due to high winds in the open sea, therefore we were unable to visit any of the islands. Our stops were all along the mainland, and included a swim stop on a spectacular day. All replacement stops were well thought out by the staff, and included The Lion Gate, Olympia, and Monemvassia. They involved many sites of historic significance, including destinations and museums we would never have seen otherwise. It was a great adventure, because we never knew where we were going! We would definitely take Variety Cruises again, on another small ship adventure. Passengers who began as strangers became friends. We felt completely safe as women traveling, and would recommend this to anyone traveling alone as well. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The itinerary was exactly what we have wanted to do for years. The ship was a little tired but everything was clean and acceptable. Almost all of the meals were buffet style which normally isn't our thing but it must be said that ... Read More
The itinerary was exactly what we have wanted to do for years. The ship was a little tired but everything was clean and acceptable. Almost all of the meals were buffet style which normally isn't our thing but it must be said that there was plenty of food with a good variety for every meal, the food was extremely fresh and even if you were back of the queue there was plenty of every dish to go round. In all we were surprised by the quality of the food which was very good without exception. It was the norm for most people to drink the house wine and ordering anything else was a bit of an ordeal. However the house wine wasn't bad and by the end of the week we were certainly ok with it. The bar was scantily stocked and some nights wasn't even open beyond 10.30pm but even that didn't bother us as the sea air gave us very a very good sleep pattern, so good in fact that we only took one breakfast in the whole week. As for the islands, well once you've seen one you've probably seen most of what tomorrow brings. The people were very friendly and if you ate the local food and drank the local wine then meals out were very very cheap. Read Less
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