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123 Variety Cruises Cruise Reviews

Our cruise was round the (Portuguese) Cape Verde islands off the coast of west Africa. After four days the captain told us that we had been ordered back to port due to the impact of the corona virus outbreak. We returned to Sal where we ... Read More
Our cruise was round the (Portuguese) Cape Verde islands off the coast of west Africa. After four days the captain told us that we had been ordered back to port due to the impact of the corona virus outbreak. We returned to Sal where we were anchored off shore for the next five days. The captain and crew worked tirelessly to ensure that we felt completely safe and reassured during a difficult and stressful time. We became like a big family! With impromptu Pilates classes, quizzes, movies, napkin folding, knot tying, free drinks and dancing on the deck the crew worked hard to make sure that the mood stayed upbeat! The high level of service never dropped with cabins maintained twice a day and excellent food throughout the 9 days we were on board. We had daily updates on the changing situation and the impact on travel plans home. The measure of any company is how it deals with a crisis. Variety Cruises were superb. We have done three cruise with them to date and will certainly book again, hopefully in the not too distant future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
The cruise was excellent with very good staff who all looked after us all very well. We enjoyed the food prepared by the Greek Chef - lots of Greek specialities and fresh fish and prawns. We went on almost all of the optional ... Read More
The cruise was excellent with very good staff who all looked after us all very well. We enjoyed the food prepared by the Greek Chef - lots of Greek specialities and fresh fish and prawns. We went on almost all of the optional excursions which were mainly very interesting - some involving wild-life viewing and some to cultural/historical locations. It was a small group of fewer than 40 people, all English-speaking which was great. We have done many other cruises, mainly on rivers in Europe and Asia, plus two coastal cruises off Croatia. There were a few interesting talks about relevant topics and a couple of entertainment sessions by local dancers and a musician - all very enjoyable. Embarkation and disembarkation were very well handled. The cruise manager was particularly good, helpful and efficient. We had an upper deck cabin which was adequately comfortable with efficient shower room, and plenty of storage for our clothes etc. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Great way to see the Seychelles and visit a number of islands. Especially good if you prefer hiking, wildlife, and snorkeling rather than a beach/resort vacation. Boat only had 27 guests which was great (vs 42 max). Very happy with the ... Read More
Great way to see the Seychelles and visit a number of islands. Especially good if you prefer hiking, wildlife, and snorkeling rather than a beach/resort vacation. Boat only had 27 guests which was great (vs 42 max). Very happy with the ship and staff--excellent service. Food was A- (very good, large variety, many choices). We had some issues with the weather--too windy to moor overnight in the sea, and unfortunately the ports are not very scenic. Almost everyone did their own shore excursions as the company's were pricey for what was offered--we rented bikes on La Digue and rented our own car to go to Natl park on Praslin. Overall I would recommend Variety cruises as a nice way to see a number of islands. I noticed that a number of their other cruises have way too many "optional " excursions, and should include more of the activities (esp considering the shore excursions offered on this cruise). Also they should look closer at which islands they visit as one had so many mosquitoes they strongly recommended not doing the hike on it. I would say 5 days were superb, and 2 they need to work on the schedule. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This is the second cruise with Variety (first being the Seychelles) and both have been excellent. The itinerary was great visiting 10 islands in 8 days, and some that could only be done with the small ship experience to some beautiful ... Read More
This is the second cruise with Variety (first being the Seychelles) and both have been excellent. The itinerary was great visiting 10 islands in 8 days, and some that could only be done with the small ship experience to some beautiful remote spots. Everything was smooth from embarkation and throughout the duration of the cruise, with the crew working hard to make sure everything went well. Variety focus on the flora and fauna of the locations visited and we had an excellent guide to share his knowledge of these in Elliot. It was certainly very educational to learn about each locations we visited and the plants and animals we saw. Having just 35 passengers on our trip, from all over the world, it was a lovely intimate group that made the excursions and whole journey more enjoyable. We had many lovely nights having dinner and drinks under the balmy skies. All of the crew provided excellent service from ferrying us ashore to the high standard of dining and activities. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Let me list the points: 1) Accommodation - we paid for a cat A cabin and on arrival were shown to a cabin with twin beds. We argued that we booked a double but manager just shrugged shoulders and said boat was full which turned out to ... Read More
Let me list the points: 1) Accommodation - we paid for a cat A cabin and on arrival were shown to a cabin with twin beds. We argued that we booked a double but manager just shrugged shoulders and said boat was full which turned out to be a complete lie. Met the couple opposite us and they had been booked into cat B and then decided they didn't like the cabin and were given an upgrade (at a discounted rate) to a double room. My bed was 1 metre wide, against a wall with a bunk bed folded above it. It is just a foam mattress on the hard base which had a slope from all the previous people lying on one side trying to avoid hitting their head on the bunk. The sheets were worn and yellowing. The room was dirty - can see the dust in the gaps between the furniture, the bathroom was only 2 stars, the shower curtain didn't reach the bottom so we constantly had water running over the floor. When the sea is rough the water doesn't drain properly. Toilet didn't flush properly. Another couple we met had exactly the same complaint re lack of double room. 2) Food - average 3) Diesel fumes - it didn't matter what deck you were on there was a constant smell of diesel fumes - absolutely nauseating. 4) We booked this through Peregrine and after about 4 weeks they responded to our complaint and offered 10% discount off the next tour we book with them. Well after having one horror experience there is no way we would book any other tours with them. 5) Itinerary - changed due to weather conditions. Can appreciate that. 6) shore excursions extra. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I went on the "glories of Spain and Portugal" itinerary in August. This was my first cruise. The small ship size was great and I got to know the fellow passengers and crew very well. The crew and staff were excellent and very ... Read More
I went on the "glories of Spain and Portugal" itinerary in August. This was my first cruise. The small ship size was great and I got to know the fellow passengers and crew very well. The crew and staff were excellent and very attentive, and I also enjoyed the small group excursions. I really enjoyed the ports and the privileged locations we got to dock at each day. The ship was very clean and nice. If you are looking for high luxury, however, this is probably not the ship for you. Cabins are small and there are no balcony cabins. The ship had a nice family feeling and I felt right at home. The food was good and there were a lot of choices and the staff was accommodating of any dietary restrictions. Everything went smoothly on board. In short if you are looking for a nice ship with amazing staff and an intimate feeling, I would absolutely recommend Variety cruises and the Harmony V. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date July 2019
Buyers beware. Confusing, misleading, or blatantly untrue statements when promoting a product... They advertise as Deluxe Travel. Not even close. There is really no way of knowing anything about the ship until you get there. - ... Read More
Buyers beware. Confusing, misleading, or blatantly untrue statements when promoting a product... They advertise as Deluxe Travel. Not even close. There is really no way of knowing anything about the ship until you get there. - This one is pretty bad ... Temperature in the room can not be controlled - it is ether cold or hot. Temperature control in the room does not work. Really were never comfortable. - Room was tiny. - Door to the bathroom did not close. - Shower tray over-floods and did not drain properly and water was on the floor. - No TV at all. - Internet service sporadic and only in some places of the ship. - The closet door was not working properly fell on my wife once. Islands in the Baltic Sea - Bornholm and Gotland are not particularly interesting - should have spent more time in Riga, Tallinn, and Helsinki. Crew was trying to do their best to serve the guests. The cruise director was actually pretty good. Vantage should try and contract with another ship. Tanya and Sergei Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
When I thought ,I ll visit Africa once in my life time, Variety Cruises change my mind, not only got me there to see the beautiful West Africa, with private beaches and the splendors of the side scene and meeting their beautiful people ... Read More
When I thought ,I ll visit Africa once in my life time, Variety Cruises change my mind, not only got me there to see the beautiful West Africa, with private beaches and the splendors of the side scene and meeting their beautiful people with a local flavor in which I always felt save and taken care of, that now I’m thinking will be the first of many times in Africa . The service was very friendly and professional. The crew was impeccable and warm, I felt very secure and I loved the privet environment. The west Africa destinationSenegal and The Gambia were amazing. Variety Cruises has beautiful choices of yachts and the one I was in, I had the best life experience with a fantastic crew exquisite cuisine. My ocean view cabin was great , the views were wonderful, sunrise and sunsets on board were magnificent, and the treatments on board felt like home away from home. I’m absolutely looking forward to my next journey with them, by becoming a member of the Variety Club, which now I’m a Guest of the Sea with 8 days with them and my goal is to become Legend of the Sea with 73+ Days at the Sea. Thank You so much! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My EXCELLENT rating of this adventure is not indicative of luxury, rather a unique opportunity to experience Cuba and to do so aboard a mega-yacht. This was our third Cuban trip in six years. Booking this ship/itinerary allowed us to visit ... Read More
My EXCELLENT rating of this adventure is not indicative of luxury, rather a unique opportunity to experience Cuba and to do so aboard a mega-yacht. This was our third Cuban trip in six years. Booking this ship/itinerary allowed us to visit locations we had not seen previously and would have had difficulty getting to on our own. The Variety Voyager could be classified as an expedition-style ship (Galapagos, Arctic, Antarctic) in some ways, but I suggest it's contemporary, sleek flair places it in its own category. This was our first time aboard a large scale yacht although we have cruised more than 45 times aboard ships of all sizes and in all parts of the world. The booking experience was simple; we received all information promptly. Our flight to, and pickup at, Havana airport was efficient, as was embarkation (and seven days later) disembarkation. Service on board was without fault. All staff and crew were helpful and friendly. Buffet breakfast/lunch had enough choices to keep it from being repetitive. Dinners were from a menu with several courses and choices. Passengers wore comfortable warm-weather clothing throughout the day and evening. Some wore a nicer shirt, top, dress for dinner but it isn't required or necessary. We chose to pack light and never felt underdressed. Captain Constantine, Hotel Manager Stefanos, George, Marina, Christian, Vick, Vilim and their fellow staff/crew were attentive, pleasant and helped us to enjoy our adventure. It would not have been the same without them! Please see cabin comments below. This mega-yacht is a UNIQUE way to travel. It is not meant to be a cruise ship experience. In fact several passengers had never cruised. It is a relaxed atmosphere onboard with enough space to spread out if necessary. The décor is clean, contemporary and attractive. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Very interesting islands, excellent food, nice beaches, even the snorkeling was better than expected. The staff were very friendly and we feel like at home. The group was formed by several couples from all over Europe, and this helped ... Read More
Very interesting islands, excellent food, nice beaches, even the snorkeling was better than expected. The staff were very friendly and we feel like at home. The group was formed by several couples from all over Europe, and this helped very much when talking to each other during the evenings. We would like to plan a few cruises more during coming years and have decided that this kind of boats is much better then the other huge boats that offer similar kind of cruises. All the staff invested time in keeping all of us happy and in the very moment you ask any question or had any requests. We were just 26 people on board out of the 44 places available and this fact also helped very much. Our cabin was the perfect size. It is worth upgrading the cabin to an A class as you are 7 nights on it Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were on the Cape Verde cruise starting from Palmeira on Sal, in November 2018. We enjoyed the experience; the only drawback with this particular cruise is that the ports on Santiago and Fogo are commercial ports, not designed for cruise ... Read More
We were on the Cape Verde cruise starting from Palmeira on Sal, in November 2018. We enjoyed the experience; the only drawback with this particular cruise is that the ports on Santiago and Fogo are commercial ports, not designed for cruise ships nor geared for " doing your own thing". Thus the choice is the excursion or staying aboard. Captain Ioannis, Cruise Co-ordinator Dietmar, and Hotel Manager Petros worked wonderfully well as a team, as did their staff, and despite some rough weather their attention to our comfort and safety was exemplary; we never felt any anxiety, or wanted for anything that they could supply. The last three days of the cruise, in San Vicente, and Santo Antao, are the best. The towns are near where the ship docks, taxis are available, so one can create ones own expedition; in fairness, for the morning of the last day of the cruise one would be better on the organised tour, which was informative and drove through amazing scenery. The ship is not the best of Variety's fleet, but with discipline, cabins are just large enough; as another reviewer mentioned the exception - the two Category B cabins forward on the main deck. Okay for single, couples should avoid. The Category C cabins on the lower deck, waterline level, were reported by fellow guests as good for value, the least expensive and the least affected by the ship's motion. For Category B try to get 202, on the main deck near the dining room, but Variety cruises will not allow reservation of a cabin by number, in advance. Dining room is a little cramped, though the food generally is good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The Seychelles has always been a bucket list destination for me and it did not disappoint! By traveling with Variety on a yacht cruise you get to see so many destinations that you would not see if you stayed at a hotel on one island or ... Read More
The Seychelles has always been a bucket list destination for me and it did not disappoint! By traveling with Variety on a yacht cruise you get to see so many destinations that you would not see if you stayed at a hotel on one island or traveled on a larger ship. Not only did we get to see so many destination we also had an incredible experience on board the ship. Our cabin was very comfortable was incredible views from our portholes. Because it is a small ship with a capacity of about 44 people the crew is able to get to know you and your individual needs. We were on a first name basis with everyone from the interior crew to the captain and they were so friendly and welcoming! There are multiple turn down services a day, the bartender knew our drink preferences and the hotel manager George was the best host! Truly the trip of lifetime and I miss the crew already! I cannot wait for my next Variety Cruises experience! Read Less
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
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date September 2018
What a pleasant trip.Staff were so friendly they made you feel at home. The Food was good to excellent and the cruise was a wonderful opportunity to meet lovely people and new friends from all round the world. It was our first time ... Read More
What a pleasant trip.Staff were so friendly they made you feel at home. The Food was good to excellent and the cruise was a wonderful opportunity to meet lovely people and new friends from all round the world. It was our first time in Seychelles and the 7 night cruise on this small ship was an ideal way to see most of the main islands. The cabin (category A) was pleasant and the shower was good but we do not understand why we paid more for a category A cabin than a B cabin as there is no difference between the two other than an A being more pricey. The waters were choppy and large swells made the ship rock and roll which can make one feel sea sick(my wife) but others found it enjoyable! Entertainment was fine and the activities visiting the islands were enjoyable but the snorkeling disappointing. Disappointed that we spent 2 nights in the harbor especially the one at Praslin and suggest the management reconsider this as an overnight stay. All in all an enjoyable first time experience on the this small cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We choose this cruise believing it was high end. It was extremely expensive so we thought it was the cruise of a lifetime. I wish people would write reviews so you can make and informed decision on whether this is the cruise for you. ... Read More
We choose this cruise believing it was high end. It was extremely expensive so we thought it was the cruise of a lifetime. I wish people would write reviews so you can make and informed decision on whether this is the cruise for you. The boat was very old. I wouldn’t pay that sort of money to sail on this boat. The noise was unbearable at night and they offered everyone ear plugs so I guess that tells you something. The boat vibrates continuously under sail. You are trying to sleep and your whole body is shaking. The beds are rock hard. The cabins are old but I didn’t mind that. There was no hot water for most of the trip. Not to much of a problem because the weather was warm but when you pay such a high price for the trip you expect hot water. Don’t sail on Callisto. The crew were wonderful and there service excellent. It was just the age of the boat and the price we paid. Be honest Variety so people can choose if this is the right boat for them Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I've always wanted to visit the Seychelles, but as I don't fall into the typical group visiting it (couples/honeymoon ) I thought that the best way is to visit on board a small cruise. I was originally planning on booking cabin ... Read More
I've always wanted to visit the Seychelles, but as I don't fall into the typical group visiting it (couples/honeymoon ) I thought that the best way is to visit on board a small cruise. I was originally planning on booking cabin on a luxury catamaran sailing cruise, but found an offer about Variety Cruises. I am so glad I booked that instead! I had amazing time from start to finish. The yacht is fairly small, and we were not more that 25-30 people. That was great as everyone gets to know the other people and the whole experience is much more personalised. I was worried that it will be mainly senior crowd and we will feel out of place (we are in our mid-late thirties), but the group was a really nice mix of people and no one was a nuisance to the other passengers (I guess we were lucky). I also liked the fact that there is no dress code and the whole atmosphere is super relaxed. The boat is old-ish, so don't expect anything glamorous. The food was amazing! I seriously didn't expect so delicious food, and such rich variety in the Seychelles (read a lot of travel forums prior to my trip, and the Seychelles is not famous with culinary experiences). There is a bar on board and there was a decent choice of drinks. I found the prices to be absolutely normal considering the destination and the quality of the drinks. I really liked the itinerary, as you get to see so much in a really short period of time. You'll never manage to do that if you are not cruising. There were two optional excursion, which we found a bit dull and didn't book. Most of our fellow travellers who went confirmed that we've made the right choice. The crew is a mix of nationalities, and everyone was super friendly and accommodating, Everyone is really professional and is genuinely interested in providing you with the best possible service. The captain was constantly interacting with the passengers and was more than happy to answer any questions. I really can't think of better way to see this amazing destination! Already looking to book a Variety Cruise in another part of the World. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date August 2018
This is a beautiful small ship (about 25 cabins) with an amazing crew. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The food was wonderful..authentic Greek food, perfect for our trip around these beautiful islands. Our tour coordinator, ... Read More
This is a beautiful small ship (about 25 cabins) with an amazing crew. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The food was wonderful..authentic Greek food, perfect for our trip around these beautiful islands. Our tour coordinator, Joseph, was knowledgeable, friendly and funny a perfect combination! The stewards (food and room) were all efficient and friendly, our room was serviced twice a day. The bar was well serviced and the drinks were generous and reasonably price. There were several events that included drinks (in Santorini the Greek night was so much fun with ouzo (or wine/beer) flowing freely). There were shore excursions offered in each port with the trip to Delos a highlight for us (take plenty of water). We loved the swim stops, swimming out from the boat in the sparling water was amazing and unforgettable. There was a range of ages on our cruise, mid 20's to 80 with most in the mid 40s to mid 60s. We thoroughly recommend this small ship cruise if you enjoy good company (mainly aussies on our cruise), good food, fun and the joy of experiencing new places you will love it.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I wrote to Variety cruises with my feedback and you do not get answer - only put on the email list for advertising. This has prompted me to put a review on Cruise Critic. Afraid even the travel agent did not want to know. We had ... Read More
I wrote to Variety cruises with my feedback and you do not get answer - only put on the email list for advertising. This has prompted me to put a review on Cruise Critic. Afraid even the travel agent did not want to know. We had previously done a Variety Cruise "Jewels of the Cyclades" on the Galileo and loved the cruise so much that I wrote in a rave review on tripadvisor saying it was perhaps the best holiday I had ever had. Afraid it was not the case with the Adriatic Odyssey and the Callisto. On the Galileo on my previous cruise we have decided to try the rooms below and found out they were fine. Unfortunately on the Callisto the downstairs rooms are so noisy and the boat rattles so much that sleeping is most difficult to near impossible. Even when the boat is moored there is a noise going on and off 24 hours a day making it more like a form of torture. Admittedly the hotel manager did move us to the other side of the boat (still on the same level) and the noise could still be heard but not as bad. When I agreed to be downstairs I thought I was just getting a port hole instead of a window but I didn’t bargain for no sleep - it was not mentioned in your advertising that there would a constant on and off noise. The array of patches and dents on the hull are an indication of the tired state of the boat. I feel embarrassed that I encouraged friends to go with us. 1. I really think that when you pay 517 euros per night for a cabin that internet should be included. These days you get free internet with a 2 euro cup of coffee so Variety stop being so tight. 2. The optional tours were just a rippoff . (like 80 euros each for a walking tour) We had just left another small cruise from Split where there was a walking tour each day (included) – wonderful! Internet was also included and gratuities on that previous cruise. 3. This cruise had a stop in Bar in Montenegro. Bar is not worthy of a stop. Maybe it really it is meant to be just a refueling stop. 4. I know I agreed to this itinerary but I didn’t realise that Corfu is too far from Croatia and Montengro and 20 hours of very very loud rattling boat from Bar to Paxos is too long. 5. We had one beautiful stop called anti-Paxos and then Paxos and these two places were exceptionally beautiful and yet we had no time there. Only for a quick swim and then 2 hours at Paxos. It would be better to leave out Corfu and put more time in these beautiful places. 6. The staff (bar and room staff and chef) were excellent and could not be faulted. The Hotel manager- think that was his title - was not the right person for this job. The remaining staff who were doing a fabulous job were finding him impossible to work with. 7. Food was fabulous and too much. 8. Our tour guide was very good. Afraid I wont travel on Variety again unless I know the boat is much better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This sailing was incredible from start to finish! The staff were all friendly, helpful, and couldn't do enough for you. The ship was an older classic style yacht, very comfortable but definitely a dated look to it. The cabins were ... Read More
This sailing was incredible from start to finish! The staff were all friendly, helpful, and couldn't do enough for you. The ship was an older classic style yacht, very comfortable but definitely a dated look to it. The cabins were small but comfortable, the beds were a little on the hard side for my taste but were still cozy enough to get a good night's sleep. The food on board was wonderful! The kitchen staff outdid themselves at every meal. I swear we barely ever stopped eating on board, as soon as breakfast was cleared, someone was out offering fresh slices of watermelon, then lunch, then a dish of sorbet on the sun deck, then an amazing dinner and cocktails, definitely overdid it but everything was impeccable. The cruise director was always knowledgeable about our ports, giving us plenty of insight on what to do while in each country (Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece). I do think the excursions could be improved upon though, they only offered a couple excursions in each port, and they were participation based, so if the one you wanted didn't have enough guests, it didn't happen. That being said, the only port I think an excursion is truly necessary is Albania. My favorite stops were Korcula, Kotor, Anti-Paxos and Paxos (Anti-Paxos had the best beach and bluest waters I've ever seen in my life!). I would gladly travel with Variety in the future, and look forward to the day I get to sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise as the ship was small and advertised that it would be docking in city centers around the Iberian peninsula so exploring on our own would be easy. We had been on the Harmony V before, so felt like we knew what we ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the ship was small and advertised that it would be docking in city centers around the Iberian peninsula so exploring on our own would be easy. We had been on the Harmony V before, so felt like we knew what we signed up for. Starting with the ship itself: The ship is a bit tired and wear can be seen throughout. as it is small, it feels cluttered in the dining room and the upper deck. Our cabin was on the middle deck in order to have a window and not just a port hole (which costs more than the lower deck) and we were assigned cabins near the bow of the ship. Our toilet was literally in the shower stall (you could shower while using the toilet if you really wanted...) and the room smaller than the less expensive rooms in the deck beneath us. The window was 18"x18" and foggy. There were problems with the toilet flushing throughout the cruise. The staff did however keep it clean. The cruise was not able to dock in Seville as described when we made arrangements. I understand that with cruises that changes to the itinerary may be necessary and was disappointed to find that our ship was quite a distance from the city center. We were given maps to give taxi drivers so we could return to the ship, but the maps were not helpful: a third of the people on the ship were in taxis that could not find the ship even with the map. The Cruise Director didn't seem to be concerned as, "that was the map they gave me." In fact, the Cruise Director didn't seem to be too concerned about much. Excursions were over-priced and led by tour guides who were not great. Two of the excursions on our trip were cancelled as not enough people signed up. Luckily, due to the proximity to the town centers, excursions were not really necessary other than to Granada and Ronda. Dining was fine The food was good, well prepared, and the wait staff was terrific. The dining room is cramped and there's really no good way to dine outside. Don't expect any entertainment or enrichment on board. That just did not happen at all. The second to last night the cruise director attempted to plan a mixer during dinner but it felt forced and, bluntly, the cruise was already over at that point. Overall, the rest of the ports were close to towns as promised, the food was fine, the staff was overall very good However, I personally would not choose Variety Cruises or the Harmony G again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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
Sail Date July 2018
Greece was my bucket list destination. Because we wanted to see a variety of islands and only had a short time we chose the Jewels of the Cyclades Cruise with Variety. I am glad we did. First off. The ship is charming and because of its ... Read More
Greece was my bucket list destination. Because we wanted to see a variety of islands and only had a short time we chose the Jewels of the Cyclades Cruise with Variety. I am glad we did. First off. The ship is charming and because of its size you spend a lot of time at port instead of getting to the port. Our Cabin was necessarily small ( its a small ship!) but well appointed. I chose Cat A because i like the outside entrance. The staff is fabulous, very accommodating. The food is fantastic. The upper deck is magic. Second the Islands. Mostly you sail early am or late at night and so you get to spend a lot of quality time at each island. That said. Do your homework or take the excursions. The excursions are small groups and not too expensive so I recommend them if you don't know the islands or don't like to strike out on your own. We tend to go off on our own so I did research and we mostly explored each island either by bus on foot or rented a car (Make sure you have your International Drivers Cert) Must see -Go to Rakentia on the island of Folegandros ! you can take a bus from the marina and then walk there from town) Don't miss the excursion to Delos. and so final thought.. I really don't like cruises, and swore I would never take another, but I've been converted. On this small ship cruise you feel more like you are on a private yacht with your friends. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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