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54 Variety Cruises Athens (Piraeus) Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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
Sail Date June 2018
I have always cringed at the thought of going on a cruise on one of the larger ships so it was with trepidation that I even agreed to go on this one. Boy was I glad I did. From the minute we stepped aboard to the moment we left the ship I ... Read More
I have always cringed at the thought of going on a cruise on one of the larger ships so it was with trepidation that I even agreed to go on this one. Boy was I glad I did. From the minute we stepped aboard to the moment we left the ship I cant speak higher of the service from the staff on board. The ship was beautifully clean throughout with ample areas to relax in the shade or on the sundeck. We never felt that we were too crowded. Our cabin was one of the cheaper ones on the lower deck and although it was small and we could hear the anchor coming up in the morning it was fine for us. It was kept immaculate and cleaned twice a day and there was enough storage space. I did look in one of the other cabins on the upper deck and they were quite a bit larger and nicer but I guess it depends on your budget. You really don't spend that much time in the cabin anyway! The dining area was large and most people tended to find a place and pretty much sit there. The food was wonderful. Always cereal, fruit and hot dishes for breakfast. Plenty of fish, grilled meats, salads and local dishes for either lunch or dinner depending on the days activities. It was wonderful to anchor off small coves and go swimming off the boat or get the tender into the beach. Plenty of noodles to float around on and snorkels and flippers. also a couple of kayaks if you felt energetic! We went to some of the smaller Islands which was lovely as when we arrived at Mykonos there were thousands of people off the large cruise ships!! We had a great ouzo and Greek dancing night on board one night but otherwise there was no formal entertainment, but the bar was always open and the lovely Val was happy to serve you whatever you wished for. The drinks were quite reasonably priced also. Most evening we were in a port tied up next to the local fishing boats and you could wander off to the local tavernas and bars for the evening as we would not leave until early the next morning. You could opt to go on the excursions or do your own thing. We did about half and half. It was a fantastic experience and I have some wonderful memories and would not hesitate to go on a small ship cruise like this again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We loved everything about this cruise! It was our first time in Greece, and after the cruise we were heading out for two weeks of home exchange and our own adventures, so we really appreciated the introduction this cruise gave us. We ... Read More
We loved everything about this cruise! It was our first time in Greece, and after the cruise we were heading out for two weeks of home exchange and our own adventures, so we really appreciated the introduction this cruise gave us. We toured the Cyclades. The ship is delightful, the crew was extraordinarily cheerful, capable and kind. I had an eating challenge that made my diet really complex, and the Hotel Manager memorized my preferences and had special meals created for me - to the point that the other passengers wondered if perhaps I wasn't getting an upgrade! The ship is in great condition, everything perfectly clean. Our cabin was kept spotless, the bed was comfortable and there was more space than we expected (Category B). We did not do all the tours, although our shipmates were happy with them. We did the Delos excursion and it was terrific. We especially loved that the ship had access to the port piers so that we only used tenders at one island. All the other stops we could come and go as we pleased. The half board plan worked great, we really enjoyed scoping out restaurants on all the islands. We will be back with Variety. This was our 35th wedding anniversary, and we enjoyed every minute! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My husband and I decided to finally take our honeymoon trip (almost 3 years later) as we were saving it for something big. We have always wanted to visit Greece (was on our bucket list) but also craved the adventure part, so we decided ... Read More
My husband and I decided to finally take our honeymoon trip (almost 3 years later) as we were saving it for something big. We have always wanted to visit Greece (was on our bucket list) but also craved the adventure part, so we decided to go on a cruise. As we were browsing cruise lines in internet we agreed that we didn't want a big cruise, we were looking for something more personal and special, and we now can say Variety Cruises offers exactly that deal. Our journey aboard the Galileo was one of the most exciting experiences I've had, starting by the breathtaking views and relaxed vibe. One of the highlights is the staff, they make sure everyone is comfortable at all times, very diligent and empathetic people with a genuine smile on their face, that made them look like family at the end of our journey. They even learn everyone's name and make sure nobody's left out. One of the positive things about it is that they gave us plenty of time to visit each of the Greek islands, you can enjoy the daytime as nighttime. We made friends easily on the Galileo and enjoyed every moment of it. We have no doubt that we'll make another trip with Variety Cruises in the future, couldn't recommend it more.! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We were two couples traveling together interested in exploring historic and cultural sites around the Peloponnese including ancient and Homeric sites and modern costal towns. The cruise met and exceeded our expectations. We particularly ... Read More
We were two couples traveling together interested in exploring historic and cultural sites around the Peloponnese including ancient and Homeric sites and modern costal towns. The cruise met and exceeded our expectations. We particularly wanted a small ship cruise. The Galileo was comfortable, clean, and well managed. The crew was wonderful. Food on board was excellent and plentiful. And we were especially impressed with the quality of our guides -- Josef and Jenny -- who were knowledgeable about art and history, insightful about Greek culture and politics, and helpful, fun, and funny as guides in general. It was a real pleasure to travel with them. Our favorite stops were Delphi, Monemvassia, Pylos, Epidaurus. The shipboard experience in mid October was delightful -- enough sun for sitting out on the deck (though not enough warmth for much swimming, alas) and except for one day, calm seas. We would certainly recommend this trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was a return for me onto Galileo and was lucky enough to have done both the Jewels of the Cyclades and Antiquity to Byzantium cruises. I felt that there was great camaraderie between all the members of crew and this was there to be ... Read More
This was a return for me onto Galileo and was lucky enough to have done both the Jewels of the Cyclades and Antiquity to Byzantium cruises. I felt that there was great camaraderie between all the members of crew and this was there to be seen by everyone. Stathis is both the boss and a friend to his first officer, second officer and sailors. They show great respect for and to him which means a very smooth sailing of the boat. It is still a pleasure watching him moor Galileo along side the various harbours. Yiannis runs the 'hotel side' of business extremely well and both waiting staff and those responsible for the cabins are experts at their chosen tasks. Valaria is just a gem. How she knows everyone's name, cabin numbers and favourite tipple by day two is a miracle! Alex and his pastry chef do an excellent job in the kitchen and produced some really fabulous food throughout the cruise. Well done. Both Cruise Co-ordinators were excellent; very approachable and adjusted with great professionalism to any changes in itineraries which were many due to the weather conditions! Evgenia is an expert in her field of knowledge of both ancient Greek history and everyday life. Her talks are a mixture of information and humour. All-in-all what you are doing, you are doing very well so keep it up. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date September 2017
Our cab driver pulled up to the dock and we could not believe how beautiful the Galileo was. Luckily, he recognized the Greek spelling for Galileo and drove us right to the gangplank. The crew and staff offered friendly and premium ... Read More
Our cab driver pulled up to the dock and we could not believe how beautiful the Galileo was. Luckily, he recognized the Greek spelling for Galileo and drove us right to the gangplank. The crew and staff offered friendly and premium service from the moment we arrived and through the entire cruise. Passengers were allowed to be casual and comfortable. The food was delicious, authentic, plentiful and in true Greek fashion they begged us to take more. They were graciously able to accommodate dietary restrictions. Our cabin was comparable to the hotel room we stayed in while enjoying Athens. Our plan to see the Greek Isles was cancelled due to high winds. Day by day we would learn the new itinerary and next adventure. The stops that they found for us were outstanding and included many sites of historic significance. Lion Gate, Olympia, Monemvassia, and more. The excursions and entertainment were well planned. Every port people would run over with cameras to see our ship. By the end of the trip we were all convinced that small ship travel was the way to go. Passengers who started out as strangers became friends. Some of us will be visiting each other in Australia, UK, and US. Most importantly, as women traveling alone we felt safe. We are looking forward to our next adventure with Variety Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We had a great time; last year we were on the Galileo and this year on the Harmony G; (next year Cuba). The Harmony G is a good ship with a good lay-out. There is a nice deck in the back but you cannot walk around the boat outside or go ... Read More
We had a great time; last year we were on the Galileo and this year on the Harmony G; (next year Cuba). The Harmony G is a good ship with a good lay-out. There is a nice deck in the back but you cannot walk around the boat outside or go outside in the front of the boat (on the Galileo you cold walk around the boat outside and had a lot of outdoor space and we liked that better) Having been to Greece the year prior, we explored on our own this year and were off the ship most days right after breakfast and returned after dinner. We wanted to get as much of the local culture as possible. I did extensive research on Trip Advisor and looking at Google Maps to see the areas we were going prior to leaving home. The islands are friendly and easy and fun to navigate. The only excursion we did was to Delos and that was really cool. Be aware you do not have to take the same boat to and back from Delos - after we realized this we stayed an extra 2 hours to explore the island, café, museum and small shop. On Crete we hired a driver to see more of the island than just Knossos and were gone from boat 12+ hours but had a great time exploring on our own! The service was good but better on the Galileo and overall preferred last years boat but both trips were great. The crew on the Galileo spoke much better English. The demographics of these trips are mostly older 65-70+ ages. We were 1 of 3 younger couples (in 50s) both years we went. Last year it was a mix of Australian, European and Americans. This year a group of Americans had their own guide (private tour) and that was 60% of the boat and most all of the others were also Americans - much different each trip. The food on the boat was really fancy and a little too "foodie" for us; we like basic food; if you like exotic food with some spices you will like it; many people were not thrilled with the meals. If you like small ship cruising, I think this is a great company and a good value. You have to have a sense of adventure because with changing weather you may not see the islands on the schedule. Last year was very windy and the trip was much different than advertised but we went to other islands and had a great time exploring those other islands. This year there was no wind and the seas were flat the entire time and the schedule was exactly as the itinerary stated. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
From the moment of embarkation everyone was individually welcomed. It went very smoothly and after a long journey very relaxing. All the staff on the Galileo were just wonderful. The boat was immaculate. Rooms were very comfortable. There ... Read More
From the moment of embarkation everyone was individually welcomed. It went very smoothly and after a long journey very relaxing. All the staff on the Galileo were just wonderful. The boat was immaculate. Rooms were very comfortable. There was a great variety of food that was wonderfully prepared. Plenty of room on board to socialize, relax, read or just lounge and get some sun. Our cruise coordinator, Stella would give us an update on where we were going and highlights of the islands. She was always available for leading an exclusion or just helping with direction on something you wanted to do on your own. She has a wonderful sense of humor and alway kept us laughing. I wish I could remember everyones names to thank them for making this trip so great. A special shout out to our lovely bar tender who worked so hard and always was smiling. A special night was Greek night. They had greek dancers on board and we danced on the top deck. They got everyone up and no, it did not matter if you could dance or not, everyone had a great time. When the trip was over it was like leaving close friends. Everyone I met were wonderful, interesting people. This was truly the best vacation I've ever taken and I can't wait to travel with Variety cruises again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Wanted to see small islands and historic sites, and this cruise was great. I would love to travel on this cruise line again -- casual and comfortable, suited for the sophisticated traveler who wants an authentic experience. Food was ... Read More
Wanted to see small islands and historic sites, and this cruise was great. I would love to travel on this cruise line again -- casual and comfortable, suited for the sophisticated traveler who wants an authentic experience. Food was fabulous a mix of Greek and international cuisine. Loved the small ship routine -- skilled and courteous captain and crew. Islands and Med are beautiful -- the water is an unbelievable blue! We were on an Odysseys Unlimited tour -- several fine days in Athens at a beautiful hotel (Elektra Palace).. then to the Harmony G -- loved it all! Our Odysseys Unlimited tour guide, the amazing Gemma -- was so knowledgeable, helpful, and attentive to all of us in a friendly and professional way. There are hundreds of inhabited islands, thousands in all .. and I want to see them all. I recommend this cruise line and Odysseys Unlimited ..superior quality, great staff -- all around wonderful time! Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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
Sail Date July 2017
Another truly excellent cruise with Variety Cruises aboard their small, but beautifully accommodating ships. Once again, everything was just spot on, from the welcome, the food, the warmth of the staff and crew, the company of fellow ... Read More
Another truly excellent cruise with Variety Cruises aboard their small, but beautifully accommodating ships. Once again, everything was just spot on, from the welcome, the food, the warmth of the staff and crew, the company of fellow passengers, and the ports of call. I can't speak highly enough of this kind of cruise experience. You feel as though you are with a group of friends on a private yacht. You get to see places without hordes of cruise ship passengers. On this Greek cruise we visited some smaller islands that are almost untouched by tourism. On busier islands like Santorini and Mykonos, watching 3000 passengers queuing in the heat for tenders made us feel so smug that we could wander on and off our ship in the harbour at any time we chose.The whole thing is designed to make you feel special, and you most certainly do! Can't wait for the next one! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Everything from the Boat, the service, food, day-trips and especially the crew was fantastic. we were made to feel like a group of close friends and family enjoying the best holiday together, nothing was an imposition and our itinerary ... Read More
Everything from the Boat, the service, food, day-trips and especially the crew was fantastic. we were made to feel like a group of close friends and family enjoying the best holiday together, nothing was an imposition and our itinerary varied beautifuly according to the weather and the decisions of our Captain and our fabulous cruise director Marita Kokkinakis. I would not hesitate to recommend this cruise to my friends and colleagues, I celebrated my birthday while in Santorini and the crew made it one of the most memorable, it happened to be the Greek feast night so we had incredible food and Marita even arranged a cake.. Our itinerary was changed due to bad weather during the cruise, but the alternative stops we visited were equally spectacular and enjoyable, especially loved the regular swim stops we made at beautiful isolated points along the way. overall i would say this was one of the best holiday experiences i've ever had. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Before arriving at the Port we spent 1 night exploring Athens which was fabulous, we stayed at The Royal Olympic Hotel which was within walking distance of the acropolis, the temple of Zeus and the old town of Athens and had a spectacular ... Read More
Before arriving at the Port we spent 1 night exploring Athens which was fabulous, we stayed at The Royal Olympic Hotel which was within walking distance of the acropolis, the temple of Zeus and the old town of Athens and had a spectacular roof top bar and restaurant with stunning views. On arrival at the Port we were welcomed on board by several members of the Galileo crew including our fabulous and most knowledgable cruise co-ordinator Marita! There were 44 passengers on board, with a range of nationalities and ages. Our Cabin was a reasonable size and had a TV, private bathroom with a big shower and was very comfortable. Our Housekeeper was very efficient and the room was always very clean. Before going on the cruise I had wanted to visit Santorini and although it was breathtakingly stunning with the most amazing views it was also overrun with tourists and cruise passengers. The same in Mykonos, a fabulous island and town to visit for a day/night but after the arrival of a large cruise ship literally thousands of people flooded the town. Enough to put me off ever going on a large cruise ship! Although the small ships lack the amenities of the larger cruise liners, a pool, Casino and nightly entertainment, by going on a smaller boat like the Galileo, we were able to stop for swim stops in small coves, get into ports and islands not visited by the large cruise ships and enjoy "real Greece", the island of Foligandros was a favorite, a small pebble beach with 2 tavernas on it and a beautiful hilltop town with town squares, alleys and small restaurants, small stores selling local art and white houses with blue trim. We were also able to go to Syros which had a more venetian architecture and visit the ancient city on the island of Delos. Marita (our cruise co-ordinator) gave us briefings before every port of call and places to visit and also some guided walking tours, local bus schedules and restaurant recommendations. Our Shore excursions were first class and Marita did an amazing job of keeping us ahead of the crowds! The Food - WOW it was amazing - our chef, and pastry chef did an amazing job, fresh salads, grilled meats, fruit, greek dishes and beautiful cakes and desserts, a BBQ lunch at a swim stop, breakfasts of eggs, meats, cheeses, cereals, breads, fresh fruit and greek yogurt. There were cookies and cakes available 24 hours, tea and coffee and fruit also available 24 hours. Our Bar tender and Hotel Manager was also delightful. My only complaint was the wine - they need a larger/better selection. We enjoyed the Captains Dinner, Greek night being entertained by Greek dancers. Our Captain was professional, approachable but also safety first and we were all invited to visit the bridge. Our Galileo family of passengers and crew made the entire experience delightful and one we hope to repeat in the future to a different destination. We will absolutely cruise on a small Boutique Mega Yacht again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The "Classical Greece" cruise was an ideal way to see the highlights of the Greek Islands and the mainland. Apart from the well-known highlights such as Santorini and Mykonos, the cruise also took us to gems such as Monemvasia ... Read More
The "Classical Greece" cruise was an ideal way to see the highlights of the Greek Islands and the mainland. Apart from the well-known highlights such as Santorini and Mykonos, the cruise also took us to gems such as Monemvasia and Nafplio on the mainland, and less visited places such as Kythira. The service on the ship was always excellent and the food generally delicious. The cabins were also well-equipped. As it was a smaller ship, there were no more than 50 people travelling and therefore an ideal way to meet other passengers. One of the highlights was the 'Greek night' where we had Cretan dancers come on board and they were terrific. The excursions to the ancient sites such as Delos and Knossos were also a highlight and the guides were always excellent. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone who is interested in experiencing both the beauty and classical history of Greece. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had a fantastic trip. It's a 49 passenger ship and we had only 15 aboard. The food and service were exceptional. It was a very friendly, casual atmosphere. The cruise director and guide were terrific. The ship is beautiful, ... Read More
We had a fantastic trip. It's a 49 passenger ship and we had only 15 aboard. The food and service were exceptional. It was a very friendly, casual atmosphere. The cruise director and guide were terrific. The ship is beautiful, comfortable and well maintained. We had some problems with rough seas but the captain did a great job of finding alternative ports. My only issue would be the size of the cabin. It was very small, but it is a small ship and we spent very little time in the cabin. We took the Antiquity to Byzantium cruise which I highly recommend. The cruise was focused on history and included visits to Delphi, Olympia and others. The guide had an in depth knowledge of all historical aspects both actual and mythological. Our trip was at the end of the tour season and most of the sites visited were almost empty. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
It was a perfect week in every way, and we will surely be booking another trip with Variety Cruises. We loved the Galileo - our room was quite comfortable, and the public areas on the boat were spotlessly clean, offering a variety of ... Read More
It was a perfect week in every way, and we will surely be booking another trip with Variety Cruises. We loved the Galileo - our room was quite comfortable, and the public areas on the boat were spotlessly clean, offering a variety of places to sit both indoors and outside. The delicious meals exceeded our expectations, and our cruise director, Joseph, was knowledgable, experienced, friendly and fun to listen to when he addressed our group. Swim stops were well organized and much appreciated by everyone. We kayaked, snorkled, and simply floated in the refreshing and beautiful sea. We chose only one excursion -- Delos, and well worth it -- since the other islands were easy to explore on our own. But those who chose the excursions seemed very pleased. The professional crew made us feel safe and cared about. Valerie, the awesome bartender, knew everyone's name within an hour of boarding. Our favorite islands were Folegandros and Syros - the Galileo allows for small island visits, which is one of the best aspects of the trip. Our fellow passengers were friendly and fun to be with, and the configuration of the dining tables allowed us to get to know everyone by week's end. Passengers were from England, Australia, Spain, Switzerland and the US; the multitude of cultures greatly enhanced the trip. There are so many benefits to being on an intimate yacht as opposed to a giant cruise ship. In addition to jumping into the sea from the boat and visiting smaller islands, there's a sense of being part of the environment, an intimacy that can't be had on a floating city with thousands of inhabitants. I can't wait for our next Variety cruise. The only part of the trip we didn't enjoy was saying good-bye to our new friends! Huge thanks to everyone connected with Variety Cruises, for allowing us the privilege to sail with you on our perfect vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
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
Sail Date August 2016
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