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6 Variety Cruises Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

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
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
I wanted to return to Sicily. I have enjoyed cruising in the last several years. I had a wonderful experience on a yacht style ship earlier nether year and wanted to see how Variety Voyage stacked up. Also, the trip was sponsored by ... Read More
I wanted to return to Sicily. I have enjoyed cruising in the last several years. I had a wonderful experience on a yacht style ship earlier nether year and wanted to see how Variety Voyage stacked up. Also, the trip was sponsored by Smithsonian which usually uses class accommodations. This time they missed the boat. The officers on the ship were friendly and accommodating. The rest of the staff was invisible. The room was serviced but that was it. There was no service offered. One particularly annoying thing was that drinks were not included except at meal times. Even soft drinks were charged extra. For a ship with this price that seems unheard of (compared to Crystal, Seabourne, Regent, in hat price range). The room I was in, a category B, was okay for one person. I was traveling by myself and there was barely sufficient storage space in room proper and bathroom. If my husband had been traveling with me, w would have had a problem. The bed was okay but very, very hard. The food was okay but that's the best I can say for it. Some meals were quite bad. Breakfast buffet was identical every day and adequate before t boring after seven days. The couple times we had lunch on the boat was pretty good with a good selection on the buffet. In sum, I would say that Variety Voyage is certainly not worth the price. I expect better service and food for the cost, not to mention a more comfortable room. There were no amenities usually found even on a yacht style ship; no hot tub, no entertainment, outside bar not available. I heard there was a small gym but I never saw it. I would not recommend this ship at all. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We choose this cruise as there was an interesting itinerary and good guest speakers on subjects that appealed. Things started to go wrong as soon as we got on board when the wardrobe door fell off and the problem was treated with ... Read More
We choose this cruise as there was an interesting itinerary and good guest speakers on subjects that appealed. Things started to go wrong as soon as we got on board when the wardrobe door fell off and the problem was treated with indifference by the person that attended to sort it out. The cabin was noisy and the beds very uncomfortable. Cabin towels were clearly very old and worn. The shampoo was obviously of poor quality. The food was terrible for a cruise of this expense with the meat virtually inedible. The salads every day came with the same processed meat. The sweets were unappetising and sickly sweet. The best feature was the bread and soup! There was no choice of wine and it was of poor quality. No maps were provided for the ports we visited as is usual with other cruise ships and boats. Altogether, this was a very bad experience. The ship is clearly run on the cheap giving a visual impression of opulence. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My experience was a few years ago so things may have changed since that time, but I'm a new member so thought that I would reflect back on my experience aboard the Voyager. I did a week long cruise on the Variety Voyager which ... Read More
My experience was a few years ago so things may have changed since that time, but I'm a new member so thought that I would reflect back on my experience aboard the Voyager. I did a week long cruise on the Variety Voyager which included St Tropez, Monaco, Corsica, Elba and the Cinque Terra. I rushed into Nice after an incredibly rushed ten days in Europe on business and it was such a relief to know that I would only be unpacking once for the week. I'm a strong believer in choosing the right style of travel for the destination. In the past few years, I have backpacked through South East Asia, taken an expedition ship across rough seas to Antarctica, and enjoyed French luxury aboard a Ponant ship . For me, I look at the destination first before the style of travel. So a 50 passenger Antarctic icebreaker expedition ship was the perfect way for me to spend a month in Antarctica, but to really relax and enjoy the Med I knew that a small luxury yacht was what I was after. It really did feel like the right way to travel as we pulled up next to gigantic super yachts, and even spotted Joan Collins partying on a yacht. Southern Europe at that time of year is bananas and it was so nice to not have to deal with any traffic and to be delivered by a short zodiac to the centre of town. Quite often I explored independently, but I also joined a couple of tours to a winery in Corsica and a museum. I liked that we would often travel at night, so we could make the most of our destination, exploring piazzas and the shoreline in the evening before returning to the yacht. For me the ship was luxurious enough but not ostentatious. The informal style suited me. I can imagine though that if you are used to larger cruise liners it may be quite a difference. My cabin was clean and well fitted out. The yacht was well equipped, the only thing that would have been great would have been a spa pool or plunge pool. We didn't swim that whole week (although there was talk of it) so that was a little disappointing in summer. The food was good, and plentiful, but I also enjoyed dining out on shore. In terms of the activities, I found them sufficient but as I said I often did my own thing. I can imagine that if you were wanting a more structured plan or more interpretation, it could have been disappointing. I would have liked to have a historian onboard, context was given by local guides, but I think it would have been fascinating to learn more about the culture and history, especially regarding Napoleon's exile in Corsica, as one example. All in all though, it was right for me and for what I was looking for. I hope that this is useful! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We just returned from a great trip on Harmony V, through Variety Cruises. A 7 day trip that was fabulous! From the itinerary to the service,the food, to the boat to the weather. Please note that this is a cruise for travelers, not ... Read More
We just returned from a great trip on Harmony V, through Variety Cruises. A 7 day trip that was fabulous! From the itinerary to the service,the food, to the boat to the weather. Please note that this is a cruise for travelers, not cruise-ship folks. The boat is small, holds 54 passengers. We had 27, which made it wonderful too. We visited: Kea Mykonos Delos (day excursion, extra $, but well worth it with a paid guide) Santorini Rethymnon/Crete Kythira Monemvassia - Nafplion Hydra Ranan, our cruise specialist, led us through each town on a walk to point out the main points of interest, routes to go, shopping, etc. She was great! The boat is perfect for this type of vacation. Plenty of space to relax, which we did later in the week while sailing during the day. Breakfast is provided, and was great. Each day, either lunch or dinner is provided, giving guests the opportunity to have a meal on each island and try the local cuisine. Each port had plenty of tavernas or more upscale restaurants. It was a great way to explore each place.We had a mixture of Americans, Spanish, Italian and Greek people on board with us. The service on board was exceptional. The crew truly worked hard to make sure we were happy. I highly recommend this company. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
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