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11 Variety Cruises Family Cruise Reviews

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
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 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
Had always wanted to visit the Seychelles but thought would be cost prohibitive with over the top accommodation prices but cruising with Variety Cruises / Peregrine made it both more than affordable with the extra bonus of seeing multiple ... Read More
Had always wanted to visit the Seychelles but thought would be cost prohibitive with over the top accommodation prices but cruising with Variety Cruises / Peregrine made it both more than affordable with the extra bonus of seeing multiple islands. So glad we did it this way and with Variety on a Small Ship cruise. Day to day exploring was fantastic with varied options and allowances to do own exploring. Food was first rate with some nights buffet and others three course a la carte. Wildlife is a big part of the experience and having been to the Galapagos was great to see and compare the endemic tortoise. Birdlife, especially on Cousin Island is the real highlight. Beaches - cannot even begin to describe, I have sailed in the Caribbean and the Med...the beaches here take it to another level of beauty. Anse Lazio was our favourite. Variety run a great programme and cant recommend them enough. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because of its destination, the size of the boat and the fact that it was vetted by Wilderness Travel, an excellent US travel company. Eight of us traveled for a week along the Dalmatian coast and had a wonderful time ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its destination, the size of the boat and the fact that it was vetted by Wilderness Travel, an excellent US travel company. Eight of us traveled for a week along the Dalmatian coast and had a wonderful time thanks to the great crew and the really nice ship. The embarkation was the only little problem we encountered: no one answered the phone earlier that day so we did not know where to go on the pier. Turns out you have to go through a customs office first, which was not mentioned in the instructions. But everything after that was great. All of us would recommend this heartily for people who like low-key vacations in smallish vessels. The only reason some of the ratings below (Enrichment activities, Entertainment, Fitness & recreation) do not get "excellent" is that they refer to large cruise ships and we were very very glad not to have them available. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We were looking for a small ship cruise tour in the Greek islands to celebrate my mothers birthday plus my wedding anniversary. We were referred to Variety Cruises by american friends who cruised in Costa Rica with the company two years ... Read More
We were looking for a small ship cruise tour in the Greek islands to celebrate my mothers birthday plus my wedding anniversary. We were referred to Variety Cruises by american friends who cruised in Costa Rica with the company two years ago, so we knew where to look at. The number of our "group" counted almost 35 family members, friends, extended family, so we ended up looking at chartering a whole yacht owned by Variety Cruises, called Harmony G. It instantly seemed like a good fit, a boutique ship with 20 cabins, modern interiors, and great exterior areas including a large sundeck, and a swimming platform. We were proposed a classical greece route, a good combination of famous islands and of some tiny ones too. Crew onboard felt like family after day 2, and all of us enjoyed being treated like royalty, and we often visited the bridge during navigation hours and chatted with the captain and officers. Food was delicious, BBQ lunches and dinners were the highlight of the cruise. All meals were served outdoors as we like, some of us also enjoyed some meals at the indoor dining room which also provided great views of the islands we were docked at every day. I couldnt fault any area of the ship, cabins were spacious and had ample storage space. Would travel on this ship again and again. our home away from home for a whole week! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
For the 3rd time we chose to make a cruise with Variety Cruises. This time we sailed the Adriatic and Ionic Seas. Again we had a great experience. A very friendly and helpful cruisedirector, captain, hotelmanager, crew, comfortable ship, ... Read More
For the 3rd time we chose to make a cruise with Variety Cruises. This time we sailed the Adriatic and Ionic Seas. Again we had a great experience. A very friendly and helpful cruisedirector, captain, hotelmanager, crew, comfortable ship, well-equiped cabins and delicious diners, buffets and drinks. We visited 4 countries: Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece, where we did almost all the offered excursions, to get a closer look of each one of them. You also could go your own way if you wanted. The number of guests was 17 and during this week we had so much fun together! Being on a smaller cruiseship means: having a swimstop near a beautiful bay (they can bring you to the shore with the Zodiac if you want to), arriving before the big cruiseships so less crowded in places you're going to visit, getting to now the other guests (if you want to) is easy becouse of te small number, a very luxurious experience. As I said: this was the 3rd time, but it certainly won't be the last. Looking for a next destination... Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
45 minutes out of Athens the steering broke...we waited 4 hours to be repaired. The trip did not follow our written itinerary. The linens are very old and mismatched. The towels, especially face cloths were stained. The ... Read More
45 minutes out of Athens the steering broke...we waited 4 hours to be repaired. The trip did not follow our written itinerary. The linens are very old and mismatched. The towels, especially face cloths were stained. The carpeting throughout the boat is dirty. (This was mentioned to the person in charge). The toilet backed up first day, our friends needed a complete new commode during the first 3 days-who is in charge of operations? The shower regularly has rusty water. The crew are a very nice group of people who tried their best to meet our needs. The A/C in our cabin was very good. The food was fair to good. At the buffets the food was never hot. (This was mentioned to the person in charge). This tour is marketed by ODESSEYS UNLIMITED as a Luxury Yacht. It is by no means a luxury yacht. Very misrepresented. When you begin a cruise like we did it is very disappointing and disconcerting to think that you can break down because the 'joy stick steering broke'. Where's the quality control and inspections???? Where is the cleanliness of towels and linens- things don't last forever-it's time for new items. WHERE IS ODESSEYS UNLIMITED INSPECTION OF WHAT THEY SELL? This boat needs a new plumbing system, and a refurbishment throughout. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our first cruising experience and we travelled a long way to do it ! The appeal of a small group and exploring places that weren't crawling with tourists did not disappoint. Our itinerary was Corfu - Kotor, Montenegro - ... Read More
This was our first cruising experience and we travelled a long way to do it ! The appeal of a small group and exploring places that weren't crawling with tourists did not disappoint. Our itinerary was Corfu - Kotor, Montenegro - Dubrovnik & Korcula, Croatia - Bar, Montenegro - Saranda, Albania - Paxo & Corfu, Greece Highlights : Amazing crew. Captain George, Cruise director Nina, Manager Yanni and Bartender/whatever you need Lovvy were all fantastic as were the whole team. Destinations were all amazing - we will never forget sailing into the Bay of Kotor, zipping around on Scooters on Korcula or nights out in Paxos and Corfu. Who can forget Greek night !! Havent laughed that much in years :-D Swim stops were lovely and something the big cruise ships just cant do Customs was all handled for us and we effortlessly did our shore excursions and visits without any queues or hassles The food was sometimes fantastic especially the traditional Greek meals and the BBQ's Housekeeping was great - rooms done twice a day and nothing ever a problem including several last minute ironing requests The other passengers - only 31 in our group including 10 French, 8 Americans, 6 Australians. Got to know most people really well and was a great mix of ages - 10 - 84 ! Have made several friends for life !! Lowlights : Being a small ship there is a fair bit of rock and roll sometimes. We had one pretty rough night but generally calm sailing. Medication readily available. The food was sometimes woeful ( tinned carrots !) and this feedback has been passed on. There was plenty of it and some dishes were incredible. In saying that we were not expecting a gourmet cruise and were more than satisfied. Sometimes its better to eat in town anyway ( Paxos!) Cabins are a little tired. Bizarrely they insist on putting ugly old brown breadspreads on the beds during the day but remove them for the white doonas at turn down - they look far better ! Wifi - extortion like most boats. When is someone going to upgrade their equipment and be the first to break this mould ? Many people are trying to still run businesses back home ( its even marketed to this demographic) so they need to be enabled. The pros far exceeded the cons and overall this cruise was great value for money. We would not hesitate to recommend to others and are already looking at some of Variety's other offerings   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
With the exception of Santorini we were able to dock at each port and even there we had a good-sized tender to take us to the Cable Car to Fira. On the first evening Captain Emmanuel warned us that he didn't think he would be able to ... Read More
With the exception of Santorini we were able to dock at each port and even there we had a good-sized tender to take us to the Cable Car to Fira. On the first evening Captain Emmanuel warned us that he didn't think he would be able to go directly to Delos and would proceed to Mykonos. He was right! The Meltemi winds were blowing and the sea was dancing with white caps. We arrived in Mykonos early in the AM and after breakfast left for Delos on one of the regular tour boats. Sometimes an ill wind does blow good because it made Delos tolerable when on a non-windy day it would have been dangerously hot. Others have complained about Variety's changes in plans, but in our case, instead of dinner in Mykonos,because we had to leave port early, we had a great fish dinner in Paros and watched the ferry from Athens disembark crowds. Paros may be the new Mykonos. We were particularly interested in visiting vineyards in Santorini, our next port, so our on-shore cruise director arranged for twelve of us to go on a wine tour instead of the usual itinery. We found some REALLY good Greek wines and an incredible Vin Santo at Arguros Winery. Our gang of ten opted for the beach at Rethymno instead of Knossos in Crete. The beach was equipped with umbrellas and chaises as well as water sports facilities. The people who chose to go to Knossos returned to say that the 3-hour bus ride was tiring and the heat awful. (I wonder if Variety could dock Harmony V nearer to Knossos for that reason.)Greek night took place on Crete with a small troupe of excellent dancers who introduced us to classical dancing, followed with some wild Cretan versions of dancing to bouzouki which we all tried to emulate, not necessarily well. We skipped Kythera early the next day--more Meltemi. But we went on to Monemvassia, the fantastic castle town. Some people even found a beach. We arrived in Nafplio in the evening instead of the next morning and were able to have dinner at an exceptional fish restaurant on the quay in one of the most beautiful towns in Greece. The next day we went off to Mycenae, which reminded us that we needed to make another visit to the Archaeological Museum in Athens to catch up with the real "Mask of Agamemnon." Nafplio has competition from Hydra,where the natives are serious about preservation. Hydra is even more sophisticated than Santorini in certain ways. The Captain's Dinner took place that evening anchored at Aegina. The next morning we woke up in Marina Kea. We did not have a full complement of passengers on the cruise--only 36--which probably added to the positive experience. The wait staff and room staff were pretty young women from the Ukraine and the bartender was a young Russian; she made fantastic Mojitos and Margueritas. The crew were friendly and helpful. Our fellow passengers were really compatible; as far as I know there were no complaints and no "primadonnas." There were four Americans besides our group of ten while the rest of the complement were European and Australian. The cruise is good value for money. The staff are well trained and the service exceptional. Breakfasts were better than our 5-star hotel in Athens, the lunches very good, but perhaps the chef shouldn't try so hard to produce a "gourmet meal" for those dinners aboard. His moussaka and stuffed tomatoes were as good as mine and his lamb on "Greek Night" superb. This is not a cruise for someone who wants casinos, daily pseudo-Broadway entertainment, non-stop eating, and pampering. It's for people who like a laid-back experience and are capable of entering the spirit of small ship cruising. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
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