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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
1 Helpful Vote
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
The staff and our Itinerary made by our Travel host ( Expo Cruise)were outstanding. Rooms were clean, service was outstanding. Food was great. Everything was handled with great efficiently. I think it helped that the majority ... Read More
The staff and our Itinerary made by our Travel host ( Expo Cruise)were outstanding. Rooms were clean, service was outstanding. Food was great. Everything was handled with great efficiently. I think it helped that the majority of our fellow passengers were a happy, well travelled group. Entertainment on board is fine, but with our travel group we were able to dial it up. The Crew read the group well and adjusted to making fun loving , action pack trip . The food was fresh and good. I would not say a gourmet , but well presented. If you had a special request they did there best to accommodate. We found the all the staff eager to help and learned individual request quickly. The Captain was engaging and available at any time. You could see he was well respected, and his leadership skills were evident thru out. Would most definitely cruise with them again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We travelled with a group that filled the ship. The crew was terrific - every single one - with the most chatty captain we've ever had. Food was very good. The room was fine but the walls were a bit thin. The neighbour's ... Read More
We travelled with a group that filled the ship. The crew was terrific - every single one - with the most chatty captain we've ever had. Food was very good. The room was fine but the walls were a bit thin. The neighbour's TV sound came through loud and clear. When the sea is rough you really feel it...it's a small ship. We anchored more than I thought we would. No lectures. A real problem is the sound in the dining room when it's full. It becomes uncomfortably loud. One problem is that our expectations were perhaps higher than they should have been. If the itinerary suits you remember that you're on a small ship with limitations that come with a smaller ship. The shore excursions were very good to excellent. The itinerary was very jam packed and sometimes we just needed a rest. But that was our choice too. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 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
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The best way to know Seychelles Islands. First class service, first class cabin, first class food, first class tours. Variety Cruises has excellent yatch options to cruise, this one was great. The personnel on board Pegasus is ... Read More
The best way to know Seychelles Islands. First class service, first class cabin, first class food, first class tours. Variety Cruises has excellent yatch options to cruise, this one was great. The personnel on board Pegasus is excellent, always trying to serve you at their best. The out shore excursions are very well planned and coordinated. The tour guides excellent. Hotel manager and activities coordinator very well prepared, they communicated in several languages. The food on board excellent and the barbecues at the beach were great. Snorkling perfect. The cleaness at the entire yatch was everyday attention. Small group of people that allows to know them. Time of cruise (7 nights / 8days) is the perfect time to know the islands. Time on each island was very well calculated, so you can know the islands and go around afterwards. On board activities and entertainment are great: bingo, dancing, karaoke, etc. Recommended 100%. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was my first cruise ever and I really loved it. It's amazing to be sailing with a small ship. There were only 17 guests on board so you had a feel of having the ship for yourself. We did the adriatic cruise and visited 4 ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever and I really loved it. It's amazing to be sailing with a small ship. There were only 17 guests on board so you had a feel of having the ship for yourself. We did the adriatic cruise and visited 4 countries in 1 week: croatia, montenegro, albania and greece. Unfortunately we weren't able to get a close spot in the harbor/port in every city so sometimes you need to walk or take a bus/cab to get to the nearest city center. The crew is extremely nice and helpfull! Every day (except for one) we were able to do an excursion on shore to see the sights. I could really recommend the excursion to Butrint in Albania, the palace of queen elizabeth of austria (sissy) in corfu town and the city of Budva in Montenegro. The other cruises were not really worthwhile. Due to the fact that the ship arrived early in the morning we were able to avoid the big cruise ship masses. That's another advantage of a small cruise ship. On the minus side: * The food is okay especially breakfast and lunch but for dinner we only had 2 buffet style dinners and the rest was a strict menu (you could choose between fish or meat). I prefer buffet type of dinners. * You can buy wifi access on board (€20 per 500Mb). The data limit is a problem because lots of people have their smartphone settings tuned to wifi (to transfer photos etc). I also use a travel app to inform family and friends which I was unfortunately not able to use due to the limit. * We had less guests on board which is great but on the other hand you pay the max price for the excursions which made it very expensive. * During dinner/breakfast time the servants grabbed your plate out of your hands and brought it to your table (even if you were one step away). This felt extremely awkward for all of the guests and although they must have felt it (guests were saying no) they kept on doing that. Read Less
Sail Date: July 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My husband has always wanted to go to Greece. Vantage offered the perfect trip. The Harmony G is operated by Variety staff and crew but charted by Vantage for this voyage. The Variety staff and crew are all very professional and ... Read More
My husband has always wanted to go to Greece. Vantage offered the perfect trip. The Harmony G is operated by Variety staff and crew but charted by Vantage for this voyage. The Variety staff and crew are all very professional and provided excellent service. The Cruise Director, Laura Giannola, was employed by Vantage - she made the trip so special with her love and passion for Greece and it's rich history. She really loves to travel on the Harmony G and that meant a lot to us (my husband is a boat captain). The ship was decorated nicely and appeared to have been recently renovated. The lounge was roomy and the bar was staffed at appropriate time. Drinks were reasonable and available upon request if no one was behind the bar. The dining area was a bit on the small side but Thanos made it work. Topside was my favorite place and had plenty of fresh air, beautiful views, lounge chairs and cushioned seating - it was never off limits. All meals onboard were excellent and the service was fast and courteous thanks to Thanos, the manager. The port of embarkation was Athens (Port of Pireaus). The first night was at a hotel with a beautiful rooftop pool and view of the Acropolis in the center of Athens (Divani Caravel); dinner at the hotel was included. The next morning we toured the Acropolis Museum and the Plaka district before boarding the Harmony G around 2pm. Vantage provided a lovely coach and luggage assistance. After time to unpack we had our safety briefing in the lounge followed by a port talk & history lecture by Laura. Afterward, we ate our first of many fabulous dinners by Thanos and staff in the "cozy" dinning room. Port-of-call #1 - Nafplion. The breakfast was lovely and ample. We visited the archaeological site of Mycenae (very interesting); stopped at a pottery shop and learned how to make clay men; then back to the town of Nafplion where we had lot's of time to explore. We rode the ship's bicycles to the beach for a swim in the crystal clear Aegean Sea. Later that afternoon, my husband rented a scooter and I climbed the 1,000 steps to the Palamidi Castle (I enter as I didn't have the 8 euro in cash) - spectacular views of the town just the same. We ate an elegant dinner then went back into town and strolled around. Port #2 - Monemvasia. The Gibraltar of Greece - or so they say. Right out of a fairy tale. The old city is one of the most picturesque places I have been. We took a trip to a family-owned olive orchard. We learned the process of making olive oil and had a traditional Greek lunch outside. We returned to ship and captain allowed us to swim from the back of the ship - it was perfect conditions. My husband and I took the bikes again and rode all over Monemvasia. Breakfast and dinner onboard - fabulous as usual. We left early because it was a long sail to Crete. Port #3 - Rethimnon, Crete. Early breakfast then we took a 90-minute coach ride to the town of Chania. I had been before so we walked out to the lighthouse instead of shopping. We had until 3am to return to the ship so we rented a scooter drove all over this charming beach town and finally chose to dine at a local restaurant. We ate at the restaurant Alana; recommended by the scooter rental agent - it was frequented by a lot of tourists but still very good. Back onboard around midnight. Port #4 - Heraklion, Crete. Breakfast then a trip to Knossoss Palace - this day it was very hot and there was little shade so my memories aren't as pleasant. This night was the Greek dance show onboard - it was a lot of fun but Heraklion itself was a larger city with large cruise ships. I wasn't thrilled because it didn't have the charm of the other ports. Port #5 - Santorini. We anchored here. Breakfast onboard then we all hopped on a tender to shore. It was a bit windy but nothing bad. We visited Fira then took the optional tour to Oia - Wow! This is not to be missed. The optional tour included a tour & lunch at a local winery in Fira before continuing on to Oia - oh for more time in Oia. I'm glad I opted into this - Oia is where all the famous photographs of Greece are taken. It was magical. We took the cable car back down to the landing and the tender back to the ship for another great dinner onboard. Port #6 - Mykonos. We were in Mykonos for only a few hours and the captain remained in port despite growing wind conditions. The town of Mykonos is a lively town with a lot of young tourists. We were there very early so there was little evidence of the night before party. The island is just as picturesque as Santorini but it is flatter and has it's own personality. The trip out of Mykonos (left at noon) and back to Athens was rough so we were rock'n & roll'n for several hours - passengers & crew were ill until it calmed down. Only of few of us were up and about - but still a bit lethargic. The Harmony G only makes about 10 knots so she can't outrun the weather very well. It didn't last too long and dinner was served on calm seas. Final port - Back in Athens (Pireaus). Last night onboard was in Athens. After breakfast we packed up and headed out to the Acropolis very early to beat the crowds & the heat (good idea). Laura gave the premium tour and then we headed back to the Plaka district for more shopping. We checked back into the Divani Caravel for the last night of the base cruise package. We opted for the Athens extension so we explored the city for two more nights. My experience was OUTSTANDING and a trip that will stand out as one of my favorites. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
I recently had the pleasure of sailing with Variety on the PanOrama II in July of this year with a group of friends 23 strong. We began our trip with an overnight stay, arranged through Variety, in Athens at the Herodian Hotel. The hotel ... Read More
I recently had the pleasure of sailing with Variety on the PanOrama II in July of this year with a group of friends 23 strong. We began our trip with an overnight stay, arranged through Variety, in Athens at the Herodian Hotel. The hotel is 5 stars: the staff was very accommodating in securing our luggage when we arrived at 11 AM and the rooms were not ready. Then onto the ship and we began our wonderful trip. The ship can accommodate 49, there were only 29 on board, our group of 23 and 6 others who quickly became part of our group. The ship was lovely, the cabins were very comfortable and the bathroom were quite spacious for a small cruise ship. The staff was wonderful and could not do enough for us. All requests were met with a smile and service. Sonny, the bartender, was the best. Joseph, the tour director, did a great job with the excursions, especially when the weather did not allow up to sail to Mykonos and we spent two nights docked in Syros. Joseph took us on a tour of the waterfront, explained the history of the island and pointed us in the right direction for a wonderful stay on the little known island. The food on board was great both in volume and quality. The daily home made butter cookies were a personal favorite. All in all, I would highly recommend Variety Cruises! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
45 minutes out of Athens the steering broke...we waited 4 hours to be repaired. The trip did not follow our written itinerary. The linens are very old and mismatched. The towels, especially face cloths were stained. The ... Read More
45 minutes out of Athens the steering broke...we waited 4 hours to be repaired. The trip did not follow our written itinerary. The linens are very old and mismatched. The towels, especially face cloths were stained. The carpeting throughout the boat is dirty. (This was mentioned to the person in charge). The toilet backed up first day, our friends needed a complete new commode during the first 3 days-who is in charge of operations? The shower regularly has rusty water. The crew are a very nice group of people who tried their best to meet our needs. The A/C in our cabin was very good. The food was fair to good. At the buffets the food was never hot. (This was mentioned to the person in charge). This tour is marketed by ODESSEYS UNLIMITED as a Luxury Yacht. It is by no means a luxury yacht. Very misrepresented. When you begin a cruise like we did it is very disappointing and disconcerting to think that you can break down because the 'joy stick steering broke'. Where's the quality control and inspections???? Where is the cleanliness of towels and linens- things don't last forever-it's time for new items. WHERE IS ODESSEYS UNLIMITED INSPECTION OF WHAT THEY SELL? This boat needs a new plumbing system, and a refurbishment throughout. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
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
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