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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We choose this cruise, Vantage Cruise Line's "The Hidden Gems of the British Isles and Ireland" ,because it went to the islands north of Scotland- the Isle of Skye, the Outer Hebrides, and the Orkney Islands- to see sites ... Read More
We choose this cruise, Vantage Cruise Line's "The Hidden Gems of the British Isles and Ireland" ,because it went to the islands north of Scotland- the Isle of Skye, the Outer Hebrides, and the Orkney Islands- to see sites like the prehistoric Callanish Stones and 3,000 year old Skara Brae. We started the cruise in Poole, England, visited Tresco on the Isles of Scilly and two ports in Wales, and then got to Dublin- where the ship stayed for the remainder of the trip. As a matter of fact, it is still there 3 weeks later, detained by the Port Authority for having 'unsafe life boats and a crew untrained in safety proceedures', according to numerous reports available for viewing by googling 'Problems with Variety Voyager Cruise Ship'! After our day in Dublin, this became a bus trip of Ireland. They carted us around in whatever buses they could find on short notice- old ones with broken seats and seatbelts and no legroom at all. After a couple of days we moved to a hotel in Belfast where we continued our bus tour. Any sites we visited left a lot to be desired and we were never given enough time to see an entire exhibit because we had to leave to get to some little town for shopping time! Vantage says they provided us with comparable tours- really? Do you really think a bus trip to Kilkenny is equivalent to seeing Skara Brae or the Callanish stones??? This is not what any of us paid for! Now Vantage travel says that they are not responsible because it was a third party ship! As for the Variety Voyage itself, the ship was not what we expected- absolutely nothing like the pictures in the catalog or on the internet. The food was terrible- always over cooked and over salted. Meals were very plain and choices were minimal- meat or fish, potatoes, and a semi-cooked vegetable. Breakfast was the same everyday. There was always a tray of croissants and pastries baked until they were dark brown, dry, and crunchy. It was the same with all the breads, rolls, and bagels. You would think they would get the hint something wasn't right when nobody ate any of them. The high point of this cruise was probably moving into the hotels- the rooms and food was definitely better! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
We cruise a lot on all different lines and this is the first ship we felt was UNACCEPTABLE. This is especially disturbing since the ship was chartered by Vantage 'Deluxe' Travel which we had heard was a terrific travel company. ... Read More
We cruise a lot on all different lines and this is the first ship we felt was UNACCEPTABLE. This is especially disturbing since the ship was chartered by Vantage 'Deluxe' Travel which we had heard was a terrific travel company. But, they chartered and continue to charter this ship which has poor accommodations and is not maintained or operated properly. (I tried to post a review like this right after the cruise but CruiseCritic did not have this ship available to review at the time.) I'll start by saying the itinerary, crew and cruise director were great. Only the ship was deficient. First, design. 'Deck 1' on any other ship is above the water line. But on the Harmony G 'Deck 1' is below the water line with small windows AT the water line. So, you feel like you're in a washing machine any time you're in your cabin. 'Luckily' our toilet didn't work so they 'upgraded' us to a forward cabin on Deck 2. This was somewhat better, but because it was forward it had a lot more motion than amidships cabins. As the cruise wore on we realized that the passenger cabins were sorely deficient in ventilation and cooling. Any time it was warm outside, it was hot and stuffy in our cabins. The common areas, the dining room and lounge, were always freezing. And, their doors did not close properly, so that the cool air was constantly being lost outside. I think the engineer purposely used the cooling resources for the common rooms and didn't care whether cool, fresh air got to the passenger cabins or not. The other issue was stabilizers. The ship has them, but the captain only turns them on when they think it's rough seas. And their idea of 'rough seas' is a whole lot different than my wife's idea of rough seas. The food was just 'ok' and they were accommodating to the extent possible with such a small ship and crew. The passengers were average age of probably 75 and preferred to come back to the ship for lunch rather than eating in port. I just don't understand why you would travel all that way to eat average American food. In short, don't sail on the Harmony G. Vantage did not adequately respond to our concerns so we will avoid Vantage 'Deluxe' Travel as well. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise because friends we went with had very little available time on their trip to the USA. We all enjoyed the two night cruise - a lot more than expected. Our friends had the top of the line cabin which was really lovely ... Read More
We chose this cruise because friends we went with had very little available time on their trip to the USA. We all enjoyed the two night cruise - a lot more than expected. Our friends had the top of the line cabin which was really lovely with a balcony - twice as big as ours (at nearly twice the price) with a fridge, large flat screen TV, drinks and toiletries and a bath as well as shower. Our cabin was fine - good size but no fridge. Nice window though and clean. Bed very comfy. We had our first meal (lunch) in the buffet restaurant which was awful. Food was fine but seating like a packed McDonalds. Most passengers seemed to prefer it to the dining room which I found strange. We ate in the Admiralty Club the first night - food and service (particularly Yurii) was amazing but we ate in the same restaurant the second night and had the normal (free) fare which was also amazing so don't know about the value of an extra $30 per person unless money is no object. We had breakfast in the main dining room - again very nice with linen tablecloths and napkins. Breakfast food not so great but adequate. We could order eggs from the kitchen which was perhaps advisable. The staff were great and very helpful although we did twice ask for directions from staff and were sent in the wrong direction! We didn't go to any of the shows - spent 2 hours eating and then went to bed at 11pm. The noises later from the passage were pretty loud. This cruise had far more young people than the only other cruise we have taken. One word - if you are a beer drinker, do not buy the liquor package. It's cheaper without the voucher. Voucher is fine for wine, cocktails etc. We were a little upset that foreigners were not allowed to disembark until Americans had done so - orders from Immigration. We would have waited hours had our friends not had royal treatment from the ship's staff. We tried to leave the ship at 8.30am and had to wait until 9.00am until the crew arranged for us to leave - by then the queue for US passport holders was huge. I think there were very few foreign passport holders so don't understand the logic. This had nothing to do with the ship but not enough Immigration officers maybe? Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise because bus trips aren't my thing. We also wanted to see Cuba before the American economic invasion. The ship can hold 49 people but we were only 13 passengers - ideal! Since there were so few of us, they put ... Read More
We chose this cruise because bus trips aren't my thing. We also wanted to see Cuba before the American economic invasion. The ship can hold 49 people but we were only 13 passengers - ideal! Since there were so few of us, they put everyone in a main deck cabin, which had windows instead of port holes. Crew walked by, as I discovered to my surprise one afternoon lounging on my bed, but it was nice to have more of a view. The cabins were on the small side, which seems to be usual with small ships. It was impossible to put the luggage under the beds because they were on wooden platform although the crew could store luggage elsewhere if you wished. We ate breakfast & dinner on the ship, with lunches ashore in privately run restaurants. The breakfast was the usual: eggs, oatmeal, dry cereals, fresh fruit, yogurt, etc. Dinners always had a fish entrée & a meat entrée. There were courses for appetizers, soups, entrée, and dessert; often we just had the entrée because of having a large lunch ashore. The last night we had a buffet of Greek food that was great. We ate on a covered top deck, but many nights, when we were usually anchored, it was very warm. There was a bar on the main deck with cocktails, wine, or beer on offer, and drinks could be ordered with dinner as well. All the sightseeing, which was mandatory under the rules for visiting Cuba, was included, and we went to many art galleries, a choir, a Tabaco farm, etc. The towns of Trinidad and Cienfuegos were my favorites. The crew could not have been more helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I went on the "glories of Spain and Portugal" itinerary in August. This was my first cruise. The small ship size was great and I got to know the fellow passengers and crew very well. The crew and staff were excellent and very ... Read More
I went on the "glories of Spain and Portugal" itinerary in August. This was my first cruise. The small ship size was great and I got to know the fellow passengers and crew very well. The crew and staff were excellent and very attentive, and I also enjoyed the small group excursions. I really enjoyed the ports and the privileged locations we got to dock at each day. The ship was very clean and nice. If you are looking for high luxury, however, this is probably not the ship for you. Cabins are small and there are no balcony cabins. The ship had a nice family feeling and I felt right at home. The food was good and there were a lot of choices and the staff was accommodating of any dietary restrictions. Everything went smoothly on board. In short if you are looking for a nice ship with amazing staff and an intimate feeling, I would absolutely recommend Variety cruises and the Harmony V. Read Less
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
The MV "Pegasus" is a beautiful small ship with just 21 cabins. So the atmosphere on board has been very cosy and individual. The cabins are spacious, modern and bride. But it was the team and service on board that made this ... Read More
The MV "Pegasus" is a beautiful small ship with just 21 cabins. So the atmosphere on board has been very cosy and individual. The cabins are spacious, modern and bride. But it was the team and service on board that made this cruise really extraordinary. Some details: Just after 1-2 days the service stuff called everyone by name and knew all preferences concerning food and beverages. The hospitality on board simply has been great - service at 5 star level. Moreover the routing and all excursions had been chosen carefully and the organization was perfect. We even didn't have to carry our bags and towels. Every evening our excellent and motivated guide Vivek hold a detailed briefing of next day and created an atmosphere of pleasant anticipation. After all I can only recomend to discover Seychelles by cruise. With Variety you will not just see the touristic highlights such as Vallée de Mai (Coco de Mer) on Praslin or La Digue and the most beautiful beaches, but also the hidden hide-aways such as Curieuse, Felicite or beautiful remote Aride. Variety and its MV Pegasus was a perfect choice! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
I can't complain about anything. Our trip in Pan Orama through the Adriatic sea (Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece) was absolutely amazing. The crew is incredible, everyone was super nice to us and we felt really ... Read More
I can't complain about anything. Our trip in Pan Orama through the Adriatic sea (Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece) was absolutely amazing. The crew is incredible, everyone was super nice to us and we felt really well-treated by everyone. Absolutely everyone was super kind. The service is amazing, you get your room done twice a day. THE FOOD IS AMAZING!!!!!! The cabins are really well equipped, and they provide you some toiletries. It has a bar and a coffee table, where you can help yourself with coffee, infusions, tea, cookies or fruit 24/7. Its super peaceful and I am looking forward to go on board again. I was scared of being dizzy all day long, but the ship doesn't move that much and you feel in perfect conditions all the time. The shore excursions are really interesting and we went to really beautiful places ashore. The swim stops are one of the most amazing things I've ever done, it's amazing to swim in open sea.The activities on board are really entertaining and they were scheduled in the perfect moments. We relaxed and had the best vacation of our lives. I seriously hope to be back again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 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
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
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