If you are planning to book a trip with Varity Cruises, make sure not to ask questions because, by their own admission, questions “drive them nuts”. And under no circumstances inquire about their cancellation policy prior to paying for the booking. Otherwise, you will experience the same level of frustration and disappointment as we did when we tried to book our vacation with them.
When we decided to take a Greek Isles cruise on a small ship we searched online for different options that were available. This is how we came across the Variety Cruises web site and thought that it would be a perfect fit to what we were looking for. We contacted their NY office Vice President of Product & Business Development, Susan Nissim to get some information and book the cruise for either June or September, 2014.
We exchanged three or four emails with her, and spoke on the phone once. After we emailed her the last question about June availability she accidentally forwarded to us the email that was intended for Variety’s head office. Apparently, we were "driving her nuts" because we had questions to ask before we booked our vacation.
After reading that email we found Susan’s attitude very inappropriate for someone who was responsible for a company's business development. We then emailed Variety’s Customer service department and received response from Yiannis Vontas, Senior Partner and Exec. Vice President Development & Marketing who explained Susan’s attitude by “lots of disturbance and possibly nervousness” caused by the fact that she was now working from her home office.
Shortly after we received an email from another agent of Variety cruises with the availability on the date that we were looking for. We immediately agreed to book a cabin and exchanged several emails (nine, to be exact) with him regarding different category cabins. He then sent us the contract guaranteeing the reservation that I had two weeks to sign. The next morning we had an email from Variety Cruises letting us know that our “guaranteed” cabin had been sold to another customer because of the too many emails that we had sent and the fact that we had “inquired about their cancellation policy”.
We are experienced travellers and worked with many travel companies over the years. But never we had experienced such rude and unprofessional treatment.
Needless to say, we will never deal with them again. And we would discourage anyone who is planning to travel to Greece to use this company. Luckily, there are many other options available with the companies that will treat you with professionalism and respect that every customer deserves.