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Croatian Island Cruising - May 2010

7 Jun 2010 NCStateAlum said

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I just got back from the Croatia Island Cruising tour that started 29 May, 2010.

They are still working on refining the tour so to speak so keep in mind certain things may change. For instance this year the boat is smaller than the boat they used last year. However, they were able to lower the price. Another example we couldn't do the Montenegro day trip since it was too early in the season. Although our TM did tell us about other groups we could try to book through.

To get to the hotel from the Split Airport use the Croatia Airlines shuttle/bus. It's really cheap and easy to use. Anyone can take it. As soon as you exit the airport doors the bus will be to your right. The bus will drop you off right by the port and it's a 5 minute walk to the Hotel Bellevue which is where everyone stayed the night before the tour starts. Same thing for heading back to the airport the bus will leave around 60-90 minutes before all Croatian Airlines flights. They post the schedule at the bus stop.

The hotel was ok, really basic, just a fan no AC however my biggest complaint was it's extremely loud at night. I got no sleep. The next morning the whole group headed towards the port. Since there was so many of us there were actually two Contiki boats.

The boats are run by Katarina Lines and our boat was the Labrador - http://www.katarina-line.com/c...ps/171-labrador.html
There is no a/c and the shower/toilet/sink are all one room. Basically no seperate area for the shower. Technically you can't bring outside food/drinks/alcohol on the boat but as long as we were discrete this wasn't an issue. Also quiet hours on the boat start at midnight although I am sure we broke that rule several times haha. So if you want to be loud stay at the clubs and bars. Usually the boat didn't leave the port until 7:00am. There is only one electrical outlet in the room and they only work at certain times (generator) so keep that in mind when having to charge cell phones, cameras, ipods etc. When docked you actually have to walk through other boats to get to your boat and there is no ramp so keep the in mind when packing and you may need someone to help you get your luggage from boat to boat.

I had a below deck cabin and I think I can pretty much speak for everyone else that was below deck - Pay more to stay above deck!!!! It smells like diesel fuel and is loud. Two of the rooms have bunk beds and they are really small. No windows, just a small curved porthole that let in a little light. Also if the waters got rough we had to close the port hole so water wouldn't get into the rooms. The steps to get down there are really steep too.

I personally thought the weather was too cold, none of us were laying around in our swimmers. It did finally start to get warm enough towards the end to spend more time in the water and laying out. Not sure if this is the norm but I wish I had wait another week so the weather could be nicer. Also since it was still kind of early in the season some of the more popular night spots were still closed. However, overall things weren't crowded so it made it easy to get around.

A typical day was you could go to breakfast anytime between 8:00am-9:30am, then spend the morning hanging out on the top deck, lunch time, then usually you got to the next port around 3-4pm to walk around before dinner. Dinner is own your own except for two of the nights but usually several people got together to eat. The tour manager also arrange for us to meet every night around 9 or 10 to meet before going out to the bars and clubs. When we got to the super small town of Trstenik we had a pirate party.

Once we got to port the TM showed us around quickly but couldn't go into depth then were were own our own to explore. You have to be an official registered guide to give tours. Pretty much everyone I came across spoke enough English that I never really needed to know much Croatian so as long as you know a few basic words you'll be more than ok.
  • 20 Jun 2010 Explorer1191372 said

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    Hello,

    Just wondering, did you feel nauseous on the boat at all?

    Would you recommend this? Also, what was the average age of the people on your trip?

    thanks!
    Elaine

  • 21 Jun 2010 NCStateAlum said

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    I never felt nauseous but I have gone sailing countless times so I am used to it. There was one day that was very rough and I know most people got sick and um vomited.

    The average age seemed to be around 24-26 although the youngest was 19 and I believe the oldest was ~34/35. Although IME age never seems to matter on contiki tours.

  • 21 Jun 2010 Explorer1191372 said

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    Thanks for the info.

    I’ve never been sailing so wondering if this may be a little too much.

    So if you’re going out at 9 and then going clubbing and to bars, is there a curfew to make it to the boat?

  • 22 Jun 2010 NCStateAlum said

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    boat doesn’t leave until 7am most days, I think one day it left at 6:30am.

    Far as feeling sick, far as I know no one had any issues except that one really rough day. Quite a few people mentioned once they got off the boat they still felt the “rocking” but I don’t think it was too bad.

  • 23 Jun 2010 NCStateAlum said

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Explorer1159191:
    Question.
    Where and how do you find the boat in the morning? With the way I booked it, I don’t get a night stay at Bellevue hotel so I am clueless.

    Did you have tour meeting in the morning of?

    Thanks in advance.


    There are a bunch of katarina line reps around the harbour so you just kind of have to walk around and ask… yeah not the most organized. Make sure you mention you are with Contiki because there are a lot of different groups who use katarina.

    I uploaded a picture and put an X in the general area. Of course this is assuming the dock in the same location.




    Once you get on the boat you fill out some paper work, put your stuff in your room, and have lunch. The TM will talk to you during lunch.
  • 2 May 2011 Eric said

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    Thank you for the great review. I am going in one month. Sadly I booked a below deck. I am also really excited about Montenegro and hopefully they will offer that as an option. Once again, thank you.

  • 12 Jun 2011 Explorer1259216 said

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    Eric – What dates are you going on the trip? I’m going June 29th and I’m trying to track down people that are going to be on the same trip!

  • 14 Jun 2011 franky h said

    franky h

    This trip sounds great. I have stayed in Split before, and it is a great little city. I really like it, but never made it to the islands. Wish I had though!

  • 12 Aug 2011 Wahine20 said

    Wahine20

    Thanks for the all the info! Im doing that tour on the 27th of August.

  • 24 Oct 2012 Ange said

    Ange

    Can anyone tell me the guy/girl ratio for their tour they went on?

  • 24 Oct 2012 Wahine20 said

    Wahine20

    Id say 60% girls 40% guys
    Let me know if you have more questions about this tour. I highly recommend it. It was a blast! :)

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