28 independent reviews for Luxury small ship cruise in Croatia

Reviews for Luxury small ship cruise in Croatia

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review 17 Oct 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The people! We had the friendliest most wonderful fellow travelers & a fantastic crew. Everyone was so friendly & fun! Not a complainer in the group. Of course, the country is absolutely gorgeous & the weather cooperated. Only one morning of rain in the whole week. A perfect vacation!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

We went in mid September so the crowds were not as bad & the weather still good. I would also recommend our ship, the Aquamarin in the Katerina Line. The captain, the crew & the ship were wonderful.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, we found the Croatians to be very warm, friendly & welcoming. It was one of the cleanest countries I have ever visited. I've never seen water so crystal clear. Just beautiful!!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was outstanding! I'm so glad I took this trip. I travel a lot & this is one of the very best ever!!

review 30 Sep 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We loved going into each of the beautiful unique small towns each evening to walk around. The boat is well appointed and comfortable. The crew were very professional and friendly. The meals offered, breakfast and lunch were ample and very varied.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Travel with a flexible attitude

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Visiting many small towns each evening to eat in the local restaurants provided employment for the locals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent value for money. Lovely boat with well appointed rooms. Good size travel group of 38.

review 8 Sep 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

This was just an idyllic trip for us. Everything was perfect - the boat, the staff, the other guests and the locations visited. We could not have had a better experience.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Mix with other guests and just enjoy the experience.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Obviously, spending money in these small island areas is good for the local economies. We were impressed that everywhere we went, we found beautifully clean seas, even in harbours. It seemed to us that the local people took pride in trying to keep their particular areas pristine so as to encourage visitors.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Could not have been better

review 3 Sep 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

All good but Oyster tasting trip excellent.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Get an early flight so you can enjoy first day.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, liked the fact that lunch was provided but we were free to eat in local restaurants, unlike large cruise ships that put less into local economy. Felt company used local people, like guides and were promoting areas like Oyster place as it looked like an area that needed investment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent, only minor improvement would be to have tea/coffee provided during day.

review 5 Aug 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The visit to Hora Farm on Hvar. Absolutely to some extent yes delightful!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

To some extent yes - much better than the huge cruise boats. There is much that could be done though. Water for guests was from a water fountain - great - better than single use bottles BUT we were supposed to use a plastic cup each time.Split. It would have been nice if some fresh produce could have been purchased locally in port and the menu adjusted to support this. Local tour guides were good.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


review 28 May 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Wonderful cruise along Adriatic Sea. The selection of Islands was perfect. The staff were professional, attentive and kind. The country is beautiful. Guides were very good and we learned much about the history of the region region. The trip to the oyster farm was very special as well as the wine tasting in Vis.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

We enjoyed the activity level but might be a bit challenging for those with mobility issues with walking tours. Loved being on trip when not too crowded. We would not go in summer as it would be crazy busy. Our time was perfect. Hvar was the least interesting island with crowds, noise; would not recommend it.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Supported local people. Limited ability with this type of cruise to be green..

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent all around.

review 22 Sep 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Swim stops and each island tour

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Backpack, bug spray, water, if you are a late nighter bar closes early, if you like to sleep in youíll get no breakfast it closes at 9!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was great! Disappointed that they advertised a splash pool but then refused to fill it with water!

review 17 Jul 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The scenery of the entire trip was magnificence

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Donít bring to many clothes, as during our trip it was very hot, bring you snorkel gear and a towel and good walking shoes

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I think it supported the local people, not sure about the environment as the increased boats and people could be creating a problem for the future.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Other comments would be to include some of the liquor in the price, it felt like I was getting nickel and dimes to death, water was never offered or poured during meals, you have to get up and get it yourself. Tip recommendations seemed high..

review 11 Jul 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visiting the different islands

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

The vacation is suited towards a sociable person as you have to join and converse with travelers from many different countries at mealtimes.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Not particularly, except that we had meals in island restaurants, which may benefit the local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

We really enjoyed the vacation, found the staff and cruise manager particularly helpful.

review 13 May 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visiting Dubrovnik and Split, lots to do and see there!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

I would recommend that they upgrade to a newer boat as ours was quite noisy especially as our cabin was over the engine!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Only to say we spent quite a bit of money in restaurants and local clothes shops.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

I think there has to be changes on the boat ie the breakfast was a very poor standard! Towels and complimentary soaps, shampoos etc were very basic!

review 16 Sep 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The towns we visited were special/

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Donít book comfort class. It sucked.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We boosted the economy so that helped local people

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

3 or less considering the crappy boat and worse service.

review 11 Aug 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Mjet National Park

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Despite grading and price service is not equivalent to 5* hotel. Room is not cleaned daily, bed just made. Breakfast is buffet style but they only cook the amount they think 38 people should eat, so if you are not there for the start of service of brekkie hot food is limited. Bar service is limited, they are reluctant to make cocktails. Docking in Dubrovnik is not central so be aware when booking meals out etc you will need to pay for taxis to get to the center. Lunches are all served indoors, the lunch cruise of the Dubrovnik walls which we were sold as on upper deck was actually indoors in the salon.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Benefited local people from money, although prices are very expensive on the islands, which locals say is driving away tourism. Approx £15 cocktail and £16 starter/ £25 main

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

7

review 10 Jul 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Korcula but unfortunately our time there was way too short.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

The accommodations are very basic. The bed is small, up against the wall so one person has to crawl over the other. The AC in the cabins does not work very well and rarely works when in port as the engines aren't running. Consequently it's very hot at night and sleep was very difficult and uncomfortable. We were all exhausted in the morning. The food is below average and tasteless. We made sure to tell them before we booked that we have special diets. We spoke to the trip leader on board before we departed about our diet. You could buy gluten free food 50 ft from the ship along the quaiside. The first dinner they said they didn't have any gluten free food and would get it the next day. Very poor management. We are also vegan and were given tinned fruit on 2 occasions, until I complained and asked for fresh fruit. The crew were good but the chef lacked creativity. The trip advertised that we would be visiting islands every day and led us to believe that we would be moored on the islands at night. In fact we spent the first and last night in Split where the trip started and another 2 nights on the mainland, so only 3 on islands. At night we were tied up to between 10 and 20 other boats. Sometimes they were party boats and the noise went on until midnight despite an 11pm curfew. The first night in Split, the noise continued until 2am. The final day we were brought back to Split at 1pm where we spent the last night. This was so that the crew could get the boat ready for the next lot of guests. So we spent 2 days in Split. We had already spent 4 days in Split prior to the cruise. We were very disappointed in the cruise. It was not as advertised and I would not recommend using this company or boat.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I thought the idea of benefiting local people was admirable and imagined that the islands would have small villages and very few people on them. Hvar is a metropolis , only there for the tourism. Everything there is based on tourism. The owners of the businesses are there to make money. We are not supporting the local people who live there year round. And that is the case throughout most of the islands.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Below average and overpriced. We did not get our money's worth. The trip was not as advertised and in fact was mostly misrepresented. The idea of a small boat and going to the islands is to get away from the large boats and the crowds. This trip followed the crowds. Every night we were rafted together with other boats. It would have been nice if we had been anchored off a small cove at night. We are there to relax not party.

Read the operator's response here:

Hello Rosalie. Thank you for your feedback which I will go through in stages. I am very sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your recent cruise in Croatia. There are some issues you raise with which I am concerned and I am waiting to hear back from the vessel in Croatia - However they are very busy at this time of year and are on another cruise so this can take a little time. I will take your points 1 by 1. The accommodations are very basic. The bed is small, up against the wall so one person has to crawl over the other. We have three levels of vessels, and comfort, premium and luxury. You booked a comfort vessel which are the smaller vessels. The AC in the cabins does not work very well and rarely works when in port as the engines aren't running. Consequently it's very hot at night and sleep was very difficult and uncomfortable. We were all exhausted in the morning. - The AC should work and I have raised this point with the ship, we will get back to you on this point. The food is below average and tasteless. We made sure to tell them before we booked that we have special diets. We spoke to the trip leader on board before we departed about our diet. You could buy gluten free food 50 ft from the ship along the quaiside. The first dinner they said they didn't have any gluten free food and would get it the next day. Very poor management. We are also vegan and were given tinned fruit on 2 occasions, until I complained and asked for fresh fruit. The crew were good but the chef lacked creativity. - We did inform the vessel about your diets. This should not have been an issue, and we have raised this with the vessel. Croatia has great food and it is usually one of the highlights of these cruises. The food in the restaurants ashore is great and the vessels usually do a great job. I am disappointed with your reports that the food was poor and we have followed this up with the ship. It is a key part of enjoying these cruises and shouldn't disappoint. The trip advertised that we would be visiting islands every day and led us to believe that we would be moored on the islands at night. In fact we spent the first and last night in Split where the trip started and another 2 nights on the mainland, so only 3 on islands. The final day we were brought back to Split at 1pm where we spent the last night. This was so that the crew could get the boat ready for the next lot of guests. So we spent 2 days in Split. We had already spent 4 days in Split prior to the cruise. We were very disappointed in the cruise. It was not as advertised and I would not recommend using this company or boat. - I am afraid I have to take issue with you on this. When you first inquired with us we pointed out that the trip as advertised on Responsible Travel wasn't available but that we had another similar cruise that was. We sent you a link to the trip and the itinerary before you booked, and we sent you a copy of the itinerary as part of your confirmation package. Most passengers don't spend 4 days in Split prior to the cruise and as Split is such a fantastic place the vessel returns on the Friday afternoon to allow passengers on a 1 week vacation to spend some time in Split. The vessel also spends the first and last night in Split to allow passengers with flights that arrive late on day 1 to join the vessel, and those with early flights on day 8 to be able to disembark at any time on that day. At night we were tied up to between 10 and 20 other boats. Sometimes they were party boats and the noise went on until midnight despite an 11pm curfew. The first night in Split, the noise continued until 2am. - There are a range of vessels which cruise the coast of Croatia, some of which are aimed at a party crowd. We don't promote the party vessels at all and they are usually moored in a different spot to the other vessels. Split is a lively city and like many Mediterranean cities, especially in summer when it is so warm in the evenings, the nightlife rarely stops early. Some of the small harbours are busy and have limited places for vessels to moor up so it is common to get some vessels mooring up together. I have been on many of these cruises myself, and it is true that the curfew isnít always strictly observed on all vessels, though I have never been kept awake. As I mentioned in my email to you last week if it does happen it can be difficult if the noise is emanating from another vessel with less responsible passengers. I thought the idea of benefiting local people was admirable and imagined that the islands would have small villages and very few people on them. Hvar is a metropolis , only there for the tourism. Everything there is based on tourism. The owners of the businesses are there to make money. We are not supporting the local people who live there year round. And that is the case throughout most of the islands. - Hvar is hardly a metropolis Ė it has a population of around 12000. And I refer you to the wording in out itinerary about Hvar Ė ďApart from its unique cultural heritage, Hvar is celebrated destination for singles and families, sailboats and super-yachts. With its sunny climate, natural beauty, excellent food, wine and sports on offer, Hvar has it all and thatís why it became so popularĒ. Restaurants, cafes etc are trying to make money, and in doing so they support the local population with employment and also buy buying their produce locally. To an extent that is an important part of Responsible Tourism. Most of the people on Hvar and many of the other smaller islands do live there all year round, as do the farmers and fishermen who are supported by the restaurants and cafes. 4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall? Below average and overpriced. We did not get our money's worth. The trip was not as advertised and in fact was mostly misrepresented. The idea of a small boat and going to the islands is to get away from the large boats and the crowds. This trip followed the crowds. Every night we were rafted together with other boats. It would have been nice if we had been anchored off a small cove at night. We are there to relax not party. I will get back to you about the food and the air-conditioning when I have heard back from the vessel as I mentioned above. I am sorry you felt that the trip wasnít suitable for you. The trip was run exactly as per the itinerary we sent you before you booked so I donít think we misrepresented anything at all. The trip does visit places where large vessels donít, and canít visit. Croatia is very popular, and rightly so, but I guess it isnít for everyone. Powell Ettinger. MD

review 18 Oct 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The sailing trip on a wonderful ship and high service from the crew.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Join the guided tours included and use the pick-up service arriving to the airport and back again.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The locals benefitted, but the ship was a traditional motor ship without sails to reduce the environmental impact and did NOT use any conservation or recycling.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A great trip in a wonderful area.

Read the operator's response here:

Hello Karsten. That you for your kind words about your recent trip to Croatia, I am glad you felt it was a great trip. I would just like to reassure you that everything that could be recycled was recycled. In fact by law in Croatia there is a financial reward for recycling plastic and glass and other materials, and there is also a financial reward for recycling - They use the system whereby there is an extra fee on each item, and that gets refunded when the item is recycled. That is one reason why the seas are so clean in Croatia. The Captain and crew of the vessel are local Croatians, and they are very aware that their livelihood depends on the local environment, and they are very careful to look after their environment as best they can.

review 9 Sep 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The wonderful destinations that we visited - especially Korchova and Optajia. The crew on board the Black Swan and the wonderful co-travelers

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Definitely book it! Maybe skip Split if you are not keen on massive tourist destinations and spend more time in the smaller ports

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I feel that we benefited local people by boosting their economy - as this is what they shared with us. However, I would like to suggest that on board the boat, instead of daily bottles of water for each passenger, we are given one bottle at the start and then have the ability to fill up from large water coolers which could be installed on the boats

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

absolutely wonderful!! :)

Read the operator's response here:

There is an ongoing review in Croatia about how water is provided. Water-coolers have been tried but proved problematic as they can be unstable when the vessel is in motion, especially if the sea isnít flat. Additionally there is little water available on some islands so there it isnít possible to collect water locally from the system.

review 15 Aug 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The heat! (Only kidding). The whole experience was fantastic. The places we visited (mostly). The cooling sea swims, great food, and the people we met. We loved Korcula! Mljet, and Hvar, in that order, although Dubrovnik and Split are spectacular.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Try to avoid the peak times. Dubrovnik and Split are beautiful, but crowded in August - not such fun when it's stinking hot... We will go back, but during an off-peak period. Take the tours, as they are fun, and interesting. Don't expect sandy beaches. Makarska is a "traditional" vacation town. Lots of cheap "tat" for sale in the market and the beaches were rammed. If there's a big queue for the cable car in Dubrovnik, get a taxi instead. Its a must see, and do it at sunset.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Clearly tourism provides economic benefits to local people, in terms of employment. Does cruising reduce environmental impacts? I guess it does, given that those people could be in cars. Not sure how else though?

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Really good! 1st cruise. They were efficient. With the exception of one impolite member of the Esperanza crew, everyone on board was pleasant and engaging. On board catering was exceptional. The whole vacation was well managed from start to finish.

review 11 Jul 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We are a couple in our 40s and travelled on the Olimp from Dubrovnik to Split. I can't recommend this journey highly enough - the ship is luxurious, the crew thoroughly professional and friendly and the rep (Antonio) could not have been more accommodating. We met an incredible, lively and fun group of fellow travelers from the UK, South Africa, Norway, Australia and New Zealand - which made our time on board an absolute pleasure. We loved the daily swim stops, the food and drink on board and the chance to explore each port in the evenings. Cabins were more spacious than we had imagined (we were on the lower deck) and there was plenty of outdoor and indoor public space on board so the ship never felt crowded, despite being pretty much at capacity.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Keep an eye on your bar expenditure as we were a little surprised at how quickly this mounted up despite not having many drinks on board!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - the cruise is designed to let you explore most ports of call independently in the evenings, which means you're spending money directly in the local community. We were a little surprised at the end of the cruise to be told by a fellow passenger that waste water (effluent) is pumped directly into the sea and just hope that's not true...

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent

Read the operator's response here:

Waste water is not pumped directly into the sea. The waters around Croatia are amongst the cleanest in the Mediterranean, there is barely any rubbish in the sea at all. The ships we use in Croatia are usually owned by the captains of the vessels, and they understand very well that their livelihood depends on the coast of Croatia remaining as pristine as possible. All rubbish and waste from the ships is taken back to port and disposed of according to very strict regulations.

review 14 Oct 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The day when the seas were rough and the ship was really rocking. That was very memorable.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't bother getting a balcony room. It's quite expensive and it is very easy to go out on one of the decks rather than sitting on the balcony. The view is better too.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, we ate many meals in the local locations due to the fact that most dinners were not offered on the ship. We also did things like wine tasting, eating a local Croatian meal in a local setting, etc. We also were tipping the local Croatian people who provided services to us. As to the last two items, I didn't particularly notice any effects there.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was a very interesting experience with fellow shipmates from around the world and beautiful Croatian scenery.

review 8 Sep 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visiting islands of HVAR, Korcula, and Dubrovnik. Excellent service on the ship and being with great, friendly group of interesting people from Australia, NZ, US and Argentina.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Travelers should like swimming. There are 3 days out of 7, when ship is stationary out in the sea for 4 hours, dedicated to swimming. We would have preferred to spend a longer time on islands as we usually docked at ports around 5 PM and it was getting dark about 7.30 PM.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It definitely benefited local people economically Some of the places were so overcrowded esp. Dubrovnik that impact on environment is negative.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very good, enjoyable.

review 2 Sep 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visiting the islands of Croatia was the highlight of the trip as was the many swimming stops along the way.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you take reef shoes as the beaches consist of pebbles not sand.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Dinner in the evening was always on shore which meant that the local communities benefited.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

An excellent vacation overall. The cruise manager and crew were fantastic and helpful.

review 1 Jul 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The people on the trip - very diverse, the tour leader, the staff on the boat and of course the great sites we were able to visit. The local guide in Korcula was terrific!!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Go when the water is warmer! It was still cold to swim at the end of June.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

While it did support one village and we did have local guides I donít think it supported the Croatian locals THAT much. I still think that there is room for improvement. I was incredibly disappointed with the amount of plastic that was used from the 500ml bottle of water (you could drink 1L in total a day - so 2 bottles per person per day mimimum) to wrapping of food, to the plastic wrapped toiletries and so much more. The amount of plastic waste in my opinion was shocking and therefore did not meet what I would think that a company supporting conservation and reducing the environmental impact on our earth would support.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

The holdiay and staff and boat were incredible but I do believe that there could be a reduced impact of waste on the enviroment.

Read the operator's response here:

Carrying water in bottles was an answer to another problem, that of lack of water on the islands of Croatia's Adriatic coast. Everyone is aware it is not an ideal solution and alternatives are being looked at - In fact I am traveling to Croatia this weekend and the use of water bottles will certainly be part of the discussions for next year. The bottles are carefully and properly disposed of but it would be better if they weren't used in the first place. The economic benefit to the islands of these cruises is considerable but they don't have the resources on the islands serve all of the visitors that they would like. The vessels themselves provide a solution to the lack of accommodation (only prevalent from May - September) and they are trying to avoid exacerbating the lack of water.

review 27 May 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

I liked it all especially Hvar.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

You need to have good mobility.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Benefits local people - yes. Should us paper straws when serving drinks on board ship to keep the plastic waste down and support conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent vacation for meeting people, relaxing and a good way to see the islands.

review 12 Sep 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Lots of interesting places and the possibility of swim stops in crystal clear water and of bike tours on some of the islands

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take shower gel as no soap is provided in the shower (there is a single dispenser near the wash basin) and a good guide book to fully appreciate what you see (our guide was not very helpful and often gave misleading information); be flexible about the organization and the timetable.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The boat is owned and managed by local people and the dinner are mostly eaten in local restaurant, by the way not cheap at all; as to the environment I have much perplexity especially about plastic bottles: the water is not included and has to be bought on the boat in small bottles, which means a huge amount of plastic. I would suggest a big water container to be refilled in personal bottles with a fixed fee included in the price of the tour.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Pleasant, ideal to relax

Read the operator's response here:

There is an ongoing review in Croatia about how water is provided. Water-coolers have been tried but proved problematic as they can be unstable when the vessel is in motion, especially if the sea isnít flat. Additionally there is little water available on some islands so there it isnít possible to collect water locally from the system.

review 9 Sep 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visiting the Blue Cave.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you have plenty of local currency as most restaurants etc only take cash. Even the bar bill on the boat has to be in cash. Also take some reading material as there are quite a few hours motoring on the boat where not much is going on.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Local people certainly benefitted from our custom at each port of call. There are lots of family-owned businesses and they are always very friendly and welcoming. Regarding environmental impacts: it is difficult not to have a heavy impact when such large numbers of tourists are visiting a small place. We were glad to be on a small boat, but there are dozens of such boats following the same itinerary.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was a beautiful area to visit and everything was comfortable and well organised. But the huge crowds everywhere rather spoilt it for me.

review 6 Aug 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We loved the swim stops in the crystal clear, warm yet refreshing water. Food was amazing, guides were excellent. Overall the cruise far exceeded our expectations.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

No need to pack a lot if traveling in the summer months.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Learned a lot about Croatian culture and passion of their people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Five stars! By far one of our best vacations ever.

review 13 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

1. The local Croatian people (crew, guides, restaurant/shop staff, etc.) were fantastic - so friendly, helpful and spoke such good English. To mark one crew member out, Tomy was a great hit with everyone, funny and with just the right level of familiarity. 2. We enjoyed having time in places like Korcula and Hvar to explore the town, both with a guided tour and then on our own. It is nice to have a few meals ashore, too, which we always find interesting. We have noticed that other tours cram the two islands into one day, which would be a pity. 3. It was a good idea to have a Farewell Party on our last evening on the boat, with excellent live music (father and daughter duo) - it was a lively and hilarious evening for everyone! There should have been a free first drink with the meal, though, as with all other meals.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Go and enjoy it but be aware that Croatia is an expensive country, particularly now that the pound is so weak. However, the majority of the meals (3 courses and excellent) are provided on the ship and you can have cheap(ish) meals ashore on the few occasions they are not provided, if you don't want to spend money on restaurants. Guided tours, cable car in Dubrovnik, entry to Mljet Nat. Park are all included, too, so there aren't many extra costs.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Tourism helps provide a lot of employment. Impact on environment and conservation uncertain. The entry fees for our visits to, e.g., Mljet Nat. Park would go towards their conservation work.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Apart from there being no transfer to meet us at the airport, causing us to have to make numerous phone calls and wait over an hour for someone to eventually turn up, everything went very well, although tour manager should have been more organised, proactive and helpful. Without these factors, we would have awarded 5 stars. The ship was well equipped and comfortable, the food was excellent and the crew were superb. We also had a very pleasant group of co-passengers, from a variety of countries.

review 5 Sep 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visiting different ports each day. As the ship is quite small you berth right in the center of the town or city and just walk straight off the ship into the main harbour areas. It was like having your own private yacht! There were many opportunities for swimming off the ship along the way too which was also great fun.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

You need to be pretty mobile as you often tie up next to other ships and have to 'jump' across from one ship to another to get to the quay or back to your ship. There is always someone around to help you though if you're unsure.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

As you're in port each night, you visit the local restaurants rather than eating on the ship, so it was nice to be able to eat with locals and contribute to the local economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fantastic - would recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing but interesting vacation

review 25 Jul 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

On boarding our ship, MV Spalato, we met a fantastic group of guests, all of whom were around our age, late 40's. Arriving at beautiful, small towns and villages each day was lovely. We really enjoyed the swim breaks from the boat. The food on board was delicious. The Chef used local produce and all the meals were freshly prepared.Our guide,Matija was friendly, helpful, very informative and full of local knowledge. He is very passionate about Croatia and this really shines through. Neno, the catering manager, ran the bar and restaurant with good humour, was extremely professional and nothing was too much trouble.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Check the age of the group when you book. It is not always possible to find out but if you want a relaxing cruise with like minded folk, check that you are not on a 'party boat'. We were advised that the boats are very casual and there is no need to take smart clothes. The evenings ashore merited casual wear too.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, on one sail break the Captain spotted a fisherman on his little boat nearby and took the dinghy out to buy some fish from him. Produce was sourced locally as was the wine and beer. Plastic water bottles were recycled. Guests were given info every day about local excursions thus helping the small villages we visited. We all agreed that the environmental impact of sailing in a small ship was far more reduced than that of the huge cruise liners. Silence on board was from midnight so there was no noise impact on the local homes near the docks we moored at.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

We had no idea what to expect of our first group vacation. It was excellent!! The boat was superb and we wanted for nothing. Our days were spent on the sun deck watching the beautiful coastline float by. We would not hesitate to recommend this vacation to our friends. Thank you Captain, Crew and Matija.

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