So for the past week I have been M.I.A mostly because I was having too much fun onboard Sail Croatia! (the other reason is because I was more than likely a little hungover)
I booked in to do the Navigator Cruise, a fun party tour that takes you around all the Croatian Islands including Hvar, Makarska, Korcula and Dubrovnick. I was on the Split Return (South) trip.
We set sail last Saturday and as I boarded the boat ‘Mlini’ I thought to myself
‘You have got to be joking! They want me to skip and hop across HOW many boats with my luggage to get to my vessel!’
It was truly an enlightening experience for me. So as I struggled and dragged my suitcase across 4 boats I finally got to mine. It probably didn’t help that Split nightlife had also got the better of me the night before and had zero sleep.
I met my cabin buddy Kate, also a female solo traveler in her 30s! Praise the lord I had found a likeminded similar aged person to share extremely close quarters with for the next 7 days.
We settled in and went upstairs to meet the rest of our fellow travellers and what a bunch of beautiful people they are. Mostly Australians (no surprises there) with a couple of Canadians (for good measure) some Brits (to try and keep up with the Aussies) and a lovely Irish girl!
We were welcomed onboard by our representative Ivan who then introduced us to the crew, Captain Dennis, boat owner Antonio, chef Fadjula and waiter Tom.
The boat also came with free wifi which worked intermittently but also helped to connect to the outside world.
DAY 1 HVAR Saturday
We left the port of Split and headed towards the island of Hvar. I was terribly sick from the night before so I took a nap like any good 32 yr old should. At the front of the boat the others got to see a dolphin that was swimming alongside us. Upon arrival in Hvar, I missed the first water taxi that took us over to the port. Oops. But luckily so did my roomie Kate and the 2 Canadians Rory and Brett. So we commandeered another water taxi that took us across to meet the others. We hiked up to the top of a mountain and got to see an amazing good view of Hvar. I would’ve enjoyed it more however I was still extremely ill, guys DON’T DRINK the night before a sailing trip…..TRUST ME!
I felt like I was dying as we made our way down the hill and we all grabbed dinner in a local restaurant and then went out for drinks, I’m surprised I lasted so long!
Kate and I were staying in a lower deck ensuite cabin and were woken up at 5am to the abrupt sound of the engine humming away taking us to our next destination. I actually kind of found it soothing! Like really intense white noise.
DAY 2 – 1 BEFORE 10 – KORCULA Sunday
So when you travel with an eclectic mix of 20 something to 30 something year olds – you’re going to expect to drink. Enter 1 before 10, the fun rule that states one must drink 1 alcoholic beverage before 10am or have to drink 10 before 1pm. I think I lasted about 3 days until I figured out I can just hide in my cabin until the others had forgotten about it. Haha.
As the music flowed from the top deck of the boat we stopped for swimming enroute to our destination and of course I jumped on a pink inflatable flamingo as soon as I could with drink in hand.
Every day Fadjula would prepare us a lovely 3 course meal for lunch and I must say every meal without fail was delicious. All of the food had a very authentic and homemade quality to it. We had salads, pasta, soup, meatballs, chicken and an array of Croatian dishes.
We arrived in Korcula where they was an option for a Kayaking trip. I know my limits. I know my arms. I know my attention span. So I knew this wasn’t for me. Most of the group went off on their kayaking adventure whilst 4 of us hung back and decided to go and check out the town.
John, Jack, Kate and myself ventured out and found the most AMAZING small beach just outside the main town. The hues of blue and green set my soul on fire! The pure beauty of this place was incredible and I just couldn’t wait to get in the water. After a short swim and some photos we head back to meet all the others and hear about their Kayaking trip. Suffice to say they would’ve preferred they came with us as the Kayaking activity went for a little too long and wasn’t really the relaxing tour they thought it would be. Beach and wine, thats the only activity I’ll sign up for!
Ivan, our representative then took us on a short tour of the town before heading up to a rooftop restaurant where they served a set menu however I just opted for a Greek Salad, which I coped a lot of flack for! Dinners at restaurants average around 100 – 120 kuna per night ($26AUD) including a couple of glasses of wine which is not inclusive to the boat trip.
After dinner we head back to the boat for some pre drinks and card games, Tom our waiter was awesome and kept our drinks flowing. Every time someone rang the bell that meant they shouted everyone a shot. That bell rang alot!!!!
We went out to another local bar that evening and partied with all the other cruises that were about town as well. As it was September there weren’t as many people around but I kind of actually preferred it because it wasn’t so intense but still a fun time.
DAY 3 DUBROVNIK Monday
We cruised into the port of Dubrovnik and docked there for the next 2 days. Kate and I went off to explore and ended up at the nearby beach Copacabana. We caught an Uber there for only $6. Ubers are really cheap and also safe in Croatia. We ordered a couple of glasses of Prosecco and enjoyed the afternoon vibes.
We all met for dinner at a local restaurant at the port. I had an uncooked mussel in my serving (literally clear as day) but the waitstaff didn’t seem to care. Haha. When I informed the waitress she simply told me to put it ‘over there’ and pointed to where the other mussels shells were collected. Bemused I followed her instructions and made sure I checked every mussel before I ate it!
After we head back to the boat for another round of drinking games before getting ready to head out to Sky Bar. Sky Bar is a tourist bar with really good music and well priced drinks (and buckets) although I only stuck to drinking wine out of a straw!
Stumbling through the streets at 3am looking for a bakery we finally found one, when I asked for ketchup with my spinach pie the lady screamed at me NO KETCHUP! I didn’t order ketchup again.
DAY 4 DUBROVNIK Tuesday
Woke up Tuesday morning to sneak out of my cabin with Kate to avoid doing our 1 before 10am shot and we grabbed breakfast at the local mall. After a spot of shopping we went to meet the others to go and ride dune buggies atop a mountain in Dubrovnik.
Upon arrival we were giving hairnets, helmets and face masks to stop the dust from going everywhere. After a quick safety briefing we jumped in our 250CC dune buggies and set off along the rocky road. I drove for the first half of the ride and Kate the second. I personally think the dune buggies could of gone a little faster with us only hitting a top speed of 30Km/h but hey safety comes first! We saw an amazing view of Dubrovnik high atop the mountain and took some pretty good photos.
Kate and I then went and got a massage at a local Thai place for around $80 AUD for the hour. It was well priced for the service we received.
After we all met up for a quick bite to eat and then went to Club Revelin, as to was a Tuesday night with no specific event on we all got in for free. Some of the guys opted to go into VIP whereas Kate and I just hung out near the front close to the DJ. Mostly tourists and other sail boat cruise travellers in there, I think it would be an awesome venue to see a favourite DJ play at!
DAY 5 MLJET Wednesday
We sailed up to one of the most beautiful national parks I have ever seen in Mljet. Everyone opted
to stay on the boat except Kate, Cherie and I and we went off to explore. We walked about 1.5km to get to the entrance of the park which cost around $27AUD for entry. Beautiful landscapes consisting of lush greenery and the bluest water I have ever seen made for an incredible sightseeing day. We jumped on board another small boat which took us over to St Marys Island which is home to a monastery. After checking it out in only 20 minutes we head back to the main part of the national park, took a quick dip and then went back to meet the others on the boat.
We had a chill night this evening and had a BBQ on board. It was delicious and probably one of my favourite meals.
DAY 6 MAKARSKA Thursday
TONIGHT WAS THE NIGHT. The night of the Pirate & Sailors Party! We pulled up to port and were escorted by Ivan over to the pirate party shop where we could get supplies for the celebrations later that evening.
Kate and I got ours and then went on an unsuccessful mission to find a place to get our nails done which didn’t end up happening. However we did get a much needed nana nap in before it all got crazy again. Our ships owner Antonio shouted us all dinner that night which was a beautiful Pasta Carbonara.
It was our last big party night so everyone got dressed up and we had another round of pre drinks on the boat. The cave club where the party was held was just a few metres away from the port so we stumbled over and continued partying into the night. The club was a little smaller than expected however it had a good vibe and everyone had a good time.
DAY 7 Arrival back to SPLIT Friday
The end was near and we arrived back into the port of Split after a quick swimming stop in the morning, We had another day to ourselves so Kate and I went and got mini facials at Dermologica and finally got our nails done, although mine turned out terribly!
We all met up for dinner one last time at a restaurant on the foreshore of Split’s port and celebrated the last 7 days that we have had together, it was also John’s birthday so we sang and got him a really tiny piece of cake.
Overall my favourite thing about this sailing trip would definitely have to be the people I met. I was so lucky to be put on the cruise I was assigned to, a really fun and caring and loving bunch of people!! I couldn’t of asked for anything more.
Now off to SANTORINI! Where I will be reviewing all my favourite places to eat, see and stay!