Croatia Cruisin’

“Do you just throw a dart at a map to decide where to travel next?” inquired my sister after hearing I had just booked my summer holiday trip to Croatia.

“Well…” I mulled it over for a moment and replied, “Actually yes, I suppose that would be about right.”

That was a frequent comment I heard every time I mentioned a new travel destination.  The truth is: I want to go anywhere and everywhere in the world.  The majority of my travels begin with a casual thought, whether influenced by something I had heard or read, “I would love to love to go to place XYZ.”  And then almost simultaneously I think, “Well, why don’t I?”

It was following a weekend in Bermudathat Natalya and I were longing for another warm island destination.  Since we had returned to the corporate world a year ago, we had yet to take an extended holiday.  In 2007, we had spent 3 weeks island-hopping around Greece and were contemplating doing something similar.  Croatia was mentioned and within 24 hours, we had booked a Croatia Island Cruising tour via Contiki.

I had traveled with Contiki in Australiain 2009 and it was an amazing and memorable experience.  Contiki is a tour company that plans vacations for travelers 18-35 years of age, which essentially translates to a raucous traveling fraternity party fueled by the constant flow of booze of the travelers.  The best part of this kind of tour group is meeting new people who all share the same passion for traveling (and booze) as you do and basking in the experience together.

The Croatian Island Cruising tour was a week long cruise on the Adriatic Sea with visits to picturesque islands and historic walled towns along the Dalmatian Coastline.  Our boat Cicero carried 28 passengers, plus our Contiki rep Jen and the 5-man crew.  We started and ended the tour in Split, after which Natalya and I spent an extra day at a resort in Split for some serious rest and relaxation (a much needed vacation from a vacation) before reluctantly heading back home to NYC.

Day 1: Arrival in Split
Drinks withsome Contiki tourmates at the hotel, dinner in city centre, alley bar hopping, Carl Cox’s “Discotheque Riva” party

Day 2: Hvar
Morning wander through Diocletian’s Palace, meeting our Contiki group aboard  Cicero, swim stop near Brač island, docked at Hvar for the night, climb to Hvar’s fortress, first Contiki party at Caffe Sidero

Day 3: Korčula
Sunbathing on deck, swim stop in Korčula harbor, explore Korčula Town, group dinner at Cazenezzo Pizza, watching sunset from Massimo Bar, drinks at Dos Locos

Day 4: Dubrovnik
Chillaxing on deck, swim stop, Dubrovnik Old City, walking the city walls, sea kayaking the Adriatic Sea, Lokrum Island cliff jumping, bar crawl along the Stradun

Day 5: Montenegro

Day 6: Trstenik

Day 7: Makarska

Day 8: Return to Split

Day 9: Le Méridien Lav

**Special Post: Croatian Cuisine
From my food blog, check out the local cuisine and seafood specialties we tasted during our trip!

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