This cruise was part of a stay & cruise on Marella Celebration departing from Dubrovnik. This was our second cruise on the Celebration this year, the first was a repositioning cruise from the Caribbean in April, on that Cruise the meals in the Meridian Restaurant were terrible the worst we have ever encountered on a Marella (Thomson) cruise, and the most complaints and returned food we have ever seen on a cruise. We were not looking forward to another weeks cruise with food which had been totally destroyed, but we should not have worried the standard of food and service in the Meridian Restaurant were back to normal, 100% better than in April.
Our cruise was Adriatic Affair from Dubrovnik on 24 October 2019. The first port was Hvar Croatia (a tender port) it is a lovely old town with beautiful buildings and has relatively flat but uneven walking areas, also the town centre area is car free making it easy to explore.
The second port was Ancona Italy, there it is an industrial area with a ship building/repair yard to the left of the cruise port area, this contrasts with the Greek and Roman buildings of the town which can be easily accessed from the cruise terminal on foot, there are many older buildings to visit and plenty of pavement cafes to rest your feet.
The third port was Koper Slovenia, Koper a medieval town is set on a horseshoe shaped bay with lots of historical sights. One thing to try on your visit is their wine, especially the desert wines they are delicious.
Until now the weather had been un-seasonally warm in the lower to mid 20's, but that was to change on our fourth port of Venice. Our approach to the cruise port in Venice was delayed until 12.30 due to a heavy mist, which resulted in all trips to be cancelled, and the walk from the ship through the terminal to gain access to the city was considerable and resulted in many cruisers staying onboard. I felt very sorry for the cruisers who had picked this cruise especially to have a clear view cruise through Venice up to the cruise port, spoilt by a mist haze, then being unable to take their booked trips. As by next year Venice is stopping cruise ships of any size from sailing up through Venice past St Mark's Square to the cruise port.
Our fifth port was Rijeka Croatia with a colder temperature of 16-18C, Rijeka is a working port, but there is plenty to see in the traffic free streets of the Korzo district as you seek out a pavement café to do a bit of people watching.
The last port was Split Croatia, Split is one of my favourite ports being easily reached by foot from the cruise terminal, it is also flat with very good walking areas, especially along the sea front where there are many cafes to sit and people watch. A must is to try some authentic Croatian cooked food, a starter of bean soup and the main course from under the Bell, it is usually a mixture of beef, chicken and potatoes cooked in a large round metal casserole dish covered by a metal dome, it is placed on glowing embers of a wood fire then the dome is also covered in embers and allowed to cook slowly until the meat is soft and tender, it then placed on the table to help your self.
The Celebration though an older ship is kept very clean with hand sanitizers placed at the door ways to all eating areas and bars to assist in the prevention of norovirus.
All the ships staff encountered were pleasant and eager to help make your cruise a memorable one for the best reasons.
Two staff who stood above the rest, firstly was Wilbur our cabin steward deck 6 who kept our cabin spick and span despite our efforts to make it otherwise, Wilbur always met you with a smile and showed interest in how you were, and where you were going and what you had done the day before. The second was waiter Gemmar in Hemingways, he always remembered your drink and cabin No, every drink was quickly served with a smile, he also showed interest in your day and would make time to exchange pleasantries. The efforts of these two staff made all the difference to our cruise to make it a pleasurable memorable one, as you were not just a number but a person to whom they could help and assist.
A very good cabin being on deck 6 is close to all entertainment venues.
The only draw backs are it is at the very front of the ship and can be subject to noise when docking, and be a little bouncy if the sea is rough.
A good excursion should you wish to try some local wines.
Wine tasting excursion taken to investigate the different wines from different countries.
A visit to a salt museum to see how salt is made from sea water, by using the sun to evaporate the water. Then on to a wine cellar to taste some local wines.
The Best of Split, starts with a visit to the old town, then a coach ride along the coast to Omis on the Centina River where you climb aboard a small boat for a cruise through the canyon to the Radmanove Restaurant for a Croatian lunch which is cooked under the bell.View All 5 Culinary Tour Reviews