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Heyjude555

Croatia, Slolvenia, Montenegro

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Looking at a 14 day land/sea cruise through "Unforgettable Croatia" on a small vessel, MS Mama Marija, which holds only 30 people.  Has anyone used this cruise line before? It is a new ship that was built in 2019 and can access some of the smaller ports throughout Croatia and Slovenia. Also looking for reviews from travelers that have visited some of the ports in this area. (Ljubljana, Bled, Opatija, Plitvice, Split, Trogir, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Montenegro).

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No idea about the cruise line. I have visited some of those cities, though not on a cruise. Ljubljana, Split, Dubrovnik all very nice small cities. Montenegro is a country, not a city, so the specific port will be important here...more detail is needed.

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On 1/11/2019 at 8:26 AM, Piratical said:
5 minutes ago, Zach1213 said:

No idea about the cruise line. I have visited some of those cities, though not on a cruise. Ljubljana, Split, Dubrovnik all very nice small cities. Montenegro is a country, not a city, so the specific port will be important here...more detail is needed.

 

6 minutes ago, Zach1213 said:

No idea about the cruise line. I have visited some of those cities, though not on a cruise. Ljubljana, Split, Dubrovnik all very nice small cities. Montenegro is a country, not a city, so the specific port will be important here...more detail is needed.

Sorry, this region is new to us and am just starting to learn the area.  I believe the port in Montenegro is Kotor. What time of the year did you visit the ports you mentioned above and how long ago were you there?  Thanks for your response!

 

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Have not been to Kotor, but the other parts of Montenegro I have been to are wonderful...probably my favorite part of the region.

 

Ljubljana I have been to a few times, ranging from 15 to five years ago. All times of year. Dubrovnik and Split I have only been to once each, maybe about seven or eight years ago. I believe it was late winter, definitely not  peak tourist season, and it was lovely.

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Get up early and watch the sail-in into Kotor, it is stunningly beautiful! Watching the sunrise as we came in was an absolute delight. The sail-away was fantastic, as well, under different light.

 

 

 

 

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I've been in Split, Trogir, Hvar, Dubrovnik, and Montenegro.  All are wonderful small ports. We took a shore excursion one of our days in Dubrovnik, and also one in Hvar as it was very interesting to us.  All of these ports are small towns (Dubrovnik the largest) and there are things to do right in port without a shore excursion--old city walls, castles, churches, museums, etc.  Don't forget to have a meal--the local food is amazing.

 

If you need a sundry, there is a compact but quite modern grocery (think Tesco Metro) about a 5-10 minute walk along the outer walls of the city--when you get to the pier stay to the right and it will be up just past the marina on the left.  I'm not talking about the small newsstand, keep going a couple more minutes.  

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Are you sure you have your ports right? Ljubljana and Bled are quite far inland and while they have a river I'm not sure it is big enough for even a small cruise (unless it is a really small boat?😕). I have been to those destinations but only land based, so I can give you a quick run down of my opinion and hopefully it will be of some use.

 

Ljubljana is a small capital but has some really pretty architecture. There is fort you can go up that has a decent view of the city, you can pay for a cable car up or choose to walk up. I don't know if your cruise includes or has as optional but if so I would recommend a visit to the Postojna Caves. Bled is a tourist trap and very Americanised, to get to the famous view point it is an 18 Euro entrance fee. It is up to you if you think it is worth it, I personally regret paying it, the view from the lake edge is just as nice.

 

Opatija has a bit of a resort town vibe, but it is pretty and laid back and there is a nice seaside walk you can do though don't expect much medieval stuff it is quite modernised. Plitvice is another inland destination, I'm assuming you are stopping at Spilt to reach Plitvice? Plitvice is stunning and an absolute must to visit but it is extremely crowded unless you are there at the time of opening (and I was visiting in a shoulder season) but I would assume your guide will help navigate the crowds. The park is split into two areas the upper falls and lower falls, there is a courtesy bus that can take you between the two areas but again I would assume your guide will have this all sorted. The lower falls I would say are more dramatic of the two if you only have time to visit one part (it took us all day to see the whole park). Split is very much a harbour town (a lot of the ferries to the islands depart from here) and is busy all the time. The Roman buildings are really popular, we chose not to go inside so I can't tell you if it is any good.

 

Trogir is tiny but it is has all the small winding coblestone lanes you expect of a medieval town. The town itself is set on an island and try to taste some Trogir rafioli, they are quite nice. Hvar and Korcula are stunning islands. Hvar is more drier and desert like than Korcula and Korcula also has some dramatic cliffs. Hvar does attract the party crowd and has a lot of bars and some nightclubs. Hvar is also very expensive, if you are looking for souviners they will cost double here than on the mainland. Korcula is more laid back and historical. Korcula town is small and there is a tower everyone climbs but the staircase is very narrow.

 

Dubrovnik seems to depend on your luck. I have read people who hated it because it was so crowded, I somehow managed a visit avoiding the crowds so I liked the city and personally enjoyed the wall walk, which I have also read some people don't like. There is also a view point on the hill behind the city. From what I understand there is a cable car that can take you up there.

The last one Kotor is probably my favourite of the destinations. The city itself is tiny and not that particularly interesting but the bay is stunning and if you can do the climb to the fort ruins, it is absolutely worth it, the view is amazing. But I have to warn it will be hot and sunny on the cliff face by the time your cruise docks (we did it at the crack of dawn and by the time we came down the sun was hitting the rocks and it was baking) also you will need coins for the entry fee. I don't know if your cruise offers a tour to Njegusi but if so, that is a must do (you can even do it istead of the fortress). Kotor Serpantine has the best views you will ever see and once you get to Njegusi they make the best slow cooked lamb you will ever have.

 

Sorry for the long reply, seems I had more to say then I thought😋. Anyway I do hope this informations helps is some way but either way the Balkans are an amazing place to visit so I don't think you can wrong with whatever choice you make.

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Thank you very much for your response.  All this information is very helpful for first-time visitors to that area.

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6 minutes ago, ilikeanswers said:

Are you sure you have your ports right? Ljubljana and Bled are quite far inland and while they have a river I'm not sure it is big enough for even a small cruise (unless it is a really small boat?😕). I have been to those destinations but only land based, so I can give you a quick run down of my opinion and hopefully it will be of some use.

 

Ljubljana is a small capital but has some really pretty architecture. There is fort you can go up that has a decent view of the city, you can pay for a cable car up or choose to walk up. I don't know if your cruise includes or has as optional but if so I would recommend a visit to the Postojna Caves. Bled is a tourist trap and very Americanised, to get to the famous view point it is an 18 Euro entrance fee. It is up to you if you think it is worth it, I personally regret paying it, the view from the lake edge is just as nice.

 

Opatija has a bit of a resort town vibe, but it is pretty and laid back and there is a nice seaside walk you can do though don't expect much medieval stuff it is quite modernised. Plitvice is another inland destination, I'm assuming you are stopping at Spilt to reach Plitvice? Plitvice is stunning and an absolute must to visit but it is extremely crowded unless you are there at the time of opening (and I was visiting in a shoulder season) but I would assume your guide will help navigate the crowds. The park is split into two areas the upper falls and lower falls, there is a courtesy bus that can take you between the two areas but again I would assume your guide will have this all sorted. The lower falls I would say are more dramatic of the two if you only have time to visit one part (it took us all day to see the whole park). Split is very much a harbour town (a lot of the ferries to the islands depart from here) and is busy all the time. The Roman buildings are really popular, we chose not to go inside so I can't tell you if it is any good.

 

Trogir is tiny but it is has all the small winding coblestone lanes you expect of a medieval town. The town itself is set on an island and try to taste some Trogir rafioli, they are quite nice. Hvar and Korcula are stunning islands. Hvar is more drier and desert like than Korcula and Korcula also has some dramatic cliffs. Hvar does attract the party crowd and has a lot of bars and some nightclubs. Hvar is also very expensive, if you are looking for souviners they will cost double here than on the mainland. Korcula is more laid back and historical. Korcula town is small and there is a tower everyone climbs but the staircase is very narrow.

 

Dubrovnik seems to depend on your luck. I have read people who hated it because it was so crowded, I somehow managed a visit avoiding the crowds so I liked the city and personally enjoyed the wall walk, which I have also read some people don't like. There is also a view point on the hill behind the city. From what I understand there is a cable car that can take you up there.

The last one Kotor is probably my favourite of the destinations. The city itself is tiny and not that particularly interesting but the bay is stunning and if you can do the climb to the fort ruins, it is absolutely worth it, the view is amazing. But I have to warn it will be hot and sunny on the cliff face by the time your cruise docks (we did it at the crack of dawn and by the time we came down the sun was hitting the rocks and it was baking) also you will need coins for the entry fee. I don't know if your cruise offers a tour to Njegusi but if so, that is a must do (you can even do it istead of the fortress). Kotor Serpantine has the best views you will ever see and once you get to Njegusi they make the best slow cooked lamb you will ever have.

 

Sorry for the long reply, seems I had more to say then I thought😋. Anyway I do hope this informations helps is some way but either way the Balkans are an amazing place to visit so I don't think you can wrong with whatever choice you make.

Thank you so much for your information.  It is very helpful and I appreciate your taking the time to help us learn from your experiences.

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9 minutes ago, ilikeanswers said:

Are you sure you have your ports right? Ljubljana and Bled are quite far inland and while they have a river I'm not sure it is big enough for even a small cruise (unless it is a really small boat?😕). I have been to those destinations but only land based, so I can give you a quick run down of my opinion and hopefully it will be of some use.

 

Ljubljana is a small capital but has some really pretty architecture. There is fort you can go up that has a decent view of the city, you can pay for a cable car up or choose to walk up. I don't know if your cruise includes or has as optional but if so I would recommend a visit to the Postojna Caves. Bled is a tourist trap and very Americanised, to get to the famous view point it is an 18 Euro entrance fee. It is up to you if you think it is worth it, I personally regret paying it, the view from the lake edge is just as nice.

 

Opatija has a bit of a resort town vibe, but it is pretty and laid back and there is a nice seaside walk you can do though don't expect much medieval stuff it is quite modernised. Plitvice is another inland destination, I'm assuming you are stopping at Spilt to reach Plitvice? Plitvice is stunning and an absolute must to visit but it is extremely crowded unless you are there at the time of opening (and I was visiting in a shoulder season) but I would assume your guide will help navigate the crowds. The park is split into two areas the upper falls and lower falls, there is a courtesy bus that can take you between the two areas but again I would assume your guide will have this all sorted. The lower falls I would say are more dramatic of the two if you only have time to visit one part (it took us all day to see the whole park). Split is very much a harbour town (a lot of the ferries to the islands depart from here) and is busy all the time. The Roman buildings are really popular, we chose not to go inside so I can't tell you if it is any good.

 

Trogir is tiny but it is has all the small winding coblestone lanes you expect of a medieval town. The town itself is set on an island and try to taste some Trogir rafioli, they are quite nice. Hvar and Korcula are stunning islands. Hvar is more drier and desert like than Korcula and Korcula also has some dramatic cliffs. Hvar does attract the party crowd and has a lot of bars and some nightclubs. Hvar is also very expensive, if you are looking for souviners they will cost double here than on the mainland. Korcula is more laid back and historical. Korcula town is small and there is a tower everyone climbs but the staircase is very narrow.

 

Dubrovnik seems to depend on your luck. I have read people who hated it because it was so crowded, I somehow managed a visit avoiding the crowds so I liked the city and personally enjoyed the wall walk, which I have also read some people don't like. There is also a view point on the hill behind the city. From what I understand there is a cable car that can take you up there.

The last one Kotor is probably my favourite of the destinations. The city itself is tiny and not that particularly interesting but the bay is stunning and if you can do the climb to the fort ruins, it is absolutely worth it, the view is amazing. But I have to warn it will be hot and sunny on the cliff face by the time your cruise docks (we did it at the crack of dawn and by the time we came down the sun was hitting the rocks and it was baking) also you will need coins for the entry fee. I don't know if your cruise offers a tour to Njegusi but if so, that is a must do (you can even do it istead of the fortress). Kotor Serpantine has the best views you will ever see and once you get to Njegusi they make the best slow cooked lamb you will ever have.

 

Sorry for the long reply, seems I had more to say then I thought😋. Anyway I do hope this informations helps is some way but either way the Balkans are an amazing place to visit so I don't think you can wrong with whatever choice you make.

Just reread your first paragraph, this is a cruise/land tour so we will be bused to some of these areas not near the ports.  Thanks again!

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2 minutes ago, Heyjude555 said:

Just reread your first paragraph, this is a cruise/land tour so we will be bused to some of these areas not near the ports.  Thanks again!

 

Well that makes more sense😃. If there is anything I wrote that needs clarifying or you want more info just ask away and I'll try my best to answer👍.

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2 hours ago, ilikeanswers said:

 

Well that makes more sense😃. If there is anything I wrote that needs clarifying or you want more info just ask away and I'll try my best to answer👍.

 

I, too, was wondering how the heck a cruise ship was going to get to Ljubljana!

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Just this past May we did a 2 week land tour of Croatia and Slovenia as part of a 3 week tour in the area. Tourism in Croatia has exploded in recent years and if you visit in May through September, be prepared for it to be really crowded.  I purposely picked a day in Dubrovnik that no cruise ships were in town and got to the wall-walk entrance when it opened in the morning so crowds weren't so bad). Still, it is an amazing city and taking the wall-walk is a must. Plitvice N.P. was mobbed by tourists our first day but since we spent the night there, we could access it first thing next morning without crowds. The place is magical. Trogir had a lot of day visitors but by evening they had cleared out. There are many ancient buildings from the Venetian period plus a lovely cathedral (St. Lawrence) and an old fort in Trogir, all within easy walking distance in the old city.  Slovenia, with the exception of Postojna Caves (gorgeous!) and Lake Bled ( also beautiful) seemed to remain mostly off the tourist crowd for now. Ljubljana is a clean airy city with lots of pedestrian walks and graceful bridges crossing their river.  We also liked the castle.  Slovenia's alpine areas rival Switzerland in my opinion.  We also were torn between visiting Kotor and the city of Mostar, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since we were driving, we chose Mostar with its easy access to Kravice Falls and the Whirling Dervish house, and the two days we spent here were incredible.

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11 hours ago, MamaFej said:

Get up early and watch the sail-in into Kotor, it is stunningly beautiful! Watching the sunrise as we came in was an absolute delight. The sail-away was fantastic, as well, under different light.

 

 

 

 

Thank you!

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15 hours ago, MamaFej said:

Get up early and watch the sail-in into Kotor, it is stunningly beautiful! Watching the sunrise as we came in was an absolute delight. The sail-away was fantastic, as well, under different light.

 

 

This! 

We toured a similar itinerary in a slightly larger (45 pax) ship. The Captain invited all of us up to the bridge for the trip in. He, the pilot and our tour directors provided a running commentary. Hopefully you will get a similar opportunity.

We overnighted in Kofor. Not a real hopping cityy for big time nightlife, but fun. The city walls are lit at night, so that was very nice.

Split was interesting to me. Read some hisrory to help understand who Diocletian was. It will increase your appreciation.

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Thank you for your input!  Can you tell me which cruise/land tour company you used for your trip to Croatia?  We are having difficulty finding anyone that has used the "Unforgettable Croatia" company using the MS Mama Marija vessel for the itinerary we are looking at. I'm hesitate to go with a cruise line we can't get any recent reviews on. We have gotten very valuable information from the feedback we get from experienced travelers on this site and rely on educated travelers to help us out!!

 

Thanks again!! 

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6 hours ago, CPT Trips said:

 

This! 

We toured a similar itinerary in a slightly larger (45 pax) ship. The Captain invited all of us up to the bridge for the trip in. He, the pilot and our tour directors provided a running commentary. Hopefully you will get a similar opportunity.

We overnighted in Kofor. Not a real hopping cityy for big time nightlife, but fun. The city walls are lit at night, so that was very nice.

Split was interesting to me. Read some hisrory to help understand who Diocletian was. It will increase your appreciation.

 

6 hours ago, CPT Trips said:

 

This! 

We toured a similar itinerary in a slightly larger (45 pax) ship. The Captain invited all of us up to the bridge for the trip in. He, the pilot and our tour directors provided a running commentary. Hopefully you will get a similar opportunity.

We overnighted in Kofor. Not a real hopping cityy for big time nightlife, but fun. The city walls are lit at night, so that was very nice.

Split was interesting to me. Read some hisrory to help understand who Diocletian was. It will increase your appreciation.

Thank you for your input!  Can you tell me which cruise/land tour company you used for your trip to Croatia?  We are having difficulty finding anyone that has used the "Unforgettable Croatia" company using the MS Mama Marija vessel for the itinerary we are looking at. I'm hesitate to go with a cruise line we can't get any recent reviews on. We have gotten very valuable information from the feedback we get from experienced travelers on this site and rely on educated travelers to help us out!!

 

Thanks again!! 

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Overseas Adventure Travel/ Grand Circle Cruise Line - it was an Athens to Zagreb itinerary. They also run an itinerary that is more Croatia. If you decide to book, I can provide a referral that will save you $100 per person (every drop in the bucket helps). Look at their last minute specials too.

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11 hours ago, Heyjude555 said:

Thank you for your input!  Can you tell me which cruise/land tour company you used for your trip to Croatia?  We are having difficulty finding anyone that has used the "Unforgettable Croatia" company using the MS Mama Marija vessel for the itinerary we are looking at. I'm hesitate to go with a cruise line we can't get any recent reviews on. We have gotten very valuable information from the feedback we get from experienced travelers on this site and rely on educated travelers to help us out!!

 

Thanks again!! 

 

TripAdvisor seems to have a few reviews of the ship :

Ms Mama Marija Croatia 

 

The thread is still active so you could post questions there or PM some of the users who left reviews. 

 

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Omg!!! Please tell me what cruiseline goes to these places. I have family in Ljubljana and went there when I was 13. I went to Lake Bled also. Along with other places when it was Yugoslavia. Such a beautiful beautiful place to visit and the people are so friendly. I never knew their was a cruise that had excursions to Ljubljana. You just made my day. Might I suggest Chevabchichi and Jota

as a dish you might like to try. Both are absolutely delicious.

 

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We did both Dubrovnik and Kotor on a cruise a couple of years ago, loved both walled cities ,  fun just to walk around we did a tour in Dubrovnik but did Kotor on our own , you tender in but tender takes you a very short walk from entrance to the city , really would love to visit both again. I know Dubrovnik had game of thrones tours with extras from the show that filmed lots of the scenes in the area. 

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11 hours ago, ladyt said:

Omg!!! Please tell me what cruiseline goes to these places. I have family in Ljubljana and went there when I was 13. I went to Lake Bled also. Along with other places when it was Yugoslavia. Such a beautiful beautiful place to visit and the people are so friendly. I never knew their was a cruise that had excursions to Ljubljana. You just made my day. Might I suggest Chevabchichi and Jota

as a dish you might like to try. Both are absolutely delicious.

 

We are doing a 14 night Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia Land/Sea Cruise through Unforgettable Croatia Company.  The first part of the tour is via land which is when we visit Ljubljana and surrounding area.  We get on a small cruise ship (only hold 38 people) in Split and cruise to Dubrovnik making several stops along the way.  Thanks for the food suggestions.

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My favorite area of the Balkans. We have done several tours there but only with bigger ships. Enjoy!

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On 8/16/2019 at 9:16 AM, George C said:

We did both Dubrovnik and Kotor on a cruise a couple of years ago, loved both walled cities ,  fun just to walk around we did a tour in Dubrovnik but did Kotor on our own , you tender in but tender takes you a very short walk from entrance to the city , really would love to visit both again. I know Dubrovnik had game of thrones tours with extras from the show that filmed lots of the scenes in the area. 

 One of the major benefits of a small ship is that you dock everywhere in the Adriatic and most other locations. Also, grand circle has it’s own guides aboard, so there’s always someone who knows the area. 

We overnighted in both Dubrovnik and Kotor. Great to see at night without crowds!

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1 hour ago, CPT Trips said:

 One of the major benefits of a small ship is that you dock everywhere in the Adriatic and most other locations. Also, grand circle has it’s own guides aboard, so there’s always someone who knows the area. 

We overnighted in both Dubrovnik and Kotor. Great to see at night without crowds!

But more entertainment and restaurants on larger ships. Our was fine 12 nights 9 ports and we only tendered twice. Although I do like the thought of overnights at those ports. 

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