Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise – Ports of Call Review

Marella Adriatic Affair Cruise

Ports of Call Review

We have wanted to visit Croatia for a few years now and when we found the Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise Itinerary it was perfect. It was a seven day cruise on the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship. It would take us to 3 different ports of call in Croatia, firstly Dubrovnik, then Rijeka, and Korcula. In addition to Croatia, we would also be visiting Koper in Slovenia, Durres in Albania and Venice in Italy.

Dubrovnik – our first port of call on the Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise 

Our first port of call on the Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise was Dubrovnik. We left England at 0900 and arrived at the port of Dubrovnik at 1300. The drive to the port only took 30 minutes and the views were superb. Make sure you sit on the left side of your transport to enjoy this view.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Looking down onto Dubrovnik

We were not due to sail away from Dubrovnik until 2200 so had time to explore. We were informed that Muster drill was at 1730, this was a bit frustrating as it was smack bang in the middle of the time we had in port. Instead of getting straight off the ship to explore, we decided to get to know the ship and get off after the drill. The Old town of Dubrovnik is not within walking distance but easily accessible by taxi. Taxis were readily available at the terminal and we paid 13 euros, which seemed a set fee talking to other passengers. After a 10 minute journey we arrived at the walls of Dubrovnik.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

The walls of the old town in Dubrovnik

The old town of Dubrovnik was spectacular. A large walled city with tiny alley ways shooting off in all directions from the main streets. If you want to walk the wall there its an additional cost of 120 Kuna (£13.50), however, as the last entrance to the wall was at 7pm we didn’t have time to do it. If you want to walk the wall make sure you come earlier in the day.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Cooling off in Dubrovnik

It was a very hot day when we visited, around the narrow streets there is some shade and drinking fountains to be found. However we would advise taking a bottle of water off the ship when you go.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Game of Thrones Steps

Paul being a huge Game of Thrones fan, wanted to find the famous steps where Cersei does the Walk of Shame, and we found them quite easily. A very popular spot and it is impossible to get any photo’s that are not full of other tourists!

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Beautiful Dubrovnik

It certainly is a beautiful port of call, one of the nicest we have visited and within easy reach from the port of Dubrovnik. I am sure that we will return here again one day.

Rijeka, Croatia – our second port of call on our Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise 

After a day at sea, our second port of call on the Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise was Rijeka, Croatia. A free shuttle bus to the centre of Rijeka was provided for the journey into town and within 10 minutes we arrived at a little marina and some market stalls.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Shuttle bus drop off in Rijeka

Rijeka is a pleasant town, however, not as picturesque as Dubrovnik. There was a pedestrian area with lots of cafes and restaurants and it was reasonably priced to eat and drink. Shopping was very cheap and our friend Pelican Pete who we met on the ship bought a pair of swimming shorts for only £2!

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Market in Rjeka

We walked around for a couple of hours, there was interesting architecture if you looked up but fairly bland at eye level. We found a busy fruit market which was entertaining. We enjoyed our day, it was a pleasant port of call but not somewhere we feel the need to return.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Square in Rjeka

Koper Slovenia – our third port of call Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise 

Only a few minutes walk from the ship you will find some steps and a lift that takes you up to the town. We really liked our wander through the town of Koper, it had a very chilled vibe with a cafe culture and a really relaxed atmosphere.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Koper, Slovenia

Walking back to the ship we came across a man made pebble beach where families were enjoying a swim. So don’t forget to take your swimmers if you fancy a dip.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

The Beach

Walking around the town we also found a pretty harbour with an area where there were mist showers to cool you down, they were very welcome in the heat.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Cooling down!

This was our first experience of Slovenia and we loved it! Koper was a lovely port of call, with everything within walking distance. Our taster of Slovenia has made us want to see more!

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Sailing away from Koper

Venice, Italy – our fourth port of call on the Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise 

We decided to get up early and watch the sail to Venice, we are so glad we did.

After leaving the ship, walk for approximately 5 minutes and you will see the water taxi booths. It cost 15 euros each for a return ticket, or 8 euros for a single journey. The journey only takes 20 minutes, and the water taxi drops you literally 5 minutes walk from St Mark’s square. Coming back we had to queue, so make sure you give yourselves plenty of time to get back to the ship, you do not want to see the ship sailing off into the distance!

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Gondola’s of Venice

We knew that when we visited Venice we wanted to have a gondola ride so we decided to see what deals were available. There were varying prices for up to €100. Make sure you head away from St Mark’s Square area and you can pick one up for €80. This was the cheapest price that we found. We shared our gondola with a couple Pete and Lesley who we had met on the ship so that cut the cost too. It was a fun thing to do and we are glad we did it. Also another experience ticked off the bucket list!

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Stunning canals of Venice

A trip to Italy would not be complete without sampling some Gelato. At 2 euros each it was actually not too expensive and it was delicious! Pizza was also on our agenda and we found a lovely little restaurant with a covered garden and had the most excellent Pizza. It was also good value, the total bill was 21 euros per couple which included a fanta and a beer, and a limoncello shot to finish!

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

St Marks Square

We enjoyed St Mark’s square and stood at a distance to listen to the music outside the Florian Hotel, and watched the waiters busily serving the customers. Interestingly we met a Mum and her daughter at dinner on the ship that night, they explained they had sat down by the music and ordered two coffees and two fairy type cakes, when their bill came it was 55 euros. The breakdown of the bill showed that they had been charged 6 euros each for the pleasure of listening to the music! Venice is expensive but if you move away from the main tourists spots you can find reasonably priced food and drink.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

The Florian

We had a fantastic day in Venice it is truly a beautiful port of call. We walked miles, got lost a lot, but thoroughly enjoyed it. Venice is certainly a photographers paradise, and we will definitely be returning!

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Grand Canal

Korcula, Croatia – our fifth port of call on the Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise to remember

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Beautiful Korcula

This was the only port of call where we had to be tendered to shore. The tendering system was efficient and within 10 minutes we had arrived at the shore. A few minutes walk and we were within the walls of the Old town in Korcula.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

The walls of Korcula

Best described as a miniature Dubrovnik, Korcula is surrounded by crystal clear waters. It was delightful, we walked the cobbled streets and alleys, and had a great afternoon. There were plenty of restaurants and bars available, where you could just sit and watch the world go by.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Stunning coastline

We really liked Korcula, it was stunning in all directions. A superb port of call and a place where we would love to spend more time.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Wandering beautiful Korcula

Durres, Albania – our sixth port of call on the Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise 

We were not sure what to expect with our visit to Albania. Our first views of the port was not very picturesque, it was very industrial.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Port of Durres

We walked out of the port, wandered straight ahead, and found the town of Durres within a few minutes. We passed a few empty squares, some cafes and there were some opportunities to shop. The prices advertised were extremely cheap.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise


If you turn left out of the port, you will find the beach. It was deserted but not the nicest. We spent a few hours walking around Durres but must admit we did not really enjoy our time here. If Durres is one of your ports of call on your cruise, then we would advise on booking an excursion, so you can explore a different part of Albania.

Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

Beach in Durres

We thoroughly enjoyed our Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise. The diverse ports of call made it a very interesting holiday. We enjoyed the various experiences and I am sure we will be back to this part of the world in the not so distant future.

Further Reading/Videos –

Marella Celebration Cruise Ship Review

Marella Discovery Cruise Ship Review – Food and Dining Options

Marella Discovery Cruise Ship – Seeking the Northern Lights Review

Marella Dream Cruise Ship Review

Our YOU TUBE CHANNEL has lots of Marella cruise ship tours and reviews so do check it out too.

Please note – in October 2017 Thomson cruises re branded as Marella Cruises part of the TUI group. This ship is now known as the Marella Celebration Cruse Ship, all other details remain the same.

Thanks for reading!

Have you been to these ports of call? Is there any other useful information that you would add? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise

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Thomson Celebration docked in Koper, Slovenia

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About paulandcarole

Sharing our love of travel and cruising, hoping to inspire you along the way!
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33 Responses to Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise – Ports of Call Review

  1. LOVED the video. Great photos too. Going to share this on twitter.

  2. Anisa says:

    I haven’t been to any of those places, but they all sound lovely. That’s one of the things I like about a cruise – you get to see multiple places without have to repack! Thanks for joining us on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  3. Lolo says:

    I think this is the same cruise line and route my mom wanted to take last year! Looks like it hit all the best places! #TheWeekendPostcard

  4. It certainly seems that you had lots of shore time to enjoy the sights. I have only been on short cruise breaks with no port calls. Wow, all those great photos of your shore trips!

    • Hi Annette,
      Thanks very much for taking the time to comment. This was a great itinerary with only one full day at sea, which is unusual. Beautiful part of the world that I am sure we will return to again in the future!

  5. Ruth says:

    This will be a dream cruise for me! I really like all the ports of calls you showed in here. Those places are gorgeous! I bet you guys will like to return to all those places ;0)

    • Hi Ruth,
      It was a dream cruise the ports of call were excellent, particularly Venice, Dubrovnik, and Korcula. Croatia is definitely a country we would love to explore. Slovenia is definitely on our return list too! Thanks for commenting.

  6. David says:

    What a great collection of stops along the Adriatic. I’ve only been to Dubrovnik and Venice of these, but I’m definitely intrigued by Koper and Korcula. Your photos look so bright and cheery, the weather must have been fantastic. I can see why people choose to take a cruise here. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Hi David,
      It was a great collection, Korcula was delightful, the whole area was so picturesque, it was hard not to take a good photo! The taster we had of Slovenia has definitely given us a thirst to see more. The weather was mostly good except when we left Dubrovnik when we hit a storm that was quite entertaining but the sun soon came back out. Thanks for your comment. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  7. What a shame you missed walking the wall in Dubrovonik – I found it one of the highlights of Croatia along with exploring the winding path ways within the old city and the old town of Korcula.
    Thanks for joining #TheWeeklyPostcard
    Sally-Ann Brown recently posted…Stave Off Anxiety with a Checklist Before You TravelMy Profile

    • We were disappointed that we couldn’t walk the wall. We were due to sail away at 2200 and it was frustrating that the mandatory Muster Safety Drill was at 1700, but I am sure we will go back and tick that off our bucket list! Korcula is beautiful and we loved our time there. Good to be part of the #TheWeeklyPostcard and connecting with like minded souls! Thanks for your comment.

  8. Anna says:

    Adriatic sea is amazing: this crystal blue water… Never heard of Korcula though – looks stunning from your pictures! I´ve only been to Dubrovnik previously, now added the rest to my bucket list!

    • Hi Anna,
      The water was amazing so clear and blue. It is really good to hear that we have inspired you to visit from reading our blog post, it really is a stunning part of the world and you won’t be disappointed! Thanks for your comment it is much appreciated.

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  14. Hi Paul & Carole,
    Loved your website and information contained therein. Four of us are going on the Thomson’s Adriatic Affair cruise to Croatia on the 13th July this year and some of the places you visited are on our itinerary. The ship we are on is the Thomson Spirit which seems to get mainly good reviews. I’ve tried several times to contact Thomson by phone but unable to get through to merely ask what savings you actually get on booking excursions online prior to your trip or booking them on the ship. Would you have any ideas on this. It looks like a lot of the places we will be able to do our own exploring as the port is not too far for either waling or catching a taxi. Also do they have a gala night as we are uncertain as to whether a dinner suit/smart suit is required. Many thanks for your help. Kindest regards Tina, Ginny, Mark and Dave

    • Hi Tina, Ginny, Mark and Dave, We didn’t do any excursions so difficult to say but apparently popular excursions do get booked up so we were told but not sure if that was a sales pitch too! We decided to explore ourselves with out too much trouble, just depends what you want to do. There was a formal night where the majority of guests dressed up but if you don’t want to you don’t have too. I just wore a sparkly top and trousers, paul wore shirt and trousers which was fine. Is this your first cruise? We really enjoyed our Thomson cruise and are back on the Thomson Dream in a couple of weeks so looking forward to that!

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  21. Stephen Lockwood says:

    Hi Paul and Carol
    I have been reading your review on the Merella Celebration, We our flying out to Dubrovnik in September from Bristol, A question I would like to ask is around the Gala Night, We our Ist time cruisers so wondering if I should buy a Dinner suit, I can buy one from Slaters at a decent price however my major concern is packing it especially with dress shoes with the weight requirements on the flight, your advice would be helpful

    • Hi Stephen Marella gala nights are relaxed so if you feel comfortable just in a jacket shirt/tie and smart trousers that is fine. That’s what Paul normally does in fact his jacket doesn’t last on for more than an hour!

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