Thomson 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
Korcula, Croatia – our fifth port of call on the Thomson Adriatic Affair Cruise
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 –
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.
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