Europe Travel

Croatia Part 2: We Never Wanted It To End. . .

To wrap up our epic seafaring vacation in Croatia, we wanted to highlight a few ‘bests’ from the ending days of the trip! RBT Drinking Game: As you read each section you have to take shot to get the full experience of where we were at by the end of this trip. Write in the comments “completed” so we know you obeyed 😉

TO VIS OR NOT TO VIS:

Rachel: While in Vis our knowledgeable, local, and surprisingly young skipper Vinko had a few tricks up his sleeve. First – he booked a military tour and wine tasting. All planned leading up too the Tropical Retro party held in “Fort George” – a 400 year old war fortress. Seems like everything in this country has a story doesn’t it? The Baltic’s have a very rich history of multiple different reigns and it’s unlike anything we are used to, coming from a seemingly young country comparatively. However, our “military tour” consisted of driving long distances in a small van and straining to hear our highly uninterested guide. He showed us an old army bunker and said they literally had no idea what it was used for. So, I digress to the wine tasting at Roki’s which really gave us our first feel for the incredible hospitality of the people of Croatia.

WINO DINO:

This being one of the activities us ladies most looked forward too – I’m pretty sure we walked in like The Beatles to a packed arena. The whites, rosés, and reds we tasted were each so unique and delicious! To top it off they supplied each table with a plate of cured meats, cheeses, and olives. The only thing that could have made us leave that incredible winery was the promise of more food as the best thing Vinko supplied for us our whole trip was a dinner at the “secret kitchen”.

Haley: The wine kitchen was a huge hit for the ladies. We had been waiting the entire trip to gracefully sip wine in a foreign country with our pinkies in the air. The guys no doubt a little less impressed, but we all had a great time. Note to everyone: the wine in Europe is a lot stronger than the wine we drink in America. Rachel mentioned our knowledgeable young skipper Vinko. Thankfully he was originally from Croatia and was able to take our crew places off the beaten path….aka, The Secret Kitchen, a home with two tables total to share their feast. The food was absolutely amazing. Plate after plate came to us and drink after drink (the grappas) was poured.

NOBODY CAN KEEP A ‘SECRET’ KITCHEN:

Rachel: Milica (prn: Militza) our hostess, was incredibly warm, kind, and so happy to share anything she could with us. Three different types of homemade grappas came out, in Croatia called Rakija. Vinko, who was unsurprisingly quite versed in drinking the stuff, let us know which one we could sip all night and which one we should probably stop after 1 shot.

I think the best part about the dinner though (which is hard to choose as there were several incredible courses) was the fresh local beef that immediately fell off the bone when lightly touched by a chefs comically large knife. So tender, so flavorful, I’m sorry we we all got so violently full or we would have eaten more. Plus we still had the Tropical party to go to … and nobody could keep the secret of all this food down if we were going to be jumping around again that night.

RETRO RAGER:

Haley: The Tropical Retro Party – unlike any party I ever dreamed of attending. Neon colors, glitter and anything that comes to mind made it’s way to this party {of course the braids made an appearance}. A DJ, playing our favorite new and old hits set up at one end of the 400 year old fortress so we could dance on a stadium style dance floor. Hello twerkers….

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Rachel: Hello twerkers indeed – and much enhanced by the stadium setup of this particular venue. Booty on multiple levels of display, it was a little overwhelming. Yet it definitely got our crew dancing! Somehow breaking it down surrounded by ancient stone and massive cliffs makes for the perfect crazy night! Like the night of a full moon we all got into a bit of mischief. At least we had the next day’s raft to relax.

RBT Tip: We found a ton of great Tropical Retro Dresses“>Tropical Retro Dresses online, think fun, short, breezy!  

RAKE IT UP – BREAK IT DOWN – LINE IT UP:

Haley: The line raft day….where do we even start?? This was a perfect day/night to line up all boats in two lines, jump from boat to boat still in our bathing suits. Just hang out with people from all over the world on the Adriatic Sea with no cares in the world. Our hostess made dinner as the sun went down over Croatia and it was a calm night to refuel and witness the amazing stars….and vodka sodas.

YOU GOTTTA REGATTA..MAYBE:

Rachel: For those of you who may be familiar with The Yacht Week, Regatta day is supposed to be a grand race. Crews are in themed outfits, hostesses are in a speed boat slalom of booze and techno. We did plan in advance for this and all made matching pennies with our names.  However, the night before had completely knocked us out and while we brought up the rear of the fleet, we sunbathed and played Andrea Bocelli and Vivaldi to our heart’s content. It wasn’t exactly the rager some of the other boats were experiencing while we were taking epic pictures of our flotilla on the horizon. 

*I’ve always wanted to use that SAT word! Flotilla!*

DREAMY STATIONARY DREAMS:

Speaking of the night ahead of us, at this point in the week we made probably the best decision we had made since choosing to go on this trip. The last night in Croatia is a Friday night docked back in the starting marina in Split. None of our crew had flights until Sunday, and technically “check out” from the boats was Saturday morning. With the graciousness of the boys to use some of their hard earned hotel points on rooms for two nights, we checked out Friday upon returning from the Regatta and high tailed it to Le Meridian. Never did we think it was going to be so rewarding to remain stationary for an extended period of time.

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I would just like to take a minute to mention specifically how wonderful Le Meridian Lav, Split was. Given, we had just spent a week with 12 people on one boat in the boiling Mediterranean with minimal Air Conditioning, working bathrooms, or personal space. Yet, despite all of that, this hotel was exceptionally wonderful. Some of us opted to play a bit of tennis, most lounged by the pool or beach, and here and there we were taking in the sights walking along the incredible coastline.

Until ya know, we just had to go to the very last party. . .

AIN’T NOTHIN’ VANILLA ABOUT VANILLA CLUB:

The last night of TYW was spent in the city of Split at a local spot called Vanilla Club. This means that not only are you in a more traditional setting than the rest of the week – it also means that the club remains open to locals. For the majority of the night, this was absolutely fine and actually it was a pleasure to get to know some of them. However, there were one or two for lack of better words . . . more eclectic individuals that made their way in and wanted to party with us. No better or worse that clubs state-side – just, always an interesting experience!

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Haley: Vanilla Club was an awesome place. No, it wasn’t your typical Yacht Week party but it was a blast. It was our last chance to say goodbye to our new friends and stalkers {boy is that a good story for another time}. Fireworks, divers, lights and a DJ….the closing party was one you definitely don’t want to miss.

TRAVELERS TIPS:

To end this epic week of sun, surf, and cocktails – we wanted to leave you with some final words to the wise. Some for TYW – Croatia and some and these types of vacations in general:

TYW Tip: You don’t need the basic grocery package if you are getting a hostess. She will have a meal plan for every day of the week based on how many people you have coming. She can add the extra items you want plus, she knows the local good stuff to get. The grocery package has boring brand name items you won’t use like.. three full packages of different flavors of hot tea. TYW donates the leftovers which is great but, we donated quite a lot.

TYW Tip: Be prepared for a TON of hidden cash costs. Docking fees, water taxi fees, hostess and skipper fees, ice fees, freshwater fees, literally anything fees. TYW really needs to work on building some of these costs into the price. 

-TYW Tip: It’s ok to skip a night. Really. There were definitely some on our trip who went out every night but not everybody did everything! Just like life is a balance, TYW is a balance and so are most trips of this nature. You want to be able to enjoy the events you do go too. Sometimes that means getting a bit extra sleep or eating healthier or skipping that extra shot a few nights. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Any Boat Trip Tip: BRING SOMETHING STRONGER THAN DRAMAMINE. JUST DO IT.

Most Trips: Bring a sports bra and hiking shoes – it was nice to get off the boat for an afternoon or two and walk around the islands. We went up to a few castles and experienced some of the most amazing views! Stop to smell the roses and really enjoy the versatile country you’re staying in.

International Trips in General: Don’t hype up the amount of contact you will have with your friends and family. Yes, WiFi is a thing and many people buy the expensive international packages. However, it’s all far and few between and boats rarely have electricity to charge. Additionally, try putting down your phone and enjoying where you are at. Take a picture but when you get back try and actually use your words to describe it to your friends.  

Trips in General: Make friends. Talk to everyone and anyone, you never know how amazing someones influence could be in your life. Some of these people could turn out to be lifelong friends, or business partners! Just look at how RBT took off from Croatia 🙂

-Trips in General: Don’t forget to bring your best music! A collaborative playlist is the best way to go. A little device can go a long way, and you don’t need to spend a ton! We bought ours from Amazon.

 

10 comments

  1. Croatia is in my plan for 2018. Hope I’ll get to go… Esp of late, to see those GoT shooting locations with my own eyes would be just so awesome! The secret kitchen is interesting! I hope to check it out when I visit Croatia! Thanks for the tips at the end of the post! 🙂

    1. Absolutely! A few members of our crew made it to Dubrovnik and never stopped talked about how incredible it was to see the history – and of course the GOT locations in real life! Hope you make it one day!

  2. I like idea of secret kitchen and its exciting! Thanks for sharing us your travel adventure. Croatia, here i come!

    1. Our trip was definitely planned a bit more for the party lifestyle, we’re sure you could plan a more leisurely week! But definitely don’t skip Fort George 😉

  3. Ugh I am superrrrr jelly! AND I wish I read this later in the day since its 10 am here and I shouldn’t be taking shots for each section right now haha. TYW has been on my list forever,especially the one in Croatia! Love all your helpful hints about hidden cash costs, the phone situation and meeting people!

    1. Hahaha well if you’re planning on going to TYW one day you might want to get used too a drink earlier in the day! Hope you get to experience all that we did!

  4. I’ve listened so much about the beauty of Croatia, may be one day I would like to try my luck for the country. The concept of secret kitchen sounds interesting and your tips are beneficial for any anyone travelling there.

    1. Thank you for writing! The secret kitchen was unreal, we certainly recommend looking for locals to dine with – Hope you get to Croatia one day!

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