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Tips for Travel to Adriatic

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 TIPS ON TRAVEL

Balkans & the Adriatic 2012

M/V “Adriatic Pearl

To Our "Valued" Guests!

Welcome to the fascinating world of cruising! We are exited to introduce this new cruise itinerary to you along with the fascinating cultures and people of Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia & Herzegovina!

Before we begin, however, please bear in mind that the recent changes in the economic and political ideologies of these countries have contributed to rapid economic growth - and to all the growing pains that go with it. Your participation in traveling to these countries not only helps their economies but also spreads the friendship and understanding between our people. Therefore, you act as an "Ambassador" of the United States when visiting this part of the world. The impression you leave will have an everlasting effect on future relations between these countries and your own.

It is therefore important that we advise and prepare you for some of the cultural and social differences you will encounter. These Tour and Travel Tips have been designed to provide useful information and helpful suggestions to ease your adjustment and help you get around any obstacles you may encounter. Your journey will be greatly enhanced if you take the time to prepare for it. Thoroughly acquaint yourself with the information provided herewith - but also talk to others who have been, study one of the many comprehensive guide books available – and browse the Internet. The effort you put into planning your trip before you go will make all the difference. Thank you!

 

A few courtesy reminders:

Make it your responsibility to be on time so as not to hold up the group.  Be attentive and refrain from talking to your neighbor while the guides are speaking or providing information regarding the tour.  Wait for all information to be given before asking questions.  Any special requests regarding group activities should be directed to the Tour Director who is responsible for representing the interests of the whole group.  Your local guides will refer all requests back to the Tour Director. Your cooperation in these matters will not only be greatly appreciated but will increase both the groups’ and your personal enjoyment of the tour.

 
 

GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION

Vouchers: If traveling within a group or on any set program vouchers will not be required or issued. If traveling as an individual and/or deviating from the regular itinerary, we may issue vouchers for services paid for. When included, vouchers will be listed on the check-off list sent with your final documents.

Air Tickets: Whenever tickets are issued by our company, they will be included with your final documents. In some instances, when tickets are issued directly by the airlines involved, they may be sent to you under separate cover or electronically. Please see your check-off list.

Transfers: If you have purchased your airfare or have prepaid your arrival transfers through us, please look for our Tour Guides holding your names on a sign after exiting the Customs Area of the airport!

If you have purchased land/cruise only and are arranging for your own arrival and departure transportation, the names and addresses of your hotel and the port locations will be listed on the

Contact List enclosed and sent with your final documents!

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: Before leaving home, please ensure that you have your valid PASSPORT and appropriate VISAS. Based on our programs and countries visited, at the time of printing, US citizens do not need a visa for entering Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia & Herzegovina.  Please make sure your US passport has a validity of at least 6 months beyond your scheduled travel dates and check for visa updates with the U.S. or the appropriate foreign consulates at least 90 days prior to your departure. If you are a foreign national – please check with each country’s consulate, as rules may be different. Obtaining a visa and proper travel documents are YOUR responsibility!

BAGGAGE: Make a detailed list of everything you pack for the trip, and then leave this list at home. We cannot be responsible for lost baggage, but most airlines will make every effort to recover baggage or to offer some compensation if you are able to itemize the suitcase contents. It is also a good idea to tape a piece of paper INSIDE your luggage, which shows your full name, home address and telephone number. The purchase of Travel Insurance is always strongly recommended!

BAGGAGE WEIGHT: Please remember that weight allowances vary and are lower when flying domestic, and intra-continental routes, utilizing smaller aircraft. Check with the respective airline for instructions and pack accordingly – or you may face overweight surcharges!

OUR FINAL DOCUMENTS – TRAVEL PORTFOLIO

FREE ELECTRONIC DELIVERY: Once final payment is received all paper documents including: day by day itinerary, travel tips, airline tickets, contacts and other related  information will be sent to your electronically via email. This service is free, provided we have your email address.

PHYSICAL DELIVERY OF OUR PORTFOLIO OF GIFTS & PAPER DOCUMENTS:

If you do not have email OR would prefer to receive paper documents along with our set of useful, travel related items as outlined below, these items will be sent to you approximately 2 weeks prior to your departure via registered or overnight mail. The cost of this service will be listed on your invoice.

1. LUGGAGE TAGS: Will be provided. If you would like your luggage to take the same vacation you do – please use them! Please note: The tags have been designed to allow you to list up to 6 points of travel (hotel to ship, ship to hotel, etc.). DO NOT DISCARD THEM! Simply cross out your previous location and write in your next destination (and room or cabin number if you know it).

This will help our staff and porters deliver your luggage to you in the shortest possible time!

2. SQUARE LUGGAGE STICKERS: If provided, Please stick them visibly on your suitcases when possible - the stickers will allow you, our guides and porters to recognize them quicker and get them to their destination faster!  

3. BADGES: If provided, please wear the badges at all airports, transfer points, hotels, and at any time you are embarking/disembarking the ship. Not only does your badge assist us in providing adequate security on the vessel by identifying you as a group member to our guides, staff and security personnel, it also allows you to get to know your fellow passengers sooner!

NOTE: Since people go by nicknames, our badges come blank. Please print your name the way you would like to be addressed and wear them at least for the first few days.

4. PENS & TRAVEL BAGS: Our unique pens and practical travel bags are not only “good looking” but superbly designed to hold everything from your documents to cameras to water bottles! People love them- and you will too!

5. SURPRISE GIFT: Depending on your travel destination and time of year, we may include a surprise gift, which may be a hat, an umbrella or “cool shades”….who knows, maybe even a winning lotto ticket! (but you must promise to give us a fair share if you win J)

CLOTHING SUGGESTIONS: The dress code on our cruises is INFORMAL!

So please - PACK LIGHTLY!  Combine a few tee shirts, a few shirts, with wrinkle free slacks, one skirt, a few shorts, a wind-breaker and a sports jacket – and swimming gear with a big beach towel! Leave your formal evening clothes at home; tuxedos and evening gowns are inappropriate! The only time you may wish to "dress up" is for the Captain’s Farewell Dinner aboard the ship; on this occasion, a shirt/blouse and slacks/skirt is fine. This is a casual, laid back tour and cruise program, the dress code is informal (and that goes for excessive jewelry too!) Remember - you are traveling to see - not to be seen! Keep it simple and you'll thank yourself later!  DO pay particular attention to footwear - you should have a good pair of comfortable walking shoes with thick rubber soles and firm arch supports.

If you buy new shoes, "break them in" before the trip. Suitable footwear aboard the ship would be sneakers, deck shoes, tennis shoes and similar rubber-soled shoes.  

Our cruises involve extensive walking during visits ashore, so you need to be comfortable!

PASSENGER MIX:  Onboard the vessel there is usually an international mix of people from all over the world – Europeans, Australians, Kiwi’s and North Americans! A great way to meet the people of the world and make new and long lasting friends! The on board language is English.

PHYSICAL DISABILITIES: Please note that the majority of passenger vessels have limited services for the physically impaired. Steep staircases are the norm. In addition, the itinerary warrants that most of the shore excursions are done on foot. Therefore, severe walking disabilities may limit the passengers’ overall enjoyment on these programs.

Regretfully, we do not recommend these cruises to

severely disabled or wheelchair bound passengers!

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

DOCKING LOCATIONS: For those passengers arriving directly to our ship on the day of embarkation, please note the docking location of our ship, which will be:

Port of Dubrovnik, Passenger terminal

Dubrovnik Harbour  Gru┼ż” -  the main ferry harbor (200m for the central main bus station).

Address: Obala Pape Ivana Pavla II.

CAUTIONS FOR EXPORTING

ART / ANTIQUES: Works of art such as paintings and sculpture cannot be taken out of the countries.  Antiques such as icons, old coins, weapons, furniture, samovars and musical instruments can be taken out only if you have a permit from the Ministry of Culture from each respective country.

YES Items such as coats, carpets, jewelry and crystal, in reasonable quantities and purchased at legitimate shops can be taken out of the country and NO custom fees are applicable.

SUGGESTED SOUVENIRS: Any types of handicrafts are usually of the highest quality. Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro are also famous for a number of internationally recognized wines (“Posip, Postup, Dingac,Vranac, Plavac Mali).

PHOTOGRAPHY: Please do not photograph people without first asking for their permission to do so. Do not take photographs of airports or other military bases. Remember to bring all the film you will need, because outside of major cities, new film may be hard to find and not of the same quality you are used to from home.

VIDEO CAMERAS: Please remember that Europe utilizes a different standard (PAL/SECAM) than the United States (NTSC). THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE! Remember to bring enough blank tapes and if purchasing videotapes locally, make sure they are marked NTSC. Important: European DVDs are encoded differently from US DVDs. If you purchase a DVD in Europe, even if it is without a Region code, you may only be able to play it in laptop computers but not your DVD player.

NOTE: Most museums and galleries now either charge a fee for taking photos or videos

 (from €3 to €7 depending on institution) or may not allow photography at all.  

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS (when applicable)

HOTELS: On our motor coach portion of the  tour, we always use Deluxe, First Class or best available hotels. Breakfast is always included and other meals are provided per your itinerary  (please consult your final documents for specific information). In all cases, the hotels are carefully selected to provide the best combination of location, comfort and value. The actual hotels used on your particular departure will be listed on your "Hotel and Contact List" included with your final documents.

CRUISE RULES

Your enjoyment of the trip will depend in large part on your positive attitude. Here are a few pointers that will help you prepare for your journey regardless of the country you are visiting.

1.     Maritime Law - As with a pilot on a plane, the Captain of a ship is the ultimate law. He/she is responsible for the ultimate safety and comfort of the vessel and its passengers. It is within the Captain's jurisdiction to change the sequence of stops, ports if necessary due to inclement weather conditions, high or low water levels, dock and lock schedules, technical reasons etc. The Captain has the right to remove unruly passengers, quarantine the ship in case of disease and similar. Therefore, although unlikely, certain changes in schedules may happen. Though we expect to provide sightseeing of all of the major attractions listed in our cruise programs, there is always a possibility that the sequence of touring may be altered to take into account the operating hours at museums, galleries and monuments. Shore excursions may be changed in response to sailing conditions and other factors. Your understanding and cooperation in such instances is highly appreciated!

2.     Cultural Differences - Remember that you may be traveling through countries whose political, social and cultural backgrounds may be different from your own. Do not let political differences govern your perspective. Instead, travel with an open mind, and you will satisfy your curiosity about the people, their lands, their history and their culture.

3.     Service - If you receive poor service at any point, try to take it in good humor and solve it directly.

If you have any serious complaints, take them to your guide and/or Cruise Director.

4.     Bureaucracy - Expect a little bit of red tape, and try not to be bothered by bureaucratic rituals, which may be different from country to country.

5.     Do not compare things you see by American standards. Although clean and comfortable, all our vessels are small and practical and should not be compared with the huge mega ships.  Above all, keep your sense of humor and enjoy the cultural legacies, physical geography and rich variety of people you will encounter as you sail along the splendid Adriatic Coast.

 

MV “Adriatic Pearl

We are delighted to introduce to you the brand new yacht like M/V “Adriatic Pearl”! Built in 2012 she features 19 all outside facing cabins spread over 2 passenger decks for a maximum of 38 passengers! Her restaurant/bar accommodates 40 people and 2 sun deck areas provide plenty of outside space to enjoy the weather and the views! A Captain and crew of 8 including a multilingual Cruise Director (unusual for a ship this size) will take care of all of your wishes and make sure you have an experience of a lifetime!

KEYS:  Old style turn keys are used to minimize loss. It is suggested that you leave your keys with the crew whenever exiting the ship in order for them to see who is off and who is on board.

LINEN/TOWELS: Cabins are cleaned every day but due to limited space and care for the environment towels are exchanged every second day. Bed linens are exchanged twice a week.

LAUNDRY: Light laundry is available for a fee. Please note that there is no dry cleaning on board.

COMMUNICATION: Ship to shore is provided by the Captain’s radio. The cruise Director and crew members have cell phones but these are for emergencies and their private use. Therefore, in an emergency, we recommend that your family contact our US office or our authorized overseas representatives who will forward urgent messages via the port authorities. However, information may take 24 hours or more to get to their intended recipient.

TABLE ASSIGNMENTS: This is a casual laid back cruise where all meals are served in a casual atmosphere in the restaurant/bar. While meal times are pre-set to conform to port stops and sightseeing excursions, table reservations are not required…

MEALS: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily. Thanks to daily stops in ports your Chef will provide you with wonderful fresh ingredients purchased at local markets along the route! You will even have a chance to accompany him to the fish market in Split and help him pick the freshest catch of the day! The accent is on local and domestic specialties. There will always be a choice between 2 main courses for lunch and for dinner, accompanied with 1 free drink of your choice per meal – beer, glass of wine, water or soda!  Additional drinks may be purchased from the bar and signed to your cabins. In case you have special dietary meals, the kitchen staff will make every effort to please you. Complimentary tea and coffee are served every afternoon together with light snacks.

WATER: Even though the tap water onboard is of comparably good quality, we recommend against drinking the tap water on the ship or anywhere on your route. Bottled water, available for sale on board, is your safer option.

ELECTRICITY:  Electrical current in the hotels and on board the ship is the European 220 volts/50MHZ. In order to use any appliances (including shavers, chargers for movie camera's etc.) you will need to bring 2 things:

1)      UNIVERSAL TRANSFORMER to convert from the US 110 Volts to the 220.

2)      UNIVERSAL ADAPTER PLUGS for sockets, which are different than at home. Since there are no supplies of converters/ adapters on board we highly recommend you purchase a transformer/ adapter plug set at any convenience or appliance store before you leave.

ELEVATORS: There are no elevators on board.

POOL: No pool…the beautiful blue, clean, warm Adriatic Sea will be your “giant pool” with swimming stops scheduled throughout your sailing. Do NOT forget your bathing suit and a big beach towel! Fins, masks and other snorkeling gear will be available on board free of charge!

VALUABLES: Each cabins has a mini-safe, however, we recommend that you do not bring valuables on your trip, including excessive jewelry (you won't need it!).

GIFT SHOP: There is no gift shop on board as none is needed. Your daily stops will give you plenty of options to purchase whatever you may need from toothpaste to post cards.

Smoking in this part of the world is still a habit. On the ship, however, smoking is limited to sun decks and outside areas. Smoking in the restaurants and on buses, is not allowed.

HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS: Due to limited services for the disabled on board and because of extensive walking on our excursions, we do not recommend these cruises to people with severe disabilities. Those passengers with lighter physical disabilities are kindly asked to report them to us at the time of booking. Most cabin doorways and public rest rooms are not wide enough to allow access by standard wheelchairs. Passengers with severe walking or other disabilities may find certain areas of the ship inaccessible. Passengers with physical impairments must therefore be self-sufficient since services of a personal nature cannot be provided by the vessel's crew or staff.

MEDICAL SERVICES: The Captain and Crew are trained in emergency services but are only equipped to provide basic medical care. They cannot offer care for conditions requiring specialized expertise or equipment. Passengers with any pre-existing conditions, or in the event of an emergency, will be evacuated to a medical care facility ashore at the passenger's own expense. If you require special medicines, it is essential that you bring them with you from home, as only a limited range of general type medication is available on board!

CURRENCIES:  While most of Europe has adopted the EURO, Croatia uses the Kuna, Bosnia the “convertible mark” and Montenegro the Euro. Payments in local currencies are required for most purchases on shore. The best recommendation we have is to either purchase CASH Euros prior to your departure or take along US cash and travelers checks. Your local Tour and Cruise Directors will gladly direct you to exchange offices as you travel through various countries. Credit cards today are pretty much accepted everywhere in the major cities but may not be as widely accepted in the smaller towns and villages along the route. CASH IS STILL KING! Having cash on hand in smaller 5/10/20 Euro denominations will come in handy!

How much cash to bring with you? Although everyone is different, we suggest that you bring at least EUR 500 per person - If you are planning on purchasing more expensive items you may want to bring more….you can always bring it back! J

 

IMPORTANT NOTE ON PAYMENTS ON BOARD SHIP:

Unfortunately no credit cards are accepted. On board currency is the Croatian Kuna  but final bills can be paid in CASH EURO OR US DOLLARS AT prevailing rates of exchange. Your expenses will be signed to your cabin and the final amounts will be presented on the last day. You will have plenty of opportunities to use local ATM’s to withdraw additional cash if needed. But it is better to come prepared! J

 

TIPPING RECOMMENDATIONS

TIPPING: Tipping today has become commonplace. Salaries are small, so tips do represent a substantial income, especially for the people in the tourism and service industries. Unlike the West, however, tips are NOT obligatory and are subject to your satisfaction – but your generosity will sincerely be appreciated.

TIPPING

While tips are discretionary, since we get asked for advice here are some suggestions:

·         In restaurants, taxis etc. you should leave a 15% tip rounded off to the highest round figure.

·         For porters at hotels a tip of $1 per suitcase

·         For chambermaids a tip of $2 per day

·         For Local Guides in cities that host half-day tours and their drivers - $3 guide $2 for driver.

·         For Tour Leaders that escort your motor coach tour portion, handle all your hotel, baggage, sightseeing and other arrangements, and are with you 24/7 we recommend a tip of  $5 to $7 per person/per day ($35 - $40 per person for a 7 day trip).

CREW ABOARD THE SHIP: As the crew acts as a team, the TIPS are collected and pooled amongst all the Crew Members. As your new found “best friends” we suggest a tip of $10 per person/per day. Gratuity envelopes will be provided in your cabins prior to the end of the cruise. SUMMARY: Of course you may leave as little or as much as you like and if any particular member of the staff or crew endears themselves to you it is ok to show your appreciation directly to them as well. J

DAILY SCHEDULES AND INFORMATION

Information regarding sightseeing, meal hours and updated on-board activities for the next day, may be printed and distributed to each cabin during dinner the previous evening. However, updated information will always be displayed on notice boards, in the restaurant/bar area. Please remember to check these boards during meal times since they will always be updated in case of any last minute changes.

AVERAGE EAST MEDITERRANEAN TEMPERATURES

                                                  Jan    Feb Mar Apr May Jun  Jul   Aug  Sep  Oct

DBVK

Low

39

40

43

48

58

64

67

68

64

55

 

High

47

49

56

64

74

78

85

83

76

67

Split

Low

42

45

48

54

60

66

72

74

67

58

 

High

51

55

58

66

74

81

87

88

78

68

Zagreb

Low

29

32

38

48

54

58

60

62

58

48

 

High

36

44

54

62

70

76

81

82

76

66

 

PACKING TIPS & SUGGESTIONS

 

Items You May Wish to Bring Along:

·         Facial tissues, washcloths and shower caps, as they are not supplied on board.

·         Skin cream and other cosmetics for sun protection.

·         Insect repellent.

·         Spare set of eyeglasses for emergencies. If you wear contact lenses, bring a pair of eyeglasses for occasions when contacts are bothersome to wear, such as in strong wind or dust.

·         Medications, which are vital to your health. A letter should accompany these from your doctor (signed and dated), certifying that such medications are vital to your health. Dosage should be indicated. Always pack any personal medications in you carry-on luggage, not in your checked baggage.

·         Common remedies such as laxatives, indigestion tablets, aspirin and travel sickness pills

·         (However, the latter will probably not be needed while in the generally calm waters of the Adriatic)

·         Sunglasses.

·         Bring plenty of film, flash bulbs and blank DVD’s.

·         Sewing, cosmetic, shoe shine, first aid kits, and paper towels 

·         Laundry soap packets and flat sink stopper.

·         Diet sweeteners if you do not take sugar.

·         Instant coffee especially if you prefer decaffeinated!

·         Binoculars (excellent for viewing scenes from the decks).

·         Batteries for cameras, shaver etc.

·         Electrical Extension Cord (not available on most ships)

·         Transformer and plug adapters (purchased at K-Mart, Thrifty, appliance stores)

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE YOUR TRAVEL AGENT OR CONTACT

VALUE WORLD TOURS, INC.

17220 NEWHOPE ST. #203

Fountain Valley, CA, 92708

Tel: (714) 556-8258 -  Fax: (714) 513-1777

Email: travel@valuecruises.net         Web: www.valuecruises.net

Updated 21 February, 2012-ST @ Property of Value World Tours, Inc @ All rights reserved

Information provided herewith was correct at the time printing but is subject to change without notice