MSC Opera – Day 14 – Dubrovnik & Disembarkation
The final day of our cruise was spent in one of our favourite ports, Dubrovnik in Croatia with it’s beautiful medieval walled city now famous as a filming location for Game Of Thrones. We docked at 8am and the daily programme was offering return shuttle bus tickets into the old town at 12 for adults and 9 for children but thankfully Andy had spotted a huge sign from our balcony that said a one way air conditioned taxi was just 13 and an hour long panoramic tour of the city was just 50 which seemed like great value too.
We got into one of the many waiting taxis and within ten minutes were at the draw bridged main gate to the old town. It really is beautiful with wide open squares and narrow winding alleyways which gave us some welcome shade from the blistering heat. We’d planned to climb the city walls but at 35 degrees Celsius it was way too hot so we just strolled the streets eating ice cream and ‘resting’ in a bar or two. We’d arranged to meet some friends who were holidaying in Dubrovnik who also have a 7 year old son and we caught up in a pavement cafe as the boys bonded over video games and more of the local ice cream. We had a lovely few hours but all too soon it was time for us to get a taxi back to our ship ahead of a 1pm departure for Venice.
We made al a carte lunch and then returned to our room to pack our cases before Finn and I sneaked off for one last swim and spray ground adventure ahead of tomorrow’s disembarkation. Our final dinner included a Mexican style mixed grill which Andy followed with a huge pile of Italian Grana cheese and a glass of sweet Passito. It was an opportunity to thank our head waiter Mangasa from Sumatra and his Balinese assistant I Wayan (which means first son) Dharma with a token of our gratitude. Tips are automatically added to your bill at 8.50 daily per adult and half that for kids and we’ve never not paid them but we always believe in looking after those who have done the same for us and sought out a few of the bar staff to say an extra thankyou. Most of all we wanted to reward our Honduran cabin assistant Luis who’s been an absolute star over the past fortnight.
Sadly the next morning’s disembarkation wasn’t as smooth as we’d hoped as a thick sea fog closed the port and caused a 3 hour delay to a number of ship’s arrivals in Venice which meant we missed our 12 noon flight back to Manchester. This resulted in a few stressful hours at the airport trying to find any flights to the UK but thankfully after much queuing and a lot of euros we secured three seats on an Easyjet to Gatwick tomorrow. My dad, bless him, has agreed to pick us up for the long drive north so father’s be warned, your duties don’t end beyond your daughter’s 18th! We managed to book a room at the four star Annia hotel close to the airport in a gorgeous split level family suite where a few large glasses helped ease the day’s unwanted pain! Thankfully Finn isn’t back in school until Wednesday and we’re self employed so we can cope with another day and we have travel insurance and cash and credit cards to deal with the unexpected delay.
We’re now sat in a lovely hotel bar, looking forward to our last Italian dinner and I’ll update the blog with a final summary and photos as and when we get home!