Eastern Europe Days 15-16. Kings Landing & Montenegro
September 15, 2023
For many, this is the highlight of this cruise itinerary – Dubrovnik is a very popular location in Croatia. A very popular show, Game of Thrones, was filmed here, so many people recognize places like the harbor we came in to on our tender, known as King’s Landing on the TV show.
At buffet breakfast, we said something to the waiter about being surprised that we were doing tenders, and he said this was better – there is a cruise port but it’s a bus ride away. The tenders can take us right into old town.
One of the highlights of visiting Dubrovnik is walking the city walls – 1.25 miles all around the city. We walked through the Old Town, and climbed up to the city walls. The entrance we found was at the western bulwarks of the walls, so we got to explore the foundation of the area. It is 35 Euros per person for the walls, and that also includes various museums in town (and the bulwarks) as well.
At points the wall reminded me of the Great Wall in China – steep uneven steps, narrow areas. They have it marked for one way foot traffic, which definitely helps. There were some places to eat and/or get snacks at various points on the wall, but very few exits/entries. We walked from the northwest corner to the southeast corner and finally found an exit.
We did remark that this was the most tourists we had seen since the start of our trip. Lots of tour groups in various languages, lots and lots of tourists walking around the town.
We walked through the Old Town, and came across a history museum (admission included in our wall ticket), and wandered through. The most interesting exhibit was bronze statues of two bronze soldiers. They had been made to be the bell ringers in the bell tower, so the top half could rotate so that the “poles” they were each holding could hit the bells.
We were right near the place where we could get the tender back to our ship, and it was getting quite warm, so we took the boat back.
On each cruise, Azamara has an Az-Amazing Evening – a special event just for the passengers on our ship. We knew it was to be tonight in Dubrovnik, and had been told it was a “Revelin Fort Evening Event.” The information from the cruise line:
Be escorted by Dubrovnik’s costumed guardsmen to the rhythm of their drum along the stone streets of the historic Old Town for an evening of unforgettable views and performances. As you arrive at the impressive Ravelin Fortress, you’ll walk through its interior before emerging on its roof terrace, Dubrovnik’s most spectacular performance venue. Here you’ll enjoy a welcome drink as a guitarist plays, and you take in the breathtaking views over Lokrum island and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dubrovnik Old Town. The main performance will introduce you to the rich and long history of folklore and its music and dances from the Dubrovnik region. Watch in awe as dancers twirl at a rapid pace to the sound of the lijerica played on stage. All the colors of the traditional costume worn by the dancers will leave a lasting imprint on your mind, matched perfectly with the historic surroundings over the fortress. We then move into present-Day Dubrovnik with a modern dance performance by an award-winning dance troupe from the city. And for the finale, a dance fusion performance that combines Dubrovnik’s folklore with the talents of a new generation.
Due to the venue and terrain requiring guests to climb approximately 53 cobblestone steps, the event is not recommended for guests with limited mobility. Dress code is smart casual.
Dinner started at 5pm (instead of 6 in the main dining room or 6:30 in the buffet, as usual), and they had a buffet set up in the main dining room as well.
After dinner, they called guests by the deck of your cabin. The first called were those in the highest decks, the suite guests. They had a very nice boat to take them to the port. The rest of us were called to the Cabaret Lounge to get our stickers (we were group #9), and then the groups were called to ride the lifeboats to the port. We were then escorted to the venue, and the show was approximately 45 minutes long, then we all were transported back in a similar manner.
There were traditional dancers, then modern tap dancers, an octet of female a cappella singers, then the traditional dancers again, and finally the traditional dancers with the modern tap dancers.
In between the performances, there were “skits” of a Lord and Lady giving the history of what we were seeing.
Overall it was good, but not as “amazing” as we expected.
September 16, 2023
Our last port day on this trip – tomorrow is a day at sea, and then we disembark in Athens Greece on Monday.
The captain had made an announcement yesterday during the day that our entry into this port would be worth getting up early to see.
We are only in port until 1:30pm today, so we went right from breakfast to walk off the ship. Our ship was docked in town, Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas was tied off a distance away with tenders going back and forth.
We missed the sign pointing to the escalator down to walk under the streets to get across to the Old Town, so we walked up a bit and then found a place to cross, and walked back on the other side of the street. We walked through the Old Town, and into a church built in 1166. It was 4 Euros to enter, but they had a museum on the upper floor as well.
Then we walked to the taxis, and took a cab to the Kotor Cable Car, which takes you up 1,749 meters (5738 feet) for spectacular views. We had to pay the cab to wait while we were up there, so it was 50 Euros for the cab and 23 Euros each for the cable car. The design of the gondola is just like the ones at Disney World, and can seat 10 people easily. We had a car to ourselves in both direction – busy but not crazy busy. We asked how long it had been open, and they said just one month! It takes 11 minutes to get from the bottom to the top, and parts were quite steep.
At the top there is a trail to walk up just a little higher for more views
At the top, there is a restaurant with outdoor and indoor seating, and a gift shop.
There was also an area where kids were riding dirt bikes, and they are building a
mountain coaster at the top as well.
Back down, to our cab, and back to our ship. Relaxing afternoon, and tomorrow is a day at sea (the only one on our 2 weeks of cruising)!
I think because everyone had to be back on board by 1:30pm, they had a very nice buffet set up at The Patio, next to the pool. Wide selection of food, including burgers and hot dogs, flank steak, sushi, Caesar salad bar, lots of freshly cut fruit, and lots more. They added tables set for a meal in that area as well, and the indoor buffet was still open.
For dinner, we went to the buffet – best meal I’ve had on board yet! It was Italian night, and they had a pasta station – delicious!