Trip planning in May 2017

Hi Evie,

OK, we have had time to read through the itinerary in detail…. it looks AMAZING!!!! At first I thought it looked pretty expensive, but once I got into what was included, the price seemed very reasonable. I took notes in an outline form so I could see at a glance where we would be, and what we were doing each day. This is an INCREDIBLE trip! So, for our questions:

  1. What dates are we looking at? (I notice it is Friday to Thursday, 14 days.) Are the dates to be decided later? (Fine with us.)
  1. Our list of what is included says 2 nights at the first hotel, Hotel Esplanade. Is that a typo (1 night?)
  1. It wasn’t clear if the “Circle of Istria” excursion was included. Since it is listed at the end as optional, what would the approximate price be? Would the guide ride with us in our car, or drive us? (doesn’t matter, just curious)
  1. When we do the walking tours, is it just us with the guide, or will there be a group?
  1. Confused on when we turn the car in. The itinerary says “our driver will pick you up and take you to Split,” so I thought we turned in the car on Day 8 before we go to the island of Krapanj. However, I think that wording was an error and we keep the car until Day 9. (Our 7-day rental is Zagreb to Split.) Is it just an error in wording?

We are very excited about this itinerary! Thank you soooo much!



Trip taken in April, 2017

(National Geographic – A.G. Bell Executive)

Hi Steve:

Paul sent me the email with your feedback request. First of all, we had a WONDEFUL time in your country!! The people were lovely, the scenery exquisite, the history so rich; and I had a marvelous time with Paul!! J  Loved the private tours and the little extras of flowers, wine, cheese, etc. Perhaps the title of the trip could change to highlight the rich history….to contrast the old from the new. Although we had truffles and wine, I saw the focus on history and current times.

More specifically:

Day 1 in Zagreb: the hotel was charming and one of a kind. I felt like a queen!

Petra was a wonderful guide that afternoon and introduced us to Zagreb beautifully. I would of liked one more day there in fact. The restaurant that night was good in my opinion but not one of my favorites from the trip. Fun to see the young musicians in the town square after dinner. Saw our first truffles in a Croatian store and began to get the importance of this delicacy.

Day 2 in Moscenicka Draga and Opatija- views and history unbelievable. Enjoyed the conversations with Allan. Heard about the famous writer, ballerina, musician, and artist from Opatija. Probably our warmest and sunniest day we had in Croatia as we ate lunch by the water.

Appreciated the evening in Rovinj and taking a golf cart to our hotel. Liked the concept of a boutique hotel; however, showering  was difficult for Paul d/t the set up.  Enjoyed our dinner at Puntiluna- one of my favorite meals and restaurant location! The sunset was beautiful!

Day 3 in Motovun, Paladini, and Kostanjica- one medieval town after another with beautiful views during the drive.  Saw the similarity  in each town with the church, town square, meeting room, and cemetery.  Fascinating experience learning about the truffles and cooking demonstration. Enjoyed the lunch eating truffles in all foods!

Enjoyed the “hunt” to find the truffles with the dogs and leader. Maria was great informing us along the way- really knew her history in this part of Croatia.  Really got a good feel of Istria with the wines, figs, olives, etc. On our own for dinner and we ate at Aqua 2- fun place and they took care of us well.

Day 4 in Plitvicka Jezera National Park-wow, a true wonder of the world I was not aware of! The waterfalls were everywhere and I was so impressed how safety was kept in mind for the visitors. Nadja was our tour guide and she knew everything about the park.  It was interesting to learn about the effects of the winds from the south, northeast, and from the sea…. This kept on coming up in discussion from one tour guide to the next, and we understood why!

Liked our hotel in Zadar- one of my favorites d/t details in bathroom and room. Staff was ultra nice and accommodating to us.

Day 5 in Zadar first- Paula was our guide and we really felt her energy; she was fun loving.  Loved the illumination aspect on the seacoast and the sea choir. Of course she showed us the old city.  Drove to Sibenik where Daniel gave us a tour. We got to know Daniel well as our driver- very responsible and accommodating. We spent a lot of time talking about the homeland war and how his city was affected/ saw the landmarks. Another wow moment for me hearing about this difficult time. We had a late lunch in Trogir- this was a favorite restaurant for both Paul and myself. And off to Split.

Day 6 in Split- we ended up touring Split this am as it was too hectic to do the day before (recommendation to split this up) – we met Ivica who was so knowledgeable and insightful about  the palace and Croatian history.  It was very cool to be staying in the palace from so many years ago. Enjoyed our free day walking about; enjoyed our dinner at Mezzgoon; recommend this restaurant BTW.  That afternoon we did climb “the hill” as we looked over the city and went to the archeological museum.

Day 7 in Ston- unfortunately the boat trip was cancelled d/t weather but had lunch at your prearranged place- staff was very attentive and the food was delicious. Great atmosphere.

Drove on to Dubrovnik where I was in awe of the buildings in the old city and views. The hotel was beautiful but not as convenient as the other nights traveling to the old city. However, it was truly amazing to see the bar “on the rocks” both at the hotel and another one in old town.  What special views of the Adriatic Sea!!

We went to a classical concert that Fri night arranged by Sonya which was sweet on her part. Wonderful opportunity to hear music afar and see the talent of the Croatian people. Walked around the old city as this is certainly another wonder of the world!

Day 8 in Dubrovnik- we decided to cancel our tours this day d/t bad weather. We adventured to town later that afternoon via bus and toured the shops/ listened to jazz/had dinner. A nice day to relax.

Day 9 in Dubrovnik- we met Sonya in the am and received the formal tour of the old city as well as cable car experience. She was very knowledgeable and we heard her reflections from the recent war. Later that day we went to the infamous evening at the “cousins’ home”-enjoyed all the home made food, learned about the history of their farm, heard music performed by the girls, etc. The family was lovely and so inspiring how everyone gets along- such team work! My only concern is that it is a bit awkward with only 2 guests present – a lot of work for them.

Day 10- got up early for flight to Zagreb and then home.

Again, a wonderful trip, thank you for all your planning and small touches! J  Appreciated the other Sonya’s help too as she checked in frequently with us.

If you talk with Daniel, our driver, I believe he has a CD of the acapella group I heard at the palace in Split. We were going to listen to this in the car and then forgot. I did send him my US address.

Best Regards,

June A.

(With P. M. from AG Bell & Assoc.)


Photo: Sasa Cetkovic – Croatian National Tourist Board

Trip taken in April, 2016

Hello Steve,
I wanted to tell you I had a wonderful time on the FAM in April. I had been to Croatia before but had not seen much of the country. The guides were excellent, Sanya took good care of us and her daughter is fantastic. Our driver, Nicoli, has the patience of an angel and got us where we needed to be though it was difficult fitting everything on the schedule on time. I loved the hotels, I must say that the hotel in Dubrovnik, Hotel More, is very nice but due to the construction going on 24 hours day I would not recommend it until the work is finished.
The food….a gastronomic paradise! I could go on and on about the wine tasting, the truffle farm, Plitvice Lakes, the food, but you know all about it.
What a surprise I had when we went to Kameni Dvori outside of Dubrovnik – to find out that Ivo Mujo’s grandmother is the sister to my aunt’s mother! What a small world!
After the FAM we rested in Hvar which was nice after all our trekking over the country and now I am back in the office and hope to promote Croatia as a safe destination with great food and great people.
Debra Podesta
I am in the office Monday, Tuesday & Thursday
Santa Cruz Travel Inc
5 Erba Lane , Suite G
Scotts Valley, Ca.  95066

Trip taken in April, 2016

From: Maryjane [mailto:XYZ]
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 12:46 AM
To: Steve Alexis
Cc: Sanja
Subject: Thank you!
Hi Steve and Sanja,
I just wanted to say thank you for such a wonderful trip.  I had been excited to go to Croatia for awhile now and this trip did not disappoint.  It was a fast moving trip, but I learned a lot about Croatia.  Your local guides are outstanding.  Their professionalism , knowledge & passion of their local areas are transferable .  I liked the hotels , especially the Esplanade Palace ( where Queen Elizabeth stays) , Adriana Hotel in Hvar.  Staying in the Diocletian Palace at the Hotel Jupiter.  I loved being in central locations where we could walk & absorb the local flavor.  The dinners and luncheons hosted by the local tourist boards were outstanding .  I enjoyed tasting the delicious local cuisine–the oyster/mussel farm in Ston & the agri-tourism dinner outside of Dubrovnik ( where Debra Podesta met one of her many cousins !).
I would like to give a big “shout out” for Nikola, our driver.  Professional, patient, a complete gentleman .  He set the tone for our wonderful Croatian visit .  The Mercedes van was lovely, but all seats need to face forward so that people don’t get car sick or have to strain their necks to look.
Lastly, Croatia is a good place for American tourists.  The dollar is strong , Croatians speak English, their signage is also in English, great roads, a beautiful country w much to see and do.
We missed a couple of sites at the end , but more reason to return to Croatia .  My daughter and family are wanting to travel to Croatia now.
Thank you again for your kindness & generosity for such a memorable trip!
Best Wishes,
Maryjane Slade, CTA, DS
Andiamo Travel
Sent from my iPhone
Yes, you are welcome to use my comments.  I don’t feel that I said enough, though.  The local tourist boards treated us royally.  Beautiful dinner at the top of the tram in Dubrovnik , reminded me of Big Sur.  The wonderful restaurant in Rojine (I’m sorry I don’t have my notes w me, the name started w a P), the lunch in Trogier.  You did a phenomenal job in putting this trip together .
Would love to put a small group together to Croatia!
Right now I am in Geneva visiting my daughter, son in law & grandchildren.  They will be going to Croatia.  I think the Plitvice Lakes would be great as well as beach time.
Thanks again.  We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco at your presentation.
Best Wishes,

Sent from my iPhone

Trip taken in March, 2016

Dear Steve,
I wanted to thank you & Mediterra for the wonderful arrangements while we were in Croatia.
Maria was promptly awaiting us upon our arrival. The tour was excellent with her vast knowledge.
Our highlight of the day was the Truffle lunch and hunt, which actually produced fresh truffles hunted by the dogs!
Day 2 in Kotor was also enjoyable with the remarkable old historic city. She treated us to a nice surprise spot for lunch, Konoba Catovica Milini, which I highly recommend ,if you haven’t been.
It was a very nice way to end our tour with a nice relaxing ,well prepared lunch.
We chose not to continue down to  SV. Stefan.
I can highly recommend the arrangements made by Mediterra!
I look forward to continue working with you.
Jamie Bundy
Corral de Tierra Travel – Owner

Trip taken in October 2015

Dear Steve,

Thank you so much for planning the most incredible excursions in Dubrovnik and Split for our VIP group.
We enjoyed touring and learning about these very unique breathtaking historical areas in Croatia.
Dubrovnik was truly the highlight of our Mediterranean adventure, as you had promised. “Uncle” Ranko was the best tour guide ever!
Our day in Dubrovnik was simply spectacular!! We especially loved our experience at the family retreat.  Our hosts were so very  gracious and the meal was superb.  We brought back delicious wines and brandies, but more importantly, memories that will last a lifetime.
I look forward to the opportunity to work with you again and you can be certain that I will praise your company with the highest accolades to all of my travel peers.
Thank you for making this adventure a tremendous success.  I am forever grateful!!!
Best regards,
V.I.P. Vacations, Inc.
407-833-8330 Phone
407-833-8200 Fax
“On Land or Sea – You’re a V.I.P.”
Thanks again!  Please feel free to quote me and to give my name and contact information to any of your potential customers for referrals.

Trip taken in October 2015

Hi  Steve,
I meant to send you an email much sooner than this!  But like everyone, I hit the ground running when I got home and are just now coming up for air…:-)
May I say that my sister and I had the BEST time during the week we spent with you.
Were there “glitches”, well yes, but that’s travel for you!  THINGS HAPPEN…
The two specialty dinners first/last night were just over-the-top wonderful and memorable.
As was the truffle safari experience.
The sea organ in Zadar, for me, was just freaking amazing…I LOVED IT and would love to go back there and spend 2-3 days just “chilling”.
The hotels were fine…and a mix of 3-4-5 star which was fine with me….except for the Villa Dora…the fact that we had to drag our bags up and down those stairs was daunting, and the fact that there was no-one at the front desk at night was troublesome for me.  What would clients do if they had and emergency?  Like one room had an infestation of ants… She had no one to talk to about it.… I wouldn’t want my clients to have to deal with that..  Not everyone travels with a cell  phone, and even if they did, who would they call?   Would your tour guide (on escorted trips) provide a phone  contact?
What about people on FIT’s? What would they do?
I was struck by the country’s infrastructure.  The roads were just amazing…so easy to drive on your own….driving on the right…easy to read signs.  To experience that first-hand was invaluable.
Also, how CLEAN and free of littler the streets and cities were!  That was something you’d have to see to believe…The only litter I saw was I Dubrovnik, and even that wasn’t bad.
That we got to swim in the Adriatic in Dubrovnik was very special to both of us!!  So glad we stayed behind and didn’t go to Motenegro…
Fams are exhausting, and meant to show you as much as possible in a small amount of time… You did accomplish that!
You were delightful, and always so pleasant to everyone. (and was it just me, or were one or two of the participants a pan in the ass?)
Thanks Steve, I will keep Mediterra in my address book and hope to sell Croatia after the winter months are over.
All the best,!

Evie G.
Northside Travel
Dennis, MA 02638

Trip taken October 10-22, 2015-Family of 10 people

Dear Steve,
I know what you mean by “piled up work” – Our family trip came right after I completed a two week trip for a military reunion and two family getogethers in Williamsburg, Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina; so I, too, have been swamped by all that and other projects I have been working on for months (three family weddings, a 50th birthday cruise for a daughter and family, funeral for a sister, helping to plan and design and eventually get built a memorial monument for a military unit, and a spine operation I had in May.  It has been a very busy and eventful year.  After all that, the “icing on the cake” was our family trip!
Glad to hear that Mediterra had a busy and good year and hope that you all continue your good work.  All the passengers on this recent trip were overall very pleased about our trip, so I’m sure that you can expect some good responses from them (once I pass along your address, etc which I shall do.)
Thanks for the reminder about the charges owed which I acknowledge.  For that amount, I would prefer to send payment by check since the bank charges $25+  (for each payment action, to include the ones that don’t go through and the returns to my account – and we have had that difficulty each time previously.    Let me know what is acceptable for you.

Biking Trip taken in October 2015

Hi Steve:
Eva forwarded your email regarding my feedback on the Mediterra trip.
Eddie and I were on the IKA and we both loved it.  Reminded us of the TV show of our youth – Gillagan’s Island.  We both preferred the smaller group of passengers and “kick-back crew”, expecially bartender Tony who will not be with Katerina Lines anymore.
We went aboard a couple of vessels with the starch white formal crew and even though the cabins were larger and nicer, both of us perferred our boat.  The IKA is not for everyone as it is quite small, food not as nice, and always tied up to the outside of the bigger boats.
The composition of both crew and passengers was FANTASTIC for us however I would add that most of the people back in Coronado that I ride with are NOT like us.  I would not have traded our boat, crew or fellow passenters (and even the sliding toilet lid) for a more formal boat.
Our bike tour guide Luybo was the best tour guide I have ever encountered.  I have had other bike guides on other trips and he was extremely knowledgeable and truly cared about those under his care.  Of all the crew, he was the most professional.  Tony was the most entertaining.
Our hotel Jupiter in Split was amazing.  Wonderful location and the breakfast was delicious.
Our changed out hotel from Starigrad to Berkeley  in Dubrovnik was fine.  We both enjoyed the quiet of the Berkeley even if it was a 20 minute bus ride to the palace and 10 minute walk to the bus.  Coming home at night in the dark was a bit challenging as it was difficult to pick out the bus stops.  Thankfully, we could gauge it by the terminal building across the street otherwise we might have ended up at the end of the line.  I would recomment the Berkeley to anyone.
Both staffs in both hotels were professional and knowledgeable.
Our guide in Split was amazing.  He covered the areas very well.  He had great pride in his hometown and it showed.  His journalistic background was extremely helpful in asking historical and political questions.
Our guide Ranka in Dubrovnik was nice but we felt he tried to put in too much information and although he showed us many shops he recommended, the only one we utilized was La Dolce Vita for the ice cream.  Our trip to Montenegro also had too much information and eating at 10 PM at Katrina’s was not what we were accustomed to.  We would not have included Montenegro if we knew what it looked like but rather would have opted to spend the extra time in Dubrovnik.
Personally I found Split to be my favorite palace city and some of the smaller island towns even more delightful.  Due to the weather we could not go to the National Park on the boat and missed that experience.  I would have loved to spend some time on the Peninsula….even a day or two should that opportunity have become available.
Our Lufthansa flights with United connections were very comfortable.  Last year I flew British Air to a bike trip in France and swore I would NEVER do that again.  Lufthansa and Swiss Air are my favorites.
All car drivers were very professional and would I recommend them to anyone.
Hope this is  helpful for you.
Thank you for making our vacation so pleasant.


Trip Taken in September 2015

From: Jacqueline Nguyen [mailto:XXXXXX@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 3, 2015 9:25 PM
To: Steve Alexis
Subject: Re: Welcome back home!

Hello Steve,
Good to hear from you. Are you still in Croatia? My sister & I are at Milan airport waiting for our flight to get home.
First of all, thank you for your hospitality. We enjoyed it very much. Croatia is beyond & above what I had imagined & expected. Your country is so beautiful beyond words &  very safe, the people are warm & friendly. Often people asked me: “is it safe to go to Croatia?”. Now, I have confident to tell them that it is.
About the FAM, here’s my 2 cents:
Visit too many places in such a short time, it’s just like passing by. Would like to have more time with less places to visit than too many with no time.
Too many hotels inspection. I’ve never been to one that has that many hotels inspection.
And please, cut short the Montenegro tour. We all suffered that tour, no need to go all the way up to the mountain. Or even skip it totally.
Other than those things, I truly enjoyed it. And Sanja was great, she tried so hard to please everybody.
Rest assured that when I have request for Croatia,  Mediterra will be my supplier of choice. I will come back to Croatia with a small group hopefully  not to far away.
In the meantime, I hope we will keep in touch.
Once again, thank you  Steve for everything. I hope to see you again sometime.
Best regards,
Sent from my iPhone

Trip taken in September 2015

Dear Sanja —
I wanted to connect with you to thank you so much for all your tender loving care you gave Howard and I when we were in Croatia.  We had a fantastic journey in your country, especially because you helped make everything go so smoothly.  We so much appreciate all that you did to make the trip so very special for us.  We will tell all our friends!
We send our very best wishes to you and yours.

Bette & Howard K.

Trip taken in September 2015

FROM: Marc Forman FAM September 2015
“Croatia is wonderful destination with absolutely incredible beauty, food, wine and scenery. Croatia will surely exceed your expectations. And Mediterra is very well connected in Croatia. We will definitely bring next year a group of 76 members of our travel club”, state Marc Forman, President of New Horizon Tours from Newbury Park, California.

On Thursday, October 1, 2015 9:12 AM, Steve Alexis wrote:
Much appreciated. Thanks.

Trip taken in September 2015

I’m glad that the second FAM went well. Ours was great just a couple of hiccups. I plan on posting my pictures on facebook this week end. I don’t like to do it when I’m gone because then people know my house is not occupied. My office is going to be running a story in our email blast next week – so I hope I get some bookings from it I think your product is a great one and I’m excited to sell it.
I talked to Michelle and she is ready to go again at a drop of a hat. She fell in love with Croatia as I did. I have been wanting to go there for 10 years and my dream has been met. Thank you!
Have a great Thanksgiving!


Good Morning Sanja and Steve
Thank you for showing Michelle and I your beautiful country! We both fell in love with it and can’t wait to come back.
On the plane Michelle and I discussed the trip and here are our comments.
The transfers were great both coming and going. Boodie was great – he was the calm of the trip. The meaning of that was it got a little excided at times and he was the glue. He was also very helpful and well mannered.
9/22 – We felt the Putijar restaurant was not ready for us – they should have had all the doors opened to the menu/cookbooks rooms and wine celler – it seems that he was running around to open everything – also dinner was way to long – again I don’t think they were ready of us.
9/23 – the hotel inspections were way to long – took away from seeing your beautiful country. Dinner was great – loved the family style serving.
9/24 – truffle hunt was great – we spent to much time at breakfast – felt rushed the rest of the day – again spent to much time at lunch which was late around 4pm – didn’t get to spend time in the wonderful towns. Ran through Porec – didn’t even get to see Pula
9/25 – Plitvice Lakes – was beautiful even in the rain – disappointed that the cooking demonstration and traditional dinner was changed
9/26 Zadar – Paula was wonderful – but again we only had 30 – 45 minutes  – the sea organ was very impressive. The hotel inspection was way to long with the coffee etc. Sibenik way to long at the cathedral and fort – would have loved to walk around the town or spent more time in Tragir – glad we made that stop – don’t miss that next time. The Jupiter hotel was nice but our room was unacceptable the bathroom situation was terrible! Was nice to have an evening on our own.
9/27 – Split guide was great – didn’t make you  feel rushed – although was dressed in jeans – My clients would not like that
The boat in Ston was great and one of the highlights of the trip – having lunch on there was great and it also saved time – although we had to wait quite awhile after – I think for Sanja to pay the bill – that should have been taken care of either before or another way – it took away from from our next stop – Sonja guide in Dubrovnik was great – didn’t make use feel rushed at at all – was very knowledgeable and great personality. Dinner at Dubrovia was great nice way to spend the evening.
9/28 – The hotel inspections took to much time for our long day – The ride to Kotar was nice – need to have lunch there – the ride over the mountain was to much – I understand why our guide wanted us to do that but I wouldn’t recommend it. We ate lunch again way to late 4pm….Didn’t get to the Kaneni Duori till late – would have loved to seen the property and experience it – After all this was a presented as a gourmet and wine tour – that is one of the reasons we chose this trip.
9/29 – the transfer to airport – driver on time, drove very well – other cars were passing us and driving crazy.
Overall – way to many hotel inspections – I felt they took away from seeing and experience the beautiful country. I felt it wasn’t very well organized. Sanja was very anxious although she made things happen and handled Mark very well.
I realize this was the first fam and we were the experiment in future I would recommend maybe one hotel a day not three – you have a beautiful country and that is what we want to see – we can google hotels or get your expertize on them. Once again a few of the guides were dressed in jeans – I don’t feel that is appropriate at least for my clientele. Is there some way if I book through you that this wouldn’t happen?
Again, Boodie was wonderful – he help keep the calm between everyone – when Sanja was anxious – he helped calm everyone down. Was very courteous, well dressed and respectful.
As I mentioned above we chose this trip because of the cooking demonstrations and wine experiences which didn’t happen – so therefore we were a little disappointed.
Please note these are not complaints just observations. We had a wonderful time and made wonderful friends.
Terri and Michelle (Sharon Stone)
Sanja – you borrowed the book I had for my son – I think the title was The Taste of…..(I can’t remember the rest of the title) ..would you please give me the title and I will see if the hotel can send me another. I wanted to give that to him for his birthday – November 7th. Thanks
Terri O., CTC, DS
The Travel Gallery/American Express, FL

Trip taken in September 2015

From: Kate W. [mailto:XXXX@earthlink.net]
Sent: Friday, October 9, 2015 2:15 PM
To: ‘Steve Alexis’ <XXXX@MediterraDMC.com>
Subject: larsen comments

Their trip was great – here are their comments:
The flight to Dubrovnik was easy and our hotel Kompas was PERFECT. It was such a nice welcome after a long flight and our room was so big and clean and the hotel itself is so new. Their breakfast was also fantastic and had a lot of choices compared to the ones in Italy.
Apparently, they had told the lady who did our walking tour in Dubrovnik to come pick us up at 9am, but our itinerary said 10am, so she was standing for an hour waiting for us. So I felt bad about that! But she was so fantastic and was really nice to spend the 2 hours with and walking through old town. And then she recommended a great lunch to us.

The hydrofoil to Hvar was easy and we LOVED the island itself. It was perfect for two days – had we been there longer it would’ve been fun to go do a boat trip to one of the islands or swim in some caves or something, but we didn’t have time for that. The town itself is small but so cute and we couldn’t get over how nice people were in Croatia. We had an INCREDIBLE dinner at a restaurant called Dalmatino in Hvar – so if you know of anyone going there, we would highly recommend it. It was the best meal we had on the whole trip and the service was so great and friendly. The hotel in Hvar had a great pool and was in a cool location, but the room itself was really small and the bathroom shower pretty much flooded the whole bathroom because there wasn’t glass covering it. We did a hike up to a big fortress and that was neat to see the whole town from the top.
Split was so great, as well. I wish we had an extra day there to wander around, as it is a huge city. But we loved our hotel and it was in the perfect location in the middle of the palace. We loved being able to wander around in the palace walls and really enjoyed the private tour there.
All in all, Croatia was for sure the highlight of the trip. And then Rome. The only glitches were the timing on our Croatian itinerary for the walking tour in Dubrovnik. Oh, and also on our itinerary that you had printed in that packet it said that our flight on the 22nd was at 8:55am so we figured that if the car picked us up at 6:30am that would be plenty of time. Well the itinerary was wrong and our flight was actually at 7:55, so we walked up to the gate and they were boarding. I was actually so surprised that they let us check our baggage that close to the departure! So that was a very close call. But other than that, everything was so great!
It was my fault – I did not see that the departure time from Split on the documents was 855a instead of 755a – but everything worked out.
I did email them their itinerary showing the 755am departure – but….., a number of times. Told them to print that flight itinerary and take with them – guess they didn’t do that.
Thanks so much for all of your help!

Kate W.
New Horizons Travel
Hours: Monday – Friday 830a – 430p
Saturdays by appointment

Trip updates from Jake (Tour 103/06 Sep. 2014):

Mon 9/15/2014 1:09 PM
Steve .. a memorable trip so far. Have had two super guides lately.. Maria in Opatija (4 stars) and today (Mirko 5 stars ..he was excellent) Finally a day without rain! Very nice hotel in Maribor(very attentive hosts) and dinner at Zigante hotel was superb! Our driver Branko is great too.
Cheers .. JAKE
Fri 9/19/2014 2:18 PM
Hello Steve .. just want to say thanks for the farewell dinner . It was better than the best. Once we found the place we were guests of a most hospitable couple who served a fantastic spread of homemade specialties. A definite place to keep in mind for future clients.
Now .. on to the boat for a week of R and R.
Sat 9/20/2014 11:35 PM
Hi Steve . We are having breakfast after our first night on board. Weather has turned to occasional showers again and cloudy.
A message from Eva .. please confirm a time of transfer from the end of the cruise to the airport. Flight is at 6:25am. Thanks ..JAKE
Mon 9/22/2014 10:45 AM
Thanks Steve. .  Your message has been passed on. Unfortunately Eva’s email is not working. Weather has improved greatly with the day actually turning pleasant. Now we are enjoying dinner accompanied with your complementary bottles of wine. Also your upgrade of cabin is much appreciated.

Trip taken in September 2015

: Hajnal Dumitrescu [mailto:hD]
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 6:09 AM
To: Mediterra Operations Dep’t
Subject: Fw: vacation

Hi Steve,
Just wanted to forward you my customer’s opinion about the trip
Glad we booked with you and hope to work in the future also
Have a good day
On Wednesday, September 24, 2014 8:05 AM, “Sxxxxxxx@.com” <Sxxxxxx@.com> wrote:
Well I am back and have had a few days to reflect on my trip.  I feel I really got to experience all of  the former Yugoslavia and interact with the people.  The small group size allowed me to do things that large groups could not.  We stayed a couple of times at small hotels which we would call B&B’s.  The people could not have been nicer and would go out of their way for us.  In two places we had traditional dinners prepared for us.  That is not an opportunity available for large groups and makes for a wonderful memory.
I would highly recommend this trip.  Thank you for your help.
Susan S.

Trip taken September/October 2014

Fallen in Love with Croatia
I have just returned from a new destination and have fallen in love with CROATIA and its neighboring countries.  Those, unfortunately, cannot combined in once sentence, since they all seem to dislike each other.
I am convinced that when God created Croatia, He was in the best of moods.
He took the best of Austria and Italy and sprinkled on it dashes of Greece, Turkey and a tad of Switzerland.
He created stunning coastlines, picturesque islands, ancient fortresses and castles, kind people and beautiful national parks and caves, red tiled villages with ancient churches and monasteries and lots of breathtaking mountain passes  He dotted them with old Roman and Venetian buildings.  He gave it an abundance of seafood and all the fishes in the sea, grapes and the knowledge of what to do with them.
And to top it all, he gave it Strukli, the best of the desserts.
He created hotels, ranging from truly five stars and lovingly restored  to accommodations in ancient Sultan’s country homes where one feels like sleeping in 1001 Nights.
He instructed the population to learn English, but unfortunately neglected to teach them to speak it without a very heavy Croatian Accent to make them easier to be understood.
Our guides were a typical example.  When visiting the city of Ston, one of my favorite places, in order to admire their wall which reminds us of the Great Wall of China, she taught us that it was built in order to keep bandits and parrots off the salt works.  It puzzled me for a long time how a wall could keep parrots away and why parrots would want to steal the salt in the first place.  Then the lights finally got turned on and I gathered that she meant Pirates.
And on an island she described it as being dotted with queries.  In my mind I pictured an island full of unresolved questions and with the local soccer team sporting a big Question Mark on the back of their jerseys.  No such problem – she meant to say Quarries.
Our wonderful waiter on the Island hopping cruise accompanied every meal with long stories.  While his English was 101% fluent, his pronunciation left a bit to our imagination, but his stories were always so full of mirth, that I did not want to be unappreciative and called a stick in the mud, so I joined his laughter and our meals were always bathed in hilarity, although without any knowledge what we were laughing about.
The history of Croatia is relatively easy to learn and remember.  Nearly everything was built in the 15th century, destroyed in the 17th century and rebuilt in the 18th century.  The Croatians like these historical events so much that out of nostalgia the National Airlines even keeps at least one airplane to remind them of days past.  I know this because we flew on one of them towards home.   That particular aircraft liked our luggage so much that it took it hostage for a couple of days, but I understand that it has now released it and sent it further east to Bangkok or thereabouts.  Come to think of it:  Who needs baggage when our heads are full of fond memories.

Eva T., Island Travel, San Diego, California
Associated with Camden Travel, Washington, DC/a Virtuoso Agency