BEST. TIME. EVER.
No seriously. If you are contemplating on going to The Yacht Week Croatia, don’t overthink it. Be like Nike and “JUST DO IT!” You MUST do it while you are still young (20s-30s) and have the energy because it’s a party marathon.
Brace yourself for a long post. I tried to make it as short and sweet as possible however there are so many useful bits of information that needed to be written. Read a little. Read a lot. Hope all this information and travel tips from someone who just experienced this incredible trip helps!
I can’t believe that Yacht Week Croatia is over already. In fact, it’s been over a month of getting back into “reality” (which isn’t all that bad because I love living in Miami and I’m pretty happy with life) and it seems like it was just yesterday.
My friends and I planned this adventure months in advance to get the right mix of people on the boat and to get a good sized boat. There were a lot of PROS and a few CONS, but overall, an unforgettable time and I’m so happy I did it. I’m going to give you my pretty straightforward, no bullshit, personal take on The Yacht Week Croatia.
The Yacht Week (TYW) Croatia is basically a week long trip that sails with a regatta of other boats all around the beautiful islands of Croatia and on the Adriatic Sea. Croatia is the original Yacht Week destination and since then they have expanded to other places like Greece, the Virgin Islands, Thailand and more.
My friends and I did the Black Route, June 18-25 Week 25. We read from other blogs online that this route was the most popular, had the most boats in the regatta and TYW Croatia has the best parties (so very true!).
I’m going to break this down in the most simplest and useful way as possible. Reading all the blog posts from Blonde Abroad and ___ were EXTREMELY helpful so I hope this helps you as well.
Before Your Trip:
- Do your research before TYW opens up their boat/ticket sales so that when they do, you are ready to go and get the best boats. The catamarans and larger boats sell out pretty quickly. There are very few boats with AC and it can get super hot so try to nab one of the large boats with AC if you can.
- Get the catamaran if possible because they have the most room in the common areas and deck.
- If you are booking a boat full of your friends, make sure EVERYONE gets along and is laidback. You will essentially be living with these people for a week on the boat. No whiners and complainers. Our boat was a bunch of friends that all knew each other and we got along very well. We had enough inside jokes to make a book! #YachtFam #Zagrebs #RoyceSoHard #PaywithNipple #FranktheTank #PullOutKings (Don’t ask. You just had to be there to get it LOL!)
- The cabins are tiny so when they say room for 10, it’s really for 6-8 because they count the convertible galley as a sleeping area and you need to save a spot for your Captain and Hostess if you get one. Our Captain Lisalot was awesome and we didn’t get a Hostess. We did the cooking and cleaning ourselves.
- However, if I were to do it all over again, I suggest paying the extra for a Hostess so you don’t have to worry about the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. TYW Hostesses we met on the trip were so much fun and cooked some delicious meals.
- Don’t bring a huge suitcase because the rooms are super tiny and you won’t have room. Instead, bring a large duffle bag. I bought one of those duffle bags that has the rolling option and was a perfect size. It was a hand carry size so I didn’t need to check anything in. My “personal item” was a large tote bag so I had space in there for other things that I couldn’t fit into my duffle bag.
- Get Travel Insurance. You’re somewhere international, it’s on a boat, you’ll be drinking a lot… Better safe than sorry. I got mine at World Nomad for $75.
- Croatia uses KUNA for monetary currency. I recommend you go to your bank and exchange the money beforehand. Most of the time, you get better exchange rates directly from your bank than if you pulled out of an international bank’s ATM (additional fees) or exchange it in Croatia. Bank of America has slightly better exchange rates than Chase Bank and Wells Fargo.
Below is a combined list of what I brought and what I should have brought but didn’t think to until I was there. This list is pretty general and can apply to both men and women. There maybe a few things that are gender specific but not many.
My Packing list:
- Bikinis – You will be in a bikini for most of this trip so pack a few!
- Shorts – It is hot during the summer so shorts were perfect
- Shirts/Tank tops
- Sundresses – Easy to wear and looks cute
- Outfits for the theme days – White Party, Closing Party, Regatta Day
- Cardigan/Hoodie – It can get chilly some of the evenings. It was super cold when we had dinner in Komiza.
- 1 pair of sneakers/boat shoes/closed toe shoes
- 2-3 pairs of sandals – Leave your heels at home; you won’t need them for this trip. You could bring a pair of wedges but you will most likely not use them. I didn’t use mine at all.
- Towel – So glad I brought my own. The towels they give you on the boat are the size of face towels. Some of my friends ended up buying souvenir towels to use.
- Cross-body purse – Perfect for when you walk around and explore the different towns. I wish I brought a fanny pack. That would’ve been even more useful. (Look Ma! No hands!)
- Makeup – You won’t be wearing much on this trip but if you’re the type that likes wearing makeup often, (like me) you will want to doll up a bit for the parties. And yes, I did wear my lashes to a couple of the parties.
- Hair dryer/Hair straightener/Hair curler – You won’t be doing your hair much either but you may want to for certain nights like for the White Party. I flat ironed my hair about 2x during the whole trip and just let it flow naturally curly and free the rest of the time. Also, there aren’t many places you can plug in and use dryers anyways.
- Life proof case – This saved my iPhone many times
- Sunglasses – Bring a few and not your super expensive pairs because they will most likely break, get thrown off the boat or you’ll lose them.
- Hats – I’m not usually a hat person but I brought one for this trip. It was super useful when we were hiking and sightseeing around Vis/Komiza since it was so hot.
- Universal adaptor
- Floats – Some boats got really creative and brought some badass huge floats and inflatables. If you don’t bring any, you can buy some at the stores at in Split and the other marinas.
- Baby wipes and hand sanitizer – Gotta keep it clean clean you know!
- Phone charger and external battery pack charger – Used this a lot because I was using Snapchat a lot and that eats up your battery life.
- Zip ties – These kept our speakers secure when the boat was moving and we used this for our banner.
- Toiletries – I brought some but you can buy a lot of your personal toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, etc.) at in Split (where you take off and meet back up again at the end). They have small stores that sell everything you need in each marina.
- Sunblock – You can buy this at the stores in Croatia. Definitely apply and reapply because you an easily get sunburned.
- EmergenC – All that partying and no sleeping so much can get your immunity low. I brought a few packs for the trip and it saved me.
- Seasickness medicine and bracelet – Even if you have a strong stomach, if you aren’t used to being out on the water for an extended amount of time, you will feel sick. Some days the sea was really rough. I don’t get motion sickness or sea sickness easily but there were a couple times it hit me. (plus a combo of my hangover)
- Your Country Flag – It was so cool to see all the different flags raised from different countries. TYW brings in people from all over the world: Canada, USA, Europe, Australia, Latin America, Asia.
On the Trip
- Get used to roughing it ladies! It’s basically camping at sea. You have to pump the toilets and be careful not to throw anything down the hole or else things will back up. (gross I know)
- Get used to not showering every day or having hot water when you do get a chance to shower. The boats are small and there are showers in it, but you have to conserve your water supply because you also use that same water supply for cooking and washing dishes.
- Get nice and comfy because the rooms are tiny AF and gets really hot at night without AC
- The best showers are in Hvar & Milna marinas. Take advantage of those showers when you can! They have hot water and are clean. The other ports don’t all have showers.
- When you get to Vis, have your Captain take you to the Kut marina next door instead because there are 8 showers there while Vis only has 2.
- We didn’t have a Hostess so we roughed it in the cuisine department. We did our huge grocery haul in Split and then another in Vis. We bought a lot of Cup of Noodles, bread, cheese, yogurt, deli meats, charcuterie, coffee, tea, eggs, snacks, fruits, veggies and TONs of beer, wine (PROSECCO!!!) and liquor. (We were the party boat that drank for 7 days straight.)
- Buy at least 3L of drinking water per person/per day. It may seem like a lot but you will definitely need it! Don’t forget to hydrate!
PARTY and ADVENTURE TIME
TYW does an awesome job at planning out the whole week to be jam packed full of activities and fun parties at unique places like old forts and private islands. There is a lot of drinking involved but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. But why wouldn’t you? If you don’t like to drink, then you will be surrounded by a bunch of people that do. We were loud, obnoxious and SO MUCH FUN! #YachtsofFun! Take this opportunity to meet all the awesome people on the other boats who are on this route with you. I met some AMAZING people that I’m still in touch with. This is a great chance to meet new people. Introduce yourself to the others, don’t be shy and make new friends!
- The White Party and the Beach Party were my top 2 personal favorites.
- Make sure to reserve your table for the White Party early so you get a great location. They sell out of the good tables quick.
- We did bottle service at all the clubs and parties for the whole week. If you can do it, DO IT. The prices are cheaper than USA bottle service prices and when you split it with your friends, it’s not expensive at all. It’s better than having to wait at the bar for drinks and paying the same prices. Plus you have your own space to hang out and not have to deal with the sweaty mosh pit of crowds.
- Have your Captain make the dinner reservations for your group when you get to the marinas especially if you’re a large group.
- Vis – We rented 2 cars and drove around the island. We initially wanted to rent scooters but by the time we got to the rental places, they were all sold out. This worked out better for us at the end because we were exhausted and just sat back and relaxed in the car. I highly recommend doing renting either a scooter or car to explore the island that Vis and Komiza are on. It’s a small island so you can go around the entire place in a few hours with a stop for lunch and at the highest peak. At the highest point of the island, is the tiniest church I have ever seen and the most gorgeous views of the land. It’s breathtaking. Take a moment to yourself, take in the natural beauty and express gratitude.
After a whole week of sailing, partying, relaxing, sightseeing, having fun, making new friends, floating along the water and drinking some more, you arrive back in Split on Friday.
Here is an IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIP that none of the blogs mentioned. So I want to share it with you because it’s fucking important and you will thank me.
GET AN AIRBNB OR HOTEL ROOM FOR THAT FRIDAY NIGHT! You get back into your Split marina Friday afternoon and you dock your boat to its proper place. You don’t have to vacate the boat until Saturday morning. There’s still the Closing Party that Friday night. Even if you are exhausted and hungover, still go to this party because it’s gets super fun and you will be able to say your “Good byes” to all the new friends you’ve made, exchange contact info and add each other on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and whatever other social media channels you have.
Anyways, back to my point about why you should get an Airbnb or Hotel room for your last night. If you end up with a boat with no AC like we did, when you are docked and not moving, the entire boat feels like an oven! It is HOT AS BALLS! You’re no longer moving and catching wind so there is no breeze. It’s miserable. So fucking miserable! And by that time, you will want a real bed and a nice shower. I was so over roughing it. Our Airbnb for an entire house with 5 bedrooms and AC in every room, was only about $30/pp. Well worth it!
If you’ve read all the way to the end, I hope you got a lot of useful info! A few takeaways… Despite the “roughing it” part which was tough for me. When I look back at my time at TYW Croatia, I barely remember those “cons”. All I remember are the unforgettable memories I made, how much fun I had, the incredible people I met, the adventures I went on, all the laughing and inside jokes, how magnificently beautiful Croatia is, how peaceful it was to feel the wind on my face while sailing the Adriatic Sea, the deep blue and turquoise hues of color of the water… all the positives. So if you’re on the fence about going or not, remember what I said in the beginning… Just be like Nike and DO IT!
Did you find the info useful? If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line in the comment section below.