Greetings, friends! I’m pleased to share another great guest post by my friend Kelly Rose. When I was shopping around for guest posters to cover my vacation, she asked if I’d be interested in knowing how her trip to Croatia became a Caribbean cruise. “You bet I do.” Join me in welcoming Kelly to the Bite-sized Travel Guest Blogger Team of Champions! 

How did Croatia Become a Caribbean Cruise? 

Živjeli! Uzdravlje!

Four days before our trip to Croatia and a good time to try some local phrases we knew would likely come in handy…like Cheers!

So how did a trip to Croatia end up as a Caribbean cruise? When travelling, always expect the unexpected. Sometimes it’s a bit more unexpected than you plan for.

My good friend and I travelled to Europe before and often talked about the fact it was time to travel together again. A swim at the lake this summer turned into a favorite type of chat — the travel chat.

Croatia, considered to be the old Mediterranean, was a place on my mind, and travel list, the past few years.  That day at the lake set things in motion and we started to plan — note things we each wanted to do, but leave room for some adventure and the tips we knew we would get from fellow travelers before then. Given that my friend is a flight attendant means I could fly on a pass, making the trip more doable budget wise. It also added to the element of “you just never know” since we would be flying on standby.

A change of plans

Fast forward to mid September and days before our departure day. Lufthansa, Germany’s major airline, is on strike and as a central European gateway, little to no movement meant even full paying passengers were in limbo. The advice came in quickly. Don’t try it; you might get to London, but likely not much further. You might get to Croatia but may not get home. (Deep down, I would have been ok with the latter 🙂

Ok, now what?

Making the decision to put this trip on hiatus was a tough one. At the end of the day, travel is never predictable. So you wipe a few tears away and keep talking. We both had the time off and didn’t want to miss a travel opportunity.

What was something quick and easy we could decide on and that neither of us did before? Cruise you say? Sure, why not. Make some calls; get a great deal on an Eastern Caribbean trip on the largest cruise ship in the world — Allure of the Seas.

Truly a city floating on an ocean. Seventeen decks, outdoor aqua theatre, Broadway show, comedy club, swimming, shopping, dining with new friends overlooking the rolling sea and sunset. Even a central park.

A chance to stop in St. Thomas, St. Martin and Nassau and get a taste of new spots that someday may become old favourites. And I could go on.

Nothing like booking a cruise three days before the ship is set to leave Fort Lauderdale. Seven days at sea, three ports, mere minutes to do some research online, and truly no expectations.  That became the theme of the trip from the minute we knew Croatia would not be a reality.  We had no expectations and were open to whatever the trip brought our way. Try something new, like zip lining across the top deck of the ship. Skip the excursions, head to some beautiful “local” beaches. Taste a made with love meat patty from someone called “Patty Mama”.

Enjoy the salt air from stem to stern vantage points and the endless view of the ocean — a scene that never gets old.

Get to know the crew that come from all over the world. You never know what travel ideas those conversations could spur and who you might end up visiting on your next adventure. Sometimes without a heavy set of expectations, you’re just open to being in the moment.

Will I go on a cruise again? Maybe. Will I go to Croatia? Absolutely! But I have learned it may not be exactly as I plan.  The unexpected can be good.

Have you ever had to change your travel plans on short notice? What did you do? 

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