Most often, cruising the Croatian coastline and the Adriatic means sailing on a manned boat, and thus differs from renting a bareboat ship known as a charter. The cruise is for those who want to enjoy sailing the sea and do not possess the skipper skills to sail alone. There is a permanent crew consisting of several members on cruise vessels, depending on the size of the vessel. Small cruise ships have fewer, and large cruisers, more crew members. But what they all have in common is that they must have a captain and (more importantly!), a chef who provides comfort in the fresh sea air with her/his skills. On each cruise, at least half-board or full-board service is offered, and even an all-inclusive service that includes drinks on board. Otherwise, the passengers' own drinks are not usually brought on board, but it all depends on arrangement.
Crewed cruise vessels are available in two options:
- rental of the whole ship with a crew (private cruise)
- cabin rental on cruises with a predetermined route
To enjoy a carefree cruise along the coast in Croatia, leave yourself in the hands of professional captains who will surely take you on routes that will delight you. Captains know best which are the best places to see, the best places to anchor on the Adriatic, where the safe ports are, where there is a place to moor a boat and, most importantly, follow the weather forecast to avoid storms and sail safely. These are some of the many things you normally have to take care of on your own if you are renting an unmanned boat. Therefore, even the most experienced skippers sometimes choose to go on an organised cruise with a crew as a form of a completely carefree vacation. Most cruises have pre-determined routes or itineraries, but if you rent the whole vessel you can tailor the route yourself as agreed to with the captain.
On cruises with a predetermined route, the guest chooses one of the departure dates on offer on one of the planned routes, depending on which places on the Adriatic coast he wants to visit. Each route is designed to have its own attractions and points of interest and a lot of content. The route may be changed to some extent by the captain if he assesses that it would be dangerous to sail on the given route due to unfavourable weather conditions. The chosen departure is always guaranteed unless the occupancy of the cruise is so small that the departure would not make sense. In this case, guests are notified of the change in advance. Navigation on a certain route also includes docking in ports, and the port authorities charge port taxes for each docking. On some cruises, port taxes are included in the price, and on some they are an extra payment.
Cruise ships have the comforts that can be found in hotels on land, and especially luxury cruise ships that captivate with their luxury. For large and small cruisers, a bathroom with a toilet and a shower in the cabin (en-suite) is usually standard. But there are also traditional wooden cruise ships on which each cabin has its own bathroom. Of course, there are also boats where there is no bathroom in the cabin, but possibly only a wash basin, but then the price of such a cruise is more acceptable. Basically, each cruise ship also has passenger shared bathrooms and toilets that guests can use. The crew is housed in special cabins so as not to disturb guests on holiday.
The size of a cruise ship can vary - from smaller 10m (30ft) sailboats operated only by a skipper to large mega yachts or mega cruisers where only the crew count is in the hundreds. Renting a sailboat or motor yacht only with a skipper is also a form of renting a boat with a crew, the only difference is the size and spaciousness of the boat. Practically every boat from the charter offer in Croatia is also available with a skipper, on which some are obligatory. The skipper can be accompanied by a hostess and / or a cook, and they are located in the crew cabins. Guests have access to the kitchen, while on larger multi-crew vessels, access to the kitchen is only allowed to the crew. On larger cruisers, in addition to the captain, there are e.g.sailors who help with navigation and maids who organise the guest cabins. They are all housed in crew cabins and do not disturb guests on their holiday on board. On larger cruisers, the crew is more separate from the guests, so they even have their own special common areas.