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Dubrovnik: Beautiful views, rude people

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Kiev, Ukraine
posts: 13
reviews: 13
Dubrovnik: Beautiful views, rude people

I chose a particular cruise mainly because it stopped in Dubrovnik, which I had long wanted to see. The views and old city are spectacular. But we were stunned at the rudeness of every single person we met, with the exception of one waiter at a restaurant where we had lunch, who was civil. Maybe they knew we were there on a brief cruise stop, maybe it was because we were women, maybe it was because we had five children, but every single sales person or ticket seller we met was just downright mean! From the woman selling embroideries on the stairs, to the woman in a jewelry shop, to the woman guarding the public toilet. Which, by the way, required exact change in local currency, which is hard to find when you have two 8-year olds standing there with their legs crossed...My friends and I, who have traveled throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, have never encountered such across the board rudeness anywhere (not even Moscow, which is famous for it). Like they took courses in it. I am writing this in the hopes that someone in the city's tourist bureau takes notice and addresses this issue. At first we were sad that the on-shore stop was so brief, but we actually left early because we were so disappointed. And, as a result, we bought a lot less souvenirs and food than usual.

Porec, Croatia
Destination Expert
for Istria, Croatia
posts: 3,160
reviews: 16
1. Re: Dubrovnik: Beautiful views, rude people

How sad that you had such a challenging visit. I find in Croatia that the further north and inland one goes, the more pleasant and friendly people become. One of the reasons my heart belongs in Istria. I do not mean everyone, of course - just a general observation from tons of travel in Croatia and many other European countries. Dubrovnik is extremely touristy and it seems as though people are impolite because they can be. There will always be tons of tourists there no matter what. It is no excuse, though, because there are so many touristy areas all over the world where you can encounter genuine friendliness. We have found many in Prague to be similarly aloof. The worst I have seen would probably be Venice where we've been about 20 times. We are sort of used to it and but it can be discouraging.

I have not personally found very many people in Dubrovnik to be impolite but have heard it does happen, especially with all the cruise ships. To be honest, the hoardes of tourists (myself included) could get downright sickening. But it is how Dubrovnik makes money so those who were rude there (and anywhere, especially in a tourist town) should sit up and take notice that a smile and friendly gesture can make all the world of a difference to someone's vacation.

When were you there? How long were you docked? Like most places, evenings and early mornings are the best times to poke around before the crowds appear.

Please do not allow your experiences to taint future visits to Croatia! It can be heartachingly lovely as you know. Your experience could be vastly different so it is sad that your impression of Croatia was a poor one. :(

Atlanta
posts: 1,523
reviews: 8
2. Re: Dubrovnik: Beautiful views, rude people

Unfortunate, Dubrovnik is turning into "Venice". Too many people to be a polite. Cruise is the worst way of travel. So, you have 2 bad things get together and that's result of both of it.

Yorkshire
posts: 1,026
reviews: 49
3. Re: Dubrovnik: Beautiful views, rude people

I am more sad than I can say to read the above. We have been to Croatia 7 times, each time the level of hospitality and friendliness from local people has been out of this world. We have been given drinks in restaurants, been left plates of cakes in our apartment, and invited to share family meals. Many people do not have very much but they give you everything.

You will never see a country at it's best from a cruise. You have to stay, live the local way of life, talk with the locals, and interact. And I know Dubrovnik has been so over run with cruisers in the last few years, it's like Venice...almost impossible to carry on a normal every day life.

We have gone mostly to Istria and the islands like Hvar. I wouldn't go back to Dubrovnik because of cruises.

Edited: 1:57 pm, January 21, 2013
Porec, Croatia
Destination Expert
for Istria, Croatia
posts: 3,160
reviews: 16
4. Re: Dubrovnik: Beautiful views, rude people

I so agree with Rosebrid 100%. We love Croatia so much (obviously) and it is so disheartening to read this. Without fail we always get invited to homes for coffee and cake or given limencello or whatever someone has on hand.

There are villages near our house that we walk to and villagers who speak zero English may be outside picking wild asparagus or cherries. They approach us and lovingly give to us what they have just picked. They are so hospitable and even though many are poor according to our standards, the country is so rich in so many other ways. They give their very best to guests. Their generosity is astonishing. When strangers ask you over for rakija or vino they mean it. You just go on over right then. I find our society (at least where I live) to be so different - many are insincere. We have good intentions but our follow through often is lacking. Not so there.

I sincerely hope you give Croatia another chance, not in a cruise town but in a small town/village/rural area (i.e. my favourite Istria). That is where you get the essence and flavour of the real Croatia. No comparison.

Ely, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Dubrovnik
posts: 11,723
reviews: 41
5. Re: Dubrovnik: Beautiful views, rude people

I can honestly say that I have not been treated rudely by anyone in my four trips to Croatia. I think the fact of the matter is that though the Cruise Ship business is important to Dubrovnik and many other cities, I don't think I would want to deal with the thousands of pushy people on a daily basis who rush into Dubrovnik to experience "everything" that Dubrovnik has to offer in a couple of hours just to say they experienced Dubrovnik. But I will say again, we have not been treated rudely by anyone in all of our trips.

Yorkshire
posts: 1,026
reviews: 49
6. Re: Dubrovnik: Beautiful views, rude people

Chefathome, our experiences are so similar. The warmth and friendliness we have had on our holidays is very humbling, and we look on Croatia as a second home, that is why it was so sad to read the post. We have been driven to ferry stops by landlords with no expectation of renumeration (although we have) and after our hike in Hvar a few years ago Hvar Adventure invited us back to view the day's slides over a 'couple' of grappas!

The people are very kind and I have nothing but good to say of them. Ok, some in tourist offices can be a little brusque but that is their way. We've never mistaken efficiency for unfriendliness. Indeed, we have met the staff in the town later, and they were so friendly, asking whether we enjoyed a particular excursion.

Edited: 3:18 pm, January 21, 2013
Padiham, United...
posts: 11
reviews: 1
7. Re: Dubrovnik: Beautiful views, rude people

Every time we have been to Dubrovnik we have come across extremely nice people, but have also come across the rude and also some extreme slime balls. as one post has already said, the fast pace of life in the height of summer makes a big difference, but even some of the locals will tell you that they detest the cruise boats, because they import thousands of siteseers who for the majority, don't spend anything or very little. I suppose you can sympathise.

Yorkshire
posts: 1,026
reviews: 49
8. Re: Dubrovnik: Beautiful views, rude people

I think Dubrovnik is something apart from the rest of Croatia. Being a mere pit stop for hundreds of cruise liners who only stop for a matter of hours wouldn't exactly fill the locals with the anxious desire to please because they will soon be gone and then another load arrives. It's not like they are spending a week or so there, going back to restaurants and markets and building a small rapport.

UK
posts: 3
reviews: 45
9. Re: Dubrovnik: Beautiful views, rude people

from what i read things in croatia are 50/50...just like everywhere else really...id like to ask for your recommendations...we are a young couple who would like to experience entirely (or at least as much as possible) the croatian lifestyle...food, drinks, language, culture, history..from the mentioned above dubrovnik is the least authentic place...all opinions are welcomed!

:)

thanks guys

Ely, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Dubrovnik
posts: 11,723
reviews: 41
10. Re: Dubrovnik: Beautiful views, rude people

Split or Zadar if you are thinking Dalmatia.