So, I've been looking at the cruise ship schedules for our time in Croatia, as suggested on other threads. Our dates are set already, so what I would like to do is try to plan our days so that we aren't doing the popular activities on the busier cruise ship days. This will be during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of May.
There are cruise ships in port each of our 4 days in Dubrovnik. From what I can tell, looking at their passenger capacities, the maximum number of passengers per day will be as follows:
Day 1 - Saturday. Arrival Day. We arrive in the morning and won't be too jet lagged, because we have an overnight in London before our flight. However, we may have to deal with our lugguge (carryon) until we can check into our apartment. There is one ship in port that day, from 8 to 5, maximum 999 passengers.
Day 2-Sunday. 2 ships in port. One has a max of 153 passengers and the other lists 99-198 passengers and is there from 5-9 pm. I figure this isn't too bad and might be a good day to plan a popular activity.
Day 3-Monday. 1 ship in port from 7 am to 6 pm. 1258 - 1447 passengers
Day 4-Tuesday. Departure day. We are probably taking the ferry to Hvar, leaving at 4:30 pm. There will be 2 ships in port. One has a max of 930 passengers. The other, there from 8 am to 5 pm, has 2666 - 3214 passengers. This looks to be the busiest day, so this is the day we'd probably want to schedule something outside of the old town, I'm thinking, but we may have our luggage to deal with. (I'm thinking there is storage near the ferry, as there is in Split?)
Hvar-Tuesday to Friday. No cruise ships in port that month until the day we leave (early). Hooray! However, I'm wondering about our day trip to the Blue Cave. Do people on cruise ships often do trips to the Blue Cave when they have just the day in Split? Should I try to go to the Blue Cave on the day there will be fewer passengers in Split (weather may also dictate our choice), or does it matter? (1150 on Day 1 in Hvar vs ~2000 on day 2, but one of the ships isn't in port until afternoon).
Split-Friday-Saturday. There are no ships in port on our full day in Split (yay!). We will arrive early in the morning from Hvar and can store our luggage. We are going to Zadar the next day, but I thought we'd spend the second morning in Split. 2 ships totalling up to almost 5000 passengers will be in port that day, arriving at 7 or 8 am. So, if we spend the morning here, suggestions on how to avoid the crowds?
Zadar-Saturday-Monday. 1 ship in port the day we arrive. 672-804 passengers, there from 8 am to 8 pm. I'm guessing the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun will be busier that evening. There are no ships in port our second day (full day and night) in Zadar. Yay!
Plitvice-Monday-Tuesday. There are no ships in port in Zadar the day we go to Plitvice. There is one ship in port in Split that day, from 10 am to 6 pm, with 2260 - 2712 passengers. Might this affect the crowds in Plitvice? We are staying overnight at a park hotel and plan to take advantage of the 2-day entry, going later in the day the first day and earlier in the day the second. The second day, there is one ship in port in Split, from 8 am to 6 pm with 698-803 passengers.
So, it looks as if there are only a couple of days (our departure day in Dubrovnik and our departure morning in Split, where large numbers of cruise passengers might affect our plans, but I would appreciate any tips on what to make sure to do on the less-crowded days and what are some good options for the more crowded days.