2015, a Memorable Year: US Opens Cuban Embassy, Jadrolinija Discovers Customer Service

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More than 40 years ago, Fidel Castro is alleged to have predicted the conditions which led to the reopening of the American Embassy in Cuba this year, by saying that the Americans would start talking when there was a black president and a Latin American pope. 

Had someone asked him at the time for a prediction on when Jadrolinija would discover customer service, I am sure young Fidel would have answered in the same way. 

These are momentous times for the national state ferry company. Readers of the site will be aware that Jadrolinija is my least favourite ferry company in the world, which is a little unfortunate as they have a state monopoly in the country in which I live. And I live on an island dependent on their ferries. I am still smarting from their treatment of us over the Christmas period, but I do have to admit that things are finally getting better.

Perhaps it is something to do with the fact that their monopoly comes to an end in early 2017, but some rather amazing things have been happening at Jadro HQ. First came the momentous news that it would be possible to buy catamaran tickets (but not ferry tickets) online, this in a country whose tourism economy depends on maritime transfer and was a member of the EU. 

Having achieved this minor miracle, Jadro HQ went one further and introduced tickets online for ferries too, as well as pre-paid cards to avoid queuing.

And they announced something truly futuristic – the availability of WiFi on board. 

That was a few weeks ago, and I am delighted (and stunned) to report that last night on the Tin Can from Stari Grad to Split, there was indeed Jadrolinija WiFi. And it worked! The network is called Jadrolinija-Tin-Ujevic in this case, so I assume each network is named after its ferry. 

The life of a travelling blogger just got a little easier. I am off to write to Fidel. 


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