For a half-hour ferry ride (i.e. Drvenik to Sucuraj on Hvar Island) Jadrolinija's on-board comforts probably won't matter much but for an overnight on the Ancona-Split ferry you might want to know what to expect. Even some local ferry routes can be quite lengthy (i.e. the 6 1/4 hour ferry ordeal from Mali Losinj to Zadar). Here are some considerations:
All international ferries have elevators leading from the car deck to the passenger deck.
Most local car ferries have an elevator or escalator from the car deck. Ferries on short, half-hour shuttles generally do not have an elevator or escalator.
All Jadrolinija ferries have on-board Western-style toilets.
All overnight international and coastal Jadrolinija ferries offer sleeping arrangements.
The cheapest category is deck class. No, it does not mean you'll be sleeping outdoors! It means that you will be relegated to the lounge, bar or other public area. The floors are carpeted and you may spread out a foam or inflatable mattress. There's also banquette seating, chairs and a limited number of rather comfortable sofas.
This is available on international routes. It's airline style seating and somewhat quieter than deck class.
This is similar to train couchettes and is available on coastal and international routes. You get a mattress in a 2 to 4 berth cabin and use public facilities.
These range in comfort from an included sink in an interior 2 to 4-bed cabin to an exterior cabin with toilet, shower, minibar and TV. Not all classes are available on all boats. For example, the "Zadar" which connects Ancona and Zadar only has two-bed cabins. The price of a cabin includes breakfast on overnight sailings. In addition to bed linen, there are towels and soap.
In addition to a snack bar, all international ferries have dining rooms where mains cost anywhere from €5 to €10. Not all items listed on the menu are necessarily available and those that are, are indifferently prepared. The dining rooms are open set hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Local ferries have snack bars that offer hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and pastries but no hot food.
The interior public areas of all Jadrolinija boats are air-conditioned.
International ferries have a play area for children and a TV room for adults (only Croatian stations). The pride of the fleet is the Marco Polo with five decks, an outdoor aperitif deck, duty-free shopping and a tiny disco. The Marco Polo shares the coastal route and the Dubrovnik to Bari route with the Liburnija.
All public indoor areas on Jadrolinija boats are non-smoking.
Unless the weather turns nasty, you can count on prompt arrivals and departures on all Jadrolinija boats.