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About rogerpatenall

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    BFE Member
  • Birthday 23/07/45
  1. Timothy

    Get thee behind me, Satan!
  2. BFE Members Offer - Winter 2017

    Thanks. CB. We are travelling over on Saturday morning and, credit to BF, they make it clear on the tickets and the booking engine (I think) that it is a bank holiday. Auchan at La Glacerie is open until 730pm, if anyone else is heading to the Cotentin and I therefore presume that both LeClerc stores in Cherbourg will have similar hours.
  3. We finally got round to giving the new lounge on Barfleur a try last night. I have to say it is a pleasant, colourful space with plenty of room for the number of seats there. I didn't count but would say that there are about 20 seats. Far superior to the offering on Normandie Express. The seats are very comfortable, there is a Nespresso coffee machine, which I find as dire as all the other coffee offerings on BF ships. A few copies of the Daily Telegraph, which maybe says something about how the French regard their British premium lounge clientele. No desks or anywhere to work so it is back to the self service for that, but the seats are fitted with USB charging points.There were also a few excellent books which may well have come from a jumble sale in the 1950's, but nevertheless some fascinating historical documents. A 'welcome' glass of Prosecco or Cremant would have been a nice touch (a la P&O and DFDS), but overall an excellent space. Will I use it again? Probably not. At £72 return for the two of us, it can be a nice touch when taking a once a year trip, but on a regular basis it is too much of an on-cost. Could the space be improved? Well. a nice waiter service Restaurant would be really welcome or has someone already thought of that? . . .
  4. MSM Tuesday 24 October

    I agree with the comments regarding bizarre traffic flow measures at Portsmouth. No where else seems to get in such a mess. Back in the 80s/90s that you refer to, Gareth, I was using Southampton mostly, and passport checks were usually done during the crossing which would solve the queue back that seems to be an ever present at Portsmouth. Around the channel ports there are probably quite a few retired professional Brits who, with training, could work a few hours for the Border Agency, carrying out checks as at Dunkerque & Calais - similar to those who wok part time for the Maritime coast guard agency around Britain.
  5. Apple card reader

    Yes. I have an Apple one that is simple to use, and does what it says on the tin. I assume that you will need to buy a 'carrier' if trying to use a small Sony card as there is just one standard size slot on mine (bought 5 years ago and rarely used these days).
  6. Boarding Times on the Bretagne

    It could work well on the Express, as well.
  7. Boarding Times on the Bretagne

    I agree with the 'we are all going to get on anyway' brigade, and you win some you lose some. I realised that all the BF talk about it being a highly planned exercise is probably wishful thinking. At Portsmouth, when it is busy, they often call on a lane, and, because it is busy, the marshals send the new arrivals onto the end of that lane as it goes down, and they sail straight on the boat. But they don't get to France any sooner, and may well be on an upper or less accessible area that is slow to disembark. Swings and roundabouts.
  8. Cap lift entrance 9C

    Last time I was on the Next I noticed some cars with 'Priority Loading' printed prominently on the windscreen hangers. I am not sure what that was about , but they were marshalled so as to be first off the upper deck. Never noticed them before.
  9. HMS Queen Elizabeth

    We were on the morning NEx out of Portsmouth on Wednesday. Even with the Express' limited visibility, excellent views of her. Super photos.
  10. Security, what is your opinion.

    Coming back through Portsmouth on Monday evening, there were, unusually, two uniformed men (Police or Border Agency?) standing outside the booths on the seaward side (not the land side where the Customs Officers wait), chatting amongst themselves and with the people in the waiting cars. All of a sudden they appeared to get a radio message and set off at top speed towards a car that had just joined the queue. Don't know what happened next as our turn came to move forward to the Border Agent - who was as courteous and efficient as always. But it suggests to me that it was an intelligence led action.
  11. Barfleur Club Lounge - Sneak Peek

    Never been in a Bangkok Brothel so thanks for the detailed description. We will save our £18 pounds - as we do on the NEx. Out of interest, is the CV discount given on seats as well as cabins?
  12. Cherbourg, June 23rd

    A busy crossing on the Express yesterday, but rewarded with a superb photo opportunity of the QM2 in Cherbourg. Still looks lovely.
  13. Portsmouth -Cherbourg - Poole 25/5/17

    The lounge is on the starboard side.
  14. Portsmouth -Cherbourg - Poole 25/5/17

    Yes - but the ship will have turned around. Once the ship gets out of Poole harbour and heads south, I don't suppose that there will be any sun in the mornings, either.
  15. Normandie Express - Summer 2017

    It seemed to me that the refurb of the men's toilet went further than just new driers. A paint job, new lighting and a new beam activator. I also noted that a lot of the crew were 'new faces'. I agree that last night was a text-book crossing.