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About kgst

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    BFE Member
  • Birthday 23/04/1949
  1. She has her name on the side now & the painting is nearly finished so looks like Friday will be Ok. Impressive what they have achieved in 4 months
  2. Cork to Santander route set to launch

    This new services to Spain & a second sailing to France is great news & should be well supported . For years Irish Customers have been telling BF that the one rotation a week was too restrictive and mean if you wanted a short break in France longer than 5 days you had to use another carrier on one leg of the journey. Now hopefully depending on timings & pricing BF should get all the booking. There are also customers who were using Cork Roscoff but had to travel 9 -10 hours down to the south of France or Spain & for sure would prefer to sail down The cost of Road tolls ,Fuel & possibly an overnight stop over should make the direct sailing an attractive option. How the economy option will go down I am not sure as the only carrier offering it on the Irish route is Stena with the Stena Horizon but I suppose its success will depend on pricing
  3. You forgot to mention a good wine pairing - how about this one from a certain Wine warehouse in Roscoff Château Lamothe Cissac - Vieilles Vignes - Haut-Médoc - 2014
  4. St Malo Dockers’ Strike

    I would say god help him - our French friends were really pleased when he was elected but are already writing him off as a President for the rich. We need strong government and for France to succeed. Look around... Germany has no effective government ,Britain is in disarray, Ireland has a weak coalition Government and as for the States... Lets hope 2018 will bring some improvement as it is long overdue
  5. Complaint handling _BF

    The Irish route only allows for travel on The Pont Aven & kennels are the only option. Bf will not allow pets to be left in the vehicle for the duration of the trip - I assume the change is because of wishing to restrict access to the car decks during the crossing The other choice on the Irish route is Stena where they can be left in the vehicle & travel free or at present Oscar Wilde where the kennels are on the car deck but are totally inadequate The W B Yeats will have a similar setup on Deck 7 which is disappointing. Bf are getting a €100 per return crossing and not providing a proper service but don't seem to care
  6. Complaint handling _BF

    That is not correct as Neilcvx says it is on the website at 90 minutes prior to docking. In reality it is normally an hour before docking - certainly on the Irish route but they have stopped that on the early arrival into Roscoff on a Sunday morning and pet owners have to struggle down to their vehicles along with all other passengers using the only lift access on the POnt Aven from deck 9 I smile about the comments about dog owners who are a minority who want special treatment. Responsible dog owners want to abide by the rules and have the kennels secure from other passengers ,have the muzzle rule enforced & ensure dogs are not brought out into passenger areas outside the designated exercise area. If BF staff were on hand to policy their stated policies consistantly then everybody would have a pleasant crossing.
  7. Complaint handling _BF

    Sound advice - I have used BF for over 20 years on the Irish- French route & apart from the pet handling issue and lack of alternatives when the service was cancelled have very little to find fault with. However my experience in reporting the pet handling whilst on board was less than satisfactory with staff trying to convince me that what used to be the procedures were never in place [early return to the vehicle prior to ship docking] Hence I wrote to customer services instead as I viewed it as something that needed to be dealt with in company procedures rather than the way an individual crew dealt with it. Consistancy is all important when providing a product or service & a letter to customer services advising where the service is falling down should be viewed as helpful rather than been dismissed out of hand.
  8. Complaint handling _BF

    I am wondering how other members find BF if they make a complaint - do they try to solve it or are they defensive. I use the Irish route on PA and on 3 trips this year have had issues with the pet handling. The most recent trip in October concerned the fact that the Door to the Kennel area was not working & was tied open and the 2 entrance doors were also wedged open. This allows anyone who wants to to wander into the kennel area and let dogs out if they have a mind to . On a quiet sailing whilst still unsafe it is not as bad as on a summer sailing where the ship is fully loaded and there are plenty of passengers wandering around deck 10. I made the suggestion to customer services that they should use the overflow kennel area where the kennel key does work and thus the area is secure but I got a very defensive reply telling me if the service on offer was not suitable or did not correspond to what i thought was acceptable then I could use another carrier... Bearing in mind the increased competition on the Irish route in 2018 I thought i might get a more constructive response to what was a genuine concern for pet & passenger safety . We have a friend who will never use BF again because their dog escaped from the kennel and was found wandering in the middle of the night on deck 9 - again was the access to the kennel area was open...
  9. BF deposit on the Irish site is 25% of the total booking so for a high season booking is in excess of €300 . There is also no club travel for Irish customers
  10. It will need to be delivered on schedule - IF are marketing very heavily the new sailings on W b Yeats in print & in digital formats They are offering 10% off for early booking & €100 deposit. A July 2018 return sailing with that pricing is €10 cheaper than BF
  11. I emailed them & it looks like the same arrangement as on OW 12 cabins of various sizes on Deck 7. They issued me the standard notes about visiting pets accompanied by a crew member but also said to bring your own water bowl etc. So there is no improvement which is very disappointing except the kennels are new and I don't know about an exercise area but if it is on a car deck I am sure there is not one worth talking about. They are charging more for pets as well
  12. Cork..end of season.

    I was on the 28th Oct sailing to France & back on the last sailing to Ireland on Friday 3rd. The Pont Aven was very lightly loaded both ways due in no small part to the effects of the previous weeks cancellation because of storm Brian. Looking at the vehicle registrations there was a high proportion of Cork registered cars and French vehicles with a smattering of UK & Northern Ireland as well. I would say that the French & people living around Cork would continue to use BF in preference to Irish Ferries but that the Northern Irish that travelled down to Cork would probably opt for the new Dublin -Cherbourg route as it cuts miles off their journey to the ferry. There maybe price competition that will have an effect with IF currently offering 10 % off 2018 prices but what I think will have a greater effect is the flexibility that IF can provide with daily sailings. BF 's one sailing a week is very inflexible and the timetable suits them rather than the customer with a very early arrival into Roscoff at 6:00 am. If you want a short break in France and use BF you only get 5 nights in France & if you wish to extend that to say 10 days you have to use another carrier for one leg of the journey and the danger is now that with a smart new ship they may find the IF offering more attractive & use them in the future. It has to be said that you cannot fault the BF offering in general with the dining in La Flora & they way they maintain the PA - we as pet owners have issues with them that they won't address. The Kennel card to open the door has not been working properly since the end of August so their solution is to leave the 2 doors to the kennels tied open which is not secure for the dogs & would on a busy sailing allow anyone who wanted to go in & let the animals loose. They also on the early morning arrival into Roscoff do not open the car deck 1 hour in advance to allow easy transfer of pets back to their vehicles and it causes stress on the pet owners & those customers who are trying to get down to the vehicle deck on the one lift that is available. They are not enforcing the Muzzle rule consistantly and someone or some child is going to get bitten by a nervous dog when they are packed into an overcrowded lift. 2018 will certainly be an interesting year .....
  13. Stowaways

    Access to the car decks on the Epsilon is allowed mid crossing [with a member of the crew] for pet owners to check their animals that are left in their vehicles- so maybe it was on one of these visits that either noise was heard or the stowaways made themselves know ?
  14. They probably wont use that as the new Irish Navy ship [2014 was name Le Samuel Beckett ...
  15. Was this not due in part to the Pont Aven being out of service for several rotations in that year. Missed sailings have an affect on passenger numbers and confidence on forward bookings on the Irish routes as there are limited alternatives. Stena Horizon has been out of service since last Sunday with technical difficulties and I know passengers who were left stranded in Cherbourg swear they will never use Stena again because of the lack of consideration/information given to them