I stayed in the Premier Inn in Portsmouth on the Thursday night, caught the NEX at 09.00, but got to the port early at at 07.00. Lovely weather, and nice sitting in the terminal outside looking at the ships. All boarding and security checks went smoothly and I happily settled out the back outdoor area on NEX, where I spent most of the crossing. She behaved impeccably, the sea was a millpond and it was a lovely pleasant crossing. No marshalls on board her from what I could see. Foodwise, just had sandwich and coffees. Wifi proved impossible to use outbound because the log in screen did not load properly and stayed entirely blank, the box to type in the log-in code did not load. That aside, the trip was lovely and pleasant, the staff were all very polite and friendly.
Arrival in Cherbourg wad pretty straightforward, there was the normal cursory check at the passport going through customs. I went upstairs as I had an hour to wait before being picked up so I could see Barfleur arriving, and use the port wifi to do a bit of catching up, before being picked up to go to Crisbeq (think I spelt that properly). Beautiful weather all day and spent a few hours poking around bunkers and admiring the lovely French countryside. It was nice to see my friend's children again, he brought them along. Crisbeq very interesting, could have done with another hour or so there, though, but time was limited due to having to get back for the return journey.
Back at the terminal, customs checks and boarding were pretty straightforward, nothing more than usual, just a bag search. Armed marshals were walking about on Barfleur, they were just walking around and I didn't feel intimidated or anything, because I expected them to be there, and knew why they were there. Also passengers were being given a factsheet at the point where boarding cards were issued explaining the presence of these marshals. I felt indifferent to them to be honest, I wasn't worried or frightened of their presence. Something in this day and age that is unfortunately necessary.
Barfleur, her usual impeccable self, lovely millpond sea again, went to look at the new lounge, but they have built/walled it in and there were closed doors so could no see in. I thought it was going to be glass walled, so possibly could be a little claustrophobic in there if it is completely walled in? Not sure about it at the moment and it isn't finished yet so probably too early to judge. Games planet has moved and that looks ok where it is now. Wifi not as bad as on NEX, where access was impossible, but very slow.
Foodwise on Barfy, excluding the three Toblerones and biscuits I bought in the shop, went for the chicken tandoori with rice which was very pleasant, very enjoyable, thought it would make a change from my usual salads. Will have that again! All in a good time out, both ferries were great - nice to see the NEX again, I do like her.
Taxi back to Bournemouth...🙂