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About veryoldbear

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    BFE Member
  • Birthday 22/09/1943

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  1. I've done a number of day trips to Ook of Olland for meetings and barge inspections etc, and each time the Harwich border people have been strangely interested in my motives.
  2. Anything is better than trying to go up that ramp on Etretat ....
  3. No, the booking engine throws you out after less than ten minutes even though you are still still trying to work through it. It is certianly not ten minutes after last action. I tried it several times with the same result.
  4. I may be being a little rough on them and of course much IT work is dictated by client's requirements. But who on earth thought it would be a wizard wheeze to place a ten-minute (which is actually a lot shorter) limit on booking changes? It simply defies imagination. There is also no excuse for a commercial website running at speeds that would be inappropraite ten years ago. If it is matter of bandwidth or server space whatever they surely should have thought about that before making these changes. And i didn't make a mistake on my initial booking, work has kept me at the coal face for longer than expected. And it is still going on so I may have to cancel the whole trip.
  5. I needed to change a booking last night, and the glacial new website threw me out after 5 minutes before I got haf way through it. What blithering idiot decided to put a tight time limit of managing booking? They should take their IT people out and beat them with sticks until they produce a website that is fit for purpose. the present set-up is crap. And thery don't answer the telephone or emails either. What the hell is going on?
  6. While they are at it why don't they improve the angle of those ramps to get cars up to the top? At the moment (as with ETRETAT) it is quite hair-raising going up that ramp, particularly as there is usually a smell of burning clutches in the air ....
  7. Back yesterday to Portsmouth on the early morning MSM and the rolls were tubular.
  8. veryoldbear


    Bless my sole ...
  9. I've used the Harwich - Hook a number if times on business and I do like the solid regularity of the service with the two big boats. The cabins are excellent, the self-service is a bit ho-hum, but the restaurant is good. Not quite so haute-cuisine as BF but repeat good. A couple of months ago we went Harwich - Hook on the night ferry and there was a substantial delay, but the restaurant was open, bookings respected, staff cheerful. Top marks. Next adventure I have a meeting in Antwerp, so it's back to the Dover - Dunkirk run with DFDS. This can be a bit mixed but again, it's a nice regular service and I pay for the lounge and flop out for a couple of hours. After that I need to drive back Antwerp to Normandie and hope my Bip is still working ...
  10. Yesterday I needed to change a booking for next week, short notice, two people travelling instead of three, and change of car. The "manage my booking" simply couldn't handle it and I had to do it all by telephone. That was fine, but the pleasant young lady at the other end did venture to comment that they had received a number of adverse comments about the new website.
  11. I am seriously worried. Breakfasting on the NORMANDIE yesterday morning we were faced with ROUND bread rolls instead of the traditional BF TRIANGULAR bread rolls. What's going on? Are we doomed?
  12. We came off the NORMANDIE yesterday afternoon and it was very very quiet. There were a few of the lads camped up by the camp site, but didn't see any in the town square. I think they are beginning to realise that there's only a couple of ferry movements a day and it's a bit of a dead loss for trying to get through the pretty solid security now in place.
  13. Last week we had a week in Holland / Belgium, travelling overnight Arijaba / Hook on the big Stena boats. The cabins make BF look like punishment cells, and the catering is pretty fair. Not so Gallic as BF but still quite adequate. But I hate to think what the balance sheet looks like for that run, both coming and going very lightly loaded. But having a proper night's sleep is rather nice ....
  14. It's the subcontracted cleaning rush. I could understand the problems when it's peak loading, but yesterday when we came over the Norm was very lightly loaded, and I assume that not everybody used a day cabin. They could do better.
  15. And so off to Ouistreham on the good ship Normandie this morning. By some fluke of loading we ended up in pole position on No 5 deck just behind the big doors. On arrival at Ouistreham there was a bit of a delay as one of the ramp fingers has presumably lost hydraulics and was having to be picked up and positioned by lashing it to the two adjacent fingers with a bit of a delay. We watched the fun from the front lounge and when they had it all fixed we nipped down to our car. And we were first off and through passport control before anybody else was off the ship. Did we laugh!
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