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SimonP

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About SimonP

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    BFE Member
  • Birthday 10/04/1979

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  1. The only thing I've noticed that I'm not so keen about is the lack of 'vessel' information when booking. The old website (non mobile version) would always display the vessel you were travelling on which was a nice touch and for those with less knowledge of the routes, or for the routes operating a 2-ship service or indeed during winter refits, it was always nice to see what vessel you were travelling on. I'm surprised this hasn't been raised or did I miss something? Other than that, I like the website. It seems to work well on both my android phone and windows based laptop.
  2. I sailed to Dieppe and back last month and didn't notice any migrants. Sadly in Ouistreham I do now, every time I sail from that port.
  3. I disagree re:carpets. One of the things I really like about the BF fleet is how cosy the cabins feel with their carpets. The Transmanche vessels are carpetless in the cabins and it feels like an Ibis Budget. I can't stand laminate flooring personally. I feel it gives a cheapness and has a cold feeling about it. Appreciate it makes things easier at refit and also to clean, but it is something I'm not really rejoicing although overall, I'm really excited but the design of Honfleur.
  4. Some prior reading. I can't recall now, it was a while. I would love to be proven wrong and to see her retain the brand she's currently sailing under.
  5. I agree, I love the vessels. They have an air of quality about them and they're pretty stylish. Some of the vessels have started to show their age a bit, but they're due for pastures new. Normandie and her orange carpets is one that sticks into my mind. Still a lovely well cared for ship, but could use a spruce-up, keen to see what will change when she starts on the Ecomonmie brand and route. BF vessels always feel younger than their age suggests. I've been sailing with BF since Reine Matilde's days and even then I do remember a marked difference in 'feel' between that and the Sealink ships of the time....even back when I was a kid! I was lucky enough to sail on Bretagne on her maiden season and Barlfeur on her maiden season and I was in awe. The only vessels to come close to the appeal of the BF ships appeared when P&O chartered the ex-Olau sisters and of course earlier than that, Pride of Bilbao. All 3 were lovely vessels, but they still didn't have that lovely stylish French feel of the BF vessels - especially when P&O teamed up with the tabloid press to offer cheap booze cruises, something I'm glad we've seen the back of. The old Super Vikings too, as fond as I am/was of them were turds in comparison. I went, for the first time to Dieppe on one of the Transmache sisters late last year. The vessels are very clean and the staff were absolutely fantastic, but I felt the vessel had absolutely no style, no relaxing French ambience and very a drab interior. The Dover vessels get a hammering, so you expect them to be a little thread-bare in places, but having had to take a P&O crossing back to Dover following a technical issue with Normandie, I was pretty flabbergasted at the state of the Spirit of Britain. I didn't think much of her interior (style) and many of the seats were ripped or badly worn. It felt grubby and really not pleasant, just like a motorway service station which is essentially what she is. The DFDS vessels on that route are far far nicer, but still not a patch on the BF vessels. BF are not known to be the cheapest by any stretch of the imagination, but the old adage applies, "you get what you pay for" and I think for the price, you actually get a really nice experience with BF and the holiday really does start when you board the ships. Don't change these wonderful ingredients!
  6. Thanks chaps! Excuse the spelling I'm the title, autocorrect uncorrected the vessel's name!
  7. Aaah! Not being fluent in 'BF Timetable' I didn't realise. Thanks.
  8. Just set sail and we are 20 minutes out and I'm now seeing the inbound Normandie from MSM, anyone know why she's inbound so early? Repositioning? There's no one on deck.
  9. They won't be missed by me. Each to their own, but, as like amusement arcades at British seaside resorts, they're woefully tacky.
  10. Amazing how many people don't know how to lock their cars without setting their alarms - having said that, each car manufacturer has a different way usually. My Mercedes, which is a 2014 car has another key that slots into the fob and has a small release. Just a case of locking the driver side lock with that, hey presto, car locked, alarm not set - that easy. My other car, a 1991 300zx Twin Turbo is even easier - it doesn't have an alarm!
  11. Let's just hope that the replacement won't be so utterly characterless as the Armorique is. Mont St Michel still has the old BF flair; other than the accomodation decks on Armorique (which are very nice), the rest of her is like a Dover-Calais vessel - a service station at sea!
  12. SimonP

    AIS apps

    That's about 50p more than a McDonald's breakfast.....
  13. I was caught up in this. Mine was the first return sailing back to the UK that was cancelled. Right bummer and made me realise just how lovely BF ships, staff, décor and food are as I had to travel back via Calais. Blurgh! I was notified via text on the 11th around 2000hrs. Sad to hear about the crew which I knew about the very next day and BF were quick to respond to me once I was back in the UK, so, other than having to endure the Spirit of France, all was in hand.
  14. SimonP

    Compensation

    Write to their customer services department. I was caught up in the Normandie's issues last week and my sailing was the first to be cancelled (Tuesday AM). I HAD to get back to the UK before the PM for a family gathering and was notified via text around 8pm on the Monday night, so BF customer services were not there to assist, and wouldn't have been open until after (my now cancelled crossed) would have departed, I ended up having to book up a single Calais-Dover with P&O which I hated. Spirit of France is a miserable stale feeling 'Motorway services' ship with torn seats, dirt everywhere and grumpy staff. Sure, it's the Dover-Calais run, but it was such a miserable experience and made me more frustrated that I wasn't sailing back on a relaxing BF crossing on a nice ship with good food and cabin. I then had to do the depressing drive from Dover back to Glastonbury in the south west. To cut a long story shorter, I wrote and complained about the extra fuel and extra cost in ticket and was given a £50 travel voucher from BF which was great as that covered the fuel and the ticket difference and a friend at BF had already refunded the return portion of my sailing with them. It was still highly frustrating as my 'relaxing' return was anything but as my Calais ferry arrived at 1am on the Tuesday morning and I didn't get through my front door until 5am! Needless to say though, BF were VERY quick in dealing with everything and despite a miserable crossing and drive back from Dover, all's well that ends well. They may refer you to your travel insurance however for out-of-pocket expenses such as hotel and living costs. It might be worth writing to them to see if they'll cover your insurance excess with some sort of BF voucher recommence.
  15. I'm quite fortunate that whenever I do take my car to France with BF, it's mostly in my sports car which is very low and very wide. BF are always really good with it and park it on the lower decks, I've never had any issues with its proximity to other vehicles. Even when I take my other car, I've always had ample room. I always sit in the car until most of the other passengers' cars have been vacated and they've made their way to the accommodation decks. I also avoid peak times, so rarely travel between July and the end of August. Plenty of room last time.
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