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About ac_freeman

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  • Birthday 14/05/1961

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  1. A shame indeed - that means that both the Waverley and Balmoral are now out of service 😟 Andy
  2. Yesterday on arrival at Oustreham on Normandie there was a tug standing by, waited for us to turn and was then helped to nudge us up to the berth.......I was out on deck and it did seem that the bow thruster did not have the same level of thrust when pushing to port, but it was definitely running while the tug was pushing - I am only basing this by comparing the level of wash that I could see when the thruster was used in the initial turn, when pushing to starboard, to what I could see when the thruster was being used to push to port to bring us against the berth. There was quite a strong wind blowing from the East at Oustreham, we did not have tug assistance at Portsmouth. Andy
  3. I was on Normandie for a day return to Caen yesterday ( has to be the best day out possible, £24.00 for a whole day at sea! ) - at breakfast there were round rolls, at lunch triangular and at dinner back to the round ones ( this was in the self-service restaurant ), I tried one of the round ones with my steak at dinner time and it was delicious...AND the raspberry tart was back to it's original quality, still the reduced size though 😀 Andy
  4. Well, not sure about Grand Marnier but the Raspberry sauce used to be ( or certainly seemed to be ) made from pureed fresh raspberries, now it seems to be regular raspberry jam - it is still my automatic dessert choice on each BF crossing and is still very nice indeed.......just not quite what it used to be, they have also trimmed at least an inch off the diameter, but unfortunately this has not been the same effect to my waistline after eating it ( them ) 😀 Andy
  5. Now that we are on a roll ( sorry 🙂 ) - Slightly off topic but while we are on food quality does anyone else think that the raspberry tart is not a patch on what it used to be? Andy
  6. Many people have been saying for some time that the 80s style cruise ferries are dated and should be got rid of in favour of ro-pax ferries, well we have a so-called dated cruise ferry replaced with a ro-pax and people seem not be happy. The Oscar Wilde may have been a tad dated but had a feel of real quality and atmosphere in the public areas.....WB Yeats seems to be a regular cross-channel ro-pax which is being used on a longer route and does not have any charm or atmosphere, this is not so noticeable on a short sailing but will be on a longer sailing, having said that they have knocked a couple of hours off the Dublin/Cherbourg sailing times. I am looking forward to sailing on WB Yeats to see for myself as soon as I can arrange it, the plan will be Barfleur Poole to Cherbourg, WB Yeats Cherbourg to Dublin and then return. To be honest I think that passengers care more about the quality of ship that many would think - when sailing on BF on mini-cruises/crossings I often get chatting to passengers who are travelling on holiday and they are surprisingly knowledgeable about the ships and make comments about which are their favourites etc. - there are, of course, also those who see the sea as an inconvenience in the way of being able to drive to their destinations and just want to get across as quickly and cheaply as possible and do not care about the ship and it's facilities. Andy
  7. According to BBC News BF have said that they will not change the revised schedule even if Brexit is delayed, apparently the Government did not make any provision for a possible delay in their contract with BF so will have to pay from the 29th. If there is a delay then will be some very pleasant lightly loaded sailings to enjoy between Poole and Cherbourg........and the good thing is that BF should not be out of pocket 🙂 Andy
  8. Poole Cherbourg timetable now updated for April - presumably the expected delay in Brexit will not change anything. For those who like days out at sea there are some nice possibilities - out from Poole at 08:30 arrive Cherbourg 14:00.....off and then get straight back on to leave at 15:30 arriving back at a nice time of 19:00, or out from Poole at 13:45 arriving into Cherbourg at 19:15.....quick drink in the bar and then back onboard for a 22:15 departure and a nice overnighter ( assuming cabin availability ) arriving in Poole at 07:00. Andy
  9. I just arrived back from a mini-cruise on the King this morning, there were a couple of outside areas taped off, presumably due to wet paint......and the forward areas of Deck 10 were taped off overnight due to the winds. Be sure to go and see the troubadour in Navigators, he is superb....the band in the main show bar were also excellent. Enjoy the trip. Andy
  10. I wonder if they are going after the mini-cruise trade to offset some of the predicted reduction in regular holidaymaker traffic next year? This is the type of thing that will help attact mini-cruisers. I remember the entertainment on Pride Of Bilbao ( P&O Players I think they were called? ) It was West End Musical type entertainment, not normally my cup of tea but was superbly staged and included a cast who really could sing. Andy
  11. It is repeat from 2 or 3 years ago but very interesting and well worth watching - I recorded it when it was on originally and still enjoy an occasional repeat viewing. Andy
  12. Yes, I second what Jonno says - I did the Kiel/Oslo mini-cruise some years ago, the ships are amazing - when I sailed they had an ice rink which came up from that hole in the floor with a couple of ice skaters, there were 2 shows and you had to pre-book to get a seat but once the 2 shows had been completed it became a free-seating show bar with an excellent live band. There is a bar above the bridge with panoramic views, a good choice of eateries......but it is not cheap on-board, one of those trips where you save up beforehand and don't think about the prices when you get there 🙂 I still have my Color Fantasy mug which sits on my desk, looking at it right now................. Andy
  13. Just in case this is useful for anybody I have booked a night at the Seaview Hotel on the front at Fishguard rather than drive 4 hours home late at night, £45 with a full English breakfast seems good value ( mainly good reviews on TripAdvisor ) and they allow guests free parking if using the ferry ie. if you let them know in advance you can leave you car there while you are away. It does look to be quite a long walk though and a bit bleak if raining but might be useful information for others......I think I will park at the terminal and drive to the hotel to enjoy the bar facilities at the hotel, apparently they keep the bar open for people who arrive on the evening ferry 🙂 Andy
  14. I wonder if this is why Stena Europe's sailings have been cancelled today ( Storm Ali ) whereas Isle Of Inishmore is still sailing, albeit with major delays? Andy
  15. Thanks for the replies, just completed the booking - I will be sailing Fisguard/Rosslare - Rosslare/Cherbourg and return as a "ferry adventure".....I know that the Stena Horizon will be a bit of a "come down" after the Oscar Wilde but the timings work well for ship spotting and I will be sailing on a couple of ferries that I have never sailed on before, I did sail on the Stena Europe many years ago when she was on the Harwich/Hook route but I'm sure that she is now a totally different ship having undergone various changes. I will use the long stay car park, sounds quite easy to find. Andy
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