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chid679

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  • Birthday 19/10/1981

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  1. I stand corrected, just found a ticket and there was a sticker on it, my bad 🤭
  2. I was on the corresponding overnight back from Caen. My text from BF said departure would be "around 23.30". We moved off the Berth at 23:55. Arrived in Portsmouth at 6.30 so overall crossing time was an hour shorter so less Sleep than I'd originally hoped for. More disappointing was the lack of evidence that the delay was due to Covid-19 restrictions. If I've been kept waiting on the dockside for extra cleaning I expected my Cabin to have been thoroughly cleaned. We unclipped the Upper Bunk from its fixings to find an empty Crisp packet in the little storage net. I appreciate that the Caen ships have a short turnaround time and that the Cleaners will be Contracters but in today's climate Cleanliness and Hygiene have never been more important- I wish I'd complained now and took a picture of it but couldn't be bothered at the time I just wanted to go to bed. We had a coloured sticker on the Car but not on our ticket and the queue at Breakfast time was not staggered based on ticket colour or deck number it was the usual free for all (however it was socially distanced). Our experience on the outbound crossing on Bretagne was totally different with Breakfast queues and return to the garage all controlled by ticket colour. Is it a different process depending upon the route/ship? On a separate note, the Migrants were causing problems as well but that's for a different thread. Needless to say next year I think I'll avoid Caen and try either Cherbourg or St. Malo for my return crossing.
  3. We booked our holiday last year and booked our Campsite and Ferry Crossings separately. Then Covid arrived and Lockdown happened there were times when we thought our holiday would not happen and we looked into what would happen should it not be able to go ahead. The message from both the Campsite and BF was Consistent... if the site is Open/ferry is operating and YOU cancel then you will be subject to our T's & C's and it will cost you whereas if THEY cancel we'd get a Voucher/Credit Note so we paid our balances sat and waited and watched it all unfold and to our relief everything was back and running again in time just slightly different to what weve become accustomed to. So we were loaded onto Deck 3 of the Bretagne 40mins before we were due to sail and then instructed when to get out of the car by a member of staff. We proceeded to our Cabin no 6511 with the minimum of fuss and without getting to close to anyone in the stairwells. The Cabin itself was the cleanest I've ever seen one on the Bretagne. I dont know if she's had new carpets during the winter refit but it looked new and very clean. The a/c vent had a little dust but nothing like the images I've seen on here and on the whole I was impressed. If they could maybe update the light fittings and maybe fit some USB charging ports she could be good for another few years. We left the berth 10mins early and sat on the sundeck on a beautiful evening in Portsmouth passing the HMS Queen Elizabeth and Connemara. We passed the Normandie a bit further out but she wasn't close enough to even get a decent photo. It's a shame the timings have changed because I remember being a kid in the mid- 90's standing on deck coming into Portsmouth on the Duc de Normandie and the Pride of Cherbourg and waving at the people on the Bretagne whilst feeling like a 2nd Class citizen as she sailed in the opposite direction. Anyhow, after watching the Caberet act in the Bar and the Magician it was time for Bed. The public areas were eerily quiet but I just assumed everyone was staying in their Cabins. There was a little vibration coming from the engines but I dont mind that on a night crossing I find it quite reassuring to know that the engines are running and after an uneventful night we were called up for Breakfast the next morning according to the colour on our ticket and then it was time to go back to the car. It was only then that I realised why the crossing had been so quiet, deck 4 was not in use and I'm not sure deck 5 was either so the whole number of passengers on the crossing had been fitted onto one garage deck. We were the last car to leave the port and that was only 20mins after arriving whereas there have been previous occasions where I've still been sat in the car on deck5 40 mins after arriving. Have that many people really cancelled? I cant imagine she was half full maybe 1/3 of capacity at best. So a lovely crossing but very quiet it was hard to believe it is July and although that made it extremely comfortable for me as a passenger I cant imagine it did anything for the Bean Counters at BF desperately trying to make back some of the lost revenue
  4. If it's in Boulogne could it be Calais Seaways? Though she could've been known as Norman Spirit or Ostend Spirit at the time
  5. Back on topic, even if Barleur did fit the harbours at Newhaven or Dieppe I would have thought she would offer too much capacity for the route or be too expensive to run. The current service is only 2-ships for half the year then they spend the rest of the time paid-up. Personally I'd like BF to find a use for her such as supplementing the NEX and offering a year round Portsmouth-Cherbourg route or making Le Havre a 2-Ship service as I wouldn't like to see any of the current fleet leave (Visentini's excluded). However if there isn't a market for it then I guess she's For Sale to the highest bidder. Let's hope the price of Scrap Metal doesn't increase too much to tempt them into sending her to the beach.
  6. I hadn't thought of them, I only remembered the Stena Londoner/ Varseilles and Parisien/ Chartres plus the Stena Cambria. Plus I seem to remember a P&O Stena brochure suggesting that the POSL Picardy (Pride of Bruges) was going to run on the Dieppe route although I'm not sure if that ever actually happened.
  7. Maybe because they were purpose built for the route as opposed to just being cast-off's from Dover-Calais
  8. Maybe TransEuropa will rise from the dead 😂 Would the Pride of Burgundy fit in Ramsgate? 🤔
  9. Ive booked for next year and the Cabin prices are the same as they were this year? Or has there been an increase on the Ireland/Spain route?
  10. So this person has been promised a 5% discount off BF's price by booking through Chez Nous but is complaing to BF because the discount hasn't been applied? Just proves you can't teach Stupidity you've either got it or you haven't
  11. Could that on itself be a problem of BF's own making? By releasing the fares and timetables so late maybe it's caused a build-up of people wishing to book for next year. I had my holiday in August and have been itching to book my crossings for next August from the moment I arrived home. I managed to book mine at around 1.30 today, I had been trying for about an hour prior but didn't see the point in trying to ring BF or complain online because I figured they'd be too busy handling all the other complaints. Didn't the same thing happen last year when the Summer sailings were released?
  12. Found this in the attic. Used to watch it all the time as a kid. Just played it again for 10 mins. The music and sound is terrible quality (good old VHS) but the footage of the Bretagne and the insight into how she was constructed is invaluable when you consider the detail that went into her design its no wonder she's still going strong 30 years later. Alexander Goudie also speaks on the video.
  13. Pont wouldnt have even been in Plymouth if she still had 4 working engines. Next year it shouldnt be a regular issue
  14. So time for the Annual 2 week holiday in France and this time we were heading for the Vendee after 2 years of going to Brittany. There is a little bit of sentiment involved when I book the crossings as I like to try different routes and vessels for the outward crossing plus living in Sheffield there isnt a huge difference in the distances to the UK Ports but I always like to return on the Bretagne on the inward crossing as its a nice way to end the holiday sailing out of St Malo plus the arrival time at Portsmouth means we should get home before Midnight. However after 2 successive years of being held up on the M1 by overnight roadworks and Lane Closures it was time to try something different for the return leg so I plumped for the Caen route. I booked the crossings in October hoping that the outward crossing would be on Honfleur but obviously that was not to be. Still it was at least 15 years since I last travelled on the Normandie and after getting a few negative vibes from comments on here I was curious as to what she would be like. The crossing was very heavily loaded and I could see that Deck 6 was full. We were placed on Deck 5 as we were towing and the 1st thing I noticed was how much space we had on either side of us. It makes you realise just how cramped the Bretagnes garage decks are. We had an Outside Cabin on Deck 6. It was clean and the carpet looked new as if it had been changed during her last refit. I also noticed the more modern looking light switch panel with USB points. We made our way outside onto the rear sundeck as it was a beautiful morning and then into the Derby Bar for the Kids entertainment. This area was particularly busy there were no seats in the Bar and not many in the Cafe area opposite. I got the feeling that many of the people there were spending the whole crossing there rather than getting a cabin however it made this area in particular feel a bit cramped. Lunch in the Self Service was lovely and the sea was totally calm. We arrived into Ouistreham on time and just as we were approaching the entrance to the Port some Dolphins were swimming in the waves on the Port side. In all the times I have been to France Ive never seen any marine life so that was a very pleasent surprise. I only wish I was on the deck rather than in the cabin so I could take a photo. The return crossing was on the MSM overnight from Caen. Due to what I'd read on here regarding Migrant Problems we had our evening meal in Avranches and i timed it so that we arrived at the Port at 10.05. We saw the Migrants sat around just before the entrance to the Port but they didnt appear to be actively chasing any traffic and we didnt feel threatened. The last time I went on MSM I was underwhelmed but in her defence it was a rough crossing in low season and we spent the whole crossing in the Cafe area at the back so didnt really see much of the ship. This time we were loaded onto Deck 5 into a spacious garage and our Cabin was on deck 7. The thing that struck me the most about MSM was her sheer size. It probably helped in that everyone was in their Cabins/Seats tucked up for the night but she still appeared much larger than the Normandie. Overall impressions were good I hadn't realised how similar she is in layout to Normandie just a bigger more spacious version. Overall 2 very good crossings with BF. I thought the Normandie was very nice, well kept and modern compared with other ships Ive travelled on recently. Such is the high standards that BF maintain its only when compared against her own fleet mates that she starts to look inferior. I was impressed with MSM but pleasant as she was i just think she lacks the character or personality of the other BF ships.
  15. Whilst I have some sympathy for the re-routed customers I still believe sailing from Plymouth has got to be better than not sailing at all. However I cannot believe somebody has complained about Normandie not being on the Le Havre route yet. If they did their research before they booked they'd have noticed that on some occasions the price for Le Havre and Caen routes are the same but on average the Le Havre route is still cheaper than Caen regardless of the ship operating it. So they'd either have got a Cruise Ferry at a better price than normal or ended up on the economy vessel for the economy price so its not really like theyve been short changed?? It's too easy to hide behind your phone/keyboard on twitter and rant its makes you feel invincible like giving someone a v-sign from your car. Whereas a politely and calmly worded email to customer services or a telephone call would surely achieve a better response.
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