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About kgst

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  • Birthday 23/04/1949

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  1. Pony Aven is nearly fully booked in July already so won't be able to take many disappointed IF passengers. IF are now claiming only 2300 passengers affected which begs the question what were the bookings like in the busiest holiday period. Maybe all this extra capacity on the Irish - French route is going to be hard to fill for all the operators ?
  2. Irish Ferries announced on Friday that delivery to them has been delayed until 29th July from the German shipyard. They have thus cancelled all sailings until 29th July leaving up to 10,000 passengers in the lurch. So far they are offering €150 compensation or a possible alternative booking on the Oscar Wilde but as the sailings operate on alternate days & the OW operates from Rosslare to Cherbourg & Roscoff whereas WB Yeats operated only Dublin to Cherbourg passengers will be severely inconvenienced even if the OW has the capacity to take all the 10,000 passengers which at the height of the season would seem very doubtful It is a PR disaster for the company but were they wise in the first instance to be taking bookings for High season travel when a new ferry was only due to be delivered to them in June from a shipyard taht despite having a good reputation had never built a passenger ferry as complex as the W> B. ?
  3. kgst

    Port Border Issues

    At the risk of being political I don't think the Uk understand the chaos that is being created over this border issue. as we watch incredulous the fractured Tory party who have not got the political majority to push through a decision & don't even know what they want . You send Boris Johnstown over here on a visit to meet Irish government officials and your Government tells Irish officials in advance to ignore anything he says.... What way is that to carry on ? This week he excelled himself by comparing the Irish border to the congestion charge in London Boroughs. Has no one heard of the IRA ? they have stopped shooting people and former members are now taking the political route with the Good Friday agreement . Dissadent members however are involved in fuel laundering and vat fraud along the border at present & are no doubt rubbing their hands at the though of the Tariffs that will come in when Britain leaves the EU which will give them even greater scope for their criminal activity. There have to be border checks to try & control this situation. Businesses in Ireland have given up waiting as to what might happen regards Britain's exit from the EU & as this is a BF enthusiasts site it is appropriate to point out that they as a Company have taken a proactive approach by opening a direct sailing from Ireland to Spain and I think that will be very successful as Irish business no longer want to go through the UK and on to Europe and are also looking to increase their sales to Europe & decrease their exposure in the UK. This new route will be very important.. Irish Ferries new ship is destined for the Ireland France route in the Summer & Dublin Holyhead in the winter but because of its configuration it could easily be switched away from Ireland UK . Walk down the streets in any major town or city in Ireland and its like a mirror of the UK with all the Uk brands over here but a lot of what they sell is either perishable goods or supplied just in time. If tariffs come in and there are customs delays they will very quickly [as they did in the last recession] retreat back to the UK obviating the need for shipping capacity that is there at present.
  4. I don't think IF or BF penalise a customer in any way by booking a single fare rather than a return. Many Irish customer because of the restrictive one sailing a week did mix & match between BF & IF but with the introduction of the Connemara sailing one would think BF would be targeting that so that the get both legs of the journey. With the pricing as published I don't think that is going to happen as W B Yeats being cheaper than the economie offer from BF - why would you choose it ? Also I would say there is a doubt about the reliability of the service with weather issues in the Bay of Biscay lightly to cause cancellations & IF have the advantage that they have daily sailings to France in 2018 with WBY & OW so if there is a cancellation the passengers can be accomodated quickly rather than in the BF schedule maybe having to wait 3 days for an alternative. All this may change of course if the load factors are not good as there is a huge capacity increase this year on the Ireland to France route & whether there is the demand is questionable The Direct route to Spain I think will be a success as there seems to be a pent up demand for it
  5. I think they might have to compete a bit harder - the high season price on IF's new WB Yeats is €120 cheaper than the Connemara price of €812 for the same dates- I know it goes into Cherbourg and not Roscoff but that might not concern a lot of customers ..
  6. The online booking is up today for Connemara for the additional Cork Roscoff service The pricing does not seem to be keen for the Economie service a Return trip in May for 2 people ,a SUV & large dog is €621 on Pont Aven & €597 on Connemara - a difference of €24! the same trip going out high season in July & returning in August is €941 on Pont Aven & €812 on Connemara which is 15 % cheaper On the booking engine they are making sure you know it is an economie service as there is a list of differences - No restaurant , Limited access, Cars maybe parked on open deck No entertainment etc You have to tick a box to confirm you understand the difference. How do these fares compare [ cruise / economie] on the established Uk routes?
  7. She has her name on the side now & the painting is nearly finished so looks like Friday will be Ok. Impressive what they have achieved in 4 months
  8. kgst

    Cork to Santander Route to Launch in 2018

    This new services to Spain & a second sailing to France is great news & should be well supported . For years Irish Customers have been telling BF that the one rotation a week was too restrictive and mean if you wanted a short break in France longer than 5 days you had to use another carrier on one leg of the journey. Now hopefully depending on timings & pricing BF should get all the booking. There are also customers who were using Cork Roscoff but had to travel 9 -10 hours down to the south of France or Spain & for sure would prefer to sail down The cost of Road tolls ,Fuel & possibly an overnight stop over should make the direct sailing an attractive option. How the economy option will go down I am not sure as the only carrier offering it on the Irish route is Stena with the Stena Horizon but I suppose its success will depend on pricing
  9. You forgot to mention a good wine pairing - how about this one from a certain Wine warehouse in Roscoff Château Lamothe Cissac - Vieilles Vignes - Haut-Médoc - 2014
  10. kgst

    St Malo Dockers’ Strike

    I would say god help him - our French friends were really pleased when he was elected but are already writing him off as a President for the rich. We need strong government and for France to succeed. Look around... Germany has no effective government ,Britain is in disarray, Ireland has a weak coalition Government and as for the States... Lets hope 2018 will bring some improvement as it is long overdue
  11. kgst

    Complaint handling _BF

    The Irish route only allows for travel on The Pont Aven & kennels are the only option. Bf will not allow pets to be left in the vehicle for the duration of the trip - I assume the change is because of wishing to restrict access to the car decks during the crossing The other choice on the Irish route is Stena where they can be left in the vehicle & travel free or at present Oscar Wilde where the kennels are on the car deck but are totally inadequate The W B Yeats will have a similar setup on Deck 7 which is disappointing. Bf are getting a €100 per return crossing and not providing a proper service but don't seem to care
  12. kgst

    Complaint handling _BF

    That is not correct as Neilcvx says it is on the website at 90 minutes prior to docking. In reality it is normally an hour before docking - certainly on the Irish route but they have stopped that on the early arrival into Roscoff on a Sunday morning and pet owners have to struggle down to their vehicles along with all other passengers using the only lift access on the POnt Aven from deck 9 I smile about the comments about dog owners who are a minority who want special treatment. Responsible dog owners want to abide by the rules and have the kennels secure from other passengers ,have the muzzle rule enforced & ensure dogs are not brought out into passenger areas outside the designated exercise area. If BF staff were on hand to policy their stated policies consistantly then everybody would have a pleasant crossing.
  13. kgst

    Complaint handling _BF

    Sound advice - I have used BF for over 20 years on the Irish- French route & apart from the pet handling issue and lack of alternatives when the service was cancelled have very little to find fault with. However my experience in reporting the pet handling whilst on board was less than satisfactory with staff trying to convince me that what used to be the procedures were never in place [early return to the vehicle prior to ship docking] Hence I wrote to customer services instead as I viewed it as something that needed to be dealt with in company procedures rather than the way an individual crew dealt with it. Consistancy is all important when providing a product or service & a letter to customer services advising where the service is falling down should be viewed as helpful rather than been dismissed out of hand.
  14. kgst

    Complaint handling _BF

    I am wondering how other members find BF if they make a complaint - do they try to solve it or are they defensive. I use the Irish route on PA and on 3 trips this year have had issues with the pet handling. The most recent trip in October concerned the fact that the Door to the Kennel area was not working & was tied open and the 2 entrance doors were also wedged open. This allows anyone who wants to to wander into the kennel area and let dogs out if they have a mind to . On a quiet sailing whilst still unsafe it is not as bad as on a summer sailing where the ship is fully loaded and there are plenty of passengers wandering around deck 10. I made the suggestion to customer services that they should use the overflow kennel area where the kennel key does work and thus the area is secure but I got a very defensive reply telling me if the service on offer was not suitable or did not correspond to what i thought was acceptable then I could use another carrier... Bearing in mind the increased competition on the Irish route in 2018 I thought i might get a more constructive response to what was a genuine concern for pet & passenger safety . We have a friend who will never use BF again because their dog escaped from the kennel and was found wandering in the middle of the night on deck 9 - again was the access to the kennel area was open...
  15. BF deposit on the Irish site is 25% of the total booking so for a high season booking is in excess of €300 . There is also no club travel for Irish customers