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kgst

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  • Birthday 23/04/1949

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  1. You might be comparing WBY Rosslare to Cherbourg as there is a strong rumour that it will revert to Rosslare next year because of the congestion in Dublin Port. There is adverse customer comments on the traffic congestion getting into Dublin Port & the difficulties if you are towing a caravan or have a Camper. WBY has been regularily late this year because of it having to wait in Dublin Bay for the Epsilon to clear the Berth and depending on Brexit they may want to give preference in Dublin to commercial traffic next year an interesting year ahead certainly...
  2. its hard to see why BF would be so mean with customers who are prepared to pay for a Commodore cabin On the other side of it I don't know how BF cost their vitality breakfast as it is such good value & the amount of food people eat & spirit away amazes me. Was on the PA back to Cork in June & there was an elderly French couple seated next to us and I could not help notice their frequent visits back to the buffet [8 in all] I only realised after a while that they were not in fact eating most of the food they were packing it away in a large handbag that they had with them. They turned their cooked breakfast away twice because they were not finished their pilfering ! One would of thought the Restaurant staff would have noticed but maybe they just accept that is what some people do ....
  3. Sample menus are still on the Irish site for PA but are dated March 2018 https://www.brittanyferries.ie/media/pdf/9/r/Buffet_2_-_Mars_2018_en_Livre.pdf
  4. Just received this from BF [ without requesting it] so maybe they are learning they need to improve their customer relations.in our case we cancelled one leg of the journey & booked on IF - had to go a day earlier but it did not cost us an extra money. Still it will encourage you back if you get a voucher to use their services again I would like to personally apologise for the disruption caused to your recent travel plans following the breakdown of our flagship Pont-Aven. The fault occurred shortly after another completely unrelated incident that required us to base the vessel in Plymouth for the rest of this year and modify the sailing schedules. I'm delighted to let you know that Pont-Aven has now returned to service. But, I felt those customers who were caught up in this unfortunate period of disruption deserved an explanation. The technical problem involved the starboard side steering gear. Our technical team originally hoped a repair might take between 7-10 days. However, as investigations continued it became clear some replacement parts needed to be manufactured. Unfortunately, the time to build, install and test those new parts took longer than expected, which led to further delays to the ship's return in to service. While Pont-Aven was unable to operate, we did our utmost to prioritise customers who were most urgently requiring assistance, but fully acknowledge we may not have got this right. We do understand the frustration this undoubtedly caused, especially for anyone who wanted to speak to us in person, and we do regret that we may not have been able to respond to you as promptly as you would have liked. I can assure you our customer contact teams were operating at full capacity during the extended delay. However, if you've written to us and haven't heard back from us yet, please be assured you will. We are working through the backlog of correspondence and endeavouring to answer personally and comprehensively. We're immensely proud of our reputation for service, safety, technical expertise and outstanding customer experience. We are profoundly aware that we are nothing without the support of our customers. This situation has shown there is always room for improvement and that all our efforts must be constantly focused on maintaining and improving the standard of service you expect from us. You are a valued customer and, as a gesture of goodwill, and in recognition of your inconvenience, I would like to offer you a credit of 25% of the value of the affected leg you were originally booked on, to be used on a future booking of yours. This is valid for two years and can be redeemed when you make a new booking with us either online or over the phone. Once again, please do accept my sincere apologies and I hope to welcome you back on board one of our ships once again soon. Yours sincerely, Christophe Mathieu Chief Executive Officer
  5. I don't think it is the cabins that are the issue on WBY as there is a great choice and the occupancy on the suites seems to me reasonably high - though paying €899 one way is an awful amount of money. I think it is the public areas, lack of seating and outside seating areas that let it down. Also up to now their is no entertainment for families & only one main bar . On OW there was 3 bars & entertainment provided for adults & kids which was a big part of "the holiday starts on board". Remember also that the trip from Dublin to Cherbourg is 19 hours which is a long time to fill in without a bit of diversion ! I think if they can work on crew morale then the situation will improve - on OW they had a pride in their ship & despite its age it was well looked after by the crew. ON WBY you sense that they are fed up with all the teething problems they are having- when you report an issue the eyes get raised to heaven as much to say here we go again.... I sincerely hope that BF with Honfleur that the standard of build is better and you would be concerned that with FSG in financial trouble that corners will be cut and it will end up with items not working causing customers to be dissatisfied. You sense that BF may have learned from what happened with WBY & they have a bigger team resident in the shipyard keeping tabs on what is going on.
  6. Maybe that was the reason as I noticed that as soon as we docked in Cork several men appeared with the Shipyard logo on their overalls and were standing around waiting for the offload to be complete
  7. You would hope they will take action & provide entertainment for families on the 19 hour crossing & create a bit of craic. They also need to get their crew onside and address their grievences. The crew on OW took pride in their ship and it showed and the same crew on WBY don't and it apparent. I wonder are the crewing levels sufficent PA has 184 crew & to my knowledge WBY has 135 even though it is a bigger vessel- maybe this is because there is less hotel staff needed as the freight volumes would be greater but in the summer months WBY has 1200 cabins & PA has 650 & they will surely need extra staff ?
  8. in our case 2 adults 1 dog club 4 berth inside €376 on WBY and the equivalent on BF was €501 which was refunded. the prices in low/mid season on IF [this year] are considerably cheaper than BF but in high season that reverses with IF considerably dearer In my opinion BF never really competed on price on the Irish route as they seemed happy with the loadings without cutting prices. Maybe IF were using some of their compensation from FSG to get people onto the WBY because the amount of media advertising they are doing this year is way beyond what they normally do. If I hear "travel in style on the most luxurious ferry on the Irish Sea " one more time I will scream ! or complain to the advertising standards board
  9. As one of the many passengers affected by the Pont Aven rudder problems we were forced to use the W . B Yeats for the outward leg of our journey from Ireland to France on 6th June returning on the Pont Aven on 21st June. It gave us the opportunity [however unwelcome] to compare the experience on both IF & BF. W. B Yeats: Travelling from Dublin rather than Rosslare is much more difficult because of the access to Dublin Port & the volumes of traffic meaning you have to allow greater time when you hit the outskirts of Dublin – in this case taking over an hour to do the last 5 kms. When we arrived at the Port the Epsilon was still on berth & meant that the W B Yeats had to wait until she finished loading & departed. The WBY then came in docked bow first & for some reason then went out again so that she could stern load. I assume that is because it is quicker to load that way but in any event the departure was delayed by over an hour. As we were travelling with a dog on board we assumed that all vehicles carrying pets would be directed to any area where they would be easy access to the kennels but that was not the case & we were loaded with other similar vehicles . There were no staff on hand helping customers to find their bearings and no cards issued with the deck number etc so that customers would be able to find their vehicles on arrival in Cherbourg. Fortunately we had ascertained in advance where the kennels were located but we had to bring our dog up the stairs with all other passengers. There was no insistence on muzzles or indeed restrictions on where you could go and with the very poor signage it would be easy to end up in passenger areas where you should not be. The kennel area is an enclosed space on deck 7 & you can visit your pet at prearranged times during the crossing. It is more cramped & the kennel sizes are smaller than on the Pont Aven. The exercise area is a disgrace & consists of an area of deck outside the kennels about 1 ½ metres wide with a strip of artificial grass that extends for about 30 metres. Fortunately on our crossing the number of pets was small but I dread to think what it would be like when the crossings are busier. We had a 4 berth club class cabin which we did not realise at time of booking makes quite a difference to the onboard experience because you have access to the Club class lounge & free soft drinks,snacks etc & a comfortable seating area. The crossing was full & the other areas of the ship were crammed with people trying to find a comfortable place to sit . There is a “quiet seating area” on deck 10 but because on this crossing the cinema was out of action meant this could not be used & in any event it is a walk through area which could never be described as quiet. The cabins themselves are adequate if somewhat small but would be fine if everything worked. In our case the TV would not work & the main cabin lights did not function. When we went to reception there was a queue of people trying to get problems sorted. A staff member did come & fixed the TV but not the lights & the TV ceased to function again the next morning. The décor throughout the ship could be summarised as 50 shades of gray with no colour to lift it . The carpet design have been referred to by other posters but suffice to say they are already stained & the fittings are showing signs of wear- what they will be like at the end of the summer season I can only imagine. Many of the crew have been transferred from the Oscar Wilde and do not like the new ship. They work a 2 month on 1 month off roster and in the OW had their own individual staff accommodation whereas on WBY they are sharing cabins & find there is inadequate space to relax when off duty. Several we spoke to are dreading the busy summer season because of the lack of entertainment for customers & their kids , only 1 bar where OW had 3 and they feel the ferry is more suited to the Dublin – Holyhead route that she will serve off season rather than a 19 hour cruise to France. Expect to see many adverse postings on Tripadvisor as several people we spoke to described it as a grey soulless ferry when compared with OW. I cannot comment on the food as I would not be prepared to pay the prices in the Lady Gregory & it was evident that despite this sailing being full few people are. The self service was very busy with long queues formed but because there are only 2 tills in operation people were complaining the food was cold be the time they paid for it. Announcements from the bridge were regular keeping people informed & apologising for the delayed sailing & the late arrival into Cherbourg. It would appear that either the ferry can’t or IF management won’t allow the crew to make up time on the journey because we arrived 1 ½ hours late into Cherbourg. Disembarcation was slow & was hampered by customers not be able to find where their car was parked. The goods points on WBY and there are a few. It is a better seakeeper than the Pont Aven as conditions deteriorated as we approached Cherbourg but the ship handled it very well. The mattresses & pillows are much better than on PA. The Club class lounge [if you are prepared to pay for it] is a very comfortable place to sit & relax. The supply of snacks etc is plentiful and I think a few people worked out that they could get sufficient to eat certainly for breakfast without paying the exorbitant prices in the restaurants. Pont Aven: The return on the PA was pleasant & relaxing – when originally booked the sailing was full but I would have said that with cancellations it was less than half full. Despite that loading was slow but at least when you did board there were staff on the car deck giving out cards with your parking location & directing you to your cabin. La Flora was doing a reasonable trade & when you consider the pricing compared to the offerings on WBY is it any wonder customers choose BF. There have been comments recently about the cleanliness of PA but I noticed that on numerous cabins there were notices on cabin doors advising customers to go to reception to be allocated new cabins so I assume that with a quiet sailing they were taking the opportunity to sort out issues. As a dog owner I was up early to visit the kennels & it was interesting to see two officers walking around the decks with notebooks taking notes of items that needed attention. Also at 6:30 in the morning crew members were out hosing down the decks & the public areas were completely clean & free from the debris from the previous night. However all is not perfect and the handling of transfer of pet from kennel to car spoiled the trip for us. The transfer to the kennel was fine with a staff member in attendance but we asked the arrangement for transfer back to the car in the morning & they did not know. After a long conversation on the phone we were advised to go down on our own ½ hour before docking and the deck would be accessable. In the morning we did as instructed but the lift on deck 9 which is the only access for dog owners was being used by other passengers & took 10 minutes to arrive on Deck 9 . It was already half full of passengers who were not happy about dogs being piled on top of them. When we arrived at deck 3 the stairwells were already full and no access available to the car deck. We had to wait 25 minutes for the deck door to be released & during that time we had stressed animals ,stressed customers all because BF can’t provide a staff member to aid the transfer. In summary I would say BF are providing a better service with the Pont Aven as a proper cruise ferry wheras IF with the WBY have a functional ferry which is more suited to short crossings to the UK rather than trips to France. Many regular BF customers had to use an alternative because of the PA’s problems but I would say provided there is no regular disruption they will return to BF but that company should learn for the future better more timely information in the event of disruption as it was badly handled this year
  10. I think that is a very fair comment - I have been able to book the WBY 2 days earlier for our trip to France- only because knowing earlier than most[ because of this site] what was really happening. I got this email from Cork only yesterday and am I wrong in thinking that it is a rather arrogant ,uncaring communication for a long established customer. Particularily the bit about claiming from my travel insurer for additional expenses ? Dear Mr Stanley We're sorry to confirm the Pont-Aven's withdrawal from service and therefore your sailing from Cork/Ringaskiddy to Roscoff on 8th June 2019 has been cancelled What's Happened? The Pont-Aven has a hydraulic fault affecting its rudder that needs immediate repair. Unfortunately, following investigation it was found that damage to the starboard side steering gear was more extensive than originally suspected. A repair procedure has been defined with the agreement of Bureau Veritas (certification authority) and the manufacturer. In parallel, a complete check of the port steering gear has been carried out. Regrettably, Pont-Aven will not resume service until June 14th. What are my options? It's peak season for many of our routes so the reasonable alternative sailings we can offer are very limited and there is little availability. We will offer you a choice of re-route (where available) or a full refund as per our T&Cs and EU Passenger Rights regulation 1177/2010. We understand our competitors have some isolated availability but once cancelled with us, you will need to contact them yourselves. To cancel your booking and arrange a refund, please e-mail refund@brittanyferries.ie with your booking reference. What if I incur additional expenses as a result of this cancellation Additional expenses can be addressed to your travel insurer and this email should be sufficient evidence for you to make a claim. To close, I'm sorry you've been disrupted. We look forward to the Pont-Aven returning to usual service soon but in the meantime I hope the above is clear and thank you for choosing Brittany Ferries Hugh Bruton General Manager Cork
  11. I doubt it because the Cork Roscoff route has to be very profitable for them 85 to 90 thousand passengers in the season with good loadings for each sailing and the amount of freight carried is small - mainly refrigerated units with shellfish etc. They do not compete on price with IF & Stena and charge top prices for what was/is a premium service ! Eg a return sailing in June for 2 people car & dog is €1082 & on IF it is €638. The danger for them now is that customers who have to change their booking will realise there is a big difference in price & is better food offerings [La Flora] good enough reason to pay the extra
  12. The Pont Aven cancellations are all over the Irish National media today with figures of 6500 passengers affected. At the same time BF have sent out a broadcast email telling customers that their sailing is cancelled up until 14th June but saying specifically not contact them they will contact you in due course. This seems to me to be the wrong way to handle it bearing in mind that the alternatives IF & Stena are fully booked now & they don't seem to be planning to use Connemara or Armorique as they did for the last two weekends - then the only option now is landbridge to France & Spain They are stretching customer loyalty to the limit & need to learn from this for future occurances as otherwise the brand will be badly damaged. IF had the problem last year with the delayed delivery of WBY but at least they had the Oscar Wilde to fall back on and though they annoyed customers at least they were able to get to their holiday destinations wheres BF attitude seems to be sorry but we will give you a full refund
  13. The timetable shows it gone for 8th June - however they now have the Connemara showing for a rotation on the Friday & the Sunday and you can make a booking for those sailings so that tells me they know the PA won't be back. I don't want to use the Connemara as the timings do not suit added to which whilst I love my German Shepard I don't fancy spending 14 hours with him in a pet friendly Cabin😁
  14. I see the timetable page for PA has been updated this morning . the next Ireland France rotation is 15th June with the 1st & 8th now cancelled. Was due to sail on 8th with dog in Kennel looks like I will have to resort to IF instead on the outward leg & hope she is back in service by 21st when we return Interested to see when they contact me ...
  15. does this answer your question? We are in the process of assisting customers due to travel up until 1 June for re-booking or cancelling. Whilst we await a confirmed date of return, we have taken the precaution of blocking any further bookings on Pont-Aven between now and 7 June.
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