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elCercado

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Everything posted by elCercado

  1. Pont Aven last weekend - a deck hand was explaining to each driver exactly how to turn off interior motion sensor & lift/jack alarm (2 separate buttons on my car). Impressive knowledge.
  2. The food selection will depend on how busy the sailing is. If it is very quiet, they won't put on the buffet, there'll be a bistro menu of starters, mains and desserts.s That's not very likely, though, during summer. the next possibility is buffet plus mains (with options to have just the starter & dessert buffets, or starter buffet + main, or main + dessert buffet, as well as the full 4 courses). Finally, you may get the full menu, with buffet and chef-prepared starters & desserts, which will be very similar to Pont-Aven or Bretagne evening sailings. It's almost always very good, the quality is identical to Bretagne/Pont-Aven, it's just the choices which differ.
  3. Makes sense - look at what happened to BF after Sterling plunged in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. Whichever side one takes in the referendum, it is clear that the effects will spread far beyond the shores of the UK.
  4. There is (or at least was) a link to click on in the "Enjoy your crossing..." email which is sent out a few days before departure for Spanish crossings, for club members as well as those making inclusive holiday bookings.
  5. If you're a club member, you should get an email enabling you to pre-book the restaurant on Cap Finistere and Pont-Aven.
  6. I returned from Rosslare on Sunday. Dinner in the Berneval is about 36€ for 3 courses, or there was a special offer 29€ for 2. If you like fillet steak, it's enormous (about twice the size you get with BF) and very tender. They also have some very nice Irish cheeses and the wine starts at 12€ for a very reasonable Bordeaux. The service is very good. Also, the restaurant wine list is available in the bar (including some half bottles) and is better as well as starting cheaper by volume than the mini bottles of Côtes du Rhône that you see on the shelf. If you like a cooked English/Irish breakfast, as ac_freeman says it's very good in the Berneval. As well as the "full Irish", they have various other options including kippers. And although the menu seems to suggest you choose between the buffet and the cooked, in practice the continental buffet is included with all choices, though it is not as extensive as BF's breakfast buffet.
  7. The Cafe at the terminal in Ouistreham opens at 06:45.
  8. It's actually horrendous. The worst BF conversion, visually, by far. But, c'est la vie, it's not a real problem, in the general scheme of things. And like being inside a very ugly building, less of a problem when you're on board.
  9. Prices may well have increased since January, as the sailings have filled up, but you lose nothing by having a look: https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/amend You will be able to back out of the change if the price difference is not to your liking.
  10. The cabin was fine in all respects. It made quite an impression on my companions.
  11. The cost of installing scrubbers versus running of diesel or even converting to LNG is, of course, a judgement to be made by operators. If the decision is not so clear-cut now, due to currently low fuel prices, it's a new lease of life for Bretagne, at least. But cutting sulphur emissions is unarguably a good thing, for both the environment and the future of the ferry industry.
  12. Was travelling with family this week, so we treated ourselves to a daytime Commodore cabin on Bretagne. I showed my companions the Commodore lounge, we were alone in there. It's a forgotten facility, it seems, not least by BF. Not advertised, and could do with a little wash and brush up (particularly the ceiling tiles). My party weren't particularly concerned about providing refreshments in there (after all, they're provided in the actual cabins), but suggested more could be made of it - a library, games (Scrabble, etc), newspapers, for example.
  13. Good stuff, looking forward to sampling - still on the old menus on Bretagne this week. I do hope that scallops appear this year, though. And I wonder why they haven't publicised this in an email to club members?
  14. Agreed, had that for lunch on Normandie a couple of weeks ago. It arrived so quickly, it must have been pre-cooked/re-heated, bit still perfect, very moist and tender. How do they do that? Pork fillet is so lean, it is difficult to cook properly in the best of circumstances.
  15. The steak came with frites in the main restaurant on Bretagne yesterday lunchtime. Quite a regular thing on all ships, they have those mini chip baskets to serve them in. Always available with the children's meals, too, so just ask, as Angel says.
  16. I'd be interested to know why Bretagne is being diverted to Cherbourg, as things look to have calmed down now.
  17. This is a really important point: worrying about people because of their "religious" or otherwise conspicuous dress or appearance is so very far from the mark. The increase in public harassment and/or fear of people who "look" somehow "different", in the wake of the tragic events in Paris, is a very sad thing.
  18. There is a similar ramp on Cap Finistere, I believe.
  19. Very well done, to the crew of Cap Finistere!
  20. Gareth - it was certainly high tide as we left Saint-Maio on Wednesday. In any case, I have complete confidence in BF and the captain - they have travelled the route almost every day, for decades. EDIT: They seem to generally pass west of Jersey on the southbound overnight crossings.
  21. I find it hard to judge distances at sea, but it was certainly closer than that - easy to make out the beaches, and individual buildings, with the naked eye. I checked out the track afterwards on Marine Traffic, and it looked like the captain deliberately diverted close to Jersey - perhaps because of the lovely sunny, clear day, to give passengers a treat. At a guess, we were only a couple of miles off the Jersey coast - is that likely, given the sea depth in the area? EDIT: If you saw St Helier, I guess you sailed to the west of Jersey, whereas we sailed to the east, then turned to follow the north coast for a while.
  22. I'm pretty sure they won't put you down there with a trailer - it's a steep ramp and very little turning space once you're down there.
  23. Got back this evening, having sailed out on Sunday, Bretagne both ways. Mirror-smooth seas outward and return. Instead of giving my verdict, I'll report the impressions of my sister and nephew, both BF virgins. Aside from a hiccup in the return (my fault for not pulling up short of position on deck 4 to allow them to get out of the car), it was perfect. Lovely meal in Les Abers in both directions, made better by the paltry £5.20 charge (less travel club discount) for the child meal, which included full buffet starters/cheese/dessert with a smaller main course. My companions were impressed by that, as well as astounded by the buffet, especially the puddings. Cabins (inside) were seen as comfortable and "not at all claustrophobic". And the close sail-by of Jersey this afternoon added to the experience. It was great fun showing my nephew around the outside decks, especially at the bow - we were thwarted by fog in the morning on the outbound, but a beautiful sunny departure from Saint-Malo this morning made up for it. The crew were great, and seemed to appreciate him practising his French. We also had a great 2 nights in the hotel Porte Saint Pierre, the family suite on the top floor (2 double rooms and a single, with bathroom, in the attic, wonderful views over the wall to the beach). And I should give another plug for L'Millesim' restaurant in Saint-Malo, fantastic steaks and friendly service.
  24. It is, unfortunately, a question of money. If you've got a cabin, and eat in the main restaurant, the loading factor hardly matters. You might have to queue for a few minutes for dinner, or accept "second sitting", that's all.
  25. I also think that Bretagne is the better laid-out ship. To add to the points above, her central lobby is much more welcoming, lifts or not (I really like the open staircase), and she has the all-weather outdoor seating area behind the restaurant, which Pont-Aven lacks. The ideal new ship would be like Bretagne, with an extra 40m in length, deck 5 devoted to cabins, same layout of services, restaurant/cafe/bars suitably extended to cater for the extra capacity. I'd even have her look like Bretagne, subject to the demands of a modern hull profile. And public access to the bow area, too, please.
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