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Everything posted by Northern_Si

  1. We boarded through the bow doors at Portsmouth. Ramps are much wider than the Cap and Pont. We parked on a suspended car deck. (Deck 6) with lorries and motorhomes parked on deck 5. I was amazed with the available room. They did have an issue lowering deck 6 at Santander (I think someone forgot to read the manual) but we didn’t see any issues with campers.
  2. The Galicia is better than the Cap ... and I have always been impressed with the Cap. The only negative with Galicia is her inability to outrun storms. I’ve been on the Cap a few times when she has been doing 29knts to outrun a December storm. Also the Cap has the restaurant midship while the Galicia has it over the bow... I was always told low and midship was the best place to be on a lumpy crossing.
  3. I didn’t get outside ... it was a tad cold in Portsmouth when we departed and movement were restricted on the next day. She is much wider than the Cap and feels to have more random seating than the Pont. I don’t miss the lack of a show bar as it isn’t my thing.
  4. Just to reaffirm ... I do like the new ship and the new ship smell was lovely. One embarrassing thing they did forget in reception was a collection thing for the Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer. I give monthly to the RNLI and want to give to their poorer cousin when I travel with BF. I think I will find one on my return leg.
  5. Because it is a value proposition and considering you can charge your car at your supermarket people will expect the capability. Like it or not we are moving to a EV society over the next 10 to 15 years. At the moment it is difficult to charge the car at the port while the Channel Tunnel has banks of Super Chargers. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it should be free but when your car is basically sat on a rather large mobile electricity generation plant it seems daft not to. Considering how many containers are plugged in for the crossing... how hard can it be to extend the infrastructure.
  6. A friend has just got a model 3 on lease ... I will have to see how he gets on. At the moment, my 3.5L V6 Hybrid manages 48MPG on the motorway so not in a massive rush to change, especially as I managed to do the 800KM from Santander to my place on a single tank. Also with an EV, how are you supposed to have fun in that tunnel near Bilbao?
  7. Now that is good news. All I need now is a EV with 300+ mile range and I'm happy. Wait a sec ... my village in Spain has no chargers LOL
  8. I still cannot believe a brand new ferry does not have any EV charging points. Considering the expected life of the ship, it seems a missed opportunity. I believe Irish Ferries have a few onboard and do not even charge customers to use them. I cannot believe on a 24hr crossing it will require that much power.
  9. To be fair I don't think the Thursday sailing from Portsmouth to Santander is the best timing. You end up spending the whole of the second day in the Bay of Biscay and that can be evil in the middle of summer. I must prefer when you leave Portsmouth at about 1pm, and sleep through a large part of The Bay.
  10. I think you make some excellent points. I am amazed how many people stay up drinking until after midnight and jump into car. My personal habit... on a 24 hour crossing, I will stop drinking at 10pm if it is a 9am start. Also not having the best sea legs ... being drunk on a lumpy crossing is a recipe for diester. On the St Malo overnighter ... I drink very little.
  11. Except on deck 6 you only have Green and Blue 🙂
  12. BF basically asked if you had a certificate ... they had no interest in looking at it. I think one of the massive positive of North Sea Ferries is that you can board a few hours before departure. Usually on BF I can finish off a bottle of wine before we leave port... thinking out it... we did depart late and I might have finished the bottle before we hit the Channel. The best thing about this crossing was the new ship smell 🙂 I like the design of the ship. She is very bright with lots of open space. She has been fitted out to a high standard. I was surprised all the tv screens are LGs and not some random Chinese make. I was surprised the TV in the room has two remotes. You would have thought like most hotels, it would have been a single one. Will be interesting to see how many will need replacing after every crossing. Same goes for the pillows ... I can see a few of them going missing as they are by far the nicest ones I've seen on a ferry.
  13. On the 10th December, I travelled from Portsmouth to Santander on-board Galicia. Here are my thoughts about the new ferry. Boarding felt like a disaster. I think this is the first ferry I have travelled on for which you have to wait for the large majority of the freight traffic to board before the cars. From the check-in booth to boarding took about 90 minutes. Over the summer, I travelled to Rotterdam on North Sea Ferries and being able to access the car deck from a dedicated ramp seemed much more efficient. It never felt this bad on the Pont or the Cap. The first thing I did notice when we parked up was how wide the lanes are. No more banging doors or having to wait for over cars to move be being able to gain access to your own. The Car deck was on the sixth floor and the Commodore Cabin was on the ninth so was happy to find an empty lift. Unfortunately, this lift only went to the eighth. Once I found the correct stairs to get up to the ninth it was easy to find the cabin. First impressions of the Outside Commodore Cabin are very positive. They are roomy and the bunk is about the size of a proper single bed. The second bunk is stalled away (I was sole occupant of the cabin) the cabin is quite big. TV is in an interesting position if two are staying in the cabin as it is above the second bunk. Walked down to the Commodore Lounge (21:30 in the evening) to find it was shut and only open till 21:30, i.e. closed on the Thursday night. Had a bowl of beef strew, some tapas and red wine in the Tapas bar instead. Food was nice but is a shame it was self-service. Quite a lot of people complaining that the ship was sat in a dock under UK Tier 2 rules and therefore food needed to be ordered with a drink. People soon clocked that tapas does the job. First night sleep was lovely… maybe the best night sleep I have had on a ferry. Very few vibrations and the English Channel was behaving. Shower seems tighter than the Cap but it does the job. The lip on the shower base is not great so can be very easy to flood the bathroom floor. Bathroom is still equipped with silly size towels. Breakfast is self-service which is a pain when you have an iPad and phone in your hand. Seems to be a bit of a downgrade not having any table service breakfast available. English breakfast seemed to be the worse I have on Brittany Ferries. Not sure what the bacon actually was. How comes Brittany Ferries seem unable to provide a consistent breakfast? Additionally how comes Brittany Ferries have never travelled on a P&O ferry to see how a breakfast should be done? How hard would it be to procure some half-decent bacon and sausages in England? Main Bar is current closed due to COVID-19 so I went straight to the Commodore Lounge. Very relaxing, easy to get a drink or snack. Only problem was it was stinking hot in the lounge and when it started to get a little lumpy I found myself having to retire to the cabin. The ability to watch movies in the cabin is excellent. I do not have the best sea legs and find it best to lay down. Being able to watch some movies is fantastic and the selection was very good. Only thing missing on the TV was a map showing where you are. Thinking about it, I did not see a map anywhere. By Friday evening, it was getting a little too lumpy for me to eat so never managed to try the included evening meal. I hope that I can do this when I return next month. Friday night was very lumpy so did not get a lot of sleep but was very comfortable. The ship was rolling about 9 degrees according to my iPhone but was not jerky like you get on the Cap. Arrival was 7AM local time so wakeup call was about 6:15AM local time. No breakfast on offer at this time which was a shame. Getting off the ship was a nightmare as again we need to wait for lots of freight to move first and then the floating floor we parked on jammed. Took the crew about 30 minutes to fix it. I guess this is just one of those teething problems. The most annoying thing … the Police never asked to see my COVID-19 test certificate. Not sure if that was £120 wasted or not. I guess if I did not have one, it would have been sods law and they would have checked. Am I looking forward to traveling again on the newest member of the fleet … yes. However they need to sort out a few things like boarding etc.
  14. I've just received an e-mail regarding my cross to Spain on Thursday and read the following... "To minimise movement across the ship, we ask that you remain in your cabin as much as possible throughout your sailing. No seating will be available in the public areas or on deck." Now I might be a bit thick, but you cannot board the ferry to Spain without evidence of a negative PCR COVID-19 test... so technically (I know you can get infected 2 minutes after taking the test), everyone should be clear. So why not simply implement the rules of Spain that unless you are eating or drinking you wear a mask? I going to be rather annoyed in the C-Club lounge is closed.
  15. I’ve been looking at the shipping forecast for days and could see the Bilbao to Portsmouth was going to be delayed. First notification from BF was a text message 5 hours before check in telling us of an hour delay. Second was an announcement onboard telling us of a further 7 hour delay. Some better comms and I could have had another few hours in bed.
  16. Looking at the weather, I’m still not convinced we will be departing at 10pm tonight. Will be rather annoyed if we arrive at midnight or later.
  17. 09Jan ... Bilbao to Portsmouth is delayed for 8 hours due to weather. Looks like dinner will be served with the lovely views of the dock. Shame we now arrive in Portsmouth at 10:30pm tomorrow and have to drive to Manchester.
  18. Wonderful .... I'm hoping I will miss most of that as the CF should dock in Santander about 3pm local time.
  19. Going back 'on topic' 🙂. I don't believe the regs really considered you having to go to another country to get your ferry. I do think it is very tight of BF not to stump up the French Tolls, limit the contribution toward to hotel to €80 (especially when they cancel it 2 days before you are due to go) and only provide £50 a person 'onwards travel allowance' which only just covered the petrol. I can only imagine the chaos if we had left the EU end of March with no deal and required International Driving Permits. I actually bought both (as France and Spain are on 2 different treaties)... but I wonder how many people who travelled UK to Spain would have bothered with the French one?
  20. True. But I hate Ryanair. That is one of the reasons I rarely fly from Manchester.
  21. Maybe someone will decide to cut the Club Voyage fee next year as compensation / good will. But in the modern accountant driven world, I doubt it. It it is a shame you cannot get a modern equivalent of motor rail from Northern France to the Spanish border at a decent price. That would be some proper competition.
  22. Cheers. But the problem with section 6 is that it assumes the vessel still departs from the same port ... not that the vessel is unavailable and you have to go elsewhere. I really am usually a champion on BFs customer service but I think they are hurting themselves over this mess.
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