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Sandbanker

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  • Birthday 14/06/1940

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  1. It said: "Thank you for booking with B F Holidays..........We will guarantee you a 2 cents increase on our daily advertised Euro exchange rate...........Call 0330 159 4999...........quoting your booking reference"
  2. Having just received a letter from BF offering me 2 cents extra on euros purchased in connection with a Spanish holiday booking, I wonder if others have found this service to be advantageous. I have just spent the last 5 minutes waiting for their dedicated phone line to be answered in order to obtain a quote, and have given up for the moment. I have a Santander debit card and normally find that using it in a Santander cash machine in Spain secures a reasonable rate without any commission or card charges. On this occasion we will be in a hurry and may not have the luxury of finding a Santander bank. We are departing from Portsmouth and I wonder if I need to allow time to collect the euros from the terminal building or whether they can be collected on board. In any event they have to be ordered 72 hours in advance.
  3. We did venture down from deck 10 to get food, and perhaps next time we will manage a bit better. The first problem was recognising the routine. The instrictions (if you can understand them on first reading) require you to collect your food and sit down at a table to wait for a waiter to come over and assess what you have got. Then, when you have eaten, you have to exit via the till. The second problem was working out the route to take through the servery because it is intersected by the main passage-way to the bar. Most people seemed confused and went round and round in circles. We asked the waiter if it was normal for people to get so confused and he gave a sort of sad Gallic shrug. We felt sorry for him. A suggestion for BF is to paint foot prints on the floor to show the recommended route.
  4. Rattling rivets. It is better now we are in the bay. But last night approaching Ushant it was horrid. The sea state was probably not greater than 6, but the swell was hitting our starboard bow quarter causing slamming at about 10 second intervals and heavy corkscrewing. The slamming caused loud rattling bangs, and one could sense the shock wave travelling from one end of the ship and back again. We failed to finish our lamb curry, and retired early, but not otherwise overcome. The warning indicated by the wavy line painted on the hull is confirmed by the robust structure of the extensive handrails throughout the ship. Having said all that the economy plus cabin was splendid in an old fashioned sort of way, and the reading lounge is very comfortable and relaxing. Lots of old shipbuilding polished mahogany. So much room everywhere, including the wide staircases down to the car decks.
  5. Economie plus cabins are on deck 10. The rollers on the bay are usually travelling from West to East. That is it is a beam sea. Hence the possibility of much rolling because BDS is long and thin. Am I right? Does she have stabilisers and are they effective?
  6. Our next trip to Spain (5th this year) is at the end of this month and the only crossing satisfying our dates is the Economie. We normally go by CF or preferably PA. Can someone share their experience of the seakeeping of the BDS across the BDB? It is a slow trip and this could prolong the suffering. In anticipation of prolonged suffering we have paid out for a “Spacious Outside 2 Berth Economie Plus Cabin” with TV. Will this make any difference?
  7. I believe the French and Scandinavians are actively buying on the costas
  8. The pound has dropped some more. Good time to sell your castle in Spain. More pounds to bring home!
  9. Good Morning. Now for some CF good points. The bathrooms are larger than on the PA, and particularly the showers. The wardrobes are enclosed and more spacious and there are plenty of hooks inside and outside the bathroom. The bedlinen seemed new and was well fitted to the bunk. And, good news, the free WiFi although as slow as usual worked well in our deck 8 cabin. Incidentally, the new expensive special WiFi is now available, but we did not need to use it. We managed to download the Telegraph in our cabin before getting up. However, we saw someone trying to do his office work and he had to send his wife back to reception to buy more data at 15€ a shot. It was only 5 weeks since our last trip on PA, so the comparison is fresh in our minds. We still prefer the PA mainly because of forward facing panoramic lounge.
  10. We have just enjoyed our Beuf Borginon in the Planets Bar. The dish and the chips were as good as usual. The new strawberry tarts are very good, and equally as enjoyable as the old ones. The storm force 10 doors on deck 10 were as stiff as ever, but we managed. Lovely sunset, despite the vibrations. Still wish we were on PA.
  11. We are on CF today sitting in the upper planets bar, having just listened to the Orca presentation. It's a pity the ceiling panels vibrate so badly. As usual it was difficult to hear the talk because of the vibration. All it needs is for some damping material to be stuffed above the panels. I have mentioned this before.
  12. Thank you Terry. Aranjuez looks interesting for our next trip. Can you recommend a particular hotel?
  13. We prefer Bilbao, But, because we prefer PA, we frequently use Santander. Either way we have to drive past Bilbao. The road from Santander to Bilbao is exciting but it wastes an hour on our journey south to Valencia. We think the AP8 tunnel does not save any time. Any comments?
  14. Feeding on CP is always a problem. I have said before that my solution is to collect dish of the day (often delicious Beuf Borginon) from Le Café on deck 10 and transport it perilously aft and down to the Planets Bar on deck 7. I just have to make sure the chips are fresh before I start! My other challenge is to avoid tripping up with my tray getting back inside deck 10 through doors with very stiff springs and high thresholds. Yes CP's car deck configuration is a nightmare. Our technique sometimes works. If we manage to arrive at the port only just in time we seem to stand a better chance of being located on deck 3 which gives a better chance of a quick exit. If we arrive earlier there is a much greater risk of being sent up to deck 5 or 6, or worse still,sent down below. (We are off again next Wednesday!)
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