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About swa30

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  • Birthday 18/02/1967

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  1. I'm inclined to say that Dover - Calais with that other ferry operator is the answer for me. If I'm going to drive to Caen, I might as well drive a bit further, and then get the ferry crossing over and done with (75 minute crossing), with ferries leaving on a regular basis if I miss the one I booked. For me, ferry travel is either short, 'grin and bear it' crossings like Dover - Calais, or long and enjoyable ones like Portsmouth - St Malo / Santander / Bilbao. If only someone would re-instate Harwich to Esbjerg....... I realise that for much of the year, there are limited overnight crossings from St Malo - Portsmouth, and I really dislike the 8 hour daytime run during the summer season. I'm very biased towards the St Malo day trips during the winter months, when you can spend Friday and Saturday nights aboard PA, with a whole day of whatever you like in Brittany :-)
  2. Hello, just read this thread with interest, and I wanted to give my own feedback re: the Baie De Seine. I can say with all honesty that our trip on BDS to Santander back in July was the best BF journey ever for me, but I'm glad we booked an Economie Plus cabin on deck 10. Absolutely brilliant, and it feels far from 'budget' when you are relaxing in your cabin, in the reading lounge or out on deck with sun, blue sky and a bottle of wine. We try to avoid the public spaces on car ferries (other than the bar for a drink or two), so we don't care for overcrowded swimming pools, cinemas, and over priced, mediocre food in the restaurants. The Plus cabin on BDS is almost a Commodore, but without the balcony and a couple of minor touches. We had a comfy double bed, a proper ensuite (not the caravan washroom you get in other cabin types), a sofa and coffee table, plenty of storage, and a 32" flatscreen TV & DVD player (DVDs can be borrowed from the information desk if you don't bring your own). Bring an electric coolbox and you have a useful fridge. Deck 10 is lovely and quiet, with very few cabins, and although other passengers could venture up and use the reading lounge, very few did. As far as food is concerned, we did buy breakfast in the restaurant shortly after boarding, but otherwise had a selection of deli goodies and wine that we'd bought from Waitrose, which we ate on deck or in the cabin. The BDS is a lovely little boat, with quick and stress free loading/unloading, but it is a bit slower getting to Spain. The weather was good in the Bay of Biscay, so I cannot comment on how it behaves in rough seas, but I thoroughly recommend it to those that really don't care about the 'cruise' features on the bigger ships. The Saturday morning departure from Portsmouth is a huge benefit, as you can do a full week's work, then relax on the early morning drive down to Portsmouth, without the weekday traffic problems. It depends where you live, but for us, Portsmouth is an easy 75 minute drive. I have booked BDS again for next summer. We're using it both ways this time, and with the Plus cabin, the cost is less than doing the same crossing on CF with a basic outside 2 berth.
  3. We were foot passengers on the cancelled PA sailing on Dec 9th. We always have a pre-Christmas trip on PA, sailing from Portsmouth on the Friday night, then back on the Saturday night sailing. We walk to Dinard, have a big lunch with wine, then walk it off back to St Malo for a crepe and drinks within the walls. Always very enjoyable, but this time we were greeted by a text message whilst in a bar, informing us that the return crossing had been cancelled and that we were being bussed to Caen. We were given access to our cabin to retrieve our belongings, which we'd left on board, given that we had the same cabin both ways. I have no big issue with Brittany Ferries, as it sounds like it was unavoidable, but the return was gruelling, noisy and uncomfortable nonetheless. We had a nice little outside 2 berth on the Pont Aven, within stumbling distance of the main bar (8161 - cute little cabin), and we'd had a bit of fun on the Friday night crossing from Portsmouth. However, there were no cabins available on the Mont St Michel, and it was rammed. The reclining chairs were uncomfortable and didn't really recline, the toilets and shared showers were disgusting and smelly, and the ship seemed below par in general. I quite like the PA, the Bretagne, and Cap Finistere, but the MSM reminded me of a Townsend Thoresen ferry from the 1980's. Maybe all ferries are the same when they are that busy, but I don't notice when I'm tucked up in bed in my little cabin. As an aside, you do get a proper night's sleep between St Malo and Portsmouth, but the MSM leaves Caen far too late and docks too early. Mind you, on this occasion, it meant that we didn't have to spend any longer in those damned 'reclining' chairs.
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