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About auchmill

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  • Birthday 29/11/1946

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  1. auchmill

    Booking site swamped?

    I hope the new ferries will make a difference for the PF cabin availability for the Spanish routes, although it helps to book an unpopular crossing - there's still PF Cabins available on the 2 nighter I booked yesterday. Last year's voyage wasn't very busy. I suppose first come first served is the only way but I like Cabin-boy's idea of a CV variant. We are their "most regular and loyal customers" after all, as they said in a recent email. But FCFS does lead to an unholy stramash and is unfair on those who can't get to a phone or computer at the right time. Re comparison between Tunnel and BF most who do the sums properly work out there's not much in it cost wise, and how much is avoiding the trail through France worth - though some make it part of the holiday. As mentioned there are those who take a (perverse?) pride in not spending anything on tolls, campsite fees etc if they can help it, so it's the tunnel for them and camping on the beach until they get kicked off by the Guardia Civil.
  2. auchmill

    Booking site swamped?

    When I was trying to book yesterday the sailing to Spain in Feb early March showed only Etretat and all the PF cabins were sold by the time I got through to book a return. Then later last night the Baie de Seine suddenly appeared on the timetable and has PF cabins available. But because of the layout of the ship only vehicles less than 1.83 metres in height and not towing caravans can be accommodated for pets and of course there are no kennels. For most of February and almost half of March it's Economie only. So if you've got a pet and want to travel at that time and haven't already booked, then forget it. (or get it put down) Looks like the anti-pet brigade have scored a victory here as I think many pet owners will travel by the tunnel and BF may have shot themselves in the paw. The topic of the best way to get to Spain is one that comes up from time to time on motorhome/caravan forums and the overwhelming feeling I get from these discussions is that BF to Spain is too dear and the tunnel is the best option.
  3. auchmill

    Booking site swamped?

    Don't know if that would work or not. I got logged out at various stages, from the page before payment to quite early on. Couldn't get through on the phone. Surely this can be sorted, even if it means spending money on new systems, as there will be a lot of people not very gruntled? Plenty of comments on their Twitter page. Me being one of them, mainly because we will have to drive up through France for the return.
  4. auchmill

    Booking site swamped?

    Utter shambles, and yes, I'm a dog owner, but the crossing to Spain I book in early Dec for the motorhome is not very popular, being the Sunday night 2 night crossing - but quick out the blocks Tues morning. Another thing, most of Feb early March only Etretat is running and since they have no kennels only a few Pet Friendly cabins by the time I got on the website the PF Cabins were all gone. So we're stuck in Spain!! No wonder a lot of motorhomers go by the Chunnel.
  5. auchmill

    Immigrants at Ouistreham

    Yes. But I think we have to be sensible when on holiday. If you don't feel comfortable with a situation then go elsewhere. We have a motorhome and sometimes we park up at a nice spot and not in a campsite, but occasionally the nice spot isn't so nice so we move on because we don't feel comfortable. Similarly with some campsites. Occasionally when people are on holiday they forget some of the basic rules of staying safe and get caught out.
  6. auchmill

    New deposit price on bookings?

    Maybe this topic should be renamed? "Pet Hates" perhaps? Mine mostly involve other humans.
  7. auchmill

    New deposit price on bookings?

    I see what you mean. So when booking you could book by specific date as the main criteria , or by a small range of dates and cabin type would be main criteria. Maybe you could suggest it to them.
  8. auchmill

    New deposit price on bookings?

    From BF blog: "Our pet friendly cabins are very popular and Honfleur will have some. We look forward to welcoming you and your dog on board." AFAIK the (15 I think) pet-friendly cabins on CF are only for those with pets. As noted, those with allergies cannot be put in a cabin previously used by a pet. So even if it's true that all cabins on Honfleur will be "pet friendly", which only means a hard floor (some sort of hard composite which turns up the wall a short distance) instead of carpet, I cannot see that all of them will be used as such. I suspect it's not true. We once had to get our motorhome towed home and the recovery driver said the dog had to stay in the van, due to risk of allergies. We only travel to Spain in the winter, with our dog, and I've never had a problem with dogs barking all night in the cabins. More annoying is people stomping about, banging doors etc.
  9. auchmill

    New deposit price on bookings?

    And maybe one for avoiding those who complain loudly that they can't get a table by the window in the restaurant for dinner, even though it's pitch black in December!!
  10. auchmill

    New deposit price on bookings?

    "Perhaps in that case the search engine could be configured not to just offer sailing times and prices as a first level option but allow you (if you so wish) to filter the choice by cabin-type availability. That would offer those who are flexible with their travel dates to see at a glance the best option for them in terms of accommodation." It does. You choose the sailing then move on to choose the cabin type, 2 or 4 berth, inside or outside, etc and on Cap Finistere "Pet Friendly". If any cabin type is sold out it says so. A few years ago we were on the Point Aven going to Spain and I thought I'd look at the return sailings, even though we had one booked, and surprise surprise a pet friendly cabin had become available, so I booked it. The only thing you can do, if you don't get one is to keep checking on the website and see if one turns up.
  11. auchmill

    New deposit price on bookings?

    Likewise, and the C&CC too, who do charge a deposit. The C&MC have a "sanctions" policy for those who abuse the system and cancel without the required notice. And now you can book a site a year ahead. It was said that some members made block bookings at several sites and then cancelled when they had decided which one to go to. I'd rather see a deposit system.
  12. auchmill

    Fuel Prices in Santander?

    Here's another website with all the prices. Click on Welcome at top for English. http://geoportalgasolineras.es/?l=sl#/Inicio Cheapest diesel we found was at the port of Bilbao, Zierbena - PortuOil.
  13. auchmill

    Complaint handling _BF

    We travel on the Spain crossing and have used both kennels and PF cabins. Yes, the cabin is preferable, but she's never had a problem in the kennel. And half the time it's night. Is there a tendency to anthropomorphise? I don't know. Ours doesn't like loud bangs. At one place in Spain they re-enacted the Moors vs the Christians which seemed to consist of firing projectiles into the air which exploded so loudly it could be heard several miles away. She was very upset and we had to leave the campsite where we were staying. Re complaints and whether they are justified. I agree with a lot of the sensible points about dealing with it immediately and not "nursing your wrath to keep it warm". But some are fairly trivial - you should read some of the complaints on the BF Twitter feed and the way some customers slag them off. Here's one right now: "Unfortunately last off the boat upstairs ramp. As you said before 'someone has to be last off' but why is it me so often? How do I insist I am loaded with the other 4WD/AWDs where that the vehicle booked?" Bless them.
  14. auchmill

    Complaint handling _BF

    We've only been on Cap Finistere and Pont Aven and I don't recall our dog mixing with other passengers either on the way up to the exercise deck from the pf cabin or when getting her out of the kennel for same. It's usually just other dog owners up there, while the rest of the passengers are sitting/drinking somewhere warm.
  15. auchmill

    Deposit increase from £35 to £40

    Passengers who take dogs down to their ordinary cabins are highly irresponsible. (Nodwad had a genuine reason, so I'm not talking about that) Apart from the possibility of the dog fouling the cabin, which will probably go undetected as they are unlikely to report it, there is the possibility of other passengers who will use the cabin a few hours later being allergic to dogs and suffering a bad reaction - even to just a few hairs. A few years ago we had to get towed home and the dog had to stay in the motorhome and not the cab of the pick-up truck, for this very reason. Too many owners anthropomorphise their pets which does neither of them any good. Animals are very good at sensing when humans are anxious, nervous, afraid etc, picking up signs we are hardly aware of, (anyone who's kept cattle will know this) so their anxiety is often a reflection of the owner's anxiety. Bad behaviour by owners - not picking up excrement, taking them into disallowed areas whether on a ship or a beach or playing field - only gives ammunition to the anti-dog lobby which is alive and well.