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  1. 2 night minicruise to St Malo on the Pont completed using the BFE offer. Our drive down to Portsmouth from North Yorks was smooth and no real traffic issues meant we arrived about 18.15. A wait for 45 mins or so to board and we were up to deck 4. Parked, dropped bags in cabin and headed to to Le flora for the buffet and a main course of lamb on bulgar wheat, my wife had the duck and both of us were very happy with our meals. Excellent service from the waiter. We were positioned by a window on the port side, and so got a glimpse of the aircraft carriers, the inbound Normandie and the loitering BDS as we headed out from Pompey. A stroll around the boat and deck suggested it was pretty quiet, we nosed around the shop for a bit before retiring to the cabin with a bottle of red to watch a film on the ipad. Woken in the small hours to find the ship moving a little bit, due to swell rather than wind. Arrived in st Malo about 7.45, got off quite quickly and were off to Leclerc for a coffee and croissant and to consume Christmas shopping. We spent a while up there before heading back and parking near the city walls at Esplanade Bourse. Whilst Leclerc had been manic, the old town was relatively quiet. We nosed around the christmas market and ice rink near the tourist office, before having a stroll around the old town for a couple of hours. With a couple of hours left before early boarding began we realised we'd forgotten some essentials so drove up to Carrefour and the shopping centre there, got what we needed (a very full car now) and headed back to the port. Onto Pont deck 4 again about 18.30. This time we were in for a treat. I had messaged BF to see if there were an upgrades available. Long story short, I've been seriously ill this year and booked the trip to say thanks to my wife for holding everything together. BF were good enough to extend that thanks by upgrading us to a commodore! She was delighted. As was I! We had some fizz sitting on the balcony as we left, headed to the self service this time (neither of us were hungry enough for le flora) and had a lovely beef stew. A stop off to buy more wine in the shop and deliver it to the car, and we went back to the cabin to watch a DVD from reception. Coffees from the commodore lounge, but they evidently didn't work as we both fell asleep quite quickly. I woke around 1 ish when we were passing Jersey, again the boat was moving a bit but it was quite a short wave period driving it, very little wind. Woke up properly at 0630 this morning and enjoyed the sun rise from our balcony (8413) and then made the most of it by having our breakfast on the balcony, although it's December it was relatively warm and there was no wind on that side of the ship. Off the ship by 0915 and straight through passport control and onto the motorway and home. Really enjoyed our trip. My wife now says that Pont Aven is her favourite, usurping Bretagne and the Pride of Rotterdam. All the bf staff were very smiley and helpful. Thanks to Colin and Ed for the monitoring of the strikes, luckily we weren't affected. In terms of a Christmas destination st Malo was quieter than I had thought it would be, there wasn't a tremendous amount going on in the old town, although it did look like it might come more alive in the evening. We got everything we wanted though, and above all the crossings were superb, food excellent and service ditto. The Commodore cabin was fantastic, I didn't think I'd appreciate the balcony, we've had a deluxe before, but i really liked it. The only thing that let's them down for us was the bathrooms. In comparison to the new club cabins on the Pride of Hull/Rotterdam which we used in October, the Commodore cabin itself is bigger, equally comfortable but on P & O there are separate toilet and showers, with the shower unit being a double side by side unit and properly tiled, double.sinks too. I believe some have bathtubs instead of showers. When she eventually gets a cabin refresh they could do to look at that in my opinion. It's not dreadful but felt no better than the standard cabin we had on the way out. Was very impressed with the speed of clearing passport control and has made me think that we shall use Portsmouth not Plymouth when we venture to southern Brittany again in 2021. Thanks BF and BFE for a great minicruise.
  2. jamess

    Pont Aven Commodore

    Hi, It has been a while since I have travelled with BF and never before on the Pont Aven. I have booked Commodore Cabins and was offered cabin 8314. I was then advised that 8401 was available and that was a better cabin. Can anyone explain the difference? Thanks, James
  3. Hi, planning to travel Portsmouth-Santander, in May. 3 grown ups (Including tall Dad and Grandad!) and a 3 year old. No deluxe cabins available. Is there any space difference between 4berth inside/outside/club? Should we try and request a particular level/floor/? Avoid certain ones? Or in reality are they not built for 3 adults and a child, and Worth coughing up for 2 cabins?! Just wanting best sleep possible, without feeling totally claustrophobic/on top of each other!! Thank you very much. 😀
  4. Drake

    Pilot

    On the Pont Aven on Monday, the pilot attached itself to the ship as it left Santander. I didn't see them come on board, so trying to work out the reason for this. Does anyone in the know have an answer?
  5. Thanks to everyone at BFE for arranging the latest offer. I certainly got my money's worth this time as I did a Portsmouth-St Malo return trip on Pont Aven. We arrived at Portsmouth at 19.00, managed to avoid the security shed, and drove onto PA straight away. Looked like they had started boarding very early as we were parked on Deck 3 and there were already plenty of vehicles on Deck 4. Found our cabin for two nights, 6488 at the stern, which was just by the cabin we had on our previous PA trip. Headed to the self-service for a light meal, however choices were fairly limited, especially with the salads & cheeses etc. The ship was fairly empty so they were obviously catering accordingly. Had a wander around, then there was an announcement at 20.15 to say that we would not be sailing on time as the harbour was closed due to the discovery of a WW2 ordnance at Southsea. Luckily it was not a long delay, and we sailed at 21.40 and arrived on time the next day. Had a fairly good night's sleep - there was a bit of swaying about through the night - and decided to stay in bed as long as possible as we not be kicked out of the cabin. This decision nearly backfired as we were still half-asleep when the call for Deck 3 drivers came through - the ship hadn't even docked at St Malo. We made it to Deck 3 with two minutes to spare before we were instructed to drive off. At least one other car (at the front of a central lane) was still missing its driver so everyone else was having to negotiate around it. Having docked at 8.15, by 8.40 we were ensconced in the Café du Theatre in St Servan for breakfast. Next we headed off to Dinan for supermarket shopping and lunch, then drove to Dinard and parked in the Parc de Port Breton. We walked down to the bay from there, saw PA over at St Malo, and walked around the coast for a while before heading back to St Malo over the barrage. Finished the day with a walk on the walls. Perfect sunny weather all day. Boarding was from 18.30 and we didn't take long to get through the French security check - they were looking at passports then checking car boots. We were back in our cabin by 19.00 then headed up to Le Flora just after the 19.30 opening time. Sadly the two buffets option was not on the menu, so we had the main course with buffet options instead. The mains we had were vegetable ravioli and fillet of beef, they were OK but nothing special. The buffets however were well up to standard. Had a much calmer crossing back, breakfast in the self-service, then docked on time at 7.45. Took a bit longer to disembark this time as we were on Deck 4. Got through passport control very quickly and home by 10.00 after an excellent trip. PS: I can't see any way to add captions to the photos - can you only add captions to the photos in the gallery?
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