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Charred_Fish

Normandie Express and "those" seats

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Hi,

 

Looking at the booking engine for next year, I was a tiny bit surprised to see that BF are continuing with the "Club Seat" concept on the Normandie Express.

 

Given that it's not a private lounge, so you aren't insulated from the noise of screaming / vomiting kids etc., and you aren't really getting anything for your money bar a newspaper ( the description on the booking page no longer makes reference to a free drink ) it does seem strange to me that people are prepared to pay for it? Or am I missing the point as usual...

 

Maybe someone who actually has used these seats will be able to convince me I'm wrong and how wonderful they are? ! :)

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Condor are apparently having 3 classes of seat on the new ship, seeing as they will be crossing at night if reports are correct, hope they are VERY comfortable recliners!! I'm not too impressed with the new seats on NEX, I would like a 'quiet zone' screened off and soundproofed section.

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But surely, a class system is what has been the problem over the years. Third class went out ages ago, so did steerage. It should not be referred to as class but a "price structure" otherwise we are back to defining Upper class, Middle class & Lower class.

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To be fair to BF, they do call them "Club Seats" rather than "Club Class" incidentally P&O on the Dover routes call it "Club Lounge" and not "Club Class" too.. However the class word is still used to describe Commodore I believe? Certainly when I last had a Commodore cabin back in August my cabin key was in a Commodore Class wallet.

 

It's a difficult one to crack though.. Railway companies still use the term "1st Class" and airlines use phrases like "Upper Class", "Business Class" "First Class" and Economy Class...

 

What is the alternative?

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It doesn't matter what it is called, the word 'class' maybe outdated, but it pretty much signifies what you will get for whatever ticket you buy or what seat you sit in. You will still be in your chosen 'class' of travel anyway in my opinion. My choice would be a no screaming kids quiet class....

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Condor are apparently having 3 classes of seat on the new ship, seeing as they will be crossing at night if reports are correct, hope they are VERY comfortable recliners!! I'm not too impressed with the new seats on NEX, I would like a 'quiet zone' screened off and soundproofed section.

If she's anything like the other Condor cats you'll have to be strapped in on anything other than a sea with a slight swell.

Over exagerating? Never!!

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To get back to the original point, and as we have said elsewhere, we are not impressed with the Club Seats on NEx. Two seats for a return crossing adds £68 to the cost. Doing it just once left us with the feeling that we had been done. No way would we do it for multiple crossings . . . I am amazed that they are seen as worthwhile and it would be interesting to know how many customers were other than first time users of the seats. And there is no choice to the 'newspaper selection' (as the bursar called it). Indie or nothing. We did get some sweet drink called orange juice or water offered in a plastic cup. I don't know how much of the £17 is attributed to the cost of the juice, but, frankly, the poor quality just added to the insult.

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I don't think NEX is the appropriate vessel for this offering, she is too small. If you do it then you need to take out the whole front section or rear section and then you may find you cannot fill it. To me BF have let themselves down here and become Rip Off Merchants. Club class on the old P&O only gave you a recliner, shortbread biscuits and a newspaper scrum. The only time I got fizz was when POC III was launched and she was not really any better then POC & POW. They were the C class of P&O. Fab vessels, bow outside availability, carvery restaurant and many small lounges if you could find them. Perhaps like a 747 if the fast cats had a small upstairs lounge they could sell as Club. If BF take note when looking at sites like this then they would do away with it.

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I don't think NEX is the appropriate vessel for this offering, she is too small. If you do it then you need to take out the whole front section or rear section and then you may find you cannot fill it. To me BF have let themselves down here and become Rip Off Merchants. Club class on the old P&O only gave you a recliner, shortbread biscuits and a newspaper scrum. The only time I got fizz was when POC III was launched and she was not really any better then POC & POW. They were the C class of P&O. Fab vessels, bow outside availability, carvery restaurant and many small lounges if you could find them. Perhaps like a 747 if the fast cats had a small upstairs lounge they could sell as Club. If BF take note when looking at sites like this then they would do away with it.
Bit like the present Condor cats, they were an earlier Incat design. To mention the trimaran again, be interesting to see how her layout is, there are interior pics on the Austal website, but only viewable to media I think. Interesting because she is a lot bigger and would be interesting to see what you can do layout wise with a much bigger ship.

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I don't think NEX is the appropriate vessel for this offering, she is too small. If you do it then you need to take out the whole front section or rear section and then you may find you cannot fill it. To me BF have let themselves down here and become Rip Off Merchants.

 

One is reminded of the tale told by the late Cyril Mills, son of Bertram, about the small scale touring circus with three prices of admission but no seating whatsoever

 

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Bertram Mills Circus? Now that DOES revive a few memories of seeing it at Olympia but I was very, very small at the time!

 

I have noticed that there is a tendency to introduce class distinctions afloat in recent years. Canard started it in the cruise industry but now all the cruise lines are taking it up with premium passengers having exclusive use of premium facilities. You will always get people who jump at the chance to elevate themselves from their fellow passengers.

 

Applying it to a catamaran ferry smacks a bit of desperation though as it is difficult to see just how much true added value is possible.

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Bertram Mills Circus? Now that DOES revive a few memories of seeing it at Olympia but I was very, very small at the time!

 

I have noticed that there is a tendency to introduce class distinctions afloat in recent years. Canard started it in the cruise industry but now all the cruise lines are taking it up with premium passengers having exclusive use of premium facilities. You will always get people who jump at the chance to elevate themselves from their fellow passengers.

QUOTE]

 

With Cunard - if you want to spend five thousand pounds each passenger for a suite then I guess you qualify for premium facilities..

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Call it what you like but the extra cost of a separate lounge on whatever crossing if well worth the money. We have had the VIP on DFDS and Club class on the PO Dover - Calais but for best value it was the Club Class on the old Pride of Cherbourg and Hampshire ex Vikings. The staff were always friendly, happy to chat and it was an oasis of calm and comfort (plus a plentiful supply of shortbread biscuits, hot and cold drinks !!)

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Dress code could be next....

 

I don't usually carry a torch for the Daily Wail but there is a lot of sense in the article. Many people don't know how to behave and do leave their manners at home when aboard a cruise ship although the cruise companies do bring a lot of the trouble down on their own heads. The various companies all have their own dress codes which normally apply only to the evening dining and entertainment. Some, like Cunard, are quite formal, on others such, as Carnival, pretty much anything goes. Unfortunately people don't do their homework before booking which is why you get Americans in shorts and T shirt on Cunard being refused admission to the dining room where everyone else is in Tuxedos or at least Lounge Suits. I don't like dressing up much but a lot of people do and it is an important part of the experience for them. When we travelled on QM2 I did respect the dress code but on many of the middle of the range lines 'smart casual' is OK which usually means a jacket and trousers, sometimes with a tie. That is perfectly OK with me. The problem is that many cruise lines are reluctant to offend their customers by enforcing the basic dress code which in fact annoys other passengers who have usually put a bit of effort in, especially the ladies. If you are sitting down at a table for 8 for a nice four course meal with wine etc. then the presence of some slob in a T shirt with his muffin top showing does tend to put you off your meal a bit! It does happen. (If you travel Carnival out of the US they are apparently like that a lot of the time,

so I have been informed!). You pays your money and takes your choice as they say.

 

Virtually all cruise lines now really give you the hard sell for inclusive drinks packages which many people take up. They are not cheap but neither is buying ad hoc drinks on board. Consequently you get a sizable minority who are determined to get their money's worth from the inclusive package which accounts for a lot of the inebriation.

 

Where I part company from the Wail is the statement that cruises are expensive, actually they are not given what you get for your money which is a travelling 4 star hotel with all meals and a good variety of entertainment thrown in. Of course they try to fleece you on the margins with the drinks, spa and beauty treatments and shore excursions but if you are careful and play your cards right you can very often bag a real bargain holiday. I would only take a cruise for the itinerary but there are thousands of people who would never look at another type of holiday - they are truly serial cruisers!

 

 

 

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Sort of wandered off track I'm afraid! There is a natural limit to the extent you can discuss seats in NEX I think. Basically you put bums on them at the front end and the back end and then hang on tight. Not much else to say really....

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i thought this was about the NEX and those slightly better seats?!
You could say that there might as well be a dress policy as well to sit in certain seats....

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