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Why do so many people hate the Armorique?

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I was on her the other week when she was doing cover at Portsmouth and had a good look round her and could not understand why it seems she is not liked very much.

 

Yes she is very open planned but i found her bright and welcoming and her Crew seem to enjoy being on her so i am a bit of a lost to why she seems unliked.

 

I also bet she feels unwanted as well being on her own almost all the time down at Plymouth!!!!!

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On the forum I'm not sure that this is true. General consensus is that she is a nice ship with many plus points but would be even nicer with a couple more facilities.

 

As far as the wider public is concerned, Chris (Fine Whine) is probably best-placed to answer this as he caters for many of them at his business in Roscoff.

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I checked her out last year when she was deputising for Barfleur in Poole - as did many of Barfleur's regulars - and I thought she was lovely. I could see nothing wrong with her, she is well laid out amd comfortable. Be well happy to use her again. She generally went down well round our neck of the woods.

 

Memories of the woman who posted a picture on Facebook saying she was enjoying watching Barfleur go out, but that she looked a little unusual! The photo was taken quite a distance away and she said she didn't realise Barfleur was so big....

 

Explainations were duly proffered - she'd been watching Arm.

Edited by Khaines

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Because a lot of people expect to be waited on hand and foot cruise ship style on a ferry that is designed to get you from A to B in 6 hours,

Or lack of waiter service restaurant and somewhere from adults to escape from the noisy hoards of children that regularly seem to run amok, I like her myself she never seems to feel to cramped even when she is busy and has great cabins.

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Because a lot of people expect to be waited on hand and foot cruise ship style on a ferry that is designed to get you from A to B in 6 hours,

Or lack of waiter service restaurant and somewhere from adults to escape from the noisy hoards of children that regularly seem to run amok, I like her myself she never seems to feel to cramped even when she is busy and has great cabins.

 

That's a bit disingenuous Neil. The "expectations" of the travelling public are based on the fact that she is marketed as a "Cruise Ferry", and that there is an industry norm for facilities to be found on a "Cruise Ferry". Including a restaurant. But I agree with you, the restaurant issue is a big factor in the general negative impression in some quarters. Chris will no doubt be able to say more about that.

 

I also, like you, find her a very pleasant ship. My general feeling is that forum sentiment has warmed to her over time, though of course there will be some who hold a different view.

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I believe that she serves the Plymouth Roscoff route well and is always clean, tidy & well presented. However someone on here, when she first came into service, felt her inside areas to have been 'tescosied' ! That for me explains her well. A sort of plastic feeling with all those glass panels brightly coloured and all 'plastic' chairs Even the so called restaurant produces almost suitable food for a 6 hour journey but everything seems to come with chips.

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No pressure then Gareth!

 

I think everything that could be said has been said. Excellent, quiet cabins for the overnight trip over, too open plan and yes, Tescoised is quite an apt expression. I can see what the design team were trying to achieve but there aren't enough quiet public lounges, the reclining seat area on deck 6 is badly thought through, once one person starts coughing/snoring/fidgetting/squawking that's everyone awake. A bar area should be welcoming; it's anything but that, a stopping off point amidships, and then of course the self-service as the only eating option, which we've been discussing recently.

 

I disagree with you about the "everything comes with chips" observation RJT; it's probably the default answer from the person serving food because the majority of British customers want chips, but look carefully and there's well cooked rice, pasta, creamy mash and gratin dauphinois my preferred option.

 

And Brigitte I agree there's nothing fundamentally wrong with her and we should be grateful BF have invested in yet another new vessel, but remember Poole-Cherbourg is 4 hours 15 minutes during the day, the Roscoff afternoon departure at 15h00 takes 6 hours 10 minutes to save fuel which is soooo boring. I always have an inside 2 berth cabin, £10.50 with the Club Voyage discount and worth every penny.

 

Chris

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The creamy mash is my favourite it must have celeriac or something in it , I like the bar area I find it generally a pleasant area to sit in although the lack of a point of focus for entertainment is an issue,when we were on her in August a busy crossing there was a kids entertainer singing and it showed up that weakness, but all in all I'm happy enough sailing on her got a club plus cabin booked for August so will have sampled all her cabins by then.

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If they copied the "Magnus Lounge" concept from Northlink, I think this would answer many of the critics. A separated off, extra cost lounge, where you can be served your food at table. Yes, the same food as the Self Service, which, as has been said above, is actually pretty good. Freshly cooked entrecote, gratin dauphinoise (or chips :) ), ratatouille, for example, nice fresh starters and puddings, bottle of Chateau Noaillac ....

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I suspect there are very few people who hate the Armorique: her advantages have been praised by many on the forum. The gripes seem to be about the restaurant, and the décor. The restaurant thing has been answered: the timetabling and journey time on the Ply-Ro for which she was designed would allow perhaps one use of a full-service restaurant facility a day at most, and that is not economically feasible. The décor is certainly a bit Tesco, but you can't cater for everyone's taste. And the feeling that she is a happy ship is the biggest plus of all, and that has been my experience from the beginning.

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To answer the original question, perhaps it's because we're not allowed to hate Barfleur and that she's the newest dedicated ship in the fleet and the biggest departure from what people have traditionally associated with BF. I find her excellent and the family and I would happily travel on her every time (if her route wasn't so far out of our way). Ed

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I personally think that Armorique is a great ship, well-laid and almost perfect for the route she serves. If people want a meal in the a la carte, the Pont-Aven option is there. But a lot of people don't. They want a cheap meal from the self-service, a quick browse in the shop and then a comfortable lounge/sofa/cabin. The Armorique better caters for this than Pont-Aven which (as has been mentioned) lacks lounge seating. Personally, I quite like the decor on the Armorique. It's an attempt to have something a bit different (each ship is unique) and more modern.

 

We have enjoyed many crossing on her and hope to continue so in the future.

P.s. My avatar is the Armorique - so I'm certainly a fan!

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Would be interesting to see the passenger figures for the PA crossings compared to the Arm's, allowing for the fact that the Thursday crossing has a lot better timings for most people.

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With a heading like 'Why do so many people hate the Armorique'

 

I think HATE is a rather strange term to use, wouldn't dislike be a better phrase!

 

I for one find her an excellent vessel regardless of the lack of a full service restaurant as I find the food served in her self service has been superb on the few sailings I have taken on her.

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When I've travelled on her, admittedly not as often as others in the fleet, I've always found her to be bright, comfy & quiet with a good balanced offering for customers, she's popular with freight drivers too. Personally I think the Armorique configuration is the blueprint for future BF short sea crossings.

 

Take a look at MSM2, she is very similar, a superstructure which runs only two thirds of the ship's length and cabin capacity for only 50% of overnight travellers. I'm more than half expecting the new girl to have just the self service and a large club class seating area with Monty following suit by converting Les Romantiques and Normandie to get the same treatment when she switches to Le Havre.

 

I think the only berth heavy, multiple choice eatery routes that will remain are Spain & St Malo...

 

For me PA was the last of the cruise ferries for BF, even Pegasis would have been a RoPax with twin bow loading and open stern

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I have the choice next time of 0915 or 1500 back from Roscoff to Plymouth on a Sunday.

 

0915 is Pont Aven, invariably cheaper, definitely faster, so popular that there was a queue last time all the way from the Roscoff level crossing, and I get Sunday lunch on board.

 

1500 is Armorique, slow and boring. I sit shivering, huddled in a rug, in the all powerful air- con in the forward facing, cheerless "lounge".

 

I don't hate Armorique, I just think Can't she go any faster ?

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I do three return, overnight crossings a year on the Portsmouth - Caen route so I am used to sailing on MSM and Normandie. MSM is my favourite because it is spacious and it is normally possible to find a quiet corner in one of the reserved seat lounges, in which to get a decent kip. In October 2015 the return crossing was on Amorique and as it was the start of the school half term break the ferry was packed out. The reserved seat lounge I was in, was adjacent to reception and was open at that end. Bright lights were on all night and it was noisy. The nearest toilets were about 3/4 the way along the ship. Other reserved seat lounges were completely open and adjacent to what resembled a dance floor. I have no wish to travel again, overnight on Amorique.

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I only use BF for holidays, and a relaxing meal in a proper restaurant is the thing that attracts me. Flying is much cheaper and quicker - so is Eurotunnel/ Le Shuttle - but they can't match the civilised and leisurely experience of genuinely good food, excellent service, live piano music (sometimes) and superb sea views. There is something magical about dining in Les Abers (Bretagne) or Le Fora (Pont Aven) as the sun sets over the water. For this reason, Barfleur and Amorique are the only ships in the main fleet that I have never travelled on. I prefer to sail from Plymouth, but time my journeys to coincide with PA sailings. Where this doesn't work, I will drive to Portsmouth instead. It's a matter of choice, but if I just wanted to get from A to B, I wouldn't sail with BF.

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Would be interesting to see the passenger figures for the PA crossings compared to the Arm's, allowing for the fact that the Thursday crossing has a lot better timings for most people.

 

The Pont Aven crossing consistently has more passengers.

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No pressure then Gareth!

 

I think everything that could be said has been said. Excellent, quiet cabins for the overnight trip over, too open plan and yes, Tescoised is quite an apt expression. I can see what the design team were trying to achieve but there aren't enough quiet public lounges, the reclining seat area on deck 6 is badly thought through, once one person starts coughing/snoring/fidgetting/squawking that's everyone awake. A bar area should be welcoming; it's anything but that, a stopping off point amidships, and then of course the self-service as the only eating option, which we've been discussing recently.

 

I disagree with you about the "everything comes with chips" observation RJT; it's probably the default answer from the person serving food because the majority of British customers want chips, but look carefully and there's well cooked rice, pasta, creamy mash and gratin dauphinois my preferred option.

 

And Brigitte I agree there's nothing fundamentally wrong with her and we should be grateful BF have invested in yet another new vessel, but remember Poole-Cherbourg is 4 hours 15 minutes during the day, the Roscoff afternoon departure at 15h00 takes 6 hours 10 minutes to save fuel which is soooo boring. I always have an inside 2 berth cabin, £10.50 with the Club Voyage discount and worth every penny.

 

Chris

 

I think you sum it up well. The bar is terrible...no atmosphere and no focal point..its like sitting in a corridor. Its not hard to do...look at Barfleur or Bretagne for a nice bar. I also think the aft decks are terrible. Always seem to be sat in the shade next to the huge funnel devoid of any view. I know there is the top deck but as its open its pretty windy. Much prefer the tired decks of Bretagne or Mont.

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I think you sum it up well. The bar is terrible...no atmosphere and no focal point..its like sitting in a corridor. Its not hard to do...look at Barfleur or Bretagne for a nice bar. I also think the aft decks are terrible. Always seem to be sat in the shade next to the huge funnel devoid of any view. I know there is the top deck but as its open its pretty windy. Much prefer the tired decks of Bretagne or Mont.

The windy top deck is where I took my tumble, slipped on that blue deck which was wet when trying to grab hold of a handrail. Very dangerous up there in the wind as I found out to my cost, very slippery.

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My main observation is that while the general ambience of the ship is ok in daylight it takes on a very gloomy appearance at night with weary lighting levels in which the blue green colour scheme looks ghastly. Add in the chilly air conditioning and the uninspiring bar area and it isn't the best start to a holiday.

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I have the choice next time of 0915 or 1500 back from Roscoff to Plymouth on a Sunday.

 

0915 is Pont Aven, invariably cheaper, definitely faster, so popular that there was a queue last time all the way from the Roscoff level crossing, and I get Sunday lunch on board.

 

1500 is Armorique, slow and boring. I sit shivering, huddled in a rug, in the all powerful air- con in the forward facing, cheerless "lounge".

 

I don't hate Armorique, I just think Can't she go any faster ?

You obviously don't like her not everyone does the last crossing I took on the Sunday afternoon crossing had a lot of happy customers ,if you need a rug maybe you could purchase a sleeping kit or spend £20 odd on a cabin.

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The Pont Aven crossing consistently has more passengers.

 

​But how many more? Enough to have an A La Carte restaurant seven days a week? As I said in the previous post the Thursday crossing is better time wise for many, with a proper nights sleep, unless you spend to long in the bar.

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​But how many more? Enough to have an A La Carte restaurant seven days a week? As I said in the previous post the Thursday crossing is better time wise for many, with a proper nights sleep, unless you spend to long in the bar.

And it's a bigger ship without stating the obvious you would expect a much bigger ship to carry more passengers the Sunday afternoon crossings I've been on on armorique have been far from quiet.

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