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Lt Cmdr A

Etretat

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What a " journey from hell !!!!". Never having traveled on this vessel before, I got one of a heck of a shock trying to negotiate the sharp turn up to deck 5 on this vessel. Outward bound not a problem, managed to get up there in my own  estate car, however, the return was hell.

Unfortunately, due to a mechanical breakdown, I had to leave our family estate in a garage in France, and return home in a big 7 seater, left hand drive Opel vehicle. Not a problem  travelling along the French Motorways.  The problem arose when we commenced to board Etretat. Who in God's name is the idiot who designed the access upto that bloody deck5.!!!!  Because the vehicle was left hand drive there is totally insufficient room to manouvre to line the vehicle up to access the narrow entry at the bottom of that ramp, consequently the front offside was ripped to pieces on the decking, causing a complete blow out.

I managed to get up to deck 5 by some miracle, parked the vehicle as instructed by the deck officer. I pointed out the ripped tyre to him and he said, " You have to change it "  I pointed out to him that I am in my 70's and also disabled , that was why I was booked to park on deck 5. He just shrugged his shoulders and said, " I see about it later " and walked off.  Thankfully the Ladies in Reception where totally different, very caring and extremely helpfull. arranged for a Recovery vehicle to be waiting at the qua side for me on arrival at Portsmouth.

Fortunately the deck officer on our arrival at Portsmouth was English, and could see our predicament, he allowed me to wait until all other vehicles had disembarked and the with other crew members guided me very, very slowly down this idiotic ramp to the lower car deck, where he allowd the recovery driver to drive the car into his truck.

There is no way, either myself or my family will ever travel on that boat again ! ! !

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Personally, facilities aside, I found *some* of the cabins on that ship to be delightful. There is one near the corner of the bow and the starboard side which is HUGE. I could have had a party of about 10 people in there!

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Sorry to hear about the problems. I used the same ship when she was with LD Lines and remember the very narrow, steep ramp up. What I don't recall is the problem getting up there with a French car (a Xsara Picasso at the time) but maybe the wheelbase of the vehicle makes a difference. Is that what caused the problem for you, or was the approach angle more tricky given you were unfamiliar with a left-hand drive car? Ed.  

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Since Visentini are building two more to the account of Spanish operator Balearia when everyone thought the series had ended maybe they are doing something about this ramp.  Incidentally I don't recall seeing any complaints when sister ship Norman Asturias was in service between Poole and Santander/Gijon but maybe her ramp was a bit different anyway.  Maybe also the vehicle involved in this incident was a bit too big to go up on the top deck.

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Can't say I enjoyed the trip up and down to/from Deck 5 when I sailed on Etretat at the end of June, and it took ages to disembark at Le Havre. However, the trip to/from Deck 1 on Cap Finistere still gets my vote as Worst Ramp on the BF fleet.

Back to Etretat, like hf_uk I was impressed with our cabin as it was fairly spacious and the bunks seemed wider than on other BF ships. The ship was fine for an overnight crossing.

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I have used the Etretat on a number of occasions and agree the ramp is not easy. I try to wait at the bottom of the ramp to allow the cars in front to clear so that a hill start half way up is not required. I find the downward trip much worse, the ramp disappears from view and the car drops very quickly once under way. I always try to make sure the car is lined up before moving onto the ramp. I agree, not sure why left hand drive makes a difference perhaps it is down to it being a strange car. I know I do not adapt  easily to LHD

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Didn't have a problem with the amenities on the Etretat, and as I am disabled I had the disabled cabin near to the Reception, very big, lovely d beds and a brilliant " wet room ". No complaints apart from that " bloody ramp ". Maybe needed getting use to the  width of a rather large left hand drive vehicle ? Who knows?

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On 8/16/2017 at 18:29, Hawser Trunnion said:

Since Visentini are building two more to the account of Spanish operator Balearia when everyone thought the series had ended maybe they are doing something about this ramp.  Incidentally I don't recall seeing any complaints when sister ship Norman Asturias was in service between Poole and Santander/Gijon but maybe her ramp was a bit different anyway.  Maybe also the vehicle involved in this incident was a bit too big to go up on the top deck.

Visemar one built by Visentini in 2010 and chartered to Balearia has a hoistable ramp up to deck 5 which is  4.3m wide.

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On 16/08/2017 at 15:49, Lt Cmdr A said:

What a " journey from hell !!!!". Never having traveled on this vessel before, I got one of a heck of a shock trying to negotiate the sharp turn up to deck 5 on this vessel. Outward bound not a problem, managed to get up there in my own  estate car, however, the return was hell.

Unfortunately, due to a mechanical breakdown, I had to leave our family estate in a garage in France, and return home in a big 7 seater, left hand drive Opel vehicle. Not a problem  travelling along the French Motorways.  The problem arose when we commenced to board Etretat. Who in God's name is the idiot who designed the access upto that bloody deck5.!!!!  Because the vehicle was left hand drive there is totally insufficient room to manouvre to line the vehicle up to access the narrow entry at the bottom of that ramp, consequently the front offside was ripped to pieces on the decking, causing a complete blow out.

I managed to get up to deck 5 by some miracle, parked the vehicle as instructed by the deck officer. I pointed out the ripped tyre to him and he said, " You have to change it "  I pointed out to him that I am in my 70's and also disabled , that was why I was booked to park on deck 5. He just shrugged his shoulders and said, " I see about it later " and walked off.  Thankfully the Ladies in Reception where totally different, very caring and extremely helpfull. arranged for a Recovery vehicle to be waiting at the qua side for me on arrival at Portsmouth.

Fortunately the deck officer on our arrival at Portsmouth was English, and could see our predicament, he allowed me to wait until all other vehicles had disembarked and the with other crew members guided me very, very slowly down this idiotic ramp to the lower car deck, where he allowd the recovery driver to drive the car into his truck.

There is no way, either myself or my family will ever travel on that boat again ! ! !

I believe the people responsible are a company called NAOS design ;).  

The different versions of the Visentini vessels do indeed have different dimensions in this respect.  I guess it depends on what the original purchaser specified/gave more priority to.

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6 minutes ago, Danish Ferry Person said:

I think, as previously stated, this is only a temporary issue, as the vessel will be replaced by Normandie in the future. 

Technically, that's not what's been announced.  We only know that Normandie is (according to current plans) moving to Le Havre.  No word about Etretat has been issued - we are all assuming she will be replaced but that's not necessarily the case.  She might be joined!  Or she might be redeployed - in which case the problem remains, just relocated.  (Unless the redeployment is in a freight-only role).

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12 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

It may not even be an issue as Lt Cmdr A has not come back yet to comment on our suggestions relating to the issue he encountered. Ed

Indeed Ed. In fact the afore-mentioned poster has not even checked into the site since making his post.  Maybe a case of get the rant out and no interest in what anyone else has to say about it? - an unfortunate habit of some.  Or maybe he's been busy and when he gets time to log back in he will thank his respondents for their helpful contributions! ;)

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She has grown on me after the initial shock when BF chartered her. Serves her purpose. 

And every time I am on her I am shocked about her size/length specifically. She is longer than the Pont... and plenty of outside deck space up top to have a romp about!

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23 hours ago, hf_uk said:

She has grown on me after the initial shock when BF chartered her. Serves her purpose. 

And every time I am on her I am shocked about her size/length specifically. She is longer than the Pont... and plenty of outside deck space up top to have a romp about!

I think it's a case of expectation too. I'm going in with the expectation of an industrial looking freighter - exciting in the sense that it's something I wouldn't ordinarily experience, so I can't really be disappointed.

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On 06/09/2017 at 19:07, Gareth said:

Indeed Ed. In fact the afore-mentioned poster has not even checked into the site since making his post.  Maybe a case of get the rant out and no interest in what anyone else has to say about it? - an unfortunate habit of some.  Or maybe he's been busy and when he gets time to log back in he will thank his respondents for their helpful contributions! ;)

Ah okay! I've been very inactive recently, so have not kept up with what is real, and wibble :)

 

Sorry :(

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42 minutes ago, Danish Ferry Person said:

Ah okay! I've been very inactive recently, so have not kept up with what is real, and wibble :)

 

Sorry :(

Hey DFP - relax! :) Ed and I were talking about the.poster that started the thread.  Sorry if you thought we were referring to you - we weren't. ;)

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