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Lalli

Pont Aven

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Why did police and customs board Pont Aven on Sunday 28th September when we landed in Plymouth. We waited ages to get off. It also seemed there was a problem with the hydraulics as the top deck of cars went up and down twice.  I also noticed the PA is on its way to Portsmouth today just wondering why?

 

 

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I was talking to someone on Saturday who went over on Pont Aven on Thursday and back or Armorique on Friday night, and apparently both had ‘issues’ with the hydraulics for the deck ramps. He suspected it to be an excuse for something else, or possibly unofficial action by the deck crews.

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Freight all loaded in reverse also in Plymouth, so presumably could not berth bow-first in Roscoff, for some reason on Friday...

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2 hours ago, Lalli said:

I also noticed the PA is on its way to Portsmouth today just wondering why?

I don't know about about police / customs or if there is a problem with the 'hydraulics'

I will give my view that if you were delayed because of police and or customs then that's good. They should take as much time as they need to do a proper job - don't care if it takes hours even. But that is just my opinion.

What I do know is that the reason it is going to Portsmouth today is because that is where it is supposed to be going. That is part of her 'usual or typical' rotation this year. She should arrive 14:15 in order to get ready to leave for Santander again at 17:15.

Monday: Santander - Portsmouth
Tuesday: Portsmouth - Santander
Wednesday: Santander - Plymouth
Thursday: Plymouth - Roscoff
Friday: Roscoff - Cork
Saturday: Cork - Roscoff
Sunday: Roscoff - Plymouth & Plymouth - Santander

You didn't think the BF flagship only served Plymouth, Santander and Roscoff did you?!

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With the exception there are no Xmas/New Year cruises this year.....:(

There were certainly problems with her bow folding ramp in Roscoff last Friday, the same on Sunday morning from Cork. I think someone needs to give the grease gun a good squeeze. 

And today's arrival into Portsmouth was 30 minutes late, meaning Normandie will be late into Ouistreham tonight...:S>:(

Here are a few photos from the ipad

Chris

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So a thirty minute delay into Ouistreham this evening. And as usual nothing is showing on either of the sailing update pages. I'm in a good mood today so I won't rant too much (again) but what do the people in BF towers actually do all day? They must sit there watching the clouds float by their windows. Perhaps we could do their jobs for them and let them know when their ships are running late as they don't seem to be in the slightest bit interested. Have a good crossing Chris! Ed. 

Edited by Cabin-boy

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Ed,

Time is often made up, there are other factors as well as late departures which can affect sailing and arrival times and these are accepted as a part of travelling by sea. It's not a railway or an airline where you have an onward flight connection.

I have been on Bretagne on occasions when departure has been delayed but arrival time is usually very close to the advertised time. Plus if the immigration checks at are a high level at either end you can easily lose another half hour through no fault of BF.

I think your comments on BF staff are both unfair and bordering on the vindictive. I have never found them to be anything other than helpful. By all means criticise poor service but don't go looking for it where it doesn't exist. Most people, including BF employees, take pride in doing their best and ill considered intolerant remarks on something that hasn't even happened yet are not helpful.

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I think Ed’s comments are somewhat justified if you’re going to have a sailing updates page it should be updated ASAP it shouldn’t take to long to do it could even be done automatically via a computer program.

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Come on, an arrival that is 15 or 20 minutes late is not something they should be wasting their time posting on the Sailings Updates page about.  They'd be at it all the time and I'm sure they've got better things to do.  The Sailings Updates page is primarily aimed at giving information about Departures that are significantly delayed.  Departures rather than arrivals.  And significantly in that it will have a bearing on one's travel plans.  The primary purpose of the Sailings Updates page is not to furnish enthusiasts with every nuance of fleet operation.

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48 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Ed,

Time is often made up, there are other factors as well as late departures which can affect sailing and arrival times and these are accepted as a part of travelling by sea. It's not a railway or an airline where you have an onward flight connection.

I have been on Bretagne on occasions when departure has been delayed but arrival time is usually very close to the advertised time. Plus if the immigration checks at are a high level at either end you can easily lose another half hour through no fault of BF.

I think your comments on BF staff are both unfair and bordering on the vindictive. I have never found them to be anything other than helpful. By all means criticise poor service but don't go looking for it where it doesn't exist. Most people, including BF employees, take pride in doing their best and ill considered intolerant remarks on something that hasn't even happened yet are not helpful.

It's something that has bugged me for a long time with BF in that they either don't update at all or they only update the UK page and not the French one. I too have had time made up on Bretagne which is relatively easy on a 9 or 12 hour crossing but maybe less so when crossing to Caen. I get that they keep the passengers onboard fully informed and that's as it should be but as Neil rightly says, if the technology and infrastructure is in place to do so then why is it not used correctly.

I often travel as a foot passenger (and in the summer pick up family coming over to France in the same way) to keep costs down and because my family live 20 minutes north of Portsmouth. Therefore they only set out to pick me up when the ship is due to dock. On several occasions they have checked the online pages (as I have over here too) to confirm that everything is to schedule and then found they had to hang around for half an hour or more for me to come through customs etc. To circumvent the problem I now simply send an SMS when we are passing through the harbour entrance to confirm that they can think about setting off.

So, sorry Colin if you think it was OTT but it's really the only area in which I think BF fall behind other operators and could put on a little more effort to improve an otherwise very good (if costly) service. Ed. 

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I have to agree with Gareth, I don't think half an hour is here nor there in the circumstances. OK, you might be able to alert your family when passing through the harbour entrance but that won't take account of any delays in the immigration process for example. If you are travelling by car then the position of your vehicle in the ship could influence your getting off time by 15 minutes, more if you are on Bretagne's car deck 5! And of course most passengers are in cars.

Just relax and, like us, be grateful you are not travelling by air but in a civilised fashion.

Wondering what BF staff do all day is not a very kind attitude. Maybe people wonder what you do all day!

Edited by cvabishop
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And you don't have to have logged into the Sailings Updates page to know you are running slightly late if you are on board and want to alert the family.  You will know because you are...er....on board! ;)

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Yes, was just about to post that Normandie appears to have docked on time in Ouistreham.  They clearly have more than enough in reserve to be able to make up half an hour.  A non-issue.

Welcome back to France, Chris! :)

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36 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Maybe people wonder what you do all day!

Well, seeing as you're interested :D here goes:

I got up at 5.40am, caught a train at 6.40am and was in my classroom at the university by 7.30am to get everything ready before the students arrived (yawning and/or drunk in most cases) at 8.00am. I then did a 3-hour class with a final-year group of building maintenance and fire-safety engineers before catching a bus at 11.00am to the factory belonging to a well-known Swedish truck manufacturer where I taught from 11.30am to 5.30pm with a couple of half-hour breaks for lunch and to reply to some inane emails from my boss. I then took a bus and tram back across town to the teaching-hospital for an evening class with a group of doctors and professors, finishing at 8.00pm before catching the train home and eating dinner at 9.00pm. In between time, I found the opportunity to post a couple of messages on this forum, order some books from Amazon France and fill in an SNCF customer feedback form which will probably go straight into their scrap-paper tray. I didn't, to the best of my knowledge, keep anybody waiting, arrive late or fail to give people the service they had paid for, thereby guaranteeing customer satisfaction and plenty of repeat business. It will be much the same tomorrow too.

On a more serious note, Colin, I think that I (and probably Chris) view such delays and the lack of information more seriously than many other posters on here because we are travelling more for business reasons than pleasure most of the time, or at least coming back and going directly to work. If I have a connecting train in St Malo or Caen, I need to know if I'll make it or miss it and should therefore cancel or postpone a meeting etc. Chris has to be back to open up his shop so has similar obligations to his customers as I do. When travelling on holiday it's less critical, I agree, and I can relax more. I also take an interest as I believe that many people are unaware of the compensation rights for ferry travellers and might overlook the opportunity to get money back in the case of an extended delay. The rights of those travelling between the UK and France will cease to exist in a couple of years but for now it's worth knowing what they are:

Gareth, I guess we'll have to disagree as I feel the arrivals information is much more important than the departures. Even if there is 1-hour delay in the ferry leaving they always seem to maintain the original check-in time (presumably due to shift constraints in the ports) and so people turn up and just sit it out. If they can then make up time, great, but I'd still like to be kept informed of the estimated arrival times for the reasons set out above.

Ed

 

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I always thought Normandie was the least capable of making up time,  couple of times this year( or was it last,  hmmm!)  the 08:30 from Ouistreham was delayed by 30 minutes +  and arrival in Portsmouth was delayed by about the same amount.   Adds a bit of tension when you have a train at 14:30 from Fratton!

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1 minute ago, richwarwicker said:

One night in the last week, possibly Monday night (I did a late evening delivery near the hoe) Armorique was berthed bow first in Plymouth. I’m sure she is normally stern first?

No; bow-in is the norm.

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21 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

Sorry to disappoint Ed but tides must have been good as we arrived 4 minutes early, good old Normandie!

Chris

Well that has shot my rant full of holes! BUT it therefore begs the question: why do they keep us on board for longer than is actually necessary if they can go faster? Do the crossing in five hours flat, have a longer and less frantic turn-around time and allow early boarding for car and foot passengers wanting a meal or a decent sleep. And have more leeway to absorb any delays which do occur. If only they'd asked me in the first place!xD Ed

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4 minutes ago, Danish Ferry Person said:

I really liked Pont Aven until they put the scrubbers on... 

So I guess your appreciation of her is pretty superficial then.  If you have actually travelled on her you will know that the scrubbers make no difference to the voyaging experience.

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