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John M

Is queuing a thing of the past?

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I recently travelled on the Thursday night Plymouth Roscoff crossing as we do twice a year. We had gone to the port earlier in the afternoon as we had seen on this site that things had changed at Plymouth. We came back later for the early boarding. We passed through the ticket booths and were given clear, simple instructions, i.e. move forward and go into lane 15. As we reached the car in front of us we stopped, switched off the engine and waited to move through the customs shed. A BF employee came and stood a few feet away from us and was telling the drivers which lane to go into. One driver followed the instruction but only after a short argument stating that he wanted to be in a different lane. The BF employee moved away and the aforementioned driver decided to reverse across four lanes and then drive into the lane of his choice. You can imagine the chaos as he reversed into oncoming traffic. At this point he parked across the zebra crossing and several cars parked behind him. He then became very agitated when a group of French teachers and school children following the crossing passed round him front and rear. In the space of twenty minutes we witnessed another three cars do the same thing. I have to ask myself why? As it happened, the three lanes these cars ended up in were the last to pass through the customs shed and were nearly last to embark. I did wonder if a BF employee had seen them and made sure this happened. I just do not know what the point of all this was. And breathe, rant over.

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I'd have thought that ignoring instructions from lane marshalls and behaving like that would have been sufficient grounds to deny them travel really.   On two occasions in the last 18 months after having a gear box problem and on a other occasipn having the side of the car stoved in by a Stag I've requested to be stowed on a lower deck which meant being transferred to a different lane. BF staff were as ever very understanding and helpful with a legitimate problem.

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I remember some plonker trying to jump ahead of the line in Roscoff once. The stevedore stopped him, waved us on then said to me quietly "last to board"....

Made I smile that did.

Rhys

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Many years ago when the HMS Victory was the only attraction in the Dockyard we were queuing as usual when a group of, I'll not name the nationality, pushed aggressively in. This was spotted by the rating on the gangway who when  it was our time to enter walked down the queue stopped at the head of the invasion squad and said 'you wait here' walked on to the end of them with the same instruction and then continued to escort the rest of the original line on board. Impressive but what was even more amusing was the fact that this group, who were from a country where, it is said, everything is forbidden unless it is expressly permitted, did not move up to the 'queue here' sign but stayed as a sort of marooned cohort in the middle of the parade ground where they'd been told while later arrivals simply went in front of them! I did not see whether they ever got on board.

Edited by Millsy

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15 hours ago, cvabishop said:

You should know better Millsy. There is no such thing as THE HMS Victory...😉

Slightly off subject but in my flying days a relay radio transmission call was being transmitted by a USAF aircraft for another military aircraft call sign ASCOT xxx.

Said USAF aircraft asked which airforce the military ASCOT was from. The reply was classic- "THE ROYAL AIR FORCE".

SFD

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I was waiting for the Torpoint ferry yesterday, technical issues meant there was around a 30 min wait. One car clearly jumped the queue, and was seen by the control tower doing so. He was refused boarding by the marshalls.

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I've never really understood the needs of some to be first in the queue, first aboard, first off etc. What extras they believe they should be entitled to because they've bought the most expensive ticket blah, blah, blah... 

As a child I remember the marshalling area to be a time when fellow travellers would mingle, dads would take the opportunity to have a fag and stand with the bloke in front etc. It only seems to be the bikers and cyclists who do this now.

By design ships are social places, it's a shame that many travellers in today's world are anything but.

I enjoy the wait, it's an opportunity to soak up the port atmosphere and have a bit of a leg stretcher after 4-5 hours in the car or MoHo.

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Cars doing it yesterday in Cherbourg  for the fast Cat   queue of 30 ish cars waiting to go through gate 50% very nice classics 2 guys in an 80's merc and an 80's  porsche zipped down the outside and tried to push straight in the front  

which was dull as we still had 45 minutes to queue, its was almost like was diffident wave was a royal command.

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2 hours ago, richwarwicker said:

I was waiting for the Torpoint ferry yesterday, technical issues meant there was around a 30 min wait. One car clearly jumped the queue, and was seen by the control tower doing so. He was refused boarding by the marshalls.

Hi Rich , you must remember the occasion when an old couple got on the Torpoint ferry thinking it was Armorique...and were surprised how short the crossing was. I believe Armorique actually waited for them to come back toMillbay. 

 

 

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We were accidentally late for a Plymouth ferry a few years back - I had got it into my head the sailing was 2300, it was in fact 2200.  We got a call on my mobile just as we were passing Marsh Mills from BF, asking us to make all speed - we drove into the deserted ferry port around 2205, I'm sure having broken the speed limits through the city, never been so fast through the kiosk, waved through customs and sped straight on board! Doors were closed as we got out of the car (very embarrassed) to cheers and jokes from the deck crew.  We crept up the stair towards our cabin hoping not to be 'noticed', to be greeted by a BF lady from reception all smiles and good humour about my error.  You just can't fault their staff for being so patient and understanding! 

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9 hours ago, wortley said:

Hi Rich , you must remember the occasion when an old couple got on the Torpoint ferry thinking it was Armorique...and were surprised how short the crossing was. I believe Armorique actually waited for them to come back toMillbay. 

 

 

Yes I remember that. 

You have to question someone’s state of mind if they think the Lynher 2 is a ferry to France,

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My wife and my look on this is, "We all go together." First in line, last on board we all go together.

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Always a sore point with me this,you go through the ticket booth and get directed into a lane ( why I do not know)you than go through the custom shed and get redirected into other lanes.if you lucky you might get on board early but I f you are has lucky has me near to be last on board..I have sailed for many many years and it still baffles me on the port side and the loading on board..the wife tells me to chill out which makes me worse.

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Is it not all part of the experience though, being sat dockside, eyeing up which lane is going to go first, getting excited about someone near the front of your lane returning to the car, thinking about what car choice would have got you on sooner, commenting on the amount of luggage other cars seem to have?

Or did my parents just have a low budget for holiday entertainment?! 😂

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it must be me,it just makes me simmer when you somebody arriving late and get straight on board,the wife making things worse call me a grumpy .old so and so and keep on telling me to chill out does not help my blood pressure either

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I'm happy whether I get on first or last, usually last... If it's the latter I just switch the gas on, boil the kettle and stretch on a 6 ft long couch.

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Being disabled and put in the queue that has hazards flashing we know we will be loaded on deck 5 (Barfleur) so just sit and wait never known the ferry leave until the loading is complete

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I tend not to think of it as queuing, but instead of being marshalled onto the vessel.

I think it's more about getting everyone booked to travel, physically to fit, baring in mind the different heights of cars, caravans, wagons, motorhomes etc, and other considerations such as disabled passengers, pet-owners, refrigerated wagons that need to be powered for the crossing. And this is especially the case for the sailings where the bow doors are not used. It's a non-trivial task, and by and large the crew do it amazingly well.

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3 hours ago, nodwad said:

Always a sore point with me this,you go through the ticket booth and get directed into a lane ( why I do not know)you than go through the custom shed and get redirected into other lanes.if you lucky you might get on board early but I f you are has lucky has me near to be last on board..I have sailed for many many years and it still baffles me on the port side and the loading on board..the wife tells me to chill out which makes me worse.

I love the randomness of the "lanes" used at port.
Great people watching.  Long discussions on just who all these people are. Whats their life all about.
If we move off before an adjacent queue I always chant "nah,nah,na, nah,nah,nah" followed by "peed on your fireworks". It cheers my heart. They then get on before us.
But I've had my boyish fun and no one gets hurt and I don't get angry.Wife chuckles as well.  Lifes too short. Ying and yang mate. Chill Nod my friend.

Stu

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Getting a bit to long in the tooth to change now,I was grumpy as a kid and nothing has changed all my life.the wife does not help taking the p-- out of me while I simmer,I think even the dog has a chuckle at my expense.

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I have never understood this obsession with getting onboard 15 minutes before other people on a crossing which will last 6 hours or more. The ship will niot sail until everyone is aboard any way and sitting in your own car for 20 minutes or so is hardly a hardship compared with the obstacle course that is a modern airport.

Surely there are more important things in life than such petty trivialities?

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1 hour ago, cvabishop said:

I have never understood this obsession with getting onboard 15 minutes before other people on a crossing which will last 6 hours or more. The ship will niot sail until everyone is aboard any way and sitting in your own car for 20 minutes or so is hardly a hardship compared with the obstacle course that is a modern airport.

Surely there are more important things in life than such petty trivialities?

I think the main worry is getting a decent seat in the bar or getting food.  We've just been to Spain on the PA with a campervan, so height plays a part, we've been in one of the last queues boarding but amongst the first off, you lose some you win some.

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We  have used BF crossings for 20 years and have come to the following conclusions about  loading.  

1. It is frustrating when you have no idea what is going on as some arrivals go straight through while others queue,

2. However I think in calmer moments BF staff do the best they can for our safety.

3. Over the years it all evens out - early arrival, nearly last on board, arrive closer to time and get straight through.

4. Just relax , look forward to getting to BF's excellent bars and restaurants.

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