Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
John M

Is queuing a thing of the past?

Recommended Posts

I think there is an element of black magic to all this.

We have a discovery and a Vw transporter.

The discovery is higher but is usually put with the cars in deck 5.

The transporter (short wheel base  standard roof, almost exactly  5.0 x 1.9M) is often checked for height and usually ends up with the campers on deck 3.

For some reason, the loaders at Plymouth  and Roscoff often chose to put us  next to the bow doors  - works for me.

Rhys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But on the other hand, I'm always more than happy to wait in the queue at Portsmouth or Saint Malo when I realise that we'll be ending up on Deck 4 rather than Deck 5. That's a good 20-30 minutes saved when disembarking.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have asked about the loading things many many times,the answer is it is to load the ferry in a correct way.yet when I say a guy who was well behind me in the lanes gets on a good 40/50 mins before and when I get on Iam parked next to him ,I ask where is the logic in that or Iam that thick?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think some of the earlier advice to relax is right.

The loaders  have a difficult job of solving a 3D jigsaw to get everyone on in time and in the right position (lifts for disabled, ventilated spaces for dogs etc)for the ship to sail in a short time period.

I usually get wound up about not being able to get out of the car easily, hopefully this will get better in the future.

I don't care when I am loaded, it is often beneficial to be loaded nearer the end of loading.

Edited by David Williams
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I the only one who couldn't care less about the bars and not in any particular hurry to get to some unknown better seat in the restaurant? 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is kind of an academic discussion for me as I am always late and always the last on.  So if you've been on Barfy wondering why it hasn't sailed yet as all the car appear to be loaded that'll be down to me and I apologise now.

The exception to this rule is when I'm travelling as a foot passenger when I make sure I am usually first on and first off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jonno said:

Am I the only one who couldn't care less about the bars and not in any particular hurry to get to some unknown better seat in the restaurant? 

You may be right on the point you are making but to me they are making hard work of it.yes I agree they have to load across the ferry for weight reasons.has i said before why cars?i know it should be part and parcel of going onto ferries and after many years of doing so.i will take your advice and just sit and cross my fingers and keep calm agh agh agh agh agh.blood pressure is up again.get the brown paper bag out yet again.ejoy your trips everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bear in mind that not everything requiring people to be loaded at a certain time is visible. People carrying certain things, certain medical conditions etc. It's not just a game of Tetris where everything gets banged in to a gap.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not bothered about getting on board early, in fact the later the better especially on the return journey. We normally are on the afternoon ferry from Ouistreham and when we arrive, it sometimes seems that every other ferry in the western channel arrives about the same time. With a 2 hour drive to the midlands we like to be through border control as soon as possible to be home before midnight, and arriving later usually means the mezzanine deck is filled and lifted out of the way and with a bit of luck and following wind you can end up being one of the first down the ramp. We came badly unstuck the other week though when the main deck was filled with camper vans. Not only were we sent up onto the mezzanine, there were only 2 cars behind us before they lifted the deck and the remaining vehicles were below. I think the word I used was "bother".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we have a cabin booked then getting on early makes very little difference. The exception is with NEX. When travelling with the Cabin-kids we like to get one of the round tables with four seats near the large picture windows one-third-of-the-way down the side of the vessel. They tend to be the quietest places, at least until we arrive. As our crossings normally start in France, in the evening at around 5pm, we aim for the starboard side to avoid the (setting) sun dazzling us but also to get the best view of our arrival into Portsmouth. The return trip is in the morning so we tend to aim for the same place for the same reasons, except the view which is less interesting but the children are usually more concerned about eating a late breakfast. Ed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Different story from the other end of the journey - last time we returned Cherbourg - Poole we were waiting to clear passport control.  In the lane next to us a car with caravan despite having queued and it being quite obvious that everyone had to stop and show passports decided he wasn't going to go stop and just drove straight past the booth.  The best the border security lady in the booth could do to stop him was to run out and wave but he just carried on driving!  He could have been smuggling anything in that caravan.  Such a shame there weren't any guys with guns like there has been in the past. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Traveller on Brittany Ferries since its inception  nothing has changed regarding which lane you are sent to, prayer doesn't work, early arrival, foreign plates,  the same. The crew seem to work to their own unfathomable system, every time we think we have it cracked they do something fresh! As long as we get on board we don't really care and it whiles away the time in the queue. We try and travel on Thursday on the Pont Avon, we always sit and enjoy cocktails in the piano bar before a super meal, treat the ferry trip as part of a lovely start to a holiday and your half way there.

Edited by Anthony
Left out which ferry!
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many moons ago, I used to work for the company that wrote the booking engines for ferry operators. One of our customers at the time was Red Funnel, and one of the functions that we looked at implementing was to streamline the loading of vehicles. I think the theory was that they could optimise the lane-space that was sold, and so increase revenue.  So one of our systems analysts went to meet the load-master and see how they went about loading the vessel. 

The answer was that it was done by a combination of experience, and feel. The load-master had an intimate knowledge of the garage deck, and could tell how much space each vehicle would need front/back - and also sideways, but not only that, but he also understood the manoeuvrability of each vehicle, making sure that those that needed extra space to get in and out of a garage lane would have that space when they needed it - but that space could be used by other smaller vehicles during the crossing. 

The net result was that our systems analyst concluded that there were simply too many variables to be able to model a loading plan even half as efficient as the experienced load-masters.

The moral is that there is a logic, but it is not a predictable logic. The booking may say, for example, that the vehicle is Vito is towing a 21' caravan - but until they actually see the caravan and how its geometry sits etc, they won't know whether it should go on before or after the Discovery  towing a boat-trailer that was in front of it in the queue.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×