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zuludelta

Some new and not-so-new things on the Pont-Aven – Portsmouth to Santander route

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I recently travelled on the Pont-Aven from Portsmouth to Santander in late June and noted a few observations.

 

 

1)The fish-watchers now have almost half of deck 10 cordoned off all for themselves. On my recent crossing there seemed to be an awful lot on board. A lot of these were wielding some serious looking kit. I saw some tele-photo lens which would put the Daily Mail to shame. This passenger niche seems to have gotten real traction for BF. It just shows you how sometimes stolen ideas (in this case from P&O) in business can work really well…

2) The Pont-Aven is now serving IPA in the Grand Pavois bar.  Unfortunately, towards the end of the crossing supplies of the extremely tasty Lagunitas ran out and I had to resort to the relatively industrial tasting 1664. But I am real glad BF now serve such a high-quality brew along with decent Guinness.

3) Premium satellite-based Wi-Fi from Telenor is now available on board. Starting in increments of €5 and going right up to €25. This was badly needed. However, not being in work-mode, I opted for the free Wi-Fi, which is still extremely anemic but still allows you to check your email, news and the weather.

4)The BF curry trend continues. The self-service now serves Lamb Madras. Aside from dishes like Coconut Chicken, I remember when the food on the PA was seulement francais. Nice to see BF innovating with their menus.

 

5) Deck 5 continues to be labyrinthine for some passengers. I witnessed several lost souls wandering around corridors looking for their cabins. Might this explain all the “Message for Mrs Jones – your husband is waiting for you at the information desk on deck 6” type announcements? For future builds, BF should follow multi-storey car park designers and offer a colour-coding system for cabins?

6) The cabaret act in the Grand Pavois started with the lyrics “why do birds suddenly appear…” I left after that.

7) The fish-watchers onboard also seemed to have access to Pont-Aven’s public address system. At one stage there was a harried announcement to look over the starboard side. I looked, but could only see a smallish fin above the waves. For a special announcement like that – I want to see at least Jaws – not the fin of a baby dolphin. Or, maybe if the dolphin was doing figures of 8 or whatever the dolphin-world equivalent of that is – an announcement might have been justified. But he was just swimming in the Biscay something he was born to do…Meanwhile, I tried to login to YouTube to see if you see watch some dolphins from SeaWorld…but I would have had to upgrade my broadband package.

😎 BF were serving pancakes on board! Although it seemed to be a “special event” as opposed to being part of a set menu. Nice to see BF are playing up their Breton heritage.

9) From casually speaking to some passengers “narrow beds” seems to be a recurring theme. While they are probably a revenue-maximisers dream, some people don’t seem to be a fan of them. I hope Stena’s E-Flexers prove to be more comfortable.

10)                 BF still offer an excellent service here. The ship was spotless visibly well maintained. (The stern ramp did look a bit rusty though). I personally find the beds fine. The staff were friendly, efficient and super-attentive. The quality of the food on board was excellent. The prices on-board were extremely reasonable. I look forward to my trip on BF.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by zuludelta
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18 minutes ago, merc said:

I sampled the IPA you mentioned on the PA, enjoyed 3 pints and then realised its over 6% 😊 🍺

yes, it packs quite a punch!

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On 14/07/2018 at 15:52, zuludelta said:

7) The fish-watchers onboard also seemed to have access to Pont-Aven’s public address system. At one stage there was a harried announcement to look over the starboard side. I looked, but could only see a smallish fin above the waves. For a special announcement like that – I want to see at least Jaws – not the fin of a baby dolphin. Or, maybe if the dolphin was doing figures of 8 or whatever the dolphin-world equivalent of that is – an announcement might have been justified. But he was just swimming in the Biscay something he was born to do…

Back when the Pride of Bilbao was running they had a 'Wildlife Officer' on the bridge who would do PA announcements to the outside decks if there was anything significant around the ship.  On the ships southbound crossing if time and weather conditions allowed the Master would often authorise a deviation from the normal direct route to take the ship in to deeper water where the chances of sighting large whales and groups of dolphins was significantly higher.

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