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Brittany Ferries BETA site - Closed

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46 minutes ago, georgem7 said:

On the new site, I can't seem to find the page showing a comparison of facilities across ships and quantity of each cabin type per ship. 

Of course, this is trivial information, which I'm guessing was deemed unnecessary and/or the page on the old site was used by few customers. 

It's under "Ships and Onboard" click on the ship name and all the headings are there including a brief youtube feature. Under "Onboard accomodation" there are illustrations of all the cabin class' and links to the vessels which have the particular one you're looking at.

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

Well I was made in Aldershot 40 odd years ago and I still work. 😁 Ed. 

Ahh - but do you have a web-accessible API Cabin-boy :)

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Looks like there are to be no Commodore cabins on Honfleur, but she is adding 6-berth cabins. No 2-berth cabins with windows either.

Edited by Seashore
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17 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Well I was made in Aldershot 40 odd years ago and I still work. 😁 Ed. 

No, I ditched it in favour of a brain. Ed. 

The copyright of this picture probably rests with either of those named. If so, My thanks to him

reading.jpg

Edited by rogerpatenall

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14 hours ago, Seashore said:

Looks like there are to be no Commodore cabins on Honfleur, but she is adding 6-berth cabins. No 2-berth cabins with windows either.

I don’t think they have confirmed  the cabin configurations yet .

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15 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

I don’t think they have confirmed  the cabin configurations yet .

Probably because the suppliers haven't been paid and therefore haven't delivered all the modules yet. Ed

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Is part of the problem trying to make it work on so many different platforms? PCs, Ipads, mobile phones etc.  Our cycling club has just upgraded their website to make it easier for different devices, there's been a lot of comments that it's not as good and that is just a simple site.

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On 13/02/2019 at 11:31, Cabin-boy said:

Probably because the suppliers haven't been paid and therefore haven't delivered all the modules yet. Ed

Ed, the cabins were fitted to the accommodation blocks in Poland during construction. It was the same for all the bridge steering, navigation electronics and hardware.

It's why WBY was so expensive to put right, everything was pre installed which led to the ceiling & floor voids being too shallow when they began connecting everything together.

Honfleur was never having commodore cabins, 4 berth deluxe are her highest grade.

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8 hours ago, Solo said:

Is part of the problem trying to make it work on so many different platforms? PCs, Ipads, mobile phones etc.  Our cycling club has just upgraded their website to make it easier for different devices, there's been a lot of comments that it's not as good and that is just a simple site.

Indeed, it would seem to be a real nightmare. And it's not just the platforms and devices, from what I've been told, it's also all the different versions of the operating systems that are still being used and the various web browsers out there. I guess it makes for an enormous number of combinations so there's bound to be some teething trouble, but that's what the Beta version was supposed to overcome. Ed. 

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Don’t understand the difficulty.

I made a booking yesterday, using an ipad, and it was perfectly straightforward.

It was no better, but certainly no worse than before.

 

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It may be no better right now but I imagine it's future proof so that as you upgrade your equipment at home the experience becomes more fluid and intuitive. Ed. 

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I have two observations regrding the new site:

1. When entering payment card details the month is in three alpha character format. Cards use month numbers, the old booking system used this representation. It is a potential error trap.

2. Why does the booking confirmation have a statement about DOB and nationality checking? It already knows these details from the booking data. I wasted time checking my booking information because of this time wasting statement, which is only neccessary if the data isn't present at the time of booking.

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The issue with devices is a big one, especially with iPads, and true it's not usually the site provider's fault... but customers don't see it that way because it could never be their hardware or software that has an issue.

The issue is biggest with iPads, and older iPhones, and it is real. Because Apple products are so damn expensive right now and there's been some real jumps in price - a few years ago you could get the top iPhone for £599 and now it's £999 just for the starting top model - people are holding on to their devices longer. In the case of iPads, and tablets as a whole in fairness, there has been next to no innovation in the sector and they're now the white elephants of the tech world (yes, even more of a flop than the Apple Watch). In the same context, phones have got faster, screens have got bigger and people are more comfortable purchasing on them, so high speed is one user demand and the other is high quality large image-led sites of which the two are not necessarily happy bedfellows.

What web site providers have to content with in the tablet environment is two extremes:

  1. Old technology like most iPads. After the "Apple downgrades battery life" scandal, they fixed that but in doing so have been continually downgrading the RAM available in Safari on older devices which is then trigger for further downgrades within the device itself according to how much of the memory is taken up, so low memory status cuts down the RAM further in Safari. This causes sites which are image-lead to not always render properly and in some cases websites are now so fast at delivering content that the device's browser simply can't cope with it. It's the reverse of the battery scandal, it's discussed in many tech and developer forums but just hasn't hit the headlines yet. Rock and a hard place... people are holding onto their devices so no need to innovate with new product, no new product means people don't replace, saving battery life on dying lithium ion batteries means reducing the processing power needed. You can't win!
  2. Newer throw away technology, like Kindles and other "cheap" tablets. Kindles are simply not up to the job of being a web browsing device in the same way that other mobile devices are. The OS is a "lite" version of Android, tech forums are stuffed with connection issues on Kindles and the like, and the issue is that perhaps those who buy them are either less tech savvy in the first place (either don't know what they're buying and/or don't understand why it doesn't meet their expectation) whilst they may harbour unrealistic expectations of what the device is capable of. You want the power of a new iPad? Buy a new iPad, not a cheap Android device. You want a luxury crossing to Spain? Pay for a Commodore cabin on Pont-Aven, not a reclining seat on Etretat. You get what you pay for.

Don't get me started on people not updating their OS and browser, not installing AV so their device is littered with malware and spyware, and people who wonder why responsive websites moves things around and collapse menus down because you're comparing that honking great 26-inch PC screen on your desk with a tiny phone in your hand.

The result it it's never the customer's fault... just a long never ending battle that website owners and developers have to grin and bear... "yes sir, we'll look into it" through gritted teeth.

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1 hour ago, Seashore said:

The issue with devices is a big one, especially with iPads, and true it's not usually the site provider's fault... but customers don't see it that way because it could never be their hardware or software that has an issue.

The issue is biggest with iPads, and older iPhones, and it is real. Because Apple products are so damn expensive right now and there's been some real jumps in price - a few years ago you could get the top iPhone for £599 and now it's £999 just for the starting top model - people are holding on to their devices longer. In the case of iPads, and tablets as a whole in fairness, there has been next to no innovation in the sector and they're now the white elephants of the tech world (yes, even more of a flop than the Apple Watch). In the same context, phones have got faster, screens have got bigger and people are more comfortable purchasing on them, so high speed is one user demand and the other is high quality large image-led sites of which the two are not necessarily happy bedfellows.

What web site providers have to content with in the tablet environment is two extremes:

  1. Old technology like most iPads. After the "Apple downgrades battery life" scandal, they fixed that but in doing so have been continually downgrading the RAM available in Safari on older devices which is then trigger for further downgrades within the device itself according to how much of the memory is taken up, so low memory status cuts down the RAM further in Safari. This causes sites which are image-lead to not always render properly and in some cases websites are now so fast at delivering content that the device's browser simply can't cope with it. It's the reverse of the battery scandal, it's discussed in many tech and developer forums but just hasn't hit the headlines yet. Rock and a hard place... people are holding onto their devices so no need to innovate with new product, no new product means people don't replace, saving battery life on dying lithium ion batteries means reducing the processing power needed. You can't win!
  2. Newer throw away technology, like Kindles and other "cheap" tablets. Kindles are simply not up to the job of being a web browsing device in the same way that other mobile devices are. The OS is a "lite" version of Android, tech forums are stuffed with connection issues on Kindles and the like, and the issue is that perhaps those who buy them are either less tech savvy in the first place (either don't know what they're buying and/or don't understand why it doesn't meet their expectation) whilst they may harbour unrealistic expectations of what the device is capable of. You want the power of a new iPad? Buy a new iPad, not a cheap Android device. You want a luxury crossing to Spain? Pay for a Commodore cabin on Pont-Aven, not a reclining seat on Etretat. You get what you pay for.

Don't get me started on people not updating their OS and browser, not installing AV so their device is littered with malware and spyware, and people who wonder why responsive websites moves things around and collapse menus down because you're comparing that honking great 26-inch PC screen on your desk with a tiny phone in your hand.

The result it it's never the customer's fault... just a long never ending battle that website owners and developers have to grin and bear... "yes sir, we'll look into it" through gritted teeth.

I have used the beta site on a iPad mini 1 - and I agree. However - iOS 9.3.5 is the latest available build for many older iPads. I suspect many people do not realise iOS is well into 12.X now, because Apple still states those older devices as "up to date". Slowly, those devices will supported less and less, but it is quite confusing (still not sure why Apple are missing their own trick here) why, on an iPad classic 4 for example it wouldn't say "Outdated operating system version" or something along those lines.

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When I go to BF's UK site on my Android smartphone and try to look at the timetables Portsmouth to Caen they show up in time order. So all the 8.00 sailings are listed first for the month in question then all the early-afternoon sailings and then the evening ones. So if I want to check the three times for a specific date or which ferry it might be I need to scroll down and stop at three points. It's not very convenient. Is there a way to show the sailings by date order instead? I can't seem to find any filter options. Ed. 

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I used the site last night to attempt booking a gite holiday on my home laptop - really frustrating!  The software operation clearly has NOT been thoroughly tested!

  • The location maps for each property are not working/set up, so you have no idea where the property is in relation to your target destination.
  • Using the filters on the side bar is irritating, as each time one is applied the software scrolls back up to the banner at the top of the page!
  • I think the property descriptions have been shortened and contain less detail than they used to.
  • On the ones I viewed, there was no definitive advice as to 'pets' being welcome (or not)
  • I couldn't see a link to previous client reviews
  • The response time to selections seemed 'slow'
  • If you enter a previously identified property ref into the search bar, you would hope to be directed to that page - not so, unless you select the text from a pull down that appears " Property ref: BF*****

I shall resume my research later today, probably booking the accommodation separately to the ferry through Gites de France , which is disappointing to have to do - although sometimes slightly more expensive I would have preferred a complete BF package.

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1 hour ago, nottingham said:

Using the filters on the side bar is irritating, as each time one is applied the software scrolls back up to the banner at the top of the page!

If you change them all at the same time, the page only reloads once rather than 4 times and to be fair most holiday sites whether they're for hotels, gites, boats etc all do the same.

1 hour ago, nottingham said:

The location maps for each property are not working/set up, so you have no idea where the property is in relation to your target destination.

If you're getting the grey square, click on it then scroll using your mouse wheel, works for me every time.

1 hour ago, nottingham said:

On the ones I viewed, there was no definitive advice as to 'pets' being welcome (or not)

Current view count is around 17 and after clicking the "about" sub heading if they allow pets it's mentioned and the price for them is in the "Extra services" box. Essentially if pets aren't mentioned then they're not allowed.

A couple of examples.

https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/holidays/search/france/brittany/dinard/gites-cottages/QB3077?a=06/07/2019&got=3

https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/holidays/search/france/normandy/bernay/gites-cottages/NE3069?a=06/07/2019&got=3

1 hour ago, nottingham said:

I shall resume my research later today, probably booking the accommodation separately to the ferry through Gites de France , which is disappointing to have to do - although sometimes slightly more expensive I would have preferred a complete BF package.

https://www.holidayfrancedirect.co.uk/?&gclid=EAIaIQobChMImeyZx5HF4AIVaLvtCh3uSQT3EAAYASAAEgLemPD_BwE

This is also BF.

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I never expect one single booking engine to meet all my needs. I use this new Beta website to book Ferries - just that and nothing else.  Then I use other booking engines for hotels, holiday houses, campsites, travel insurance and all the rest. There is far more choice that way than trying to do everything via Brittany Ferries. Perhaps this new Beta site is trying to do too much? I do like simplicity. 

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