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Amy1

Pont Aven New Year Cruise to Honfleur

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Just back from the cruise. 

PA seemed well loaded although I was parked on deck 4 which seemed full I couldn’t look for space on the lower decks. Departure from Pompey was about 45 mins later than the advertised 19.00 and I didn’t hear any explanation offered. 

Both out  and in the sea was as flat as you could hope for - so fortunate to have calm seas as this time of year - only the gentlest of rocking to help me to sleep outbound. Mooring in Honfleur via 2 small launches carrying the ropes to shore side was quite a surprise!

PA was pristine inside and out and looked like a full exterior repaint was done at dry docking  all the carpets and upholstery were gleaming  

My cabin was a 2 berth inside - deck 5 in a town of outside cabins  bijou - certainly but perfectly adequate for me. Again everything spotless. I ate in both Le Flora and the self-service - all meals were fine - the Le Flora breakfast is excellent value and a fraction over anything comparable in the self service - with as much as you want - coffee especially appreciated  

Honfleur was pleasant enough with the bus transport working well after the initial rush had been accommodated  Took the tour to Rouen, excellent and informative guide with a passion for French agricultural politics!

the entertainment was a little variable- pianist and house band both excellent- magician duo didn’t impress and the vocal duo the same - although maybe that’s just my taste!

the new year party in the bar was outstanding- bar packed with a wide demographic and a great party atmosphere with hats, balloons and partt poppers liberally provided - bar looked like a battlefield afterwards but by morning was pristine again! Talking to staff the morning after they seemed to have enjoyed the brits’ new year celebrations too!

depature around 8 UK time I think and arrival in Pompey on the button at 2pm  fairly swift disembarkation and straight through controls  

loved every minute and can’t wait to book again for next new year - Antwerp would be great after 2 trips to the Seine! 

 

 

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FBC5D754-293B-422C-BA1A-DE7B3C70B5C0.jpeg

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14 hours ago, Amy1 said:

Just back from the cruise. 

PA seemed well loaded although I was parked on deck 4 which seemed full I couldn’t look for space on the lower decks. Departure from Pompey was about 45 mins later than the advertised 19.00 and I didn’t hear any explanation offered. 

Both out  and in the sea was as flat as you could hope for - so fortunate to have calm seas as this time of year - only the gentlest of rocking to help me to sleep outbound. Mooring in Honfleur via 2 small launches carrying the ropes to shore side was quite a surprise!

PA was pristine inside and out and looked like a full exterior repaint was done at dry docking  all the carpets and upholstery were gleaming  

My cabin was a 2 berth inside - deck 5 in a town of outside cabins  bijou - certainly but perfectly adequate for me. Again everything spotless. I ate in both Le Flora and the self-service - all meals were fine - the Le Flora breakfast is excellent value and a fraction over anything comparable in the self service - with as much as you want - coffee especially appreciated  

Honfleur was pleasant enough with the bus transport working well after the initial rush had been accommodated  Took the tour to Rouen, excellent and informative guide with a passion for French agricultural politics!

the entertainment was a little variable- pianist and house band both excellent- magician duo didn’t impress and the vocal duo the same - although maybe that’s just my taste!

the new year party in the bar was outstanding- bar packed with a wide demographic and a great party atmosphere with hats, balloons and partt poppers liberally provided - bar looked like a battlefield afterwards but by morning was pristine again! Talking to staff the morning after they seemed to have enjoyed the brits’ new year celebrations too!

depature around 8 UK time I think and arrival in Pompey on the button at 2pm  fairly swift disembarkation and straight through controls  

loved every minute and can’t wait to book again for next new year - Antwerp would be great after 2 trips to the Seine! 

 

 

24DE43C5-6168-4C14-BB2C-8E398924F16E.jpeg

4A2572F5-A4CA-42E5-8F7A-68C1B735E8C6.jpeg

FBC5D754-293B-422C-BA1A-DE7B3C70B5C0.jpeg

Great report, I was on board too, it was an especially rude shock having to get up for work this morning! I'd agree with your comments, we enjoyed every minute of it too, as did my four year old nephew who had to be dragged from the play area yesterday on arrival in Portsmouth; this was his first time on a ferry and hopefully with many more to come.

This was my first experience of a 'festive' trip with BF, having done a couple with DFDS in recent years; the BF experience was I think far superior, much better organised. The fact that passengers are not thrown off the ship on arrival but can instead use the vessel throughout the days in port, as with a 'proper' cruise ship, is a major advantage over the DFDS experience. No waiting around in the cold either, unlike last year in Newcastle and Ijmuiden.

My only slight complaint was waiting over an hour to board in Portsmouth, with the ship subsequently leaving late; no explanation was given for this, though in the end it really didn't  matter.

I will put some of my own photos up soon, though yours are much better than mine!

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Sounds like a great trip! I keep meaning to try it one year.

 

15 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

'Pont-Aven' arriving back in Portsmouth on New Years Day, completing her Cruise from Honfleur (01/01/19)

PA1.jpg

 

The new livery looks great on her there (although I still think she'd look even better without the stripe - it seems perverse that PA get's a new stripe that doesn't suit, whilst Bretagne looses hers!)

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PA was relatively slow, for some, loading for the Xmas trip. I suspect that they loaded some cars and then paused whilst the passengers unloaded luggage and go to their cabins before loading another batch, Also 20-30 cars with flashing lights boarded, are these  people with movement problems ? In which case they would need to be aligned with the appropriate deck exit doors etc.

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I'm now on PA for the overnight crossing to St Malo. She has been in Portsmouth for over 24 hours and yet my cabin on deck 6 is not as clean as I would have expected. I've found a sequin on the carpet (obviously lost in a moment of reckless abandon after one or more cocktails) and a thin film of what I hope is dust on the radio controls (although it could be some happy powder left over from Antwerp). In addition, on the shelf above the hanging space there is a cruise programme, a hairband and a plate cover. If anyone recognises them and wants to claim them, please let me know. And if anyone from BF wants to explain how I can find such things, but their cleaning team can't, then please let me know too. Ed

DSC_0890.JPG

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Whist contractors are used to do the work you would expect that a member of the ship's hotel staff would be responsible for monitoring standards.

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3 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

I'm now on PA for the overnight crossing to St Malo. She has been in Portsmouth for over 24 hours and yet my cabin on deck 6 is not as clean as I would have expected. I've found a sequin on the carpet (obviously lost in a moment of reckless abandon after one or more cocktails) and a thin film of what I hope is dust on the radio controls (although it could be some happy powder left over from Antwerp). In addition, on the shelf above the hanging space there is a cruise programme, a hairband and a plate cover. If anyone recognises them and wants to claim them, please let me know. And if anyone from BF wants to explain how I can find such things, but their cleaning team can't, then please let me know too. Ed

DSC_0890.JPG

I would complain about that and demand a new clean cabin when you pay good money - unacceptable!

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BF have a responsibility to ensure the cabins are clean and too often now they aren’t I’ve found left over dining stuff in a cabin before and other stuff folk have left behind I think it’s happening too often now to brush it off with a “well you should complain” BF need to deal with the issue.

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Don't want to mix the 2 threads but which is gives the better impression, clean cabins or the rebranding exercise?

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12 minutes ago, Solo said:

Don't want to mix the 2 threads but which is gives the better impression, clean cabins or the rebranding exercise?

There’s no reason you can’t have both.

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HNY.

The contractor not cleaning properly is totally unacceptable. But what of the previous occupant of the cabin. Wouldn't take a second to leave the cabin rubbish neatly and visible to the staff to see and collect. Would they leave the dinner table in the same mess? Probably yes. The cleaners are only partly to blame.

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Yes and no.  Normally the cleaners are working to very tight turnaround schedules.  On this occasion BF had more than 24 hours to get the ship properly cleaned up after the NY cruise.  This leaves no room for excuse.

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4 hours ago, neilcvx said:

There’s no reason you can’t have both.

Correct Neil but it looks as if money and effort have been put into the rebranding, when a few pictures of dirty not cleaned cabins getting into the general press will wipe out any uplift from rebranding, you could say it's thinking about the pounds and forgetting the pennies.  Does that make sense?  Look after the little things and the rest will fall into place.

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Thanks all for the replies. Just to explain the sequence of events: I sent Cabin-girl and the kids to the cabin while I went to the reception desk to see if it was possible to get two official documents photocopied (my daughter has a hospital pre-op appointment in Nantes on our way home this afternoon). The receptionist very kindly did them for me and didn't charge for it (excellent service) and I then went to the cabin and found them settled in. After finding the first lot of problems we decided not to move cabin and that I would contact customer services on our return. After posting last night's photo, further examination of the cabin turned up a cocktail stick, another sequin and copious amounts of carpet fluff (enough to stuff a small mattress). I listed it all on the cabin feedback card and will send an email this evening. Ed. 

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It’s money and the fact that it’s sub contracted cleaners who apparently couldn’t care less if they do a good job or not and are probably on zero hour contracts so if they don’t work fast enough they are out the door it’s probably safer in respects to keeping your job to do a half arsed job rather than do the job properly and take longer, I don’t really get the leaving the rubbish in a pile apart from the commodore and deluxe cabins the cabins aren’t that big.

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Any bits and pieces of rubbish we put in the bins in the cabin and the shower/toilet pod. Some people, it appears, just do not seem to do that. We have done around 30 trips with BF and do not recall having found anything in the cabins except for, one or twice, a little dust on the window cill.

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@rileyman it’s only on our most recent trips that I’ve noticed it happening,we usually leave the place fairly tidy that also to do with the fear of leaving anything behind.

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I have now received a reply to my complaint (via the French customer services' team seeing as I booked in France) apologising for the situation and an offer of compensation, which I will accept. I now consider the matter closed and have been reassured that the BF management will be making sure there is no repitition. I was also told that a direct complaint on board would have been more logical and would have resulted in either a fresh, clean cabin or my cabin being recleaned. But I think flagging up the problem on this forum first (and within minutes of discovering the situation) might have a better long-term effect and allow everyone to be extra vigilant from now on for similar lapses. Ed. 

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Indeed a direct complaint on board would only have been more logical to them!!!...The action you did take is and was far more effective...Salut

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4 minutes ago, Paully said:

Indeed a direct complaint on board would only have been more logical to them!!!...The action you did take is and was far more effective...Salut

It would just have allowed them to brush the complaint under the (already very dirty) carpet. 😀 Ed. 

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