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cvabishop

The Decline of the Travel Experience

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Yes, Neil, the onboard staff are great.  But that’s precisely the problem - cleaning is no longer carried out by onboard staff.  And what vested interest does the cleaner of a particular cabin have in ensuring the job is well done?  The cleaners get off the ship before any contact with customers, go home and get paid.  It is immaterial to them whether the job is done well or not.  They also don’t come aboard to start cleaning until the previous customers have disembarked the ship, which makes a mockery of the need to vacate cabins 30 minutes before arrival.  If BF had its own onboard cleaning staff, they would have longer to do the job (could start when cabins vacated) and would have a vested interest in doing the job well.  BF has its business model wrong here.

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54 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Those are certainly factors, hf, but I don’t think they are the only ones.  There does seem to be widespread, and increasing, dissatisfaction with the effectiveness of the outsourced BF cleaning teams.  Seems to me that the outsourcing of this service is something that BF needs to review in its business model.  Spending vast sums of money on a cosmetic re-branding exercise does not go down well with the consumer when, at the same time, it is seen that the money would be better spent on a more satisfactory approach to keeping the ships clean.

Interesting you should say that Gareth... because i believe until recently Portsmouth had a separate company to Plymouth and Poole for the cleaning, and then the Plymouth based company  got awarded the Portsmouth contract also. Perhaps it is since this that the occurrence have increased, due to more exposure to their level of service?

As for the re-branding - i haven't said much till now, but I agree... All those shower curtains won't be cheap :)

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Sorry if my last post was a bit rambling I’m dosed up on all kinds of cold medicine s, I’m sure BF are reading these comments and are hopefully using them to improve the “onboard experience “ in a blue,green and orange way.

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10 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

Sorry if my last post was a bit rambling I’m dosed up on all kinds of cold medicine s, I’m sure BF are reading these comments and are hopefully using them to improve the “onboard experience “ in a blue,green and orange way.

I only see things in blue and orange!

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4 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

I only see things in blue and orange!

What about green?...

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20 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

All those shower curtains won't be cheap

The one I used on PA (Commodore cabin) last week certainly looked new and had a horizontal blue block at about chest height across the middle. Or at least it would have been the middle if at least four of the dozen hooks had not been detached. It's little things like that which, when you add them all up, give a negative impression. When I buy a ticket I don't expect to have to assemble my cabin before using it (other than unfolding the bunks obviously) any more than I would kick the tyres of an Easyjet plane before takeoff. Ed. 

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On the Xmas trip there were at least 4 on-board cleaners who I took to be BF people ??. One of whom asked to vacate the cabin just as the call for Deck 3 car drivers was made when we arrived in PIP.

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7 minutes ago, rileyman said:

On the Xmas trip there were at least 4 on-board cleaners who I took to be BF people ??. One of whom asked to vacate the cabin just as the call for Deck 3 car drivers was made when we arrived in PIP.

You are right. There is a small team of contract cleaners permanently on board for ad hoc work during the trip. Then when the cabin-vacate call is made they strip the bedding, clear any leftover rubbish and flag up obvious defects. At least, that's the idea as I understand it. Then the real team come on board once the gangway is connected and do the actual cleaning after which the first group then reset the cabins with fresh bedding and toiletries (from what I've witnessed over the years). Ed. 

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One of the members of this forum is one of the cleaners at Poole that work on Barfleur (And Armorique when she is standing in) I have known cleaners come on board while foot passengers are waiting to disembark and they do start cleaning before the ship is empty.

While waiting for the foot passenger door to be opened, not unusual to see cleaners going round the reclining lounges and carrying laundry about. I leave my cabin spotless in case he is reading this...😄

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21 hours ago, neilcvx said:

Bretagnes club cabins are terrible in my opinion compared to Armoriques and Ponts , you’ve got a tv that you can only really watch from one bed and a window that’s hardly worth bothering about it’s that small plus they seem a lot more cramped than the other two ships I suppose that’s an age thing it’s worse as the overnight to StMalo is unless I’m mistaken the most expensive french crossing BF offer, we voted with our feet and I’m grudgingly only using Bretagne on a day crossing, we were talking about going over to bring in the new year in Brittany and the wife was adamant she would only go if she got to travel on Pont Aven as it’s a “classy ferry to travel on overnight “. I would hope they spend a good few €€€€ on reffiting her once the eflexers are in full flow to make her fit for the next decade.

For all of the romantic notions and emotional attachment I have for Bretagne... I basically courted my missus on her and started my honeymoon on her. Her biggest flaw is her size, the greater the amount of modern accessories you try to shoehorn in the more cramped she becomes and of course her deck 5 is the stuff of legends... or nightmares.

At the time both Bretagne and Normandie were the last word in U.K. ferry travel. Bretagne was the the first of only two U.K. based ferries given an AA 5 star rating but again her size is diminutive when compared to the other vessel which was given the AA award, Pride of Bilbao. For an equivalent capacity her GRT is 15000 tonnes greater, this added space aboard what were once the worlds largest cruise ferries means that there's greater scope in terms of alteration during a refit.

Again though even though her sister Mariella is still pristine (well, she was in 2017 anyway) you can't compare her to her fleet mate Grace as they are from two different eras just as you can't compare the likes of Armorique and Pont Aven to Bretagne. You need to look at ferries of the same age as a barometer.

Compare for instance the Pont to say Tallink's Romantika a vessel two years older.

Back to Bretagne. When you consider her one and only refit in a quarter of a century and the lack of extra dock time she's needed compared to other more modern members of the fleet I don't think she's done too badly but I agree her time has passed, St Malo needs a more modern & comfortable ship.

 

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