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eagleeye

Victoria of Wight

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As stated above, I like the VoW and I congratulate Wightlink on getting the formula (mostly) right this time. But I do think they might have over-egged the pudding somewhat. It's all well and good building such a large and capacious ship, and presumably another will follow to replace Faith, but if the terminals cannot handle it, does it really help? Portsmouth has been double-decked, but the slow road access and tight entrance remains the same. Fishbourne is worse in this respect, and cannot be double-decked without the neighbours (rightly, to be fair) complaining. In the past, the company has purchased the adjoining properties to enlarge the terminal, but values are higher now, and in any case, Fishbourne Lane is now in itself a bit of a bottleneck.

Personally I feel they should have never acquired the Clare - this was when the service started losing efficiency as there was never enough room for five ships on that crossing, especially when one is a unique design which is slow to load and too underpowered to make up that time. Perhaps a better idea would have been to forget the Clare and run the four original Saints until they could no longer cope, probably about 2010-ish by my guess, and bank the money to build four replacements for the Saints which were somewhere between them and the Clare in size. More efficient for the passenger in my view, but doubtless not as good a proposition for the accountants sadly.

The trouble is, it's very easy to blame the bean counters. But if it were my business? Can any of us, hand on heart, say that if it were our personal businesses we wouldn't try to maximise profitability? I'd love to say I'd be philanthropic and run a more useful but less profitable service, but it is easy to say so when it's not my money on the line, and not my shareholders complaining bitterly...

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I still think it's more eggs in fewer baskets. Check in for 90 minutes a nightmare and 30 minutes quieter. A lot more traffic hitting the city at once. Less capacity over 3 vessels. 4 new wider Saints the same would have been ideal. Sell a W if possible as only 2 needed.

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6 minutes ago, Paully said:

Surely it must be easier to go via Red Funnel and Southampton??

Depends really. I'm on the Essex/London borders with a static caravan at Whitecliff Bay, so it's about the same to take the anticlockwise M25 to the M3 as it is the clockwise M25 to the A3. But the A3 is the better road in my view, the M275 quicker than the M27/M271, and Fishbourne more convenient for me than East Cowes. Plus my park offers reduced ferry rates for holiday home owners, but only via Wightlink.

I have to say that Red Funnel have their own issues too. Whilst P-F is not as quick as it used to be (and nor are Wightlink's other two routes either), that run down Southampton Water is a real drag, and the journey is 15-20mins longer than P-F and feels every bit of it. Seating used to be at a premium on Red Funnel and I presume it still is, given they have that Premium Lounge programme. I suppose if you were a rare visitor and it was still a novelty it wouldn't matter, but I just want to get across the Solent as quick as possible these days - I like a cruise on a sunny day, but on the usual Friday night the crossing is for the most part just another annoyance like the western quadrant of the M25 or the roundabout halfway down the A3. This is why my biggest irritation with Wightlink is the slower speed they seem to run at now, coupled with the less frequent sailings. Hell, I'd be up for taking the car from Southsea to Ryde on the Princess Anne if they were to offer it frankly!

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16 minutes ago, Paully said:

Surely it must be easier to go via Red Funnel and Southampton??

Depends partly where you want to go - obviously if you are travelling to the West Country you would tend to choose Southampton, and for Chichester Portsmouth would be better. For journeys to the Midlands and North via the A34 both are ok. For London it depends which part of the city you’re aiming for - I find the A3 a quicker way in to central parts than the M3.

Another consideration is that it is usually much quicker to get through Portsmouth to the motorway than it is from Southampton, whose traffic congestion seems to get worse all the time, whether you’re going through the centre or via the western docks.

As for unloading problems, I agree that the new Wightlink arrangements are not satisfactory, and particularly the merging procedure at Gunwharf is quite scary. But the problems at Red Funnel’s Southampton terminal are worse, and it can take a very long time to get out on to the main road. There was a comprehensive road improvement there a year or so back and it is surprising that the opportunity was not taken to put in lights at the terminal exit. As it is, Red Funnel only avoid delays because they have a half-hour turnaround, unlike Wightlink’s 20ish minutes.

 

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Just now, Pigeonrat said:

Depends really. I'm on the Essex/London borders with a static caravan at Whitecliff Bay, so it's about the same to take the anticlockwise M25 to the M3 as it is the clockwise M25 to the A3. But the A3 is the better road in my view, the M275 quicker than the M27/M271, and Fishbourne more convenient for me than East Cowes. Plus my park offers reduced ferry rates for holiday home owners, but only via Wightlink.

I have to say that Red Funnel have their own issues too. Whilst P-F is not as quick as it used to be (and nor are Wightlink's other two routes either), that run down Southampton Water is a real drag, and the journey is 15-20mins longer than P-F and feels every bit of it. Seating used to be at a premium on Red Funnel and I presume it still is, given they have that Premium Lounge programme. I suppose if you were a rare visitor and it was still a novelty it wouldn't matter, but I just want to get across the Solent as quick as possible these days - I like a cruise on a sunny day, but on the usual Friday night the crossing is for the most part just another annoyance like the western quadrant of the M25 or the roundabout halfway down the A3. This is why my biggest irritation with Wightlink is the slower speed they seem to run at now, coupled with the less frequent sailings. Hell, I'd be up for taking the car from Southsea to Ryde on the Princess Anne if they were to offer it frankly!

Aah the M25..I've used this for the first time to and from Pompey in the last month...Never ever ever..will I use this goddam road and it's useless, crazy stupid dangerous drivers again and wouldn't live within 50 miles of it for a solid gold pig... everything else follows from that

  • Haha 1

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I think her her thing is the reason for delays. 10 minutes from coming thru harbour to prove coming down compared to 3 for st faith.

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Just booked a day trip with Wightlink tomorrow. Portsmouth-Fishbourne. Buried at the bottom of their offers page is 20% off midweek. Outbound at 11:00 return 18:00 £55.40 non refundable ticket. which is not too bad.

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Travelled both ways on VoW. Quite impressed with the ship. Well laid out passender spaces with lots of seating and panoramic lounges on both decks forward. Decent amount of open deck space on three levels. Embarkation and disembarkation both ways on upper level went smoothly although the ship was only lightly loaded. Departure on time in both directions, 11:00 out, 18:00 return.

Thumbs up from me.

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Nothing wrong with vessel. Thought she was well laid out and spacious. Loading they seem to put 2 arctics at angles at the stern which to me wastes a lot of capacity. Artics should be loaded straight. Need to speed up berthing and also let bottom deck off first as fewer vehicles.

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I think it might a accurate representation of the ship after its inevitable first accident with the bow pushed inwards and the bridge wings knocked off. What's astonishing is that it took him longer to build that than the Turks did the real thing.  Ed. 

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2 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

I actually quite like that! Continues the tradition of the model of Cenred too. I don't find the VoW especially offensive aesthetically, I think she looks better than the jumboised Raptors and certainly better than the Clare or the W-Class (which can't even manage a funnel...)

As I feared though, it seems the service may be being reduced further because of the VoW. The other week the 9pm sailing was packed, as well it might be given that there wasn't another until midnight. Three hours between sailings of an evening, really?? Thank God I didn't get stuck in traffic!

Edited by Pigeonrat

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12 minutes ago, Pigeonrat said:

I actually quite like that! Continues the tradition of the model of Cenred too. I don't find the VoW especially offensive aesthetically, I think she looks better than the jumboised Raptors and certainly better than the Clare or the W-Class (which can't even manage a funnel...)

As I feared though, it seems the service may be being reduced further because of the VoW. The other week the 9pm sailing was packed, as well it might be given that there wasn't another until midnight. Three hours between sailings of an evening, really?? Thank God I didn't get stuck in traffic!

Great model. I must go and have a swoon at Cenred again, have a sit and wander down memory lane!  Could be an idea for BF, if they did Lego kits of the fleet, I bet there would be quite a few collecting the lot! 

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There already is one actually - we bought one on board for our (then) 5-6 year old a couple of years ago.  He's not built it yet (and, come to think of it, I'm not quite sure where it is).  I think it's meant to be of Normandie (probably pre-scrubbbers and certainly pre-livery change), but it's quite hard to tell!

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