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Parking on Normandie


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I'm driving from Geneva to North Devon at Christmas, taking a midweek overnight Caen/Portsmouth sailing.

I've travelled just twice with BF, a return on the same route a few years ago now. 

I chose the particular sailing as the Mont St Michel is scheduled to operate it, and remembering (and confirming via YouTube) how spacious the parking is. The other direction last time was on the Normandie (I think) and I distinctly remember how tight the parking was.  I recall making sure I was one of the first down to the car deck to "protect" my car.Not everyone is as careful as me when opening their doors! 

My options coming back are a  Sunday morning sailing on the Mont St Michel again or a Saturday overnight (my preferred, travelling time-wise) on the Normandie.  Any thoughts about the parking on the Normandie?  I've not really found any other complaints about parking - maybe I'm being over-protective!

Another option is the Armorique from Plymouth to Roscoff, again overnight Saturday.

Thanks for any advice.

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Ultimately Club Voyage is a discount scheme. It doesn't make you more important because you own additional properties or make you exempt from certain conditions.

What you said aren’t reductions in benefits they are a reduction in how strict it is to join, I wasn’t aware of an actual reduction in benefits, I think CV offers great value for money and at the end

Gourvennec expanded his remit because he was a businessman..He had ships built the like Bretagne, Barfleur and Normandie and he was the boss when they started the catchy slogan `Brittany Ferries The H

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A lot of this depends how busy the sailing is - but yes, you'll find the lanes a little wider on the MSM and Armorique as they were designed for increasingly larger modern cars.

In honesty, I'm not sure the ship really makes that much of a difference though - more a case of who you end up parked next to which, regardless of ship, is out of your control!

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2 hours ago, Gareth said:

There’s also a height issue on Normandie.  I once went on her and we were parked up on the mezzanine.  Opened the rear hatch of my estate and it went crunch on the roof of the deck!

Yes, I remember one trip where a number of cars had to unscrew their roof aerials as they were hitting the roof beams when driving along !

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That is the problem with ferries and car parking lanes,the vast majority open there doors with care but some people show no care at all opening there doors that hit the car alongside them and think it is nothing.then you get people walking between cars with bags slung over there shoulder hitting cars and causing scrapes to cars.again no thought ar all for people's cars and any cost in getting repaired.i suppose it is the world we live in at this moment in time,I am suppose Iam getting a bit long in the tooth but a few years ago people were much more careful when doing things that could damage other people's cars.i don't miss the old times apart from in them days people cared for each other but now it is survival of the fittest comes to mind.

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9 hours ago, David Williams said:

I prefer the width of the MSM lanes to the Normandie, however the width is far better on the quieter sailings, especially if you can avoid the raised deck

Surely it depends where the “officer loading” the ship puts you, it’s a lottery!

The advantage is that on the so described “narrow” side lanes of Normandie it is only ever actually possible to fit 2 widths of cars, 1 in some places whereas on the MSM, particularly on a Friday night ex Portsmouth you are really lucky to be able to leave your vehicle, and lane spacing that pedestrians with bags full of sleeping devices can scratch a clean car, whereas if it’s dirty they will be more careful. The pertinent standard excuse is that ENCAP standards have led to wider door cross sections, 2 door cars have longer doors by design. Which again makes for even more difficulty opening wide enough  to get out.

My wife came last year and was obliged to exit the car through the passenger door, on a mezz deck. While below the 2/3rds of the Non mezz deck Below was empty of vehicles. The excuse for that is that it’s a very difficult job to load a ferry.... Apparently.

Even if you declare yourself disabled (9P or 9C) in order to have more room, based on recent experience you are liable to have to contend with an having to cross an incoming line of still moving traffic before reaching a lift. That together with  a reallocated cabin position courtesy of CS which is even further away from where your car may be parked than your original one allocated by the booking engine, dependant on which lift the loading officer chooses to park you “near”. Makes that approach even more of a lottery.

All these things are part and parcel of the BF travelling experience. Of all the ships of the fleet Armorique which has no mezz deck is the best. Though we have have  only travelled on it when it acts as replacement for the Caen ships in the winter.  and not a summer “charge em loads and cram em in” crossing.

We  hope that Honfleur learns from this design innovation but I fear I may we may be very very disappointed.

Rant over.

My advice, consider the Tunnel if the economics makes sense, use that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the replies/opinions so far.

Some of the parking lanes are indeed like supermarket car park spaces. The difference is, at a supermarket I can park where I want. I have been using the tunnel, due mainly to my experience on the Normandie. 

 

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3 hours ago, alleeganger10 said:

My advice, consider the Tunnel if the economics makes sense, use that.

As long as you don’t park by the toilet !

BF is cheaper when petrol and tolls are taken into account and is 400 miles less on a return journey. However the overall journey is a lot quicker by Eurotunnel.

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44 minutes ago, veryoldbear said:

Anything is better than trying to go up that ramp on Etretat ....

The first time was a bit of a surprise, however we are used to it now & it is quite convenient not having to use the stairs. We also get a decent width to park in.

The main problem is the slow passport control at Le Havre

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On 14/11/2019 at 02:54, David Williams said:

BF is cheaper when petrol and tolls are taken into account and is 400 miles less on a return journey. However the overall journey is a lot quicker by Eurotunnel.

When in France, we live less than 30 miles from Ouistreham, in the UK not far from Brum, In high summer taking into consideration The Use of Toll motorways and the inevitable Pont de Normandie, petrol bought in France. It’s cheaper and certainly more cost effective time wise to use the Tunnel, and it’s impossible to be jammed in, even if we are parked near the toilet it’s better than having car alarms going off less than 20ft away from your ear. And our dog enjoys the people who come to see us, that is if we can get her out of her boot prison , but having been caught by 5his once, we now ensure she can join us.
 

Problem is when you buy a property in France, you buy into the method to get to it too . BF know this (club voyage after all was the property owners club was’nt it?) and just take people like us for granted, as retirees we have a certain budget,  beyond which we just cannot afford to go. So we have no choice to travel more selectively and  post Brexit agreements permitting stay longer in France . Brexit and BF pricing  permitting we hope we will be allowed to still visit the area we have grown to love and which we call home, in France. 

Nobody on this Forum seems to realise or care about the huge rise in cabin costs  next year, instead they have majored on the rise in deposit costs. Look again folks and enjoy your once a year trip on the channels best operator alledgedly.!

BF’s business model is changing, witness this the percentage of the total fleet engaged in Ireland-Europe and not U.K.-Europe crossings of history passed. 
 

Interesting Times!

 

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36 minutes ago, alleeganger10 said:


Nobody on this Forum seems to realise or care about the huge rise in cabin costs  next year, instead they have majored on the rise in deposit costs. Look again folks and enjoy your once a year trip on the channels best operator alledgedly.!

BF’s business model is changing, witness this the percentage of the total fleet engaged in Ireland-Europe and not U.K.-Europe crossings of history passed. 
 

Interesting Times!

 

Well collect tesco vouchers and use them on the tunnel, that way job done I would have thought. Equally you can use them on P & O Dover Calais Ferries if you prefer sea air. Otherwise if you stick to BF you could use the Nex or a day crossing and not bother with a cabin, unless you are CV then you get a free one..Cant see the problem tbh.

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3 minutes ago, Paully said:


Nobody on this Forum seems to realise or care about the huge rise in cabin costs  next year

Ive booked for next year and the Cabin prices are the same as they were this year? Or has there been an increase on the Ireland/Spain route?

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52 minutes ago, alleeganger10 said:

 

Nobody on this Forum seems to realise or care about the huge rise in cabin costs  next year, instead they have majored on the rise in deposit costs. Look again folks and enjoy your once a year trip on the channels best operator alledgedly.!

Prices are rising on everything in every industry. You can't expect the cabin costs to remain the same in the current environment. I believe BFare the only operator on the channel that don't demand full payment at the time of booking.

 

You'll struggle to find a sector, especially one as vulnerable to external costs as transport, that isn't increasing fares/prices.

 

I really think it's unfair to say that BF take you for granted. Club Voyage offers a large discount. If you travel to your second property regularly the membership cost if easily justified by the savings.

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9 hours ago, alleeganger10 said:

When in France, we live less than 30 miles from Ouistreham, in the UK not far from Brum, In high summer taking into consideration The Use of Toll motorways and the inevitable Pont de Normandie, petrol bought in France. It’s cheaper and certainly more cost effective time wise to use the Tunnel, and it’s impossible to be jammed in, even if we are parked near the toilet it’s better than having car alarms going off less than 20ft away from your ear. And our dog enjoys the people who come to see us, that is if we can get her out of her boot prison , but having been caught by 5his once, we now ensure she can join us.
 

Problem is when you buy a property in France, you buy into the method to get to it too . BF know this (club voyage after all was the property owners club was’nt it?) and just take people like us for granted, as retirees we have a certain budget,  beyond which we just cannot afford to go. So we have no choice to travel more selectively and  post Brexit agreements permitting stay longer in France . Brexit and BF pricing  permitting we hope we will be allowed to still visit the area we have grown to love and which we call home, in France. 

Nobody on this Forum seems to realise or care about the huge rise in cabin costs  next year, instead they have majored on the rise in deposit costs. Look again folks and enjoy your once a year trip on the channels best operator alledgedly.!

BF’s business model is changing, witness this the percentage of the total fleet engaged in Ireland-Europe and not U.K.-Europe crossings of history passed. 
 

Interesting Times!

 

The thing is though, when making a decision to buy a second property and buying in to how to get to it, you surely also had to accept that long term inflation would kick in? Also understand that whilst BF makes concessions in the form of CV, it actually has a much wider customer base which includes the once a year travellers, the long weekenders, the half-termers...  It's therefore going to price at levels the market will tolerate rather than out of some kind of moral obligation to operate a public service for second home owners. 

The observation on percentage of the fleet is an interesting one - but percentage doesn't represent the actual number of sailings which occur between UK <> Europe which have increased with more sailings to Spain, as has the overall size of the Fleet.

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Two sailings a week from Cork to Spain is just catering for a market that has long existed but BF has been slow to wake up to.

One extra sailing a week from Cork to France is just part-filling a gap left by Irish Ferries reduction in sailings.

No decrease in UK to France and UK to Spain sailings.  An extra ship being brought in to cater for the extra Cork sailings.  I’m not quite sure what the point about “percentages” is supposed to convey.

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14 hours ago, alleeganger10 said:

Nobody on this Forum seems to realise or care about the huge rise in cabin costs  next year, instead they have majored on the rise in deposit costs. Look again folks and enjoy your once a year trip on the channels best operator alledgedly.!

I believe that next year cabin prices will be more variable with the popular dates costing more - there was also a bug in the booking system initially which did not give the correct CV discount for day cabins. 

However it is possible to get a Portsmouth - Ouistreham return with a CV discount on a normal car with 2 passengers for about the price of a normal Eurotunnel return & that ignores the extra 400 miles of extra driving & Tolls (£110 return).

Where Eurotunnel is cheaper is when the car has a roofrack (though can cost more in tolls) , bikes at the back, stuffed with loads of passengers or for a short trip. It is also cheaper if you buy 10 singles a year. .

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18 hours ago, scarlton said:

I really think it's unfair to say that BF take you for granted. Club Voyage offers a large discount. If you travel to your second property regularly the membership cost if easily justified by the savings.

Apologies for taking this off the original topic ....

Actually over time club voyage benefits are/have been reducing, it used to be that an acte de vente copy was required to join, ( then the property owners club). When we actually got ours we found that it wasn’t needed after all, even  though it was still called the property owners club. That had not been the case for some time,  No CV discount is offered on a dog cabin for instance. The actual real cost of membership will soon double as those who were associate members now have to pay the full price. Apparently due European data protection rules, Strange how in the U.K. exactly the same reason given for not being able to see my smart meter data until almost a week has elapsed , yet in France data is available daily. Go figure and another subject, actually Data protection is just a jolly good BF excuse to make more money. 

In the event of Brexit, goods which currently travel on the land bridge to Ireland are going to go direct, that’s why the I in BAI is suddenly so important. It’s just simpler from a paperwork point of view, you don’t need the export department of old to tick the boxes. 

Gourvennec ‘s dream was not a holiday company it was a means to get his goods to the market in good shape. Holidays are and were a secondary operation, opening up Caen a Normandie initiative ?   changed all that, but still the lorry decks is full of fruit from Spain. And lorry cabs going to Leyland.

 

 

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