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Tumnus2010

St Malo Minicruise

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2 night minicruise to St Malo on the Pont completed using the BFE offer.

Our drive down to Portsmouth from North Yorks was smooth and no real traffic issues meant we arrived about 18.15. A wait for 45 mins or so to board and we were up to deck 4. Parked, dropped bags in cabin and headed to to Le flora for the buffet and a main course of lamb on bulgar wheat,  my wife had the duck and both of us were very happy with our meals. Excellent service from the waiter. We were positioned by a window on the port side, and so got a glimpse of the aircraft carriers, the inbound Normandie and the loitering BDS as we headed out from Pompey. 

A stroll around the boat and deck suggested it was pretty quiet, we nosed around the shop for a bit before retiring to the cabin with a bottle of red to watch a film on the ipad. Woken in the small hours to find the ship moving a little bit, due to swell rather than wind. Arrived in st Malo about 7.45, got off quite quickly and were off to Leclerc for a coffee and croissant and to consume Christmas shopping. We spent a while up there before heading back and parking near the city walls at Esplanade Bourse. Whilst Leclerc had been manic, the old town was relatively quiet. We nosed around the christmas market and ice rink near the tourist office, before having a stroll around the old town for a couple of hours. 

With a couple of hours left before early boarding began we realised we'd forgotten some essentials so drove up to Carrefour and the shopping centre there, got what we needed (a very full car now) and headed back to the port. 

Onto Pont deck 4 again about 18.30. This time we were in for a treat. I had messaged BF to see if there were an upgrades available. Long story short, I've been seriously ill this year and booked the trip to say thanks to my wife for holding everything together. BF were good enough to extend that thanks by upgrading us to a commodore! She was delighted. As was I!

We had some fizz sitting on the balcony as we left, headed to the self service this time (neither of us were hungry enough for le flora) and had a lovely beef stew. A stop off to buy more wine in the shop and deliver it to the car, and we went back to the cabin to watch a DVD from reception. Coffees from the commodore lounge, but they evidently didn't work as we both fell asleep quite quickly. I woke around 1 ish when we were passing Jersey, again the boat was moving a bit but it was quite a short wave period driving it, very little wind. Woke up properly at 0630 this morning and enjoyed the sun rise from our balcony (8413) and then made the most of it by having our breakfast on the balcony, although it's December it was relatively warm and there was no wind on that side of the ship. 

Off the ship by 0915 and straight through passport control and onto the motorway and home.

 

Really enjoyed our trip. My wife now says that Pont Aven is her favourite, usurping Bretagne and the Pride of Rotterdam. All the bf staff were very smiley and helpful. 

Thanks to Colin and Ed for the monitoring of the strikes, luckily we weren't affected. 

In terms of a Christmas destination st Malo was  quieter than I had thought it would be, there wasn't a tremendous amount going on in the old town, although it did look like it might come more alive in the evening.

We got everything we wanted though, and above all the crossings were superb, food excellent and service ditto.

The Commodore cabin was fantastic, I didn't think I'd appreciate the balcony, we've had a deluxe before, but i really liked it. The only thing that let's them down for us was the bathrooms. In comparison to the new club cabins on the Pride of Hull/Rotterdam which we used in October, the Commodore cabin itself is bigger, equally comfortable but on P & O there are separate toilet and showers, with the shower unit being a double side by side unit and properly tiled, double.sinks too. I believe some have bathtubs instead of showers. When she eventually gets a cabin refresh they could do to look at that in my opinion. It's not dreadful but felt no better than the standard cabin we had on the way out.

Was very impressed with the speed of clearing passport control and has made me think that we shall use Portsmouth not Plymouth when we venture to southern Brittany again in 2021.

 

Thanks BF and BFE for a great minicruise.

 

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Lovely report, thanks for sharing. As far as I'm concerned, you've encapsulated what these trips are all about very well ;) 

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Seconded - enjoyable to read and glad you had a good time. I hope that your health has improved and continues to do so!

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Thanks for a great report. Just what those of us currently landlocked need to cheer us up. Hope your health continues to improve in the Near Year.

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Breakfast on the balcony looks excellent - although I'm guessing that it was colder than it looks! 

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