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8 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

Yes, she that last week too. Barfleur did the same on her Tuesday and Wednesday evening sailings.

Yes, fundamentally she has to kill time, especially on the northbound return (where the crossing time is almost long enough to get up to Portsmouth and back to Cherbourg again!).

Various options for killing time - shelter in the lee of Cotentin then cross later, cross immediately and then potter in the lee of Wight or Poole bay, or just slow steam across.  The latter would be the preference in calm conditions but the others come into play depending on what wind and waves are doing.

Edit:  In really bad conditions, another option could be to get straight to Portsmouth, tie up and then see out the rest of the night alongside before disembarking in the morning.

That would be a last resort though, for various reasons.

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Can I just say that’s terrible news about your wife - I for one would like to pass on heartfelt thoughts to you both as I’m sure other Enthusiasts will as well.... Chris

My son wanted to see the Pont Aven come in and we hung around for the Connemara too. The Pont Aven even gave a blast of the horn as he waved from the round tower. 

Thanks for all the concern, made it back into Portsmouth this morning and Mrs FW’s wine stocks have been duly replenished so she’s doubly happy. Not particularly bothered about getting back although a

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Just now, Cabin-boy said:

Or stay in Cherbourg and wait for things to calm down and then head across at normal speed and arrive on time. Ed. 

Theoretically yes, although that could have the potential to trigger penalties for “late departure”?

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One of the primary reasons why a middle-of-the-night arrival in Portsmouth (or departure from Cherbourg) would be a last resort would be the inconvenience and expense of getting the shore-based docking crews out out-of-hours.

Plus the additional berthing fees, plus the disruption to passenger sleep caused by docking / undocking in the middle of the night.  Stena has this problem on their westbound overnight sailing to Harwich - apparently it is almost impossible to stay asleep when the vessel berths in Harwich at 4am.  (Mind you, in that case there is also the additional noise and vibration caused by the fact that they then disembark the freight immediately).

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2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Or stay in Cherbourg and wait for things to calm down and then head across at normal speed and arrive on time. Ed. 

On a few occasions when sea conditions are going to be lumpy, Armorique has stayed tied up in Plymouth for 2 or 3 hours  rather than depart at her usual 22.00 or 23.00 to float around in the sound.  She then makes a dash to Roscoff with her stabilisers working well to arrive at her normal 08.00 CET ish. 

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14 hours ago, Gardian said:

All that I want to know is whether FW (aka Chris Rea) has made it back for Christmas.

He will have - certain (ish)!

The problem is whether he’ll get back for the restart of business in 2021.

Thanks for all the concern, made it back into Portsmouth this morning and Mrs FW’s wine stocks have been duly replenished so she’s doubly happy. Not particularly bothered about getting back although aiming for around the 4th January.
 

So my thoughts on Galicia - firstly it’s her sheer size that impresses with massive car decks and more pertinently, wide lanes made for 21st century cars. Last night she was well loaded with freight (for obvious reasons) but not full. The weather in Cherbourg was filthy all day and it was equally miserable as we left the port. She is a modern ferry, different to any current fleet members but I really like her and she definitely isn’t Économie version 2. BF have done a great job to turn the standard E Flexer layout into a ship with colour and character.

As has been mentioned by others she’s very quiet, I tried the 2 berth Commodore cabin 921 which was larger than a normal 4 berth, the mattress was sprung and comfortable, bed linen high quality cotton, bathroom bigger than usual. The TV with film options will be great on the longer Spanish crossings, lots of thoughtful bits and bobs too, overall a genuine hotel experience. Cabin corridors are wider than on other fleet members, all tastefully done and she reminded me of a cross between Irish Ferries’ WB Yeats and Oscar Wilde.

After a frantic day preparing (and wondering whether I would get back at all) I didn’t explore the whole ship but had a pleasant meal in the Azul restaurant. The only justified criticism is the serving area isn’t huge but staff coped well and the queues weren’t long. The seats are solid and really comfortable, the Cantabrian beef stew excellent and carafe of Spanish red very drinkable. Out of interest I tried exploring the driver cabins on deck 8 but obviously couldn’t get in, the showers and loos are very close though, plenty of them and with a separate female facility. The showers were actually bigger and far better than they would get in a cabin with glass doors and good space. 
 

Overall I really like her and a few passengers I knew and spoke to agreed. You certainly feel you are more in a hotel than on a ferry due to the space. She’s not a Cunard liner but is comfortable and should give customers a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Having lost my cabin key immediately I had another one reprinted and asked the girl I knew at reception how it was going. They’ve obviously had teething problems, especially early on and I was saddened to hear her say the verbal aggression shown by some complainants was unacceptable. The staff are excellent as always, trying very hard to please and can only deal with what’s in front of them . 

I took a few pictures but won’t post them as they only duplicate what has already been seen, plus they don’t really do her justice. Unloading was slow and laborious, hopefully that will improve with time.


Chris

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3 hours ago, Fine Whine said:

 

`Well, I agree with Chris' comments, in general.

She is certainly spacious, and must have a buzzy feel about her when everything is open and all areas are populated. As it is, she seems to have lots of different seating areas although they all look much the same. I, too, was surprised how small the restaurant serving area was although the staff did well. There was quite a long queue for breakfast which did not move particularly fast. 

Beds - very comfortable, and a good nights sleep. We are looking forward (circumstances permitting, to trying the commodore suite on the return.

Disembarkation was slow (40 minutes after th first lorries) as, as mentioned elsewhere, all commercial traffic is offloaded first. But French border police were quick and pleasant.

In retrospect, and hearing of the trials of those on the Normandie departing (or not departing) just after us, we are lucky to have made it. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, rogerpatenall said:

`Well, I agree with Chris' comments, in general.

She is certainly spacious, and must have a buzzy feel about her when everything is open and all areas are populated. As it is, she seems to have lots of different seating areas although they all look much the same. I, too, was surprised how small the restaurant serving area was although the staff did well. There was quite a long queue for breakfast which did not move particularly fast. 

Beds - very comfortable, and a good nights sleep. We are looking forward (circumstances permitting, to trying the commodore suite on the return.

Disembarkation was slow (40 minutes after th first lorries) as, as mentioned elsewhere, all commercial traffic is offloaded first. But French border police were quick and pleasant.

In retrospect, and hearing of the trials of those on the Normandie departing (or not departing) just after us, we are lucky to have made it. 

 

 

Strange arrangement in the self service where a member of staff writes a ticket with what you have on your tray and you oay after eating at remote till.  I also experienced very slow unloading at Portsmouth and Border Force remarked that this is routinely the case.

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40 minutes ago, Yorky said:

Strange arrangement in the self service where a member of staff writes a ticket with what you have on your tray and you oay after eating at remote till.  I also experienced very slow unloading at Portsmouth and Border Force remarked that this is routinely the case.

They used to do that a few times on Baie du Seine

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9 hours ago, Yorky said:

Strange arrangement in the self service where a member of staff writes a ticket with what you have on your tray and you oay after eating at remote till.  I also experienced very slow unloading at Portsmouth and Border Force remarked that this is routinely the case.

Actually a very effective, if simple idea. Given the confines of the area it means customers are able to eat a reasonably hot breakfast rather than watching it go cold and soggy while waiting to pay. It’s similar to the arrangement in the à la la carte option where you get a hand written ticket and pay at the end, shows they are are listening to complaints and offering a practical solution to avoid queuing.

Chris

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9 hours ago, Yorky said:

Strange arrangement in the self service where a member of staff writes a ticket with what you have on your tray and you oay after eating at remote till.  I also experienced very slow unloading at Portsmouth and Border Force remarked that this is routinely the case.

I saw the remote till, but it was closed. Both in the evening and the morning we paid at a till at the end of the self service counter, whilst a staff member was getting you any hot drinks required. Bearing in mind the small size of the overall facility, it worked reasonably well. I wondered what the remote till was for. 

One interesting development I noticed at breakfast was that one lady spent her whole breakfast allowance buying at least 20 small pots of marmalade/jam and nothing else!

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6 minutes ago, rogerpatenall said:

 

One interesting development I noticed at breakfast was that one lady spent her whole breakfast allowance buying at least 20 small pots of marmalade/jam and nothing else!

 

Roger it has to be this little fellow in disguise- obviously fooled you...😂
 

Chris

 

 

2F3FB96D-65C1-4416-904F-29AD58A379F1.jpeg

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I suppose PleB has his own private supply of marmalade. Or does he only eat Breton confiture?

Methinks we should be told…

Just before I go, a heartfelt Joyeux Noël to BF crews, shoresiders and friends. And of course everyone here who supports France's premier passenger shipping line – and largest employer of local seafarers.

Take care

<em

Pierre le Bear.JPG

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