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Re-Start of BF Passenger Services


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2 hours ago, Gareth said:

It’s clear from the BF updates from the other day that the restaurants are not open.  The self-service cafes are open, subject to some rules about logistics, but not the restaurants.

Embarkation is not possible “until your cabin is ready” - which I find fascinating, because it would imply that BF has a control over the order in which cars are loaded that has always been denied as being possible previously.

Might it be due to the lack of vehicles each vessel is carrying, 500-600 pax may suggest that the car decks wont be full?

Last Saturday Seven Sisters ran with the upper vehicle deck a third full although the vehicles seem to be placed in a manner suggesting even weight distribution.

I know I'm responding to Gareth's post but just for info...

We've clearly travelled a week before quarantining is being lifted so in essence the reciprocal arrangement with France was still in place. When asked by the Border Force and Douane's what our plans were there was zero negative response when we told them we were on holiday and would only be gone 7 days.

Today we visited Honfleur, rode the Ferris Wheel, shopped etc... the place was packed and the cafe's along Quai Sainte Catherine were very busy. 1 metre distancing was being observed where possible and no one needed to be reminded to wear a mask when entering the shops plus a few business' had novel ways of dispensing hand sanitiser. A very pleasant day.

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When you read what Roué has told us, it is jaw dropping! Some of us have been vociferously critical of BF, even suggesting that we could do a better job. Consider the following. 780,000 normal fo

I am pleased to report proactive contact from BF Customer Services in recent days. The revised timetable issued last week removed both of the sailings we were booked on [into Le Havre and Poole].

Well here we are all, after an uneventful crossing from Portsmouth on the MSM. Loading was a little slow with some mysterious colour coding in evidence, and we were 30 minutes late off the quay, but o

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1 minute ago, zuludelta said:

You've piqued my curiosity there?

Dangling from decorated ribbons attached to shop doorways was popular so too were foot operated dispensers of various designs and colours, animal shaped bottles to encourage little ones to use them. We need to be using them so why not make it a bit fun?

Shopkeepers have clearly worked hard to adapt and to ease some of the tension many visitors will feel, I think they should be commended for it. There was a positive vibe there today.

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Fair play to them.

And was there much social distancing (enforced or voluntary) onboard the Seven Sisters?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, jonno said:

a few business' had novel ways of dispensing hand sanitiser.

Yes, there are various pedal-operated ones available as well as ones with an infra-red proximity sensor. Ed. 

Edited by Cabin-boy
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10 hours ago, Gareth said:

 

Embarkation is not possible “until your cabin is ready” - which I find fascinating, because it would imply that BF has a control over the order in which cars are loaded that has always been denied as being possible previously.

Think about it Gareth - if 500 vehicles need to be loaded in just 45 minutes ( which can happen on the Portsmouth - Caen route) then segregation in the cars lanes will be limited to disabled, high, long or short vehicles, motorbikes and cyclists. If that is down to only 50-100 cars and everyone either has a seat or cabin then the logistics become so much easier. So taking MSM for example the cleaners will let’s say attack deck 7 cabins first, the staff at the check in kiosk can see very easily what deck your cabin is on and can direct you to the appropriate lane. Cars with cabins on deck 9 will be in a separate lane, those with seats another one etc. I think the comment about embarkation not being possible until your cabin Is ready probably refers to a predefined batch of cabins being ready. Using that theory my premise would be they will send cars with reserved seating up first as these are the quickest areas to clean followed by cabins, thus avoiding unnecessary milling around in groups in an enclosed space.

More will be revealed tomorrow as we're on the afternoon MSM sailing to Pompey, when of course I may be proved to be talking complete tosh! Very Old Bear, you’re on that one too I think, hopefully for BF’s sake there will be more than the 26 pax crechbleiz encountered on Armorique last Saturday We must meet up for a socially distanced Perrier and lettuce leaf in the self service, I’m on a diet by the way.....:/

Chris

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6 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

Think about it Gareth - if 500 vehicles need to be loaded in just 45 minutes ( which can happen on the Portsmouth - Caen route) then segregation in the cars lanes will be limited to disabled, high, long or short vehicles, motorbikes and cyclists. If that is down to only 50-100 cars and everyone either has a seat or cabin then the logistics become so much easier. So taking MSM for example the cleaners will let’s say attack deck 7 cabins first, the staff at the check in kiosk can see very easily what deck your cabin is on and can direct you to the appropriate lane. Cars with cabins on deck 9 will be in a separate lane, those with seats another one etc. I think the comment about embarkation not being possible until your cabin Is ready probably refers to a predefined batch of cabins being ready. Using that theory my premise would be they will send cars with reserved seating up first as these are the quickest areas to clean followed by cabins, thus avoiding unnecessary milling around in groups in an enclosed space.

More will be revealed tomorrow as we're on the afternoon MSM sailing to Pompey, when of course I may be proved to be talking complete tosh! Very Old Bear, you’re on that one too I think, hopefully for BF’s sake there will be more than the 26 pax crechbleiz encountered on Armorique last Saturday We must meet up for a socially distanced Perrier and lettuce leaf in the self service, I’m on a diet by the way.....:/

Chris

I ought to be on a diet. This lockdown lark has had an adverse effect. If I see somebody eating a lettuce leaf I shall come and say "Hi!"

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On 04/07/2020 at 18:56, crechbleiz said:

I am currently on Armorique sailing to Plymouth with 26 pax, not cars, 26 passengers!

One can now measure the dilemmas BF have faced for the resumption of services prior to the quarantine exemption. 

Fed up with waiting for some white smoke from Westminster regarding the quarantine rule I decided to bite the bullet and go back to UK. I will self isolate at home since my job allows to work from home. 

It is heartbreaking to see such a large ship travel virtually empty. It feels like one of those crossings from December, especially with this today's weather. I am glad to report that protection measures seem to work well for both the passengers and the crew. One thought occurred to me regarding the reduced capacity of the sailings, it is not just about maintaining safes distances between passengers but also to maintain these distances for the crew e.g. no shared cabins. The latter requirement must bring some serious restrictions on crew numbers. 

Otherwise the sailing is as pleasant as usual. I always travel with a cabin anyway so no changes there. My club plus cabin was immaculate and the crew genuinely happy to be back. 

Re customer services I have noticed an enormous gap between the UK and French services. No need to delve in the issues and attitudes we have seen on the UK side of the operations. In contrast the French side appeared far more accessible. For example I amended my booking yesterday morning and did not receive an amended ticket and no possibility to contact BF UK in a timely manner. I called BF desk in Roscoff and was sent a copy of my ticket without fuss before I could even put the phone down. I think BF need to have a serious look at their UK side of the operations whose handling of the crisis has been damaging in terms of image of the company. In another instance I needed to amend tickets booked on the Irish website and received the same efficient response as with the French side. Rant over. 

Would it not be fair to assume that on resumption the UK-France ferries will be much busier than the France-UK ones. I would imagine there are more people trying to go south than north, at least for a couple of weeks. that was bound to be the case.

Also this must apply to the UK BF customer relations. I would think there are a vast proportion of UK travellers affected compared to French, so UK customer services are bound to be more stretched.

 

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We’re isolating until Friday but then as far as I’m concerned that’s it, out on the boat in Chichester harbour for maintenance and hopefully a day with the sails up. Will be busy filling out the appropriate forms today though, and I have an important medical appointment on monday morning as I need double revision knee surgery once the season is over....:(
If Christophe Mathieu avoided the need to quarantine I at least have a genuine reason for being there!
Chris

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So the quarantine thing isn’t worth the paper it’s written on then ? It makes the “air bridges” all seem a bit of a PR exercise, anyway I hope your knee surgery goes well Chris.

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11 hours ago, elaine80 said:

Perhaps they are working on the basis that they will be loading so few cars that they can spread them sufficiently across the lanes to allow boarding dependent on cabins being ready.

Yes indeed.  Jonno and Chris have essentially also made the same point, and it is a good one.  You are all right, it will be much easier to organise the order of embarkation when taking only a small fraction of the normal loading.

It may even be the case that they are able to organise the initial lane marshalling into different lanes for different cabin areas.  Then, as Chris says, when that “batch” of cabins becomes available, it is a case of boarding that lane of traffic.

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5 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Yes indeed.  Jonno and Chris have essentially also made the same point, and it is a good one.  You are all right, it will be much easier to organise the order of embarkation when taking only a small fraction of the normal loading.

It may even be the case that they are able to organise the initial lane marshalling into different lanes for different cabin areas.  Then, as Chris says, when that “batch” of cabins becomes available, it is a case of boarding that lane of traffic.

I think that was already going on at Portsmouth last week boarding the MSM. We were dished out with coloured stickers to go on our mirror hangers and they were marshalling over a wide spread of lanes.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, veryoldbear said:

I think that was already going on at Portsmouth last week boarding the MSM. We were dished out with coloured stickers to go on our mirror hangers and they were marshalling over a wide spread of lanes.

Makes total sense & also explains why they want everyone to arrive early so that they can move the first section down to the dockside in one go - still complicated as within each cabin section they will need to have lift accessible and decent ventilation (dogs in cars) options. The next thing to find out is what section does not end up on the Mezzanine on the Caen trips so that we can pick the appropriate cabins ! 

The 90 minutes is going to annoy me, our current logic is to attempt to arrive about 60 mins before sailing and hopefully get loaded on the proper deck ! If this gets too much I might have t try the Eurotunnel again 

Edited by David Williams
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My wife struggles ok with getting from car to the lift but stairs are out for her (and me to steady her) even if stairs are closer to our car. We have for the past year or so not booked as requiring assistance so as to be near a lift. We felt there were others who really did need it more esp at holiday times.

So will non stairs peeps be able to chose a lift and take a little longer to get up and down to the car deck?

Stu

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9 hours ago, zuludelta said:

Fair play to them.

And was there much social distancing (enforced or voluntary) onboard the Seven Sisters?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

In terms of travellers abiding by the rules laid out by DFDS yes. They insisted on their own version of the sworn statement being completed rather than the one found on the French government website and they weren't concerned that many if not a major number of passengers weren't essential travellers. All cabins are/were for the exclusive use of truck drivers and much of the public seating was taped off, which to my mind suggests that social distancing could have been greatly improved. Toilets on the port side of deck 7 were closed, those on deck 6 had brown water coming from the taps. Small shop was open for 30 minutes and I wasn't prepared to queue for the limited number of breakfasts available which had all the appearance of scene from Cool Hand Luke.

All in all not the most pleasant of experiences and to be honest if I never sail on the route again I won't be too down hearted. I'd rather have been on a Visentini.

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4 minutes ago, straightfeed said:

So will non stairs peeps be able to chose a lift and take a little longer to get up and down to the car deck?

I can't see how they can stop you, however I imagine that a lift will be limited to one family at a time, I note a number of tweeters that had ticked disability complaining that they can neither make changes to their booking or contact BF as the system demands !

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2 minutes ago, David Williams said:

I note a number of tweeters that had ticked disability complaining that they can neither make changes to their booking or contact BF as the system demands !

Yep David,  learnt that along time ago. So with a day or so to go before departure I used to phone up (remember those days?) and ask to park near a lift. "May not be possible etc" back came a new version email ticket with "needs assistance" or whatever as an amendment at no charge.

Stu

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Maybe, but our own Ed and others on various voyages,have found gunk/coins `Objet not so d`Art ` in the past. What is concerning though is the re assurance that the cabins have been thoroughly cleaned to the standard required. This latest find shows maybe you need to take the appropriate cleaning tackle yourself and give it a going over......yes it goes against the grain after paying so much for so little but needs must..

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Well it would obviously help if passengers threw away their rubbish correctly but if this sort of thing isn't obvious to the cleaners perhaps BF need to enhance the 'enhanced cleaning' to new levels. With cattle-prods. Ed  

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33 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

 BF need to enhance the 'enhanced cleaning' to new levels. With cattle-prods. Ed  

I think that the missing bit has always been the checking bit - if each set of cabins was the responsibility of a named individual onoard who was incentivised (not necessarily by money) to find faults & feedback was given to the cleaning company (preferably with penalties), it will all get magically better.

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10 minutes ago, David Williams said:

& feedback was given to the cleaning company (preferably with penalties), it will all get magically better.

Perhaps when something as obvious as this they don't get paid for that turn around, someone will shake things up then.

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