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Re-Start of BF Passenger Services


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41 minutes ago, Rik762 said:

Certainly taking a while this time.

Bloke in overalls with spanner sucking his teeth; "How long are you thinking of keeping this website squire?"

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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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41 minutes ago, Millsy said:

Bloke in overalls with spanner sucking his teeth; "How long are you thinking of keeping this website squire?"

Every time a French workman comes to 'size up a job' he always spends ages looking at the plumbing / electric - whatever, and sucks through his teeth. And every time that he says "c'est bizarre" I know that he is adding an extra '0' to the eventual devis.

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10 minutes ago, Solo said:

Think positive, they're uploading next years timetables, one can but hope.

No chance, however the French site still says mid July / 22nd July. !

For posterity, I enclose a screenshot of the old logo on the NEW website.

image.png.90da8268a70bb61fc7c5b762f7226f95.png

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I had a very frustrating couple of days over the weekend trying to book Plymouth - Santander. Website showed a price as opposed to Sailing Full,Must have tried 10 times and as I came to the payment page I was knocked out and back to the start or it then said sailing full. Then tried Portsmouth - Santander and it gave Plymouth as an alternative and allowed me to book. So frustrating.

I had booked as a single because of the restriction in using more than one voucher code. Could I book the Santander - Plymouth, no way just would not let me. Eventually managed yesterday then tried to change the cabin on my original booking and kept bouncing me back to start page. I know the website has had historic problems ever since the "new" one was launched but they just don't seem to  take on board the criticisms and  sort the obvious problems.

It will be very interesting to see what will emerge after this maintenance!!! 

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56 minutes ago, Bisnick said:

I had a very frustrating couple of days over the weekend trying to book Plymouth - Santander. Website showed a price as opposed to Sailing Full,Must have tried 10 times and as I came to the payment page I was knocked out and back to the start or it then said sailing full. Then tried Portsmouth - Santander and it gave Plymouth as an alternative and allowed me to book. So frustrating.

I had booked as a single because of the restriction in using more than one voucher code. Could I book the Santander - Plymouth, no way just would not let me. Eventually managed yesterday then tried to change the cabin on my original booking and kept bouncing me back to start page. I know the website has had historic problems ever since the "new" one was launched but they just don't seem to  take on board the criticisms and  sort the obvious problems.

It will be very interesting to see what will emerge after this maintenance!!! 

I suspect there will be no visible change, it is more likely sorting out server problems,

Re bugs - some are due to cookies, it is often safer to start a new booking in a 'private / incognito' session & some bugs go away.

Re vouchers - if you are booking a crossing in a few months with a balance to pay, you can add as many vouchers as you want (one by one) at a later date,

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"Planned maintenance" of the website seems unlikely at a time when BF are keen to sell all the tickets they can.

Surely overnight would be the time for that ?

I remember a CEO's message recently saying the site's security had been compromised and it was taken down then.

Perhaps he will tell us of a cyber attack in his next message !

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13 minutes ago, BZH29 said:

Perhaps he will tell us of a cyber attack in his next message !

Unless his messages were the cyber-attack, all written by an imposter. Ed. 

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Posted (edited)

Just had a very interesting conversation with a lovely and helpful lady at Holiday France Direct. Got straight through on the phone as well..Firstly, they are all too aware of the problems with the IT system and apologetic. They are also helping all their customers who are having rebooking problems to make the amendments required and to assist with the 20% discount if the BF system doesnt automatically allow it.

  Re the ships, on passage,they are asking people to stay in their cabins/seats especially on day crossings but are not being prescriptive about it. You are quite welcome on deck especially for departures and when at sea. Apparantly there will be a limited hours, served, bar service where sailing times permit, either now or in the near future. True they hope that within another month or so things will get a bit more back to normal onboard. But the outlook is positive and I`ve got my booking with them sorted. So looks like we`re off at the end of August now. St Malo out, maybe Cherbourg back.

Edited by Paully
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Travel Cork to Roscoff last Saturday on PA. All cars put on port side of Deck 3 and allowed upstairs in small groups. No public seating available inside or out on deck, except Self Service (but not staggered seatings probably because too few passengers). Flora shut and few in bar. We dined in our cabin. Asked to vacate cabin 20 minutes before docking, but no crowds gathered as car deck open. All crew wearing facemasks even deck hands.

In France few shops are making masks obligatory and only half the people we saw were wearing them properly. Campsites here in Argeles are busy but not full. Whilst nightclubs remain closed most campsites are having discos until midnight. 

 

 

 

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Mrs FW and I travelled Caen-Portsmouth yesterday afternoon on MSM in 2 different vehicles, as she is staying for a couple of weeks and I’m back next Tuesday - it allowed me to test my loading theory. Ship was 15 minutes late arriving which is unusual on crew change day, 30 minutes late arriving last night. As VOB alluded to you are given a colour coded embarkation ticket at check-in, hers was red and she had the cabin booked, mine pale blue and I had a seat, we were then directed to different lanes. Once through customs and passport control (where the douanier was just as rude as ever) we were again shown to different lanes, then cars were boarded in groups of 5-10, probably no more than 60 cars but a good load of freight. However all very slow and laborious, plenty of staff on car desks, fully masked as Dave mentioned, then up to the cabin on deck 9 which Ed will be pleased to know was spotless.

New post lockdown announcements are long and complicated, in French, English and Spanish and after just a week having to practise them the poor girl on the tannoy was struggling to the point of it being embarrassing. Otherwise a regulation, calm crossing, I had a walk around mid channel, it’s  allowed but you are asked to stay in your cabin/seat as much as possible. Self service open for 6 x 1,5 hour slots throughout the day for food to be consumed in cabins although access to tables allowed and every other one taped off.  The bar on deck 9 was open whenever I went past it and mask wearing by passengers generally well observed. 

At arrival passengers were called down by deck, so deck 9 first, deck 7, then the rest, passport control again slow and laborious with all boots checked which was probably not surprising as the Ouistreham migrants are back in force. So overall a slightly different experience but it gets you from A to B ( or O to P in this case) and we were just pleased to get back again. 

Chris

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

, so deck 9 first, deck 7

Excellent summary, were deck 9 cars first off the ship and did anyone check that you had completed the UK form ?

Edited by David Williams
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No David, much to Mrs FW’s annoyance although she was first down in the middle lane and I was squeezed against the left bulkhead, lo and behold I was in  the first lane to move. The border force guy was a very happy chappy and welcomed the fact I’d printed off the document, he laughed and mentioned now many people tried to show him their downloaded version on a flat Mobile phone!

Chris

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5 hours ago, BigDW1946 said:

Travel Cork to Roscoff last Saturday on PA. All cars put on port side of Deck 3 and allowed upstairs in small groups. No public seating available inside or out on deck, except Self Service (but not staggered seatings probably because too few passengers). Flora shut and few in bar. We dined in our cabin. Asked to vacate cabin 20 minutes before docking, but no crowds gathered as car deck open. All crew wearing facemasks even deck hands.

In France few shops are making masks obligatory and only half the people we saw were wearing them properly. Campsites here in Argeles are busy but not full. Whilst nightclubs remain closed most campsites are having discos until midnight. 

 

 

 

We went around to Ringaskiddy on Saturday to see her off. It was incredible to how empty she looked. In a normal year first sailing in July would be sold out. We saw practically nobody out on deck as she departed. 10 minutes early departing, highly unusual for her to leave early in July!

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6 hours ago, BigDW1946 said:

Travel Cork to Roscoff last Saturday on PA. All cars put on port side of Deck 3 and allowed upstairs in small groups. No public seating available inside or out on deck, except Self Service (but not staggered seatings probably because too few passengers). Flora shut and few in bar. We dined in our cabin. Asked to vacate cabin 20 minutes before docking, but no crowds gathered as car deck open. All crew wearing facemasks even deck hands.

In France few shops are making masks obligatory and only half the people we saw were wearing them properly. Campsites here in Argeles are busy but not full. Whilst nightclubs remain closed most campsites are having discos until midnight.

Were the outside decks open to walk around?

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Cork to Roscoff. Yes outer decks were open but no seating available. Also no form filling as we were from Ireland. However not sure if any of NI registered cars' occupants needed them but nothing mentioned onboard.

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Does anyone know what the procedure is re the passenger locator form, if you don't have the possibility of printing off the form, or if you don't have access to the internet? Are there paper copies that can be completed? Thanks.

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3 hours ago, woodin43 said:

Does anyone know what the procedure is re the passenger locator form, if you don't have the possibility of printing off the form, or if you don't have access to the internet? Are there paper copies that can be completed? Thanks.

Assuming you mean the UK one, Internet is the only option. I believe that the airports have an ipad for everyone to share. Whilst the form can only be submitted less than 48 hours before arrival, it can be completed earlier ( not sure how earlier ) and just submitted at the last minute.

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26 minutes ago, David Williams said:

Assuming you mean the UK one, Internet is the only option. I believe that the airports have an ipad for everyone to share. Whilst the form can only be submitted less than 48 hours before arrival, it can be completed earlier ( not sure how earlier ) and just submitted at the last minute.

It can only be filled in online, there is no "form" that can be downloaded. It works on questions and answers and then creates a filled in pdf which runs to three pages. Although they claim that it can be shown on a phone, it would be unreadable.

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Bit of good news at last.....The Normandie has left her lay up berth and is now on the Le Havre Ro Ro berth. Soon to be back in service followed next week by the Bretagne..

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Back last night 10 July on the MSM Ouistreham to Portsmouth. The inbound sailing from Portsmouth was obvioulsy quite full judging from the offloading. We ate in Ouistreham on the beach before joining the mighty queue. Finally got on board around 1630 then off the berth around 1650. Deck 5 pretty full but we managed to get a lift up to Deck 9. No Commodore on this leg, just an ordinary 2/4 outside, but just along from the bar. Did a bit of exploration and stood at the stern (now largely obstructed by the gigantic scrubber housing) to watch France disappear. Although the self-service is operational we took a picnic onboard (including Macarons to make up the loss of the Commodore). 30 minutes late into Portsmouth and a very slow progress up the lanes and out through Passport Control 2230. Motorway West closed so tedious run through Bishop's Watsit behind a very slow van, and home in Occupied North Berkshire by midnight

leaving.jpg

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