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Initial thoughts of Galicia (10th Dec)


Northern_Si
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Gareth I've seen real croissants being made prior to baking and as Colin says you start with butter, add a little flour then more butter and flour and even more butter - ad infinitum

I too really cannot understand why BF cannot procure a decent English Breakfast.

Javea do you mean procure or produce? The problem here is all about timing - BF could probably procure Bert's best bangers if they wanted to, but to cook a proper English breakfast you need time. Imagine the indignation if -God forbid- the eggs were slightly overcooked, sausages not brown enough, bacon with no crispy skin...Nothing is impossible in this world but if you've 300-400 (or more) folk heading for breakfast on MSM/Normandie at early a'clock in the morning and all at the same time and you dock in 45 minutes it can never work. Hence the current offering that's pre-cooked, quite tasty, generally luke warm in Le Self, piping hot in the a la carte if you pay extra...

In an ideal world of course they could make a decent shot of it but given there are only a limited number of hours in a day and a tight schedule, not possible I'm afraid

Chris

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I agree with both sides of the breakfast debate. Yes, we should understand that BF is French, but no, there is no excuse for murdering food.

Why not "The Full British" (English, Scottish or whatever) which would not just satisfy the Europeans heading for Blighty, but the upper crust of UK partakers, and "The Full French" where the focus is on French produce and habits. Oh, and of course I almost forgot "The Full Irish".

Source and prepare the products to achieve a standard which is a cut above, and matches the best of BF cuisine.

By all means trot out slops cooked by nuclear fusion in the self service if you really insist. No complaints about quantity, but probably the worst I have experienced on any ferry in terms of quality, preparation and even presentation.

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7 minutes ago, Solo said:

Says enough about Galicia that the discussion is about what breakfast you get.

Well, to be fair, most outbound passengers will have to endure two of them! 🤣

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6 hours ago, Gareth said:

British tourists who have chosen to holiday in France, not Britain.

They do attempt to cater for them, because they do provide an English breakfast to the best that can be expected of a company that is not British.  And that does not use British produce.  But if a proper English breakfast is really that important to someone then one has to wonder why they don’t just stay in Britain and enjoy the many opportunities to sample one there.  Why bother to go to France and then complain that it is French, not British! 😉

i have an English breakfast on board as I have to watch what I eat under normal circumstances.  I would not dare eat a full English in day to day life at home, ferry trips are the only times I let myself have one, it makes it a treat and extra special.  And I would be working the calories off with all the running around bunker complexes anyway, which is my usual activity once over there.  Ferry trips are an occasion to let the hair down and pig out so in my case a full English on a French ship is a good excuse..😁

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13 minutes ago, Chef said:

The full fry up can be very versatile , just add chips and it's a lunch or dinner item .

On the rare occasions when I do one for dinner, I always put garlic in the mushrooms.  Not appropriate for breakfast!

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Further to my comment above, breakfasts are only on morning sailings when I get on in Poole, then got a few hours to let it all go down.  First thing in the morning after an overnight crossing, all I can face is coffee, and rarely eat a darn thing till I get on the return crossing, unless I have time to mosey down to Maccy’s before being collected. Overnights from Poole allowed that, wasn’t unusual to be sat outside the Cherbourg Maccy’s just before opening..🤣

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  • 3 months later...


Okay, so as I mentioned, I said I was going to leave a review of our recent sailing on Brittany Ferries new Flagship, Galicia. Its not good, from my point of view. So if any aficionados of Brittany Ferries that may be offended, please do not read on.

As big fans of Brittany Ferries, especially of its Spanish routes, we were looking forward to the new vessel arriving from China (Stena Ro-Ro). We like Cap Finistere and Pont Aven So, we have been waiting wit excitement to travel on Galicia. 

We arrived far too early for the Ferry in our car, so turned away and had a packed lunch by the sea. We returned for check-in at 6pm, more than four hours before departure. The check in was slow, very. When we eventually arrived at the desk, the man we dealt with was rude and abrupt. I explained that I had not input our vehicle registration because the data they hold puts it over 1.83m, its not its 1.7. So after some grumbling he decided not to measure the height or apply a charge. When I questioned the £245 cancelation charge on my ticket, the reply was, "Nowt to do with me that, nothing I could do about it". Okay, so if that's the case, be more polite. They do have the facility to take payments for under declared vehicle dimensions though!.

Anyway, loading of the boat was quite efficient and quick I thought, despite being one of the last groups of vehicles to be a loaded.

At the car deck, plenty of space and wide lanes, not trucks to negotiate.

On trying to locate our cabin, there was no direct lift from car deck 5 Green. The lift did go to 9, but only to the Crew quarters. So, lift to floor seven, try to find stairs to deck 9. Cabin was easy to find though.

First impressions of the cabin were good. But as time went on, it was a big disappointment.

We had treated ourselves to a commodore Suite. Double bed, brewing up facilities, mini bar, direct access to the ships deck.

Problems:

*Poor water flow to cabin, second day, a dribble for a shower
*BF Quote "Large Flatscreen TV" Its not large. But I guess Larger than those in other cabins. You need binoculars to read anything on screen from the bed. It is also poorly located.
*The fixtures and fittings are poor quality.
*The Minibar was a cheap Chinese fridge with the control actually written in Chinese. The sort of thing you buy from Argos (it was cold though !)
*The BIG problem was the direct outside deck access.

First time we opened the door, a couple of people were sat up against it, they were very apologetic as were we. But then they put their chairs back when we closed the door. 

When we managed to get to sit outside and be able to get a couple of chairs. Several people tried to walk inside. One couple were inching past me when I said "Sorry, that's our room". I think the man thought I had said "Have you got enough room?". The lady actually walked into our cabin and then was mortified as she had also misheard me. I just laughed it off and she was so apologetic. It was quite entertaining for the rest of the people on deck. There was piece of rope next to the door, so we had to wedge the door open with the bin and then put the rope across. You know what happened next!. 

Dining & Bars:

Now onto food, mediocre at best. The cabin came with Commodore club access (£35 pp if they have availability with other cabins). We had tom queue for 20 mins the first time for some Tapas and a glass of wine. The second day we used it, another 20 min queue. I was given half a glass of wine, the bottle had run out. I thought no bother, I will go back later and get a refill. My wife queued again for 10 mins. Only to be told, they don't serve wine after 2pm. I guess a lot of people who have access, will sit and get there monies Worth. In truth, if we were paying, what we ate and drank on the two short visits would have cost us around £25-£30 on similar BF crossings. So for us, not worth the £35pp.

Evening dinner:

We are allocated a time slot of 6:15 for our sitting in the Al a Carte restaurant at the Bow of the Ship. The queue was 35 mins to getting to the counter. Your request food from the servers and take your tray to any free table. The food looked nice, it was shockingly poor. Luke warm a best. I guess we could of gone back to the end of the queue and selected other meals. But we rally could not be bothered. I ate a small bowl of Langoustines and my wife poked around looking for squid under some much of potato. The fries were like cardboard. We paid for a bottle of Chablis, £22, I've had better €1,50 wines from Spanish Supermarkets. We left, bitterly disappointed.

The Commodore Suites come with Continental breakfast served in the room. No order was taken for Friday morning, so we had to go to reception to request it. Saturday was the same lack of order. On both occasions, they did not even provide milk or sugar for the tea. 

The main bar was closed.

Shopping:

I Noticed how much cheaper the shop is, now it is Duty Free. 200 Cigarettes which is the suggested limit is around £32, wines are cheaper, but you have reasonable limits on those kind of Purchases. We spent a lot of money in the shop as there were some good buys. One of My wife's preferred perfumes, normally £60 UK price, £50 reduced to £35. Some good wines from £4 upwards. they were also selling individual cans of beers, Maybe because the main bar was closed. 


The Ship Itself:

I am not an Engineer, more a Technician who can Engineer things. Call me a jack of all trades, master of none I guess. That said, I think I could make a better job than some of the work I saw. Ill bet with some practice, My grandchildren all aged under 12 could weld better seams.

The ships tannoy system was inaudible On our deck, in our cabin and shower. Just let's hope there is not any emergency, if so the signal works better. looking around at details like, Pieces of make do wire, make do rope, over sized cable grommets packed out with silicone, worse still, on the car deck, insulation tape. missing screws from balustrades that dip and twist. Ill fitting flip mats, distorted door seals. Galicia has been in service for just over 6 months. I wonder how the build quality will stand up to the high volume of passengers. When I look around the Old Pride of Brugge, Stenas Holandica / Britanica, then Pont Aven and Cap Finsitere. You can see the difference in build quality.

The Crew:

All French that we met and spoke with. We could not fault them. Polite, courteous, even humorous. All smartly dressed as always and all happy to help, chat and even crack some jokes. One of the Maintenance Engineers accidentally (so he claimed) gave some passengers a slight shower as he mishandled his hose (clean thoughts folks). The funniest thing was, he spoke little or no English, As he tried to apologise, sounded like the Poloceman In 'Allo 'Allo!.


Disembarkation:

It took some time, but it doesn't bother me. I can sit in the car and plan routes check emails, whatsapps etc. But some people did get a but agitated.

Customs/Border Control:

When we left the ship, we stopped at passports and were asked if we had residency. All checked at off we drove. We were pulled in again customs/aduana, checked and sent away again. Only to be stopped briefly as we left the port exit. No real drama and we had nothing that we should no have. There were some trailers and vans being pulled over. I think they had brand new building materials on. Some discussions were taking place with the Guardia 

I have 6 future Sailings booked on Galicia, I changed to of them last night and looking to change all the others. 

We are not snobs, just paying customers who work very hard and expect what we pay for. I have contacted Brittany Ferries and I am still awaiting an explanation regarding several charges, lack of credit notes and refunds. If and when we get back to normal, we may be booking less Spanish routes in future. 


I will pop some Photos on......

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Basically all down to build quality and some funny design points, have BF jumped in too quick before seeing the quality?  What are the other Stena ships like? Are they the same?

Edited by Solo
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1 hour ago, Solo said:

Basically all down to build quality and some funny design points, have BF jumped in too quick before seeing the quality?  What are the other Stena ships like? Are they the same?

The only relevant thing to the Stena Line ships really is the cabins with deck access. It's more weird than anything else but people who have booked it as a luxury rather than a small convenience are going to be disappointed. Apart from that the report is mostly about BF quality of service issues tbh.

I wouldn't take too seriously amateur points about quality of build, it's rare and unlikely for a shipyard to get one over Stena in areas like that.

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I wouldn't take too seriously amateur points about quality of build, it's rare and unlikely for a shipyard to get one over Stena in areas like that.

Well, I hope there aren't too many screws loose or missing in the engines where no one can see.....

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There will be nothing wrong with the ship, it will have been well and truly inspected and certified.

I am more concerned re the levels of service described in the report and the poor way that the external door is managed in the suite. I understand why it can't be a private balcony, however I am sure that the space could be managed better.

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I understand why it can't be a private balcony, however I am sure that the space could be managed better.

What did you have in mind to alleviate the problem given that the outside deck is a public space? From the descriptions it would appear that the cabins are designed simply to give direct access to that public space.

Obviously you don't want other people intruding into your cabin but a 'No Public Access' notice on the door would discourage that.

I imagine the designers simply thought that giving these cabins direct access to the public decks would be a nice feature but people seem to think that this confers some sort of territorial rights!

It's just direct access to the open decks, nothing more, nothing less so why the complaints?

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37 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

What did you have in mind to alleviate the problem given that the outside deck is a public space? From the descriptions it would appear that the cabins are designed simply to give direct access to that public space.

Obviously you don't want other people intruding into your cabin but a 'No Public Access' notice on the door would discourage that.

I imagine the designers simply thought that giving these cabins direct access to the public decks would be a nice feature but people seem to think that this confers some sort of territorial rights!

It's just direct access to the open decks, nothing more, nothing less so why the complaints?

The question is also whether you can lock your cabin from the outside if you chose to go out on deck.

Ed

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48 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Obviously you don't want other people intruding into your cabin but a 'No Public Access' notice on the door would discourage that.

I imagine the designers simply thought that giving these cabins direct access to the public decks would be a nice feature but people seem to think that this confers some sort of territorial rights!

It's just direct access to the open decks, nothing more, nothing less so why the complaints?

Exactly, a few signs would cure the problems mentioned, I was surprised at the number on the 'deck' as it looks quite small at that point. 

However this just highlights why the PA Commodore cabins are so good and will be missed in a few years when they will probably be gone !

The issues re food highlight the direction that BF are going and it is not a good direction. For interest I am trying out Calais for my next outbound to Normandy.

Edited by David Williams
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5 hours ago, cvabishop said:

Well, I hope there aren't too many screws loose or missing in the engines where no one can see.....

Extrapolating anything from some loose screws is a serious stretch.

The delivery of these ships has I believe been overseen by the Chinese office of Stena Teknik.

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