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34 minutes ago, mjturner said:

I can endorse this sentiment as I know that I will not persuade my family to spend two nights and I assume over 36 hours on a ferry, particularly without a Balcony which we have always found very appealing. The Buffet has also always been a great favourite of ours and would be sorely missed. 

Time will tell, we all look for different things.

The CF without buffet was popular and the BDS had it's fans.

I have even seen positive comments about the Connemara on an Irish crossing !

However,  I am a great fan of a decent BF Buffet, though it will be some time (years/ never) before we have help yourself buffets again - maybe a controlled tapas will work better if there is enough variety.

Edited by David Williams
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I have read all the comments about balconies but I have come to the conclusion it is not about balconies.it is about how spacious the cabins are.yes it may be nice to have a balcony leaving certain ports and sombody else has said(cv bishop)not much use on the sea of biscay.the times I have walked dogs on her and the wind blowing or should I say howling.is not very pleasant. Never had the chance of having a commodore cabin due to travelling with pets.i suppose everyone to his own.why this thread is about balconies show we have nothing else more interesting to say.roll on till we get back to any where close to normality.stay safe

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Unfortunately, as this thread demonstrates we do seem to be looking at a 'dumbing down' of the original BF cruise ferry concept and perhaps that is inevitable in the current economic situation which is cost driven.

The  concept of a fleet of 'one offs' is fading in the light of the standardised E Flexer offerings which make more sense economically but really detract from BFs original selling points.

Pont Aven has always been a bit of a misfit in many respects as has been discussed ad nauseum on here. But if Bretagne is finally dispensed with then she is the obvious replacement on the Portstmouth - St Malo run which is holiday orientated once France gets control of her Covid infections.

That will leave Cap Finisterre and the E Flexers covering the Spanish run and  between them I think they will simply provide an adequate service as opposed to the extras that Pont Aven could provide.

As Gareth  says, the facilities to Spain provided by Pont Aven may no longer be provided and passengers will have to accept a lower , but perhaps still acceptable, level of facilities. All a bt of a shame but you still get there in the end! Basically tihis is what the airlines have been doing for a while now. They will get you to where you want to go bit the experience will be very much inferior to what it used to be.

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I’d just qualify that by adding “enough” Colin.  “Acceptable enough”.  If it just becomes a matter of getting from A to B then there are other options that achieve that for lower cost.  What BF needs to hope for is that the dumbed down version of the product is still seen to have enough of a premium value to make it worth paying over and above for.  Different customers will have different thresholds for this.

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I'd love to put the clock back to the halcyon days of out family holidays to Brittany, they were something to be treasured on the old Armorique and on Bretagne but time moves on and not necessarily for the better. it is difficult to see how that original magic can ever be replicated.

 

Edited by cvabishop
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What we are seeing is the marketising of the brand.

When you boarded a ship the crew used to greet you because they loved their jobs and were happy to see you.

Now they are "profit points" for the company and follow the company training manual - thats it.

As a company they have gone from buying ships built to their specifications, to renting what ever is out there.

Their ships used to be individual, not bought off the shelf to someone else's design.

That feeling that BF was a little bit special is on it's way out.

Their customer base has been incredibly loyal - lets see how long that lasts as they make themselves just another ferry firm.

Rhys

 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Penlan said:

Their ships used to be individual, not bought off the shelf to someone else's design.

Though, wasn't it highlighted this week on this forum that, with the exception Cap Finistere and NEX, the entire current fleet was built for use with BF? A new situation for BF.

I gather that some of the old ships had more character (though we may well be saying the same thing in 20 years time!) but they weren't built for BF.  Wasn't Bretagne the first ship that BF actually ordered from new?

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4 hours ago, mjturner said:

You can hear barking from the balconies, but not to worry over, and occasionally get water spraying down when the deck above is washed.

That must be the 'poop deck ' above !

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The E-Flexers (at least in the Stena configuration) are very nice ships. Having also sailed on the Pont Aven, I would say that the E-Flexer offers a very cruise ship like experience. 

Pont Aven is a lovely ship with brilliant outdoor space, which I am the first to admit is my favourite part of time spent on cruises/ferries even in Europe during the winter. But Pont Aven is not without its problems. If you are in a normal window cabin, you will most likely end up on Deck 6 (with a view on the promenade deck instead of a proper sea view) or on Deck 5 (with a faint sound of car alarms going all night on a rough crossing). 

Edited by lg12
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I can’t believe there will be no disco or show lounge area similar to Bretagne or the Val (King Seaways) providing live entertainment and music on the new e-flexers? That is a real put off for me personally - what is the reasoning  behind this from BF’s point of view? I can’t think of many ferries I have been on that don’t provide some form of evening live entrainment. 
 

As Jonno said earlier tbh eh really should be pushing for a cruise-ferry experience on the longer crossings - I really find it quite baffling.

 

We really have seen some bland, corporate fuelled, bland, one-size fits all theme with new built ferries sailing out of the UK in the last 10 years - specifically the Harwich twins, the new E-flexers and the Y.B Yeates - characterless, souless vessels designed to get you from A-B. I think that’s why I look to the Baltic, I know it’s a different type of service but at least you get the customer experience.

 

We should cherish the likes of The King, The Princess, Bretagne and maybe even the Hull twins as things are changing for the worst and they may never be the same again sadly....

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/04/2021 at 14:59, jonno said:

Personally I feel the Spanish & Irish crossings should be marketed differently, offer a similar experience to that of the Baltic ships to reflect the longer journey.

It's all very well telling the world that the new ships are larger than anything before but, for me, that decision has been made solely on freight provision... which only accounts for 15% of BF's business.

First and foremost they are a passenger carrier catering to holiday traffic and the fleet should be configured so especially as the E-Flexers will be slowed considerably to offer a two day sailing.

We have many forum members who on the whole are fans of the U.K. & Irish Stena fleet. That's fine but we have to remember that their E-Flexers & both Hollandica & Britannica are featured on short crossings.

BF's Spanish success has it's roots in comfortable stylish vessels catering to the full cross section of passenger needs, you begin to dumb that down whilst still charging similar prices then, I'm afraid, travellers will look towards more cost effective alternatives.

Let's be honest here. Pont Aven's days sailing to Spain are coming to an end, no passenger ferry can spend it's lifetime sailing the Atlantic, the stresses take years off their lifespan. Question is what will BF do then, simply replace her with a similarly limited E-Flexer in Santona or look at a new build worthy of becoming the flagship?

BF need a Viking Grace as a Pont Aven replacement not a non identifiable mass produced glorified freight carrier which since 2010 Stena have specialised in when building for themselves.

What a brilliant response. You have written exactly what I feel. The exception being the comment about stress on a vessel. I never thought about that.

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