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Mont St Michel last Sunday


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Finally decided to bite the bullet and come over to prepare our mobil_home to sell. Used the overnight sailing to Caen last Sunday (antigen test in Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon). Crossing was surprisingly busy, obviously people are getting tired of the restrictions. Good crossing, left 25 minutes late. A short night (I'd have used St Malo given a choice). No chance of breakfast, queue for self service was back to the duty free by 5.15 am. Mrs D went to information to complain, to be fair it did result in an ex gratia voucher from customer services for our cv allowance. Immigration took 45 minutes, not interested in what foodstuffs we had on board (nothing illicit!). A busy week getting stuff sorted out and the inevitable paperwork done. Monday will be an experience, into Challans for a PCD test before loading the car to the gunnels and heading back to Ouistreham. If the test results are delayed, we'll stay a night in Ouistreham and delay the crossing for a day. Day 2 and 8 tests booked so it should be plain saling (famous last words). The biggest difference from home we've noticed is mask wearing here tends to be under the nose. Can't see the point.

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Posted (edited)

Sounds like a complete PITA. Don't think we'll be travelling for a while yet.

Thanks for the post, this is exactly the sort of info I'm looking for, the travelling experience, helps me to decide whether to go or not.

Edited by Mitchell32
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Yeh Terry. Thanks due as well.

We're are in the same boat (sorry). Down here in the Plymouth we have lost Armorique in exchange for PA. At best ,in non covid times the unholy scramble for breakfast always resulted in a race around the selfservice cafe and off to the cabin with our £8 allowance in whatever I could grab. Hardly  luxury travel.

Add the testing and costs and its all a no brainer. 

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19 minutes ago, straightfeed said:

whatever I could grab

That's why the triangular bread rolls were so good. You could stack them into a large pyramid on your open palm and carry plenty in one hand. With the round ones you'd be hard pressed to carry more than 6 at time, and fewer if the crossing was rough!

Ed

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1 minute ago, Cabin-boy said:

That's why the triangular bread rolls were so good. You could stack them into a large pyramid on your open palm and carry plenty in one hand. With the round ones you'd be hard pressed to carry more than 6 at time, and fewer if the crossing was rough!

Ed

The PA had torpedo rolls in June

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On 03/07/2021 at 19:43, TerryDorset said:

Finally decided to bite the bullet and come over to prepare our mobil_home to sell. Used the overnight sailing to Caen last Sunday (antigen test in Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon). Crossing was surprisingly busy, obviously people are getting tired of the restrictions. Good crossing, left 25 minutes late. A short night (I'd have used St Malo given a choice). No chance of breakfast, queue for self service was back to the duty free by 5.15 am. Mrs D went to information to complain, to be fair it did result in an ex gratia voucher from customer services for our cv allowance. Immigration took 45 minutes, not interested in what foodstuffs we had on board (nothing illicit!). A busy week getting stuff sorted out and the inevitable paperwork done. Monday will be an experience, into Challans for a PCD test before loading the car to the gunnels and heading back to Ouistreham. If the test results are delayed, we'll stay a night in Ouistreham and delay the crossing for a day. Day 2 and 8 tests booked so it should be plain saling (famous last words). The biggest difference from home we've noticed is mask wearing here tends to be under the nose. Can't see the point.

Where in bournemouth did you get the antigen test, how much and did you wait for results or were they emailed over?

 

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Muppetdodger - I used dorset private GP. The antigen test was (from memory) £79 and the result emailed about 1 hour later. Very helpful folk, a search with your favourite search engine will find their details. Their drive-in test site is beside Bournemouth airport.

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I’ve been using Boots the Chemist all year and very successfully. The Antigen test is currently £59.99 but with more folk intending to travel, whereas in February you could book today and get a slot tomorrow, it’s currently almost a week’s wait now so do plan ahead. 
Going back to the breakfast queues of course it’s frustrating for the customer but equally so for BF trying to plan sufficient  staffing levels. Unfortunately you can’t just parachute extra staff in at a moments notice and Sunday night will be the sailing when freight drivers are heading en masse to Europe. It looks as though “Les romantiques” is now open so it’s a relaxing 30 minutes for me tomorrow morning ex Caen and a full (French) English….

Chris

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We had Boots for our Day two and Day eight Tests not the cheapest but we thought a well known name would be fine. 

They didn't arrive as promised they were early and as we were in Spain sat in the porch for a few days despite our acknowledged request to delay until we returned.

I was the main name on the Family group. I took the day two test registered it on the website then repeated with the wife. I have received my day two result but the wife is still waiting. Day eight came along and we took them but could not register them on the site so no day eight results. Just a money making exercise I think 

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4 minutes ago, IanN said:

. I have received my day two result but the wife is still waiting. Day eight came along and we took them but could not register them on the site so no day eight results.

Were the track and trace robots worried at all ?

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, David Williams said:

Were the track and trace robots worried at all ?

Just to be clear It was not intended as a criticism of Boots there could have been operator error involved!!! though I don't think so.

No way was I going to Tell Track or trace or Boots why look for trouble!. 

For info I got called every day but the wife only 6 times she felt unloved a times. All calls were between 10:00 and 15:00

Edited by IanN
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4 minutes ago, IanN said:

We had Boots for our Day two and Day eight Tests not the cheapest but we thought a well known name would be fine. 

They didn't arrive as promised they were early and as we were in Spain sat in the porch for a few days despite our acknowledged request to delay until we returned.

I was the main name on the Family group. I took the day two test registered it on the website then repeated with the wife. I have received my day two result but the wife is still waiting. Day eight came along and we took them but could not register them on the site so no day eight results. Just a money making exercise I think 

Ian I'm no fan of Boots the Chemist but apart from my very first adventure with them back in January (results came back 60 hours after the PCR test) and they immediately refunded my £120, I've had no problems whatsoever so I disagree with the money making excercise comment. It's not cheap though and I'm down to the tune of over £1000 in Covid tests to date already!

The other problem is that the laboratories processing the tests are independent to Boots so out of their hands. My last one 3 weeks was done by Eurofins who totally failed me a month ago, again refunded the money but seem to have turned the corner since.

Chris  

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11 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

Ian I'm no fan of Boots the Chemist but apart from my very first adventure with them back in January (results came back 60 hours after the PCR test) and they immediately refunded my £120, I've had no problems whatsoever so I disagree with the money making excercise comment. It's not cheap though and I'm down to the tune of over £1000 in Covid tests to date already!

The other problem is that the laboratories processing the tests are independent to Boots so out of their hands. My last one 3 weeks was done by Eurofins who totally failed me a month ago, again refunded the money but seem to have turned the corner since.

Chris  

Again I have not been very clear money making is not really the correct term. I really mean a cost added by the Government for no real reason(My opinion only). Eurofins in Spain were fine results available in 4 hours. I named Boots because that is who we used I suspect they all are about on Par. I think A PCR test is about £14.00 at cost. So £160.00 including admin is a bit steep

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1 minute ago, IanN said:

I really mean a cost added by the Government for no real reason

Certainly the 20% vat is a government cost which should not exist, the market is reasonably competitive now with some large providers. The government mandated that the day 2 test needs identification if positive which increases the cost.  I would have preferred a central system at a fixed low cost, however travel is a personal choice !

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Well, the return journey couldn't have been more different. Only 3 dozen cars on board so everything was virtually deserted. Bar service was excellent but the self-service restaurant was very disappointing. Food (gigot d'agneau) was full of sinew and tasted more like hearts than lamb. Wine in duty-free was a bargain (works out at £2.44 a bottle, same label in our local Tesco is £8.50) but, due to staff reductions, the service of helping to carry it to the car deck was not available. I'm sure there must have been a deck-hand somewhere who could have helped. Luckily our fellow passengers were very helpful and we got it home okay. With so few cars, disembarkation was a doddle. We were first off. Minimal delay at immigration (check for illicit passengers, passport and covid test checks but PLF not scanned). Home by 10.30 pm. Since then (3 days) we've had 6 phone calls and a visit from the quarantine patrol. Told to expect a phone call each every day. I'll be able to answer their questions before they ask them by the end of it!

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9 hours ago, TerryDorset said:

Well, the return journey couldn't have been more different. Only 3 dozen cars on board so everything was virtually deserted. Bar service was excellent but the self-service restaurant was very disappointing. Food (gigot d'agneau) was full of sinew and tasted more like hearts than lamb. Wine in duty-free was a bargain (works out at £2.44 a bottle, same label in our local Tesco is £8.50) but, due to staff reductions, the service of helping to carry it to the car deck was not available. I'm sure there must have been a deck-hand somewhere who could have helped. Luckily our fellow passengers were very helpful and we got it home okay. With so few cars, disembarkation was a doddle. We were first off. Minimal delay at immigration (check for illicit passengers, passport and covid test checks but PLF not scanned). Home by 10.30 pm. Since then (3 days) we've had 6 phone calls and a visit from the quarantine patrol. Told to expect a phone call each every day. I'll be able to answer their questions before they ask them by the end of it!

If you get bored ask them about their data protection training and a for a copy of there certificate showing they have passed. (They are not trained to deal with this question)

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47 minutes ago, IanN said:

If you get bored ask them about their data protection training and a for a copy of there certificate showing they have passed. (They are not trained to deal with this question)

You could also start replying in Cockney rhyming slang to see how clued up they are. 

Take a look at this for starters.

Then you can take your usual conversation and translate it.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.cockneyrhymingslang.co.uk/cockney_translator/&ved=2ahUKEwiTgtnh7NfxAhUR3hoKHYGyDoEQFnoECAMQAg&usg=AOvVaw3C_QgqrM9ugvQ52yVUJiTo&cshid=1625897864720

Ed

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On 06/07/2021 at 06:29, straightfeed said:

Yeh Terry. Thanks due as well.

We're are in the same boat (sorry). Down here in the Plymouth we have lost Armorique in exchange for PA. At best ,in non covid times the unholy scramble for breakfast always resulted in a race around the selfservice cafe and off to the cabin with our £8 allowance in whatever I could grab. Hardly  luxury travel.

Add the testing and costs and its all a no brainer. 

We gave up long ago queuing for the French version of a full English cooked breakfast on the Armorique and without the need to queue, went straight for the serve yourself healthy option. The excellent range of fruit, a croissant, a cereal, a yogurt, orange juice and coffee, then straight to the short queues at one of the 3 tills. What we didn’t eat went home with us, while some of the “Full English” customers were struggling to finish their meal when the call to the car decks as tannoyed. Hence the number of times disembarking is delayed by “no shows”.

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