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P & Ho-hum.


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Got back from the Easter visit this sunday, and, as usual, P&O were running late.

On the way out, we arrived at around 11am for a 1240 ferry, asked if it was possible to be put on an earlier ferry, but the only one between then and 1240 was a freight ferry. Then, our 1240 ferry didn't even ARRIVE in the port until 1310, and sailed around 1 hour 20 minutes late[:@]

On board, we were treated to a silly announcement from the captain stating his apologies for the lateness of the ferry, but that it was due to weight of passenger numbers. Oh yes? so the ferry had MORE cars and lorries on than it holds, then?

On the return journey, we DID get put on an earlier ferry, ours being the 2010 ex-Calais, we were given the 1825, which we were told would leave at 1845. It left at 1900, and we didn't get off the port at Dover until nearly 2010.

Given that they ask you to be on the port at least 40 minutes before the ferry sails, and that we have over 250 miles to do in the UK, so, allowing for the state of traffic on UK roads, our arrival time is in the lap of the Gods, the LEAST they could do would be to get their ferries running on time.

I don't think I've been on ONE SINGLE ferry over the last three years, that has actually sailed within ten minutes of it's stated departure time, let alone ON time.

And if you DO get told the reason for any delay, it's often utter rubbish.........."weight of passengger numbers" indeed.

Rant over.

 

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We use P & O from Hull and they leave on time sometimes earlier, the odd time you have to wait your turn in the lock in order to dock but overall we like them.  We have booked a Season Ticket with them so now get a discounted price, this gets you a larger inside cabin but for an extra £45 each way gets you a Family Room with coffee fruit and a reasonable free mini bar. 

 

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Hi

We must have been extremely lucky on our trips since the infamous Calais ramp fiasco, or they know when MOH is on board and dare not sail late, she hates to be kept waiting. We rarely have any delay, have been accomodated on earlier and later ferries with no problems, even turned up with 15mins to go before departure and been told to drive straight onto the boat and the ramps closed and lifted right behind us.

Went over at Easter on Norfolk Lines as they were offering some really good deals, less than £50 return, makes little difference to travelling times as we are on the Eastern side of France. On the way out left Dover on time, and arrived in Dunkerque on time. On the way back we were delayed, our own fault, too laid back about the time. Rang Norfolk Lines expalined we were running late and asked if possible to reschedule to later sailing, very easy to deal with, no surcharges or amendment fees, they actually seemed to value our custom. We shall use them again, boats were very clean, pretty good food at reasonable prices and joy of joy no coach parties of badly behaved school chlidren.

All in all pretty happy with our recent cross channel experiences.

Paul

 

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Update: Got a reply from the Channel Pirates. "Not our fault, unavoidable, blah blah, we value your custom, blah blah."

I've three season tickets to use up and will be watching the others to see what delays THEIR customers are having, before I book ANY more.

Just out of interest, can anyone tell me what sort of price the Hull-Zeebrugge season tickets are? And do they include cabins? I've always found it a total rip-off that the prices don't include cabins, but you HAVE to have one[:@]

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You can book a Season Ticket with P & O Hull this can be for 5 return trips or 5 singles they have to be within a 12 month period. We needed the single trips as we use DFDS North Shields on the out route.(due to work and times)

For our 5 singles it was £525 inc a Premier Cabin we also have a 2.10mt high Mazda, we upgrade to a Family room which includes coffee fruit a quite well stocked mini bar for free, a tv.  We opt for the 4 berth. Prices to change in 2008. The upgrade is £45 per trip but we find the extra space great for out young daughter.

Hope this helps, we thought it was a good deal .

 

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So what if your boat is late? Its all part of the trip.

Whilst the ferry companies can do little about bad weather which also delays docking at ports like Dover and Calais where hold ups are more likely to occur because of the level of shipping, by far the longest hold ups, delays and late sailings,  I have encountered in 20 years of Ferry use have been because of people at the check-ins.  Notably, Brits have held up the whole line and consequently the loading of the boat arguing the toss about the fares being imposed on them for being late/early and women not being able to find their papers and passports when they have had all day to get prepared.[6]

Is it always the Ferry company to blame?  I recently went on Sea France, sailed early got to Dover early where Kent Police and customs managed to create a queue from the Ferry to the customs booth three abreast, it took 45 minutes to get out of the port from the boat  Anyone with any savvy was using the lorry exit as there are no customs checks on them and the Police just watched them doing it, there was no reasdon given for the holdup, just welcome to Fortress Britain[:D]

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I can see your point about "so what", Ron, it's just that when I've ALREADY arrived early so as not to fall foul of their "40 minutes before sailing" rule, it's just annoying when THEY can't get their end right.

Especially if you've a hotel booked in France...........you really don't want to spend two-and-a-half hours on Dover docks that could be spent eating and/or drinking in France.

Mind, it's better than what happpened to me when I was a little boy. We arrived slightly late at Dover due to a puncture on the A2, and, despite my dad ringing them, we were put in a queue for all those who'd missed their boats. THIRTY-SIX hours later, they put us all onto a spare boat out of the western docks and took us all to Dunkerque. my dad reckoned they must have over-booked to get that number of people who couldn't travel.

All that with no food available, rudimentary toilet facilities and no drinks available.

Ah, the early 60's and British Railways boats..............

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[quote user="Pierre ZFP"]Early '60s BR boats?  so that was The Lord Warden? Maid of Orleans? St Patrick (not ro-ro I think).  Can't remember any others.  Seems like a different age....... and nostalgia isn't what it was either[/quote]

The  boat we went on always seemed to be the "Maid of Kent", although I don't remember the name of the train ferry that took us to Dunkerque. No, not ro-ro, they reversed in and out of Dover AND Boulogne. Calais was a backwater in those days.

Our first crossing was 1961, my dad and mum, my elder sister, me, and my younger sister, all in a Mk1 Ford Zephyr Zodiac, with all the luggage, tents etc TIED to the roofrack with what my memory tells me was a continuous length of rope, about 20m, I'd think[Www] We were accompanied by my dad's best mate, his wife and two kids, all in their Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire.

Every village we went through, kids waved to us, GB cars were a real rarity, and here we were with TWO. Took us a week to drive to Spain, what with putting tents up every night and taking them down the next day. Bukta ridge tents, with lace-up fronts!

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"Earl Leofric" sometimes appeared from the Irish sea;cafetaria served half-chicken that looked as if it had been cut in half with an axe,covered that in chips,then peas and smothered it all in omion gravy.After that a sailor would sidle up to you and ask you if you wanted a little "wager".
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[quote user="Ron Avery"]So what if your boat is late? Its all part of the trip.
[/quote]

It may be OK for holiday travellers or the retired who have all day, but some of us depend on ferries to get to work or important meeting an events, and if we miss those it means a lot of wasted time and expense, as well as damaging our reputation with clients.

[quote user="Ron Avery"]just welcome to Fortress Britain[:D]
[/quote]

People who make comments like that are also usually the first to complain about illigal immigrants, IRA gun running or known terrorists being able to enter the country.

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