Old 11th September 2019, 08:36 PM #1
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Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Just returned from from a trip to France with my wife, went Cork Roscoff with Britany Ferries, and returned Cherbourg Rosslare with Stena.
Brittany Ferries:
Check in was an easy affair and within 30 minutes of arriving I was on the car deck. Directed down to the dungeon of the ferry and to what could only be called an awkward corner to put you bike. Over 30 bikes stuck in this little corner of the ferry packed like sardines 4 deep. The staff directing you in so close it was almost impossible to get in between the bikes with out knocking mirrors and panniers. Staff insisted that all bikes to be on their side stands for no other reason, other than cram more bikes in to the small space. No wheel chocks to ensure bikes did not move. Up the stairs to the decks, full boat so no chance of getting the lift, up 5 decks to get to the cabin. Next to the cabin, and when passing the glass lifts was met with a strong smell like an open sewer Cabin fine for one night. Away to get something to eat, took a look at the restaurant and did not like the prices, so off to the cafe, definitely think they should change the name to Lukewarm Cafe, everything which was supposed to be hot was lukewarm, including the tea and coffee. Headed to the bar to drink overpriced whiskey. We had enough by 10pm and headed to bed, at least we slept. Up in the morning for breakfast, took one look at the crowd and queue so just had an overpriced Croissant and cups of lukewarm tea and coffee. Got our gear and down the 5 decks to the bike. Here we had fellows trying to climb over bikes to get to their bikes to remove the tie down straps. 30 minutes later with no movement in the deck they turn on this big fan to stop us all dying from CO poisoning which was so loud you needed Ear plugs. Eventually after 1 hour and 15 minutes we were moving. We had to reverse the bikes out of this sardine corner to get out to get up the ramp. Fellows backing into to others in the rush to get off, what a relief to get out in the fresh air.
Now I know it was only one night and I can put up with the delays, the lukewarm food and the overpriced everything, but what pissed me off more than anything is being doubly ripped off by their currency exchange. All prices are were quoted firstly in Sterling and secondly Euros and the exchange rate to Euros was £0.827 to €1 Euro when the banks here including their commission were charging £0.877 to €1.
Since we had not decided on how long were staying in France we had not booked a return Ferry, but we had no intention of returning with Brittany Ferries on their supposed to be Flag Ship Ferry with their flag ship prices.
We have traveled on this ferry many times but not in the last 7 years.
We traveled from Plymouth to Santander on the on this ferry in 2012, the 60 or so UK bikers were not so obliging and their bikes were only put 3 deep with room to walk to around them just like all the other ferries I have been on and you could put you bike on the centre stand or side stand. Food was hot and no shitty smells anywhere.
Irish ferries sure gave them a free for all taking their ferry away from the Rosslare port.
I was surprised by the number of people I met who had travelled to Cork from up the country including Dublin to take the Cork Roscoff route because
1. It was in early giving all day to travel to get to their destination
and
2. They did not have to navigate the traffic to get to Dublin Port and be lost in the amount of cars/bikes waiting for other ferries.

Stena Line:
This ferry from Cherbourg is a firstly a trucker’s ferry and secondly a passenger/car ferry. I knew this before booking and was expecting a purely functional ship, however I was pleasantly surprised. The check in was very efficient, but we were waiting ages to board as all the trucks were loaded first with the last few being reversed on. When we were allowed on, we were directed to the side and each bike had its own individual slot to be tied down with space to walk between. The crew were efficient in the tying down and insisted all bikes had chocks to front and rear wheels. Heading off around the corner to co up to the cabins, what a surprise an escalator all the way to deck five. They even had a copy of MCN for sale on board. The ship has minimal staff and it was 3 hours after leaving before the café opened. Truckers have their own well-equipped private section. Food was more reasonably priced and hotter than the Brittany Ferries junk and the whiskey in the bar was cheaper than Brittany ferries. Even the bed was more comfortable. We had a good night’s sleep and had a continental breakfast and back down the escalator to the deck for the bikes. All the straps were being removed (quite cautiously) by the staff and we were off the ferry within 30 minutes.

Again on this ferry there were a number of people from Dublin, the north and the midlands who travelled to Rosslare as it was easier to navigate to than trying to navigate into Dublin Port.

As an aside P&O Calais to Dover two years ago was the worst I was ever on.
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Old 11th September 2019, 10:27 PM #2
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Sorry for your troubles. Have travelled on that Brittany Ferries crossing over 10 times and never a bother found it a great crossing.
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Old 12th September 2019, 09:02 AM #3
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

fuck ships
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Old 12th September 2019, 09:36 AM #4
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Would echo your comments about cramming the bikes in. Nobody around to release ratchets in cork. French bikers didn’t know what to do.
Here is what I returned to . Overtight ratchet and seat Permanently damaged.

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Old 12th September 2019, 09:44 AM #5
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

You allways put your gloves or an old towel on your seat under the ratchet strap.
It's a well known tried and tested trick.

Irish Ferries are fantastic with strapping down bikes with padded straps.
Wheel chocks provided too.

Last edited by Japcati; 12th September 2019 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 12th September 2019, 09:47 AM #6
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Can't beat Irish Ferries for the bike.
2:15am sailing does be nice.
Dawn and Sunrise is nice to watch too.



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Old 12th September 2019, 10:29 AM #7
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Just back from France, travelled Dublin to Cherbourg on Irish Ferries WB Yeats. Was in an unmentionable, saw lots of bikes in the waiting area and on board. All well looked after.

Food reasonably priced and edible, tea\coffee was v hot! Lots of space on the ship and cabin was comfy, even though it had no window! Beer was a bit overpriced, at 6 euro a pint.
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Old 12th September 2019, 11:07 AM #8
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Japcati View Post
You allways put your gloves or an old towel on your seat under the ratchet strap.
It's a well known tried and tested trick.

Irish Ferries are fantastic with strapping down bikes with padded straps.
Wheel chocks provided too.
all done. Big foam pad on but ratchet was far too tight.
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Old 12th September 2019, 11:28 AM #9
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Brekkie on the 2:15am Irish Ferries sailing was actually nice.
It was cooked just right and not burnt.
Cuppa tea with it,and then a nice comfy cabin for 3 hours.
Got 2.5 hours kip and that set me up nicely for 5:30 am blast down through Wales and on to the Channel Tunnel.
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Old 12th September 2019, 11:30 AM #10
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Have to agree about Irish Ferries on the Rosslare Pembrroke route, bikes are well looked after and chocks used. Never had a bad trip with them.
Why in the hell did they stop the Rosslare to France route?
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Old 12th September 2019, 11:31 AM #11
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Yiz are on a boat.....you can't pop down to the local Spar.
So of coarse food and drink will be pricey.
Same as when in the Airport.

Just be thankfull the boat gets to the port safely.
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Old 12th September 2019, 11:32 AM #12
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unfazed View Post
Have to agree about Irish Ferries on the Rosslare Pembrroke route, bikes are well looked after and chocks used. Never had a bad trip with them.
Why in the hell did they stop the Rosslare to France route?

More profit from Dublin perhaps?
And the bigger new ship too.
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Old 12th September 2019, 11:38 AM #13
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

I've come back from Holyhead with Stena Line a few times.
Had to use gloves and towel under the ratchet strap.
But no major hassle doing that.
Stena Line kept the bikers waiting till last to board,so it was a tight squeeze to ride down past some of the lorries allready loaded on the ship.

1 thing I will say is that Irish Ferries seem to take a bit more care with the bikers......1st to board and good care given when strapping down the bikes.......thats just based on my personal experiences of both ferry operators.

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Old 12th September 2019, 03:12 PM #14
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Japcati View Post
1 thing I will say is that Irish Ferries seem to take a bit more care with the bikers......1st to board and good care given when strapping down the bikes.......thats just based on my personal experiences of both ferry operators.
I wonder if that is because one of their most Senior captains is a serious Motorcycle Enthusiast who rides his own bike regularly.

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Old 12th September 2019, 03:14 PM #15
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Japcati View Post
Yiz are on a boat.....you can't pop down to the local Spar.
So of coarse food and drink will be pricey.
Same as when in the Airport.

Just be thankfull the boat gets to the port safely.
Pricey I can handle and expect, but Lukewarm crap food I cannot
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Old 12th September 2019, 03:20 PM #16
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Have always tied down my own bike on the ferry never an issue.
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Old 12th September 2019, 05:18 PM #17
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Quote:
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Pricey I can handle and expect, but Lukewarm crap food I cannot
Make some ham sambos and bring them with you then.......lol
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Old 12th September 2019, 05:19 PM #18
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unfazed View Post
I wonder if that is because one of their most Senior captains is a serious Motorcycle Enthusiast who rides his own bike regularly.

That might be handy allright....
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Old 12th September 2019, 10:00 PM #19
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Have used Stena Line on 2 return trips. No issues, except sitting in the rain waiting to board. Bikes were well secured, either on side or centre stand.

Used Irish Ferries last month for UK trip. Had to strap down bike myself (not a prob) What I couldn't understand was, the shiny yellow strip in the middle of the ramp you had to ride up into ship. Back wheel slid on this. It was only afterwards I saw the writing in it "Motorcycles keep off"
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Old 12th September 2019, 10:11 PM #20
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That might be handy allright....
Ya never said, Ryanair not letting ya bring the bike onboard in yer carry on luggage?
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:42 AM #21
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Re: Interested on the views of others on ferries out of Ireland.

Don't leave your bike until you're satisfied with the strapping they make it, and learn how to safely unstrap it.
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