We normally travel to France with Irish ferries, Celtic link now offer ferries to France at much better rates. What is the entertainment like on board and the quality of service et al?
Any experiences out there?
used them last year for a 4 berth non window cabin,grand and comfortable enough!(bring your own grub)
Lounge is basic with sky news and meals are basic also not the cheapest,there is also a cinema room both ways.
We traveled last year on the norman voyager in august 1st week in September and got the ferry for under 400€.
Bottom line they get you there cheap but don't expect much.
Would it suit travelling with two kids under 4?
Are they much cheaper than Irish ferries?
Do a search on older posts here they have come up on several threads. Personally I prefer to pay the bit extra for Irish Ferries. I find the staff are far friendlier and willing to help more. You have far more choice for food and space to wander around on the boat and critical for me the cabins are clean. The last time we travelled on Celtic Link the cabin was filthy which was the deal breaker for me.
Basically the Celtic Link ferry is a truckers service with car and foot passengers bolted on. The Irish Ferries service is more expensive but is far more accessible especially if you have kids (my son is 18 months and has been on 4 ferry trips to France already. 1 with CL and 3 with IF).
Thanks Gandalf, sounds a little like the Aer lingus Vs Ryanair story
david4791, use CL would be my advise and save the dosh for France. I've booked it for the summer. It was discussed here recently.
Ive used celtic link with 2 kids aged 4 and 6 and found it fine, cabins were clean, i would use them again no probs, you get on, killl a few hours, go to bed and the next morning have breakfast and its pretty much time to get off
Same here, we had dinner before getting on board, and by the time of departure, we were ready to go to bed anyway. We had breakfast on board the next morning although we had prepared a packed lunch ourselves. €400 was a great saving, and we found the service to be fine.
The main flaw is the sailing route, it's a very long trip to Cherbourg.
Irish ferriesmto Roscoff means you set sail at 430pm and arrive 11 am following day. With CL and that route your the best part of following day too travelling
We travel a lot to France from Rosslare via ferry and have used both companies. I would really recommend Irish Ferries over Celtic Link for a few reasons. Takes a lot longer to board the ferry and to get off in Cherbourg. Mostly Eastern European truckers that use CL ferries and I found the atmosphere bit weird on board and was practically the only woman in the bar! Not much in way of entertainment on CL. Bar quite small also. In comparrison Irish ferries have a few different bars/restaurants as you know. More entertainment on board IF. Also I was really sea sick when we went with CL ferries which is really unusual for me. Was really rocky! Somebody told me they dont use the stabilisers. Next time we will definatly choose Irish Ferries. Much more comfortable journey with them and cabins nicer! Enjoy the trip
Thanks for the advice Summer005, my mind is made at this stage and plan to stick with IF. When you have two kids under 4 the last thing you need is delays with boarding, lack of entertainment variation along with long sailing time doesn't suit.
In fact Irish Ferries cost difference isn't even that great with CL when you book in Jan, plus they offer flexible payment.
Took Celtic Link there before Christmas from France to Ireland (travelling alone, with the family flying a week earlier for a pittance before the christmas rush)
I have to say I'd have no problem booking them again.
On Board Facilities are basic enough, but akin to what you would have with a 2star Ibis hotel say. If you require more, then just like for hotels theres more expensive offerings that provide more.
As mentioned earlier, you dont really need much facilities. You get on - get a feed from the restaurant, have a pint, goto sleep, wake up, get brekkie and then you're an hour or 2 from rosslare (or france)!
Kids will likely be bored if they havent their own entertainment with them (nintendo/ board games or whatever) but no doubt they'll have all class of stuff to keep them amused in the car anyhow so that cant be an insurmountable problem.
Grub was spot on, no different than lunchtime carvery fare in the evening. Breakfast was also 100%. There was continental or irish breakfast available with cereals etc for those who wanted that.
The bar doesnt close like the restaurant counter (the website is very vague on what is open when). It goes on into the morning and there was even a 1 man band there providing entertainment. Being an Irish bar there was guinness on tap and it was also 100%
The cabin was comfy enough I have to say and en suite good, and the shower remarkeably good. A fellow passenger mentioned that he missed having a tv in the cabin so that might be a problem for some. I had the laptop loaded up with programmes so I was grand. The sockets are the italian skinny 3 pin type just for reference! Most continental adaptors should be fine with it if you are converting from 3 pin UK to 2 pin ( BUT if you have a german/ french heavy duty earthed 2 pin plug that you have on some laptops it wont fit as the prongs are too chubby)
re service, any time i was interacting with the staff they were pleasant and helpful. The service I was on was full enough but not packed in the least. Maybe in the summer when the ferry is full to the gills the staff are more off their feet so have less time for pleasantries.
anyhow, I was pleasantly surprised with the Celtic Link service (after a lot of scare stories here) so I could easily see myself travelling with them again in the reasonably near future.
Note: I havent used the Irish ferries service to France to make a proper comparison, but did get to use them to Pembroke after christmas and if that ferry (isle of inishmore) is an indication of what the ferry to France is like, then you are getting an extra level of service with irish ferries. For people like myself who spent the guts of 2 days driving across the continent, they are comforts that you dont necessarily need once asleep or relaxing in the cabin/ bar!!
I have booked recently for july hope it works out. wife and 5 kids??
Think Ive seen enough here to suggest that IF is prolly the better option, particularly as we will be on the rather long trip to France for the Euros in June. Slightly off topic, but what are the bars like onboard IF, are they expensive?.