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Ferry deals to France - Summer 2015

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,501 zagmund


    Nekarsulm wrote: »
    It's refreshing to see how the French tourists on the ferry deal with the price of food. They settle down and unfold a omprehensive looking picnic and a bottle of their own wine. Not a bother on them!

    Not only the French. The Irish do it too. Or at least the sensible ones. I ate dinner on Celtic Link as the food was good value & reasonable quality. I also ate on Irish Ferries. Once. The next time I brought my own food with me as the price equation just didn't add up. I did of course get the occasional coffee or beer, just like I would do anywhere when out for the afternoon/night/morning, but paying full whack for a meal which doesn't live up to expectations only happens once with me.

    z


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,843 Uncle Ben


    zagmund wrote: »
    Not only the French. The Irish do it too. Or at least the sensible ones. I ate dinner on Celtic Link as the food was good value & reasonable quality. I also ate on Irish Ferries. Once. The next time I brought my own food with me as the price equation just didn't add up. I did of course get the occasional coffee or beer, just like I would do anywhere when out for the afternoon/night/morning, but paying full whack for a meal which doesn't live up to expectations only happens once with me.

    z

    Your spot on. There's nothing like those french breads and cheeses plus the vino on the way home. I always bring the cooler box with me and it's ideal for carrying the food for the boat. Only problem is the cholesterol test when I get back. Calvados region this year, hapes of cider!!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,839 ✭✭✭ BailMeOut


    Anyone getting discount codes from Brittany Ferries for Cork to Roscoff? Last year I got an email before now with a discount code but nothing yet though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 darkangel345


    Hi there, just wondering if anyone would have any info about when the ferry from Rosslare to St. Nazaire would be starting back up again? I keep going on to the website and keep getting the message, they're in talks... rang LD lines and the girl didn't seem to understand I was asking when it will start up and kept saying what sailings were going at the minute... Anyone have any clues?


  • Registered Users Posts: 690 poochiem


    Is the consensus, then, that Brittany Ferries from Cork-to-Roscoff is the best combination of price, speed and good food + seating? I'm cycling down to the south (near Carcassonne) this summer and while the cork-roscoff sailing dates don't suit me I will aim at roscoff-Cork for a bit of luxury on the home leg.

    codes:
    FRANCEC15 - Irish Ferries
    FR10 - Stena Line
    ? - Brittany Ferries


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,763 ✭✭✭✭ First Up


    poochiem wrote: »
    Is the consensus, then, that Brittany Ferries from Cork-to-Roscoff is the best combination of price, speed and good food + seating? I'm cycling down to the south (near Carcassonne) this summer and while the cork-roscoff sailing dates don't suit me I will aim at roscoff-Cork for a bit of luxury on the home leg.

    codes:
    FRANCEC15 - Irish Ferries
    FR10 - Stena Line
    ? - Brittany Ferries

    BF is the shortest crossing and nicest ship. Usually also the most expensive. You can decide if Roscoff is the best starting point for your cycle - it may well be as it is a more rural setting than Cherbourg but you can work out the route and distance choices.
    The food on board is a bit of a non issue in my opinion. In all cases you get what you pay for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭ webpal


    Anyone know where to input discount codes on Brittany Ferries website? I couldnt find anywhere to enter them. From dealing with a few private campsite owners, they will send you a link to book to BF at a discount. Is it a special link to get the discount or is there an actual code and I'm missing the box to enter it?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,812 ✭✭✭✭ evolving_doors


    Hi there, just wondering if anyone would have any info about when the ferry from Rosslare to St. Nazaire would be starting back up again? I keep going on to the website and keep getting the message, they're in talks... rang LD lines and the girl didn't seem to understand I was asking when it will start up and kept saying what sailings were going at the minute... Anyone have any clues?

    Theres a MEGA LD lines thread going on somewhere. (Try bargain alerts too).
    Upshot: No sailings this year... so far!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 darkangel345


    I saw on one website saying that it will start back up in May 2015.... but any time I go to the ld lines website it says 'there are talks going on' I'm so confuuused haha


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,539 BenEadir


    First Up wrote: »
    The food on board is a bit of a non issue in my opinion. In all cases you get what you pay for.

    Having travelled on the Oscar Wilde several times and tried all their options including the full service restaurant for both dinner and breakfast I have to disagree with you there First Up, I have never once received what I paid for on the Oscar Wilde, it's always been over priced and poor quality.

    The quality on other ferries is also on the poor side of things but they don't gouge you the way the Oscar Wilde does.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,764 ✭✭✭ Stone Deaf 4evr


    webpal wrote: »
    Anyone know where to input discount codes on Brittany Ferries website? I couldnt find anywhere to enter them. From dealing with a few private campsite owners, they will send you a link to book to BF at a discount. Is it a special link to get the discount or is there an actual code and I'm missing the box to enter it?

    I booked my campsite with siblu this year, and they gave me a link to follow to get the ferry at a discount. I dont think theres a box to "apply code" like other sites.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,435 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    BenEadir wrote: »
    <snip>
    The quality on other ferries is also on the poor side of things but they don't gouge you the way the Oscar Wilde does.
    I'd say the Stena Horizon is savage value.

    You'd be hard pressed to find a carvery type place in Ireland which does a feed for €9 like on the Horizon.
    I had curry, the wife Lasagne, and both were quite tasty.
    You'd also be doing well in Ireland to find somewhere that does a pint of Bulmers (aka Magners) cider for €4.10 nowadays, like on the Horizon.

    And even on the Oscar Wilde, you get 2 adult and 2 kids meals for €30 euro if bought in advance, which isnt the worst to be honest. (the food though is fairly miserable regardless of price)


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,435 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    I saw on one website saying that it will start back up in May 2015.... but any time I go to the ld lines website it says 'there are talks going on' I'm so confuuused haha
    the LD lines site says theres negotiations about Gijon - St Naziere but no mention of Rosslare which I believe is the current status, as in absolutely no plans for LD lines to introduce a service from Ireland to France in competition with the 5 existing routes (i.e. Cork/Rosslare Roscoff and Rosslare Cherbourg x 2 ferry companies and Dublin Cherbourg).


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 darkangel345


    anyone have the link to the ld lines forum?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,539 BenEadir


    I'd say the Stena Horizon is savage value.

    You'd be hard pressed to find a carvery type place in Ireland which does a feed for €9 like on the Horizon.
    I had curry, the wife Lasagne, and both were quite tasty.
    You'd also be doing well in Ireland to find somewhere that does a pint of Bulmers (aka Magners) cider for €4.10 nowadays, like on the Horizon.

    I'm looking forward to having my (poor) expectations exceeded when we travel with them in July so ;) A mediocre chicken curry and rice for €9 will do the job so long as it's hot, has been prepared (I won't say cooked) in the last hour or two and is somewhat tasty.
    And even on the Oscar Wilde, you get 2 adult and 2 kids meals for €30 euro if bought in advance, which isnt the worst to be honest. (the food though is fairly miserable regardless of price)

    That's the problem I've always had with the OW. It's just bad quality relative to the price.

    I paid €9 on the OW on the way home last year for a breakfast and I'm not joking you but the sausages were the worst quality I've ever eaten and that says a lot as I've eaten in some serious holes in my time. they were full of filler/cereal, were cold and had no taste whatsoever. The B&W pudding was like two ice hockey puks, the bacon was barely cooked and cold and the egg was like rubber it had been cooked so long. I was so hungry I lashed it all between two slices of bread, drowned it all in white pepper and ketchup and scoffed it down as quick as I could. Really poor.

    BTW, I'd have happily paid €12 for something edible!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,839 ✭✭✭ BailMeOut


    The food on the Pont Aven is really nice!


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,764 ✭✭✭ Stone Deaf 4evr


    BailMeOut wrote: »
    The food on the Pont Aven is really nice!

    it is indeed, and has a price to match. For what its worth, and with the late afternoon / evening times the pont Aven Sails, you're as well off having a big feed in Carrigaline or Roscoff before you hit the high seas and limiting it to a snack onboard.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,839 ✭✭✭ BailMeOut


    it is indeed, and has a price to match. For what its worth, and with the late afternoon / evening times the pont Aven Sails, you're as well off having a big feed in Carrigaline or Roscoff before you hit the high seas and limiting it to a snack onboard.

    I always find eating a nice rack of lamb with a nice red wine or britany cider and a Mille-feuille for desert while still sailing through Cork Harbour gets the holiday off to a good start! As they say you are already in France as soon as you drive your car on board.


  • Registered Users Posts: 289 ✭✭ GiftGrub100


    the LD lines site says theres negotiations about Gijon - St Naziere but no mention of Rosslare which I believe is the current status, as in absolutely no plans for LD lines to introduce a service from Ireland to France in competition with the 5 existing routes (i.e. Cork/Rosslare Roscoff and Rosslare Cherbourg x 2 ferry companies and Dublin Cherbourg).

    I would doubt the LD Lines sailings will restart, mainly beacuse they no longer have the ferries they previously used for the service as the Norman Atlantic is a burnt out wreck after catching fire while in service for ANEK lines and they other vessel they used the Norman Asturias is in service from Gibraltar to Africa.

    http://irish-ferries-enthusiasts.com/forum/index.php?topic=736.0


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,435 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    BenEadir wrote: »
    I'm looking forward to having my (poor) expectations exceeded when we travel with them in July so ;) A mediocre chicken curry and rice for €9 will do the job so long as it's hot, has been prepared (I won't say cooked) in the last hour or two and is somewhat tasty.
    <snip>
    anah, curry was really spot on.
    Had the chicken curry on the OW going over and it was chicken in tasteless orange liquid with rice and overcooked chips. In Germany they have stupidly mild currys, but this was a few levels more mild than even a poxy germanised one. Even if they just chucked a pack of erin curry sauce over a clatter of fried chicken cubes it'd have been an improvement.

    On stena, for less cash the beef curry was really spicy and tasty and for the price spot on. Maybe it came frozen from HQ in england, but regardless, it was good food at a good price.

    Didnt try the brekkie but a colleague did and he thought it was spot on. And if I undestand it right you also get free coffee refills with the breakfast on Stena so again great value.

    At breakfast Stena also does a coffee and a pastry at the cafe for 2.50 or 2.90 or something , which (again) is damn fair and good value.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,763 ✭✭✭✭ First Up


    Done it a good few times and with 2 toddlers and so long as you dont get caught in traffic in England its grand.
    And, we normally make a little holiday of the journey itsself, if possible visit relatives/ friends in England (and twice a detour via Peppa pig world in Southampton!).
    You can get family room in a premier inn or travellodge for 19pounds if youre booking ahead, and youve a car, so a hotel in an out of town location (with free parking) is actually a plus point and a couple of nights en route doesnt break the bank.

    If the Cherbourg ferry was cheaper/ running at the dates we wanted then we'd probably use it that little bit more, but the spin through England is fine once you've a little thought put into what you're at.

    Both times I did it we got unlucky on one of the legs, with traffic chaos due to accidents. Did the run from Holyhead to Kent (for the Chunnel) in one go. It was long but manageable as far as London outskirts but then got stuck for hours on the M25 with a lovely detour via the Old Kent Rd at rush hour. Then another detour to avoid a jam on the M2. In total 13 hours from Dun Laoghaire. Another time came Roscoff - Plymouth with BF and got stuck in another jam south of Bristol. Only got as far as Wolverhampton before giving up for the night.

    I think an overnight stop is more or less essential, especially if you have to do any driving on the French side too.

    On the cost side of things, you are talking the best part of 600k through Wales/England so you can budget about €160 for fuel on top of your overnights and associated meals. So for me, the landbridge would need to be about €500 cheaper to make me even think if it was worth the extra driving and at least 2-3 days off your holiday proper.

    No traffic jams in the Channel!


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,763 ✭✭✭✭ First Up


    anah, curry was really spot on.
    Had the chicken curry on the OW going over and it was chicken in tasteless orange liquid with rice and overcooked chips. In Germany they have stupidly mild currys, but this was a few levels more mild than even a poxy germanised one. Even if they just chucked a pack of erin curry sauce over a clatter of fried chicken cubes it'd have been an improvement.

    On stena, for less cash the beef curry was really spicy and tasty and for the price spot on. Maybe it came frozen from HQ in england, but regardless, it was good food at a good price.

    Didnt try the brekkie but a colleague did and he thought it was spot on. And if I undestand it right you also get free coffee refills with the breakfast on Stena so again great value.

    At breakfast Stena also does a coffee and a pastry at the cafe for 2.50 or 2.90 or something , which (again) is damn fair and good value.

    Pay a few Euro more and eat in the Berneval or in the Steakhouse. Well worth the extra.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,539 BenEadir


    First Up wrote: »
    Pay a few Euro more and eat in the Berneval or in the Steakhouse. Well worth the extra.

    Tried both all the restaurants on the OW and was disappointed with the food in all of them e.g. my son had ribs in the steakhouse and they were cheap pre vacuum packed ribs like you get in a supermarket for €3/€4 ultra hot straight out of the microwave plonked onto a plate with a handful of green leaf salad. They were really horrible low quality muck. Not what was expected for (IIRC) €21.

    If the OW want to charge high prices they should deliver good quality food and if they can't deliver good quality food they should lower their prices considerably.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,763 ✭✭✭✭ First Up


    BenEadir wrote: »
    Tried both all the restaurants on the OW and was disappointed with the food in all of them e.g. my son had ribs in the steakhouse and they were cheap pre vacuum packed ribs like you get in a supermarket for €3/€4 ultra hot straight out of the microwave plonked onto a plate with a handful of green leaf salad. They were really horrible low quality muck. Not what was expected for (IIRC) €21.

    If the OW want to charge high prices they should deliver good quality food and if they can't deliver good quality food they should lower their prices considerably.

    Fair enough if that was your experience. We've used the Berneval loads of times and always found it very good - a proper meal in a nice setting, good value wines etc. Used the steakhouse just once (the missus has gone all veggie on me) and it was fine too.

    I don't like the grub in self service places on land or at sea. We ate in the Left bank one time when we got a free meal due to a delay and it was edible but mediocre. But then I used the (only) restaurant on the Stena ship and that was mediocre too. Plus, Stena seemed to only open the place at times that suited themselves - very restricted hours.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,435 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    First Up wrote: »
    Pay a few Euro more and eat in the Berneval or in the Steakhouse. Well worth the extra.
    with 2 small kids (where you are 50-50 as to whether you'll be in a position to finish your meal at all) its not.


  • Registered Users Posts: 722 ✭✭✭ muckety


    We usually eat before we sail on OW and bring a picnic to have on board as our experiences in the various restaurants have not been good. For breakfast the proper sit-down restaurant breakfast is not much more costly than the self-service and much better.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,539 BenEadir


    with 2 small kids (where you are 50-50 as to whether you'll be in a position to finish your meal at all) its not.

    I think the Berneval restaurant has the potential to be a nice experience. If they could just get the food quality right it would be a decent option for an adult dining experience to pass a few hours in a pleasant environment.

    Unfortunately my own past experience was of poor quality food, poor service (meals all arriving at different times, requests for sauce on the side with a steak ignored etc) and a whopping bill of just under €150 for two adults and two kids with a mid range (€20-€25) bottle of wine included.

    The following year we had a very nice meal in the Kilrane Inn http://www.tripadvisor.ie/Restaurant_Review-g186642-d4469685-Reviews-The_Kilrane_Inn_Pub_and_Restaurant-Rosslare_County_Wexford.html before boarding in Rosslare (and did similar in Roscoff on the way back) and brought a cooler box on board for some late evening sandwiches and snacks. The meal in the Kilrane Inn + the contents of the cooler box were half the price of the Berneval and it was twice the quality.

    I haven't tried the Berneval since. It may well have improved and if it was just myself and the wife I'd probably try it again but right now we all actually prefer stopping for a meal at the port and having snacks on board.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,763 ✭✭✭✭ First Up


    BenEadir wrote: »
    I think the Berneval restaurant has the potential to be a nice experience. If they could just get the food quality right it would be a decent option for an adult dining experience to pass a few hours in a pleasant environment.

    Unfortunately my own past experience was of poor quality food, poor service (meals all arriving at different times, requests for sauce on the side with a steak ignored etc) and a whopping bill of just under €150 for two adults and two kids with a mid range (€20-€25) bottle of wine included.

    The following year we had a very nice meal in the Kilrane Inn http://www.tripadvisor.ie/Restaurant_Review-g186642-d4469685-Reviews-The_Kilrane_Inn_Pub_and_Restaurant-Rosslare_County_Wexford.html before boarding in Rosslare (and did similar in Roscoff on the way back) and brought a cooler box on board for some late evening sandwiches and snacks. The meal in the Kilrane Inn + the contents of the cooler box were half the price of the Berneval and it was twice the quality.

    I haven't tried the Berneval since. It may well have improved and if it was just myself and the wife I'd probably try it again but right now we all actually prefer stopping for a meal at the port and having snacks on board.

    I've seen several critical reports on the Berneval in here. I can honestly say that on at least a dozen crossings in the past few years we have experienced nothing other than a very nice menu, good food and prompt and friendly service. Below is a link to one of the menus (a few years old but the only one I can find.) €40 or so for a meal of that quality is not unreasonable (you can have two courses for less if I remember correctly) and the wine list is very reasonable - certainly by Irish standards. Our dinner is something we look forward to and is a lovely start to the trip.

    Nobody I know who has used it has anything bad to say either but maybe we have just always been incredibly lucky.

    http://www.irishferries.com/Global/Ships/Oscar%20Wilde/Features/berneval-menus-en-2011-1.pdf


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,539 BenEadir


    Jaysus, I'm starvin now!!

    The menu looks fine, maybe we were unlucky. Still quite a bit to pay for a family dinner on a ferry though. My 14 year old would be eating the main adult menu so 3 x €37 + €13 for the 10 year old + €5 for some cokes for them + €25 for a bottle of wine for us = €154.

    €154 goes a long way on food in France so perhaps I'm judging it by the wrong standard but having said that if I wanted to go for a fine dining experience with the family it wouldn't be on a ferry :p

    What I'd say is if the quality of food is up to scratch and you want to treat yourself then why not? For me the kids are so excited about being on the boat and getting the holiday started that sitting them down for a couple of hours to have a nice meal is like herding cats, they want to be up and about looking at the entertainment, out on deck etc. so our current routine of a meal before we board and a cooler box of sandwiches and snacks etc for on demand grazing as we go is everyone's preference.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,763 ✭✭✭✭ First Up


    [QUOTE

    if I wanted to go for a fine dining experience with the family it wouldn't be on a ferry

    [/QUOTE]

    Me neither but if I have to eat - and make a dent in a long evening - I would prefer to do it in comfort.


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