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Ferry deals to France - Summer 2015

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Comments



  • k123456 wrote: »
    A smart phone one is a great way to navigate abroad,

    using Google Maps / Navigation
    is great if you have unlimited data (in Ireland for example)

    If you use G maps abroad, you could get hit for data charges (unless you have an unlimited international data roaming package) . A caveat : while some phone companies , have cheap roaming this is assuming you roam onto to a associated phone company abroad, if you phone latches onto non associated phone company , the charges may be higher. I would clarify this with your phone company.

    The options are buy a a Garmin , tom tom etc. this means , another device to bring with you :(


    or on your smart phone, use one of the free sat nav packages above, or buy and download a paid sat nav app, Sygic , Tom Tom etc.
    The advantage of this is , you don't need an extra device in the car

    GPS on will drain the battery very quickly, on smart phones

    AFAIK , GPS warnings about fixed speed cams not illegal in France, these warnings illegal in Austria

    For the car, I find my Garmin literally faultless. I have it at least 5 years, I update the maps regularly and it takes me door to door without fail. It isn't even an expensive model.
    A good app on the phone would be handy when walking around town, looking for a particular address (especially in pedestrian zones) but I'm not inclined to pay roaming charges for it.
    The offline GPS apps mentioned here probably do the job but they devour memory and battery.




  • http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/radar-detectors-in-france.html

    "New law in France
    Effective from 3 January 2012 French laws prohibiting drivers from carrying devices capable of detecting speed cameras have been extended to include devices able to warn or inform of the location of speed cameras e.g. satnav or gps systems capable of showing speed camera sites as PoI.

    As well as now banning all devices capable of warning drivers of speed camera locations, the French government is installing around 400 new fixed speed cameras and is taking down road signs indicating the location of existing fixed speed camera sites."




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  • I love my paper maps, can't beat them.




  • webpal wrote: »
    I love my paper maps, can't beat them.

    Relied on them for years and still carry them. Just hard to read while driving and less easy to use in the back streets.


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  • Cianmcliam wrote: »
    http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/radar-detectors-in-france.html

    "New law in France
    Effective from 3 January 2012 French laws prohibiting drivers from carrying devices capable of detecting speed cameras have been extended to include devices able to warn or inform of the location of speed cameras e.g. satnav or gps systems capable of showing speed camera sites as PoI.

    As well as now banning all devices capable of warning drivers of speed camera locations, the French government is installing around 400 new fixed speed cameras and is taking down road signs indicating the location of existing fixed speed camera sites."

    That's been the case for several years. Never heard of anyone being pulled for a SatNav and can't imagine how it would happen unless you were pulled for speeding anyway.




  • k123456 wrote: »
    A smart phone one is a great way to navigate abroad,

    using Google Maps / Navigation
    is great if you have unlimited data (in Ireland for example)

    If you use G maps abroad, you could get hit for data charges (unless you have an unlimited international data roaming package)
    If you're with Vodafone their Red Roaming allowance is 500mb per day for €2.99. You could navigate a journey all the way from Roscoff to the Med coast and you'd only use a fraction of the 500mb allowance. I use a data tracking app to set off alarms as I use 50%, 75% and 95% of my daily allowance and have never previously gone over the allowance using Google Maps for turn by turn Navigation including Roscoff to Royan and prior to this year it was only 200mb per day.
    k123456 wrote: »
    A caveat : while some phone companies , have cheap roaming this is assuming you roam onto to a associated phone company abroad, if you phone latches onto non associated phone company , the charges may be higher. I would clarify this with your phone company.
    I'm open to correction but providing you have the correct APN on your phone (live.vodafone.com) for Irish Vodafone customers you don't need to worry about what network you latch onto. Just set your phone to Automatic so it roams on the network with the best signal and you're Golden. If a network doesn't have a roaming agreement with your home operator it won't let you connect to it.




  • First Up wrote: »
    For the car, I find my Garmin literally faultless. I have it at least 5 years, I update the maps regularly and it takes me door to door without fail. It isn't even an expensive model.
    I have an old model also and it still works perfectly well if I need it but over the last 2-3 years I migrated to the Google Maps as it offers real time search for restaurants etc and has up to date traffic so it can alter course to help you avoid long tailbacks if necessary. I remembers getting caught in one a few years ago for almost three hours. Never again!!
    First Up wrote: »
    A good app on the phone would be handy when walking around town, looking for a particular address (especially in pedestrian zones) but I'm not inclined to pay roaming charges for it.
    You can either use an offline GPS based navigation app like Here or if you're going to be spending a lot of time in one town/area you can actually download Google Maps of towns and city's for offline use in order to avoid roaming charges. It's a menu option in Google Maps and worth doing for the area you are staying before you go if you are on a limited roaming package.
    First Up wrote: »
    The offline GPS apps mentioned here probably do the job but they devour memory and battery.
    Yes, the maps themselves can be several hundred MB's. The map of France on the Here app is 1.1GB but battery drain isn't really an issue as you'd have your Garmin plugged in anyway so just plug your phone in instead ;)




  • Cianmcliam wrote: »
    http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/radar-detectors-in-france.html

    "New law in France
    Effective from 3 January 2012 French laws prohibiting drivers from carrying devices capable of detecting speed cameras have been extended to include devices able to warn or inform of the location of speed cameras e.g. satnav or gps systems capable of showing speed camera sites as PoI.

    As well as now banning all devices capable of warning drivers of speed camera locations, the French government is installing around 400 new fixed speed cameras and is taking down road signs indicating the location of existing fixed speed camera sites."

    That's very out of date advice. For a start, most of the signs have gone back up and where they haven't, you'll usually see a triangle with a big R painted on the road to let you know there's a camera ahead :cool: but there are also newer "average speed" cameras set up to track you over distances of several km, so if you pass one of those, you have to remember you're only half-way through the check.

    The apps ARE allowed indicate "danger zones" and, as fixed speed cameras are supposedly intended to improve road safety on dangerous stretches of road, it is legal for the apps to highlight these and for drivers to use them. :pac:

    What you're not allowed do is use radar detection equipement, so you can still be zapped by a roadside patrol, in which case your foreign plates offer no protection - you'll be pulled over and fined on the spot (or have your vehicle confiscated) It came out last week that the gendarmes get a cash bonus for every fine issued - they're very motivated. :cool:

    And since 1 July, your bluetooth earpiece (and any other similar thing in or on your ear) is illegal.




  • And since 1 July, your bluetooth earpiece (and any other similar thing in or on your ear) is illegal.

    You serious? Is having your phone connected through a fully integrated Bluetooth system with your radio the only way to be street legal so?


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  • Yep. All kinds of headphones/earpieces are banned while driving anything with a steering wheel or handlebars.

    Damned annoying too, as I've just got used to the sat-nav-app lady whispering in my ear instead of struggling to make herself heard over the noise of road, engine and on-board company. :-/




  • seeing we are on about GPS and motorways etc....

    I done a bit of homework on French road signs before I left but I got caught out twice leaving motorway slip roads (and incorrectly did not exit the motorway at the correct junction) because of the below road sign...

    C108.png

    being extremely careful to drive on the correct side of the road when you see a sign like this at the end of a motorway slip road it is easy to think that you cannot drive up the ramp ahead of you.

    but you can !!

    the above sign indicates you are leaving the motorway/regulated.

    as i said it caught me out twice.




  • seeing we are on about GPS and motorways etc....

    I done a bit of homework on French road signs before I left but I got caught out twice leaving motorway slip roads (and incorrectly did not exit the motorway at the correct junction) because of the below road sign...

    C108.png

    being extremely careful to drive on the correct side of the road when you see a sign like this at the end of a motorway slip road it is easy to think that you cannot drive up the ramp ahead of you.

    but you can !!

    the above sign indicates you are leaving the motorway/regulated.

    as i said it caught me out twice.

    Had the exact same 'wtf?!!' moment when this huge sign was on the slip road I had to take. Crazy signage, the one with no red line means the road is restricted for tractors, slow vehicles etc. and the one with the red diagonal means the end of that zone.




  • Motorhome tested today, passed with only an Iindicator bulb needed.
    Half hour delay while tester found a ladder to get onto roof or van, to unscrew TV aerial. Wouldn't fit through test centre roller doors otherwise!




  • Cianmcliam wrote: »
    Had the exact same 'wtf?!!' moment when this huge sign was on the slip road I had to take. Crazy signage, the one with no red line means the road is restricted for tractors, slow vehicles etc. and the one with the red diagonal means the end of that zone.
    That sign is universal across europe, it's just Ireland and UK that doesn't use it.

    If you see the heap of signs at the entrance to the jack lynch tunnel or the tunnel in Limerick to say the same thing, you'll see the point of the sign.




  • Don't know if this belongs int this thread but have just returned from 2 weeks in Sylvamar near Biarritz and traffic was awful in and around Bordeaux on the way down and not as bad on the way back up but noticed 30k jam southbound ..
    Ferry crossing back was pretty tasty with the bad weather here .. Other than that it was great .




  • Small thing that could turn into a big thing but when digging out your passports for your trip do not forget to also take you E111 cards with you as well.




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  • This post has been deleted.

    I think everyone knows what I meant but yes the card that allows you to avail of free health care while away.




  • Hope it's not too early to start the 2016 ferry deals to France thread - http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=96595273#post96595273

    If you're planning a ferry to France next year why not follow the thread to hear about good deals and discounts etc or better still contribute some info to the thread?


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  • Currently on the Stena Horizon on our way to Cherbourg. Having sailed with IF the last 2 years I was a little surprised by how small it seems in comparison. There are 5 of us inc 1 baby so we requested a cot in our 4 berth inside cabin. The cot is poor though and not really sleep safe so we put him sleeping horizontally at the top of the wife's bed! He slept well! As mentioned on the thread previously the beds are certainly bigger than IF so no complaints on that score. The check in procedure was a bit of a pain. If I remember correctly on IF you get your room key before you get on. Here there was a long queue in the boat to get an old fashioned room key! There was a singer in the bar last night but nothing really for the kids, only a soft play area which was overun by kids far too big and rough! However as it was the 8.30pm sailing the kids were soon in bed. Kids have just been to the cinema to watch Minions which killed a couple of hours. Now for some card games until the 4.30pm arrival. Overall it was a lot cheaper than IF so it'll do nicely!




  • mattb74 wrote: »
    Currently on the Stena Horizon on our way to Cherbourg. Having sailed with IF the last 2 years I was a little surprised by how small it seems in comparison. There are 5 of us inc 1 baby so we requested a cot in our 4 berth inside cabin. The cot is poor though and not really sleep safe so we put him sleeping horizontally at the top of the wife's bed! He slept well! As mentioned on the thread previously the beds are certainly bigger than IF so no complaints on that score. The check in procedure was a bit of a pain. If I remember correctly on IF you get your room key before you get on. Here there was a long queue in the boat to get an old fashioned room key! There was a singer in the bar last night but nothing really for the kids, only a soft play area which was overun by kids far too big and rough! However as it was the 8.30pm sailing the kids were soon in bed. Kids have just been to the cinema to watch Minions which killed a couple of hours. Now for some card games until the 4.30pm arrival. Overall it was a lot cheaper than IF so it'll do nicely!

    Am I right in reading that's a 20hour crossing ?
    We did a shorter crossing on that ship under its previous owners and found it felt small inside.. But it must be a layout thing as when you look at the stats of it compared to the OW there isn't much in the difference at all.. I couldn't get that over to my Mrs and she point blank refuses to consider it again !!

    Stenna Horizon
    Oscar Wilde




  • _Brian wrote: »
    Am I right in reading that's a 20hour crossing ?
    We did a shorter crossing on that ship under its previous owners and found it felt small inside.. But it must be a layout thing as when you look at the stats of it compared to the OW there isn't much in the difference at all.. I couldn't get that over to my Mrs and she point blank refuses to consider it again !!

    Stenna Horizon
    Oscar Wilde

    The OW is bigger in terms of tonnage but more importantly it is designed to cater for car passengers more than the Horizon, which is primariy designed for trucks and truckers.




  • Quick off topic question.

    Do you guys tip when eating out in France and if so what is the norm? 10%?

    I generally have always tipped in restaurants including the campsite restaurant (unless the service is bad) but I sometimes get the impression tipping isn't the norm.




  • Quick off topic question.

    Do you guys tip when eating out in France and if so what is the norm? 10%?

    I generally have always tipped in restaurants including the campsite restaurant (unless the service is bad) but I sometimes get the impression tipping isn't the norm.

    when the bill comes, look for "service compris" (included) or "non compris" (not included). That being said, if the standard is really good, and in general it is, then I'll generally go the 10% or thereabouts regardless. you know yourself, its the little things that make the difference, like when the staff make an effort to entertain your kids etc.




  • I'll generally go the 10% or thereabouts regardless. you know yourself, its the little things that make the difference, like when the staff make an effort to entertain your kids etc.
    We're on the same page there!!




  • Anyone know if RTE or Sky Sports are available on the Oscar Wilde? Eager to take in the GAA action for this weekends trip to France.




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