I took a one night trip from Wellington to Picton - Interislander WLG-PIC, Bluebridge PIC-WLG. I was frankly disappointed with Bluebridge - especially on first impressions. The Santa Regina ship is very old, and not very passenger friendly. For foot passengers, you have to board at the vehicle deck, and climb up 8 flights of very narrow metal stairs. (On the way back down, I conked my head on the low ceiling on these stairs.). Once you get up to the passenger levels, you discover that there are a couple of passenger cabin areas, but they are very disjointed. To get from one to another, you have to walk along some very unwelcoming outside corridors. The cafeteria food was limited and expensive. The kiosk was better. There are no indoor viewing areas, which is a major shame, in my books. (I like to be able to see the view, but not risk getting sunburnt.) Prices in the kiosk were higher than on shore, but were not too bad. The one VERY GOOD part of Bluebridge was that they offered you the chance to see two movies free (It was Ice Age 4 and Men in Black 3 for me). This is a good thing, as there's absolutely nothing else to do on board. If Bluebridge were significantly cheaper than Interislander, I would excuse the difference in quality of service. But they are only a couple of dollars cheaper, and I was left to say that I will book Interislander only next time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 19, 2012
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First of all thank you for taking the time to review our service. We always like to receive customer feedback. It’s great to see that you took advantage of our free movies on board –these are enjoyed and appreciated by many. I have passed your comments regarding the cafeteria menu selection and pricing on to our On Board Services Manager and will be following up on this shortly. After all, we pride ourselves on keeping our food prices at a level that is affordable to the average kiwi family without sacrificing quality or portion size (we need to cater to some hungry truck drivers)! Our aim is to have you depart our ferry with a big smile on your face AND money left in your wallet to spend on the rest of your trip so I was disappointed to learn that you do not feel this is the case.
As for the actual vessel layout, you have highlighted one of the major differences between our 2 ships. Unlike the Straitsman, the Santa Regina does not have a dedicated viewing lounge with large picture windows. Instead she has a separate lounge bar that opens up onto extensive decking. So in summary we’re really sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the Bluebridge experience on this occasion but we would love the opportunity to welcome you back –perhaps next time you might chose to sail on the most modern ship on Cook Strait (the Straitsman). If you would like to contact me directly to discuss your experience further, I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Ellison, General Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.