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“Great service and experience as always”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries
Ranked #1 of 22 Tours in Plymouth
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Sail with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth, Poole or Plymouth direct to France and Spain. Our routes take you closer to popular holiday destinations, saving miles of driving, fuel costs, tolls and overnight stops. Choose either superb comfort of a cruise ferry, no-frills economie service or speed across The Channel on our fast craft.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Cardiff
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great service and experience as always”
Reviewed April 29, 2014

We travelled overnight from Portsmouth to St Malo on Sunday 20th April and returned from Caen to Portsmouth on Saturday 26th April.

On the way back we had food at Le Cafe on the Normandie that we found very reasonable and good value especially ordering 2 kids meals. The quality was excellent too. The service provided was excellent and we were unexpectedly surprised when it was brought over to our table. Also, the kids found the on board entertainment great as well as us finding the usefulness of being able to charge up the DVD player too by using your sockets. The range of shopping opportunities are good too on both the ships we went on. Also the embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient.

The only qualm that we had was the cabin on the way out to France was too hot for us to be able to sleep properly, however we later found out that we would have been able to adjust this.

We will be travelling again in August as we have once again chosen to book our whole holiday with the company to Spain as we did last year.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank JamiePure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Economy cruising!!”
Reviewed April 28, 2014

We have recently returned from Spain using the 'new' economy sailing on Etratet. Unfortunately we are booked on this crossing again in September. Whilst the vessel is basically clean it is very run down looking and had the feel of a fishing boat not ferry. My main concern is the provision for dogs. The exercise area is disgusting being about 4 foot wide by 20 foot long with no facilities for hosing down after the dogs toileting. After 24 hrs this area positively stank and so did we. The only upside of this crossing is that all dogs are in cabins not kennels and the cabins are slightly bigger than Cap Finistere. The food available was expensive and whilst the choice was not bad there were no sandwiches or snacks so eating was very expensive. We have travelled many times with our dog on Cap Finistere and had no complaints but I have to say we were glad to disembark this vessel and do not look forward to our journey in September as at this late date I cannot get a pet friendly cabin on Cap Finistere.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank sue b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BF-CustomerServices, Manager at Brittany Ferries, responded to this review, May 1, 2014
Dear ‘sue b’

I am sorry to read of your disappointment with your trip onboard Etretat.

The facilities and onboard services available on our ship Etretat are limited compared to our cruise ships to France and Spain. The difference in service is reflected in the much lower fares.

We have tried to be clear and transparent about what customers can expect onboard. With this in mind, information on the dog exercise area is available on our website where we do highlight the size and length of this area and include a photograph to give customers an idea of what it is like. However, we are looking at ways to improve this area for customers and their dogs.

The selection in the self-service restaurant is smaller than compared to the choice on our classic ferries, but we have still aimed to provide good value and good quality French catering and the onboard prices are the same as the rest of the fleet.

Thank you for taking the time to post your review and express your views.

Kind regards
Jane

Customer Services
Brittany Ferries
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“False Economy!”
Reviewed April 28, 2014

W
27 April.
Safe at last on the northern coast of Spain after the most horrendous journey across the Bay of Biscay. The boat left late; 2.00pm instead of 8.15am on Saturday due to bad weather. We arrived at the port at 04.30pm, and there was a boat leaving at 5pm, which they said we were welcome to take, but would have to pay an extra £210, so we declined that offer. Maybe that was our first mistake!

After a night on the car park, we finally set sail at 2.30 pm. Weather was rough - too rough to move from our bunks and too rough to eat in the restaurant, so we stayed put, and went to bed.

All was well until 1.00am, when all the lights went out, and the engines stopped. Everything in the cabin started flying about. The boat was rocking so violently we thought we were going to capsize! My husband David hurriedly got dressed, and went upstairs to find out what was happening. He came back to report that the engines had failed. Likewise the stabiliser. Still no official announcement. We heard the engines start again, and the boat rocked on its way. I was very ill, and spent a lot of time in the bathroom, talking on the big white telephone!

Finally, at 6am came an announcement over the tanoy, telling us that there was a technical problem, and the Captain had decided to turn off the engines again and see if it could be fixed. At this time we were still only level with Northern France, and according to one of the lorry drivers, we were either going to take shelter in Brest, or continue to Spain, depending upon the Captains decision. We were then formed that the boat was now safe, and the Captain decided to continue to Spain, where we arrived at midnight last night. We slept in a hotel car park.

We will now stay put and recover for a couple of days. I will write to some bigwig at Brittany Ferries and explain just what his Company has put us through. Never again. There was a complete lack of communication. Everyone on board that ship was just left to imagine what had happened. Disgusting. Passengers were just sat on the stairs all night waiting for news. We will just drive through France in future.

We have been regular passengers with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to St Malo for many years, and have had no problems. Our opinion after speaking to the many well i formed lorry drivers on board is that this boat is simply not "man enough" for the task of sailing across the Bay of Biscay. We consider ourselves lucky to have escaped a watery grave.

Brittany Ferries are guilty of a total lack of communication, causing severe distress to us and many others.

A and D lucky pensioners
Sent from my iPad

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
11 Thank Angela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BF-CustomerServices, Manager at Brittany Ferries, responded to this review, April 29, 2014
Dear ‘Angela C’,

Thank you for your comments regarding your recent sailing on our new économie service. We have also received your email and we will reply under separate cover.

I am very sorry you experienced such a difficult sailing. As you highlighted, the sailing was originally delayed by heavy seas and poor weather. During the crossing, the ship also developed a fault to the power supply shortly before 01.00 which our onboard engineers quickly resolved, but not before a delay was incurred. The Captain, onboard engineers and other members of the crew worked hard to resolve the problem as speedily as possible. We have emailed all affected passengers with further explanation as a matter of routine.

Although it may be of cold comfort now, it is a fact that the Etretat is crewed by experienced Brittany Ferries Officers and crew, all of whom have served on our classic cruise ferries. Our fleet’s safety record is excellent and our crews are exceptionally well drilled and our procedures are subject to regular and rigorous scrutiny both internally and by both the French and British regulatory authorities.

Your comments about the information onboard are very disappointing to read and I am sorry you didn’t receive all the communication. Our internal records show that when the power supply was initially affected, the Purser and Night watchman moved around the passenger areas of the ship to explain what was happening to those customers who were still up or, like your husband, had left their cabin. At the same time, other crew were woken to assist. There were soon several members of staff circulating the ship helping to reassure passengers that the engineers and Captain were busy working on the fault and the ship was secure. At no time were the ship or passengers at risk. Following a further, brief problem with the power supply early in the morning, three announcements were made asking passengers to remain in their seats or cabins, detailing the nature of the fault and, finally, to confirm the fault was resolved fully.

As a gesture of goodwill for the delay and technical problem we provided customers with a complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner during the crossing.

Please accept my apologies for the technical fault and any discomfort onboard. I hope we may be able to welcome you back to Brittany Ferries, albeit with kinder weather.

Kind regards
Mike Bevens

Group Commercial Director
Brittany Ferries
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlisle, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Smooth Sailing”
Reviewed April 27, 2014 via mobile

We recently used Brittany Ferries for a holiday in Normandy. We booked online and it was easy but not only that we also booked accomodation which saved us quite a lot of money. We sailed from Portsmout to Caen and was on the Mont St Michel in a Commodore cabin and as you can imagine after travelling the length of the country this was a welcome sight at 11pm. The cabin was a 4 birth and the beds were cosy. The bathroom was snug so not suitable for a large person but the shower was good. We had free cold soft drinks waiting in the fridge (Coke, Perrier ect). We sailed back to the Uk on the Normandie in a 3 birth Commodore cabin. This cabin on entering seemed larger and again the same drinks and nibbles were waiting for us. This rooms air conditioning was also better but the bathroom again was very snug. The cabin although it was better it was also a lot noiser and we found this a nuisance when trying to sleep this was in addition to the bright deck lights outside the window. Whilst the curtains did their best, light still seeped in. If the bathroom had of been larger it would have made the experience better especially when we assumed that we were traveling in their best cabins.

Helpful?
Thank Martin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Beware - no restaurant.”
Reviewed April 27, 2014

Having used Brittany Ferries for years we want to register our huge disappointment at no longer being able to enjoy a meal in a proper restaurant on- board. The Plymouth-Roscoff service is a long crossing, the meal always used to help to pass the time & the quality of service & choice of food ( esp. The buffets) was superb. Now The Armorique does this crossing almost all the time & provides only a self-service restaurant - not at all the same experience.
Brittany Ferries makes the restaurant facility a major feature in its advertising, quite rightly. Why is it then that one of its major routes is penalised in this way?
I understand The Armorique was custom-built; surely it would have been possible to incorporate a small restaurant at least? Instead we feel we have been treated scornfully by British Ferry management, & I know we are not alone.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Diana R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BF-CustomerServices, Manager at Brittany Ferries, responded to this review, April 28, 2014
Dear ‘Diana R’,

Thank you for your custom over the years.

I am sorry to hear of your disappointment with the dining options onboard Armorique. The ship was built specifically to service the Plymouth to Roscoff route and has been operating this crossing since 2009. Armorique mainly operates an overnight departure at 22.00 or 23.00 from Plymouth. This means that few customers want to eat a more formal meal at this time and that there is simply not the demand for a full a la carte restaurant. We aim to provide a great value and a competitive travel experience and the self-service restaurant normally offers a choice of 7 main courses, as well as further dining options being available in Le Café.

As you may be aware during most of the year on a Thursday evening we operate Pont-Aven from Plymouth to Roscoff (and also a return sailing on Sunday mornings). It departs at 20.45 and arrives the next day at 08.00. This crossing does have the more formal a la carte restaurant making it ideal for enjoying dinner onboard.

Thank you for taking the time to post your review and express your views.

Kind regards
Jane

Customer Services
Brittany Ferries
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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