The main reason I think that it is a good deal is that you can buy your train tickets (from many stations in SE England and all stations in the Netherlands) along with the ferry ticket; the whole trip in one go. I compared the price to taking a low cost carrier and having to pay train tickets seperately, and it was competetive (although the trip was last-minute). Not to mention I wouldn't be wasting time buying train tickets along the way and the experience is much better and more relaxing.
-The staff on-board was friendly and professional
-I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the ferry. Everything was clean and well maintained. The room was great: good quality furnishings, good noise control and it was very comfortable.
-Catching the overnight ferry means you get to Holland at 7.45 a.m., without the regular hassle that would go along with flying that early. There is also a slow-train that stops right in front of the harbour so getting on with further travel is easy.
- I ended up booking a cabin for the daytime trip back to the UK, I simply enquired after boarding and it was no problem. I got it for the same price as advertised online and it took very little time to organise.
- The cinema shows new movies cheaper than regular cinemas, gaming and shopping facilities are available, common areas are neat and modern, and there is a nice variety of hot and cold food for a fair price.
- After viewing my confirmation email (which was sent 3x), I called to ask about the Dutch train ticket as I thought it would be sent to me along with the other papers (i.e. my ferry and British train ticket). The person I spoke to was grumpy and arrogant, stating that the situation should already have been explained to me (obviously my fault?). He then stated that he would "keep it simple" for me and STILL gave me wrong information, stating that I had to collect my tickets at Liverpool street. At Liverpool street, after waiting in line for about 20 minutes, they said that I actually didn't need anything from them at all and that I would get my Dutch train tickets at the harbour. I don't need customer service reps to be chirpy, just give me accurate information and don't act like a tool.
- Researching online: I expected to pay slightly less than I ended up paying... there were two pages with different pricing information and on the phone I got the more expensive one, it might have been the late prices (3 pounds extra each way, and 8 pounds extra for the cabin)
- I could not get WIFI or phone signal inside my room and in the hallways (understandable)
- Beware of getting back to England on a Sunday (when most railway maintenace is carried out). Since the harbour is far away from any hub, it can set you back longer than usual. Our replacement bus wasn't big enough for everyone that needed it so some were stranded for a while.
I would definitely recommend the ferry service to anyone wanting to travel to the Netherlands, I will be using Stena Line again.
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