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“London to the Netherlands- Great on-board experience, not great call centre staff”

Stena Line Limited - Day Trips
Ranked #6 of 34 things to do in Holyhead
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Owner description: Stena Line, one of the world's leading ferry companies, offers low fares and a speedier ferry travel service to Ireland, Britain and Holland. With our extensive route network, Stena Line gives you more flexibility and choice. As well as a range of hotel breaks, self-catering, landbridge holidays and the option to travel by car, by rail, by coach or on foot, you will enjoy excellent service and value for money. Book early and online for our lowest fares
Reviewed July 29, 2013

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.

Pros:
-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.

Cons:
- 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.

Thank D H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"foot passengers"
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Reviewed July 29, 2013

Easy Access.Clean and comfortable.
Sometimes onboard entertainment for children.
Room to walk around, with on board shops, bar and food outlets.
Day trip to Dublin great way to spend a day with so much to see in the city.
Reasonable fares if not taking a car and good transport on the orther side.
Can be a bit rough on the Irish Sea in winter, but most of the time a great crossing.

Thank Barbara D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Since Stena Line have cut their Fast Ferry service from Holyhead to Dublin to one daily crossing, a day trip now entails a return by conventional ferry which gets in to Holyhead Port at 00:45 so be prepared for a long day out! Dublin is a fine vibrant city with lots of attractions and a better option would be to stay over for a couple of days. After a long day's sightseeing / shopping you now have to catch a bus to Dublin Port at 19:30 and wait there (a cheerless place) to board your ferry home. The boarding is by bus as is the exit at Holyhead - this bus is amongst the last vehicle to leave the ferry and so it can be anything up to 01:30 by the time you get off the ship. It can be a very long and tiring day. Avoid at all costs if you have young children. I would give Dublin five stars but don't think of visiting this way !

1  Thank Sionwil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

You start at the train station and a bus picks you up and takes you right onto the boat. We went over to Dublin from Wales and it takes about 3 hours in very pleasant circumstances. It's very calm so you don't feel seasick at all.There is free wi fi. There is a bar and takeout food and comfortable dining and sitting areas. They showed a movie if you want to go to a special room, there is a playroom for kids and an arcade to pass the time. You can also pay more for a private sleeping room if you prefer. The only thing for me was that they didn't really tell you what to do or where to go...u had to figure it out for yourself!

1  Thank L S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 25, 2013

I have travelled with Stena line several times recently. I needed to catch up on work the last three times, so I was looking forward to getting some done in the Stena Plus Lounge (free wi-fi). The wi-fi has not worked for the last three crossings, or if it does, it is very intermittent. The Stena Plus Lounge costs an extra £18 per crossing: free wi fi is supposed to be an enticement. For this, you also get to read a newspaper, drink poor coffee or cheap orange juice. The food on offer: tiny bags of greasy crisps, a bowl full of olives, and last nt, a tray full of some dried up looking cake (might've been flapjacks??). The check in Q was long and slow at Rosslare Harbour. When I got to the window to check in, I was dealt with by a member of staff who was watching TV in her ticket booth! No wonder we all took ages to get through. When I pulled up at the window, she didn't even look at me as she was so engrossed in her programme. What an insult to tired travellers arriving at the port after having driven for hours.
The toilets onboard always smell bad. The hot water taps in the never seem to produce any hot water - most unhygienic. I have mentioned this to staff before, but no one seems to care. The lifts don't work properly, this is very inconvenient for customers with mobility problems as there are a lot of stairs, especially down to the car decks.
On the plus side, the ferry crossings run on time, and there is plenty of space on board. However, I will be travelling with Irish Ferries next time.

2  Thank JBMEB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elaine R, Manager at Stena Line Limited - Day Trips, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2013

Dear JBMEB,

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback regarding your recent trip with us. We are very disappointed that your experience was not up to standard.

We would like to apologise on behalf of the Stena Line team for the poor quality and lack of free WiFi that you experienced during your trip. We would like to assure you that our IT department is aware of the problems with the free WiFi which is available onboard all of our vessels and improvement is a priority. All of the issues that you raise concerning the service that you received and the quality of some of the facilities have been passed on to the relevant managers who are compiling action plans to make improvements. Our Stena Plus product will also be fully reviewed in the coming months and all customer feedback will be taken into consideration.

We are very grateful for your feedback, please could you contact our Customer Services Team on 08448 470008 (UK) / 012047704 (ROI) or feedback@stenaline.com where a member of our team will be more than happy to discuss this with you further.

Once again please do accept our apologies and we hope that we can welcome you onboard again to enjoy the improvements.

Kind regards,

The Stena Line Social Media Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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