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Review: Brittany Ferries

Travel Service - Ferry service

MS Cap Finistere - a comfortable ship and a smooth crossing

  • By SilverTraveller ESW

    2468 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • May 2013
  • 4

154 people found this review helpful

Portsmouth has a very basic terminal with a few kiosks for check in. A few cars were pulled over for a security check and there was a long wait before loading began. There was a This is a typical large ferry. We were on the eighth deck which was a long climb from car deck 2 where we were parked. We paid extra for an outside cabin as the thought of being cooped up in an inside cabin for 24 hours didn’t appeal. Unfortunately in cabin 8042, we were under the lifeboats so views were very restricted. We were lucky as by sheer chance it was immediately next to the stairs and lift to our door on the car deck.

There were four large berths but there was a restricted amount of hanging space. There was a small table and chair below the mirror and and small table between the beds with a stool. They could have been a bit snug with four adults. There was no kettle or TV. There was a reasonable size shower and toilet area. Soap and shampoo were supplied and one large bath towel per bunk. These were not very thick and got wet after a shower. The cabin did feel cold when we first went in but there was a very effective thermostat and heating and we were soon warm and spent the rest of the trip turning it down.

Beds were firm and we rescued the extra pillow from the top bunks. I thought the mattress was comfortable until I woke up with back ache. The pillows were that sort of resistant synthetic content which doesn’t give under your head. I soon slung out the extra one.

There are some outside areas at the stern of the boat on decks 8 and 9 which are used by smokers. There is also a covered seating area on Deck 10 but just with upright chairs. There were no lounging chairs that we could find. There is a small open air plunge pool on Deck 10 but on a dull rather misty day there were no takers.

There is a large restaurant on Deck 7 reached through the bar which serves a self service lunch and a set price evening meal, with bookings for tables. This was reasonably priced but the very heavy emphasis on all sorts of fish was not to our taste. We also didn’t know what the Bay of Biscay might be like…

Breakfast is also served here. There was a long wait to be seated and we think they may have been under staffed as there were a lot of empty tables waiting to be cleared and reset for breakfast. Places were laid out with a box of cereal, bottle of fruit juice, small jug of milk (we had to ask for more) jam and butter. Both our cereals were sweetened which we don’t like, so he had to do a quick swop with a neighbouring table. Our order was then taken. I asked for herbal tea and was rather bemused when presented with an Earl Grey tea bag. Further requests were met by blank looks. Perhaps I should have asked for floral tea? We were brought a basket with a croissant, pain au chocolate and roll each, all still warm and very good. There was a long wait for the cooked breakfast which was 2 fried eggs, half slice of toast, hash brown, mushrooms, small sausage and one rasher of bacon.

Le Petit Marche on Deck 7 is self service and has a wide selection of sandwiches and pasta meals that could be reheated in microwaves in the bar area. There were prepared fruit salads, yogurts, crisps, muffins and biscuits with fizzy drinks and small bottles of wine. We bought our lunch and dinner from here. There was a good selection of sandwiches and prices were reasonable.

For those wanting a cheap hot meal, Le Café on Deck 10 serves pasta and pizza dishes, soup of the day, and a daily special, lamb curry when we sailed. It also has a selection of sandwiches.

There is a small and rather disappointing shop on Deck 7 selling the usual selection of scents, wines, some sweets and soft toys.

There were a range of on board activities during the afternoon. Craft making activities included hand made cards. There was a general knowledge quiz and also bingo.

It is a comfortable ship and it was a pleasant crossing in spite of poor visibility. At least the Bay of Biscay was calm.

The only thing I didn’t like was their strident choice of music which seemed to follow you everywhere.

Being on deck two it was a long wait before we unloaded. Immigration was quick with a very quick glance at our passports.

We have used Brittany Ferries several times now. As we have always booked multicentre holidays we have had to make bookings on the phone rather than on the web. This has always been quick and easy and staff are pleasant and helpful. Queries are always answered promptly. Final documents are sent out in plenty of time and staff at the port and on the boat are excellent.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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