Brittany Ferries Portsmouth to St Malo - accommodation?

(17 Posts)
rubyhorse Mon 21-Jan-13 21:26:42

I'm looking at taking the ferry to St Malo this summer - would be me, DH, and three DCs of 9, 6, and 6 months. I've never been on a ferry like this before - what's the best accommodation to go for? Could we fit the baby into a four berth cabin with us on the overnight outbound sailing? What's best for the daytime return sailing - seat or cabin? If we go for a cabin, does that mean we have literally nowhere to sit down in the main part of the ship? It's all new to me - thanks for any advice!

MrsJamesMartin Mon 21-Jan-13 21:31:18

You only really need a cabin if you're going overnight.

There is plenty of general seating on the ferries and you can sit anywhere except the reserved lounges, you don't have to reserve seats on a daytime crossing.

Cabin are small, there isn't room for a travel cot normally, you would have to ask the company though.

rubyhorse Mon 21-Jan-13 23:05:26

Thank you. Exciting...

Verycold Mon 21-Jan-13 23:08:08

We always squeeze all five of us into a four berth, and we always get a cabin for the daytime crossing - nice to have somewhere to leave your bags, to just chill out, own toilet!

Poledra Mon 21-Jan-13 23:10:15

I have done the long Portsmouth-Caen crossing overnight with a 4yo, 2yo and 8week old grin. You can get a travel cot in the cabin but it will make it impossible to walk or stand in between the two sets of bunks. That wasn't a problem for us, we just clambered over the beds.

I do that crossing at least once a year, and i still book a cabin on the day crossing, as it's nice to have somewhere to dump stuff and also for the children to have a little downtime. Or for me to have a nap (DH cannot drive, so i get prety tired).

There's plenty of spaces for you to sit down in the boat generally. For day crossings, DH always checks what's on at the cinema for the DCs and there's often some sort of kids' floor show in the bar too.

Verycold Mon 21-Jan-13 23:16:06

Yes definitely cinema, best to go to the information desk for tickets as soon as you get onto the boat

beachyhead Mon 21-Jan-13 23:39:06

We do that crossing every year and when our small one was a baby, we all fitted in one 4 berth with a travel cot wedged between the bottom bunks.. I second getting one for the journey back, so kids can kip etc. we tend to come back from Caen to make a little shorter..

frenchfancy Tue 22-Jan-13 21:01:45

Get a cabin and use Brittany Ferries tracel cot - normal ones don't fit.

Definitely get a cabin for the day crossing, much cheaper and worth it just to have somewhere to lie down and have a clean toilet.

We also tend to do the France-England crossing from Caen.

sittinginthesun Tue 22-Jan-13 21:07:47

We've used a travel cot on that crossing before (think we booked it with them but it was a few years ago).

We never bother with a cabin on the way back - go back from Caen, and set up camp near the soft play area and junior disco.

Mind you, last year we did the Tunnel and drove. Stayed over night in Calais. It was very civilised.

GettingObsessive Tue 22-Jan-13 21:08:42

Another one voting for the cabin during the day - seating is mostly in the bars, which is fine, but may lead to unexpected outlay on drinks for the DCs as its "just there".

If you're doing the Pont Aven, eat in the posh restaurant, even if its just for the buffet. It's AMAZING.

rubyhorse Tue 22-Jan-13 23:54:25

Thanks for all the advice. Have only ever done the Isle of Wight ferry before and the kids love it - think they'll be beside themselves with excitement over this journey...

GettingObsessive Wed 23-Jan-13 07:59:10

DH still besides himself with excitement every time we go - and he's 32 grin

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 23-Jan-13 09:16:45

I would always go for a night crossing, the children are amused by being asleep. It departs 8.15 to 8.30 so you get on settle kids and all sleep wake have breakfast and disembark. I always try to get a cabin in the middle of the middle after all it's night so you don't need a window. In the middle of the middle you sleep best as you feel the roll and yaw of the ship least.
I do Portsmouth- Le Havre, Portsmouth-St Malo and Aberdeen- Lerwick all reasonably often and can't bear day crossings as there are only so many ways to amuse kids on a very.

sittinginthesun Wed 23-Jan-13 19:11:39

Oh, one final word of advice - don't ever ever ever let your children eat the gorgeous chocolate mousse at the self service restaurant shortly before going to bed. DS2 was literally jumping off the walls off the cabin until midnight.

slalomsuki Sat 26-Jan-13 08:56:53

I do Portsmouth St Malo crossing about 6 time per year and have been since the youngest was 8 weeks Book a Brittany Ferrys travel cot as it fits between the beds. You will get 5 in but you will have to get the kids or you to crawl up the bed to get in.

I get on the ferry and after going to the room let the kids play in the small play area while the queues at the self service go down. We then eat and go to the bar for the kids show which is usually followed by a magician. There are loads of kids there so no body bothers about noise etc. Back to the cabin and then sleep. I usually set my alarm for about 1 hour 15 mins before arrival to get up and have breakfast and then come back to the cabin for teeth cleaning before going to the car. At that time there are no queues.

It's a great crossing overnight but day time it does drag. I do the Caen Portsmouth crossing on the way back during the day as the ship has more day time activities and sails at a better time.

slalomsuki Sat 26-Jan-13 08:57:18

I do Portsmouth St Malo crossing about 6 time per year and have been since the youngest was 8 weeks Book a Brittany Ferrys travel cot as it fits between the beds. You will get 5 in but you will have to get the kids or you to crawl up the bed to get in.

I get on the ferry and after going to the room let the kids play in the small play area while the queues at the self service go down. We then eat and go to the bar for the kids show which is usually followed by a magician. There are loads of kids there so no body bothers about noise etc. Back to the cabin and then sleep. I usually set my alarm for about 1 hour 15 mins before arrival to get up and have breakfast and then come back to the cabin for teeth cleaning before going to the car. At that time there are no queues.

It's a great crossing overnight but day time it does drag. I do the Caen Portsmouth crossing on the way back during the day as the ship has more day time activities and sails at a better time.

rubyhorse Wed 30-Jan-13 11:51:01

Brilliant advice - thanks. My parents are now coming and Dad is also beside himself with excitement!

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