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any advice for overnight ferry portsmouth to st malo with 3 kids??

(10 Posts)
Poppetspinkpants Sun 10-Feb-13 11:46:43

We may see you on there OP - we're doing the overnight in August this year (4th time for DH and me, 2nd for the kids).
Take your time on the trip down. Allow loads of time (we start off at 10ish , have lunch, find somewhere to stop like a farm etc).
Looking at your watch and doing the mental arithmetic on the motorway isn't fun. And if you miss the ferry you're stuffed.
Eat before you board if poss. The queues at the restaurant can be horrific.
Have a bag packed with all the overnight stuff. Include kettle, milk, tea, coffee and cereal bars/biscuits and sugar, cups & spoons. And put it at the front of the boot,so you can grab it quickly when you've boarded.
Make sure everyone goes to the loo before you sit in the ferry queue if poss. Sods law if someone's bursting you'll be an hour waiting in the ferry line without a clue when your line will be called.
In the morning go to breakfast early before the queues build. You may need to step over sleeping bodies though!
Don't bother leaving the cabin till you're called to the car deck. You won't be any faster getting to your car. But head for the lift and get to your car as soon as you are called, get the kids in fast. Nothing worse than holding the whole line up when you're still strapping in (happened to us on a Jersey ferry .)
And if you see a woman chasing two girls whilst carrying an eeyore bag be nice to her. Cos that will be me.

Good luck smile

neverlookback Sat 26-Jan-13 19:03:43

thanks for your info everyone, were gonna go for it, fingers crossed its not ruff on the crossing, end of aug so hopefully not! im excited for a different kind of holiday x

dreamingofsun Sat 26-Jan-13 12:45:20

thinking about it maybe i had the one year old in with me. anyway, they started sleeping in their car seat, then a bit with me and then top and tailing as they got older each year. in a 4 bed cabin.

froggydoo Sat 26-Jan-13 11:09:24

Forgot to say - friends of ours did this with a 1 year old who went in travel cot in the cabin. There were also three adults and 1 six year old. Bit if a squeeze apparently but they all got a bed.

We drove 9 hours to get to Portsmouth - meant we all slept brilliantly on the boat!

We are doing it again this year and really looking forward to it smile

dreamingofsun Sat 26-Jan-13 10:38:51

we did it for about 10 years with 2-3 kids. though not the 5 hour drive to port. have you booked a cabin for the return journey as we always found it useful to crash for a while and leave our stuff in.

once our kids were the ages of yours the youngest 2 topped and taled.

we let them stay up late in the bar area watching magic shows and bands etc. this was all part of the holiday. get in their as early as poss as its quite busy

take breakfast as its a fairly early start and was a bit rushed. the food in the restaurants was generally very good and not too expensive.

BadRoly Sat 26-Jan-13 10:26:27

2 years ago we did Plymouth-Roscoff overnight with our 4 then drove to Provence in one hit. We both drive so did 3 hour shifts and stopped 3 times. Loaded the kids up with DVDs etc. they were then aged 2, 4, 7 and 9.

Return journey we stopped overnight at LeMans to break the drive up and caught a day crossing. Big storms in the Atlantic so it was pretty grim!

If we do it again, we will do overnight both ways and have cabins again. (We had 2 to accommodate us all - dh and I both needed to sleep so he had the big 3 and I had the toddler). The return crossing was the only problem and that was down to bad luck grin

Fianccetto Sat 26-Jan-13 10:24:21

We did it with a cabin. You are a berth short, so one adult helps put all to bed and then sleeps on a chair. It was a rush to get up. I packed a separate small case just for the boat so the kids knew exactly what to wear. Enjoy! :D

YouOldSlag Sat 26-Jan-13 10:20:37

We've done similar and we resolved in future to always get a cabin- which you have done. I usually find the food is very nice on ferries, so after a big meal, put them to bed with a story and pyjamas.

We only had one DS last time we did it and since he didn't sleep, neither of us slept and it was like having jet lag for two days.

froggydoo Sat 26-Jan-13 10:20:30

We've done with two adults two kids and it was great. Ferry is lovely - good food / cabins etc and v child friendly.

I found driving in France to be quite easy. Your plan sounds good!

neverlookback Sat 26-Jan-13 10:13:29

hi were thinking of going to a yelloh camping village with brittany ferries holidays, weve got 3dcs age 7, 4 and 1, we would have a 5 hour drive down to portsmouth then the overnight ferry with a 4 berth cabin, and a 2 hour drive on the france side, are we mad???

anyone done it and its ok? any advice?


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