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Top tips for surviving an overnight ferry trip to France with a 21mth old?

(10 Posts)
HandbagAddiction Thu 16-Jun-05 17:33:02

Travelling to France in a couple of weeks on the overnight ferry - Portsmouth to St Malo. DD is 21 months old. We have a cabin reserved - 4 berth but I wondered if any Mumsnetters had already survived this trip and could pass on any top tips!

Generally speaking dd is very easy going and travels well, i.e. we've had no problems on the 8 flights she's already been on!

soapbox Thu 16-Jun-05 17:36:13

Take a book, one of those book light things that you stick on the end of the book, and buy a bottle of wine on the ferry. Once she is asleep you can lie on your bed reading and drinking wine without needing to put the light on!

The overnight ferries have playrooms on them which have soft play and activities in them. Worth a visit to pass some time.

Otherwise you can get her pretty tired just by walking round and round the ferry. Hopefully she'll sleep well then!

mancmum Thu 16-Jun-05 17:37:21

don't make mistake we did and let her eat too much -- my DS ate for england in the canteen, we went to see a film, and he threw up everywhere!! Mass evacuation of tiny cinema ensued!!

Marina Thu 16-Jun-05 17:41:29

soapbox the sapient as ever! Those clippy things are a godsend, HandbagAddiction.
Have you got a travel cot booked? I am going to sound a note of caution and say that the one Brittany Ferries provided for us "had seen better days" so we crammed it under the bunk and insisted on being allowed down to get our own, much cleaner one out of the boot.
At least the St Malo ferry leaves closeish to bedtime for UK toddlers. The crossing I would never do again is the "overnight" one to Caen...
Bon Voyage and Bonnes Vacances!

Enid Thu 16-Jun-05 17:43:24

yes - next time book Poole/Cherbourg club class and spend your time in the car rather than the ferry

seriously dont expect to get much sleep.

take a bottle of wine for you and dh.

HandbagAddiction Fri 17-Jun-05 13:41:11

Thanks for all the suggestions ladies - very helpful indeed and stuff I hadn't even thought of.

Marina - we're taking a travel cot with us anyway as we need it for the cottage so I shall try and ensure it doesn't get packed at the bottom!

Cam Fri 17-Jun-05 14:11:16

Handbagaddiction if you can possibly afford it, upgrade to a Commodore Class cabin. The extra space will make all the difference and your little one will be able to go to sleep much more easily.

Cam Fri 17-Jun-05 14:14:11

You will be able to watch tv or get a DVD. And there's a fridge with free drinks in it (soft and beer), and chairs, and better sheets and its much much quieter.

bundle Fri 17-Jun-05 14:17:26

sachets of calpol in bag (we left ours in car and had to be escorted to get them out of heavily laden boot)

fifilala Fri 17-Jun-05 14:52:20

did poole -cherbourg after travelling from Edinburgh with 18mth ds - by time we got on ferry he wouldn't go to bed so we ended up sitting with a glass of vino pushing matchbox cars at 1am - hubby slept in the bunk with him and eventually had 3 hours sleep, shower ad back on the road for another 4 hours! DS did really well and managed it all the way back to Eboro on our return

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