Saturday, 24 June 2017

Boaty McBoatface?

As it happened, the same week I was booking that train trip to Durham, I was also booking our summer holiday.  We're off to France again, this time to Brittany, for 12 days on a campsite and then we're having 3 days in Belgium on the way home.  We've a couple of days in the west of England on the way down, catching up with friends, and Brittany Ferries will be taking us from Portsmouth to Caen.  On the way back, we're going from Zeebrugge to Hull with P&O Ferries.

The outward journey is an afternoon sailing but I did contemplate booking a disabled cabin so I could relax comfortably.  It was only £26.  However, I've travelled with them before and I know they do very good, reasonably priced, food.  By the time we've eaten and looked around a bit, there's not enough left of a 6 hour sailing for much of a nap.  So I decided to book recliner seats for us at £5 each.  The online booking portal had a section for me to fill out with my accessibility needs so I completed that and paid for my booking.

Next morning I got a quick call from them, where they confirmed my booking, I checked that I could park the wheelchair and transfer to a comfortable recliner, and they made sure I was aware I need to be there an hour before sailing.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ to Brittany Ferries.

P&O's booking portal was equally helpful.  We're on an overnight ferry coming back, so I pre-booked dinner (so we can maximise our time visiting Bruges during the day) and an accessible cabin.  They didn't call me, they asked me to call them and that's the only thing reason they get a lower rating than Brittany.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ to P&O.

What a difference from the trains.  In both cases they asked all the right questions in a polite and sensitive way.  "Can you transfer yourself?".  "Do you need assistance to get from your car to the lift?"  They made no assumptions of ability or disability and when I explained my needs they seemed to understand them.

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