Anyone done seats only on an overnight Portsmouth-Le Havre sailing

(16 Posts)
DelGirl Mon 14-Oct-13 21:51:57

Yes I've done the same crossing and would say never again, barely slept as it was so uncomfortable, cramped and noisy. hth grin

Everhopeful Mon 14-Oct-13 21:46:26

We've done Portsmouth-Cherbourg or Caen (can't remember) and Portsmouth-St Malo in seats. I think the first was fine, though I never did quite understand why they roped off the lounge with the nicer seats. With the benefit of experience, I would say that the noise wasn't too bad, but the pillows, etc they give out are hopeless: take sleeping bags and some sort of cushion and you will sleep adequately on the floor - the normal chairs aren't that comfortable. Yes, there are the occasional fools who come in very late, half cut, and wake everyone, but they usually settle quickly. The main problem we found was that, though they turned the lights down a bit, they left at least one really bright one, so eye shades could also be a good idea. The other time we were in the club class seats, which you have to book (they cost a little bit), but they're worth it IMO. Still worth your own blanket and sleeping bag is nicer for Tiny (I think she was 3 the first time and more like 7 the second).

SirChenjin Thu 10-Oct-13 17:46:26

Thanks all. We're going to look into the Hull-Zeebrugge route, or alternatively do Dover-Calais and stop off somewhere nearish to Dover overnight before the ferry crossing so we get some sleep.

Can't say I'm looking forward to the journey, but we've only got 2 out of our 3 DCs travelling with us and as those 2 are 7 and 14 it should be OK. I think hmm

Heymacarena Thu 10-Oct-13 11:45:22

Mm I haven't done an overnight seat only, but have done a longish crossing. It was not my favourit thing. I am all about the short crossing - Eurotunnel or Dover/Calais.

Have you priced up maybe doing the Hull -Zeebrugge? That can be relatively good value - and you will have less driving in the UK.

Driving across to Normandy is more enjoyable than driving in the UK( imo!)

the other option which would work for you would be to book an overnight hotel near Dover or Portsmouth - and get an early crossing the following morning.

We have to drive down from W Yorks - and that takes us 4.5 hours - my least favourite bit of the trip. But I guess for you it would be around 8 hours?

You need proper sleep when doing all the driving - it's tiring.

Preciousbane Tue 08-Oct-13 23:30:48

The noise, the actual seats are better than on a plane as more leg room.

SirChenjin Tue 08-Oct-13 19:02:12

Just out of interest - what is particularly bad about seats? Noise? Uncomfortable? Everything?!

5Foot5 Tue 08-Oct-13 13:32:09

The first time we ever went to France we did reclining seats on the Portsmout to Caen crossing.

Never ever again!

We have always had cabins since then

SirChenjin Tue 08-Oct-13 07:55:33

Talked about it last night and I think we're going to go with Dover to Calais again, staying overnight somewhere near to Dover each way as we did last time. The overnight seat option sounds pretty grim, but the cabin does bump the price up esp. as we're already spending a fair whack on petrol to and from Portsmouth.

Thanks all smile

Preciousbane Mon 07-Oct-13 22:55:10

I had seats on the day crossing over but we had a cabin on the way back. It was a very early morning sailing over and we stayed in a Premier Inn in Havant which worked really well the night before sailing from Portsmouth.

Our trip to Normandy was one of the best holidays I have ever had, we were blessed with fabulous weather for the entire period though.

VivaLeThrustBadger Mon 07-Oct-13 22:48:49

I have, it was terrible. That was without kids.

makemineapinot Mon 07-Oct-13 22:45:26

Having done various ferry options to France from Scitland with and without dc, your best options IMO are to book a cabin for a long overnight crossing, or go Dover- Calais and book an overnight hotel either side of the channel, then you'll get a decent nights sleep which you'll need smile

Frenchfemme Mon 07-Oct-13 21:49:06

Once, yes - never, never again!

ILoveCwtches Mon 07-Oct-13 21:41:36

No worries, hope you come up with a suitable plan! Enjoy your trip. smile

SirChenjin Mon 07-Oct-13 21:38:11

Yes, taking a 14 year old and a 7 year old. Actually, as I type I think this isn't going to work as DH has sleep apnoea and needs a power point for his machine (no-one wants to sleep next to that, believe me!)

Oh well, back to the drawing board! Thanks smile

ILoveCwtches Mon 07-Oct-13 21:29:52

I did overnight Plymouth - Santander on those airline seats, once, years ago. Was just me & my xp.

Slept on the floor as it was more comfy than the seats & the room was half empty. Perfectly doable as adults, not sure about kids (you don't mention if you were planning on taking children).

Was a bit noisy but no worse than being on a plane.

SirChenjin Mon 07-Oct-13 21:06:21

Is it absolutely horrendous with noise etc?

We're planning to head to Normandy next year, travelling from Edinburgh, and trying to work out the cheapest (and least horrible way) of doing it. Dover-Calais is the cheapest, but it's the longest route - so if the overnight sailing in a free seat isn't too awful we might do that.

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