Bilbao Ferry Cancellation 27th January Some advice wanted

Discussion in 'Spain' started by Stewart J, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. Stewart J

    Stewart J Funster

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    Stayed at the C & CC site at Oxford last night in preparation for the short journey to Portsmouth for the ferry. Just starting to pack ready to leave when at 10.15hrs I receive a text from Brittany Ferries stating ferry cancelled due to technical problems. Completely floored me, gave me a number to ring for assistance, spent 20 minutes listening to the same song so hung up. We booked our ferry through the C & CC along with many of our campsite and rally bookings. So phoned them asking the way ahead, after a lengthy wait on hold they came back offering a ferry tonight to Caen or St Malo in France, the next available crossing to Bilbao being 11th February. Our return is booked for 4th March as we have commitments mid month so I rejected this, barely 3 weeks in Spain and a lot of driving. Also said no to the French crossings we have no maps etc and did not want the lengthy drive down to SE Spain.

    I am absolutely gutted, numerous phone calls later am sat here contemplating how much out of pocket we are, the C & CC have stated they will reimburse me for the ferry fares but not the £330.90 in site and rally fees because I am cancelling those and its in their terms and conditions.

    This would have been our first European tour, all paid for late November last year, wifey has done a lot of work planning it, gone to considerable expense kitting out for the trip and of course all the fuel, time and campsite fee's making our way down here (we set off last Thursday)

    We took out a 6 week travel insurance policy starting from tomorrow so doubt I will be able to claim.

    Bitterly disappointed with the mercenary attitude of the C & CC and I am still shell shocked. Anyone care to offer any advice on how to reclaim some of our cash or whatever.

    Stewart
     
  2. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    You have my sympathy. But surely you should not give up the trip!

    From Oxford, I might take up their Caen offer, but otherwise you could just drive to dover and go P&O to Calais. That is what I am doing next week. The journey through france is not unpleasant.

    Personally after a string of bad experiences I would never go on the Brittany ferries crossing to N Spain. Some years ago we arrived at Bilbao to be told there was no boat for the return trip. I was working then so had to drive the 650 miles to caen in a day and a half.
    In 2013 we went by sea to N spain and had the worst sea crossing I have ever experienced. Very, Very rough. Van slid into vehicle in front in rough seas. Laying on the floor (too rough to climb up on to the bunk!) we just wished we had driven and were staying in French aires.

    So I would say get your money back and go to dover pronto. And have some meals out with the cash you have saved!
     
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  3. The Wino

    The Wino Funster

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    As above go for it!!! Bet you enjoy the drive through France as much as the rest of the trip.
    If you decide not to how can the CCC justify their rally fees when its their ferry booking thats not happened? just goes to show both the big clubs are businesses not members clubs.
     
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  4. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    More fun driving anyway. Grab the cash offered, and enjoy your trip. We have driven to St Malo from Roses in Spain in a day before, but prefer an overnight stop on a motorway Aire if we can.

    If the ship has a technical problem, it's safer to cancel the trip than to risk peoples lives

    Buy a map on the ferry, and enjoy yourselves sightseeing through France, the route is dead easy

    Eddie
     
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  5. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Get yourself over to the tunnel have a good time in France find some aires and stay for free, don't bother with spain
     
  6. Granjan

    Granjan Funster

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    We had to drive home from the dordogne in an unplanned mad hurry last august, drove about 8hrs easily made ferry had 4 hours to spare, got evening Portsmouth Caen crossing and slept overnight , best with a cabin, to be honest roads easy and not the struggle we expected at all. I would just go with the flow and do it, take it nice and steady part of the holiday think you will see plenty places to stop en route. Don't abandon your hol just adapt it, enjoy it good luck, maybe just check the weather forecast too. You might be glad you weren't on the ferry!
     
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  7. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    I can't offer any advice, but loads of sympathy.
    We've not been over the water yet either and I know I'd be panicking at this news.
    But Funsters know what they're talking about - there's so much experience on here from people you know you can trust - please don't give up on your holiday, just change it to fit with the circumstances and enjoy both France and Spain.
    Do let us know what you decide to do and how you get on - there's your motivation! - your challenge (if you decide to accept it) is to do a travelogue for us. Please. [​IMG]
     
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  8. Stewart J

    Stewart J Funster

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    A development, OH got on the phone to Brittany ferries spoke to a very sympathetic lady who spent some time searching alternatives then informed us a cancellation had just com in on this Sundays ferry to Santander and they would honor the price we paid and give us a 4 berth cabin (only 2 of us)

    So back on phone to C & CC and all is now back on even managed to have our Zaragoza booking changed to the 3rd Feb. Yah a result, site warden here at Oxford will print off all my amended paperwork, still reeling a bit but much happier.
     
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  9. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    Be ironic if the boat sunk now ;)
     
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  10. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Better now than on the 3rd from his POV.
     
  11. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    That's good news.
    I've stayed at the C&CC Oxford site--really nice managers and staff.

    Enjoy your trip.
     
  12. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    I glad that I just book Dover calais 2 days in advance and drive down..
    Seem's a lot less hassle and a motorhome is for driving.. (y)

    Hope you get all sorted anyway and enjoy your time in Spain....
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
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  13. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    One overnight in France and you can be in Spain! Just go...

    We had this happen on return leg years ago, drove up that day.....
     
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  14. ASel

    ASel Read Only Funster

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    A further 8 nights in the UK in January, you jest!
    Go Dover/Calais and you will be in Spain for Wednesday evening.
     
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  15. Polar bear

    Polar bear Funster

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    Take the refund and cross on P&O to France its a nice run down to Spain good roads and no need to use toll roads and with the lower prices for diesel and a good exchange rate you should do the trip for less than the Brittany ferries price. We take about 4 days to do run to Spain driving around 6 hrs a day. We should hopefully be doing the run down to the Benicarlo rally at the end of February.
     
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  16. busby

    busby Funster

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    Go to Newhaven and take the late evening ferry to Dieppe,,,Docks about 4 am so you can be well down towards the Pyranees by tea time tomorrow. Another day and you will be well down into Spain. You can buy a map at ferry port. Nearly as quick as Brittany ferry. Go for it,,,dont loose all that money. 6 metre van £57 if your over 60. BUSBY:D
     
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  17. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    Brittany ferries are still taking bookings for Sunday 1st Feb for £399 to Santander and return should be ok.

    upload_2015-1-26_15-29-7.png
     
  18. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    The advice above is excellent - at this time off year the Bay of Biscay can be very unfriendly, and you can drive through France in two or three days. Only last week we had one overnight guest who drove from Barcelona one day and was due on an evening ferry the following day. No reason why not - roads are good and have much less traffic than in the UK.
    Bob
    www.parcverger.com
     
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  19. Fletton

    Fletton Funster

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    It all usually works out in the wash
     
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  20. Fletton

    Fletton Funster

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    ....tut tut tut..... :roflmto:
     
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