LD Lines Poole To Santander
In a phrase we would describe LD Ferry Lines ‘as good value no frills.’ If you are expecting a mini cruise, which is the marketing angle of competitor Brittany Ferries, you will be disappointed. As we have never been on a cruise we did not harbour any such expectations,.
If you want to get from A to B with a bed thrown in then LD lines is for you. You will not get a choice of restaurants but a cafeteria providing food, similar to what you would expect on a cross channel ferry and in fact the quality was quite good, not cordon bleu but very acceptable.
Price wise, given that they have a captive market prices were not outrageous, for example a main meal will cost you 11 euros and a continental breakfast 7 euros. The only gripe we had is that they could not have found a smaller glass for their fruit juice if they had tried.
There is a coffee bar which serves good coffee for less than you would pay in the UK but every where is less than the UK and it also serves snacks.
The bar charges prices similar to a UK pub.
Everything else is provided but on a mini scale. There is a play area for the kids but it is very small so we would love to see it at peak periods.
There is an area devoted to showing feature films but do not expect a separate cinema experience. You will also have to guess when the films start. LD Lines please put up a list of films and start times, this can not be hard.
There are also a couple of TV’s dotted around.
You can hire a DVD player and a couple of films for a nominal charge.
The cabins were comfortable with en suite facilities but a little bit more attention to detail would not go amiss.
Staff were extremely friendly and courteous and they did their utmost to resolve any problems.
Our main concern was crossing the Bay of Biscay and on our outward journey it lived up to its notorious reputation.
The crossing was delayed by four hours due to the incoming crossing hitting poor weather . I am not the best sailor, so we embarked with a certain in trepidation and the boat looked rather small to cope with any bad weather. Then to cap it all, there was a further delay, due to a small vehicle fire that had to be dealt with and understandably you can not take any risks with fire.
The crossing in the end was delayed by twelve hours, necessitating another night on the boat, which in fact suited us fine as we arrived in Santander at 8.30 in the morning ,rather than the same time in the evening. Also thankfully by the second night the weather had abated and it was a blessing not to hear the thud of the ship hitting the waves.
The crossing should have taken 24 hours.
LD Lines response to the delay was second to none . They supplied us with a free lunch, evening meal and breakfast the following day. Additionally they offered us a free single crossing, to be taken within a year.
In summary if you want a basic crossing at a considerable discount over the competition then this could be for you and with a saving of £200 to £250, that buys a lot of diesel.
The return crossing in early May returning early June was £730, which saves you the 1600 mile round trip from Calais, which probably takes about £400 in diesel, add the short sea crossing ferry fares and at what first seems an expensive crossing compares reasonably favourably. It was just a shame that we hit gale force 9 winds but then we might have hit a traffic jam in France.