Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

May 1, 2012

Very Ferry Good!


View from the bridge - 'I'm flying Jack', (and all that)
The last time I was on a ferry, I was a sulky teenager who wasn't looking forward to a week on the Isle of Man with her parents, let alone the prospect of travelling there on something resembling a fishing trawler from Deadliest Catch. That was 24 years ago. Things have changed. Ferries have changed - significantly! Having just returned from a weekend break to North Wales, crossing the Irish Sea with Stena Line ferries, I am a ferry convert. Here's five reasons why.

  • The whole layout of the ferries is much more comfortable and stylish than I had expected, or remembered.The seating areas are lounge style, movies play on plasma TVs and there are Curious George playrooms for younger children. It all just felt clean, calm and relaxing.
  • There is free Wi-Fi access and of course you can use your phone as much as you want.
  • You can take as much luggage as you want in your car, and leave everything - other than essentials - in the car during the crossing. Spare coats, wellies, hats - throw it all in without worrying about the weight.
  • To be able to get back into your car and drive off towards your hotel at the other side is infinitely more appealing than baggage carousels, passport control, bus/taxi transfers from the airport, or the prospect of queuing at the car hire desk with tired, fidgety children.
  • The crossing from Dublin Port to Holyhead took about 3 and a half hours. Although it seems a long time when compared to a flight, it was all very relaxing and there was plenty to do to keep the kids entertained both out on deck spotting land ahoy and on the ferry itself.
Driving onto the ferry (the ferry is the BIG boat)

The added extras

The private family cabin - swanky

As guests of Stena Line we were given upgrades to StenaPlus (usually costs €18 per person to upgrade) which gives access to a private lounge, complimentary drinks, snacks and newspapers. We were also given use of a private family cabin which comes complete with plasma TV, Playstation, ensuite bathroom with shower, more drinks and snacks and a nifty coffee machine. Although great fun, I'm not sure the additional charge (up to £50) for the private cabin would be worth it for this short crossing, but for a longer one it could be money well spent. We also got to go up to the bridge to meet the Captain, which was a great experience for the boys!



Plenty of space to run on the decks


The hotel
Our hotel, Seoint Manor, in Snowdonia was a Stena Line recommended hotel. It was absolutely lovely. The staff were friendly and helpful, the breakfasts and evening meals were delicious and the accommodation and facilities were ideal. Although we were only there for one and a half days, there is plenty in the area to keep young children entertained. Caernarfon Castle was fantastic and a drive through the stunning Snowdonia National Park has us tempted to go back with our walking gear.


The conclusion
Having flown regularly with the children between Ireland and the UK, I can honestly say that taking the ferry was definitely the most stress-free journey we've had for a long time. I do think the StenaPlus lounge* helped - particularly on the return trip which was quite a rough crossing. The use of a portable DVD player for the kids, the novelty factor of helping themselves to drinks from the fridges and that little bit of extra privacy, definitely took their minds off the old heave ho! *The StenaPlus lounge on the Stena Adventurer was a lot larger than on the Stena Nordica and could, if very busy, take away a little from the 'VIP' factor.


All in all, I was very impressed with Stena Line - in terms of the ferry itself, the staff, the facilities on board and quality of refreshments - there was really nothing to find fault with. If we are planning a holiday to the UK or France in future, we will definitely look at the ferry as a viable travel option. As Dom Joly says in the new Stena Line ad campaign: take a Car-cation. You might be pleasantly surprised!


We travelled out on the Stena Nordica and back on the Stena Adventurer. For a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children under 16), plus our car, our trip would have cost around €300 for economy fare. At the moment, Stena Line have a 'Bring a friend for free' offer - book by 8th May and travel before 30th May. Details about this offer can be found on the website. For more information, visit www.stenaline.ie


Disclaimer: Our return ferry crossing, StenaPlus upgrade and accommodation at the Seoint Manor hotel were provided by Stena Line. All opinions about the trip are my own.


Share/Save/Bookmark

24 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great trip! Would love to board this ferry--it looks like great fun!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This looks so much better than the rival companies ferry I travelled on !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting points, I've often wondered about the best form of travel, the thought of taking a plane with 3 rowdy boys fills me with sheer dread! Thanks for the info definitely worth a go!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow - that really makes me re-think ferries, but any travel where kiddies can run around is a hit with me!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ferry is my favourite way to travel. We have travelled to England and France using ferries. Very relaxing and stress free especially with young children and elderly parents in tow!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Last summer we went to France on a ferry - found it very stressful on the way out on a seacat with no cabin and hardly anything to entertain two under fours. On the way back we were on the 'proper' ferry and upgraded to a cabin - a total godsend. It was a whole different experience! I would definitely recommend it to anyone travelling with children, and I really love the sound of the posh cabins on the Stena Line - definitely something I will bear in mind for the future!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am not a boat person but this does sound like a nice way to travel. Its a far cry from the last time I was on a ferry.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great article, seems like you had a pretty stress free journey with the kids. Holidays can often end up being more stressful than staying at home lol!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Looks like you had a great experience. I think that most ferry journeys end up being quicker than planes, once you add in the checking in, security, waiting to board, baggage reclaim, etc etc. Plus kids and planes just aren't a good mix, in my opinion...

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have actually never been on the ferry! I'm not a huge fan of flying, will definitely go sometime :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have nominated you for a versatile blogging award, please see: http://beyondconfessions.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/versatile-blogger-award-take-2/
    Thank you for your wonderful blog and beautifully written posts. I thoroughly enjoy reading them.
    XOXO
    Beyond Confessions

    ReplyDelete
  12. Forex Market Analysis, Indian Forex Market Updates, Pakistan forex News, New York Stock Updates, World Wide Stock Updates and Much More Forex updates
    LatestFxMarket.Com

    ReplyDelete
  13. New Aston Martin Rapid, 2013 Hyandai Veloster Turbo Mazda Takeri Concept and Top Companies of Most popular Cars and Vehicles. Total Concept Cars in the World, Latest Strange Vehicles in the World, All Concept Cars and Strange Vehicles Hot pictures and info
    worldlatestvehicles.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Diwali or Deepavali is one of the most colorful festival celebrated by Indian's all over the world. 2012 Diwali festival of lights falls on November 13th. Diwali is the time for fun and celebration. It's time to load your friends, family and loved ones with gifts, fireworks, mithai and greeting cards. Diwali 2012 cards is the right choise to convey your wishes on Diwali festival. We have a collection of happy Diwali greeting cards for...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ghaat means the stairs on the banks of a water body...may it be a lake or river.Gangaur Ghaat is an iconic place of the lake city,Udaipur.There is a gateway which comprises of 3 gates..sometimes it is called Tripoliya,that means three gates together. This ghaat is used by local people for purpose of bathing and washing cloths.Altogether it is a very happening place...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Best Beautiful Cars, Latest Hot Vehicles, Strange Cars, Super Cars Model, Funny Cars, Car Latest Models, Cars with Girls, Cars like helicopter and Most Speed and Expensive Cars
    WorldLatestVehicles.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Latest Hot Current Affairs, Entertainment News, Pictures, Videos, Latest Hot News updates, Business News, Online Marketing, Online Jobs, Mp3 Tunes, Latest Ringtones, Bollywood Girls, Entertainment Girls, Hot Girls and Most popular Affairs in the World
    Daily News updates about Latest and Hot Current Affairs
    HotCurrentAffairs.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Social Media Marketing is a very easy way for Marketing and Advertising, Now you can Get Facebook Likes, Twitter Followers, Favorites, Youtube Views,Subscribes,Likes, Google Plus Followers, Stumbleupon Followers, Digg Followers, Websites Visitors and Much More.
    Just Visit the Website and Start Promoting now without any Charges
    GetLikeFast.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Latest Hot Current Affairs, Entertainment News, Pictures, Videos, Latest Hot News updates, Business News, Online Marketing, Online Jobs, Mp3 Tunes, Latest Ringtones, Bollywood Girls, Entertainment Girls, Hot Girls and Most popular Affairs in the World
    Daily News updates about Latest and Hot Current Affairs
    HotCurrentAffairs.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. What is Lol...? Every thing you want in Lol and Troll, Now you Get all in one Network, ThatIsLol.. Lol Pictures, Lol Videos, Lol Peoples, Funny Peoples, Troll Images, troll pictures, funny pictures, Facebook pictures, facebook funny pictures, facebook lol pictures, Funny videos and Much More only Laughing out of Laughing
    lolsgag.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Upcoming Latest cars and vehicles, Latest Mazda Models, Racing Cars, International Sport Cars, Concept Cars, PS-Pod, Strange Vehicles, Nissan, Royce Corniche, Ford Concept Cars, Strange Vehicles, Mercedes and More Sport Cars and Vehicles with Pictures and Info
    WorldLatestVehicles.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. World Most popular Upcoming Latest cars and vehicles, Latest Mazda Models, Racing Cars, International Sport Cars, Concept Cars, PS-Pod, Strange Vehicles, Nissan, Royce Corniche, Ford Concept Cars, Strange Vehicles, Mercedes and More Sport Cars and Vehicles with Pictures and Info
    WorldLatestVehicles.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lols Gag is the the Best Lol Network Ever, where you can every thing is lol and Funny, Troll Images, Prank Peoples, Funny Peoples, funny planet, funny facts, funny cartoons, funny movies pics, iphone funny, funny jokes, Prank Images, Fail Pictures, Epic Pictures, Lols and Gags, Lol Pictures, Funny Pictures, Lol is the Laugh out of Laugh where you can Fun Unlimited and Laughing Unlimited.
    lolsgag.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. For the lovers of art be it oil paintings, acrylics, water paints, abstracts, still life or just swirls of your imagination on the canvas. Find more art at
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgWYZyShA3c

    ReplyDelete

Blog Widget by LinkWithin