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W B Yeats Disappointment

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concregg

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Just returned from Dublin/Cherbourg return on WBY and would like to make the following comments ...
45 minute late leaving, no explanation or apologies offered.
Most disturbing... any 'announcement ' from Bridge Officers/Staff was COMPLETELY inaudible due to static/feedback/very poor quality audio which, as any information being transmitted from the Bridge can/may have significant importance is unacceptable ( I am a traveller who listens intently to any broadcast messages, for my own safety )
'Signage' on-board is lacking or very confusing, people walking around searching for cabins, I myself was directed in the complete wrong corridor which involved a 10 minute walk, with luggage, to a cabin which was 10 feet away from the 'confusing sign'
Again... confusing... shop is on deck 11 BUT only accessible by stairs on Deck 10 with no 'signage' to indicate this !
Food, I intended to book a table in the 'Lady Gregory ' restaurant for the evening meal, no  la Carte Menu, just a 3 Course Set Menu which was very uninspiring and did not cater for Vegetarians or Vegans, this Menu was priced at 59:95 Euro's PER HEAD ! which would mean a bill for 120 Euros for a couple dining WITHOUT any drinks !!! will be interesting to see how this continues as, at the time I was there and also at a later period there wasn't more then 4 occupants eating, ( both Outbound and Return ! )
The Baylon 'canteen' ( my choice of word ) was well served and had a choice of very standard food ( fish and chips/curry/meat pie... but also salads... yipee ) at prices that may be acceptable onboard a Ferry ( captive market ) but what was not acceptable was a 8/10 minute wait to pay for the food, only two Tills available so , by the time you got to the Till any hot food that had been purchased was now cold, an embarrassed member of staff, hearing the various and loud complaints managed to get some 'plastic covers' to put over the plates to 'keep the heat in' ... his suggestion !!! One of the many delays at the Till was due to the Customer being informed, in a rather patronising manner, that he had not 'taken enough food and that he had to add some more items' he didn't understand, the waiting customers , myself included, didn't understand, and the Passenger eventually left his tray of food,now cold, at the Till and walked away, the Till Operative 'shrugged ' and put the Tray under the counter and said 'next' Many of the French Passengers walked straight past the Tills and said that they would eat their food whilst it was still , now only warm, and then return and pay for the meal, I wonder if any or all did this, Im sure I.F. accounts will be able to monitor this but its still not 'High Season' and the Tills/payment system couldn't cope so there may/will  be very disgruntled customers  come July and August. ( TWO TILLS ??? Come on Catering Management, you need to urgently re-consider this )
The WBY has not completed a full year in Passenger Carrying Service yet but is already beginning to look 'tired and tacky' the carpets on Deck 8 ( Cabins ) are badly stained by what looks like oil, this is throughout Deck 8 and to a lesser extent Deck 9 (Cabins ) the shower curtain in my cabin was 'hanging off' due to broken hooks/glide and its noticeable that the Curtains in certain parts of the Public Areas are also 'hanging off the tracks' . Chipped tables in the main eating areas and wall coverings beginning to peel away, holes/small rips in seating, I'm sure that , after this trip, Management on Board must have been made aware of the problems with prompt payment for purchased food, they must have heard the raised voices ... but the 'Housekeeping Team' and Leaders need to maintain a visual inspection on the 'snagging faults' and rectify before they become an eyesore/problem.
So ... Yes I miss the 'Oscar Wilde' which had more Bar Options, more Entertainment Options, certainly more Eating Options and was far more competitive regarding prices in Fares/Cabins and 'On-board Costs'.
The W.B.Yeats lacks any  'Soul or Charm' which, hopefully, may come in time, but at the moment it resembles a floating IKEA premise's that is functional but just a method  to get from Ireland to France, when, with a bit of imagination and Management constructive input,  it could be so much more.
I wonder if this Forum/Discussion-Board is 'monitored' by anyone from Customer Services / I.F ?
Kind Regards and Safe Travels

hhvferry

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Again... confusing... shop is on deck 11 BUT only accessible by stairs on Deck 10 with no 'signage' to indicate this !
I agree with some of the things you say but feel you may have gone out of your way to find offence.

As for the shop - how clear does it need to be?
FWIW it's also accessible by lift.
Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 10:05:37 PM by hhvferry

Steven

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Wow is all I can say

I won't address all the points, but this isn't the first time I have heard the interior isn't wearing too well.  Even when she was in service a matter of weeks I had heard reports of staining and chipping.  Of course, this would be relatively simple to fix in refit (as is signage). 

The Lady Gregory is aimed more at the top of the market - if someone can afford to even consider €1000 a night for a suite I'm sure they can manage €60 a head for a three-course meal.  The size of the Lady Gregory reflects the maximum number of customers they expect to be in there at a time - it isn't designed to handle volume but to be a premium experience.  I've paid more than €60 a head for a three-course meal on dry land to be fair, and we aren't talking celebrity chefs either! 

Speaking as someone who used to manage a large self-service restaurant, I don't know what the capacity of Boylans is but two till terminals doesn't sound all that bad to be fair, especially on a vessel where people will not be as prone to heading for food at the same time like on shorter crossings timed at breakfast time.  Of course, there are going to be times when there are hold-ups due to staff or customer error, but that doesn't mean additional tills are actually required all the time.  If anything the flow should be managed at the food servery anyway (food isn't going to go cold in your hands if it isn't IN your hands), but that comes down to the individual staff being on the ball.  As for there being no lift to the shop - it can be seen at the top of the stairs on HHV's photo!  It is also marked on the onboard deck plan as "purple stairs and lift"!
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

NI Ferry Site

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline

Matt73

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Wow is all I can say

I won't address all the points, but this isn't the first time I have heard the interior isn't wearing too well.  Even when she was in service a matter of weeks I had heard reports of staining and chipping.  Of course, this would be relatively simple to fix in refit (as is signage). 

The Lady Gregory is aimed more at the top of the market - if someone can afford to even consider €1000 a night for a suite I'm sure they can manage €60 a head for a three-course meal.  The size of the Lady Gregory reflects the maximum number of customers they expect to be in there at a time - it isn't designed to handle volume but to be a premium experience.  I've paid more than €60 a head for a three-course meal on dry land to be fair, and we aren't talking celebrity chefs either! 

Speaking as someone who used to manage a large self-service restaurant, I don't know what the capacity of Boylans is but two till terminals doesn't sound all that bad to be fair, especially on a vessel where people will not be as prone to heading for food at the same time like on shorter crossings timed at breakfast time.  Of course, there are going to be times when there are hold-ups due to staff or customer error, but that doesn't mean additional tills are actually required all the time.  If anything the flow should be managed at the food servery anyway (food isn't going to go cold in your hands if it isn't IN your hands), but that comes down to the individual staff being on the ball.  As for there being no lift to the shop - it can be seen at the top of the stairs on HHV's photo!  It is also marked on the onboard deck plan as "purple stairs and lift"!

Wow indeed.  I take all of Steven's points.

I must say, I managed to get lost on the Cap Finistere last month when going to the cabin after boarding.  This was despite the fact I had made the point of looking for the exact location online whilst we were waiting to board... 

As interiors go, I must say that I like what I have seen of the WBY.  The comments about durability are of concern, but I am old enough to remember similar comments about the Bretagne after she had been in service after only a few months.  There were comments about the carpets looking shabby. If IF want to keep people's custom, I suspect that they will have to deal with these concerns.

Matt

SEA

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We must remember the ship has won an award for design and Build for 2019. I have been on Board  quite a few times and to be quite Honest the ship is very modern and is much nicer than her predecessor, although I loved oscar Wilde and have many happy memories travelling with my children  I would have no hesitation to travel on  WBY, she is a fine shp and we can all lets say be a bit "PIcky". If people dont want to eat in the restaurants there are very nice tables on the outside deck and a Packed Lunch can be brought and if you are travelling with a young family it can be expensive ..a little planning that suits your Budget can  go a long way. 

hhvferry

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The ship's design isn't perfect in some ways (those awards were mostly won without the awarders actually having been on the ship). The main central section doesn't quite work as well as it could and is a bit austere when you're sat amongst it. The formal restaurant, upper bar and Club area though are good in most parts. The standard cabins are a bit underwhelming.

New ships often take time to win people over. I don't think she'll ever be a firm favourite for me given her awkward looks and slightly compromised interior - but give it 20 years and we'll be arranging farewell trips on the faithful old Yeats before she is replaced by Oscar Wilde 2.

IFPete

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The carpets are the same on Dublin Swift. They are ment to look like that so when someone throws up you will not notice,
Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 11:04:02 PM by IFPete

DaveW1946

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Ikea's restaurant has more than two tills and still has queues. Also you should see the Brasserie when occupied by 11 coach loads of french pupils - hardly a table spare. As for the Lady Gregory, the old service team from Oscar Wilde are in place but even they're embarrassed by the prices. In respect of the picnic tables on Deck 11, there are 20 tiny tables and they were occupied by more french students on one of our trips.

Steven

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Ikea's restaurant has more than two tills and still has queues. Also you should see the Brasserie when occupied by 11 coach loads of french pupils - hardly a table spare. As for the Lady Gregory, the old service team from Oscar Wilde are in place but even they're embarrassed by the prices. In respect of the picnic tables on Deck 11, there are 20 tiny tables and they were occupied by more french students on one of our trips.
As I said above, customer flow should be controlled at the food servery.  If there is a queue for food then people will normally come back later (it's not like on a ship they have a wealth of options anyway). If there is little queue for food people just want to get their hands on the food (then realise there is a queue to pay when it is too late).  Since you mention IKEA, their restaurants usually have 4 tills and they are not always all manned (for much of the day it is one or even none with the till manned as required - companies don't generally pay people to sit and do nothing just in case).  IKEA Belfast (once the largest restaurant on the Island of Ireland) could cater for 650+ with four tills and that is including the two busy periods - breakfast and lunch.  Queues are an inevitability I'm afraid no matter how many tills and staff you have, as to be blunt there are more factors than just customers and tills here (like food supply as a given kitchen can only cater for a finite amount of people in a given time period even with all the staff in the world), but when you think about it if there were more tills and assuming the food can be cooked and served quick enough your seating problem is only going to be even worse!!!  The simple solution on such a long crossing is to come back later.  It's not ideal of course but that's life.  Would it be better if there was an additional dining option?  Possibly but that could also just move the problem elsewhere (it would also have to be different enough but attractive enough that people actually want to eat there).  They could, of course, make the restaurant bigger, but then it would probably be empty much of the time and space would have to be taken from something else.

20 picnic tables actually sounds quite generous.  Should they provide picnic tables for every man woman and child on the vessel year-round just in case everyone simultaneously wants to sit down outside?  Large groups (of whatever nationality or educational status) are always going to be a problem for any enclosed space.  Any vessel, restaurant, or public building is always a design compromise.

As chef says on the other thread on the subject, the pricing in the Lady Gregory is probably quite deliberate!
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

NI Ferry Site

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline

Shipmate

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When I was on her the Lady Gregory had max 8 people, looked depressing for the staff. Boylans seemed to be constantly busy, but was coping easily. Food in there seemed fine, and pricing was fair. I found the ship decent, always be a few niggles, seat fabrics and carpets already quite stained and dirty looking.

Had an internal 4 berth cabin, was very nice if quite narrow compared to Stena on return. Sound-proofing in cabin was poor.

Will be in the Deluxe cabins and lounge and next trip this week, will be interesting to compare.

Overall nice new ship, quiet and fairly well laid out.

alfie79

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When I was on her the Lady Gregory had max 8 people, looked depressing for the staff. Boylans seemed to be constantly busy, but was coping easily. Food in there seemed fine, and pricing was fair. I found the ship decent, always be a few niggles, seat fabrics and carpets already quite stained and dirty looking.

Had an internal 4 berth cabin, was very nice if quite narrow compared to Stena on return. Sound-proofing in cabin was poor.

Will be in the Deluxe cabins and lounge and next trip this week, will be interesting to compare.

Overall nice new ship, quiet and fairly well laid out.

Do you think she is an improvement on the OW?

Shipmate

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No, not really. It is more modern, but the OW was more of a cruise ship. WB Yeats be great on a day sailing to Holyhead, not so suited to Dub/Cherbourg IMO. The smarter cabins on the OW were a better laid out, for example in the 5 star cabins you could divide the seating area off when you put kids to bed and relax in main part of cabin.

Having said all that WY Yeats is a fine ship, I will be interested to see how useful the club class lounge is?

DaveW1946

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Was on WB Yeats a week ago going to Cherbourg. They loaded all the cars in the 30 minutes before sailing which didn't go down well with those who followed the advice to arrive 2 hours before sailing. Lots of elderly french cosch passengers on board which took a good deal of the brasserie's capacity. Had a outside cabin on deck 10 with view of the stern.  Very comfy but some vibration compared to lower decks on previous trips. Got a chance to use Club Class Lounge (long story). Very quiet and relaxing with superb views over the bow. Plenty of nibbles and free soft drinks. Alcohol available but again the wine is served in expensive mini bottles like the bar. Bottles of wine can be bought in the brasserie or the shop. One website error -  ooked breakfast is not available in Club Class, although they do have croissants &.cakes in the mornings. Some rough weather and like previous trips the vessel was an hour late in docking. Needs a timetable rewrite.

Shipmate

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Was on her again yesterday. Deluxe cabin this time. Much better experience than last week. Loading started much earlier at about an hour and a half before departure.
Cabin compares better to 5 star on the OW than I expected. I was very happy, minibar contains spirits as well as beer and wine. Decent coffee machine. Lounge for club class  has great views.

Wouldn't pay the extra myself for it but it is much superior way to travel.

On the bad side, the breakfast in the lady Gregory is as bad as the Oscar Wilde. Not cooked to order, tepid and poor quality. Feel sorry for staff as they are excellent. Premium price and low quality.

Steven

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I see from Shippax Designs 18 that the children’s play area now looks a bit more like a children’s play area!  It’s good to see that ongoing improvements are being made already, though it does make you wonder how “finished” the vessel was when originally in service!

Hopefully some of the passenger feedback will trickle back to further improvements being made. 

Was on her again yesterday. Deluxe cabin this time. Much better experience than last week. Loading started much earlier at about an hour and a half before departure.
Cabin compares better to 5 star on the OW than I expected. I was very happy, minibar contains spirits as well as beer and wine. Decent coffee machine. Lounge for club class  has great views.

Wouldn't pay the extra myself for it but it is much superior way to travel.

On the bad side, the breakfast in the lady Gregory is as bad as the Oscar Wilde. Not cooked to order, tepid and poor quality. Feel sorry for staff as they are excellent. Premium price and low quality.
Disappointing to hear about breakfast.  Perhaps doesn’t bode well for the Lady Gregory “brand” if the product they are putting on the plate is no better than poor offerings elsewhere.  Breakfast seems to be something which keeps popping up with Irish Ferries!

Nice to hear at least the premium cabins seem to be up to standard.  The main criticism I’ve heard of the standard ones are the size (small) and bland decor (not that hard to rectify).  I guess it comes down to expectations, but with Irish Ferries understandably talking up their latest acquisition peoples expectations are going to be high!

WB Yeats be great on a day sailing to Holyhead, not so suited to Dub/Cherbourg IMO.
If and when FSG777 is delivered her public spaces are to very much be influenced by W.B. YEATS  (similar vessel, more freight space and less cabins but with some big changes engineering wise), so your feedback bodes well for that.  How do you think Yeats could be made a better overnight ferry (without going totally back to the drawing board and building Oscar with more vehicle deck space!) out of interest?  I’m a big believer in it taking multiple trips to get a good “feel” of a vessel.
Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 05:19:01 AM by Steven
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

NI Ferry Site

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline