"Dire, Simply Dire "
What can I say good about this crossing? Possibly the only thing is the speed of the disembarkation.
I'll start the negative stuff at home. The ticket was booked through direct ferries and wasn't cheap. I paid for a larger cabin with the expectation that it would be A) Outside B) Nice, I'll come to those once we've boarded the vessel.
I received confirmation from Direct Ferries and shortly before the journey I had an email advising me that I could save time by checking in online. Balaeria on the other hand said no, I must go to the check in desk. "Which desk" I asked them (two are listed for Barcelona), "I don't know, I'm in Denia" was the unhelpful reply. Oh well, Google earth found me one place which happened to be the right one.......Google clearly knows more than Balearia staff.
Let's move to the port now. I managed to find some parking (a huge underground car-park right by the check in desk) and I went in and checked in. The lady said, park at Teminal C after 7pm. OK, I turned up at terminal C at 7pm only to find it had been moved to Termianl B,not a major issue as they are close by. We then waited, and waited, and waited. Then at the last possible moment we were taken in convoy to a completely different dock about 2 miles away. It was farcical.
Are you still with me on this horror story? Well, let's move onto the ship. We were parked up and made our way to the reception. Now, I use ferries quite a lot and I'm used to helpful staff in clean uniforms. Not here. Greeted by a guy who simply pointed to reception. You see, although you've already checked in you've not been allocated your room or it's key, unlike Stena or Brittany Ferries. So, another queue now at 23:00 this time for a rather unhelpful lady who clearly didn't want to be there and was making that fact rather obvious. The key was duly handed over and I made my way to the room, expecting something clean, tidy with a window. What I found was a dirty cabin, peeling paint on walls in corridors and an inside cabin which frankly, I was loathe to sleep in. Oh, and no air conditioning as it was broken on a warm night on the med, lovely!
No bar, no food, nothing to eat or drink anywhere. Just a single bottle of water in a 4 berth cabin left on the side!
I slept fitfully in my clothes on the top of the bed.
At 5:45am someone walked up and down the corridor tapping on the doors giving us a rather rude awakening.
Now, this part isn't the fault of the staff, but my wife left her Google Tablet either in the room or on a table while we were waiting to disembark. We didn't find out until later and contacted Balaeria straight away using their web contact form. I still have not heard a peep from them. Yet a member of staff will have found it in the room if it was there and almost certainly a member of staff will have found it on a table!
Sorry for the long and often rambling review. But I want other travellers to be fully aware of what they're paying for if they use this crossing.
Reviewed by Richard who travelled with Balearia on Abel Matutes