"Newcomers helped some by staff"
This was our first experience with ferries in the Canaries. Fred Olsen was quite adequate to our needs. However, our original booking was
changed without full explanation. I was glad that they sent an advance notice about it, but the explanation did not get to the detail I wanted:
upon discussion with ticket agents, I learned that the ship would not sail as scheduled because some kind of maintenance was required. It
meant a delay of our trip by more than 3 hours (an adjustment which rippled to our destination rental car and lodging). I was disappointed
that there seemed not to be a provision for securing luggage in advance of boarding. We arrived 4 hours early, in hopes that the reason for
the cancellation of our trip was due to the boat being over-full. So, we were effectively chained to our 5 pieces of luggage, and unable to use
the time for any tourist activity in the town adjacent to the port. When the baggage cart arrived, the containers were marginally smaller than
two of our suitcases, which had to be crammed into the space. The next scheduled ship was on time. On-board, it was not immediately obvious
that the great majority of the seats were not "reserved". We could sit almost anywhere, except in the "gold club" section. There were other
special sections that we eventually realized: children's section and TV section and bar section. Also, there was an internet service which
travelers could access to play computer games on the ship's web site.
I wanted a seat with a view, but it didn't much matter, since the windows were so
dirty and wet that we couldn't see clearly what was happening outside, anyway. I was hoping to take some photos, and never found an
unobstructed view of the landscapes or seascapes we passed by. I never found a way to go outside onto the deck while we were underway.
Of course, walking around was a challenge when we were underway because
of the sway of the ship. That sway was likely greater because we were on a deck above the huge ferry cargo area which seemed big enough to
carry railway gondolas. The passenger ramp at the beginning and end of the trip consisted of dozens of stairs, rather than an elevator. I asked
how the staff would deal with a wheelchair patient, but my Spanish was not sufficient to get an answer. I was directed to other staff who might
be proficient enough in English. I still wonder if we senior citizens missed a chance to ride an elevator. Carrying the hand-bags up so many stairs
was a challenge for anyone of such advanced age as ourselves.
I was pleased to get a complimentary bus ride from Agaete to Las Palmas, but found it difficult to learn (in English) how to make the connection
from the Fred Olsen bus to the island bus system. It involved walking (with the luggage) approximately 200 meters past a city block of obstructing
buildings to the escalators down to an underground bus station below a park. I saw an elevator sign, but never found it, so the luggage was once
more a challenging factor.
Reviewed by Bobby who travelled with Fred Olsen Express on Bencomo Express