Sunday, 24 November 2013

Travelling with children 2: Transport

For our recent holiday to France we travelled as guests of Celtic Link Ferries from Rosslare to Cherbourg.
We were really impressed with the service we received,  from the ease of booking, the communication with the company, and the on-board facilities too.
Having two lively young boys contained in a vehicle is usually no picnic, but we barely noticed the time passing during our 15 hour journeys. We chose to spend most of our time at the children's play area, which is conveniently situated in the cafe/public area. The kids built forts and jumped around on the soft blocks, slid down the slide, and made great friends with the other children travelling too. It's amazing to see how the language barrier disappears once everyone is playing together. The fact that as a parent you can sit and have a cuppa, read a book or watch one of the tv screens while your child burns off their energy is brilliant.

We had a two hour drive from Dublin to Rosslare, so the kids were well up for some fun on the boat before bedtime, and we were delighted to see they were welcome in the bar area too. As we were travelling off-peak season there was no entertainment, but we were well prepared with paper and markers, and many families did the same. We also played a good few games of cards, and enjoyed a lovely relaxing evening. Barry was delighted to watch a Liverpool match and drink a whiskey or two, a great start to our holiday! Our crossing to Cherbourg had a gale force warning, but our suite was snug and secure, and though we all suffered seasickness we slept comfortably, all four in the double bed. We also loved the seating area in our suite, a sofa and armchair, mini fridge and tea/coffee making facilities. A good sized ensuite too. This would be lovely to book for a special occasion - honeymoon or anniversary etc. We had a light continental breakfast in the restaurant the next day, lovely croissants and yoghurt, but a full cooked breakfast is on offer too.
There is a small shop where you can buy some toys, souvenirs and snacks, a cinema which we meant to visit, but were too busy, and a video games area which seemed to keep the older kids very happy.
Our crossing from Cherbourg to Rosslare was even more relaxing, given the calmer sea. We had a four berth cabin, again lovely comfortable mattresses where I managed to sleep with a little boy on either side of me. The ship is modern and spacious feeling, very clean and well-equipped for all you might need.
But what took my breath away was the personal touches, the staff looked after us so well. The ladies in the cafe took time to get to know our children's names, answer any questions we had and genuinely made us feel welcome. This was our first time travelling with Celtic Link Ferries, and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. Their prices are great value and the service is excellent.
You can check out their website Here and follow them on Facebook Here and TwitterHere

For our 4.5hr car journey to our French accommodation we had plenty of fruit, crackers and Halloween hauled goodies to keep the kids entertained, as well as their magnetic drawing boards which double up as trays for toys. I sat in the back wedged between the kids to keep our 2 year old happy as he doesn't enjoy cars so much. We were travelling on the A13 to Paris,  and stopped off once at Mc Donalds in Caen which has an outdoor play area. From Paris we took the A4 to Mouroux, only 50 mins.

All in all the travelling was pretty relaxed, our car did us proud considering we were gonna scrap it this year!

What are your travel tips with kids in tow?
Nee x

1 comment:

  1. France such a nice country where we have to do lots of fun. It provides extensive ways to enjoy the family trips especially with kids. Well now I am planning yellowstone bus tours for summer vacations but after this tour I must go France with my kids. Thanks for this nice sharing!


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