Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Day Trip To Dublin With StenaLine.

As we were staying in Wales we decided that we would take a trip to Ireland. Tilly had never been so I thought it would make a great day out. In order to make it a full day we decided to book onto a 2.15AM Ferry from Fishguard (a quick 1/2 hour drive from where we are staying in Bluestone) to Rosslare in Eire. StenaLine run a ferry on the Fishguard - Rosslare route twice daily and with a crossing time of 3 hours and 30 minutes, the Stena Europe offers a convenient and relaxing way to travel between Ireland and Britain


We arrived at the port just before 1am and after checking in, receiving our cabin keys and boarding pass, we were directed to queue up ready to get on the ferry. To keep you occupied whilst you wait, there is a waiting area, that has a great little play area for the kids. You can also get a hot/ cold drink and some snacks from the vending machine.

We boarded the ferry and walked up 3 floors to find our cabin. You don't have to book a cabin, but if your a driver and you have a long journey then it is advisable. The price of a cabin starts at £32 for a two berth cabin and £50 for a four berth cabin. It comes with fresh bedding and towels. We also had a four berth ensuite with shower and toilet, so you can freshen up before you leave the ferry in the morning.

Tilly and I had a look around the ferry, whilst Tracy went to sleep in the cabin. Tilly found the play area and was in her element. The play area is well designed, its open and the best thing of all is that it has Curious George everywhere. Tilly is a big fan and loved seeing him. The play area isn't just for the little ones, as there is also a Teen Zone, where you will find arcade games and computers. If you take your own laptop like i did  or you wish to use your own smart phone, there is a free WIFI connection whilst your at sea, so you can keep in touch with people.

There is Stena Plus, which is a premium area for you to sit in comfort whilst you enjoy your crossing. It costs £18 per adult and you get complimentary drinks and snacks. There is also a dedicated childrens area to keep your children entertained whilst you relax.

When we arrived at Rosslare there was a knock on the door to let you know we will be docking soon, it gives you plenty of time to get up and freshen up before you have to leave and get into your car. The knock on the door was so much nicer than being woken up by a tannoy system. When you leave your cabin, the on board staff are ready to change the bedding and towels ready for the new occupants of the cabin.

Getting of the ferry was quick and easy, We went down to our car and we were waved off the ferry. We went straight through the port and headed off to our destination for the day - Dublin. We had arrived in Rosslare at 6:30AM, so by the time we had driven to Dublin it was 10am, and we were able to enjoy a full day out before heading back to the ferry for the 9:15pm crossing back.

When we arrived back at the port for the crossing home, we were waved straight through and onto the ferry. You get given your cabin key at the port when you check in again, so this means you can go up and settle into your cabin straight away.

We went for something to eat on the ferry crossing home as we were very hungry and the ferry offers meals for £4.99 each on the 9:15pm crossing, so you can really feed your family on a budget. I have been on ferries before and paid twice the price! There is a wide range of meals on offer and a child's meal is half price. The staff behind the counter in the metropolitan Grill were lovely and very family friendly.

There is a cinema onboard, for your convenience and there was a child's cinema area and they put a movie on for the children on the crossing but it started a little late for Tilly and she wanted to go to sleep. So we went off to our cabin to snatch a couple of hours rest before the ferry arrived in Fishguard at 12:30AM. Again we had a knock on the door to let us know we were docking soon and again giving us chance to get ourselves ready and wake Miss Tilly up.

Stena Europe is a Superferry 149m long and carries 1386 passengers and 564 cars. You can book a trip to Ireland here, you can get a crossing from Holyhead to Dublin too, but as we were staying at Bluestone, it made more sense for us to sail from Fishguard. If you book your crossing online you also get the chance to make any amendments or cancellations by going to the Manage my booking Section.

The trip was very easy from start to finish and everyone on board the Stena Europe went out of their way to ensure the passengers were happy and content. We would travel with them again, hopefully next time we are going to make our stay in Ireland a little bit longer. 

We were given a Return trip to Ireland in exchange for an honest review.




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