We crossed from St-Malo to Portsmouth with Brittany Ferries and I have a few tips for you.
The trip from Portsmouth to St-Malo is a night boat and so we just ate and had a little wander around deck and then went to our cabin to bed but there were a few films showing, and possibly a music show.
The way back was a day boat and so you have hours of awake time on board to kill. These are a few of our tips for making it as smooth as possible, no matter the weather!
Although it’s a day crossing, we got a cabin to store all our items and to have somewhere to go and sit and watch tv or nap if we need to. I’m really glad we did as we did end up sleeping! Top tip, an inside cabin is below the car deck and we found it very claustrophobic on the way out, on the way back we had an outside cabin and it was much nicer, more space and a window with a sea view!
There are several showings a day of different films. We went to the 10am showing of the Incredibles 2, the cinema is £5 a child and £6.75 an adult and it’s just a projector and screen but we really enjoyed it. Seats are unreserved so get there a little bit early and we found sitting under the projector gave the best view. There are booster seats for the kids in there. Make sure you go to the toilet before it starts, they lock the door and then you have to use the emergency exits and if they shut, you’re locked out!
There are lots of eating options. We took lots of snacks and drinks to try and save money and just ate one meal on board. The kid’s meals are a good deal with an activity pack meal and drink, the food won’t win any Michelin stars but it was ok and there were some amazing cake options, the most important thing in my opinion! The breakfast on the way out was amazing though!
There is a pantomime on board! We didn’t get to see the whole show but it was very busy and seemed to be well acted and fun, a good way to pass an hour and a half. Children could have photos with the cast after as well.
Pack a small first aid kit as there are no painkillers allowed to be sold onboard, I had a migraine during the crossing and couldn’t get to my tablets as you’re not able to go back to your vehicle for the duration of the journey. There is a nurse on board who you can visit but I managed to hold on until we were there.
There are lots of doors to get out on deck but we really liked going out of the door on the stairs from the self service restaurant to the cinema as you could stand right at the front of the ship.
Enjoy! It might be a long crossing but we found that with eating, a film, a sleep and a few wanders around, we were there in no time.