Reviewed by Brian Grehan
Recently, I took my twin sons away for a two week holiday to Dublin in Ireland. We went by plane the last time we went, but this time I wanted to bring back some of my possessions that my mum still had stored in her house. I therefore looked into us going by ferry. If I was asked to use one word to describe our trip, I would say “smooth”. From door to door it was smooth all the way. I was always hesitant about using the ferry, but Stenaline have changed all that. We were going to Dublin so travelled via the Holyhead to Dublin route – you can also go Fishguard to Rosslare, Cairnryan to Belfast or Liverpool to Belfast.
There is a cliché about service with a smile and the staff at Stenaline live up to that cliché. They could not do enough for their passengers and nothing was too much trouble. I was pleasantly surprised by the facilities on board. It was like travelling on a top class hotel. Everything is designed to ensure that passengers travel in comfort. The eating and drinking service is exemplary with lots of choice available and clean facilities. Meal deals are available which are good value. It is a far cry from the ferries we used when I was a child. The onboard shop is impressive and offers a wide range of products. The website informed me that you can actually save up to 50% in the onboard shop.
There is plenty to do onboard. I was a bit apprehensive as I was travelling with two young children. There was a concern about how I would keep them entertained onboard for over 3 hours. I need not have worried. There is a play area near the bar area which they were happy to play in. For older children and adults there is an area with video games which was full every time we passed.
Getting on and off the ferry was another thing I was worried about, but I need not have worried. As with everything on the trip, it was so smooth. Although we got to the ferry terminal early I was glad we did as I feel it is better to be an hour early than 5 minutes late. As like when onboard Stenaline staff were excellent and extremely helpful.
We had a really enjoyable two weeks visiting family and friends before returning back to mainland UK.
We all loved the trip and are looking forward to the next one. I will be looking out on the Stenaline website for available offers.
I was amazed to find out that Stenaline has 4 routes operating across the Irish Sea and 28 sailings a day. If you are a pet owner and hate leaving your pet at home, you will probably be glad to hear that pets go free. If you fancy travelling to Ireland for the day as a foot passenger, this costs from just £6! Combining rail and sail costs from just £33 a single ticket. There is free wifi onboard and you can even watch a movie for free.
I rate our experience 5 stars.
Crossings cost from £89 (single car and driver).
For more information or to make a booking visit www.stenaline.co.uk.