Look at that choice of red wine!

I suppose many have seen recently in the papers and dotted around internet the excellent promotions being organised to fill up our ferries going back and forth to France. Well at £18 for our car and all four of us, we thought we’d give it a go and booked up for a day trip to France.

I remember as a teenager I used to get very excited at a day trip to France, back then it was new and seen as very chic, something to boast about in class and nudge up your street cred a couple of notches. Then we all heard about Booze Cruises, people making the journey to visit the hypermarkets and stock up their home bars to the hilt. Photos of cars laden with crates and crates of beer unloading at Dover made us all giggle and look down our noses a bit at the peasants who obviously ‘Had a Problem’

Well that’s just what we did last week, such peasants! :) We caught the 9.15am boat and eagerly climbed the stairs to the restaurant for the well advertised Full English Breakfast – Buy One Get One Free or BOGOF as they are commonly known. I joined the queue whilst Paul and the girls grabbed a table and collected my breakfasts which looked absolutely delicious. I got to the till and my smile was wiped clean from my face when I was presented with a bill for £18.36 (2 x ketchup, 2 x Farmhouse b’fast, 2 x cups of tea)

‘Buy One Get One Free?’ I asked.

‘Have you got the voucher dear?’

No, I didn’t have a voucher and therefore I wasn’t entitled to the offer even if it was advertised on their website with no mention of voucher.

Promotions beckon

A little disgruntled but not enough to ruin my day, we visited the onboard shop to collect our 6 bottles of wine as advertised on their website. Queues of customers lined up with boxes of J.P Chennet Chardonnay and I too collected my box and joined the queue.

‘Have you got your voucher love?’

‘What this one?’ I offered her a voucher that had been given to me at check in claiming 1 free bottle of wine.

‘Yep, that’s it.’ One free bottle of wine, how are you paying for the others?’

I pulled out my print offs from their website showing Full English Breakfasts – BOGOF, and the promise of 6 bottles of wine and asked why I couldn’t access any of these excellent offers. A manager came over and with a pained expression explained it depended on which link I had gone through as to what I was entitled to.

‘But that is not explained on your web site is it? There is no mention and I find that very misleading.

Needless to say a shrug of the shoulders and I’m a ‘very sorry’ is all I got. It was quite obvious he had had thousands of similar complaints and just redirected us all to the web site with a ‘Maybe try contacting them directly’

Booze Cruise winter 2010

We didn’t let this ruin our day either, not the foul weather, not the bad meal we had at Citte’ d’ Europe but now it is time to find a few answers from P&O and ask for a little clarity on their website methinks.

I would still throughly recommend these day trips as excellent quality. Just make sure you get the right link so as not to be disappointed with your gifts or lack of them like we were.