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Mr Plodd

Club Voyage members, BEWARE CMC are cheaper!

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Having just found out the hard way, and had a real "Go away little man" response from BF, I thought it only fair to share the below information with you all. 

 

Before you book any French crossing using a Club Voyage membership (as a member or guest) be sure to check the cost of booking via CMC. 

For me (Full CV member) Poole to Cherbourg on 1st May daytime sailing (car caravan & 2)  I have been charged £136.50 

Had I booked through the CMC for the IDENTICAL crossing the cost would have been just £85 :o

 

Bearing in mind I have already paid BF £75 for my annual CV membership I am not best pleased. I have tried reasoning with them but they  refuse point blank to give me even the same deal as I could get with CMC!

 

It would appear this ludicrous situation is the same on most of their  out of season, routes to France. 

i.e booking through CMC is much cheaper. If you dont have a CV membership its VASTLY cheaper. It looks like caravans, (but bizarrely not motor-homes :blush: ) go free if you book via CMC

 

So fellow caravaners be sure to check the prices between the two BEFORE booking, you could save yourselves a good few quid !

 

If you belong to other caravan forums please pass this nugget of information on.

 

Andy

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We realised this awhile back as per some of my previous posts.  However the disadvantage booking through CMC is that you cannot pre-book a cabin as we found out to our cost when their computer broke down and we were only able to get a cabin at about 11pm on the St Malo crossing. 

There is a cost involved if changing the booking dates.  You get a discounted or free breakfast on an overnight crossing if a club voyage member.  Renting a cabin on a day trip can be as little as £5 if a CV member.  Also I think with CMC you need to pay the full amount up front as no deposit scheme available. 

So decide which is best for you taking into consideration annual membership fee paid and cost of £20 if changing a booking or needing a day cabin plus paying for breakfast on an overnight crossing.

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On certain routes, at certain times of day and on certain dates CMC is cheaper.....but not to St Malo, not to Spain, not to Roscoff at weekends, not in the summer holidays, not if you are a non member, and not on overnight sailings. So Mr Plodd is right - it's best to check.

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One thing we discovered when booking via the CMC  is that you can't ring them outside office hours, or at weekends, if you have a problem.  We were on our way to a crossing booked via the CMC a few years ago, when my mum sadly passed away suddenly.  We rang the CMC to cancel our crossing for that night,  but unfortunately it was Friday night and no one was there.  Nor were they there on Saturday, Sunday,  or Monday which was a Bank Holiday.

When we eventually got through it was on Tuesday morning.  For us it didn't particularly matter as it was a serious reason why our crossing had to be cancelled but for others, perhaps with a reason for amending rather than cancelling it could be a problem if you aren't able to get through to them for four days.  The ferry companies will not Talk to you at all if your booking was via the CMC.

In the end the CMC sorted things out, agreeing that it was not our fault that we couldn't get through, so we did get the offer of another crossing at a time to suit us

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It must be five years ago that I last did a fare comparison between Brittany Ferries website and the Caravan Club.     At the time, booking direct online came out the cheapest by forty or so pounds.  

 

And a further benefit of booking direct - Recently, I needed to postpone my sailing for three weeks ago   It was done quickly online and without charge.   I understand from another forum member that it's not possible to make changes through the Club without an additional charge.   Also I'm very much aware of Val's valid point that you can only do those changes between the hours of 9-5 on Monday to Friday.      Then of course there's that long wait to get your call answered............:(

Edited by Jaydug

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You can book a cabin with CMC, have done it on a few crossings.

Yes £20 charge to change anything. I have heard of BF dealing with CMC customers out of hours when reminded CMC are closed.

The savings even for overnight crossings in school holidays were significant.

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As somebody who crosses in the school holidays (and having done the comparison) direct is still substantially cheaper but as always caveat emptor!

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We've recently used CMC for two Stena bookings, one for last weekend and we booked the cabin out on their system,, when heading back we decided to have a day cabin (cheaper than two lounge seats) and rather than us pay the £20 fee they gave us Stena's number who made the change for us.

 

Next June's trip is booked, but only £75 deposit paid so far, the rest is due in May 2020.

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I would just point out that I did say in my initial post that it was booking via the CMC out of season that was much less than going direct. The CMC appear to offer “caravans go free” but that is only out of season. Once you get into school holiday time then yes Club Voyage IS much less than CMC.

 

As someone who always travels outside of school holiday times it is a bit galling to find that after paying £75 for CV membership I get charged substantially more than someone who isn’t a CV member for the identical crossing.

 

I accept there are some benefits, such as free breakfast (only on overnight sailings so I have already paid extra for a cabin) We travel,Poole-Cherbourg so no overnight outbound crossing available anyway. Discount on other food (but there is a minimum spend and then it’s only 10%) free daytime cabins, but only on the afternoon sailings from the U.K. and morning sailings from France which are the less desirable times if travelling with a caravan. 

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd

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17 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

It would appear this ludicrous situation is the same on most of their  out of season, routes to France. 

i.e booking through CMC is much cheaper. If you dont have a CV membership its VASTLY cheaper. It looks like caravans, (but bizarrely not motor-homes :blush: ) go free if you book via CMC

Hi Andy, we have discussed this before and you commented on the very good price that, at that time, I had got by booking a CMC fare with ferry and site vouchers.

This is a subject that I think may be beneficial to all CMC members who cross with a caravan as on may BF routes the caravan goes free-so in effect you are only paying for the car-and of course means that  MH prices will usually be higher due to their dimensions.

I also believe that a wider awareness of the CMC combined fare would help people, particularly travelling to the West coast of France, as looking at the savings on my preferred Plymouth route it would cover the cost of joining and still show a large saving.   

 

15 hours ago, moorgate said:

So Mr Plodd is right - it's best to check.

Again and again and again!

Never assume that a deal you got last year, or a friend has got, will be be available and as said there are always little things that become apparent when you do your checking-for me its the fact that taking a night crossing-which have historically been more expensive and you need a cabin-is more than £100 cheaper than a morning crossing.

  

My usual routine once settled on the day route and time is to call CMC to check that they cannot better what I have got.

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1 hour ago, Mr Plodd said:

I would just point out that I did say in my initial post that it was booking via the CMC out of season that was much less than going direct.

Just done a very quick comparison for high season crossing.

Plymouth -Roscoff return August 13th @2030 with cabin returning 30th August  @ 0930 is £581 with the CMC.

N.B.This includes site vouchers worth £88

 

Booked direct with BF the price is £814 so with 30% discount-£244-its £570 BUT you then have to add the £75 fee for Club Voyage and, if its your first year that goes up to £150 making it £720.

 

This makes CMC £140 cheaper in year one of CV membership and if you use the site vouchers, which I always do, then the savings are even more.

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7 minutes ago, Allan Guest said:

Just done a very quick comparison for high season crossing.

Plymouth -Roscoff return August 13th @2030 with cabin returning 30th August  @ 0930 is £581 with the CMC.

N.B.This includes site vouchers worth £88

 

Booked direct with BF the price is £814 so with 30% discount-£244-its £570 BUT you then have to add the £75 fee for Club Voyage and, if its your first year that goes up to £150 making it £720.

 

This makes CMC £140 cheaper in year one of CV membership and if you use the site vouchers, which I always do, then the savings are even more.


You can still get good deals via CMC in the holidays but it is on limited crossings - when I price checked we could have had a really good deal but the timings meant we would have lost 2 days holiday - to some that would be worth accepting but not to me!

 

Andy kindly gave me his discount code but in the end I bit the bullet and went for £150 Club Voyage - the price was pretty close but in future it will be like a 20% discount with the fee.

 

If I wasn’t restricted to school holidays and especially if retired the CMC option would probably smash CV out of the park!

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2 hours ago, FrankBullet said:

in the end I bit the bullet

I do hope that wasn't Mrs Bullet!

 

I have considered the CV a couple of times but on my preferred Plymout-Roscoff route CMC wins hands down even in high season.

I was lucky when working that I always took my leave in May/June as this meant I was not competing with others to get the time off, Camping Cheques-remember them?- made sites cheap and the deals on the ferry were at their best.

 

It is much harder for the thousands who have no choice in holiday dates and or have school age children but I know someone who, when made aware of the savings, took the Friday off work and traveled overnight Thursday rather than on a much more expensive Saturday crossing.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Allan Guest said:

 

My usual routine once settled on the day route and time is to call CMC to check that they cannot better what I have got.

 

You can check the prices on the CMC website now so you can research at your leisure without having to wait for someone to answer the phone.  Even better it remembers your outfit and travel dates so you can compare alternative routes far more easily than using BF’s website where you must constantly input them all to get a price on another route. 

 

I still think it disgraceful that a member of the CMC can get much better deals than a Club Voyage member can. I very much doubt I will renew my CV membership next year. We always travel out of season so on current costings  CMC win hands down.

 

Andy

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Unfortunately as we have a twin axle we cannot get a price Online using the CMC website.  We have to phone in for a quote.

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8 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

Unfortunately as we have a twin axle we cannot get a price Online using the CMC website.  We have to phone in for a quote.

 

Any idea why that is? I don’t recall seeing anything on the CMC website where it asks for the number of axles, or even the caravans length! 

 

Andy

 

Edit

Just checked, it DOES say you have to ring if you have a twin axle!! Sorrrrrryyy!!

!

Edited by Mr Plodd

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5 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

My usual routine once settled on the day route and time is to call CMC to check that they cannot better what I have got.

Hi Andy, I only call after I have done my research to, as said, see if they can better it. I have once got a better deal in the Camping Cheques days and once was told what I wanted was not possible so went back and booked it online.

Whilst I appreciate the annoyance of CV members, MH owners, twin axle vans etc its usually possible to see why CMC are cheaper when you look at the details.

All the deals are on the CMC website and there are some that benefit MH more than caravans.

 

If we decide to do a Spain return I expect we would be using you BF code that you gave me a while back!

On BF booking page;

"If you are planning on taking a van, twin axle caravan, 5th wheeler, or a motorhome with a tow, please call us on 01342 316 101"

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That will get you 10% the same. 

 

I am just waiting to see what BF’s final response to me is going to be, I’m not holding my breath on winning the battle. I shall then amend my bookings and go to and from Spain!!

 

After careful research into the costs of doing Poole-Cherbourg return and driving down and back to Santander, taking into account the various ferry costs, fuel costs and toll charges, and comparing it to doing the (Economie) ferry directly there the direct ferry option is less than £100 more! It saves nearly 1400 Road miles plus all of the travelling days down and back.

 

I was simply amazed the cost was so close, makes it a no brainer in my view,

 

Andy

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

Any idea why that is? I don’t recall seeing anything on the CMC website where it asks for the number of axles, or even the caravans length! 

 

Andy

 

Edit

Just checked, it DOES say you have to ring if you have a twin axle!! Sorrrrrryyy!!

!

Also using the CMC site the overall length is over 13m due to caravan being slightly over 8m in length.  So the CMC take it at 8.5m plus length of car at 5m which adds to 13.5m and adds on an extra £50.  Reality is that the combined length of car and caravan is under 13m.   Even Brittany Ferries agree with my calculations and they measured out the length at the port last year.

Edited by Durbanite

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BF for my MH from Poole is about 455 return and the same times on shuttle are about 200 return .

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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Just now, CommanderDave said:

BF for my MH Poole is about 455 return and the same times on shuttle are about 200 return .

 

Dave

 

Crikey how big is your MH?? 

 

£200 for a return shuttle with a MH seems VERY cheap! 

 

The trouble with Le Shuttle is that is 200 miles from my house! Double that up and add in the 5 hour drive each way and it’s not so appealing for me. 

 

Andy

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41 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

The trouble with Le Shuttle is that is 200 miles from my house! Double that up and add in the 5 hour drive each way and it’s not so appealing for me. 

 

Andy


Folkestone and Portsmouth are about the same distance from my home but only one option avoids driving for hundreds of miles on France and lets us travel whilst we get a decent nights kip!

 

 

4 hours ago, Allan Guest said:

I do hope that wasn't Mrs Bullet!


😂

 

It’s usually the other way around!

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17 hours ago, Allan Guest said:

If we decide to do a Spain return I expect we would be using you BF code that you gave me a while back!

On BF booking page;

"If you are planning on taking a van, twin axle caravan, 5th wheeler, or a motorhome with a tow, please call us on 01342 316 101"

That number is for the Caravan Club travel department and not for Brittany ferries so you would not be able to use Andy's discount.

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5 hours ago, Durbanite said:

That number is for the Caravan Club travel department and not for Brittany ferries so you would not be able to use Andy's discount.

Hi, not sure how that happened but the bold text was a separate post re Andy’s comment on twin axles which, it seems, was added to my previous post!

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2 hours ago, Allan Guest said:

Hi, not sure how that happened but the bold text was a separate post re Andy’s comment on twin axles which, it seems, was added to my previous post!

 

The forum software merges consecutive replies. I'm not a fan of it but that's the way it works.

 

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