Marine Atlantic shows its contempt

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Marine Atlantic pulled another stunt that will certainly adversely affect the people of Newfoundland the most by cutting back on the number of ferry crossings.

It seems that Marine Atlantic is contemptuous of the good, hard-working people of Newfoundland and its Marine Atlantic employees. It has cut its service once again, if you can call it service. If one checks the record of Marine Atlantic it is a litany of breakdowns and delays, even to the point last year when the helmsman drove a boat into a dock. It seems he didn’t know his right hand from his left — or port from starboard. Marine Atlantic is copying Canada Post — the theme is “cut service and increase prices” and then wonder where all your customers went — but the bosses still receive a top salary with bonuses.

The province (country!) of Newfoundland does an amazing job promoting the wonders of Newfoundland. The tourist accommodations are terrific, the people of Newfoundland are among the nicest and friendliest anywhere in the world. The highways and most of the roads are in great shape and the scenery and weather truly spectacular.

The only extremely weak link in the whole system is Marine Atlantic. The management doesn’t have a clue, the communications is pitiful. When they cause a delay they offer precious little help — except a discount voucher for your next trip — great. What about the cost of a 500-mile drive and staying extra nights in a hotel — just because Marine Atlantic cannot keep their ferries in good order and only buy well used ferries from Europe.

Now is the time for a major shake up at Marine Atlantic. No wonder people fly.

Flying is extremely reliable and when delays with Marine Atlantic are factored in, flying is cheaper.

Time to hire a management team that really knows what they are doing — after all, Newfoundland is a nation of mariners — and good ones at that.

I am planning to visit Newfoundland again this summer. And yes, by ferry. I am driving because I want to visit Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We hope to be on the Argentia run. … I’ll bring a compass in case the helmsman gets lost!

Lionel Rudd

Sudbury, Ont.

Organizations: Marine Atlantic, Canada Post, Argentia

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Quebec, Nova Scotia New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • jerome delaney
    June 06, 2014 - 12:33

    This article wasn't rude at all, he told the truth. Why is tourism going up but Marine Atlantic is going down. I would not use the service myself, but family members on the west coast have, it is like the lottery to get across and the same coming back, who wants to spend 2-3-4-5 days on the Sydney side waiting to get home. If we had a first class service that could travel in more than 60 kms wind and the rates were respectable , more people would come to visit the province, I would even use it.

  • Angela
    June 06, 2014 - 10:25

    Awful article. What a rude person. Marine Atlantic may be doing a horrible job but I'm sure they won't jump to improve things because of this article. Criticism should be constructive, not insulting. It's wrong to assume that all of the staff are idiots because a few of them made mistakes. That's like saying all Newfoundlanders are stupid because one guy stuck the dock with the ferry. I haven't used Marine Atlantic much, but I have used it a few times in the past five years. Myself and my husband had the time of our lives on each crossing. We had so much fun that we didn't even want to get off the boat. We wanted to go back to Sydney and do the crossing again, even the time that we couldn't get a cabin. It's helps to be positive!!!

    • Lionel Rudd
      June 06, 2014 - 17:19

      Sorry Angela - but I'm not really. As an outsider I have observed Newfoundland people as extremely hard working and resourceful. The staff aboard the ferries are a hard working lot. Its the management that are the problem and issue. While Marine Atlantic are cutting services and increasing prices Air Canada has just LOWERED its prices by 15%!!!! I have worked in the Ontario Mines along side Newfoundlanders and I even had one for a partner. Truly great guys and first rate miners. Tourist boats never miss a sailing - unless the waves are extremely dangerous. The B&B's and Hotels/Motels are as good or better than anywhere that I have visited. The roads, especially the Trans Canada are terrific and the food is out of this world. Few of the souvenirs are made in China - they are mostly made in Newfoundland. The attractions like the Signal Hill, and the Johnson Geo Centre, the Bell Island Mine Museum and the nature reserves beat Disney World every time. If Marine Atlantic wants constructive advice they will have to pay me for it as they have obviously ignored all the free and obvious advice that they have been given. They need to smarten up badly...

  • Angela
    June 06, 2014 - 10:19

    Awful article. What a rude person. Marine Atlantic may be doing a horrible job but I'm sure they won't jump to improve things because of this article. Criticism should be constructive, not insulting. It's wrong to assume that all of the staff are idiots because a few of them made mistakes. That's like saying all Newfoundlanders are stupid because one guy stuck the dock with the ferry. I haven't used Marine Atlantic much, but I have used it a few times in the past five years. Myself and my husband had the time of our lives on each crossing. We had so much fun that we didn't even want to get off the boat. We wanted to go back to Sydney and do the crossing again, even the time that we couldn't get a cabin. It's helps to be positive!!!

  • A ferry user
    June 06, 2014 - 06:10

    I have been a regular user of the ferry service over the last 18years except being the last two.The ferries are great no we always have a cabin.The prices are terrible I think the last time we traveled it was almost $1300.00 return for two adults,one car and a cabin.Our last rip back we ran into trouble with he ferry.We had to take anextra hotel in NS until we depart the rolling day.Now we were given a rebate certificate for $400.00 that's $200.00 per person wouldnt even get you across,but what boiled my blood was that my $400.00 voucher had to be used in a year,3months before hand I had called public relations with Marine Atlantic to have a 6 month extent ion on this so I can book at another time,they would not even entertain me,saying if they obliged me then they would have to do it for everyone else.Then again why shouldnt they accommodate people.Welling saying all this I haven't travel Marine Atlantic in two years I loved to drive while on vacation,it's not cheaper then to fly but more enjoyable.So from now on when I want to travel by car I will fly to Halifax then rent a car.